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  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • [quote]From: rodliao (sgbuster) (3+1 kopitiam)

      May-22

      Did he steal his thesis from his students as well ? Was he the underwear thief in the NTU hostel ?[/quote]

       

      U r barking up the wrong tree. He need not steal others thesis if the topic (robotics, intelligent control theory ) interest him.

       

      Being an underwear thief could perhaps be the next step if the petrol kiosk supermarket cameras hadn't spotted him.

       

      What I am more worried about is if his elite, bespoke diagnosis: fashioned by legions if psychiatrist hypnotized by his $$$ turn out to be less innocent then claimed and like recent suicide victim Goh Lee Yin , started stealing more and more, with each subsequent offence more complicated and nefarious than the last?

       

      At least in Goh Lee Yin, it was only property like handbags and other  luxury goods and the chief justice (Yong Pung How) was hoodwinked just once (although the precedence he set subsequently hoodwinked another very senior judge).

       

      As I have mentioned, in a high functioning professor interested in biomedical engineering , cognitive systems, automation and robotics, anything from pacemakers going amok to MRT trains derailing to SAF drones attacking neighboring countries could be in his repertoire... he has betrayed the trust of the supermarket staff by stealing their goods covertly. Nothing is there to stop him from stealing an entire nation's savings or releasing a N Korean nuclear tipped ballistic missle etc as long as he can pay his legions of psychiatrist enough to continue to believe and even pontificate that his royal disease is nothing alike an addiction to heroin, sex, gambling, women/ the like; and the judiciary remains yet another hapless victim of the emperor's new clothes ruse ocurring in broad daylight . People who can afford expensive psychiatrist are now above the law.

  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Is dangerous (distinguished) NTU robotics professor out on the loose?

      http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/ntu-professor-sentenced-to-18-months-mandatory-treatment-order-for
      Nanyang Technological University (NTU) professor Er Meng Joo, 55 was given 18 months' mandatory treatment order on Monday (May 22) for multiple counts of shoplifting.
      A mandatory treatment order is for offenders who suffer from psychiatric conditions. They must go for psychiatric treatment in lieu of jail time.
      On April 20, he pleaded guilty to two counts of shoplifting items worth $225.15.
      Five other shoplifting charges involving items worth $228.20 were taken into consideration during sentencing.
      He admitted that he repeatedly stole from convenience stores at the petrol stations he frequented.
      Er, who is a professor in electrical and electronic engineering, shoplifted items worth $453.35 between Jan 9 and 29 last year.

      ======================
      The guys CV it seems involves programming robots. I wonder, if a highly qualified gahmen robot programmer cannot control his own base desires, then what would stop him from expanding his repertoire of mischief and programme his robots to deliberately harm humans/society; especially in a world of driverless cars and internet connected devices? Is shoplifting just the tip of the iceberg, have any malicious codes been inserted into any national computers, SAF drone weapons or LKY's cardiac defibrillator?

      Impressive CV:
      Professor Er Meng Joo's areas of expertise are intelligent control theory and applications, fuzzy logic and neural networks and robotics and automation. His current works focus on control theory and applications, fuzzy logic and neural networks, computational intelligence, cognitive systems, robotics and automation, sensor networks and biomedical engineering.http://research.ntu.edu.sg/expertise/academicprofile/pages/StaffProfile.aspx?ST_EMAILID=EMJER

      Why isn't kleptomania categorised as an addiction like that to gambling, heroin, amphetamines and the like?

      Why must heroin addicts face long DRC sentences whilst educated and rich people are confered the enviable VIP diagnosis of 'kleptomania' which in recent similarly diagnosed case of Goh Lee Yin, involved job placement at a Mt Elizabeth clinic, chaffeured rides from home to work etc, only to end up with a review and subsequently revoked diagnosis resulting in a sucessful conviction upon 3rd offence as well as a possible 7yr detention sentence for a 4th for which the new mother (has 1+yr old baby daughter) jumped from her apartment block one day before the pre-trial conference was to be held. http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/serial-shoplifter-who-had-depression-found-dead 

      Just as heroin addicts love heroin ignoring its later detrimental effects on self and society, don't these distinguished kleptomaniacs too have a fettish for which the consequence is either inapparent or else overlooked in favour of the adrenaline rush for its experience, be it heroin or else stealing somebody's things or even the misery caused to society?

      Even if both fine and jail were waived (with ultimately disasterously tragic results for Goh Lee Yin when her diagnosis was subsequently revised) I'm worried that rich, powerful and dangerous persons are now enjoying the same privilege with widely divergent outcomes handed out by the court. A robotics professor with depraved morals is no less dangerous than an impoverished heroin addict craving for the next straw.

      Singapore is an international expert in drug rehabilitation. And if recent wannacry ransome ware international botnet virus attack is any precursor , I think professors with credentials like "works focus on control theory and applications, fuzzy logic and neural networks, computational intelligence, cognitive systems, robotics and automation, sensor networks and biomedical engineering" should be the first ones in line to receive proper rehabilitative treatment mirrored no less than after the DRC (e.g. Cold turkey treatments group therapy mirrored after alcoholics annonymous experience). The onset of Armageddon is near when social inequality is rampant and the judicial judgements jaundiced and biased. Money shouldn't buy a diagnosis and the judiciary should not fear the rich and their army of psychiatrist.

  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • PMFunk Doobiest wrotey third world country like china got retirement. 
      sg boh.
      their elderly @55 already can already retire every mth still get their paid by gahmen till hand over ic.
      y singpore lao lang so cham
      still must wash toilet collect bowl


      They have low savings because PAP gahmen allowed foreigners to work here with minimum interference (only lately did they restrict foreigner work permit etc numbers): so this suppressed low skill wages due to ample maids and other low skill workers. Little was done VZ skills upgrading till recently.

      Many middle management Singaporeans also become low skill workers when replaced by foreigners of higher skill because levy for higher skill foreigners is low or zero.

      Emphasis on physical fitness also zero or inadequate resulting in high prevalence of chronic disease amongst elderly which is expensive to treat.

      If not for silver support ($250/mth or less) and pioneer gen pkg, more old folks would be collecting bowls and cleaning toilets.

      China maybe u r refering to a pensions system, however, pls note that in big countries with rural areas, retirement can mean return to village to do subsistence farming, to pass time and as way of life. In Singapore, a city state, if u dunno how to use internet, then sadly, u are holding the very shortest end of the stick. Perhaps Singapore might have done better to provide vocational training to all and then collect worker levies even from professionals (Dr , engineer etc) to provide basic internet and financial literacy, vocational skills training to all citizens, that way, more middle management would be inspired to upgrade to senior management (competition of ALL foreigners for work passes, not just amongst the low skill ones) rather than downgrade to lower skill job levels (plus FOC workfare subsidies) resulting in low wage jobs salary being depressed even further (I.E. Some white collar workers taking blue collar jobs after retrenchment/ replaced by work/professional pass holders etc).

      Gahmen should also build bigger flats so that families can enjoy economies of scale in housework etc e.g. grandparents can care for grandkids, cook etc rather than stay alone and feel depressed + lonely).

      More opportunities to moneytise HDB flat can be provided so that elder can extract the residual value of their HDB flat which they cannot use after they die.

      For all HDB not under current HDB reverse mortgage scheme, gahmen should request banks to provide the reverse mortgage since they are public flats after all and because not all elderly can accept a tenant living with them to earn rent every month.

  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • U must sleep @ least 8 hrs a night or till properly rested if u have sleep debt. Adequate sleep is part of healthy lifestyle (besides controling stress by being nice to others).

      U r only damaging your own body if u exercise after inadequate rest.

       

      If u r Sinkee >35 yrs w IPPT liability, pls tell that to your MO for FFI IPPT. He may refer u for a threadmill to exclude a heart problem  (in addition to the usual pre IPPT cholesterol, diabetes, BP, ecg.,  urine, etc tests). Otherwise talk to GP, but I still think that adequate rest (for body repair @ end of every day) is of primary importance.

      Edited by bic_cherry 19 May `17, 2:54PM
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Many in Singapore work till they mati.
      When the National Survey of Senior Citizens asked elderly people in 2011 why they continued to work, more than half said that it was to meet their current living expenses.
      Another 20 per cent cited concerns about long-term income security. 


      ===================
      Elderly workers
      Many working out of need, not out of choice
      Ng Kok Hoe For The Straits Times
      PUBLISHED MAY 18, 2017, 5:00 AM SGT

      Working in old age evokes two opposing images. One is of vulnerability and need, of elderly people who make a living clearing tables at hawker centres and collecting cardboard. Then there is the image of productivity, active ageing and choice, of older people who continue to work because it gives meaning and a sense of independence.
      So which image better depicts the experiences of older workers?
      This question has gained increasing interest as population ageing prompts measures to retain older workers, but the public remains concerned about the work conditions some elderly workers face. Ongoing debates in the news and social media disagree on the motivations of work in old age.

