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  • tan reborn's Avatar
    153 posts since Dec '09
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      Can Singaporeans think?

      By Kelvin Teo
      Published: April 5, 2009

       

      SINGAPORE – It would not be surprising if such a question has been weighing on every Singaporean’s mind at one point of time or another. This is by no means an exhuastive topic, and it may not be possible to cover every inch of ground.

      Singapore has always been governed using a top down approach. Put simply, the government decides every facet of a Singaporean’s life from the management of his national savings to the type of flat he is supposed to stay in. Ordinary Singaporeans have no part to play in the decision-making process. In a discussion on different types of citizenship participation and non-participation in a seminal piece titled “A Ladder of Citizen Participation”, Sherry Arnstein defined citizenship participation as a form of power re-distribution that enables under-privileged citizens who were excluded from the political and economic processes to be included. In a way, this will lead to the empowerment of such citizens.

      Sadly in Singapore’s case, all ordinary citizens inclusive of under-privileged ones have no say in the decisions that concern them. And it is ironical when the government turns around and exhort citizens not to be reliant on it. The problem is that if citizens are not empowered through their participation within the decision-making process, when will they ever learn to be independent of the government?

      That is not say Singaporeans cannot think in general. It is quite comforting to note that there are substantial number of Singaporeans who seek ways and means to highlight their concerns. In the past, it used to be sending forum letters to our mainstream media. The problem is that the chances of such letters getting published depends a lot on the political sensitivity of its contents and a huge dose of chance of course. Thus, the online media offers an attractive alternative. And it is pretty easy to set up an online interest group for individuals with a common interest to band together. In fact, the online media is fast becoming the collection vase for the thoughts of thinking Singaporeans.

    • Thursday, December 03, 2009

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      Meritocracy Transformed to Elitism & Inequality

       

      'The concept of meritocracy is unstable as its constituent ideas are potentially contradictory. The egalitarian aspect of meritocracy, for example, can come into conflict with its focus on talent allocation, competition, and reward. In practice, meritocracy is often transformed into an ideology of inequality and elitism. In Singapore, meritocracy has been the main ideological resource for justifying authoritarian government and its pro-capitalist orientation.'
      .
      - Meritocracy and Elitism in a Global City: Ideological Shifts in Singapore, International Political Science Review [Link]
      .
      The end result of the PAP system is this belief that the elites who are the PAP leaders are indispensible without whom this country will sink and the ordinary Singaporean has been downgraded to an expendable being easily replaced by foreign imports. The PAP conducts numerous campaigns to tell us about "Staying Together" and "We are one" so that we to buy into this system as it drives us apart. If you examine their policies, the long term interests of ordinary Singaporeans have frequently been traded away. The Foreign Talent policy which morphed from a policy to attract the best talents, later to supplement our manpower shortfall and after that as a solution to low fertility rates. They tell us "Foreign Talents help to create jobs" when it actually suppresses the income of many Singaporeans leading to a widening income gap[Link].

      Diary of A Singaporean Mind

    • Tuesday, December 01, 2009

      <!-- Begin .post -->

      Meritocracy and an unequal society....

       

      Geneticists have found that among all primates, humans have the smallest genetic differences[Link]. In fact genetic evidence show that biologically speaking there is no such thing as race[Link][Link] because, according to researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Genetics, overall there are more genetic differences within ethnic groups than between them. I talk about race only as an example to illustrate the tendency in humans being as group or as individuals to artificially differentiate themselves from others when there is actually no real difference at all[While looking for material for this post, I found this interesting paper on MM Lee's thoughts on race & genes found on the NTU server]. For a start human beings are more similar to each other than other species yet we end up with living conditions of extreme variation. I intend to show you that unless there is proactive intervention to bring about greater equality, (some) human beings will construct systems to amplify small differences among us or create differences when there are none - systems in which rewards are disproportionate to effort and ability and they will even have us believe it is all just and fair.


      When Vivian Balakrisnan headed the Remaking of Singapore, he said you can change anything but meritocracy is a sacred cow we cannot slaughter. There is the prevalent and ingrained belief that it is the key to our success. I want to start by asking what meritocracy is. The term meritocracy originated from a novel called The Rise of Meritocracy published in 1958. In this novel, a social system based on meritocracy led to a social revolution in which the masses overthrow the elite, who have become arrogant and disconnected from public sentiment[Wikipedia Link]. In a meritocratic society, people are rewarded based on talent + effort. Nothing wrong with that. You work harder you get more. You're work smarter, you get more. You don't work, you get nothing. On the surface it sounds fair and just. You might have to get over a few minor issues like what talent is, how effort is measured and so on. Then you have to link talent + effort to rewards. That is where it usually goes wrong. You can run a meritocratic system where a person is paid $10M or $100K....so how do you decide? Why is the Prime Minister of a meritocratic govt paid, something like 5 to 10 times more than leaders elsewhere? In Singapore, they use some kind of proxy mechanism linking leaders and public servant pay to the people of 'similar' talents in the private sector. Many question if this link is right...but lets put that aside first. The assumption here has to be the private sector which is somehow linked to 'free markets' pay people what the deserve because if it doesn't, the way meritocracy is implemented in the Singapore govt simply leads to people being paid more than what they deserve. Is what people deserve the amount the system allows them to take?

