And here's more to feast your eyes...

WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN [till the next boo-boo]

Click here for the BigO homepage



IT'S OFFICIAL!


August 21, 2006.




Contest started May 2, 2006.

+ + + + +


August 9, 2004 - It’s been almost three and a half months since the PAP government amended a law [on April 19, 2004] permitting the transfer of $ingapore’s reserves to government companies and statutory boards without the need to get the president’s approval. The Finance Ministry, headed by General Lee Hsien Loong, has said that the transferred money cannot be spent without the president’s approval. The reason given for permitting the transfers is this: "at times, an activity or function would need to be transferred for the sake of 'efficiency or effectiveness'." There was no debate whatsoever in parliament despite the presence of two opposition MPs. In the past, former president Ong Teng Cheong had publicly stated he had difficulty getting the government to tell him exactly what was $ingapore’s reserves. MAS head, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister General Lee becomes Prime Minister on Aug 12. Below is the second press release from Dr Chee Soon Juan released on May 12 in reply to the minister’s clarification.

PAP MAKES TRANSFER OF RESERVES EVEN MORE SECRETIVE

The "clarification" made by the Finance Ministry on the recent constitutional amendment of the transfer of reserves clarified absolutely nothing.

Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had told Parliament when he introduced the amendment that the Constitution had not allowed reserves to be transferred from the Government to government organizations and businesses without it being considered a draw on the reserves.

In other words, under the previous legislation, if the PAP wanted to transfer reserves from the Government to a GLC it would be considered a draw on the reserves and to draw on the reserves would require the consent of the president and, worse, the public would have to be informed.

In order to avoid making such transfers public knowledge and having to get presidential approval, Mr Lee had sought to change the meaning of the articles in the Constitution to allow such transfers to take place but not have them considered as a draw on the reserves.

It seems a very clever way of unlocking the safe. By saying that such a move to transfer reserves from the Government to a GLC would henceforth not be considered a draw on the reserves, the Government is now free to raid the reserves without getting consent from the president or making it public.

The intention, according to Mr Lee, is to enable the Government to "restructure", "merge" or "corporatise" government organizations and businesses. In other words the Government wants to draw on our reserves to do business without telling us.

The questions still remain:

- With such secret and unchecked movement of the reserves from the Government to statutory boards and GLCs, what is there to prevent abuse and misuse of the funds belonging to Singaporeans?

- Is there any provision to ensure that failed businesses are not bailed out?

- Is there a limit as to how much funds can be transferred to any one entity?

- Who will make the decision to sanction a transfer and to which company?

The amendment gives the Government absolute freedom to do as it pleases. Without a set of clearly defined criteria and a transparent system to ensure that rules and regulations are adhered to, we are looking for trouble - which may not be too hard to find.

Instead of making the system more transparent and accountable in line with global practices under WTO rules, the latest amendment will shield the public even more from the Government’s financial dealings.

Not only must Singaporeans be warned of such a dangerous move but foreign investors must also be made aware of the murky way in which the PAP handles corporate matters and seems to have every intention of making it even murkier.

Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party

LAST WORDS



"Once we accept that, we should have an implicit trust and confidence in how the Government manages our reserves. It is not in the interest of the country to have the specific allocation of the reserves subject to public scrutiny,"

-
PAP MP Ong Kian Min, Government Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Trade & Industry, in the nation-builder press June 2004. He holds 11 directorships, including at Osim and BreadTalk. He is a lawyer. He has been awarded the BigO-ROOSTER COGBURN TRUE GRIT AWARD for his ability to juggle so many jobs.

+ + + + +

"WHAT'S A 'CHUA' DADDY?"




- Ms Chua Lee Hoong, ex-ISD agent and nation-builder (June 25, 2003)




- Ms Chua Mui Hoong, nation-builder (July 21, 2004)

"It takes slightly more than one year to understand just what the 'chuas' mean by $ingaporean citizenship."
- The young, restless and cynical Mirror of Opinion, July 21, 2004.

