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Thread: Please post any Election News/Snippets/ Gossips here

  1. #1

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    Default Please post any Election News/Snippets/ Gossips here

    I think the WP thread is sidetracking to becoming election news thread.

    So I open a new thread.

    Say and post anything you want until elections over.

    Once in 5 years, after that no more and must wait another 5 years.

  2. #2

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    [SIZE=5][COLOR=#778888][B]Elitist’ Wee Siew Kim retires from politics[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]
    Controversial PAP MP Wee Siew Kim has retired from politics. He has been a MP in Ang Mo Kio GRC for almost ten years.

    Mr Wee came into public spotlight when his daughter Wee Shu Min made disparaging remarks about a fellow Singaporean Mr Derek Wee on her blog in 2006.

    Mr Wee, 35, a Singaporean who works for a multinational corporation, had written in his blog on Oct 12 that he was concerned about competition from foreign talent and the lack of job opportunities for older workers here, therefore he asked the government should try to be more understanding of such employment woes.

    Ms Wee, then a second year Humanities in Raffles Junior College ridiculed Mr Wee, calling him ‘old’ and ‘under-motivated’ for his views and ended by telling him to ‘get out of my elite uncaring face.’

    Her comments sparked a massive outcry in cyberspace, prompting Mr Wee Siew Kim to issue a half-hearted public apology.

    In a statement released to the media, Wee Siew Kim stood by her “basic point” that the well-educated should get on with challenges in life rather than complain to the government about them.

    Five years later, the situation has worsened with Singapore being flooded by hordes of cheap, low-skilled foreign workers leading to the depressing of wages of ordinary Singaporeans, sky-rocketing cost of living and a widening income gap between the rich and the poor.

  3. #3

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    Watch the clip about Lim Boon Heng titled

    'Minister Lim Boon Heng broke down twice' and 'Lim Boon Heng: "Life is not perfect" '

    He is hinting that in PAP, things are debate behind close doors and not in Parliament because there is a need to save some his colleagues' face.

    I did not know PAP faces are considered sensitive and if so, why bother be politicians and expose to public ?

    Then what is Parliament for ?

    The social problems far outweigh any employment benefits with casinos in front of doorstep.

    Even you do not gamble, your children and grandchildren might gamble.

    It distracts people from employment and create unemployment elsewhere.


    Then he admitted wages will stagnanting and falling and pressured NTUC to pressure government but Tin Pei Ling say income gap not reponsibility of government so who to believe ??

    Tin Pei Ling wins round one.



    People's Action Party (PAP) chairman and Jurong GRC anchor minister Lim Boon Heng made public his retirement plans at the launch of the Jurong Town Council's five-year concept master plan on Sunday.

    Another MP, Wee Siew Kim, will also be stepping down after two terms. Mr Wee is MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC.

    Their retirements make up the total number of 18 PAP MPs who will be stepping aside to give way to younger politicians.

    Mr Lim, who is currently a Minister in the Prime Minister's office, takes care of ageing issues.

    He is also chairman of NTUC's Social Enterprises Development Council, which oversees cooperatives such as FairPrice supermarkets, insurance and training issues.

    However, he has said that he will not be running as a candidate in the presidential election, which must be held by August this year.

    [B]Lim Boon Heng in tears[/B]

    At the unveiling of the seventh batch of PAP's new candidates for the coming general election, Mr Lim got emotional as he answered a question on the likelihood of 'groupthink' within the government.

    He mentioned the topic of casinos, and said that there was no group-think on the casino issue.

    His voice caught in his throat when he said he almost could not make his speech in Parliament, saying it was a very difficult process for him to accept the casino.

    With red, watery eyes, Mr Lim continued by saying that the casino issue was one example that could be quoted to say there was no group-think.

    He also gave another example about how the trade union movement was very concerned about low income.

    He said during the media conference: "We saw wages stagnating, and worse still, we saw wages falling."

    After emphatically saying that there was no group-think on issues such as these, Mr Lim broke into tears again.



    [B][SIZE=7][SIZE=5]Lim Boon Heng’s ’sudden’ retirement more than meets the eye[/SIZE][/SIZE][/B]
    [/SIZE][/SIZE]The ’sudden’ retirement of PAP Chairman and stalwart Lim Boon Heng has taken many Singaporeans and political observers alike by surprise.

    Just two days ago, when Mr Lim was attending a community event in Jurong GRC, he told the media that he would ‘go wherever he is needed’, but ‘does not see a great need’ to go to Aljunied GRC because ‘it is in great hands’.

    Mr Lim was responding to news report that he may be kept as a ‘trump minister’ to be shifted to whichever GRC which faces a strong opposition on Nomination Day.