      Michael Jackson was a phenomenally talented and hardworking entertainer. When he died it was estimated that he earned about US$500M to US$1B[Link]. Industry experts believe that it is unlikely that another entertainer will ever make this amount in real terms for several reasons. Michael Jackson emerge at a time when CDs which have quality that were better than cassettes were becoming popular, when music videos started to take off and consumer taste for music was less diverse. If he was born 20 years earlier of later he would have made much less for the same effort and talent. He also made hundreds of millions off the rights to the Beatles collection which he bought after receiving a tip from Paul McCartney[Link]. It is hard to say what he actually deserve for his work but what he received was a function of many things other than his own ability. Do the bankers who were partially responsible for the financial crisis deserve the millions they took in bonuses? Do the workers who have nothing to do financial crisis deserve to be retrenched by the problems caused by it? How fair is a system that does not deliver the rewards to those who deserve it and too much to those who don't?
      .
      You don't have to go through a lot to figure out if the system is working well or not. All you need to look at is the relative level of inequality. Income inequality is the highest ever in the last 80 years since the period just before The Great Depression. It is not hard to believe that the system runs into problems when it cannot distribute wealth fairly. When we have inequality on a scale we see in recent years, you cannot blame individuals for their own plight - it is built into the system. The distribution of human abilities has not change what has change is the system. Govt policies have to work against business monopolies, unfair practices and make sure the playing field is level. If inequality still persists, there is no choice by to resort to progressive taxation to narrow the gap - because at the end of the day, the cost of having a high level of inequality will be far greater than the negative effects caused by higher taxation.
      .
      Meritocracy as it is practiced in Singapore is an accomplice to this inequality. It results in an inherent belief that people get what they deserve and seek to preserve a system that perpetuates and widen the inequality. At a time when the income gap is the widest around the world we have the biggest gap among developed countries. It is far larger than Japan, Taiwan and S. Korea...almost double measured by the GINI. It is not possible that we have this unusually big disparity in terms of talent among our population - this inequality is articifial. It is function of the system.
      .
      When NMP Viswa Sadavisan spoke about equality in parliament, MM Lee said that equality should be an aspiration not an ideal and that it is a high highfalutin idea. That explains why the PAP govt does so little to bring about greater equality and expend so much energy to up the salary of its ministers in the pursuit of meritocrary. At the end of the day, if you think about it, meritocracy is a vague ambiguous idea the outcome of which, very often, is dictated by those who run and manipulate the system. Equality is a very clear idea that all of us can understand and work towards. Equality should be an ideal for our society...and meritocracy is but a highfalutin aspiration sometimes used to deny us the equality we pledge to pursue.

       

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • I got a few pubs along geyland, joo chiat and tanjong pagar place. A private house in Joo chiat tembling Road, 2 rented out condos at kallang place, Executive member of Bar and Pub Association of Singapore, Tanah Merah Country club youth member, Joo Chiat Business Association secretary, Young RC vice president of Joo Chiat CC and Joo Chiat shops 7 month ghost festivel's assistance organiser and chief accountant. PR of Taiwan, Citizenship of Singapore. So, do you think Singaporean can think or not???

  • EarlNeo's Avatar
    6,719 posts since Aug '07
    • Originally posted by angel7030:

      I got a few pubs along geyland, joo chiat and tanjong pagar place. A private house in Joo chiat tembling Road, 2 rented out condos at kallang place, Executive member of Bar and Pub Association of Singapore, Tanah Merah Country club youth member, Joo Chiat Business Association secretary, Young RC vice president of Joo Chiat CC and Joo Chiat shops 7 month ghost festivel's assistance organiser and chief accountant. PR of Taiwan, Citizenship of Singapore. So, do you think Singaporean can think or not???

      do u need a bf as well? icon_lol.gif

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by EarlNeo:

      do u need a bf as well? icon_lol.gif


      Oh! no joke, yr question struck me like a thunder bolt. By looking around all these young guys of Singapore courting me, most likely they will become the next whining peoples of Sgforum complaining about Sg govt or end up working a 8 to 5pm job if not jobless. Therefore, I have decided to look for a more mature guy who dun whine after drinking too much wine, but instead, help me along with my life doing cooking, washing and attend to my garden twigs and vines