+ + + + +

POSTED ON SAMMBOY July 21, 2004

"But Ms Ong said: ‘That's my position of anyone who tries to threaten journalists with lawsuits. I believe in freedom of speech’."

"HAHAHAHA" was the reply from a forummer.

[Ms Ong is former Business Times nation-builder Catherine Ong. She is now vice-president of communications at DBS Bank with a reported salary of half a million dollars.]

IF $INGAPORE JOURNALISTS BELIEVE IN FREEDOM OF SPEECH WHY IS $INGAPORE RANKED SO LOW IN PRESS FREEDOM?



+ + + + +




- The nation-builder press, July 16, 2004.

SLOVENIA RANKS 27th IN THE LIST

The "little" country of Slovenia in eastern Europe was rated by the United Nations as the 27th best country in the world to live in. Slovenia is slightly smaller than New Jersey. It even had a war in 1991 to free itself from Yugoslavia. It has a population of slightly more than 2 million. It practices parliamentary democracy and has eight active political parties represented in parliament.

The UN's annual ranking of 177 countries is based largely on average levels of education and income, combined with expected length of lifetime.

How much more must $ingaporeans pay their million-dollar ministers to achieve that long-promised "Swiss-standard of living"? By the way, Switzerland was No. 11 on the UN chart this year.

NORWAY STILL NUMBER ONE

For the fourth year in a row, the United Nations has ranked Norway as having the highest standard of living in the world. Sweden, Australia and Canada are next in line.
http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article828724.ece

The UN report also found that the U.S. city of Miami has the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world -- 59 percent -- followed by Toronto with 44 percent, Los Angeles with 41 percent, Vancouver 37 percent and New York 36 percent.

In Asia, $ingapore has 33 percent foreign-born and Sydney has 31 percent. $ingapore is a COUNTRY. The rest are cities.

WHY CAN'T THIS BE SOLVED?

Two foreign maids died after falling from their employers' high-rise apartments in $ingapore, police said July 15, 2004. The women - one from India and the other from Indonesia - were found separately. The Indonesian maid, in her 30s, only recently started work in Singapore. She fell 11 stories to her death. The death of the Indonesian maid was reported on Channelnewsasia.com on July 14, 2004.

It is unclear how many foreign maids have lost their lives while working in $ingapore. But it could be in the hundreds. Official $ingapore figures begin only in 1999.

How much more must $ingaporeans pay their million-dollar ministers to solve this problem? Another "honest" mistake.

+ + + + +

"IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU IT'S FAIL-SAFE, BE SCEPTICAL"






- General George Yeo as reported in the nation-builder press, July 2, 2004.

"If someone pledges to remove blackout blemish on $ingapore, be sceptical."

- The young, restless and cynical Mirror Of Opinion, June 2, 2004.

+ + + + +

THE INDIAN BUSINESSMAN HAS MORE CONFIDENCE IN HIS COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC FUTURE OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD


- Outlook, May 17 2004.

We quote from the above report:

"Simply put, of the 500 Indian family-run companies [hiring between 100 to 1,000 people] Grant Thornton surveyed, 457 were gung-ho about the future, and only 43 preferred to be doubting Thomases.

"Contrast this with Japan, where the pessimists numbered 46 per cent more than the optimists or Poland [32 per cent], $ingapore [30] or Germany [6]."

Grant Thornton is a global accounting firm and this is its second annual International Business Owners Survey.

TALKING COCK IN $INGAPORE



- The nation-builder press, June 21 2004.

We quote from the above report:

"Restoring the pay cuts of civil servants and ministers - a decision announced on Friday - is 'reasonable' as $ingapore's economy has now regained momentum, Acting manpower minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday."

"All the optimists in $ingapore are working as Shenton Way fortune tellers."
- The young, restless and cynical Mirror of Opinion, June 21, 2004.

