What, raising taxes again?

After so many tax hikes, grabbing more CPF money, higher ERP fees, higher COEs, 30% fee water hike, still want to tax more? What is happening, our treasury drying up? Something must be seriously wrong with our finances. With more tax revenue, with the huge profits of GIC and Temasek bringing in billions, still not enough meh?

What about cutting down on the grandeur items, on frivolous expenditure that is not necessary, not essential like the F1 and the fake garden and the free scholarships given to foreigners, just to name a few? What about cutting down on the hiring of so many foreigners in the academia and so called think tank agencies? When money runs out, isn’t it the first thing to do should be to look at the expenditure, cost cutting? What about cutting down on military toys and extravagance and stop spending as if we have a mountain of gold and money is not important, endless supply?

What about improving productivity, from the top down? Why is there a need for so many ministers, two ministers plus so many ministers of states, etc etc to helm a ministry, so many mayors? Is this productive or counter productive? What about the many million dollar jobs that may not be necessary or justified? Not every ministry is the same, not every stats board is the same, not every GLC is the same. It is time to cut down on extravagance and frivolous million dollar salary. If jobs do not justify a million dollar pay, then the incumbent should not be paid in millions. Let the highly qualified incumbents that could command million dollar salaries to go where they could be paid justly for their contributions. Anyone earning million dollar salary must account and justify by his contribution. Did they produce goods or services that are worth more than their million dollar salary? Million dollar salary in public service must not be a given. It is taxpayers’ money and derived from taxes, a big burden on the people.

The people have been squeezed dry to the bones. Even their CPF savings are said to be not their money and people can anyhow make them pay by compulsion for things they did not want nor agree to pay.

The belt tightening should be at the top, aim at those with a 50 inch girth than the lean and bony citizens that have nothing much left to be taxed. Take away a few hundred thousand dollars from a million dollar man is nothing compare to taking a few dollars from a pauper. Stop being so mean to the less able. They are poor but not idiots, not fools. Stop squeezing them so very often. Where is your heart?

Do you think raising taxes would raise cost of living and would turn this place uncompetitive and bad for the economy? Who cares? What is important is that high taxes mean that there will be enough money for big bonuses, for more pay hikes, and continued to be paid in the millions. You die your business?


Japan should stop sneering at our world class SMRT

An article in thenewpaper on 20 Nov by a SM Ong took offence at an apology issued by the Japanese MRT for a slight hitch in the departure of its train. SM Ong was incensed, felt insulted because the apology was not because the Japanese MRT had a ponding problem, not because their MRT had regular and frequent breakdown, not because their train had a collision. The apology was because their train departed a mere 20 seconds earlier than it was supposed to. How would 20 seconds affect the lives of the commuters? This is like a case of perfectionist mindset, a privilege only a perfectly efficient system can brag about. But they were not bragging, it is just their culture, something very different from our SMRT culture. Want to blame them for having an efficient culture?

By the way, the Japanese apology was reported in the Japanese media for Japanese consumption. How did it appear in our local media? Who did this and what was his agenda? If this is done by the Japanese, then it is right to feel offended for rubbing in on our serious train problems. But if the Japanese did not do it, instead it was done by a Singaporean or new Singaporean, or a local, then it is very unfair to blame the Japanese for it. It is misplaced anger that is typical of daft Singaporeans.

I quote SM Ong, ‘So we don’t need you, Japan, to make us feel worse about it. We don’t need your Japanese CEO of your Japanese car company Nissan to say last Friday that he will return part of his salary after an inspection scandal led to a recall of 1.2 million Nissan vehicles…Our transport minister, Mr Khaw, once said: “In Japan, the chairman, the CEO will call a press conference and take a deep bow, and in the good old days, they may even commit hara-kiri.”’

Now, aren’t this going too far and being overly sensitive? Actually we have a lot to learn from the Japanese if we adopt a healthy and positive mindset. We should be striving to be like the Japanese in terms of efficiency, be on time, not every day apologizing for delays and breakdowns. We should learn from their culture of accountability, failure to perform, return the salary for not performing, and…ok perhaps committing hara-kiri is demanding too much. Just simply resign may be an honourable thing to do.

This is a case of failure to see the real problem, refusing to see the problem and beating the messenger for bringing the bad news. This is our daft culture, a nation heading from first world to third world and behaving like third world people.

The decline is evident and very assured. And in the article SM Ong quoted Hsien Loong saying that our SMRT is among the top 4 cities in the world and Japan not even mentioned. Is this the same as bragging that our local universities are ranked among the best in the world while Japan’s are not so highly ranked, so we are better than Japan, our SMRT are better than Japan’s?

Oh my God. 无药可救. No medicine can help liao.
If one takes into consideration lightning strike and one SMRT train captain was injured, be mindful, be very mindful that HE is watching and obviously not happy with how things are developing. When the collision hit, I was asking what can be worse. Now lightning struck. What can be worse after this.

Someone suggested that commuters should think seriously of getting travel insurance. I hope no clown would jump onto this and suggest making this compulsory and using CPF money.


