Thursday, 2 November 2017

Wedding wishes

Wedding wishes from a married man to his younger... let's call them "friends"... who were about to get married.
Congratulations on this monumental (emphasis on “mental”) decision and change in your life! Anyone who decides to get married must be crazy. But anyone who doesn’t must be stupid. So what would you rather be? Crazy or stupid?

(Spoiler alert: I went with crazy)

Friday, 13 October 2017

A Reserved Election for a Reserved President for Reserved Singaporeans

According to hyperbole, Singaporeans are feeling "muzzled and angry" over the outcome of the Presidential Selection.

Much like how HKers were angry about China's proposal to "pre-approve" candidates for their Chief Executive election (selection?)

And HKers protested that proposal which they saw as instituting a false democracy.

Singapore and Singaporeans? How would we respond if this happened in Singapore? Would we also take to the streets in protest?

From this opinion piece from Oct 2014:
What determines if Singaporeans will march on the streets?
I think it depends ultimately on whether there are fair rules, and whether government and people play by those rules.
If a society has fair rules to govern elections, there’s no need for people to take to the streets. The vote gives people voice and power.
If people think rules for elections are  too unfair, that’s a trigger point, because they will lose faith in the democratic process and decide that street politics is better than ballot box politics.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Walk. Over. The Conspiracy Theories.

So Chan Chun Sing was either prescient when he called her "Madam President", or he let the cat out of the bag - that PAP was going to stage manage Halimah into the Istana. (Or Walk her over to the Istana, except that she's staying put in Yishun.)

The conspiracy theory is that this election was declared a Reserved Election to shut out Tan Cheng Bock.

Let's just say that like all good conspiracy theory, there is no way to disprove that.

So I won't even try. But I'll get back to that later.

The second conspiracy theory concerns the stage management of this Presidential "(S)Election".

Maybe it was planned as far back as 2012, when Halimah took over as Speaker when Michael Palmer had to quit because of "personal indiscretions". As Speaker, Halimah automatically meets the eligibility criteria.

Then the criteria for "private sector" candidates was raised to managing a $500m company. To shut out any other candidates. Not just by raising the bar, but also raising the opportunity costs to the potential candidate:
an eligible private sector candidate would, in all likelihood, be someone running a “very successful and sizeable enterprise” and there would be personal trade-offs involved to “assume a role which essentially has very limited responsibilities”.
In other words, you run a $500m company, you have a job with challenges, you have important and strategic decisions to make, you have deals to close, and you probably have a remuneration considerably more than the $1.6m that POTROS is paid.

Why would you want to "retire"? Because that's what the Presidency is equivalent to - retirement.

Friday, 8 September 2017

What would Tan Chuan Jin do now?

I can't quite pin down how I feel about his nomination as Speaker of Parliament.

Firstly, there are ample comments about how this is a "demotion" for him. From a minister with a million dollar salary, to Speaker of Parliament with about half that salary/allowance.

From a contender as a future PM, to an also-ran, an early drop out. This was a consolation prize at best.

I feel for him because these comments could hurt.

The views of people who see him as a failure can be disheartening.

If one allows oneself to be disheartened.

Monday, 28 August 2017

CPF for those who need it (Update)

This is an update of a post from Jan 2015.

Firstly, everyone thinks they can improve the CPF scheme. I am sure you have a grand idea for improving the CPF scheme.

So take this with a grain of salt, and if you think you can improve on these ideas, feel free to suggest tweaks. Or write your own blog and post your own suggestion. You could be the next CPF Blogger!

This update considers changes to the CPF scheme and the CPF Life projections.

And this hopes to address two issues: "CPF is my money", and the original intent of CPF (to finance our retirement).


Friday, 25 August 2017

Conversation: The Big Selection (or why we don't care, or should care)

"Now sure will have Elections next month one!"

"Just because the two other candidates submit their credentials for certification doesn't mean that they will qualify. They might not meet the criteria and may not qualify to run."

"No lah! The gumment already know the people buay song, buay kum guan that Tan Cheng Bock is being cheated of his chance to run for President, if the two kena disqualified and the Makcik gets to jalan into the Istana, everybody will shout 'Kelong!" so loudly, the fish will swim away!"

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

FB comments - Past. Assorted. Random.

[I often jot down my thoughts in response to things I read, but I try to flesh out my initial thoughts and elucidate the larger principle. And things move on and my thoughts on the matter are no longer relevant or contemporary. So it sits in my drafts. Until I re-read them, and sometimes I delete them because my thoughts were not really that great. And sometimes I inflict them on random readers. Like these:]

[Circa Mar 2016]
"...it turns out that, shockingly, completely unfiltered democracy has downsides. Take the charming saga of r/rape, which started as a subreddit for rape fetish porn before being turned into a support group for sexual assault survivors ... but it still gets lewd visits from people interested in the original function."