+ + + + +

THE 'PEOPLE FIRST' PROMISE THAT NEVER WAS

-
The nation-builder press, June 18, 2004.



"Members of Parliament yesterday supported the government's promise to put people first and to promote active citizenship that was laid out in President SR Nathan's address to Parliament last week." - the nation-builder press, Oct 12 1999.

THIS IS WHAT THE PAP MEAN WHEN THEY SAY 'PEOPLE FIRST'...



The nation-builder press, June 18, 2004.

YOUR 'CIVIL SERVANTS' FIRST




The nation-builder press, June 17, 2004.

+ + + + +

US TRUCKS CARRYING RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS INTERCEPTED IN IRAQ-KUWAIT BORDER

TEHRAN (MNA) -- The UAE-based daily Al-Khaleej reported on Monday [June 14, 2004] that Kuwaiti tariff officials have intercepted a truck loaded with radioactive materials in the Iraq-Kuwait border.

The daily quoted informed sources as saying that the radioactive control team from Kuwait's Health Ministry discovered that one of the trucks belonging to the U.S.-led coalition forces was carrying heavy radioactive materials. The trucks were headed for Iraq.

The daily said that such materials could only enter a country when there is permission from related bodies while the materials were secretly being carried to Iraq. Security forces stressed that no contamination had been caused by the material.

The MNA reported for the first time the coalition forces' suspicious transfer of WMD parts from Kuwait to Southern Iraq by trucks. The possible presence of WMD in Iraq and its likely nuclear programs were the main U.S. pretext for attacking the country. However, their failure to find weapons of mass destruction in the country and the continuing turmoil in Iraq questioned the legitimacy of the U.S. war against Iraq and their presence in the country.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=6/15/2004&Cat=4&Num=020


+ + + + +


$INGAPORE RANKED 135 OUT OF 193 COUNTRIES FOR PRESS FREEDOM

$ingapore was ranked as "not free" in a US survey on press freedom by Freedom House released in May 2004. Out of 193 countries, $ingapore was ranked at 135, not too far away from Iraq [142]. Even Cambodia ranked higher at 127. To offer a perspective of how the survey rated countries in Australasia, we produce the list below of Free, Partly Free and Not Free countries. $ingapore's nation-builders, take a bow.

Free Press

New Zealand [8]
Australia [18]
Japan [33]
Taiwan [50]
East Timor [68]
South Korea [68]

Partly Free Press

Philippines [75]
Thailand [88]
India [93]
Sri Lanka [111]
Indonesia [117]
Pakistan [121]

Not Free Press

Cambodia [127]
Singapore [135]
Iraq [142]
Malaysia [154]
Brunei [161]
China [173]
Laos [179]
Burma [190]
North Korea [193]





In a separate survey released in 2003, Reporters Without Borders (www.rsf.org) ranked $ingapore 144 out of 166 countries for press freedom. The group continues to place prime minister Goh Chok Tong as a Predator of Press Freedom in its 2004 report.




+ + + + +

YABBA DABBA DOO



Recent picture of (from left): General Lee, General George Yeo and Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

THARMAN JUMPS FOR JOY



Acting Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in the nation-builder press, May 17, 2004.

Even while BLAMING $ingapore youths for being soft and not hungry, the new Acting Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam couldn’t stifle his joy.

"Their pay cuts will be restored in 14 days on June 1, 2004."

-
The young, restless and cynical Mirror Of Opinion, May 17, 2004.

AND FOR THE REST OF $INGAPOREANS



The nation-builder press, May 18, 2004.

"Prof Lim Pin, the [NWC] council’s chairman, said that it would not cite a percentage figure for increases as the council does not want to impose a 'one size fits all figure'."
- The nation-builder press, May 18, 2004.

The nation-builder press, Aug 20 2001.

With GST rising to 5 per cent on Jan 1 2004, $ingaporeans have an additional burden to bear of $1.32 billion a year, forever.

