Thursday, 25 August 2011

Observe Presidential Election Cooling Off Day - 26 Aug 2011

Come 28 August 2011 .....?

In my last posting, I asked if Dr TT is tailing, based on the Yahoo News survey. There was a high percentage polled out of the nearly 5,000 respondents, some 71% who would prefer "Someone who questions government policies". Is this also saying something like Dr TT will get nearly 30% of the votes?

In any public chatroom in the Internet, if there were only few chatters; "weird" comments could be totally ignored. If there was a long list of comments, and the comments were nearly all negative, it would also not generate 100% votes against a candidate closely related to the ruling PAP party. 100% negative comments would probably garnered 60% pro-PAP or 40% pro-opposition votes as observed during GE2011.

Hence, how will the EP results turn out in 2011?

This is a nice piece "The ugliest election in Singapore history?",  by writer Catherine Lim in Yahoo News. I believe she is one who will never download any "apps" from the PAP into her grey matter.  LOL.

If only she would stand for election, our preamble in Paragraph 1 above that 71% would prefer "Someone who questions government policies" would be put to real test, and we could perhaps see the first lady President just like what Dr Tony Tan mentioned in his opening paragraphs at his lunch-time Rally speech.

Wow, read this :-

"the constitution was created more than 20 years ago by a self-serving government that provided it with enough ambiguities to allow for an interpretation that will always suit their purpose, it is no longer relevant. Indeed, it contradicts the new spirit of openness, transparency and expanded powers for the people"

But until then, how will our political climate be evolving with PE 2011? The average Singaporeans may not be politically matured to understand how our legal mechanics would work, but they are certainly the people  casting the votes and might even vote on instincts or emotions.

From scenario in Paragraph 1 above, where some 30% of the votes might be stuck on the extreme right (held by Dr TT) end of the spectrum, will a swelling middle ground then encroach into the comfort zone on the far left 30% occupied by TJS?

The answer seems to lie in the crowd at TKL's Rally held at Yio Chu Kang Stadium last night because TCB has yet to have his when this posting was written. Just look at the crowd that turned up last night despite the frequent personal attacks on TKL in the blogosphere by those crankiest of all.

It would be interesting to interpret the PE results come May 28. Will this "swelling middle" ground snatches away a substantial portion of TJS's would-be voters to create the closest fight of all amongst only 3 TANs. The loudest TCB's yet to be held Indoor Rally in theory should be aimed strategically at grabbing more votes from Dr TT's 30%. Then Paragraph 1 scenario above would not just be assumption but reality.

Come 28 August 2011, will Singaporeans be unified in the same boat? As one rally speaker had said with analogy, what "boat" would we be rowing in? [some emphasis for clarification are mine] :-

(a) Dr TT : Let's row forward in the same boat ? [With the same PAP policies]

(b) Dr TCB : Let's row forward in the same boat but more slowly ? [With same PAP policies but he will certainly take his time to sort things out, don't forget his "Singaporeans First" took 12 years for him to claim credit and only now when he stands for PE]

(c) Mr TKL : Let's change the boat ? [With Voice of the People]

(d) Mr TJS - Let's row the same boat but in the opposite direction ?[With confrontational politics? - N.B. Politics is not just about you saying you would chose not to confront.....].

Let's vote with conviction and look forward to 28 August 2011 for the real answer. Hi 5 !

Tan Kin Lian giving his rally speech in different languages

Tan Kin Lian & Voice of the People

Mr & Mrs Tan Kin Lian

Crowd mobbed TKL with Hi-5 as media team tried to get the best shot.
Tan Kin Lian Hi-5 with supporters after rally.

Supporters carrying placards of the 5 values - Honesty, Courage, Fairness, Positive Attitude, Public Service & Voice of the People

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Presidential Election Watch Part VII - Is Dr Tony Tan Tailing Behind in the Presidential Election Race?

Yahoo News (Singapore) did a survey. The poll has expired and the results are as shown below.


What kind of President do you want for Singapore?