  • EarlNeo's Avatar
    6,719 posts since Aug '07
    • Originally posted by angel7030:


      Oh! no joke, yr question struck me like a thunder bolt. By looking around all these young guys of Singapore courting me, most likely they will become the next whining peoples of Sgforum complaining about Sg govt or end up working a 8 to 5pm job if not jobless. Therefore, I have decided to look for a more mature guy who dun whine after drinking too much wine, but instead, help me along with my life doing cooking, washing and attend to my garden twigs and vines

      do u need a house-hubby then? icon_lol.gif

  • theme_and_guess's Avatar
    2,360 posts since Mar '09
    • Originally posted by angel7030:


      Oh! no joke, yr question struck me like a thunder bolt. By looking around all these young guys of Singapore courting me, most likely they will become the next whining peoples of Sgforum complaining about Sg govt or end up working a 8 to 5pm job if not jobless. Therefore, I have decided to look for a more mature guy who dun whine after drinking too much wine, but instead, help me along with my life doing cooking, washing and attend to my garden twigs and vines


      im right here..... come n give me yr virtual hug

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by EarlNeo:

      do u need a house-hubby then? icon_lol.gif


      Oh no, not really a house hubby but I will prefer a tele tubby kind of hubby that can bring entertainment,  jokes and humorous to my already jovious house. And most importantly, he must remember to feed the dogs.

    • Originally posted by theme_and_guess:


      im right here..... come n give me yr virtual hug


      Yak!!! vomitted!!!! hello, please dun turn this into a joker's house ya, this is politics at its very best, be serious!!!

       

      Otherwise, i will get accused again...

  • ` ~ `
    Atobe's Avatar
    8,715 posts since Oct '02
    • Originally posted by angel7030:

      I got a few pubs along geyland, joo chiat and tanjong pagar place. A private house in Joo chiat tembling Road, 2 rented out condos at kallang place, Executive member of Bar and Pub Association of Singapore, Tanah Merah Country club youth member, Joo Chiat Business Association secretary, Young RC vice president of Joo Chiat CC and Joo Chiat shops 7 month ghost festivel's assistance organiser and chief accountant. PR of Taiwan, Citizenship of Singapore. So, do you think Singaporean can think or not???


      The Taiwanese 'hum' acting its role as an 'Attention Seeking Whore' simply cannot resist to return to get its daily orgasmic fix with its flippant response to distract the flow of discussion towards itself.

      Can the Taiwanese 'hum' ever be a Singapore Citizen when its home is in Taiwan ?

      How many Singaporeans will get involve with the underworld business of living off the flesh trade in exploiting the lives of desperate women ?

       

      Originally posted by angel7030:


      Yak!!! vomitted!!!! hello, please dun turn this into a joker's house ya, this is politics at its very best, be serious!!!

       

      Otherwise, i will get accused again...

       

      Just these few preceding replies from the Taiwanese 'hum' shows clearly the deliberate attempts to post its usual flippant irrelevant and irrerevant replies to drive attention to its role as an "Attention Seeking Whore".

       

       

       

  • angel3070's Avatar
    1,446 posts since Aug '09
  • the Bear's Avatar
    149,694 posts since Feb '01
    • actually, looking into SC here, i think quite a few cannot think..

      to them, anything MIW = evil

      anything at all = LKY is at fault

      it's hilarious!  teeth.png

  • theme_and_guess's Avatar
    2,360 posts since Mar '09
    • Originally posted by angel7030:


      Yak!!! vomitted!!!! hello, please dun turn this into a joker's house ya, this is politics at its very best, be serious!!!

       

      Otherwise, i will get accused again...


      yea... kinda late for that though. few of yr post alrdy got some guys flaming u.

       

      here let me touch yr forehead

      Edited by theme_and_guess 07 Dec `09, 11:34AM
  • ` ~ `
    Atobe's Avatar
    8,715 posts since Oct '02
    •  

      Actually, it is not surprising that some in this Speaker's Corner will prefer to sit on the fence too afraid to think for themselves, even as they hate the Gorrillas as much as they hate the Chimpanzees - even when the Chimps have shown themselves to be far more intelligent and dexterous than the Gorrillas.

      It is amazing that the fear to think has left these minds to be hopelessly dull that they can only entertain themselves with those who dare to think.

      It surely is pathetically hilarious.....

       

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by the Bear:

      actually, looking into SC here, i think quite a few cannot think..

      to them, anything MIW = evil

      anything at all = LKY is at fault

      it's hilarious!  teeth.png


      worst, those who support PAP = hums and attention whores

    • Originally posted by theme_and_guess:


      yea... kinda late for that though. few of yr post alrdy got some guys flaming u.