      In a recent report, several elderly persons who were interviewed said they were working to stay physically and mentally active rather than to meet their expenses ("Age of golden workers: Many seniors working into 80s and 90s to stay active"; ST, April 30).
      However the report also quotes a Member of Parliament who observed that elderly workers do not always admit that they need the income. Some even avoid seeking help because they prefer to depend on themselves.
      There are reasons to be upbeat about the future. In the long run, due to better educational and economic opportunities, there will be fewer people in physically demanding manual jobs from which workers normally have to retire earlier.
      Greater income accumulation in the younger years will mean that more people can make a choice about work in their later years. Central Provident Fund (CPF) coverage and account balances have been rising steadily.
      However the elderly population, like all other age groups, is diverse.
      [Image: st_20170518_stoldwork6ksg_3148766.jpg]
      A shopkeeper selling ribbons, laces and buttons at a shop in Old Woodlands Town Centre. Some elderly people work for social connectedness and fulfilment, but many others say they have to work because they need the income. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
      When the National Survey of Senior Citizens asked elderly people in 2011 why they continued to work, more than half said that it was to meet their current living expenses.
      Another 20 per cent cited concerns about long-term income security. 
      Just 12 per cent chose to work in order to stay active, while 7 per cent were looking to occupy their time. Quite clearly, many did not consider retirement an option.
      To understand this, one must consider whether elderly people's income situations allow them to make a genuine choice about employment. Despite improvement over the years, the elderly population still has fairly low incomes. The 2011 survey found that one in four elderly persons had a monthly income of $500 or less, taking into account not just income from work but all possible sources such as the CPF, family and public assistance.
      It is sometimes suggested that elderly people do not need active income sources because they own assets - especially housing - that can be converted into equity when necessary, or that they may turn to their family in times of need.
      But elderly people who are poorest in terms of income are also least likely to own housing. Currently almost 25,000 elderly people live in public rental housing. These tenants have no housing asset set aside for a rainy day.
      Demographic trends indicate that, in future, older people will have fewer working-age children to rely on for financial support. This is worrying as adult children have traditionally been the most important source of income in old age. Already, co-residence with adult children, which helps to defray elderly parents' costs of living, is falling rapidly.
      Policy developments in the last few years show that policymakers are keenly aware of these issues. A new Silver Support Scheme was recently introduced to provide up to $100 a month to elderly persons with low lifetime CPF contributions. There has been periodic tinkering around the edges of the CPF. The reach of public assistance under the ComCare programme has widened considerably. Under the terms of short- to medium-term assistance, elderly applicants are required to continue looking for work - there is no question of choice here.

      Even when they are in the workforce, elderly workers cannot take economic security for granted as they tend to earn much less than younger workers.
      Last year, the median monthly work income of persons aged 60 and above was $2,000, compared with $3,500 among the general population. About 13,500 of these older workers earned less than $500 per month. Measures such as the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme and the Progressive Wage Model provide critical starting points for addressing this problem.
      Lower work incomes reflect the work conditions that elderly people experience. Figures from the Ministry of Manpower show that older workers are three times as likely as the average worker to hold low-paying service jobs such as cleaning, and twice as likely to work part-time and on term contracts.
      Work for many older people is more insecure and less rewarding than for younger people.
      In fact, as work continues to become more flexible and less secure across the economy, even younger workers will be affected, especially those who are less educated. Part-time and contract work had risen in the past when economic conditions tightened.
      In the end, it is a mixed picture.
      Some elderly people regard work as a source of social connectedness and personal fulfilment.
      For many others, basic financial security is uncertain and staying employed is likely to be non-negotiable.
      Much remains to be done so that more elderly people can make a meaningful choice about work.

      •The writer is assistant professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

      A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'Many working out of need, not out of choice'.
      http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/many-working-out-of-need-not-out-of-choice

  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Just encourage greater bicycle use: people happy n healthy, n gahmen can save $$$ on unnecessary healthcare costs from lifestyle disease like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks and obesity. 

      [Image: benefits-of-a-bicycle-go-car-less.jpg]

  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • From sgtalk:

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Honestboy
      Bicycle and Bus on the same lane, good show coming :clap
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by ThoseWereTheDays
      Bicycle and bus on same lane? Siao ah? U think bus driver can see cyclist easily? Whose crazy idea is taht?
      BTW, according to LTA law, bicycles are SUPPOSED to travel (where available), WITHIN the bus lane:
      Aside from buses, only emergency service, police vehicles and bicycles are allowed on bus lanes.
      Motorists who drive on bus lanes during restricted hours may be fined up to S$1000 or serve 3 months of imprisonment.
      https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltawe...gulations.html

      Modern public transport service buses are designed to be low platform/ base so that drivers can have a good view of the road, see passengers waving to board (even the handicapped ones on wheelchair). Almost all public buses nowadays are festooned with multiple driver assist/ footage recording cameras displaying the bus external blind spots/ bus interiors etc (up to bus driver to switch which view is most helpful for his personal screen display) as well as tamperproof recording of all camera footage (overwritten after 2 weeks) so drivers are well cautioned that any recklessness on their part would be promptly investigated and easily found out.
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Important PMD (public transportation), road use facts for LTA, TP to consider.

      On the footpath:
      LTA should impose travel on left, overtake on right rule on both cyclist and pedestrians. Just like on roads, there must be directional order on the foot path. This is especially necessary to allow for efficient use of foot paths because due to the number of strokes, poor eyesight, dialysis and amputations amongst the high population of diabetics in Singapore, foot paths will become mini roads with electric wheelchairs and scooters plying more often. Just like cyclist, pedestrians who use footpaths in an inconsiderate/ reckless manner or people who dump garbage/ trash bins blocking footpaths would be subject to a fine/ other punishment.

      On roads:
      Bus + Bicycle lane sharing: Mexico is ahead of Singapore where bicycle/ PMD infrastructure is concerned: http://mundourbanismo.blogspot.sg/20...-city.html?m=1 
      LTA and traffic police officers should patrol on bicycle (both uniformed and plain clothes) and senior staff in both these departments (incl. CEO) should have their performance tied to their on road cycling mileage to work a (at least 10-20% on bicycle/ 50% on public transportation); reckless motorist, illegal parking offenders can be captured on officer's attached helmet cams (e.g. go-pro) and roads can become more cyclist friendly as policy makers and law enforces personally test and police their efforts at making Singapore more green and bicycle friendly. All obese traffic policemen and LTA staffers should cycle/ run at least 100kms/ month (besides running, only the on road cycling portion will be bonus$ attributable).

      Bus lanes should be renamed Bus + Bicycle lanes, operate 24/7 and be made sufficiently wide for buses to overtake single file cyclist with a safe 2m side overtaking safety clearence distance. Only emergency and other registered forms of public transport vehicles re allowed to use bus/ bicycle lanes to travel.

      TP and LTA should take these suggestions very seriously since just as lithium battery powers the advanced smart phones of today, energy efficient lithium battery powered motors will make PMDs the most utilitarian and effective means of public transport for all (those needing exercise can still stick to the humble bicycle).

      With lithium battery power, e-bicycles (with some input from rider) are able to travel up to 80+ kms per charge which can cover most journeys in Singapore:
      Quote:
      How far can you typically go on a charge?
      .... I've seen some electric bikes with that same "360 watt hour" battery capacity reach 50+ miles per charge on a low level of assistance (equivalent to half of the rider's pedal power output). That's pretty amazing to me.
      http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/shou...rimer-faq.html
      Relative carbon efficiency of different transportation means:
       pict source: http://www.beagleybrown.com/planes-t...-of-transport/

      Encouraging cycling as a popular mode of transportation and key to fitness should be a key strategy in the war against diabetes:
      [Slide Source][alt pict view]
      Too many Singaporeans are suffering from chronic diseases which make them more suited to be hospital patients rather than active and employable PMETs. The days of the employable PMET are numbered as employers begin to find them untrainable and unadaptable due to senility/ silent strokes due to chronic disease the consequence of unhealthy lifestyles. "As of 2010, more than half of Singapore's adult population between 18 and 69 years old have high cholesterol, four in 10 are overweight or obese, a quarter have prediabetes or diabetes and about one in five has hypertension."

      Akan Datang, Majulah Singapura:
      pict source: 
      http://lovecycling.net/projects/busbike-lane/
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Medishield-life needs to do much more to preserve health than just pass hat around to collect $$$$.

      People who can prove that they are healthy (get up from sitting position on floor without using hands to assist, get pass, silver/ gold for IPPT/ swimming/ cycling test etc) or are compliant with polyclinic drs advice to stop smoking, exercise (join foc HPB/ sportshub zumba/ Pilate's/ fit-stepper classes) etc or have good lab test results @ polyclinic (BMI, bp, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol levels, ECG etc) should be given a gradated Medishield life discount (just like NSmen get $500 p.a. for getting gold award @ IPPT)... ostensibly, fitter NSmen can better out-think/ outwit the enemy... but physical weakness is every healthcare ministry's (e.g. MOH) nemesis since physically weak old folks are most likely to end up bed-bound in hospital for chronic disease/ broken bones and need nursing care for everything from spoon/ tube feeding to changing of diapers and perhaps even pain relief. A study on consistently good IPPT result + pre-IPPT (35yrs onwards) medical checkup result achievers in reservist vs their healthcare cost in later years dating back to 1965 SAF enlistees can be studied to measure the value of consistently good physical fitness till ORD from NS @ age 50 (/older for regular SAF servicemen/ generals) to assess the value of physical fitness amongst Singaporeans towards the national reduction of tertiary healthcare consumption and costs (and by extension, the value of 'carrots' necessary to encourage such healthy/ fitness lifestyle adoption)

      Incentivising physical fitness amongst Singaporeans is urgently necessary since the Singapore workforce is quickly aging and rather than have more citizens become even more dependent on foreign nurses and maids to care for disabled young Singaporean diabetics (stroke, amputations, blindness, heart problems, dementia, kidney dialysis) , investment in physical fitness would probably go a long way to keeping the Singapore workforce able and strong.

      Ref:
      ("1 in 10 stroke patients here aged under 50": ST: Nov 19, 2016)

      Quote:
      Early treatment of hypertension can reduce stroke risk
      PUBLISHED NOV 21, 2016, 6:24 PM SGT
      Doctors are increasingly seeing younger patients struck down by stroke in the prime of their lives, even as advancing age is the most common factor in strokes ("1 in 10 stroke patients here aged under 50"; Nov 19).

      Obesity, smoking, stress, lack of exercise and other ills of an affluent society have contributed to the increasing incidence of this crippling and often life-terminating condition.

      Fortunately, recognition and early effective treatment of hypertension reduce sufferers' morbidity down almost to that of a normal person's. Side effects of treatment are mostly minimal and are easy to manage.

