POST GE2015 REVIEW


The General Election on 11 Sept had drawn to a closed and a new chapter of Singapore beings. PAP and won a surprise landslide victory with a vote swing of around 10%. It’s surprises many, even from the PAP camp. Let look at the factors that causes this landslide victory.

1. Too Many Opposition Parties

A total of nine opposition parties took part in the GE 2015 against PAP. The general feeling is for the opposition to claim victory which was not happening. A lot of people are afraid that PAP will be toppled and the future is uncertain if Opposition won the election. The considerations mainly is, if opposition was to win the election, with so many parties involved, who will be the Prime Minister, who will be the Minister. With each party want the best for their party, this might cause a turmoil for Singapore. This is the major fear factor Singaporeans had when they go to the polling station.

2. Election Strategies

PAP had been using the town council as their firing tools while the opposition parties are using mainly: 6.9 million population white paper, asking Government to return the CPF to citizens at age 55, alternative policy paper, medishield life.

So what went wrong for the opposition parties on election strategies?

On the ground, is majority of citizens really against 6.9 million population white paper? Maybe, what citizens are looking forward to, what are the solution to be offered if they vote against the white paper! Apparently, non of the parties really offer ideal solutions as citizen are afraid of economy downturn which will affect their rice bowl.

Next, return of CPF at age 55! Are majority of the citizens wanting to withdraw their CPF money when they turn 55? The citizens are more concerned about their retirement than taking their money out. The majority of the money in OA account is being used for Housing and Education for their children which left little for them to retire with sufficient money. The opposition parties had not touch on this at all!

Alternative policy – while this is a good initiatives, but do citizens concerned about what you are going to offer? No! the reason is very simple, your party are not big enough to form the government even all your members are elected into the parliament. At most, citizens will treat it as alternative solutions for the government to consider.

Medishield Life – A good initiatives by the government but the drawback is the cost of insurance is rather high. Wanting the citizens to reject it without any ideal solution is crazy especially the high cost of medical in Singapore which the citizens are more worried about.

Do the parties engage people to do survey on what is the real concerned they have? Using parties member to engage the citizens will not enable you to get the true picture.

All these issues raised by the opposition parties compare to PAP firing at Town Council, Citizens would rather choose the latter as they are the government before election.

3. Internal and Inter-parties Issues

Internal fighting within the party itself, and disagreement between parties which usually happened when the election is near. This is very damaging to the parties involved and it will serve any help to the opposition cause.

4. Parties Supporters

Opposition Supporters should support and encourage whichever party to contest in their constituency. Instead, they went about smearing, laughing at the parties and worst wanting a specific party to go and contest there. In the opposition unity, it actually create chaos within the party contesting there as they had to do firefighting first and derailed their preparation. It also gives swing voters more doubts about the party.

It’s nothing wrong in supporting whichever party you like. But contesting an election requires lots of financial and logistic support which the party might not able to support them.

5. Swing Voters

This election saw a huge increase of swing voters, swing voters are the strong forces behind each election. In order to win the election, the party must convinced them before they were to vote for you. Sadly, opposition parties are fighting gorilla warfare against PAP which they are not interested in. They want what kind of benefit, security for them and their family.

The election results never lie, it’s clearly that the opposition parties had played their cards wrongly in this election. It might be a wakeup call for all the parties to rethink and prepare for their next election!

Why should Singaporeans Boycott Uber, UberX or Uber Taxi?


With past couple of weeks with Uber company offering free rides under UberX or Uber Taxi, Consumers were delighted that they were able to get two free rides a day. While  the drivers for UberX and Taxis are happily earning to the max.

It brought cheers to consumers and drivers, but there are some angry passengers too. They couldn’t get a free ride after trying to get one after 45 minutes. It’s just a marketing strategy by Uber to market their services to the Singapore consumers.

Let’s get back to reality, here are a list of concern that Singaporeans should think about before using their services again.

1) Credit card information – While the credit card details are stored in the Uber data storage which might be prone by hackers

2) Global Position System (GPS) – Your traveling pattern will be known to unknown as Uber is using GPS to track where your journey starts and ends. Thus disclosing your location to unknown sources.

3) Credit card payment – The payment terminal is not located in Singapore but in United States where you might suffered exchange loss. Right now there isn’t significant different as they are still offering 25% discount on your taxi rides.

4) Unethical ways of doing business

I) Seeking customers to release details of  which taxi drivers and their contact who do not sign up with Uber. While it’s no wrong to share the good things to others, but it’s wrong to share our contact to other people without our permission. It’s the same that as a taxi driver, we do not send out passenger contact details to third parties. It’s the privacy of our rights that the contact must be kept confidential at all times.

