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Reblog: Views on the AIM saga

January 4, 2013 2 comments

There are many posts in the blogosphere discussing on the almost embarrassing act of a Prime Minister shooting out lawyer letters to Alex Au, the blogger of the popular Yawningbread.org. So I am not going to write more, since the questions are very much well known. I do, have a couple of posts from other social-political website that shares my sentiments and questions regarding the saga. So in my bid to promote similar views, I have them reblogged on my blog:

*****

Source: http://andrewlohhp.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/stop-being-so-childish-prime-minister/

Stop being so childish, prime minister

It is barely the first week of the new year and we already have a threat of legal action from the People’s Action Party (PAP) / Government. PM Lee Hsien Loong had sent a lawyer’s letter to well known and very much respected blogger, activist and writer, Alex Au, demanding Alex removed his blog posts about Action Information Management, the PAP-owned company embroiled in the controversy over a certain computer system.

It is unclear whether PM Lee had sent the letter in his personal capacity, or as the prime minister or secretary general of the PAP. Whatever it is, the demand was clear – remove the allegedly offending post, and publish an apology, or else.

It is the same old tiring, tiresome, and tired tactic of issuing threats instead of engaging the issue or the alleged allegations. Threatening to take legal action over blog postings is, to be honest, infantile. It is childish because it does not befit the office of the prime minister to take offence so easily, when he has in his power all the resources to engage the issue, clarify any perceived falsehoods, or lay out the facts of the issue at hand. In short, he could very well take some time, have a bit of patience, and debate or discuss the issues and in the process enlighten everyone – and maybe gain a bit more respect too from his detractors.

But no. A lawyer’s letter was obviously deemed the better option.

Nonetheless, lets not let this threat of legal action distract us from the very important matter of the AIM/PAP controversy – for there are still many questions, serious questions, left unanswered, even after some 3 weeks since the matter came into the public spotlight.

Dr Teo Ho Pin, the coordinating chairman of the 14 PAP town councils, have yet to explain, for example, why he and the chairmen of the town councils, did not see the conflict of interest of awarding and selling the rights of the computer system to a PAP-owned company. If they did, why did they still choose to go ahead in awarding the contract to AIM?

He has also not disclosed how much was used to develop the software in the first place. Or indeed, how much AIM paid for the software. Why was AIM’s bid for the contract submitted, apparently, one week after the closing date of the tender – and accepted?

Alex raised some very pertinent matters too – such as the danger that there is nothing to stop the PAP from selling out other services to PAP-owned companies. By the way, the PAP has declined to reveal how many companies it owns. This too is a problem because any opposition party which wins a constituency may find itself having to deal with PAP-owned companies, as the Workers’ Party did with AIM in Aljunied.

It is thus important, in the name of full accountability, that the PAP disclose the number of companies it has, and the nature of their business.

In the case of AIM, the PAP declined to disclose its past business dealings, or other details about the company.

So, in spite of the threat of legal action by the prime minister, these questions are being asked even more loudly now – and it would do the PAP a whole lot of good if it addressed each one openly.

And the best way to do so is in a “live” press conference in the presence of the mainstream media and the alternative media. Take the matter head-on, clear all doubts, lay out all facts.

That is, if the PAP has nothing to hide, which I am sure is the case.

And it really – I mean, really – is time to lay down the hatchet.

Engage Singaporeans. Engage the issue. Engage the questions – and not engage lawyers to issue threats.

Stop being so childish, prime minister.

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Source: http://www.raviphilemon.net/2013/01/opposition-has-more-integrity-than-pap.html

Mr Khaw Boon Wan
Chairman
People’s Action Party

Dear Mr Khaw

I refer to the newspaper report ‘PAP explains software sale to AIM’ (link: http://goo.gl/6VMO9). The report states that ‘The PAP declined to comment on the number of companies it owns’.

The PAP being a political party is subjected to the political donations act; an act which the PAP dominated Parliament passed as being integral in safeguarding the integrity of the domestic political process, and to ensure that political organisations are not funded by foreign elements or sources.

