Friday, 28 September 2012

Watz Buzzing - 28 Sep 2012

Cecilia Sue Siew Nang: “I asked Boon Gay what if the child was his?”, 28 Sep 2012

Ng’s lawyer, Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng referred to various statements which Ms Sue had given to Corruption Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) to point out various contradictions between what she was telling the court and what she had told CPIB.
Referring to the latest statement given in May 2012, he read out this paragraph:

“When I was pregnant in the first quarter of 2010 I asked Boon Gay what if the child was his. At that time I felt Boon Gay was an irresponsible man because he did not show respect and did not comfort me either. He broke my heart. It was then I decided to end the relationship.” Full story

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Cecilia Sue’s “naughty” text messages to former CNB chief, 27 Sep 2012

“Naughty” text messages and graphic details of an alleged fifth sexual encounter created a stir on day three of the sex-for-contracts trial involving former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay.

Defence lawyer Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng tried to establish that Ng and the woman embroiled in the scandal, Ms Cecilia Sue Siew Nang, were more than just friends between 2009 and last year.

Mr Tan listed out a couple of what he labelled as “naughty” text messages that she had sent to Ng:
“Do you DIY?”
“Is she at home?”
“You ignore me, how how how?”
“Sad sad, can we turn back the clock?”
Full story

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Goodbye, Budget Terminal

Budget Terminal closes shop today. Thus ends the short but glorious era of the most imaginatively-named airport terminal in Singapore. Maybe even globally.

Yes, the one Singapore held a contest to name, and the authorities chose the name… Budget Terminal.

The Budget Terminal is being terminated to make way for the fourth terminal.

They should have a naming contest for the fourth airport terminal. I am sure something creative and surprising will be chosen.

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Khaw's cooling measures may have failed to rein in property prices, but it helped to rake in half a billion for the Govt
Asia Property Report, 25 Sep 2012
Cooling measures such as the additional buyers’ stamp duty (ABSD) have raked in around S$500 million (US$408 million) in tax revenue, according to Asia One.

Of the combined cooling measures, the ABSD has contributed the majority of tax revenues, at S$450 million since it was introduced in December last year.

The remaining S$51 million came from the sellers’ stamp duty, which was implemented in 2010, according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. Full story

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MTI: No foreign labour, growth will stall

This caught my eye when I opened the door to retrieve the papers this morning.

I agree with MTI completely on this. I agree with many things the government is doing within their sandbox. And many things they do here if it were copied elsewhere will do wonders for other cities. Those places need them more than we do.

We should just help them, give it to them and invent our version 2.0. The problem is we aren't. We are flogging Version 1.0. Translated it means some sacred cows must be killed and any of them killed only when the evidence is overwhelming and obvious would already be too late.

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Chee Soon Juan – The Man and his Beliefs – Part I

Dr Chee Soon Juan, the caricature of opposition politics in Singapore is seldom portrayed in a positive light. Yet, he never fails to have a sparkle in his conversation about what the future holds. I caught up with him to discuss about his plans, his future, a little bit about his past and particularly about his proposal get out of bankruptcy.

His political strategy of going for broke, quite literally, has brought him into financial straits. Some have questioned his wisdom of doing this, while others think that a more subdued approach like how some of the other leading opposition figures have done would have been better.

I have often wondered if he knew what he was signing up for when he decided to enter politics twenty years ago. Whether politics was on his radar screen, how he got interested in politics, his rise to fame or infamy as some would have it? He has certainly paid a big price, a political one at that, which he needs to overcome in the next few years to establish himself as a player.

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Singapore's manufacturing fell in August raising fears of recession, 26 Sep 2012
(RTTNews) - Singapore's manufacturing production unexpectedly declined in August, raising fears of a recession as a gain in the biomedical sector was offset by a marked contraction in electronics output amid further deterioration in export demand, latest data showed Wednesday.

The electronics cluster recorded a faster decline of 7.3 percent than 5.3 percent in July as external demand for electronic products dropped further in the backdrop of a slowing global economy and the ongoing crisis in Europe. Full story

Singapore's Aug. manufacturing output down 2.2 pct - Xinhua

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An Aspect of the CPIB Arrogant, Uncivil?