      The Community Health Assist Scheme and Pioneer Generation subsidies are immensely helpful for the financially needy and the pioneer generation in their combat against hypertension, while Medisave can also be utilised as copayment in private clinics.

      No one should spurn modern, proven and efficacious treatment, even as traditional Chinese medicine and home remedies can be used as adjuncts.

      Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)
      http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/le...ce-stroke-risk
      Quote:
      1 in 10 stroke patients here aged under 50
      PUBLISHED NOV 19, 2016, 5:00 AM SGT

      Linette Lai
      While older people are far more likely to suffer a stroke, one in 10 stroke patients in Singapore is under 50 years old.

      Medical conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol can make a person more likely to get a stroke, say doctors.

      Smoking, too, puts you at risk.

      Last Saturday, Singaporean businesswoman Linda Koh was found unconscious in her Hong Kong hotel room. The 36-year-old was rushed to hospital, where she died soon after.

      Doctors subsequently found that she had suffered a stroke.

      Her father, Mr Alan Koh, told Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News that his daughter had a history of high blood pressure and was taking medication for it.

      Strokes occur when part of the blood supply to the brain is cut off.

      The latest figures from the National Registry of Disease Office show that there were 6,943 cases of strokes in 2014, up from 6,642 the previous year.

      They are the fourth most common cause of death in Singapore, and tend to occur among men.

      The incidence rate for men aged between 35 and 44 who were admitted to public hospitals for stroke in 2014 was 58 per 100,000 people, compared with 24 per 100,000 for women in the same age group.

      Doctors who spoke to The Straits Times said there are rarely any warning signs before a stroke happens.

      "Some strokes may be preceded by severe headaches or neck pain," said Dr Carol Tham, a consultant from the National Neuroscience Institute's neurology department. "Unfortunately, most patients do not have any warning symptoms before the stroke occurs."

      During a stroke, people often experience difficulty speaking and walking, weakness on one side of their bodies, and even temporary blindness.

      Dr Ho King Hee, a neurologist at Gleneagles Hospital Singapore, said strokes that result in sudden death are likely to be due to bleeding in the brain from a ruptured blood vessel, rather than a blockage.

      "If you are older, it means that there is more time for damage (to the blood vessels) to accumulate," he said. "But a stroke can happen at any age."

      He advises people who have conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes to keep them in check.

      Dr Tham added that doctors may also prescribe blood-thinning medication for people whose blood tends to clot.

      "If a person has any symptoms of stroke... he should seek treatment at the emergency department immediately as early treatment can help to reduce the disability caused by strokes," she said.

      A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2016, with the headline '1 in 10 stroke patients here aged under 50'. 

      http://www.straitstimes.com/singapor...-aged-under-50

      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Reverse number portability: two faced IMDA director defends telcos profit margins.

      Whole load of bullsh!t ¢rap from IMDA director: just read for yourself and see that the director is just folding her arms and saying: "IMDA would let mobile service providers offer this service option commercially, in response to market demand.": she is basically in cahoots w money faced telcos and cannot see the prejudice of the one way street offered by the telcos (+/- their biased, one sided surveys)...

      I do hope that the same silly IMDA director will reply to the latest forum letter by Ong See Fong... might not make any difference though considering that these sock puppet civil servants might be looking forward toward a cushy, overpaid directors post some day in our listed telcos I guess...

      Quote:
      Allow customers to keep mobile number when converting to pre-paid plan
      PUBLISHED. SEP 21, 2016, 6:31 PM SGT

      While mobile subscribers are able to retain their phone numbers when they convert from a pre-paid plan to a post-paid plan, they cannot do so when converting the other way.

      I hope the Infocomm Development Authority will work with the telcos here to enable this mobile number portability.

      Lim Tong Wah
      http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/le...-pre-paid-plan
      Director says:
      Quote:
      Low demand for post-paid to pre-paid number porting
      PUBLISHED. OCT 7, 2016, 4:04 PM SGT
      The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) requires mobile service providers to offer post-paid to post-paid number porting and pre-paid to pre-paid number porting between service providers ("Allow customers to keep mobile number when converting to pre-paid plan" by Mr Lim Tong Wah; Forum Online, Sept 21).

      This requirement has been in place since 1997 and 2008 respectively. It allows consumers to switch service providers with greater ease, as well as facilitate competition.

      IMDA notes that the current demand for post-paid to pre-paid number porting (and vice versa) is low.

      Hence, if IMDA requires that mobile service providers implement post-paid to pre-paid number porting when the demand is low, the cost of implementation may be passed on to consumers, leading to higher charges.

      Thus, IMDA would let mobile service providers offer this service option commercially, in response to market demand.

      Ann Chan (Ms)
      Director
      Regulatory and Corporate Communications
      Communications Division
      Infocomm Media Development Authority
      http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/le...number-porting
      Quote:
      Number porting: Is it low demand if option is unavailable?
      PUBLISHED NOV 22, 2016, 5:50 PM SGT

      Besides the concerns raised by Dr Gil Simon Schneider ("2G network shutdown will be costly for users of basic phones"; Nov 14), there is another practice by telcos which is not favourable to the weaker segment of society.

      This is the portability of mobile phone numbers from post-paid to pre-paid plans.

      Currently, telcos allow number portability only when there is an "upgrade" of services, such as from pre-paid to post-paid, but not for a "downgrade".


      Ms Ann Chan of the then Media Development Authority has said that telcos are not required to implement post-paid to pre-paid porting, as the demand is low and the cost of implementation may be passed on to consumers, leading to higher charges ("Low demand for post-paid to pre-paid number porting"; Forum Online, Oct 7).

      However, I wonder if demand really is low, given that consumers are not offered that option at all.

      I understand that some administrative costs will be incurred, but most consumers would not mind paying a small fee for such portability.

      With uncertain economic conditions and ageing populations, subscribers have to prioritise their spending, including phone use.

      The infrastructure to port numbers is already there. Consumers should be offered the option to port numbers from post-paid to pre-paid.

      Ong See Fong
      http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/le...is-unavailable
      Even if MDA wants to protect telcos profit margin/ bottom line and does not want people who trade in hp 'golden' numbers to exploit cheaper pre-paid card number maintenance options (in order to hog multiple hp numbers for a low maintainence charge), MDA should permit every Singaporean to transfer at least one phone number from postpaid to prepaid if the person has been using the postpaid number for at least 2yrs (full contract) and does not own any other prepaid hp line (I.e. for retirees/ those who do not need the expensive postpaid packages but still want to be contactable to old friends @home/abroad). No more than one such conversion per year per person may be allowed. In any case, current laws do not allow individuals to register for anything more than 3 prepaid hp numbers.

      MDA should focus on helping poor people to keep in contact with their relatives/ friends and not focus on helping telcos profit @ citizen's expense.
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Originally posted by narkiz:

      So i know it's been a HUGE topic of discussion in here and anywhere else Singapore-related: The very High cost of living in Singapore. Heck, This little island has even been called one of the top five most expensive countries to live in!

      But we forget we've also been called the world's richest nation... NO, i am NOT a PAP supporter, but facts are facts.

      Here's what i think,after visiting the devastated europe and more Importantly, staying in SWITZERLAND for a month:

      Before you guys denounce Singapore as being 'unlivable', think this: an average meal for four at a SMALL takeout place in the tiny town Zermatt, Switzerland costs easily 80 Francs or 104 SGD.

      An average cup of coffee costs an upwards of 6 francs or 7.80 SGD.

      In Paris, the cost to rent a place costs an upwards of a few thousand euros/ square meter.

      A MACDONALDS quarter pounder meal with fries, no drink costs 11 francs or close to 15 SGD, so a meal for four costs easily 60 SGD in Switzerland.

      A small bottle of shampoo at Coops(switzerland's Fairprice, supposed to be the low end, affordable market) costs easily 10.50 SGD.

      A meal for one at an italian 'foodcourt' costs minimum 7 euros or 11 SGD if u order only a plate of, say, pasta and nothing else, a full set is easily 12 euros and up.

      Compare to what we have here and perhaps before we open our mouths to say Singapore is too expensive, perhaps you'd like to see how bad to europeans have it as well.

      Your views? Am i missing sth here?

      Scandinavian countries encourage cycling which is good for the environment as well as for health besides reducing transport and parking costs. Cost of living in some EU countries may be high but many of these EU citizens also enjoy comprehensive benefits ranging from childcare and education to hospitalisations totally @ tax payer's expense. Of course there are countries like spain/ Greece which have become bankrupt due to gahmen expenditure in the excess.

       

      Cost of living in Singapore is structurally increased due to foreign worker levies and the lackadaisical attitude of MOM towards blue collared safety @ work.

      Some foreigner work levies exceed $1000/ month and this acts as a covert GST since it adds to the ultimate cost of the service/ product be it provision of gardening/ security service, building construction, food delivery etc. On why Singaporeans do not wish to take up many blue collar jobs that foreigners currently do: as MOM/ Google to check out the number of injured workers unable to receive injury compensation because the employer cut corners by failing to subscribe to work injury insurance despite that being compulsory for all blue collared workers: this cutting of corners being much due to lack of enforcement for valid insurance cover when work permits are renewed/ spot checked. Insurers will contribute much to the safety of work places by virtue of the fact that any addition safety measures implemented or audited would mean savings on treatment or compensation and so a more profitable insurance business. The larger than necessary expense on totally preventable work injuries adds to the overall costs of the final product. As they say, Singaporeans pwn Singaporean: this is just one example of how the gahmen has pwn it's own citizens.

      Edited by bic_cherry 17 Nov `16, 4:01AM
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • IC re-registration, rats, medals and chairs: The daily frustrations of Singaporeans these days.

      Why must people PAY to re-register their ICs under threat of $5000fine+5yrs jail, given the fact that IC registration is a national security concern and that people already suffer sky high cost of living in Singapore due to both GST as well as sky high foreign worker levies (up to $1000/mth) that employers pay on their foreign manual labour which just adds to our supermarket bills.