Since the Party is subjected to the said Act, it is important for the Party to give details of the companies the Party own, for only that will give the general public the confidence that the ruling party is not above the integrity expected of other organisations involved in the local political process, and that it is not funded by foreign elements or sources.

I write to you as Party Chairman to shed more light on this issue.

Thank you.”

AIM (PAP-owned company) too, like its owner, has declined to give details of its track record and business dealings. This silence, is extremely disturbing, and I hope I get a response from PAP’s chairman soon.

In the midst of the unraveling of this issue, some have accused Workers’ Party of keeping relative silence because they too like the PAP, have engaged their own company to manage the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council. That accusation is not true.

While the PAP has acknowledged that AIM is owned by PAP, FM Solution & Services Pte Ltd (FMSS) is not owned by WP, and also no WP member has any interest in FMSS (see THIS). Yes, the General Manager of FMSS may have formerly been the secretary of Hougang Town Council, but where the town councils are so politicised, I can understand why.

With the PAP deciding to not disclose which are the companies they own, you don’t know which are the ones the PAP owns and which they don’t. If WP is not careful about who they award the town council management contract to, and if it gets awarded to a PAP-owned company, that company may potentially sabotage WP’s town council operations in order to reduce WP’s electability in the same constituency in the next General Election.

The PAP being the ruling party, and being the governing party for over 50 years, must first set fairness as a benchmark. Where that is not established, whether WP’s action to award contract to FMSS was beyond reproach or not, becomes very subjective. And no, it’s not a competition about who’s more wrong, or where the greater conflict of interest lies. The fact is, WP does not own any companies – not one of the other political parties do.  But PAP does, and no one knows how many such companies they own.

WP, and all the other opposition parties try to serve the citizens of Singapore, in an uneven field created by the PAP;  but they compete with more integrity than the PAP.

****

All in all, the questions raised are logical. As a citizen, it is my right to question the questionable. How the heck can one sounds ‘in-defamtory’ when the PAP is not giving clear details on their explanation (and it took them more than 3 days to come up with an answer??? That itself is questionable!)?  PAP has a chance to showcase their integrity and transparency by coming forward to explain with concrete evidence that Alex’s posts are defamatory. Yet, they stupidly choose to undertake the perceived negatively action of throwing libel suits. What they achieved in the end is probably a slight relief of having suggestive posts being taken down but end up being a loud hailer for deeper questioning of the AIM saga.

Dear Prime Minister, seriously, grow up. Give me the answers that we citizens demand and deserve. As a political party, in the name of transparency, which the PAP has always loudly acclaimed, disclose all the companies the PAP owns or have vested interest in. How else do you expect citizens to believe there’s no dealings being undertaken that could run against the interest of Singaporeans? Given the recent episodes of corruption and immoral coverings of senior civil servants, including a MP/ Speaker of the House, where is the guarantee that such bad apples or dealings don’t exist within the PAP party? After all, didn’t the ruling party absorb most of their ‘talents’ from the exact same pool?

Pathetic attempts by the local media in shifting the attention of PAP’s disgrace

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Just look at how that poor Laura Ong being singled out by PAP’s extension, the PA or her former employer and having the local media attempting to paint her as a loose materialistic lady double timing on 2 men, one being the horny Michael Palmer and another innocent guy. Why should anyone be interested or concern about Ms Laura Ong? When did the local media start to behave like Paparazzi? All the while, nothing much negative was splashed on a former MP and Speaker of the House in Parliament. I should be concern about a half a million dollars a year MP & Speaker of the House who had displayed poor judgement, discipline and self-constraint, contrary to how the various PAP MPs were being trumpeted as capable, impartial, responsible people during Election. While expected, it reflected badly on the ruling party. Citizens are getting more savvy and are reading between the lines of news reported by media ranked amongst the worst in the world in terms of freedom and impartiality. Riding onto such old stances will not help PAP but makes it looks extremely despicable instead. Oh wait, isn’t that already taken as a fact?