Someone who questions government policies (3552) 71%
Someone who will act only as advised by the Cabinet (81) 2%

Someone who will make protection of reserves the top priority (1161) 23%
Someone who will be a figurehead, focusing on ceremonial duties (199) 4%

If the results shown above were anything close to represent what is actually the feeling on the ground, about 71% had voted that they want "Someone who questions government policies" as President. Considering the sample size, it should be representative.

If so, the candidate who is unofficially endorsed by the ruling PAP Govt. Dr Tony Tan must be tailing in this PE Race since he had declared he would only fit the role as defined by our Constitution and as interpreted by Law Minister K Shanmugam.

I have been observing what issues Dr Tony would finally bring up to anchor his campaign. It looks certain that he would not deviate from the "threatening" economic condition facing the world economy.

Dr Tony Tan was speaking at the NTUC financial and business services cluster National Day observance ceremony on 19 Aug morning when he said :-

"If the impact of the financial and economic contagion spreads to Singapore, as we have seen in 2008 and 2009, the consequences can be very sudden, very widespread and very destructive."
"As I said, I think we should start making contingency plans. Be prepared, it's not too early so that if the crisis hits us, we have the plans ready,"
Since the President also has a diplomatic role in business delegations, Dr Tan said he can create opportunities for Singaporeans and its businesses overseas..... 
Remaining optimistic, Dr Tan is convinced that the nation's best days lie ahead and said, "With the right leadership, co-operation between the government, employees and unions, we can face the future with confidence."
You can read more about it in thie Yahoo report [ Link : Gov’t should be prepared for economic uncertainties: Tony Tan ]

Is Dr Tony Tan trying to cite economic uncertainties to instill some fear in voters in order to win votes. He is drawing out PAP past economic "weapons" as a supporting argument while he has only custodial powers if elected and does not believe in "Voice of the People". Had he forgotten that he had spoken in the past as DPM in support CPF and wage cuts for all Singaporeans while citing a controversial PERC report?

At his rally, he is bound to cite the "resilient package" again as a PAP carrot to aid his campaign. Singaporeans will be "daft" and confused.

His warning was again repeated last Sunday in the following Yahoo New report :-

But will he questions the Govt policies to favour Singaporeans at large? Will he supports another CPF cut knowing Singaporeans' past CPF savings have been greatly reduced due to the various crises and the blunt use of the CPF as an economic tool to save an ailing economy in the past.

The NTUC is going "all out" in support of Dr Tony Tan's candidacy. Suddenly, they are starting to raise issue with the CPF of those reaching age 50, or the baby-boomers borned in the late 50s and 60s. See my re-posting of TODAY's report in this blog and my comment : "TODAY Online Singapore - CPF for older workers should be reviewed : Seng Han Thong"

I am really looking forward to what he would say in his lunch-time Rally at Raffles Place. It will demonstrate how serious he views the contest at this critical stretch with Polling Day just round the corner this Saturday. If Singaporeans are smart enough to understand the individual platforms of the 4 PE candidates, it looks certain Dr Tony Tan will have a hard time.

Monday, 22 August 2011

TODAYonline | Singapore | CPF for older workers should be reviewed: Seng Han Thong

Because of the Presidential Election and the NTUC affiliated unions" backing of the unofficial Govt endorsed candidate Dr Tony Tan, it seems that all are speaking up tp help him.

Remember Dr Tony Tan once spoked aloud for CPF and Wages to be cut for all working Singaporeans while citing a controversial PERC report.

Read my posting on 25 July  :

Presidential Election Watch Part III - Dr Tony Tan & Singaporeans' CPF Savings & Wage Cuts

I think Dr Tony Tan is afraid to lose "baby-boomers" votes.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Voters’ expectations could shape President’s role

The Constitution explicitly states the President's powers, but circumstances such as people's expectations and the President's political acuity will go some way in charting new pathways for the highest office in Singapore, said two commentators.

Speaking on the Elected President's mandate at a forum organised by local human rights body Maruah on Saturday, constitutional law expert Kevin Tan and civil society activist Alex Au highlighted "grey areas" surrounding the Presidency to show that the role is not straightforward.

So what will Dr Tan Cheng Bock do if he wants to be the People's voice?