      Yet the PAP spends lavishly on its sock-puppets, cronies and other unsavories.
      For example: 
      a) Smokers are given a waiver of the usual 70% loading on insurance premiums contracted vz private health insurance companies: yet SG gahmen compulsory healthcare insurance schememedishield-life does not load smokers with any market rt based rise in premiums: i.e. an implicit subsidy to put more money into the tobacco industry (do some PAP leaders own shares of tobacco companies???). 

      b) In article:
      'Designer chairs for MOM staff': my paper, Fri, 25Mar2011"The MOM spokesman said that the chairs, which cost $575 each, were chosen because of various factors, such as their ergonomic design, durability and value for money." Instead of being prudent with gahmen funds, civil servants seem to have very expensive taste whereby their comfort at work is concerned with a total of $272K spent on 472 chairs. 

      c) After almost losing the war against diabetes, the PAP with its sorry ego now wants to prop up the people's morale with some olympic medals and fit looking athletes, both of which there had been a drought for many years. If paying for medals won were an Olympic sized bribery contest: then Singapore would surely win FIRST prize: the saddest part being that its already public news: a sad bunch of people trying just too hard not to fail. Ref: How much money will gold medal winners in Rio take home? By Sally French, 21Aug2016 6:26 p.m. ET 

      d) Bukit Batok MRT Station before and after rats extermination.:[source: https://www.singsupplies.com/showthr...tation/page16] 
      Jurong Town Council Spent $120,000 of Taxpayer Money to Kill 230 Rats (about $522 to kill each rat): before after photos show massive defoliation of the hill. Was taxpayers $$$ wisely spent, would preventive measures have been a cheaper option? Were poisonous chemicals used in the extermination resulting in agent orange like land contamination which would pose problems later (poisoning of crops/ fruits grown on the hill)?

      e) PAP sock puppet recruitment process: a red carpet into parliament for all those willing to sell their souls for cash 'Without some assurance of a good chance of winning at least their first election, many able and successful young Singaporeans may not risk their careers to join politics,' Mr Goh Chok Tong, June 2006 ['GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM'].
      [Pict= Disassembling GRC system benefits PAP (Part 1 of 3)]

      f) After serving the country with blood, sweat, tears for 2.5yrs (and more during reservists) for NO salary, the PAP gahmen wants to fine $5000 and jail 5yrs to compel cooperation to reduce the security risk in Singapore, but the $10 fee is probably rubbed in to show who's boss???: $10 might not be exorbitant, but in contrast to the overpriced rats, chairs but pittance NS allowances, it feels like a slap in the face no less. 

      Despite all this mischief we suffer, I guess the following claim that we have a "first class political leadership"still stands:
       [alt pict source]

      The appointed sock puppets/ attack dogs industriously at work:
      "If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discuss policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister's ideas and proposals. Hence, a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity." 
      MP Lim Wee Kiak apologises for comments on pay
      [IMG URL]

      Quote:
      IC re-registration at age 55 to be compulsory from January
      SINGAPORE — From January next year, Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PR) will have to re-register for their National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) when they reach age 55, so that data such as photos can be updated.
      By Faris Mokhtar - 14November 2016
      SINGAPORE — From January next year, Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PR) will have to re-register for their National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) when they reach age 55, so that data such as photos can be updated.

      This is in addition to the current NRIC registration at age 15 and re-registration at age 30, said the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Monday (Nov 14). But those who received a replacement NRIC within 10 years before their 55th birthday will be exempt.

      “As NRIC holders get older, the photographs on the NRIC will become outdated. This may cause difficulties in identification, particularly for the elderly. Besides possible inconvenience to the NRIC holders, this may also lead to security risks because the authorities may not be able to correctly identify an individual based on his outdated photograph,” said the ICA in a statement announcing the move.

      If an NRIC is found by another person, he or she could assume the identity of the rightful cardholder, said the ICA’s deputy director of Citizen Services Chui Wai Cheng on Monday. “It could be a financial transaction or an attempt to purchase goods and services (by) assuming the identity of another person,” she added.

      TODAY understands that the ICA has received reports of such cases but does not track the numbers.

      Letters will be sent out to those affected a month before they turn 55, and they have one year to re-register for their new NRIC. The subsidised re-registration fee at age 55 is S$10 for citizens and S$50 for PRs — the same as fees for current registration exercises at age 15 and 30.

      As re-registration is mandatory, failing to do so is an offence under the National Registration Act. Offenders can be fined up to S$5,000 or jailed up to five years or punished with both, if convicted.

      For its part, the ICA will send out reminder letters, six and nine months after the NRIC holder turns 55 years old, asking the individual to re-register if he or she has not done so.

      For those who are bedridden and unable to register in person, family members can submit a request to the ICA to make a home visit for re-registration and provide a doctor’s note on the person’s medical condition.

      For those who have turned 55 before 2017, NRIC re-registration will be optional. This group can do so through an exercise that will start from 2018, details of which will be announced next year.

      Meanwhile, those who have re-registered at the 30-year mark and have not turned 55, but feel that their NRIC photos do not resemble their current appearance, can also re-apply for a new NRIC. But they will not be able to enjoy the subsidised re-registration fee and will have to bear the normal fee of S$60.

      And, from next year, first-time NRIC applicants and those who are re-registering will also have their iris images taken, after laws were passed in Parliament last Thursday allowing the Government to do this in a bid to strengthen identity verification at immigration checkpoints.

      Senior Minister of State Desmond Lee said that the authorities will progressively roll out iris-scanning technology at the country’s checkpoints in the next two years.

      http://www.todayonline.com/singapore...-register-nric
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • MOM reckless and irresponsible to leave worker's safety to charity/ chance.

      "Insurance is only scrutinised by the authorities when the work-pass term starts, according to Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) executive director Bernard Menon. Afterwards, it is managed as a contractual relationship between employer and insurer.

      A failure to service the insurance policy or other lapses might go unnoticed until something befalls the worker."


      Shouldn't the presence of valid insurance be a criteria toward renewal of foreign worker levy annually? Or at least for the entire duration in which the worker's work permit is valid? Why does MOM leave the issue of valid worker insurance coverage to charity or chance? Is MOM's sole interest only in the timely payment of work permit levies?

      Isn't MOM aware that a valid insurance coverage is crucial towards ensuring worker's safety since it makes business sense for the insurance company to supervise and even contribute towards the safety aspect of work environment since it is ccontractually liable to compensate workers for any damages or injuries they should sustain?

      MOM lackadaisical approach to ensuring valid work insurance plans for all blue collar/ high injury risk workers, not least the levy paying foreign labourers only goes to show MOM's lack of concern for people's welfare.

      If the MOM finds it too inconvenient to police the validity of worker's work insurance policies, then MOM should operate a work injury compensation fund so that no valid injury claim would remain uncompensated after 2yrs like that of Mr Tang Zengshun.

      MOM officers sit in ivory towers on expensive Herman Miller chairs brand chairs costing in excess of $570 each. It is sad that the only thing that MOM officers is concerned with is their own stomach (and comforts): workers are treated like dirt.



      Quote:
      Injured worker's long wait for payout
      Mr Tang was awarded more than $122,800 in injury compensation and unpaid wages, but has yet to be paid.

      Mr Tang was awarded more than $122,800 in injury compensation and unpaid wages, but has yet to be paid.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
      PUBLISHED: 18July 2016.
      Firm has not paid compensation after 2 years as it had not insured worker, says director
      Olivia Ho
      A workplace accident left Chinese national Tang Zengshun blind in one eye. But nearly two years later, he has yet to get a cent in compensation from his employer.

      Last September, a labour court granted the 51-year-old construction worker $93,000 in compensation over the accident. However, his employer, construction company Yao Xing, did not pay up.

      Last Wednesday, the amount was increased to more than $122,800 in injury compensation and lost wages and Yao Xing was given 21 days to stump up the money.



      But the construction company's director, Mr Lu Xiuqi, claims he cannot afford the payout because he had not insured the worker.

      If he fails to pay up in time, he could be prosecuted by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) and fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to a year, or both.

      In October 2014, Mr Tang had been working on the renovation of a terraced house in Jurong West.

      DESTITUTE

      I can't do the work I used to... My home is gone. I have nothing left.

      MR TANG ZENGSHUN, an injured construction worker who is waiting for compensation. His village in Jiangsu, China, was hit by floods earlier this month.
      Another worker on the scaffolding above him was using a rivet gun, and as Mr Tang looked up, a piece of metal from the gun fell into his left eye, slicing through the cornea.

      He underwent surgery at Changi General Hospital and again at Singapore General Hospital. But last January, his left eye became infected and vision was eventually lost.

      A spokesman for Healthserve, one of the migrant worker groups supporting Mr Tang, said such a delay is unusual. In most work injury cases its assists with, the employer usually pays up within a couple of months.

      An MOM spokesman said investigations revealed that Yao Xing did not have a valid insurance policy to cover its liabilities as Mr Tang's employer under the Work Injury Compensation Act (Wica).

      Employers are legally required to buy Wica insurance for foreign workers to secure their work permit. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $10,000, up to a year's jail, or both.

      Insurance is only scrutinised by the authorities when the work-pass term starts, according to Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) executive director Bernard Menon. Afterwards, it is managed as a contractual relationship between employer and insurer.

      A failure to service the insurance policy or other lapses might go unnoticed until something befalls the worker.

      The MOM convicted one employer for not insuring workers last year, down from two in 2014 and four in 2013.

      In a letter to MOM's Work Injury Department in January, Yao Xing's Mr Lu said it is beyond the firm's means to pay Mr Tang's compensation or medical fees.

      He also claimed Mr Tang's condition was partly due to "possible neglect" on the part of doctors in the hospitals that treated him, and said he had lodged a complaint with the Singapore Medical Council.

      The Straits Times was unable to reach Mr Lu for further comment.