Of late there has been considerable hype about the CPIB's prowess whether for the right or wrong reason which may be subjective. As a climax to its distinctive accomplishments, the CPIB held its 60th Anniversary Celebration at the Istana on 18 September and the guests of honour included PM Lee Hsien Loong, ESM Goh Chok Tong and former MM Lee Kuan Yew.

Invited guests included former CPIB directors but for some strange reason the current director Eric Tan saw it as "prudent" to withhold invitation to me probably because of the likely presence of Lee Kuan Yew at the celebration, although I was a former director, the first non expatriat after independence. I only read about my exclusion from the celebration from the Straits Times report on 10 September on the celebration.

I was not at all surprised at my exclusion but I was particularly angry that the insensitive Director Eric Tan had not the courtesy to inform me beforehand that I could not be invited to the celebration and that I had to learn of it from the press. True my disgust of the hubristic Lee Kuan Yew could make my presence at the celebration a big embarrassment to him. So I wrote to the uncouth Director Eric Tan on 19 September, which is reproduced below for easy reference, to voice my resentment at his lack of civility in dealing with the matter:

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In Singapore, The Voices Of Dissent Grow Louder

Fernandez and Tan are among the hundreds of Singaporeans detained by the government without trial for, they say, political reasons.
Former political detainees, Michael Fernandez (left), 72, and Tan Jing Quee (second from right), 66, participate in a forum in Singapore. A notebook used by Fernandez to scribble notes while he was jailed is projected behind them at the event held in 2006.

After decades of enforced silence, Singaporeans who spent years in jail without charges or trial are shattering a political taboo by speaking out about their detention — and the colonial-era security laws that made it possible. The affluent trading hub — known for its solid rule of law — still allows the government to detain citizens indefinitely.

But people who say that the laws were used to abuse them and silence their dissenting voices are now talking — which many see as a foreshadowing of bigger political changes for Southeast Asia's wealthiest nation.

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PM Lee: God’s Sake! Change Your PR Company Already!

You have obviously identified ministers (Heng, Wong and Tan) whose status you want to alleviate and other politicians which you are willing to sacrifice (Sim?), though I am pretty sure Tin Pei Lin wasn’t intended in this way. She was to have been PAP’s Nicole Seah, but what a turn of events!

You should only go on with half of this strategy though. The ministers who are looking like they are genuine and consulting widely will impress people, and even if they don’t, in the very least they are a saving grace for PAP.

But if you go on with putting up politicians who will speak up for PAP, even if PAP is seen as being in the wrong, then it will only get people really angry and whatever good work that the ministers in the former group can do to convince people of PAP’s sincerity, will be destroyed.

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Temasek sold off 500 million SingTel shares to raise S$1.34 billion cash
Yahoo! Finance
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings will sell as many as 500 million shares in Singapore Telecommunications Ltd to raise up to $1.34 billion, according to a term sheet seen by IFR late on Tuesday.

The transaction comprises a base size of 400 million SingTel shares at S$3.20 and S$3.25, which works out to around S$1.3 billion ($1.06 billion). It includes an upsize option for another 100 million shares that if exercised will raise the deal size to $1.34 billion.

A Temasek spokesman confirmed the sale. Full story

  1. Temasek selling up to 500m SingTel shares - The Malaysian Insider
  2. Temasek selling up to 500 mln SingTel shares - Reuters India
  3. Temasek prices SingTel stake at bottom of range - MarketWatch
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National Conversation Roundtable to feature civil society (update)

Bloggers and NGO representatives willreplace opposition party representatives at the National Conversation Roundtable organised by the SDP.

The National Solidarity Party, Singapore People's Party and Singapore Democratic Alliance replied tosay that they would not be sending representatives to speak on the panel.

The Reform Party said that it should be able to make the event but as of this report had not confirmed itsparticipation. Workers' Party did not reply to the invitation.

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Dr Chee Soon Juan successfully raised $30k to pay Lee and Goh

The Discharge CSJ Fund has announced that it has managed to raise the $30,000 to clear Dr Chee Soon Juan's bankruptcy.

Not only has the target been reached but it was achieved in record time - 10 days!

The campaign started in earnest on 11 September 2012 when it was announced that Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong would accept the $30,000 Dr Chee had offered to annul his bankruptcy order. Full story

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Singapore lawyers are simply not interested

Although Singapore Island has 5 million people, it has only 3000 or so lawyers!