So what would Dr Tan Cheng Bock do as he said he would also want to represent the People's Voice? So far, we know he will "de-cage" the PMO from the Istana. Asking the PM to leave from the Istana is for himself. How about the people of Singapore? So what will he deliver for the people of Singapore?

Up to now, I am still confused by his logics and arguments. We can't be going back to the old PAP way of muddling through the extinct Feedback Unit.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Visually Handicapped endorses Tan Kin Lian with his song - The answer is really up to you.

Visually handicapped Daniel singing in support of Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian : Video

Although Daniel is visually handicapped, he sees Tan Kin Lian's values and believes he is the best choice for President.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Presidential Election Watch Part VI - They really know how to cajole!

As the PE Race hots up with 4 CoEs issued to the 4 TANs, the NTUC 19 affiliated unions are drumming up their support behind the unofficial PAP-endorsed candidate, Dr Tony Tan.

Quote from TODAY Aug 12, "S'pore economy on course: Lim Swee Say" :-

"Labour Chief Lim Swee Say says the Singapore economy should stay on course even as the global economy heads for another storm."

"Mr Lim, who's also the Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, stressed that Singapore's drive towards a cheaper, better and faster economy must continue."

"He's confident that Singapore workers can "do it again", in the same way they overcame the economic downturn in 2009."

While both Dr Tony Tan and DPM Tharman are warning about the same economic "storm" looming ahead, the NTUC Chief is 'confident that Singapore workers can "do it again" '.  Don't forget Dr Tony Tan would support a CPF and wage cut for all Singaporeans, to the extent of citing a controversial report [Read my posting -"Presidential Election Watch Part III - Dr Tony Tan & Singaporeans' CPF Savings & Wage Cuts" ]. But goodness, are workers expected "to do it again" and have their CPF cut again to "upturn the downturn" but with an EP concurring and "intimating" it to our PM? If there is no "Voice of the People", we would not even know about it, while he is doing this in protecting our reserves.

Tan Kin Lian with Supporters
I wonder if DPM Tharman's definition of "fairness" in his N-Day speech to Bukit Batok grassroots is same as what Tan Kin Lian is talking about in his PE campaign, based on the 5 values of "honesty, fairness, positive attitude, courage and public service".

When Tan Kin Lian left NTUC Income in 2007, it was before the Lehman Bros Crisis. Certainly, the NTUC top management would believe then in having "to professionalise" the managment when the whole world was talking about it to justify their "million-dollar" salaries. Were the NTUC Income's investments hit by the 2008 Lehman Bros Crisis soon after Tan Kin Lian left? If not, who was the CEO who made the long-term investment before the crisis? I know they would argue the Board must be smarter than the CEO then. I am wondering.

Who were those who probably had an eye over the NTUC Income board? Certainly, not without the current and previous NTUC Labour Chief. One has a "deaf frog" mindset thinking we will be "on course even as the global economy heads for another storm." The other had shed 3 rounds of tears to impress Singaporeans that there was no group think within our Govt and is now having more than 5 years to ruminate and regret during retirement for not objecting to build the 2 casinos. Maybe one day, both of them will ruminate and regret  having had to "to professionalise" the management of NTUC Income once upon a time. Will it be this coming crisis?

They really know how to cajole!

Better believe in "Voice of the People" and trust the 5 values - Honesty, Fairness, Positive attitude, Courage and Public Service.

Voice of the People

TODAYonline | Business | Property | Are private home prices in for a correction?

TODAYonline Business Property Are private home prices in for a correction?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Presidential Election Watch Part V - Value of Fairness

As Law Minister Shanmugan created a "mini-storm" with his remarks at the IPS Seminar that "The President can speak on issues only as authorised by the Cabinet; and he must follow the advice of the Cabinet in the discharge of his duties.", DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam seemed to agree with at least one of Tan Kin Lian's tenet of 5 values - FAIRNESS.

The DPM was speaking speaking at a grassroots National Day dinner at Bukit Batok, as reported by Yahoo at this link, "Next 3-4 years will be tough: DPM Tharman".

He highlighted four broad strategies which could help Singaporeans stay afloat during this troubled environment and look forward with optimism.