      Migrant worker groups said they see a handful of cases each year in which an injured worker is uninsured, but this could be just the tip of the iceberg.

      Humanitarian Organisation of Migration Economics operations manager Luke Tan has seen 10 such cases this year. He said these are of "serious concern" as the injured workers are likely to end up going home without compensation.

      The MWC, which has sheltered Mr Tang for the past nine months, saw one other such case this year. The worker was owed $32,000, but ended up accepting a smaller sum and has since left Singapore.

      Mr Tang is not sure he can stay in limbo for how much longer.

      Floods hit his village in Jiangsu earlier this month, and he has lost touch with his family. He worries about them, especially his 90-year-old mother and grandson, three. "I can't do the work I used to," he said. "My home is gone. I have nothing left."

      http://www.straitstimes.com/singapor...ait-for-payout
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • The disaster of same sex marriage for Singapore:
      HIGH HIV SEXUAL TRANSMISSION RISKS:
      Quote:
      HIV transmission risk during anal sex 18 times higher than during vaginal sex
      Roger Pebody, Published: 28 June 2010
      ..
      The risk of HIV transmission during anal intercourse may be around18 times greater than during vaginal intercourse, according to the results of a meta-analysis published online ahead of print in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
      ...
      http://www.aidsmap.com/HIV-transmiss.../page/1446187/
      Since non- consumation of marriage is reason for annulment of marriage, then same sex marriage OBVIOUSLY = encouragement of anus sex (2 males) or penetration with foreign objects/ other appendage (2 females or 2 males): which is highly abnormal if not beastly behaviour with high risk of injuries if not HIV. (Increased ambulance attendance to physical injuries, increased HIV burden on healthcare system since HIV is a complicated LIFE LONG contagious disease.

      Mom's with HIV can pass HIV to kid and also cannot breast feed (transmission risk) resulting in the kid being very much dependent on state welfare support for food and healthcare (mom would be poor cos HIV is expensive disease to treat).

      Kid might grow up thinking anus sex is normal and even get HIV from anus sex in teenage years (latch key kids).

      Same sex spouse might get HIV resulting in healthy spouse taking family leave further hurting productivity of his/ her employer resulting in reduced investments in Singapore economy.

      HDB (public housing) gives couples a generous subsidy for new apartment ostensibly on the pretext that with a home, the couple can procreate and boost Singapore's birth rates which are now in dire straits. Same sex marriage couples would get upset if they cannot receive such generous subsidies, then again, why promise them a license to marry then deprive them of housing subsidies? Better to make the facts clear at the beginning.

      Lastly, courts would be plagued with marital issues (divorce due to non-consumation by anus sex) or whatever kind of ritual is fashionable between homosexual couples. Judges would waste much time deciphering such odd disputes between same sex couples. Teachers would also be confused with new social conventions if a child has two daddy's or two mummies: whom to call for discipline issues, whom to call if a teenage girl has a 'pte issue', what if both daddies are on reservist and it is meet the teacher day? Who will teach a boy enlisting for NS about the inns and outs if he has two mummies?

      What happens if each party independently decides to have a kid (buy sperm or via paid surrogate woman for male couples), would these folks reproduce at a ridiculous rate (a male can impregnate one surrogate each night as long as he has the $$$ to pay for her service): who is responsible for the child if the same sex couple divorces: the one who paid for the surrogacy(male payer) or the one who delivered the child (female couples). What happens if the surrogate mom decides that 2 dad's are an unhealthy family and now wants custody of the kid for his/ her bemifit? What happens to the mini army when the $$$ runs out?

      When the kid is in his/her teenage years, can he sue the government of negligence for not providing the 'correct' home environment especially if one or both parents have died from HIV leaving the kid orphaned? If the kid, having passed statutory age has consensual anus sex with his/ her dad: is that okay?

      The fact that a vast majority of HIV cases in Singapore are amongst homosexual people, besides alluding to the fact that anus sex is a highly dangerous and reckless act also suggest that homosexual people are more likely have multiple sex partners: this making them unsuitable for marriage certification in the first place since fidelity is a significant pillar of marriage.

      Would Singapore need more foreigner influx for population replacement as anus sex yields no kids? Will our national reserves, elected president not withstanding (he could well be a homosexual bank ex-CEO), be exhausted on HIV related healthcare costs and welfare for orphaned kids and broken families?

      These are all questions to be answered by those pink dot movement people who might want to distribute certificates of marriage to their friends or family like girl guide cookies. No need to make this world more complicated, crazy and confused than it already is...
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Smile Re: [Elected Presidency]: Some would s¢rap system altogether

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by sukhoi27 View Post
      Thread source (A1): Re: [Elected Presidency]: Some would s¢rap system altogether
      Its crazy for a so-called advance country like Singapore to have an elected President that has no majority support i.e. 64.8% people voted against him, and yet, our Parliament agreed for him to sign and pass law and regulation. 
      It leaves future generation to question the intelligence of our present leaders.. 

      In fact, he shouldnt sign anything at all.
      Guess that is a good reason why LHL says existence of EP is 'non-negotiable'. Current feedback process is just wayang show to convince minorities that they have not been forgotten but with the ulterior motive of just window-dressing the EP by increasing the EP popular vote counts through an arbitrary and artificial qualification scheme which would not stand the test of time.

      One lie begets another and it all began with GRC system which claimed to be inclusive to minorities but we all know that minorities would be MUCH BETTER SERVED with full SMC system of elections with the 'insurance' of NCMP and NMP system for minority representation: e.g. minimum minority representation in parliament via top up with most popular minority race NCMP and the various racial and religious groups (Bhuddist, Christian, Islam, Malay, Eurasian, Indian etc appointing their respective represents NMP in parliament).

      Now, focus is on REDUCING the possible number of candidates by tightening the qualification criteria so that hopefully, with much fewer or just 2 gahmen appointed competing candidates, every 'elected' President from now on will have > 50% popular citizen support unlike Dr Tony Tan whom (as U say), only 35.2% of people actually support. I.e.: the whole 'discussion' process is really just about window-dressing/ a big WAYANG show...
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • [Elected Presidency]: Some would s¢rap system altogether
      They see symbolic, unifying role as being at odds with custodian responsibilities
      ST, Sunday Times pg. B4, 29May2016.

      The swearing-in ceremony for Singapore's seventh President and third elected President, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, in the State Room of the Istana on Sept, 1, 2011. Among the suggestions floated at the public hearings held by the Constitutional Commission is a system where Parliament would elect the president, and a separate Council For Review would be set up to safeguard Singapore's reserves, with the chairman of the council elected by voters.ST FILE PHOTO

      While the Constitutional Commission's review parameters have three specific aspects - eligibility criteria, the role of presidential advisers, and providing for minority races - a fourth, left-of-field suggestion was also raised.
      At the public hearings held by the commission, some played the devil's advocate and said the elected presidency should be s¢rapped altogether. Some suggested returning to the original system of having a nominated president, and radically changing the election procedure.
      The ideas surfaced even though Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had made it clear that such proposals would not be on the table.
      Announcing the impending review at the opening of Parliament in January, he said: "The President must remain an elected office. If the President is not elected, he will lack the mandate to wield his custodial powers."

      SEPARATE ROLES
      However, this did not stop Raffles Medical Group executive chairman Loo Choon Yong from saying, at one of the hearings, that the president should not be expected to shoulder the dual tasks of being both a ceremonial head as well as guardian of Singapore's reserves.
      As he put it, it is unrealistic to expect one person to be a unifying force as the symbolic head of state, and play what is essentially a divisive role if he has to stand up to the government in his role of custodian of the national reserves.
      "You want this guy to be the nice guy, unifier, and then you want him to have what it takes to tell a roguish prime minister, 'Hey, leave our assets alone.' I think these (requirements) call for different chemistries," Dr Loo said.
      To resolve this contradiction, both roles should be separated, he said, advocating a return to the pre-1991 system when the president was elected by Parliament, but with a twist.
      Under his proposal, Parliament would elect the president, and a separate Council For Review would be set up to safeguard Singapore's reserves, with the chairman of the council elected by voters.
      In this scenario, the president's role would largely be ceremonial and administrative - similar to the monarch in Britain, whose executive powers are limited by the Constitution. He would focus on receiving foreign diplomats, gracing important functions, and signing laws into effect.

      MINORITY REPRESENTATION
      Returning to the old system would also allow Parliament to balance the responsibilities of the elected presidency with the need to ensure that Singapore has a minority president from time to time, said constitutional law expert Kevin Tan.
      To him, it was "no accident" that Singapore's first president was Mr Yusof Ishak, a Malay. He was followed by Eurasian Benjamin Sheares, then an Indian president, Mr C. V. Devan Nair, and after that, a Chinese president, Mr Wee Kim Wee. An elected system would not be able to guarantee this important aspect of the presidency, he said.

      POLITICAL PROCESS, NON-POLITICAL ROLE
      Making the presidency an elected office also introduced politics into the mix, said lawyer Rey Foo.
      Several people at the hearing said the elected president is selected through a political process, even if the office itself is meant to be non-political and non-partisan. To win the election, candidates would have to campaign for votes, make speeches and promote themselves.
      Of course, not all the presidential elections have been contested. Of the four polls held since 1993, two were uncontested. But the last presidential election in 2011 was so politicised that some candidates made unrealistic promises to gain traction with voters, several people said.
      Out of the four candidates, two made spending promises outside the president's powers. They pledged to press for an allowance for the elderly, and to channel funds to schools and hospitals if they were to approve spending from the reserves, for instance.
      This confused voters, especially some who seemed to believe that the president had the power to provide checks and balance on all government matters, said Dr Loo.
      To avoid this, in-house legal officer Edwin Yeo proposed a "hybrid system", combining aspects of appointing and electing a president.
      He suggested that a presidential council could be set up to identify one candidate, in consultation with the prime minister. After the candidate is approved by Parliament, Singaporeans would vote for him by casting "yes" or "no" ballots. This avoids the divisiveness of pitting candidates against one another, he said.