    If Mr Lim has any intention of retiring, he certainly did not show it. On 9 April, he said in a media interview that the younger candidates are still being ‘tested’ to decide if they will fit the bill in all the GRCs. He even hinted that he does not rule out ’surprises’ on Nomination Day, if ‘necessary’.

    It is strange that Mr Lim has announced his retirement one day later after it appeared that he was still carrying on his duties as PAP Chairman.

    Did Mr Lim really plan to retire or was he forced to retire by external circumstances?

    The PAP’s ‘renewal’ exercise seems to be plunging into chaos with some relatively young and experienced MPs being replaced by newbies with doubtful credentials while the oldest MP still show no sign of retiring.


    Alan Au

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    [SIZE=5][B]The Conundrum of Growing Old & Alone in Singapore [/B][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]A certain minister with no bloody portfolio recently mentioned that whenever he looks at his CPF statement he feel so rich. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]The reality for most people however is somewhat different. It is money that is taken from you in the prime of your life, yet you never get to see it even when you are desperately in need of it.


    First, let us take a look at a problem is is a trait found in most First-World countries. In the past, it was always a societal expectation that we get married, have kids and eventually grandchildren. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]This was especially the case in Asian societies (Chinese especially) where marriage and having descendants was considered a sacred duty, and not to do so was tantamount to betrayal. There were all sorts of families. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Some genuinely wanted children and usually treated them well, while others probably did it only out of a sense of duty and maybe did not do such a good job of it as a result. Nevertheless, there was always a familial network of people, a support structure to depend upon.

    In Singapore however, either by choice or otherwise, an increasing number of people are deciding to forgo marriage, having children or both. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Perhaps it is fortunate that I am in this position by choice, as the idea of marriage simply does not appeal to me. Others however are in this boat simply because the cost and obstacles in the way are too high and too insurmountable, and this is a tragedy of the highest order.

    Marriage is a tough decision, simply because love alone is not sufficient to sustain one. It must have a solid foundation in which to flourish, and a critical part of this is a roof over their heads. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]The HDB was supposed to help solve this problem by allowing young couples to have affordable homes. However, it has been hijacked by property speculators (a large number of which are "new citizens") who have jacked up the prices so high that genuine buyers are left in debt for years, even decades.

    Assuming the problem of housing is solved, we then come to the problem with having children. It cost a lot of raise them, with rising basic costs and the pressure-cooker education system with have, in which one wrong move by the parents or child can condemn the child to a life of misery and poverty. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]The system does not forgive mistakes, and it never forgets. This is the main reason why I never want to have children, for I do not want to subject anyone to the same torment and agony I went through from kindergarten all the way to university just because I was not "perfect" like everyone else.


    This brings us to the main point, which is what happens if you decide to go all out and live life with no commitments to a family. A check with CPF Board reveals what happens if you still have money in your CPF accounts when you finally kick the bucket. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]By default, when you pass away the money goes to your children, spouse or whatever relations you have still surviving, after paying off the horridly expensive medical bills (And Mr "I-Pay-$8-only-for-heart-ops" does not count, majority of comprehensive health care such as cancer treatments are NOT subsidised fully but that is outside the scope of this write-up).

    However what happens if you die with no surviving relations? Here is where the true horror comes in. According to interstate laws,


    That is the hard and brutal truth. The money that is stolen from you every month, then stashed away where you cannot reach it, with the illusion that it is yours someday (and with the withdrawal age for Minimum Sum extended to 65, chances are you will never fully withdraw it before you die) goes to them when you die. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Even if in your last months, a friend touched your heart enough you want to left something for him or her, you cannot leave anything to him or her because he or she is not related to you. Apparently the Government thinks that we are not capable of deciding what to do with our CPF money when we die, it wants the whole pie.

    And from that we can draw a terrifying conclusion, the reason why the Government does not want to actively put steps to encourage its own citizens to marry and procreate. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Because it does not want you to. It wants you to die, alone in your bed (preferably in JB instead of Singapore), so that it has a legitimate reason to take YOUR money and fatten itself instead.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2] It does not want you to have children, for it is far quicker and more cost-effective to import in your replacement, in the hopes that the said replacement will in turn die alone with no "inconvenient relatives" to claim the money instead.

    And this is why we need a better system. And we must decide quickly, before the money which we slaved our whole lives for go instead to Herman Miller chairs and million-dollar paychecks for the people in positions of power.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    From LBH's remarks over casino decision, PAP's MP seem like following rules

    Rule No. 1) When voting in Parliament, MP die die must follow leader's direction
    Rule No. 2) If PAP MP iis very confused and not sure how to vote, refer back to rule no. 1 for decision.