Lee Kwan Yew’s past??

May 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is a documentary on Youtube, free for all to see, to get a deeper understanding of the past. While I still have great respect for LKY for leading Singapore to today’s standing, I think it pays to know a different side of him. In depth:

Singaporeans are…or maybe, were, politically apathetic as the events of daily life such as school, work and friends took priority. After all, the government is taking good care of the citizens. In recent years, with the higher education received in the younger generations, the influence of the concept of democracy from the Western countries, and more importantly, the liberalization of communications through the birth of technology and the internet created awareness and a fluid network of free flow information that is impossible to control.

This video, while bias, also highlight the importance of freedom of speech. This is a concept some Singaporeans, including my close ones, have no awareness of. We think that JBJ is a mad man when he was advocating for free speech and promoting PAP’s authoritarianism at Raffles place when he was alive. We thought that he was simply a joke. This speaks volume of how brain washed we have become.

“What is the use of freedom of speech? I rather worry about money!” some Singaporeans might say. How important? Very important. It empowers you, emboldens you to ask questions, enable you to ask for ANSWERS. If the ruling party suppressed the freedom to express our thoughts, how do you think they are connected to the ground? And what are they afraid of answering? What hideous secrets do they not want the citizens to know? How sad it is, when you have grown to be blinded by money and grew ignorant of social awareness and life. How else can our society progress? If money is all you care about, you are simply, to quote the opposition’s words, an economic digit.

Categories: DESPICABLE MEANS!

New Media: Old media, stop being PAP’s dog

May 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Sometimes I really wish to ask those journalists in our third world media. What happened to your passion in being a journalist in the first place? What happened to all that fervor to dig our objective and unbias news? What happened to all those dreams you have in being a non-partisan reporter?

The latest attack against old media is currently unraveling in our new social media – TOC, TR and Facebook (and I guess many more blogs). For reporting negative and untrue reports of SDP’s Dr Chee, witness of the entire rally is now roasting The Newpaper’s Bryna Sim’s facebook account for the fabricated news. She stays in JURONG GRC.

Bryna Sim Facebook

Then we see all the bashings:

Bryan Sim Facebook bashing

I am expecting the facebook wall to be privatized and negative comments deleted soon. Old media, it’s time you wake up or else all integrity and ethics you stand for is now lost. Do not underestimate the power of new media.

Categories: DESPICABLE MEANS!

Dangling Carrots: Upgrading

May 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The usual tactic PAP used to instill fear and reluctance for citizens to vote for opposition. Is it fair to use tax-payers money to threaten tax payers? I leave it to you to decide.

Where does the ruling party get their funds from to upgrade their estates? Please don’t tell me you raise the funds yourself ( Mr Desmond Choo might want to reveal who are his ‘donors’ if he dares). The PAP government can easily bank roll the funds. With so much of taxpayers’ money, it is unfair for the ruling party to keep questioning the opposition parties’ capabilities to raise funds to maintain the estates. If the opposition has no access to government funds, the ruling party should not have access to government funds as well.

When it is a well known fact that the ruling party can prioritize upgrading for their own constituents as the opposing wards are small, Singaporeans need to understand that when the number and size of opposing wards gets larger, the PAP will loss the ability to dangle this carrot. If the opposing wards grow to 40%, do you think the ruling party can still afford to not give equal upgrading to all estates? The political repercussions will only spread and the ruling party will have no choice but to be, for once, fair and square in distributing public funds. In any case, estate upgrading is simply the basics of what the government is elected to do. Why else are we paying taxes??

The GRC system allows the PAP to retain control over an obscenely large part of Singapore. But it is a double-edged sword. Should a critical mass of GRCs be won over by the opposition party, the reverse will be true. The PAP will loss all means of threats in future elections. So you see, there is a lot more benefits if more opposition parties be elected into Parliament.