      NO TURNING BACK?
      Then again, several commission members wondered if Singaporeans today could accept a return to the old way of having Parliament elect a president.
      "We are in the world of participation now. Individuals want to participate and they want to have a say," said Professor Chan Heng Chee, chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
      Commission members also said that an elected president derived his "moral authority" from the people's mandate, and would be seen as independent.
      On the other hand, some might argue that since Parliament comprises elected representatives, there is an embedded mandate in getting the House to choose a president.
      Dr Tan said "just because someone is nominated and not elected does not deprive him of his independence", adding that people appointed to key roles would typically act accordingly.
      For Dr Loo, the review is an opportune time to consider the adoption of a simpler system.
      He said that given the 46 amendments to the Constitution over the last 25 years that reduced the President's custodial powers, the constant recalibrations showed that "combining these two jobs into one is not the best (move)". His parting shot: "Do it courageously."

      CONTRADICTORY DEMANDS
      You want this guy to be the nice guy, unifier, and then you want him to have what it takes to tell a roguish prime minister, 'Hey, leave our assets alone.' I think these (requirements) call for different chemistries.
      RAFFLES MEDICAL GROUP EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN LOO CHOON YONG, on what's expected of an elected president.
      Tham Yuen-C
      http://www.straitstimes.com/politics...tem-altogether
      http://tinyurl.com/zso34pt
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Medishield-life licenses smokers to smoke EVEN MORE than ever before.


      As I understand, where critical illness insurance is concerned, smokers have to pay premiums upwards of 50% loading. With the appended website stating: "At age 20, the percentage difference is 50%, while at age 65, the percentage difference increases to 71%."

      Premiums for prudential's 'Early Crisis Cover Provider' which can be found @http://s1123.photobucket.com/user/PR...arges.png.html and seems to follow the same loading trend thereabout.

      However, for medishield-life (compulsory health insurance scheme), there is zero loading for smokers. Indeed, there is zero incentive awarded to Singaporeans who strive to keep healthy and fit, suffice to say, those with pre-existing disease not already covered by medishield are charged an extra 30% in premiums for the first 10 years. (30% is only half of the market rate loading for a currently 'healthy' smoker of 50-71% btw).

      Oddly, the MOH seems more intent on punishing those who don't or are late in their medishield-life premiums payments, even jailing them: as if a 17% late payment penalty isn't enoughwithout any concern for the original cause of high hospitalization bills in the first place: preventable lifestyle diseases caused by overeating, smoking, lack of exercise, alcohol over consumption, illicit drugs and the like. Perhaps the Minister of Health is smoked out by the smoke exhaled by smokers. Why else is he putting the cart before the horse (giving smokers a 'discount' but punishing the health conscious): (possibly the Minister of Health is a closet smoker: I wouldn't know).

      Whatever the case, the message of medishield-life seems clear: it is a gahmen policy to BENEFIT smokers at the expense of everyone else. Smokers and the health 'unconscious' can smoke all that they want, eat all the salty, sugary, low nutrition stuff, get drunk n wasted, a sexual orgy or two, laugh at other's exercising and expect to be served first when one needs a heart bypass or two; early retirement plus welfare payments due to needing dialysis 3 times a week: why not? 

      More people will feel stressed by high medishield-life premiums due to the Minister of Health giving smokers and other health 'unconscious' Singaporeans a better deal than what any private/ international insurer can offer: perhaps this punishing COMPULSORY $ insurance premiums would push more borderline health conscious persons into the dark side of smoking/ drugs/ alcohol as a result.

      It will not be long before healthcare costs of Singaporeans balloons way over the moon.

      If smokers and other health 'unconscious' folk do not have to pay 50-71% more in premiums at least (or the health conscious + fit be given equivalent discounts), please BAN cigarettes, sugary drinks, people with BMI>30 from any entertainment complex, close down geylang brothels, make STD a crime, limit consumption of alcoholic beverage to one unit per person per day etc like they ban ICE, heroin/ marijuana/ corruption...

      Or else, just give the proven health conscious a decent discount (30%): a more do-able option. 

      Quote:
      Sunday, 2 August 2015
      The Insurance Cost of Being a Smoker
      Last week, I blogged about the cost of buying insurance at different ages. This week, we will discuss the insurance cost of being a smoker.

      The chart below shows the difference in annual premiums for a level term insurance with critical illness benefits for a male with a sum assured of $1 million covering until 70 years old. Using age 25 as an example, a non-smoker would pay $3,149 in annual premiums for 45 years until age 70, while a smoker would pay $4,936. The difference is $1,787, or 57% more. The total premiums payable over the whole duration of the policy is $80,415 more for the smoker.

      Difference in Insurance Premiums for Non-Smokers and Smokers

      The percentage difference in annual premiums between non-smokers and smokers generally increases with age. At age 20, the percentage difference is 50%, while at age 65, the percentage difference increases to 71%. Thus, from an insurance point of view, it pays to quit smoking. If you have friends who are smokers, please share this blog post with them.

      The above analysis is carried out based on level term insurance. There are other insurance products such as whole-life, reducing term and endowment insurance available on compareFIRST.sg. You can carry out similar analysis to determine how much you could save in insurance premiums by quitting smoking!

      http://boringinvestor.blogspot.sg/20...ng-smoker.html
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Blunt home value based means testing divides families and dampens birth rate of Singaporeans
      Oddly, when challenged, Ms Sim Ann (SMS Finance) said "... targeted schemes form “only a small part” of the total benefits that Singaporeans, including private-property dwellers, receive"...

      Is she bending the truth when we all know that GST credits, utilities rebates, education bursaries, medical subsidies (ward charges, CHAS card/ medishield-life premium subsidy), workfare, workfare transport concession, silver support scheme and almost ALL community support schemes (nursing home, home nursing foundation etc) are means tested with 'Annual value (AV) of home' being a core criteria in means testing?

      In today's computer age whereby (CNA, 25Feb2016) 'Satellite-based ERP to be ready by 2020, with S$556m contract awarded', surely, a more appropriate per-capita AV calculation cannot be too much to be expected from a "first class political leadership"

      (per capita AV of home is the AV of residence divided by the number of Singaporeans/ PRs residing at the address (owner, family + tenant etc)).

      The cost of not upgrading the blunt AV system of means testing include:
      1) Dividing families. 
      - Children are less likely to stay with parents not because of personality differences but because they need to 'downgrade' to a smaller HDB flat to be able to receive government means tested subsidies such as GST credits, utilities rebates, CHAS/ medishield-life premium subsidies, reduced property maintenance + conservancy fees due to higher gahmen subsidies for smaller units. Retired owner-parents who now feel burdened by inflation linked cost of living pressures and in need of gahmen subsidies for healthcare, siver-support $$$, higher GST rebate payouts etc are thus tempted to kick their kids and grandma out of the home so as to downgrade to a smaller HDB flat (to gain more access to such subsidies/ benefits).
      There is thus little logic for the majority of singles/ newlyweds to stay apart from their parents except for the pressure of gahmen policy which divides many families who if given the choice would have prefered to stay united.
      Many newlywed children, once burdened with the mortgage payments for their new HDB flat, find it difficult to find time to be with their parents possibly resulting in strained family ties. The grandkids also cannot remember grandma's name.

      2) Decrease in birth rates:
      - It is already VERY expensive to bring up kids in Singapore, it seems a double whammy as just as the kids are growing up and need more space to themselves (boys and girls might want a room each to themselves), parents have to weigh their higher costs of upkeep (education, daily needs) plus the costs of a bigger HDB flat versus the loss of multiple gahmen subsidies ranging from educational bursaries to healthcare (CHAS card/ medishield-life premiums) for the kids to GST credits + utility rebate reductions affecting the entire family. Some families survive the ordeal whilst others find themselves sandwiched due to obsolete/ blunderbuss gahmen means testing policy, with their subsequent negativity putting the brakes on the child rearing intentions of all couples around them.

      The Singapore gahmen claims to have the welfare of all Singaporeans, old, young and yet to be born at heart, but turns a blind eye to the pain that their outdated, obsolete and inaccurate method of means testing is causing. 

      By the time too many Singaporeans have fallen through the enlarging cracks, maybe the PAP themselves will fall through too... and then a new dawn of politics in Singapore is born.

      Quote:
      Annual value of home ‘best available proxy’ in means-testing
      SINGAPORE — The annual value of one’s home is not a perfect measure of wealth, but it remains the “best available proxy” in helping the Government to determine eligibility for its social-support schemes, Senior Minister of State for Finance Sim Ann said yesterday.
      12 April 2016.
      SINGAPORE — The annual value of one’s home is not a perfect measure of wealth, but it remains the “best available proxy” in helping the Government to determine eligibility for its social-support schemes, Senior Minister of State for Finance Sim Ann said yesterday.

      Furthermore, as this data does not need to be separately collected, using it allows the Government to deliver benefits, such as the GST Voucher, to recipients automatically without their having to sign up for them, she added yesterday at the Ministry of Finance’s Committee of Supply debate.

      Ms Sim also noted that targeted schemes form “only a small part” of the total benefits that Singaporeans, including private-property dwellers, receive. These include broad-based schemes such as healthcare, education and training subsidies such as the SkillsFuture credit, marriage and parenthood package, lower foreign domestic worker levies for those with young children or elderly, as well as senior citizen transport concession.

      She was responding to Mr Edwin Tong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Marine Parade GRC, who suggested the Government review its means-testing criteria so those who require assistance do not fall through the cracks. For instance, he said there are some living in private estates who may have little or no regular income. But because of the “good annual value” of their homes, they do not qualify for many of the social schemes that they might need to get by.

      “To this group of people, annual value is indeed something of a misnomer. And it is really no answer to tell these people that they should sell their homes and live off the remaining proceeds of the sale.