When multi million dollar pay produces nothing

When the scheme to pay multi million dollar salary to govt scholars was introduced it was only a small dent in the budget. There were only a handful of such scholars to talk about and to be paid. No big deal. Today there are thousands of such scholars floating around waiting to be put into multi million dollar jobs, or was it thousands of scholars being paid multi million dollar salary but with only a few multi million dollar jobs available? In the end jobs that do not need to be paid multi million dollar salary would still have to pay multi million dollar salary because the incumbents have to be paid multi million dollar salary regardless of the jobs?

How did we end up in such a situation? How can this be sustainable? In a production and manufacturing economy, the people being paid multi million dollar salary earned their keeps. They created values, sell goods and services that brought in the revenue and profits. What did our multi million dollar scholars produce that are of value, what did they do that brought in the dole? Practically everyone is involved in pen pushing jobs, unproductive, no real value added jobs. They did not do anything of real value. They produced nothing. They are unproductive.

Oh, they raised taxes, raised fees, raised rentals, create COEs and ERPs. Oh they raised the values of properties in asset enhancements to make everyone a millionaire property owner. They are also very good at creating demands and turning them into revenue and profits by using the savings of CPF members by legislation. They are also very good at holding the people’s savings in the CPF forever. They are also very good at telling the people to put in more money into the CPF. Are these really productive work, work with real value?

Seriously, did they create or produce anything of real value, commercial value, goods and products like mobile phones and online businesses? Did they do anything that is real, of economic value to deserve being paid in the millions? What have they produced, the thousands of multi million dollar salary scholars in public services?

Do they deserve to be paid in the millions for being unproductive in real economic sense, for producing nothing of real economic value? How can an economy survive and sustain itself with so many thousands of people being paid multi million dollar salary but not producing a thing of real value, without producing anything that is useful economically? Can you believe that?

Here is a quote from Teo Ser Luck, MP, former minister, now a happy entrepreneur. ‘It gives me great satisfaction to see that I have created something and that it is helpful and beneficial of others. That to me is very fulfilling.’


Architecture of old China

I briefly mentioned about the mansion of Mo Biqiang and Dong Xiaowan in my previous article and the little corner of the city that was preserved for posterity, a past that should not be forgotten. Here are some of the photos I took of this part of Rugao. Incidentally the mansion of Mo Biqiang is now a tourist attraction, very well preserved and maintained. Here are the pics of the old rich in dynastic China.
Park entrance to Mo Biqiang's mansion.
First bridge after the entrance with a statue of Mo Biqiang, a rich gentry.
The actual main door to the home of Mo Biqiang, a 400 year architecture in the dying days of Ming Dynasty.
Portraits of Dong Xiaowan and Mo Biqiang. Dong, a famous courtesan of the time was a mistress of Mo. She died at age 29. Mo was a few years older than her but lived past the 60s and the portrait was painting after his death as customary practice then would not paint a portrait of a living person.
The garden with thousand year old bonsai.
One of the building in the garden.
Another well preserved building.
Roofs of connecting walkways.
The lake in the garden.
Intricate carved walls of room dividers.
Walkways around the mansion.
Connecting rooms and open access area.
A back section of the mansion with a stone painting of Kwan Yue, the God of War.
Main hall for receiving visitors.
A different angle of the main hall.
A pavilion in the garden.
Some of us in the mansion.
The wall around the mansion.
Another view of the wall.

I will post more pics of the ancient quarters in my next article.


Welcome to Third World Red Dot

Finally we have arrived at the dreaded third world that we have left a few decades ago. In the media, everyday without fail, there will be reports of train breakdowns, and now even accident that caused more than 30 people injured and needed medical treatment. Here are some samples of comments that were posted in Yahoo News.

Commuters travelling on the North-South Line on Wednesday evening (15 November) were advised to add 40 minutes of train travel time, rail operator SMRT said on social media.

Free one-way bridging bus services from Bishan to Yishun and free regular bus services between Bishan and Yishun in both directions were available, SMRT added in the tweet posted at 6.29pm.

“They (SMRT) have been saying that they’ve been upgrading… but this has been going on for at least one, two years already,” the shipbroker told Yahoo News Singapore.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, commuters on the SMRT-run East-West and Circle Lines were hit by delays.

There was also a train collision at Joo Koon station on the East West Line that injured 28 people.

The govt has invited Taiwan's rail operator, an organisation that was much younger than SMRT and has lesser years of experience in train operation and management, with their top management being paid a pittance compared to the millions SMRT is paying here, to help to solve our seemingly unsolvable problems of daily breakdowns. And here is what the Taiwan train president was reported to say in Channel News Asia.

With 117 stations, .... has a punctuality rate of close to 100 per cent, reporting fewer than 30 delays exceeding five minutes a year.

“We always plan ahead of all the maintenance operation procedures for every system, and execute thoroughly in order to ensure the system can operate smoothly, ” said B C Yen, president of Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation.

This requires proper training for maintenance staff, as well as strict controls on system parts thorough execution of construction works and material supplies and qualities in order to maintain the system’s stability, he added.