So do you want a fairer, more equitable government? Or do you want to continue another 5 years of increasing inflation, foreigners influx, and ultimately local genocide as the government tactically replaces the Singaporean population with PRs and new citizens?

P.S.: An admirable comment from a Potong Pasir resident on Facebook: Click here.

General Election: Officially kicked off

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Today is a very exciting day as news and twitter/ facebook updates on the elections took the country by storm. My office was not spared the excitement as the Singaporeans (well…less than 50% are Singaporeans….) geared for one of the fiercest competed competition in political history.

It is actually quite an interesting video. For a while, I actually felt that the PAP candidates were kind of pathetic. There is no charisma, no anchor message, no sense of sincerity. Then there is the unforgiving boos and jeers from the opposition camp supporters. Goh Chok Tong and Tin Pei Ling must have wished that given a choice, they would leave the stage as soon as possible.

I think the Worker’s Party made a very wise decision to concentrate firepower on the weakest GRC. It is strategic to leave Hougang due to the long support of the citizens staying there and it’s best to take on the ruling party heads on given the unfair gerrymandering PAP did in slicing up the Hougang constituency into smaller pieces, effectively weakening the WP’s core supporters. Such dirty tricks are not welcome, and the ruling party risk their many scheming tricks being used on them in the future.

We have already seen SDP trying to find fault with one PAP nominee for stating in the nomination form as ‘unemployed’ when in actual fact she is still serving her resignation notice period. Of course, given that the government, the civil service, and the nominees for election are the same body, it is of no wonder the PAP gets to craft and control the rules. Should an opposition end in the other side of the coin, I do not hesitate to believe that the PAP would take this opportunity to prevent an opposition to seek nomination for election successfully.

Is this the kind of leadership you want?

Categories: DESPICABLE MEANS!, Signs

Smear Tactics: What’s new?

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Vivian Balakrishnan had started a very dirty and despicable smear tactic against SDP’s Vincent Wijeysingha, insinuating his ‘hidden agenda’ as a gay-oriented Singaporean. Since when does sexual orientation has to do with one’s capability and loyalty to the country? Does the PAP wants to imply that all gays and lesbians are non-righteous, only having the ultimate agenda in repelling the age-old Penal Code 377A?

The local media again gives such loop-sided logic articles that any educated personnel would be incensed. However, the sad true is many conservative and older people will be persuaded in PAP’s attempt to demonized their opponents. So much for Goh Chok Tong’s claim to have a ‘clean fight’. The Minister for MCYS, a ministry created to help forward youth’s advancement, only ended up in unnecessary accusations against a group of marginalized individuals.

Sexual orientation has no correlation with capability and heart to serve the public. The most violent and evil characters in history happens to be mostly heterosexual. On the other hand, there are exemplary examples of highly intelligent and capable gays such as the famous John Maynard Keynes, who crafted an entirely new school of thought in Economics. Closer to home, Lee Kwan Yew’s very own grandson Lee Hxxxxxx (I decided it’s best to leave the name censored) happens to be openly gay as a student back in the United States. Does that make him any less capable? As one of the top students, he clutched much sought after jobs with investment banks such as Goldman Sachs. While there are people who might think that his pedigree would have given him some unfair advantage, I do concur about his high intelligence, his eloquence and charismatic personality. Does being gay makes him any less human? What would Vivian Balakrishnan  say if ever Lee Kwan Yew’s grandson decided to run for political office?

It is extremely disappointing that the local media and a minister, who was once thought to be a new hero who would stand up to what he believes rather than kow-towing to the old brains, would stoop to such low levels in engaging smearing tactics against their much less resourceful and less powerful opponents. Such campaign are not only downright despicable, it contributes no value to the nation.

This episode shows us the worrying signs of how ingrained it is in the ruling party, total blind compliance and losing touch with the ground. What we see is an ungraceful, ungentlemanly scheming and narrow minded leadership that could very much threaten the nation’s advancement and survival in the future.

Categories: DESPICABLE MEANS!