II) Which ever taxi drivers that took up their free IPhone and their jobs, received a call from Uber that they are not allowed to use other third parties apps and are told to delete them off. Who are they to mind our business which apps taxi drivers use since they do not have any legal document that say that taxi drivers are not allowed to use other apps. This also create an anti-competition act in Singapore!

5) Most Importantly, Why we Singaporeans should boycott Uber?

While the government are not allowed to ban Uber outright due to the free trade agreement, but What I’m seeking is changing the business model of Uber and UberX which is using metered-charged system (I have previously mention in my blog).

The company comes here to earn money in Singapore without any employment benefit to Singaporeans. Yes they have Singaporean on the ground to run the promotion and signing up drivers. But once they have establish themselves in Singapore, all these job are made redundant. For your information, even their telephone operators are foreigners based overseas, using internet to contact drivers and customers. In other words, their company is nothing but an empty shell in Singapore.

While we welcome foreign companies to set-up their business in Singapore, we need to see economic growth and employment benefit for Singapore. Without any employment benefit to Singaporeans, what the use to welcome this type of company to operate in Singapore? I would rather don’t welcome them at all!

The choice is yours, nobody is stopping you from using Uber! But think again, if any company that comes to Singapore to start business without any employment benefit to Singaporeans, then there will be no job for Singaporeans in the future.

Ban Uber Taxi in Singapore


Dear Minister Lui,

I’m a full-time taxi driver and I would like to share with you my concerned about Uber limousine Taxi into Singapore market.

Uber had come into Singapore market since 2013, catering services that offer high-end limousine services to their member. Lately, they started their new UberX which cater to the standardise taxi limousine.

In the newspaper report, they had highlight that they do not infringe the LTA rules as they cater to their “Member” only. So What are their so-called members? Members are those who just registered in the Apps and instantly becomes their member. It’s like a wolf in a sheep clothing.

The main concern that I have is as follows:

  1. Private limousine should not charge by meter but rather they should be charged a flat fee. Why are they allowed to charge based on meter which is no different from our local taxi, be it standard taxi or limousine taxi?

  2. Anyone can become a Uber driver so long they have a valid insurance to have commercial coverage. So where is the service standard that we are looking at? Anyone without a valid vocational license can become a Uber driver so long they are registered with Uber. This lead to another question: Is the LTA is the main authority to allow who can drive a taxi in Singapore or Uber are the authority?

    This will give taxi driver want-to-be no incentive to get the vocational license if they can drive one without having the license.

  3. The re-surfacing of pirate taxi! With the private car enable to pick up commuters, how can the commuters knows if they are genuine taxi drivers, there will bound to have some driver taking the risk picking commuters without proper insurance coverage just like early 80s.

  4. Bad Taxi service without proper control will create free for all to pick up commuters off the roads.

  5. Protect the only jobs for Singaporean only!

    As a displaced PMET, driving a taxi is one of the last resort that we have to survive in today high cost of living in Singapore, With Uber Taxi services, apart from Singaporean can drive, they allowed PR as their limousine Taxi driver as well.

    If this is the direction the government that heading, the only Singaporean job will be at risk! What can those other misplaced PMET going to do is there isn’t anymore taxi driving as the last resort?

    This is going to reflect badly towards the government caring towards Singaporean!

  6. Negative image of Singapore will be presented to Tourist. While we are known to have strict regulations, nothing is done with this instant. How would the tourists feel if the they take a private vehicle as taxi?

  7. How accurate the meter can be? Although it goes according to the GPS via their phone applications, LTA have no control of how the meter has been charged, will the commuters fairly over charged will be unknown.

  8. The last of the concern is for all commuters! The Safety of the commuters.

    With LTA have not authority on who UBER engaged, effectively those former taxi driver who had been revoked of the taxi vocational license can continue to ply their trade via UBER. Current Taxi Driver with valid vocational license will conduct themselves well as their vocational license is at stake. But nothing can be say so if it is from private taxi.

With France, Belgium, Germany and England, in United States (Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago), they have banned or having the intention of banning UBER and other private taxi which do not have the regulation control of the taxi drivers. It has brought unfair advantage of those unlicensed taxi drivers over those license drivers.

With the above concern that I have highlighted, I hoped that your good ministry will take a proper stand on this issue. Any misstep by your good ministry will create chaos in the public transport system that the government had built up over the years.