This figure cannot be accurately be verified as any telephone call to the Singapore Law Society is invariably answered by a demand that I should officially write a letter for this seemingly innocuous request. I can only assume that even the number of lawyers practicing in Lee's Singapore has to be kept a secret, perhaps because they are ashamed to admit to this totally inadequate number.

Upright principled young men and women shun the legal profession, as it is seen to be used for political purposes to destroy the opposition. Secondly anyone who is seen as someone refusing to show support for Lee's government will not be accepted.

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Sex-for-grades Prof Tey Tsun Hang claims "coerced into confession"

What nonsense is this?! The NUS Law professor Tey Tsun Hang claims that he was coerced into confessing to his alleged offences (The offences with regards to sex-for-grades with his student Darinne Ko Wen Hui.)

Seriously, when did Tey Tsun Hang sign his confessions?! How come this never made it to the top news?! Why only now do we hear about it from his lawyer, one Mr Peter Low?!
National University of Singapore (NUS) Law professor Tey Tsun Hang, who is at the centre of the sex-for-grades scandal, claims he was coerced into confessing to his alleged offences.
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Cecilia Sue Siew Nang suffering from "clinical depression"

Yahoo! News Singapore, 25 Sep 2012
The woman at the centre of the high-profile corruption trial involving a former top Singapore civil servant is "clinically depressed" and has been seeking medical treatment since news of the scandal broke.

In the opening day of the trial of former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay, the prosecution on Tuesday said Cecilia Sue Siew Nang, 36, has "not been coping well with the situation she's found herself in" and has been seeing a psychiatrist from the Insitute of Mental Health (IMH) for the past three months. Full story

  1. Just who is Cecilia Sue? - Yahoo! News Singapore
  2. Cecilia Sue says she had done no wrong -
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Best government in the world but not for S'pore

See article: Strong case for S'pore to continue with calibrated immigration policy

Probably the best government in the world but not good enough for Singapore because in nearly all instances our leaders have lost the much vaunted foresight they used to have. With Philip Yeo gone, the entrepreneurial mindset also disappears. While Dr. Goh protected and nurtured Philip and a few others, none of them were powerful enough to produce the next generation of civil or political entrepreneur.

I quote Lim Hng Kiang from that article.

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Taxes and the distorted perspectives of some elites

These people are struggling not because they are refuse to work hard but because of the system put in place that resulted in the 3rd world wage structure we see in our economy.

"Even if this generation, I can't get you out of the poverty cycle, ...the problems that you face. Even if I can't do anything in this generation. We must make sure, we do our very best for the next generation,,,even if I can't get you out of your poverty cycle, even if I can't do anything in this generation, we must make sure we do our very best for the next that the next generation is not disadvantaged. ...and when we say helping the next generation to the same opportunities is not just about social transfer of 'I tax you and I give you'. That one is a short term solution and probably the easiest to do.......the next generation have equal opportunities to shine come from education, housing, healthcare and so forth" - Minister.

He is so clueless. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I hear him speak. Saying that taxing the rich to transfer to the poor is the "easiest" thing for the PAP govt to do is just absurdity

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Escalating housing cost and unabated influx of foreigners are 2 top concerns of Singaporeans in Yahoo! poll

Yahoo! News Singapore, 25 Sep 2012
The cost of housing was voted the most pressing concern for Yahoo! readers, according to a week-long poll on the online portal.
Last week, as part of the ongoing Singapore Conversation, we listed down 10 issues and asked Yahoo! readers to vote for their chief concerns.
A total of 21,470 people cast their votes with each reader allowed to vote only once, and on a single issue.
28% of people voted for the cost of housing. The management of flow and integration of foreigners, which garnered 21% of the votes, came in second while narrowing the income gap came in third with 17% of votes. Full story

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Sex-for-grades accused claims statements to CPIB made under duress

The sensational case involving a Law Professor and his student has taken a new twist with the accused now claming that his statements to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) were made under duress.

Tey Tsun Hang, a former District Judge, State Counsel and Law Professor, faces a total of six corruption charges for allegedly showing favour to his former student, Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui, between May and July 2010 in exchange for sex.

In two of the charges, the 41-year-old was accused of corruptly obtaining sexual gratification from Ms Ko in Jul 2010, in return for giving her better grades when she was his student.

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