Sunday, January 30, 2011

PAP, from people’s advancement to pro-alien

One of the good articles:

PAP, from people’s advancement to pro-alien

In 1959, the PAP (People’s Action Party) was a achieved people’s advancement in socio-economic development. From 1984 onwards, the PAP regime promoted productivity to rely less on foreign workers. In 1990, the PAP promoted a Next Lap vision with immigration as a complement to make up for falling births.

More fast-track career path elite dominated the regime. They were excited about tapping the supposed talent pool of foreign talent around the world. In early 1993, the pro-PAP mainstream media heaped praise on Mr Sim Wong Hoo. He was perhaps Singapore’s only truly home-grown international entrepreneur.

The fast-trackers wanted to become Mr Sim in the fastest time. Under their unique style, they actively turned the workplace into a mini-United Nations (UN) at all levels. They reasoned if this would enhance Singapore’s global competitiveness and greater pay cheques for everyone, including themselves.

There was a huge increase in SPRs (Singapore Permanent Residencies) and citizenships. The beneficiaries included Temasek Review’s future favourite foreign talent Mr Sinha Shehkar. He became a citizen in 1994 at the age of 25 without having to perform National Service (NS). NS was military conscription or its equivalent for male citizens and certain SPRs.

More foreign students entered into the mainstream higher educational institutes such as NUS (National University of Singapore) and NTU (Nanyang Technological University). They were mainly concentrated in Engineering and Information Technology. Some received financial assistance from the PAP regime.

With the fast trackers’ promotion, these students soon had a rewarding career and SPR without serving NS. Some later assisted the PAP regime to bring in more foreigners between the ages of 21 and 35.

The supposed foreign talents had a future exit strategy for themselves and for their sons to legally avoid NS. The PAP regime knew about of NS avoidance but kept quiet as it gradually saw another value for immigrants. More naturalized citizens (about 7000 per year during the 1990s) meant political value.

The PAP regime was upset with certain younger home-grown locals’ interest in a 2 party system since the 1991 GE (General Election). The PAP repackaged itself as a party of both home-grown citizens and foreign immigrants. The fast-trackers wanted to maintain absolute political dominance at home.

After the Asian financial crisis of 1997, 45 year old lesser-educated workers became the 1st group of locals to lose their jobs. Requests for an immigration slowdown were rejected by the PAP regime. It emphasized retraining for reemployment but it was of limited use so long the massive immigration inflow continued.

During the regular wage rises from 1986 to 1996, many local workers benefited and assumed more good years. Some spent much of their money on eating, drinking and touring. After 1997, no 25-year-old high flyer in the civil bureaucracy wanted to spend much time on 45 year old obese and demoralized ex-workers.

A second elimination wave occurred to 45 year old senior managers from 1999 to 2000. In 1998, PAP legislator and NUS lecturer Dr Tan Boon Wan ( asked the Cabinet to define foreign talent in employment and career advancement.

The PAP regime became contradictory. It told locals to aim for high advancement while describing high-aspiring locals as pampered and choosy. It claimed there were chronic shortages of well-paid talents while emphasizing foreigners were brought in for low-paying jobs which locals were said to have avoided.

Nonstop and systematic glorification of foreigners by the PAP shaped the organizational mindset. Foreigners were employed and promoted at all levels, functions and sectors because they were foreigners. The employing organizations saw them as better, faster and sometimes cheaper. Improving productivity was nice but it took time. The massive inflow provided instant solutions.

Younger critics had little effect as they were in the minority in their age group. Many youngsters were still having good careers in both public and private sectors and did not care. Some such as Ms Jessica Tan (Information Technology) and Mr Teo Ser Luck (Logistics) would join the PAP regime.

In 1998, the TFR dropped below 1.5. According to the pro-PAP mainstream media, this was a sign that efforts to increase births had failed. The fast—trackers became more inclined to see immigration not just as a complement but a strategic portfolio. Massive immigration created a vicious cycle with less resident births.

While Dr Tan was voicing his concerns, NUS was planning for the next strategic initiative. In 2000-2001, his big boss,newly-installed Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Shih Choon Fong announced the formation of a NUS global knowledge enterprise. By 2005, NUS no longer resembled Singaporean.

