Friday, 20 June 2014

That CPF Cheongsam Lady

Lady who kept making rude gesture at 76-year-old speaker in Hri Kumer's CPF dialogue event is allegedly a PAP grassroots leader - report

PAP MP Hri Kumar's CPF dialogue event had drawn a lot of online attention, particularly since a video of a 76 year old's pleas to Hri Kumar was recorded and shared widely online.

However, netizens have also noticed one particularly rude lady in the audience, dressed in a white cheongsam, who kept trying to stop the 76 year old aunty from talking and was motioning to organisers to remove her from the microphone.

In the video, she can be seen gesturing at 5:33, shaking her head and moving her hands as if the outspoken lady is mad. She was rudely interrupting and repeating "1 minute" "1 minute", apparently referring to the 1 minute time limit that was imposed on questions at the dialogue. It turns out that the disruptive lady is actually an active PAP grassroots member and netizens have shown their disgust for her rude actions. Full story

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Cheongsam lady was signalling to MC to wind up session

I watched the clip and I sympathise with the lady. We are all looking for answers constructively, regardless of your political leanings.

As much as I have my gripes about the ruling party, I also have my reservations about the opposition. But let’s all be mature and objective here and not resort name-calling and personal attacks.

I believe Jean was twirling her fingers in the air to signal to the emcee to wind that session up. And not to say she is crazy.

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CPF Cheongsam Lady Video: Stop the Cyber-Bullying, Singaporeans!

Screenshot from video uploaded on Facebook

Some Singaporeans never learn, do they? Barely six months after the infamous online attacks against Anton Casey and the Honda Civic road bully in which their personal details were leaked, another cyber-bullying case has surfaced, this time targeting a woman labelled as the Cheongsam Lady.

The same strategy was employed for this case. Like its predecessors, the Cheongsam Lady’s personal information such as her workplace, office and mobile numbers were divulged freely on a particular socio-political site in Singapore. The name-calling is worse; it’s like viewing a red peshmerga striking its one target all at once. It’s a grossly handicapped match and to me, the actions of these few are embarrassing and abhorrent.

For those not familiar with the Cheongsam Lady, allow me to provide you with a short backstory: The target first appeared in a video posted on Facebook by user Jaclyn Teo. The content of the 6-minute video centred on how a 76-year-old retired teacher was making a heartfelt speech about her CPF savings. Towards the end, you can see the Cheongsam Lady gesturing her hands, in what seemed to be insinuating that the speaker was crazy.

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Government Should Do What is Best for Singaporeans

After watching this video of a Singaporean 76 years old aunty begging MP Hri Kumar to help her to get her CPF saving back, I feel sad for her. When she retired, she did not take out her CPF saving as she thought that leaving her money with the government was the safest route. Being a devoted PAP supporter, she declared her love for Lee Kuan Yew. Alas, after decades, when she wanted to take back her saving, she could not get her saving from the RA account even though the new policy only apply to Singaporeans born after 1958.

I remember my colleagues told me, back then when the government was implementing the CPF scheme, they tried to persuade those in the pension scheme to switch to the CPF scheme extolling the benefits of CPF scheme compared to the pension scheme. Fortunately my colleague was smart and did not trust the government and stick to the pension scheme. Many civil servants who switched to the CPF scheme regretted their decision and many tried to revert to the pension scheme, citing that they were young and under 21 years old. So really, trust the government at your own risk since leadership always change and policies always change. Just like our CPF scheme is always changing. This aunty was right. Since this was a talk on the CPF issues, why wasn't there any CPF representatives?

By the way the condescending aunty in white cheongsam making rude gestures at the end of the video (5.35) is really irritating and screaming for attention with her high slits. She should be empathizing with the 76 years old aunty instead of thinking that she was wasting everybody time. Isn't this CPF talk a platform for citizens to voice their concerns. I hope she is not a civil servant or grassroots leader else she is a shame to the public service. Public servants and grassroots leaders must remember they are in the service to help people.