       

      here let me touch yr forehead


      dun worry lah, i am used to flame, and please dun touch my forehead, I am very supertitious, my luck will go away if you touched it ya.

  • EarlNeo's Avatar
    6,719 posts since Aug '07
    • Originally posted by angel7030:


      Oh no, not really a house hubby but I will prefer a tele tubby kind of hubby that can bring entertainment,  jokes and humorous to my already jovious house. And most importantly, he must remember to feed the dogs.

      do u need a plumber, gardener, dog carer and a handy man as well? icon_lol.gif

  • Herzog_Zwei's Avatar
    8,208 posts since Jul '06
    • Originally posted by Atobe:

       

      Actually, it is not surprising that some in this Speaker's Corner will prefer to sit on the fence too afraid to think for themselves, even as they hate the Gorrillas as much as they hate the Chimpanzees - even when the Chimps have shown themselves to be far more intelligent and dexterous than the Gorrillas.

      It is amazing that the fear to think has left these minds to be hopelessly dull that they can only entertain themselves with those who dare to think.

      It surely is pathetically hilarious.....

       


      We don't sit on fences, we just got better candidates for the position other than PAP and SDP. So what if you are acrobatic like chimps or powerful like gorillas, we need politicians who care for people and not animals trying to make the parliament into a circus.

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by EarlNeo:

      do u need a plumber, gardener, dog carer and a handy man as well? icon_lol.gif


      ya, if there is a 4 in 1 guy around, i dun mind sacrificing my body, but as for handyman, I dun like man who use hands.

  • ` ~ `
    Atobe's Avatar
    8,715 posts since Oct '02
    • Originally posted by angel7030:


      ya, if there is a 4 in 1 guy around, i dun mind sacrificing my body, but as for handyman, I dun like man who use hands.

       

      The Taiwanese 'hum' could have taken a piece of its imbecilic wisdom and remain silent or refuse itself to broadcast its ignorance with its daily insistence to publish its flippantly irrelevant and irrerevant replies in this Speaker's Corner.

      Is anyone 'interested in its position that wouldn't bring much new thoughts even as it attempt to hit the front page in some sensational ways'  ?

      If only the "Attention Seeking Whore" inside the Taiwanese 'hum' will learn to 'be careful' and take its own imbecilic advise and "Just SHUT UP".

       

      Originally posted by angel7030:

      Well, he has the right to remain silent or refuse the interview, he should known the media well, they are not interested in his position, that wouldn't bring much news and front page sensational in the media, his brother and late father is the ultimate news the reporters wanted, he should be careful. Just Shut up

       

       

  • tan reborn's Avatar
    153 posts since Dec '09
    • Originally posted by angel7030:

      I got a few pubs along geyland, joo chiat and tanjong pagar place. A private house in Joo chiat tembling Road, 2 rented out condos at kallang place, Executive member of Bar and Pub Association of Singapore, Tanah Merah Country club youth member, Joo Chiat Business Association secretary, Young RC vice president of Joo Chiat CC and Joo Chiat shops 7 month ghost festivel's assistance organiser and chief accountant. PR of Taiwan, Citizenship of Singapore. So, do you think Singaporean can think or not???


       for your so called chief accountant

      which u did you graduate from?

      are you a cpa?

      how many years of working experience as an accountant?

       

       

    • Originally posted by angel7030:

      I got a few pubs along geyland, joo chiat and tanjong pagar place. A private house in Joo chiat tembling Road, 2 rented out condos at kallang place, Executive member of Bar and Pub Association of Singapore, Tanah Merah Country club youth member, Joo Chiat Business Association secretary, Young RC vice president of Joo Chiat CC and Joo Chiat shops 7 month ghost festivel's assistance organiser and chief accountant. PR of Taiwan, Citizenship of Singapore. So, do you think Singaporean can think or not???


      i know you are rich, you have freedom of speech

      but, reply in sense pls

       

  • the Bear's Avatar
    149,694 posts since Feb '01
    • what i don't get is this:

      if i don't like the MIW = i must love the opposition..

      lots of idiots here in SC seem to be unable to come to terms with the fact that i don't like the MIW and the opposition...

      i think politicians are scumbags.. teeth.png

      the SC people in here think that because i think some members of the opposition are less than dishonourable and are a disgrace to humanity at large = i am a stoolpigeon for the MIW..

      what gives?  teeth.png

      so.. are they able to reconcile the fact that the sins of the MIW do not exornerate the opposition of theirs?

      they seem to be unable to think and comprehend this simple fact   teeth.png

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by tan reborn:


       for your so called chief accountant

      which u did you graduate from?

      are you a cpa?

      how many years of working experience as an accountant?

       

       


      7th month ghost festival accountant need CPA meh??? wha lau!! dun make me laugh lah.

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