Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Ghosts (updated 4 Jan 2015)

2014 had several low points.

For Malaysia it was the plane crashes, including Air Asia QZ8501 (technically it was Indonesia Air Asia but MY Air Asia has a 49% share of it, and the "Air Asia" brand is synonymous with Malaysia.)

For Indonesia, there was some haze, but the beef we had with them was the TNI's naming of the KRI Usman Harun.

The matter was "resolved" in the sense that SG conceded that it was Indonesia's right to name their ship as they liked, but SG will not participate in any exercise with the KRI Usman Harun, and the ship will never be welcome in SG.

Fast forward 9 - 10 months. QZ8501 disappears enroute from Surabaya to Singapore.

Surabaya. Where I believe the KRI Usman Harun is now based.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Let it go, Let it go...

An essay on the dominant single-party politics in South East Asia, and whether they are doomed.

Well, I don't really care about Golkar (in Indonesia) or UMNO (in Malaysia). They are both at best coalition governments and weakness is a given for such governments.

They are almost certain to be inefficient and ineffective.

Monday, 15 December 2014

GUTS 1: Moving towards Singapore 2.0. Part 2 What Singaporeans Need

The Grand Unified Theory of Singapore (GUTS) today 
and what We need to move to SG 2.0

Part 2: What Singaporeans Want. Or Need.

Part 1 covered the problems of Singapore today - An Ageing population, rising costs of living, Inflation from an emerging, rising China, the problem of home ownership, falling birthrates, rising healthcare costs, and the Sandwiched Generation.

In Part 2, we consider what Singaporeans want. Or need rather. How to get Singaporeans to be more entrepreneurial. And why we are so kiasu.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

In the land of the blind...

A Singapore Parable?

It is said that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. 

The one-eyed king told the blind people that it was going to get dark soon.

And the blind asked, "what is this dark that you are talking about? We live in darkness, you stupid fool!"

"Don't worry," said the one-eyed leader, "I have fire!"

And the blind asked, "what is this fire you speak of?"

"Here," said the one-eyed leader. "This is fire. It lights the way."

The blind reached for the fire to touch and feel what they cannot see, and they scream, "Argh! It burns! It burns! You stupid king! Are you trying to burn us! How is this helping us? Put it out! Put it out!"

And the blind rushed the one-eyed king making him drop the torch and it went out.

Then the darkness came.

And the one-eyed king could not see.

But he was at last equal to the people.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Respect, Tolerance and Compromise - Why we cannot return to the Past

Previously, I had wondered if Mahbubani's article on "Nurturing the Art of Compromise" might have been out of touch with the zeitgeist of the times, the humour of society today. The current zeitgeist brooks no compromise.

There are forces pulling our society apart. Our communal spirit is being pulled apart by sectarian interests and pursuits and values.

There are those who see all this and think the answer is clear: return to the past; return to our communal spirit, our sense of common purpose, our sense of common destiny, seeing our fates inextricably linked, and our only hope is to be committed to our shared purpose, our shared destiny.

These people are unfortunately, deluded.