I am sure what the Taiwan train president said above is not rocket science and simply basic management processes in train management or in the management of any systems. We don't even do these things? We need to be told that this is how it should be done?

But this is not why I said Red Dot is now in the Third World. Look at this pic. Photo credit to Yahoo News.

This reminds me of the days when there were no computers and word processors and the secretaries were typing with manual typewriters. When there were errors, they either blanco it and typed over it or typed on another slip of paper, cut it and pasted over the errors. This is exactly what this sign board is all about. Third World starring at you in the 21st Century. My eyes popped out when I saw this. Unbelieveable that no one thinks this cut and paste thing is unacceptable except in the Third World. But it is happening, it has arrived!


Get an education from LaRouchePAC

Watch this video to get an education for yourself and free yourself from the clutches of neo colonialism of your mind by the West. Many western scholars have been trying very hard to do this to help the unthinking Asians and Africans to think and to find some self respect in themselves, and to stop them from continuing in their unthinking ways, allowing the West to think for them. This is a video that is very educational and the things said would hopefully remove the blinkers and the clogs in the minds of daft Asians and Africans.

Cutting Through the Childish Lies Against China
Streamed live on Oct 26, 2017

Bill Jones, EIR Washington, DC Correspondent, joins us for a discussion on the silly lies spewing out of the Western media establishment about China. What most Americans have been fed this week about China and how it views the world is utter nonsense. It is the crudest of cartoon characterizations. According to our fake news media the Chinese have overtaken the arch devil Putin in attempting to emasculate the United States. Breitbart even went so far as to compare China’s current thinking to national socialism. These are all ludicrous lies peddled by the same people who are out to destroy Donald Trump — precisely because he might ally with Xi Jinping to bring real economic development to the United States and the world. These lies will increase in intensity the closer we come to the President’s state visit to China in early November.

Our guest tonight, Bill Jones, has been a key aide to Helga Zepp-LaRouche in fighting to bring China's Belt and Road Initiative into collaboration with the United States. He has closely followed the recent Party Congress and its significance both for the Chinese and for human history. He understands the unique perspective of China's Belt and Road Initiative, the largest infrastructure building project ever undertaken by mankind, both in terms of physical economic development but also in terms of cultural interchanges and a new type of relationship between nation states based on mutual benefit. The Chinese call this win-win cooperation, a model vastly different from the geopolitical zero sum calculus employed in the West. This western world view, authored by the British Empire, creates the perpetual warfare we have suffered for the last decades. Join us tonight for what promises to be a most intriguing discussion.

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SMRT’s bad luck just would not go away

When Khaw Boon Wan mentioned that it was bad luck that caused all the problems in SMRT, or something like that, many took it with a pinch of salt or laughed it away as market talk. How can technical problems be attributed to bad luck?

With each passing day, this bad luck thing seems to get more real. Whenever the media quoted Boon Wan or someone in the SMRT management claiming that services had improved, banged, something worst would happen, and the trains would suffer more breakdowns to press the point that it was not so, that the train services were not improving.

The point I am making about this bad luck thing is that it is not due to poor management or poor maintenance. Whatever maintenance processes they are doing, using high tech, big data, 3D printing or rocket science, if the breakdowns are due to bad luck, nothing will work. The SMRT staff is working very hard, I am very sure about that. Working hard is not the solution if they did not know what is the real problem. Worse if it is due to bad luck.

Perhaps a little divine intervention may help in some cases. From what Boon Wan had done, including inviting the religious leaders to pray to protection, it is still not working. Got blessing and things get even worse. It was just inconvenience, now people are getting hurt. Some said it was so lucky that no crowded train drove into the flood tunnel as the consequences of commuter drowning inside a flooded tunnel is beyond comprehension. So what can be worse than that? Would that be the end of the bad luck?

Fat hope. This morning, 15 Nov, one train collided with a stationary train in Joo Koon and 29 commuters were hurt as reported in main media, not fake news. This is first time in Singapore’s history, oops second time, that a train crashed into another train. Talking about bad luck! Sure this kind of accident must be bad luck. There is the train signal system to prevent such a collision. Could you believe it that it was the train signaling system that caused the accident? The train signaling system that was supposed to prevent such accident ‘was inadvertently removed’ when the train passed by a faulty signaling circuit. Holly cow, how can this be? Does anyone know how dangerous this is when trains are moving fast instead of this case when both were stationary and only a few metres apart? And this is a new train signaling system! How can a new train system have this kind of serious flaw embedded? This is totally unacceptable. A safety feature cannot and must not be allowed to be removed by accident or unintentionally even by a faulty circuit.

The most important thing now is to find the source of bad luck. Oh, also debug this new train signal software to make sure it is fit for operation. Many lives are put in danger if this bug is not removed completely and the system declared 100% safe for installation. As for the bad luck, if it is due to an individual, then the individual must be removed. This time big data can come in handy. Use big data to correlate the bad luck with some individual and remove the individual to remove the bad luck.

For a good start, all the top management staff and Boon Wan must go and bathe with flower water as a precaution.