Note: This email will be cc to The Online Citizen, TR Emeritus, The Real Singapore and LTA

Little India Riot Aftermath


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It’s a sad day for Singapore. First Rioting case in 44 years. What cause the riots is everybody’s guess now! Let’s not get into what causes the riot as police investigations are under way now. Till then, let’s us not do the guessing game.

As the dust had settle since, let’s us take a look back on the ground sentiments. For some, anguish,fearful on the extend of the riots. Some are so happy that it’s happens saying it’s a wake up call for the PAP.

For those anguish, fearful. Everyone of us will have the same feeling as you. How can a peaceful nation, Singapore, suddenly having riots over an incident? How safe is Singapore now? Can we still be safe when we go out at night or alone? How can those rioters so disrespectful of our Singapore law? All these questions come into our mind.

For those who are happy, they talk about this is the result of the PAP for bringing in so much foreigners to support the economy.  It’s the failure of the PAP for this riot to happen!

During the riot, people are questioning some the reaction of the police and SCDF. To be fair to the civil servants on the ground, let me say a few fair statement for their reactions:

1) Policemen were seen running away from the angry mob.

  • They were outnumbered at that time. For anyone in that situation, whether you are the ground commander or the police in-charge will ask your man to retreat until enforcement arrives.
  • If the policemen who are outnumbered and continue to stay at the scene, who can ensure that their lives are safe?

2) SCDF Fire Engine Reversing and make a hasty exit from the scene.

  • What can the fire engine do if they stay at the scene? In order to protect the property and the safety of the SCDF personnel, it’s ony the right thing to do is to exit the scene as soon as possible. Let the correct man to do the job.

3) Why the Riot Police arrive so late

  • How fast do you expect the riot police to arrive? Almost immediately after the distress call? Let’s be fair, once button pressed, they need time to go to the scene and to me the response time is reasonable.

4) Why not a single shot fired at the mob?

  • Depend on situations. The mob start to run away once the riot police arrived. With the large number of the riot police around, and no more attacking against the officers on the ground, to fire a shot is an inhuman thing to do. For this, a well done move by the police force.

Let’s get back to the real issue. Minister had called us not to politicised the issue, but can we? Let me explain what’s the real issue leading to the riots (I’m not expert on this matter but giving my view).

  1. In recent years, mass importation of foreigners to our shore, be it expatriate or labour workers, had led to concave of their own people. They coming from different countries and have different culture that is different from us (how about different culture from different countries mixing together?), they don’t even want to integrate into our society. That’s where the tension starts to build up. (Do we see these type of tension when limited importation of foreigner workers?)
  2. Weak Labour Law had led to slavery state of these low-end workers. They do not have any mean of protection from the law against the errant employers and agents. Even when they in dispute with their employers awaiting outcome, they are not allowed to work to survive. Therefore, they do not have any area of letting out their frustrations.
  3. Many of the foreigners that work in Singapore comes from countries that riots are the common scene. It’s their natural behaviour when things turns ugly.

This will not be the one and the last incident to happen to Singapore. With the large importation of the foreigners, Are the Police, Arm Forces ready for more action in the future to come?

Lastly, I wish all injured have a speedy recovery, full punishment to those offender and do not let anyone scot-free.

Philippines to stop deploying maid to Singapore from Sept 2013


The Philippines is going to stop deployment of her citizen to Singapore as maid from Sept 2013 due to disagreement to the placement fee.

Over the years, Employers had been spoilt for choices to foreign workers without incurring extra cost to hire them (Be it maid or otherwise). All the placement fee has been borne by the employee in other to get work in Singapore.

Singaporean are complaining that PMET being displaced by the foreigners, but why Employers choose to continue employing foreigners?

Most companies in Singapore do not have the HR overseeing the hiring process but handled by the recruitment agent. Thus searching of good hiring requires money for the recruitment agent, either by the hiring company or the job seekers.

Generally, Singaporean do not pay for placement fee but the companies will foot the bail for the recruitment process.

Thus if you are the employer and wish to recruit a new staff, you would be more interested in hiring the foreign job seekers as you do not need to pay for the placement fee. On top of that, you would be able to change/reject the job seekers if they do not perform up to mark.

Thus I urge the Manpower Ministry to look into this issue. I would suggest that legalisation of all employers to borne the placement fee to the recruitment agent. This will in fact help to create a better playing field for the Singaporean seeking jobs.

Productivity in Singapore on the decline


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In the news, the productivity rate in Singapore on the decline even through the our GDP is increasing with ever-increasing of workforce mainly from other countries.