      We will only be dislocating many of them from their homes, the environment they are comfortable with, and this would directly undermine efforts at fostering social fabric within our communities here,” Mr Tong said.

      His sentiment echoed that of other MPs such as Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC) and Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten SMC) who, during the Budget debate last week, urged the Government to remove housing type as a criterion for the Silver Support Scheme.

      Ms Sim said appeals by those “who are in need and in exceptional circumstances” will be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis. “We will continue to review our means-testing criteria across all schemes to ensure that our assistance is targeted at those who need (it) most,” she added. 

      Lee Yen Nee

      http://www.todayonline.com/business/...-means-testing
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Re: SAF needs to stop treating NSmen like slaves/ mercenaries if Singapore is to defe

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by walaneh
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Bic_cherry
      Thread source: (SGtalk): SAF needs to stop treating NSmen like slaves/ mercenaries if Singapore is to defend herself successfully.
      ...
      This kind of blatant, inequitable double standard treatment will certainly severely penalize NSmen who are retrenched, studying, between jobs, sabbatical leave, house husbands, taking care of ill relatives, unstable income source or paid lump sum fees at intervals with no formal documentation, project based work in across different continents, structurally under-employed, anyone without black-white proof of regular salary/ too onerous to declare locally, un/ underpaid due to poor-business/ failure etc and cause NSmen to view the SAF as an economic tool/ device to prop up GDP statistics at all costs: thus subjugating the professionalism of a robust fighting force to the short term concern of boosting commercial (GDP) statistics.
      ...
      walaneh! :shock
      Reservists are supposed to be employed liao got income liao mah! :worried
      As mentioned, for want of a more equitable remuneration scheme which recognises the actual NSmen efforts towards contributing to the security of Singapore as measured by the appointments in NS he has obtained etc (as quoted above but I tidy it up here for U), the following less commercially active NSmen receive the short end of the stick due to unfair NS remuneration policies which myopically reward immediate commercial profit to the detriment of long term beneficial outcomes as defined as follows:
      Business owners/ employees temporarily sacrificing some/ all salary to keep business afloat financially: additional hardship due to SAF penalizing the individuals for commercial unprofitability even if it is necessary to tide a business through economic downturn etc.
      Individuals who do not receive documented financial reward for bona fide reasonslike studies, taking care of ill relatives, home-makers, on sabbatical leave, retrenched, employment abroad, salary too low/ onerous to declare to income tax (small scale pte tuition to fund education) or not paying medisave due to other important exigencies etc which are an ordinary part of life (sick relative) and are important social/ intangible activities achieving greater future good: these people are disincentivized due to financially biased SAF reservist remuneration policies to the probable detriment of future good.
      - The fear of individuals to follow their calling/ change jobs due to fear of suffering financial loss during reservist since one's value is measured in purely financial terms by mercenary SAFresulting in job stress and eventual structural unemployment due to unwarranted fear of following one's calling, broken families, higher cancer rates due to stress: eventual breakdown of entire society from such unnecessary stress caused by myopic, outdated, clumsy, blunderbuss SAF reservist remuneration policies.
      - Worse of all is Singaporeans trying to outsmart the gahmen by feigning sickness/ requesting excuse for every insignificant medical ailment to the extent that >60% have in fact declared themselves unfit as soldiers (cannot even take running test): this 60% is public knowledge BTW: and it simply reveals to a serious degree how sneaky Singaporeans are and how much they lack integrity.

      My suggestion is to review the reservist remuneration scheme to a single equitable measure (pro-rata regular salary for the respect rank/appointment is one) to ensure cohesion and equity across the board (the current lack of: being a source of cynicism by new enlistees most of whom are already well cognisant of what I am now writing) as part of the continuous review/ improvement process to keep up with the times, otherwise, the SAF will become a liability to Singapore, an organisation which stifles progress and divides society: the trojan horse that will make Singapore surrender to its foes as distrust and disunity FROM WITHIN makes Singapore UNABLE to respond decisively nor cohesively.
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • SAF needs to stop treating NSmen like slaves/ mercenaries if Singapore is to defend herself successfully.

      It is absurd that SAF reservist remuneration schemes seems to discredit the objective military appointments/ performance of NSmen gleaned from their 2.5yrs of NSF training experience and prefers to remunerate NSmen in a very biased, subjective manner based upon their civilian salaries (commercial worth), as if SAF were some medieval colonial naval entity heavily involved in slave trading, the employment of mercenaries and other immoral/ illicit activities (e.g. the kidnapping slaves from Africa, British India Company forcibly importing Opium into China).

      I say this because for SAF to remain a cohesive fighting force of professional and committed men of at least 2yrs full time military training, SAF has to professionalise/ personalise its NSmen remuneration schemes, rather than irresponsibly attach a reservist soldier's value to his commercial value: since this only encourages generations of NSmen to find excuses to downgrade/ avoid military liabilities in lieu of striving for a higher civilian salary, as evidenced in the fact that an unbelievable >60% of NSmen have since successfully applied for medical downgrades, so serious, "Vast majority of NSmen not even fit to take physical fitness test(?let alone able to pass it?).".

      It is my suspicion that the currently irrelevant and unmeritocratic way in which Singaporean NSmen are remunerated severely distorts the values and objectives of the SAF to the extent that many see the SAF as designed to defend the commercial interest of the rich and affluent rather than the welfare and wellbeing of all Singaporeans: since by current reservist remuneration criteria, lower regular waged NSmen get the short end of the stick (no matter if they has worked hard during NSF or serve in critical high risk/ responsibility duties in NS).

      I thus suggest that for all bonafide NSmen trainings, test/ examinations not of a remedial/ punitive nature, a minimum pro-rata of the equivalent ranked/ appointment regular serviceman salary be paid and the concept of make up pay be retired. (WRT remedial training/ re-test due to poor performance/ failure to perform to defined standards, only the usual service pay ought be paid).

      I reference the following facts to define my case:
      According to 'Overview of Operationally Ready National Serviceman (NSmen) Payment': 'Service Pay': ...The NSman will be paid pro-rated service pay depending on the duration of his NS training. A minimum sum equivalent to half-day service pay will be paid for NS activity of 4 hours or less.http://www.ns.sg/cs/content/eService..._overview.html

      The following slide is sourced from http://www.ns.sg/cs/content/eService...ing_slides.pdf , titled: 'NSmen Payments Matters', Updated in Jun 15, NSmen Payments Centre, MINDEF Shared Services)


      In essence, I suspect that not few NSmen are indeed being paid BOTH service pay as well as their normal full monthly salaries by their companies (company claims this from SAF but SAF does not reclaim service pay from NSman) resulting in a significantly biased remuneration scheme which can only be better explained with the example of SAF being a medieval corporate entity, with subjects(NSmen) being divided into 2 distinct classes of slaves (only paid pittance 'service-pay/ allowance') vs the mercenaries (receive their hourly ransome PLUS allowance).

      This kind of blatant, inequitable double standard treatment will certainly severely penalize NSmen who are retrenched, studying, between jobs, sabbatical leave, house husbands, taking care of ill relatives, unstable income source or paid lump sum fees at intervals with no formal documentation, project based work in across different continents, structurally under-employed, anyone without black-white proof of regular salary/ too onerous to declare locally, un/ underpaid due to poor-business/ failure etc and cause NSmen to view the SAF as an economic tool/ device to prop up GDP statistics at all costs: thus subjugating the professionalism of a robust fighting force to the short term concern of boosting commercial (GDP) statistics.

      The internet seems pretty rife with discussions along the lines, e.g. of "Minimum pay(salary) to evade ICT"

      It is thus my heartfelt suggestion that in objective recognition for an NSman's sweat and toil during his 2-2.5yrs of NS fulltime (NSF) training, for whatever bonafide reservist test, trainings or courses and NSman should undergo, the pro rata equivalent of a regular serviceman's salary ought be paid in recognition for the skill and sacrifices an NSman has made.

      Let the following negative reactions to NS be the exception rather than the norm that the majority of lower wage earning NSmen feel inside, let every Singaporean not feel shortchanged by NS. Lower wage Singaporeans should not have their past military experience discounted and high wage Singaporeans should not use NS as an opportunity to profit more than deserved. 

      Young NSF recruit enlistees must enter with the mindset that no matter what their future economic fortunes/ misfortunes, they would always be equitably remunerated for their reservist postings/ trainings and that exaggerating medical conditions to evade reservist liabilities in lieu improving one's commercial value does not pay.
      Where NSmen perceive SAF as a professional organisation both in conduct and in remuneration of NSmen, a good reputation of SAF amongst NSmen would automatically follow.
      [pict source](alt photo reserve).

      [img source]

      BTW:
      Since NS is a duty and by definition involuntary, all reservists ought to be compensated pro-rata the equivalent regular serviceman (in equivalent appointment) salary, whatever one earns in civilian job capacity ought to be discounted for the 2 weeks or so reservist service and the economically well off shouldn't grumble but either perform the duties to their best ability or suggest to their manpower officer how NS could be better diversified and themselves be better deployed to perhaps new NS vocations serving the community at large: e.g. as accountants for charities, nurses and therapist in hospitals or even the training in new vocations to adopt new appoints during reservist e.g. logistics officer for someone now employed as logistician etc etc:
      [pict source]


      (PS: All info referenced is official released/ publicly available and retrieved via Google search in internet, no secret military info referenced/ revealed here).
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • AGC is right to prosecute Kong Hee and gang to the fullest extent of the law

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by SIMMTANN View Post
      Source thread (A1): City Harvest Church appeal: Case to be heard in September

      This scriptural passage you quoted has also been used often by well-scrubbed straight arrows, both religious and irreligious, to highlight the fact that all Homo sapiens are not sinless. They’re effectively telling moralists to get off their high horse while the Lord Jesus kind of challenged people to cast a stone at a sinner if they thought they were without sin.