The government has also refused to restore CPF cuts. Which means the 1999 CPF cuts, which cost Singapore workers $7.5 billion in earnings a year, remains for a fourth year. That’s a total of $30 billion that workers have sacrificed so far.

Lving in $ingapore is a high cost affair. And WORKERS ARE THE ONES ASKED TIME AND TIME AGAIN TO BEAR THE BURDEN AND MAKE THE SACRIFICE.

+ + + + +

TRUE GREED




The nation-builder press, May 4 2004.

"As far as we can see, there isn't much rebuilding or peace-keeping going on in Iraq. It's a WAR."
- The young, restless and cynical Mirror Of Opinion, May 4, 2004.

+ + + + +

HANA, HANA, HANA...


The nation-builder press, May 4 2004.

DID YOU MISS THIS?

A 13-year-old girl was found lying at the bottom of a block of flats in Hougang on Tuesday, May 4, 2004. This was at about 7.55 pm at Block 535 Hougang Street 52. She was pronounced dead about half an hour later by paramedics. The girl is said to be a resident in the block. Police have classified the case as unnatural death.

The above was not reported in the nation-builder print press. You can read it here: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/83332/1/.html.
The news was only broadcast on radio and on the textbar for breaking news on Channel News Asia on May 4, 2004.

"Still shit-scared after all these years."
- The young, restless and cynical Mirror Of Opinion, May 4, 2004.

+ + + + +

BigO presents THE ROOSTER COGBURN TRUE GRIT AWARD





HERE ARE SOME PAP MPs WITH TRUE GRIT

PAP MP (Bukit Timah) DR WANG KAI YUEN



The nation-builder press, April 29, 2004

He holds 11 directorships in publicly-listed companies. He had to resign from one after PM Goh Chok Tong spelled out new guidelines banning PAP MPs from sitting on the boards of companies owned or chaired by grassroots leaders they have appointed. Dr Wang also has a full-time job as managing director of Xerox Software. True Grit.


PAP MP (Tampines GRC) ONG KIAN MIN




The nation-builder press, April 29, 2004


He holds 11 directorships, including at Osim and BreadTalk. He is a lawyer.

PAP MP (Hong Kah GRC) DR JOHN CHEN



The nation-builder press, April 29, 2004

He holds eight directorships. He was recently in the news when a shareholder questioned the amount of fees he earned as a director in one company.



The nation-builder press, Jan 20, 2004, quoting former million-dollar minister and NTUC leader John Chen.

"$ingapore's REAL National Shared Value: 'Do you want me to work for FREE?'"
- The young, restless and cynical Mirror of Opinion, Jan 20, 2004.

PAP MP (East Coast GRC) CHEW HENG CHING



The nation-builder press, April 29, 2004

He holds six directorships and is chairman of the Singapore Institute of Directors, managing director of Hiap Hoe Ltd and executive director of Lee Kim Tah Holdings.

These PAP MPs hold so many important positions in so many companies. And as Dr Wang Kai Yuen says, "It's not for the money because some of the companies pay me as little as $10,000 a year." True Grit.

HERO HENG




The nation-builder press, April 29, 2004

Mr Heng Yeow Peow was the foreman who died in the Nicoll Highway construction site accident. He saved the lives of his crew. He was 40. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. In the above report, in the final paragraph, it said: "So far, more than $30,000 has been collected," for Hero Heng. He was the sole family breadwinner.


+ + + + +

HAPPY MAY DAY


The nation-builder press, April 29, 2004.

"Two months to cheer until another MRT fare increase. HOORAY!"
- The young, restless and cynical Mirror Of Opinion, May 1, 2004.




DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALL RIGHT



The nation-builder press, April 27, 2004.




The nation-builder press, April 27, 2004.




In the above report, after 10 years in the nation-building press, Ginnie Teo has decided to leave for the United States. She states: "My family is living in the United States now, and I've decided that this is as good a time as any to join them..."





Click here for more