These include the need for Singaporeans to keep the spirit of consensus and avoid divisiveness.

He noted that the country needs to avoid the problems seen "vividly" in the US and Europe, where although they have mature democracies, they also possess "dysfunctional politics".

"The debate in the US over the debt ceiling was a symptom of that -- a divided Congress unable to agree and willing to take a risk with the American economy and people."

This, he said, is the reason why it will be of extreme importance to sustain "a tone of openness, respect and understanding" in discussions in the mainstream media and online.

The second key point which he pointed out is that Singaporeans should continue to deal with the crisis with a spirit of fairness.

"We come together and take care of the interests of low- and middle-income Singaporeans, and of businesses and we prepare for recovery," he added.

"When we recover, we share prosperity, again with a sense of fairness. Those who have sacrificed more should get more, especially those with lower incomes."

I am sure Singaporeans will give due weight to such advice by the DPM but maybe not what the Law Minister had said during the IPS Seminar ....."Whether the President actually wields influence - depends on who the President is. If he is someone who commands little or no respect, then influence will be limited."

In all fairness, let's substitute the word "President" with "Minister" in the above sentence he made at the IPS seminar.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

HOW TO PLAN FOR YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE? "Live" Ustream with Mr Tan Kin Lian

Date: Sunday 7 August 2011
Time: 10pm - 11pm

Tan Kin Lian will be taking Q&A during this USTREAM session.

Do attend this talk in the comfort of your own home!

Pose your question on planning your financial future for Mr Tan to answer during Q & A session at 10:45pm via the following methods.

a. Type in the chat feature on Ustream
b. Email your questions to Mr Tan directly at kinlian(at)
c. Tweet with the hash tag #tkl2011 on Twitter
d. Leave a comment on our Facebook Events page

TODAYonline | Voices | Where can Tony Tan contribute more?

TODAYonline Voices Where can Tony Tan contribute more?

Law Minister’s veiled threat to the electorate?

Law Minister’s veiled threat to the electorate? [ Muhammad Ridzal (马锐兆) Abdul Hamid 's Blog ]

'No requirement that President should be dumb'

Presidential election a referendum on PAP

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

THINK HAPPINESS: NTUC President should have held tongue

THINK HAPPINESS: NTUC President should have held tongue: "NOTE SENT TO NTUC PRESIDENT JOHN DE PAYVA I write to you as your union member. You disclosed recently that you invited one of the presidential candidates to speak to fellow union members. The NTUC has always supported values of fair treatment and equal opportunities. It is therefore unfortunate that it has not invited others in similar situations to do the same....."

Singapore Election Watch: NTUC says Tony Tan "fits the bill"

Singapore Election Watch: NTUC says Tony Tan "fits the bill": "President of NTUC John De Payva told local media that while he personally believes Dr Tony Tan fits the bill, he added 'We are mindful of who we think should be President, but we have not decided whether to endorse or not to endorse.".....

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Video streaming of Financial Planning Talk | Tan Kin Lian's Blog

Financial Planning for young people

This 1 hour talk, which includes Q&A, is targeted at young people who have just started work. It gives them important tips on financial planning that are useful to help them to make the right decisions on savings and investing their savings. More importantly, it tells them about what are the financial products to avoid - so that they do not tie their long term savings in a financial product that gives them a poor return.  TAN KIN LIAN for President Web-site

Monday, 1 August 2011

Presidential Election Watch Part IV - Why “Voice of the People” is a good platform for Presidential Election?

Over the past weeks, the media and Internet has been engrossed in active discussion, as well as "noise"; on the Constitutional Roles and Responsibilities of the EP vs Expectations and Prediction of Candidates' Performance.

Objectively, or not; there are those who argued against an "activist" EP [View this Link - An activist President will destroy the Office, divide the Nation].

Those who argued that the EP has no consitutional power, to be the "Voice of the People", have actually lowered their own expectations of the EP. It is easier to keep quiet (silent diplomacy) than to speak up.