The only barrier left was the 2001 GE. Young PAP leader Dr Vivian Balakrishnan talked about reaching out to the younger generation. Within the wider context, this also included the younger foreign immigrants. The PAP had a massive victory with 75.2% of the valid vote.

During the 2002 National Day rally speech, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong criticized unhappy emigrating locals and described them as quitters. The PAP transformation into the Pro Alien Party was complete.

Grey Hippo

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Christians Should Never Offend Anyone - Clearing Up Misconceptions

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Less time spent on reflecting God's words

I'm a bit guilty that I have "neglected" God in terms of studying the bible, increasing my knowledge on God's word and Christian affairs though I sometimes still read some Christian related Q&A, articles and occassionally being pulled to engage in some discussions on Christianity issue and so on. I must say that I have put more time thinking on national affairs and my future career that the time spent on reflecting God's words is reduced. But I believe the future will get better and I will be able to put more time to reflect on quiet time.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Christianity in China

Christianity in China

"Ironically," says Fu, "church history shows that the more the political persecution, the more believers there will be. This is the case in the Roman Empire, and also with China."

By Lauren Green

Published January 20, 2011 |

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While religion in China may not be a big topic for discussion during President Hu Jintao's meeting with President Obama this week, many experts say that an explosive growth in Christianity may be transforming the officially atheist regime.

According to China Aid, a Texas-based human rights group, the number of Christians in China has increased 100-fold since 1949. Current estimates range from 80 million to 130 million active members. And one startling estimate from a Chinese Christian businessman has that number doubling or even tripling in the next generation.

Christianity could become one of the macro forces shaping Chinese culture, say experts like Dr. David Aikman, author of "Jesus in Beijing."

"If the Chinese become Christianized ... which doesn't mean you have a majority of people who are Christians, but it means about 25 to 30 percent of people in positions of influence, in politics, in culture, in the media. If you have that component of a major power that accepts Christianity enthusiastically as a guide to life, that is going to change the world view of the leaders of China."

Others argue that even if the more generous estimate of 130 Christians is true, it's still a drop in the bucket in a population of more than a billion people.

But Dr. Luis Palau, who has preached in China, says Christians are among the country's most cohesive groups.

"They all preach the same gospel. There are no liberals or conservative branches ... they all believe the same."

Supporters say even estimating 80 million Christians in China, a conservative figure, still has them outnumbering the membership of the Communist Party, which at last check, in June 2010, was 78 million, according to the

What's the origin of this faith explosion?

China Aid's Bob Fu says Christianity experienced a growth spurt after the Tiananmen Square conflict. Six of the 30 student leaders who were arrested converted to Christianity.

"Ironically," says Fu, "church history shows that the more the political persecution, the more believers there will be. This is the case in the Roman Empire, and also with China."

But Chan-Kei Thong, a businessman who lived and worked in China for 30 years, said Chairman Mao Zedong, Communist China's founder, may have unwittingly paved the way.

"What Chairman Mao did that the emperors did not do, he brought in a form of pseudo monotheism, a pseudo person to worship ... himself ... as a personal god. "The Christian God fits into that."

The Chinese government is not exactly overjoyed at the prospect of Christianity's growth. Officially, the government says there are 28.6 million Christians. That's because it only counts churches that are registered with the government.

Despite China’s recent easing of hostilities toward Christians, Beijing has had a harsh and violent history with the growing religious community. Beijing’s often brutal crackdown -- including roundups, blacklisting and jailing -- drove thousands of followers underground, spurring on the house church network.

While some of those followers have since registered with the government, Beijing continues to crack down on unregistered house churches.

But as many as 60 percent of Chinese Christians attend unregistered house churches, Palau says.

Palau, who says he is on good terms with the government, added that some party members acknowledge in the neighborhood of 120 million active Christians.

Others see a government fear of Christianity's traditionally anti-Communist power as a factor -- and along with it a growing concern over China's human rights record.

What Fu sees in Hu's visit is a rare juncture in this changing philosophical climate, to press China harder on those issues.

