Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Keep The Questions Coming

The simple question raised by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Gerald Giam illustrates why more alternate voices are needed to represent the people's interest. For decades, nobody raised a single query about the large sums expended for a birthday party, money which is much needed for social welfare and healthcare requirements, among others.

Amidst the doldrums of worldwide financial meltdown in 2008, $14 million was still splurged (record high in that year), not a single cent was trimmed to entertain the VVIPs who were hosted to exclusive cocktail parties while the common folk make their way home in the over crowded trains and buses. Only VIPs are allotted parking privileges.

The most expensive undertaking was the extravaganza in 2010, costing a mind blowing $20.6 million. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the Padang had to be hardened for a heavier load, large LED screens, and supporting towers. Without a detailed accounting, we are unable to tell if the procurement for top dollar items were approved along NParks procedures and similar standard operating guidelines.  Of course these numbers pale in comparison with the budget allocated for military toys.

Aljunied GRC's Pritam Singh also attempted a goal kick by asking what role the online media played in the Ministry of National Develpopment (MND) decision to report the matter of the folding bikes to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). But Minister Khaw Boon Wan deftly deflected the shot, denying credit to the netizens' detective work, by stating, "What was material to our decision... were some disclosures by certain parties  interviewed by the Audit Team."  He pointedly did not elaborate  on what the source of the disclosures were. Go on, ignore the online media, if that's the way the Minister wants national conversations to be carried out. Even before the advent of the internet, the kopi-tiams have always known where to look for the real stories.

Celebrating in style, membership has its privileges

45 comments:

  1. Spore is a very rich country which can afford universal health care for the elderly and the terminally ill. Sad to say no one has challenged the way money is wasted in our annual budget.

    In Spore, improving the landscape, defense expenditure, paying for pandas etcc...are more important than health care for the elderly and the terminally ill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Elderlies maybe, but terminally ill?

      The whole society is based on Meritocracy on steriods. In other words - if you are not working or can't work/produce eg aged frail elderly, sickies, severe handicapped = NO MERITS.

      Sad to say, you belong to that category.

      Please get it into your head and really understand what they mean when they say "meritocracy".

      Delete
    2. Dear Anon 6:25

      Hospice care for the terminally ill (including medication during this period).

      As for "meritocracy" - well, "meritocracy" is a relative term. Some are in positions of influence and power not because they are intelligent but because they are smart enough to obey higher ups and keep the system going for the elite. There are intelligent hard working people who dont identify with the ruling party because they have a conscience. Bottom line: Meritocracy is a relative term

      Delete
  2. The late President Ong Teng Cheong, overseeing the building of the then new Parliament House with his expertise as a top architect, eschewed grandeur and settled for a subdued and yet dignified building.A true confucian.What have our leaders become?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Minister Khaw Boon Wan could start the National Conversation with a statement like "I appreciate the efforts by the blogger whose investigation actually leads to our discovery that corruption practice may exist in this purchasing decision"
    Isn't a better way to start the PM sincere "no stone unturned" National conversation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't know what was MND budget, but if they can get away with luxury toys like brompton bikes, I can't imagine our SAF budget in the billions don't have some questionable procurements. Afterall, even ipads are serving the Generals and soldiers now.

      http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Crime/Story/A1Story20111201-313905.html

      Delete
  4. Hahaa... I thought you are highlighting the watch he wore. On closer inspection, how come there is a TV in front of his seat?! Wow, what a waste of money. He could have given up his space for others who want to watch the NDP live.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously? Is that a TV or the name of the US based logistic provider where we spend the millions on?

      Delete
  5. Lol! As usual, solid and well executed blows! Really love the way you shoot those spendthrift dumb wits!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Really fucked up PAP isn't it at wasting public taxpayers monies like nobody's business ?

    What is the real purpose of installing those TV monitors when they are already at scene live ? LKY needs them because he can't see afar anymore ?

    Just wonder whether they cost S$22,000 each to install ? And some YPAP member got it through single bid tender ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. looks like the TV monitors have been specially installed for AhLee Baba and his 80 thieves. Surely being in the front rows already guarantee them the best view, so why spend additional money for TV monitors?
      WTF!

      Delete
    2. An unturned stone9/11/2012 3:00 PM

      I can get an online UK olympics and paralympics game budget breakdown, but I can't get a breakdown of our NDP spend that goes up to 8 digits.

      Mr Ng, does this also concern national security? What's in the goodie bags huh?