    Daft, Dafter, Dafterest!!!!

  6. #6
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    So many old guards leave at 1 time, not very good. Either there is a shakeup behind close doors, or maybe more than meet the eye....Early 60s of age, still can contribute many more good years, so urgent need 20 new faces..., if good ones, 10 can already...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by land118
    So many old guards leave at 1 time, not very good. Either there is a shakeup behind close doors, or maybe more than meet the eye....Early 60s of age, still can contribute many more good years, so urgent need 20 new faces..., if good ones, 10 can already...
    Tin Pei Ling beats Lim Boon Heng.

    Income Gap is indeed not responsibility of government.

  8. #8

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    This [URL=""][COLOR=#6699cc]article from today's edition of TODAY[/COLOR][/URL] talks about Singapore's version of a welfare scheme. Welfare-fearing rhetoric from our leaders aside, Singapore is not so heartless that we don't have any welfare schemes at all -- we do.

    It's called the [URL=""][COLOR=#6699cc]Public Assistance scheme[/COLOR][/URL]. There are only about 3,000 households are on it. I am not sure if that's because there are only 3,000 households that need this kind of assistance, or because of the stringency of the eligibility requirements, viz. Singapore citizens who (a) are [U]unable to work[/U] owing to old age, illness or unfavourable family circumstances; AND (b) have no means of subsistence and no family members to depend on. (underlining added)

    There is a cash grant component to it, with the amounts on a sliding scale depending on household size and the number of adults and children in the household. A single-adult household is currently given $260 per month, but this number is due to rise to $290 per month.

    I don't think the PA scheme was very widely-known outside of the social assistance/welfare sector, at least not until a recent exchange in Parliament between MP Lily Neo and Mr Sin Boon Ann on one side, and Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on the other, that was quite widely reported in the media.

    For background, Dr Neo had earlier done a rough survey of her constituents on PA, and discovered that a fair proportion of the single adults on PA had to skip at least one meal a day to get by on $260 per month. By her estimate, a single-adult household on PA actually needed about $400 per month to get by. She had filed a PQ on it in February that was not fully discussed due to time, and also because it preceded the COS debate on MCYS and so the response given to her was "wait for the Budget debate".

    I can do no better than to direct you to the TODAY article, and to reproduce the relevant exchanges in Parliament below. As for me, I think $290 per month is disgraceful. At the very least, as pointed out by SPS Amy Khor in the TODAY article, the ministry needs to justify that figure and reconcile it with Dr Neo's $400 figure.

    [B]Dr Lily Neo: [/B]Sir, I want to check with the Minister again when he said on the strict criteria on the entitlement for PA recipients. May I ask him what is his definition of "subsistence living"? Am I correct to say that, out of $260 per month for PA recipients, $100 goes to rental, power supply and S&C and leaving them with only $5 a day to live on? Am I correct to say that any basic meal in any hawker centre is already $2.50 to $3.00 per meal? Therefore, is it too much to ask for just three meals a day as an entitlement for the PA recipients?

    [B]Dr Vivian Balakrishnan: [/B]How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?

    [B]Dr Lily Neo: [/B]It is cheaper to cook for one person.



    [/U][/I]Sir, Singaporeans have been asked to put some perspective around the current $45.5 million for the political appointees, being 0.13% of government expenditure and 0.022% of our GDP.

    I think there are some other perspectives that can be put around these numbers.

    At the revised MR4 benchmark of $1.6 million per year, a minister who serves a full five-year term would have made $8 million.

    [B]Serve two terms, and that becomes $16 million plus a pension. Even if the minister spends a million dollars a year, there would still be $6 million left over for a retirement in style.
    Meanwhile, Workfare will cost the Government $400 million a year. But it is intended to benefit the bottom 15% of the workforce.

    In 2005, we had 2.36 million workers. The bottom 15% means 354,000 workers.

    Workfare will cost over 7 times of the aggregate revised salaries of political appointees, but benefits 10,000 times the number of political appointees we have.

    Or let’s take Public Assistance. MCYS recently announced a revision to the amounts that Public Assistance recipients will get.

    Some Members felt that the amounts are still not enough, especially for one-member households.

    Dr Lily Neo has calculated that a minimum of $400 per month was needed by such households, yet the revised rate for them is $290 per month.

    With 3,000 households on Public Assistance, an across-the-board increase of $110 per month would mean an additional expenditure of $3.96 million a year – 7% of the amounts that we will pay political appointees every year after the revisions.