"I think this is an historical opportunity for President Obama to really represent the free world's universal values. ... "It will be a huge mistake for Mr. Obama to put human rights at the bottom of the agenda."

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Retire on the cheap in China? Not so easy

I suspect that the concept / ideology of having China as a cheap location for manufacturing will be faced with problem in future as China is no longer a cheap place for living. Moreover, as cost of living increases, the wages of the workers must increase too. This concept or ideology is not sustainable..

Retire on the cheap in China? Not so easy

LEE CHOO KIONG | Thu, Dec 23, 8:33 AM

Dec. 23--HONG KONG -- When street hawker Ng Ching retired 13 years ago, he moved from Hong Kong to southern Chinese province of Guangdong -- where he thought he could stretch what little savings he had, with some help from his relatives there.

But when he returned to Hong Kong last month, the 82-year-old was desperate and destitute, his money long gone.

Mr Ng's dream of spending his retirement years in relatively cheap mainland China -- shared by hundreds of other ordinary Hong Kongers -- had been scuttled by the red-hot Chinese economy leading to soaring prices.

He was among the 100 destitute Hong Kongers who were escorted back to the Chinese city from the mainland by the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) in the first 11 months of this year.

The spokesman for the FTU's mainland consultation services centre told The Straits Times the federation had helped arrange for 110 retirees to return last year and another 90 in 2008.

In the four years from 2004 to 2007, there were only about 40 such cases in all.

"Rapid development, rising standard of living and high inflation are making life difficult for some of the elderly people living on the mainland," said the spokesman.

According to FTU figures, most of those who returned to Hong Kong were more than 75 years old. The oldest was 102.

"The bulk of these people are admitted into nursing homes, mainly because they have been away for a long time and no longer have property, relatives or friends in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

About 40,000 elderly Hong Kongers in mainland China face the same grim prospect of outlasting their savings, Sing Tao Daily reported.

This problem is the most serious in Shenzhen and Dongguan, the top cities for retirement in Guangdong province for Hong Kongers.

There have been calls for the Hong Kong government to relax some of the conditions to qualify for the Old Age Allowance (OAA). Hong Kongers aged 65 and above receive a cash allowance of HK$1,000 (US$128) a month.

But currently, they must stay in the territory for at least 90 days to qualify.

Although the government is expected to shorten this to 60 days in February next year, critics say it should do away with the minimum residence period instead.

They reason that some senior residents have no choice but to forgo the allowance because of ill health, which prevents them from travelling back, or because they have nowhere to stay in Hong Kong.

Mr Albert Poon, assistant officer at the FTU's centre in Shenzhen, thinks it makes more economic sense for the Hong Kong authorities to give the money with no strings attached so the retirees can continue to live in mainland China.

"If these old folk check into nursing homes in Hong Kong, the government would have to take full responsibility for the monthly fees ranging from HK$8,000 to HK$10,000," he was quoted as saying in the Southern Metropolis Daily.

Most old folks' homes on the mainland charge well under 4,000 yuan (US$602) a month.

The Hong Kong government spent HK$6.32 billion on the OAA in 2009 to 2010, according to figures from its Labour and Welfare Bureau.

More than 500,000 people were under the scheme at the end of September this year.

A 2007 survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department showed that almost 40,000 OAA recipients lived on the mainland.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Cheaper, Better and Faster

Copy the image from TOC. According to them, only the name of the staff is photoshoped..What the hell... Why is Singapore so obsessed with "Cheaper, Better and Faster" ??

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

I'm so dreaming of working overseas ....

I'm so dreaming of working overseas and come back once in a while!!! I think it would be beneficial for me (at least two things) and good to see more of the world outside the circumference of the little red dot!

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

My first post for the year 2011

I reiterate my stand which I wrote on 19th December:

The current ruling party should change name

If the current policies are the "best" for Singapore, I suggest the name of the current ruling party be changed as it is not consistent with their policies. It really a eye sore to me whenever I see a mismatch. Perhaps a name and logo change would make them more relevant in this latest stage of globalisation if they choose to continue to defend their ideology.

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