Just see how potential PE candidate Tan Kin Lian is running a "hands-on" by identifying and raising issues in the form of publicised "statements" and has to face the grind of public scrutiny from both the mainstream and new media. See how negative an attack it  could be painted out to be by his critics here at this Link, even when there were hardly any substantiated truths. [TKL’s election manifesto in action].

TKL runs a "Hands On" Campaign with Supporters

Tan Kin Lian wrote in his Blog :

Somebody made this observation, "If you give views that support the government's views, you are not politicizing, but if you give views that are different, you are politicizing".

I want to encourage Singaporeans to be broad minded, and to accept alternative views, without applying labels such as "politicizing", "anti-PAP" or "pro-PAP". There is no need to label each view.

He must be referring to this post here at this link. [  Double Standards of the PAP on the role of the Elected President ]

This is not just from the perspective of and on the PE candidates himself. Usually, the critics had politicized themselves. They chose to use words unfairly to favour / dishonour candidate(s) they are supporting or not supporting...BIAS. This is against the scenario of supporting or not supporting a candidate fairly based on real facts or his past deeds.

Obviously, for a EP candidate who has not even taken office yet, but only campaigning; it is not fair to use "personal yardstick" and "prediction" to gauge his would be performance and to "measure" him.

For roles and responsibilities of the EP, these could be and are defined by the Constitution.

While the role of being the "Voice of the People" is not stated in the constitution, it is also not excluded. It is up to the people to decide if they wish to elect a President who promises to play this role in a constructive manner.

Obviously, the EP will be intelligent enough to reflect the "Voice of the People" only relating to his "Roles and responsibilities". Certainly, this should not be a "minority" voice. Whether or not the EP will "go wrong" whilst speaking up, the EP should be judged on his actual performance. Choose one who is logically with the right "values".

Due to "structural issues" within our political process, is it then necessary to see where the thin line falls between the role and responsibilities of the Govt with "executive powers" and those of the EP with "custodial powers"? Our Govt now wants to keep them separate, distinct and possibly intact.

But if our elected MPs and the Govt as a whole, which has been given the "executive powers", had chosen to remain silent, less vocal or ended up eccentrically ineffective on certain issues genuinely affecting the common people; should the EP then speaks up as "Voice of  the People", whilst also representing the majority?

Next is whether the Constitution should give the EP a "leeway" to say more outside his "authorised" roles and responsibilities which are defined by the Constitution. Again, if the Govt refuses to amend the Constitution in this respect, can the EP raise this up openly?

The EP need not be an assertive activist on the Govt, but be the people's voice in real needs. As the Chinese saying goes, like "a dragonfly skimming over water". If the Govt is intelligent enough, it should act. If not come the next GE, voters will be intelligent enough to act. If the Govt does listen up, it is all for the better for all Singaporeans.

The real practical issue is the Govt should not view an "activist" EP in the defensive as if he is an "opposition". This will not only be an obstacle in view of the EP process, but also the political process, just like the way it wants to view the opposition. In rebutting online rumours about his son, Presidential hopeful Dr Tony Tan was reported to have said, I am confident that Singaporeans are savvy enough to see through these distractions and will make up their minds based on solid facts and focus on the real issues at hand”. This is one real issue to tackle.

The previous weekend, I dropped in at TKL's Supporters' Gathering / Town Hall Meeting at Bay View Hotel. There was a motivational talk for supporters by Mountaineer David Lim. A lesson was borrowed from the Everest Team.

Borrowing a Lesson from Singapore Everest Team

Certainly, David Lim's  Key#4 - 1% Rule would be handy. Not just in moving the campaign each day in the positive direction but also to guard against the "crankiest" of abuses and distractions in the social media. As David Lim had put it, the media owes you no favour. I am sure this would certainly apply for the more out-spoken "activist" candidates.

Key # 4 : 1% Rule - Certainly very useful.
..... The media owes you no favour.

"The media owes you no favour." - Mountaineer & Motivational Speaker David Lim

It is still relatively easier to keep quiet and face lesser expectations. I would certainly take my hat off to an EP candidate who opts to be more vocal on a platform to represent the “Voice of the People”. The least during campaigning, he would have to work harder to demonstrate his true characters and values while addressing issues and voters are given the opportunity to judge.