    Yet, we decline to do so, fearing an erosion of Singaporeans’ work ethic, never mind that one must be unable to work to qualify for Public Assistance.

    Sir, there are a lot of different perspectives that can be put around ministerial salaries.

    My fear is that the singular perspective being applied, of what our ministers could potentially be earning in the private sector, ignores other perspectives that are equally valid and equally important.

    We place so much emphasis on using public funds wisely, on sending the right message to society, on not inadvertently creating new problems when we address existing ones.

    These same considerations must apply when we consider ministerial salaries. It is not just a question of the number, whether we can afford it or its size relative to the stakes involved.

    There are other considerations involved, and other potential repercussions.

    And my greatest worry is that an open-ended linkage between ministerial salaries and top earners, which is how the benchmarks work in their current form, could in the long run undermine the moral authority that a government needs to lead the people.

  9. #9

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    and out of 21 new faces, more than half is CMI

    LBH says public must subject the opposition candidates to scrunity like the pap candidates...

    In first place, how can tin tin compare to CSM? even the blind can tell...

  10. #10

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    [B]Civil Service : Ministers High Salaries Necessary as the job is Not Secure and thus High Risk


    [FONT=Arial]PSD dispels myths on ministers, civil servants pay

    It responds to public's misperceptions of civil service salaries, perks and pensions

    Apr 2, 2007


    The salaries of Singapore's ministers and top civil servants have fallen to 55 per cent of the benchmark compared to private sector, and they should be earning $2.2 million, according to the Public Service Division.

    Their current salary of $1.2 million is an all-inclusive package covering bonues, and one-third of this package is currently variable.

    The PSD disclosed these in response to readers' letters to The Straits Times and online comments on the pay, perks and pensions of ministers and top civil servants, after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the annual Administrative Service dinner on March 22, that public service salaries had fallen behind the public sector.

    Details of salary changes across the civil service will be announced in Parliament on April 9.

    The salaries of ministers and top civil servants are pegged at two-thirds of the median income of the top eight earners in each of six professions.

    Despite the current salary shortfall, some Singaporeans have questioned if there were hidden benefits not listed as part of the salary, which would make make the civil servants' position better than it seemed.

    The PSD said the figure of $1.2 million is the maximum amount they can receive, since it includes all bonuses and variable component. About one-third of this annual salary package is variable and depends on the minister or civil servant's performance as well as Singapore's economic situation, it told The Straits Times.

    On pensions, the PSD said these are not calculated based on total annual salary packages, and that currently only about half of a minister's montly salary is pensionable.

    And contrary to popular belief, ministers do no receive perks like free certificates of entitlement (COEs) or a waiver on maid levies and taxes, said the PSD.

    Labour chief Lim Swee Say, commenting on the proposed pay rise, said it is in the workers' interest as it ensures the Government will continue to attract the top talent.

    Only with good leaders would Singapore remain afloat in an increasingly competitive global economy, which in turn ensures workers will continue to have jobs, said Mr Lim.

    PSD's responses to comments from the public


    Q: Do ministers and administrative officers (AOs) get bonuses on top of the $1.2 million they receive a year?

    A: Public Service Division: The annual salary figure of $1.2 million includes all components – monthly pay, mid- and year-end payments, allowances, performance bonuses and GDP bonus. There are no other payments.

    Q: Do ministers holding more than one portfolio receive additional salaries?

    A: A minister receives one salary, even if he holds two or more portfolios.

    Q: Do ministers have key performance indicators or performance appraisals?

    A: They are appraised by the Prime Minister. A large part of their pay is linked to individual performance and how the economy is doing. Currently, a third of their package is performance-related.

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial][B]Q: What about the view that ministers enjoy a secure job, with none of the risks experienced by top earners in the private sector?

    A: Ministers do not have guaranteed tenures. They face general elections every five years. [/B]


    Q: What kinds of medical benefits do ministers and AOs receive?

    A: Ministers are on the Medisave-cum-Subsidised Outpatient Scheme, like the majority of civil servants. They do not receive any hospitalisation benefits.

    Instead, ministers receive 1 per cent of salary (capped at $70 a month and at 17 months a year) paid into their Medisave. They can use this to buy health insurance plans. For outpatient treatment, it is capped at $350 a year for each minister.

    Ministers co-pay 15 per cent of medical expenses at restructured hospitals. Where it is for his dependents, such as spouse and children up to 18 years, the minister co-pays 40 per cent.

    But this is all subject to a cap of $350 per year. Any unused amount at the end of the year is put into the minister's Medisave account. There are no extra benefits for them or their spouse or children. Their parents do not get medical benefits.

    It is similar for AOs who joined after January 1994.