CPF Cheongsam Lady Video: Stop the Cyber-Bullying, Singaporeans!

Yes, I disagree with how the Cheongsam Lady reacted to the retired teacher’s speech. Singaporeans took umbrage with her behaviour, and I understand that. Her hand gestures were definitely done in bad taste and mocking an elderly like that spoke volume of the Cheongsam Lady’s level of empathy and compassion towards her.

I am in no position to judge the lady’s overall character as a person outside merely from her few seconds of folly, but alas, she was caught red-handed by someone who had secretly recorded her actions. Do you think she would perform those hand gestures if she had known that the CPF event was to be filmed? I don’t think so. It’s not a question of maturity on the Cheongsam Lady’s part; its a question of sincerity.

The Cheongsam Lady is wrong and her actions are proof of that. She should be condemned for her actions online but it should stop at that. This is free speech. Flaying her with names and exposing her personal information is not. I could sense a malicious intent to have her pay the fullest price for her actions, in this case possibly trying to make her lose her job.

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PAP MP Hri Kumar's CPF dialogue event had drawn a lot of online attention, particularly since a video of a 76 year old's pleas to Hri Kumar was recorded and shared widely online.

The elderly lady explained that she is in a very sad situation and all she needs is to get back her CPF so that she can settle down. She spoke passionately from her heart and explained her sad story. Many Singaporeans shared the video of her speech and spoke in support of her pleas and struggles.

However, netizens have also noticed one particularly rude lady in the audience, dressed in a white cheongsam, who kept trying to stop the 76 year old aunty from talking and was motioning to organisers to remove her from the microphone.

Related: 76 year old lady begs Hri Kumar to return her CPF money

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Can They Do This?

The lady who recorded the video reflects:
"I was already in tears when they wanted to take her off the mic to shut her up. I salute her bravery so I decided to hold on to my camera & cried silently praying that she be allowed to finish her speech to the MP."
I dare think most of us are beyond the tearing stage, and fast approaching the precipice of raw anger. How can anyone remain stone cold when the 76 year old spinster, definitely of the Pioneer Generation category, tells of this awful tale at 1:34:

"I was given this letter, telling me that they “hacked” into my personal POSB book, scoured my amounts and took away the money from my bank to give to the property tax. Do you think it is ethical? Do you think its ethical? Do you think it is right?"

related: Give me back my money

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Hri Kumar closes half the loop

First, the national attention the conversation got. As he said in his introductory remarks at the Thomson Community Club last Saturday, the dialogue with his residents was arranged before the 50-year-old scheme became a national talking point. He had done other public dialogue sessions in the past with hardly any controversy.

Last Saturday’s was hijacked when a video of 76-year-old Renee Yap making an emotional appeal to return her CPF money went viral. Then, the discussion online turned to how she was treated by some grassroots people.

Four days later, the MP responded in his Faebook page. He said the Ministry of Manpower is looking into Ms Yap’s case and also clarified why he told the press that Ms Yap, a retired associate teacher and spinster, lives in a landed property in his constituency.
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Hri Kumar’s CPF Forum

Hri Kumar’s CPF Forum is another example of “a good intention” ended up on a low

Hello woman, I don’t care if you are rich or have supported the current government in many of their campaigns and policies. If you cannot have basic respect for anyone who is talking, you do not deserve to be a grassroot leader. You are supposed to have empathy for people and not turning them down.

Guys, if you think this is a 1-off incident with elitism mindset, think about many others who are controlling the fates of Singapore. They do not understand us and they definitely do not feel with us.

Seriously, their mind set is very different. You have an option to make a choice come 2015/16. Make it count!

Forget about any more CPF dialogue, Hri Kumar confirms government not listening

Retiree Ng Leng Hui, 70, commented that he is not on the side of the government because of theunfairness towards CPF members and that the government has “shifted everything, you have never listened to us. We’ve tried many times, no listening.”