      Delete
    3. Gd idea to see how much those after party champagne and finger food are costing tax payers.

      Delete
    4. Maybe he need those TV to monitor if opp party members are around ? We know how paranoid he is, don't we ? LOL

      Delete
  7. Wtf, when he was not seen, he was rumoured to be dead.
    When he appeared with a monitor installed for him,
    he is said to be unable to see far.
    He is a man who is able to see 50 years ahead.
    He had to use the monitor because no deity uses spectacles.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Am I the only one to spot the serious jump in NDP spending starting 2007 onwards? The spending in 2006 was markedly the same as 2002. So I ask all, what happened in 2007? My answer: "GDP Bonus". And I would be most happy to be proven wrong. Charlie Munger: .".. as usual in human affairs, what determines the behavior are incentives for the decision maker."

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is typical inefficient MIW double confirm ideology in action.

    First confirm AhLee gets the best seat and view in the whole of singapore.
    Then double confirm by giving him a TV screen.

    Another example.
    Confirm when we retire, we die is our business.
    Govt. will not help.
    Then double confirm by witholding our CPF money to make sure when we die, govt. don't have to pay to pick up our carcass.

    ReplyDelete
  10. $115,000,000m boondoggle is a nauseating example of how government wastes our money in genuinely spectacular ways. Not only will they shell out for showoff, they claim to shell out for security.

    That 5% GDP spend on National Defense which amounts to 25% ($12.3billion) of our total national budget, second only to Israel (who is genuinely surrounded by unfriendly enemies and fighting real wars) . The usual excuse "Always more, or else..." is getting lame and stupid, not to mention opaque. Every time some politician says we need to raise taxes, you should think of this piece of you-know-what and say #*&@;^ No!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $115 million spent on a decade of national birthday party is nothing compared to the $387 million spent for a non-event like YOG. What is more obscene is the $1.1 billion showered on money-making PTOs. That's not all, $4 billion is pledged to IMF as if the amount is spare change. All these are dwarfed by the $40 billion loss sustained by Temasek Holdings in 2009.

      If you are not feeling rich like some Minister whenever he sees his CPF statement in this rich country, you should at least be smart enough to know something is not right in this country.

      Delete
    2. Is irrelevant whether I feel rich or not. But many do know that our elitist President feels rich enough to give $4b chum change to IMF with no objections to constitutional process violation. Hard to believe, but he gets a seat at the Nobel Prize foundation probably for that.

      Delete
    3. Very sure that president feel that $4 billions is worth buying his Nobel Prize when he didn't even need to pay for it. Tax-payers money bare all the cost for his self-deprecating glory. To him, money well spent, nevermind if not his money. Didn't expensive chair and expensive bicycle are well-spend the expense as long as it is free and not their money but taxpayer money ?

      Delete
    4. Don't we have a Foreign Minister whose job is to go out and be friends with the neighbours and the super-big kids, so they won't attack us? And so that we need far far fewer war toys?

      We can then squander what we save on some other useless goodies, like maybe buy the bones of a Bigger dinosaur or three, get in More pandas, or put gold trim on the new garden's hothouses. Little things that Show we have money, that we're the richest in the world.

      That would be prudent, don't you think?

      God forbid, we invest our cash in helping the old, weak, sick and disabled. Making them truly a part of this go-go-go society. No one Notices that kind of spending, so it's pointless. Here, just Talking about inclusiveness is enough.

      Delete
    5. Why are we paying so much millions for these lazy good for nothing panda ? They are not even kungfu panda !

      Delete
  11. Getting difficult to tell who
    will passed on earlier.

    The Old Man or the Regime ??

    ReplyDelete
  12. Akan datang: foot massager below???

    ReplyDelete
  13. i'm glad for once they did not bombarded us with their BIG faces in banners around the neighbourhood...anyone noticed this freak change also?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes noticed that this year no more bill boards

      Delete
  14. Saw it somewhere
    though not as widespread
    as the Last Seven Moon
    Festival.
    They are getting shy!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Since NEH always cite defence budget should remain secret for security reason, why not go all the way? Why bother to fly those jets and show off the artilleries. Just cancel the whole damn NDP every year and no countries will even know what capabilities we have. Phantom military for phantom enemies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reality that is already out there, agreed by analysts
      "that the SAF has no combat experience"
      "It is uncertain how active-duty troops would stand up in a major combat situation right at their doorstep"
      "Singapore is not a country that is used to taking casualties of any sort"
      "Extreme fragility of civilian moral"
      "The collective memory of Singaporeans of the second world war...is of hardship, deprivation, humiliation, and total domination by the enemy"

      All that macho talk by Commandos or Generals, whose very own livelihood and pensions are dependent on it will come to the defense of such extreme expenditure. They will call you traitors or treason or non-patriot just to justify something they can't show. The NDP is the only annual freak show they can prove to the leaders and its citizens that they are actually doing something "valuable". Miss the point that people do not wish to die for 40% of new FTs that has nothing to do with this nation.