      The parable of ‘tossing stones at a sinner’ makes a moral or spiritual point - avoid making moral judgements of your fellows. Not incidentally, only Jesus has the moral authority to judge humans since He’s faultless, and He’s made the supreme sacrifice for humankind. It’s one of the central tenets of the Christian faith that devotees with absolutist belief believe with every fibre of their being.

      Of course, the absoluteness of their certainty is pooh-poohed by atheists and intolerant bigots. Here, what we write is reflective of our attitudes and feelings. It quickly became clear those of us who loathe the practitioneers of prosperity gospel can’t wait to see them thrown in jail quick and left to rot. Devoured by the spirit of unforgiveness, they just don’t believe justice has been served in this case.
      Incidentally, I DO NOT think that AGC is just acceeding to the haters of prosperity gospel but the wider implications to national security. Pls note that all religious groups/ organisations here are registered as charitable societies, a privileged registration class that is property, income and perhaps even GST tax exempt (even my visit to public pool is GST taxed though exercise is good for society (reduces my Medishield-life claims against state)): PS: ( I believe that due to income + GST tax exemptions, IRAS does not watch charities that closely): thus,the gahmen/ citizenry give religious charities a very wide berth but onus is on charities to act extra TRANSPARENTLY and EXEMPLARILY: I.e. to be beacons of good conduct for all society to follow.

      But City Harvest Church not only betrayed the trust of the SG gahmen, they also made deliberate and egregious steps to hide their dishonesty from both the gahmen and their flock (round tripping etc). PS Kong Hee should have known better as the gahmen's generous tax incentives for all religious institutions is premised upon their sacred duty to uphold morals like transparency, honesty etc for the rest of Singapore to follow.

      But Kong Hee decided to play tricks with the authorities and surrounded himself with handsomely rewarded yes-men professionals under his 'spiritual guidance' or on his payroll. Thus instead of being a beacon of moral authority, Kong Hee subjugated his morals to the sought advice of 'puppet professionals' whom he rewarded favourably for: no doubt, the advice that these 'puppet professionals' gave didn't quite pass muster; arguably, implicit in Kong Hee's shopping for advice (legal etc) was the desire to exploit loopholes and skirt the limits of the law.

      The real world danger of religious leaders not being a corner-stone of moral authority but pushing the limits of the law is that religious institutions could then ABUSE their privileged tax/ self regulatory position and fund terrorist organisations the like of ISIS through lax/ opaque accounting methods and vagueness in fund raising objectives/ beneficiaries: where donations towards the construct a physical church building could equally be channelled towards advancing the highly sexed 'musical' carreer of the pastor's own wife.

      If the Church were allowed to produce porn inspired musical videos for financial gain (more tithes to collect, more sexed videos to sell), then the Mosque would likewise be justified to sponsor terrorism for some perverse objective.

      Instead of being God's steward and accepting the Godly assignment of benifiting the community at large, Kong Hee succumbed to the lure of profligate entitlement: to use church building funds to society's detriment: revealing/ exploiting existing loopholes in charity governing laws which might have easily resulted in some other rogue religious organisation raising funds for terrorist like ISIS under the cloak of vagueness/ formlessness.

      AGC is right to prosecute Kong Hee and gang to the fullest extent of the law, and to demand increased transparency and accountability from all religious organisations.

      So to answer U, those who view prosperity gospel preachers with suspicion do not "loathe the practitioneers of prosperity gospel can’t wait to see them thrown in jail quick and left to rot." : we just do not want their cancer of impersonating God to mislead/damage greater society further as they surrender in their morals to the lure of easy power and profit, just as pimps and terrorist harm society very much.

      [IMHO: Real religion is mission to maintain creation(environmentalism etc)/ develope society. Fake religion is preaching 'entitlement profligacy' and cheat people's $$$.]
      __________________
  • bic_cherry's Avatar
    397 posts since Jul '05
    • Singapore: Medishield-life= terminal life support for a BANKRUPT healthcare system?

      As admitted by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong: “If you look around, our investments in health promotion and diseases prevention, I think... it is actually significantly lower than the amount of money we spend on treating diseases... ... .. We need to take a holistic approach towards health promotion, taking into account how can we empower consumers so that they make the right choice” ['Empower consumers with holistic approach to healthcare: Gan Kim Yong', TODAY, 11 Feb,2015]

      The consequence of lifestyle/ preventive healthcare lapse: dire statistics:
      "Singapore has the second-highest proportion of diabetics among developed nations, a new report by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) revealed...10.53 per cent of people in Singapore...Only the United States fared worse..."['Singapore 'has 2nd-highest proportion of diabetics''; ST, 2nd Dec2015]

      - "Last year (2014), about 1,730 people lost the use of their kidneys, up from 1,657 in 2013,... The reason? Singaporeans are getting more obese and more are suffering from diabetes, the main cause of kidney failure when not kept in check." ['A new dialysis patient every 5 hours in S'pore', ST, 10May2015]

      The public healthcare costs of this lapse:
      "The Government's expenditure on health care has almost doubled in just three short years - from $4 billion in FY2011 to $7.5 billion in FY2014.... In Budget 2012, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam projected that health expenditure would hit $8 billion in five years. Today, it is almost there - much faster than projected. " ['Change mindset to curb rising health-care costs in Singapore'; ST, 18Mar 2014]

      From the a/m figures, back of envelope calculation would reveal that between 2011 and 2014, the increase in public healthcare costs ('gahmen expenditure') was $7.5B/$4B= 1.875x. So assuming that the budget has to increase at 1.875x every 3 yrs, then by 2017, the annual expenditure should be $7.5B x 1.875 = $14.06 billion (almost double of Minister Tharman's S$8B projection and frightening considering that Singapore's GDP is around $300B ).


      According to a/m chart 'Healthcare financing 2011-2013' found at '20150516 PAP’s Medishield Life – taking care of our healthcare by taking from our Medisave?', the total balance of all medisave accounts in 2013 was S$64.9B.

      It is thus not unreasonable to suspect that the real reason for the construct of medishield-life would be to obfuscate (and financially compensate for) the gahmen's (expensive) lapse in preventive healthcare policy provisions, and to prevent such negligence from revealing itself either in the form of a gahmen budget deficit or runaway public healthcare costs.

      And so desperate is MOH for $$$/ at avoiding this possibility that they have held Singaporean's personal liberty hostage by making non-payment of medishield-life premiums a jailable offence:"Singaporeans or permanent residents (PRs) who refuse to pay MediShield Life premiums once the universal health insurance scheme is launched later this year could find themselves behind bars if they try to leave the country... .. payment of the outstanding premium to an immigration officer or the police. .. also have to pay a 17 per cent penalty for late payment, as well as any costs incurred in recovering the money." ['MediShield Life: Can pay but won't? Jail, fine on the cards'; MyPaper, 21Jan2015]

      The significance of prodigal MOH contradicting founding father of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew by raiding private medisave accounts on the year of his demise is not lost on those who suspect that MOH will be the Ministry to bankrupt Singapore, and return us to the state we were at SG:zero (SG:0), 
      May we not forget our founder's words that MOH has since unceremoniously disparaged since the onset of compulsory premium payments in Nov2015:
      "My major objective in the early days was to make sure that nobody derails the idea of having individual accounts for CPF and Medisave. Whatever you earn, it’s yours.Because once you have that individual account, any suggestion that you put it into a common pool and everybody takes out from it (as with other welfare systems) is bound to lose you votes. ...Are you prepared to put your money into a common pool, having slogged and built up your CPF nest egg? It’s yours and if you don’t use it, you can leave it to your children or your relatives or whoever you like. Why should you put it into a common pool and everybody draws out at your expense, which is what’s happening in some Western countries? The system has collapsed." ~ From Lee Kuan Yew : Hard truths to keep Singapore going. (Eds Han FK, Z Ibrahim, Chua MH, L Lim, I Low, R Lin, R Chan) Straits Times Press 2011 (pg.170)"

      The advice from ['Change mindset to curb rising health-care costs in Singapore'; ST, 18Mar 2014]"Bad habits like smoking, binge drinking, sedentary lifestyles, and high sugar and fat consumption are still rampant.
      The Ministry of Health is not unaware of this.
      The Health Promotion Board was set up to tackle just this problem.
      Unfortunately, progress is slow, while poor health will snowball as the population ages with little regard to staying fit.
      It would be better if a larger part of health expenditure is spent on prevention rather than treatment, too.
      Another shift that is needed is a move towards better and stronger primary and community care, so that chronic diseases can be kept under control and not result in ever-worsening health.
      And if those two conditions are to be met, a huge mindset change is needed, as a healthy society means people in their 60s and 70s can remain active contributors.
      Then perhaps the increase in health-care spending will not spiral out of control."


      Yet it seems that the MOH's sole solution to the problem is to raid private medisave accounts and jail all who do not pay to MOH their dues... Congratulations MOH, U are well versed in the leadership dictates of the DPRK: i.e. North Korea.

      Reference:
      - "As we shift “left-of-center”, let’s not overcompensate and lose everything that made Singapore what it is today.": ['ARE SINGAPOREANS BEING SET UP FOR DISAPPOINTMENT?', InsightsHealthAssociates; 13Aug2013]
      - Health alert: One in 3 will develop diabetes (The Straits Times, 24February2012, Pg B01)
       Source: Health alert: One in 3 will develop diabetes [Link 1 (SGH)][Link 2]
      - “Healthy Lifestyle May Prevent 86% Of Heart Attacks... 'This reduction in risk corresponded to 18% for the healthy diet, 11% for moderate alcohol consumption, 36% for no smoking, 3% for being physically active, and 12% for having a low abdominal circumference,' the authors wrote': [Åkesson, A et al “Low-risk diet and lifestyle habits in the primary prevention of myocardial infarction in Men” J Am Coll Cardiol 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.06.1190.]

      Disclaimer: not professional statistician, some non-official sources for statistics used.