If Kumar is not hard of hearing, he should not have evaded the issue by claiming the “real question in this debate is what do we do with a large number of people …who will not be able to survive on $300 a month?”
Kumar is clutching at straws to maintain the CPF status quo. Our CPF is trapped in GIC from age 55 to 65, which means having $0 during the first 10 years of retirement. If one cannot “survive on $300 a month”, does Kumar expect a miracle with $0??

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MP Hri Kumar’s engagement with his constituents
Give back our CPF, we will be on the government's side, says Ng Leng Hui

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8 Dishonest Things About Hri Kumar’s Honest Conversation

Hri Kumar: “Any change to the CPF system would mean taking from one group and giving to another.”

Why is this Dishonest? This is the usual PAP trick of presenting their system as the most efficient one drawn up by technocrats and pretending there is no alternative. The variation they sometimes present is that there is an alternative but that it would cost significantly more.

If you want the technical jargon, the PAP is dumbing down a basic concept from neoclassical economics, the notion of Pareto optimality. Pareto optimality states that you cannot make one group of people better off without making another group worse off. Makes sense! Except Pareto optimality does not hold in an economy where there are unemployed resources or excessive government saving such as we have in Singapore.

Hri Kumar - physical intimidation tactics
Hri Kumar organised a CPF forum with an aim to explain how the CPF works

However, he is unable to answer many questions. A 76-year old lady tries to ask a question about why she could not be withdrawing her CPF because the government has prevented her from doing so, and Hri can only reply that "that's a good question, we will take that into consideration".

The worst part is, the emcee of the event, a bald burly guy, appears to try to use physical force on the elderly lady. He (wearing the grey shirt) approaches her in an intimidating way, occupies her position at the microphone and puts his arm on her arm to appear to forcibly shift her away

The plucky 76-year old lady firmly stands her ground and replies, "you don't have to do that" twice. This makes the bald man back off.

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Why is PAP MP Hri Kumar silent about FAP webmaster Jason Chua Chin Seng's hateful conduct online?


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Singapore Daily
– Sweet Sophia: What’s this uproar about CPF?
– The Independent, SG: Hri Kumar closes half the loop
– Tots of Cynical Investor: Wat does Jean Ang Yee Mei Lin’s mocking tell us abt her?
– Anyhow Hantam: Joke of the Year – CPF Money doesn’t belong to you!
– The Independent, SG: This pioneer has no CPF money left
– TOC: Hri Kumar’s silence sends wrong message to cyber bullies
– Kevin Chia: Hri Kumar’s CPF Forum
– Five Stars and a Moon: As easy as A-B-C-P-F
– The Independent, SG: The CPF reality check
– Anyhow Hantam: Is CPF = Cannot Pay Finish?
– My Singapore News: Medishield Life – 3 holes to plug
– Reflections on Change: Pitfalls Of Raising CPF Interest Rate
– TOC: Where Ms Yap lives – a breach of privacy?
– Bertha Harian: That old lady and her CPF
– Musings From the Lion City: Minimum Sum Requirement
– Likedatosocanmeh: Hri Kumar confirms government not listening
– Vulcan Post: CPF Cheongsam Lady: Stop the Cyber-Bullying, Sporeans!
– Basis Of Sporean Spirit: “Stop the Cyber-Bullying, Singaporeans!”
– Bertha Harian: The CPF jigsaw puzzle
– Blogging for Myself: 76-year old: Publicly asks for her CPF money, more to come
– My Singapore News: The desperate cries of a pathetic 76 year old aunty
– A Singaporean In Australia: To Look Into Your Future, Look at the Current Old
– Just Speaking My Mind: Government Should Do What is Best for Sporeans
– Singapore Notes: Can They Do This?
– Stupidest People in Spore: Stupid #17: Hri Kumar – physical intimidation tactics
– Rethinking Rice Bowl: 8 Dishonest Things Abt Hri Kumar’s Honest Conversation
– Signs of Struggle: 4 things about CPF that I don’t get
– Likedatosocanmeh: Medishield Life – huge premium increase will be an issue
– Cheated Singaporean: Design flaws of the Central Provident Fund

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