    Q: Do ministers and AOs enjoy additional perks?

    Ans: Ministers do not receive any perks. The salary is everything there is. They pay their own COEs, ERP, maid levies and taxes. The official car can be used for official purposes only, not for personal use.

    It is the same for AOs.

    For networking purposes, senior AOs take up golf memberships at corporate rates but they pay subscription and membership fees out of their own pocket.


    Q: Do ministers and AOs receive pensions?

    A: Only those who have served at least eight years as an office holder (for example, minister or minister of state) qualify for a pension.

    Since 1994, the pensionable salary component at each grade has been frozen. All subsequent salary increases, whether in the form of monthly adjustments or increase in annual components, are non-pensionable.

    The pensions for ministers are not calculated based on the total annual salary package each year.

    Bonuses, allowances and other annual salary components are not included in the calculation of the minister's pension.

    Only the pensionable portion of the minister's monthly salary is used and the actual pension also depends on the length of pensionable service. Currently, only about half of the monthly salary of a minister is pensionable.

    As for post-retirement medical benefits, all office-holders, including ministers who qualify for pensions, continue on the Medisave-cum-Subsidised Outpatient Scheme. They do not get free medical after retirement.

    For administrative officers to qualify for a pension, they must have served for at least 15 years. But they lose the pension once they resign from service.

    As with ministers, only about half of AOs' monthly salaries are pensionable.

    Also, MPs appointed after Jan 1, 1995 are no longer eligible for pensions.


    Q: Some observers believe that under-performing AOs are allowed to remain in the service. Is this true?

    A: The appraisal system is rigorous. There is an annual assessment on performance and potential by his boss, the permanent secretary.

    Officers of the same seniority are then grouped, ranked and graded good, average or poor.

    Non-performers are not given performance bonuses. And those who do not meet the retention requirement are asked to leave the Administrative Service.

    Q: Is it true that only scholars can join the Administrative Service (AS) and once admitted, they can stay on indefinitely?

    A: The AS takes in officers at all levels, including those who do not come through the scholar route. It also takes in mid-career entrants, whether from the private or public sectors.

    Admission and retention criteria for the AS are much stricter than the civil service.

    To remain, the officer must show the potential to become at least a Deputy Secretary or chief executive of a statutory board.

    Those without this potential, even if they are good performers, will be asked to leave the AS. Some choose to resign while others continue to contribute in other parts of the public sector.


    Q: The civil service is said to be an iron rice bowl where poor performers are tolerated. How true is this?

    A: The Civil Service takes a tough stance on under-performers. Those who do not meet job expectations are counselled and given an opportunity to improve. If they fail to do so, they are asked to leave.

    In recent years, an increasing number of government agencies have been recruiting staff on fixed term contracts. Only good officers are offered permanent positions subsequently. [/FONT]

    [B][FONT=Arial]Readers' comments in AsiaOne forum: [/FONT][/B]

    While comparing the govt salaries with private sector is fine and good, it is NOT the same as there is hardly significant accountability or transparency in the performance of govt servants, administrators, ministers,etc. When the opposition challenges some of these performance issues like Shin Corp, Micropolis, etc, they or the public were not given satisfactory answers and further to this, no corrective actions were made known to the public. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Singapore already has the most well-paid civil servants and ministers in the world. It is difficult to comprehend how much more pay do the ministers and civil service need to motivate and live well. [/FONT][FONT=Arial]

    Until the government can objectively be transparent and fully accountable in their review of the performance of each govt minister and top civil servant, it is difficult to see how the comparison between the public sector and private sector can be the same. - Chung Wui Cheng [/FONT]

    [/INDENT][INDENT][FONT=Arial]What use is a clean government run by well-paid, well-fed civil servants and political elite that only look after the interests of the "haves" and "foreign talents" but cares little for those old and beyond "employablilty" who are subsisting on public assistance, giving them barely enough to cover their 3 meals?

    Dr. Lily Neo's pleas falls on deaf ears, and we are talking about increasing salaries of those elite few that are already paid tens of thousands a month.

    What kind of system are we moving towards. I don't agree a single word with any of the ministers' clamour to justify another round of hefty pay hikes for the people whom I feel are already too well paid. - Nicholas [/FONT][/INDENT][INDENT][FONT=Arial]I don't think that it should be pegged to the scale of the private sector. Firstly, it is a different kind of job scope. There are tools to measure the capability of the individuals in the private sector.

    If they don't do well, there is no hesitation to terminate their services but does the government do that?. What if the ministers don't do their work? Will they be replaced immediately? - Chua Chin Heng [/FONT][/INDENT]

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