      Delete
    2. Secrecy does not mean No Accountability.

      http://blog.transparency.org/2011/11/24/five-challenges-when-making-defence-budgets-more-transparent/

      http://www.ti-defence.org/publications/153-defence-offsets--addressing-the-risks-of-corruption-&-raising-transparency

      Delete
  16. 10 million is too much for a NDP.

    LHL is making every singaporean pay 3 dollars for the NDP. What a joke!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the start-up cost for the two pandas!

      Honestly, i don't need a celebration every year, as long as I get the holiday and we can do it among ourselves..bbq, picnic, community activities etc. Do it once every 10 years is sufficient.

      Delete
  17. I only noticed that cost doubled when the parade is moved from stadium to platform format. However, why the spike of $20m in 2010? Has Mr Ng overblown his budget or anything to do with "fun pack song"? Don't recall ladygaga was invited to perform leh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Move on lah - we should be glad Vivian is not in charge

      Delete
    2. Real patriotism without all that flashy cakes, candles, confetti or concerts are priceless. You have a quiet confidence and pride without having to resort to spending millions every year. Is akin to a person driving a ferrari just to show off his wealth and success. Nauseating.

      Stick to once every 5/10yrs is sufficient.

      Delete
  18. After GE2011 PM Lee issued a "Rules of Prudence", a do's and don'ts, to his MPs to follow. And now on his NatCON, he again reiterates that it should be approached with balance and prudence.

    He is extremely prudent (call it stingy) when it comes to welfare spending (where is the money - increase tax?), but a profligate at other expenditures eg defence, ministerial salaries, show pieces, mega projects, government procurements, COIs, NDPs, pandas, Brompton bikes, Gardens by the Bay, transport subsidies, highways and underways, etc etc etc...WTF, where is the balance?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. one-eyed dragon

      Delete
  19. At the rate we are going with NDP spend, it will be $30m invoice for the 50th splash, no doubt.
    What do we get out of all these drunken stupor?
    Some notches of feel=good factor, goodie bags and a pat on the shoulders of those pension majors for putting up a great rock concerts? Why don't we free up those time of labour for increasing productivity that truly counts instead.

    Waste not, Want not.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The PAP spare no expense,taxpayer's money,to glorify the old dictator

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If birthday bash already cost so much, can't imagine what the grand send-off will be like when the day comes. Stop annual NDP and start saving. Sick and tired to hear the govt has no money for elder healthcare but will splurge extravagantly for other inconsequential vanity.

      Delete
  21. Amazing! With year-end promotion comes to its zenith. Diablohome is now giving a huge thanks to everyone who support us with extra free 10% bonus for?diablo 3 gold. You must be eager to know some details. Just let the following reveal the answer.
    Free Extra 10% Bonus for Diablo 3 Gold Buying
    You can get extra 10% bonus if buy diablo 3 gold for normal mode on our site, the more d3 gold you buy, the more bonus you get.
    More tags: buy diablo 3 gold diablo gold

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks. I always enjoy reading your posts - they are always humorous and intelligent. You can learn more: China tour packages | China travel packages | China Travel Agency

    ReplyDelete
  23. AllMandarin is the only company that can give you an excellent alternative to learn Mandarin Chinese that is not only better, but also more efficient in terms of cost, flexibility and learning methods.I am a Chinese teacher,you can learn more about Free Chinese language info: Learn mandarin online | Learn mandarin Chinese | Mandarin Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hanbridge has adopted a structured and interactive educational approach to enable you to learn Mandarin effectively and reach your targeted proficiency level. Clear pronunciation, the proper use of tones, real-life topics, and bilingual instruction all combine to ensure you will be able to communicate effectively.



    More Chinese learning tags : how to learn Chinese | learn to speak Chinese | mandarin Chinese

    ReplyDelete