Based on Wikipedia:

Productivity is the ratio of output to inputs in production; it is a measure of the efficiency of production.

Productivity has many benefits. At the national level, productivity growth raises living standards because more real income improves people’s ability to purchase goods and services, enjoy leisure, improve housing and education and contribute to social and environmental programs. Productivity growth is important to the firm because more real income means that the firm can meet its (perhaps growing) obligations to customers, suppliers, workers, shareholders, and governments (taxes and regulation), and still remain competitive or even improve its competitiveness in the market place.

So the main question is: Why there is a decline in productivity despite more manpower and employee putting in man hours?

According the Gilbert Goh in transitioning .org, our workers are overly exploited. Yes, it’s overly exploited!!! I have come across PMET working every day from 9am till 1am the next day and the pay is pathetic.

Now I’m not going to talk about pay in here. I’m more interested in the real reason behind the decline of productivity decline.

1) More foreigner than local. Lots of foreigners are coming to Singapore to work.

We all know that in the service sectors like food industry, phone operators, construction worker and PMET. We don’t hate foreigners but the rate of foreigners coming into Singapore at such an astonishing rate, thus skill level of the foreigners are on the decline.

Quoting an example, in the telephone operators, mainly operated by the Pinoy and the Indian, like LTA, Banks, Singtel etc. Ask yourself a question: How many time do you need to call the operators to solve your problem comparing 10 years ago and now?

For me, I had to call Singtel, or DBS at least 2 to 3 times before my problem is solved. That why, today I only speaks to local operators.

Companies are arguing that local do not want to be telephone operators. Somewhat I agreed. Being a phone operator, they need to endure to nasty and rude customers. That’s not the main problem. The main problem is the pay. How much do the company willing to pay before a local consider this as a job? Less than a thousand dollars pay will continue let the companies into difficulties in getting locals to work in that industry.

Why not the companies pay a bit more like $1500 to $2000 to engage the local to work as telephone operators? As telephone operators are “Cost Center” to them, they would like to minimise the cost as low as possible. But in return, they had a trade-off of low productivity. This translate into productivity cost the company itself and productivity of the caller as well.

Also another reason the could be: telephone operators (foreign operators) work with their head but not their soul (This is what I feel). They do not really understand what our problem well and we had to repeat and repeat again to get the message through.

This kind of problems we had faced day-in day-out in today’s context. Not just in the telephone operators but in the service industry .

2) Too many Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

In order to safe guard the company or industry interest, there is always a SOP for all to follow. Don’t get me wrong! SOP is a must have to safe guard the interest of the company. But complicated SOP will sometime leads to employee confused themselves. Thus they need to ask around to make sure that they are following the SOP closely. This is total waste of time and man hours for the company.

A general and simple SOP will enough for all the employee to follows thus allowing more free play by the employees and easy understanding by them. Reduce unnecessary paperwork so they can cut their workload in a single case.

3) Top-down micro management

The top management do not really trust their subordinates and any questions and procedure that are out of the SOP need to sought the approval from the management. This create an unnecessary time wastage as subordinates are afraid of infringing the SOP set down by the management.

Sometime, when a decision finalised and pass the information down. Often than not, subordinates just follows and don’t question them. They are afraid to bring out the concern to the management about the decision made mainly afraid of offending their management.

Communication is a two-way thing and it is not a top-down communication. Management should not feel threaten when a concern raised.

4)  Job Hopping

There is a trend that job hopping is on the raise. This really bring down the productivity rate of the company as they need to hire new staff, train them all over again to get them familiarise with the working system in the company.

Company should work together with the employees. It must treat the employees as a family members. Employees must have balance work-life. Employees are not the slave of the company and don’t expect them to serve you 24/7. They have their families too. Money is never the major issue if the company creates a good work-life environment for their employees.

Why people job hopped is mainly due to work stress and lack of work-life balance. Money is another reason that people job-hopped, given all companies lack of work-life balance, they will choose the company with the higher compensation of their pay.

Given a choice, would an employee work-life balance company job hopped to another company that offer slightly higher package but with higher stress level and lack of work-life balance? Most properly not as they will tend to enjoy their work in the current company than going to other company. People will also resist changes to their current lifestyle (if given a work-life balance environment).

In order to increase productivity of the company, work-life balance is the way to go. Companies should treat their employees as family, retain staff and open management (open discussion with subordinates). Without all these factors, GDP will only continue to increase with the ever-increasing manpower.