THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

Dr Tan Cheng Bock discussed Singapore politics with Lee Hsien Yang over breakfast!

Posted by temasektimes on November 4, 2018

Former Presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock had breakfast this morning with the estranged brother of Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Yang which sparked speculation among netizens about a possible collaboration between the duo to contest in the next General Election!

Source: Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page

In his post on Facebook, Dr Tan admitted that he had discussed the current state of Singapore politics over breakfast with Hsien Yang, whom he considered a personal friend.

“We had porridge & coffee with yu tiao. It was a good breakfast, not only the food, but the sharing we had on world affairs and the current state of politics in Singapore.”

A former PAP MP of Ayer Rajah constituency, Dr Tan contested unsuccessfully in the last Presidential Election and recently mooted the idea of forming an opposition coalition to contest against the PAP in the next General Election.

Lee Hsien Yang was estranged from his elder brother Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after the two had a public falling out over how to manage their deceased father former PAP strongman Lee Kuan Yew’s house at Oxley Road. His son Lee Shengwu was charged last year for contempt of court over a private Facebook page and is currently living in self-exile in the United States.

Dr Tan’s post prompted many netizens to question if he is collaborating with the younger Lee to challenge the PAP in the next election:

Besides Lee, Dr Tan Cheng Bock has been meeting leaders from the various opposition parties lately. However, the Workers Party has declined to meet with him out of fear of offending the PAP.

WP Chief Pritam Singh recently proclaimed on his Facebook page that WP is “PAP-lite” and he is proud of it. During a speech made at a forum organized by the Institute of Policy Studies in 2011, Pritam Singh promised to form a “coalition government” with the PAP should the latter fails to win a majority of seats in a future election.

It will be an uphill task for the other opposition parties to contest against the informal PAP-WP alliance in the next General Election even with a prominent former PAP MP like Dr Tan Cheng Bock leading them.

With a fake “opposition party” WP supporting the PAP, the latter is guaranteed to maintain its political hegemony in Singapore for many years to come like Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party which is supported openly and secretly by many fake “opposition parties” in Russia.

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Mediocre Malaysia ministers earn only $4,400 monthly!

Posted by temasektimes on November 3, 2018

Malaysia’s ministers earn only RM$13,400 or about $4,400 monthly only, according to figures released by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)!

To put it in perspective, this is less than 5% of the salary of a Singapore minister, who can take home more than $1 million dollars annually, inclusive of various bonuses!

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad takes home a pathetic RM$23,000, or about S$7,600 as compared to Singapore Prime Minister’s salary of S$2 million dollars though he governs a much bigger country with a population of 25 million people.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong recently proclaimed publicly that those earning less than $500,000 annually are “mediocre” and do not qualify to be a PAP minister.

Judging from his brilliant statement, the whole Malaysian cabinet must be “mediocre” indeed!

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Goh Chok Tong: I know I am not a “seat warmer” !

Posted by temasektimes on November 2, 2018

Singapore’s former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said he was sure he was not being appointed by PAP strongman Lee Kuan Yew to be a “seat warmer” to his son Lee Hsien Loong!

 

In a Q&A section in his biography, Goh, who is now known by his honorific title (without pay) Emeritus Senior Minister or ESM said:

“It was interaction and confidence in (Lee Kuan Yew). If I suspected that he was just putting me to be a seat warmer for his son, and just for two, three years, what is the point? Then I would have said ‘let us find a way for Lee Hsien Loong to take over from you’. There was no need to have me. There was no point.”

He added that he was never worried about the seat warmer joke because in his heart, he knew that Lee Kuan Yew never meant for him to be a seat warmer.

“If Lee Kuan Yew used me for his own purpose, then what is the point for me? History would laugh at you, isn’t it? I have the self-confidence. I was prepared to do the job and I knew he was honest with me, my strengths and weaknesses,” he concluded.

ESM Goh became Prime Minister in 1990 and relinquished the position to Lee Hsien Loong in 2003. He was widely known for promulgating the “Asset Enhancement Scheme” and “Swiss standard of living” during his reign, effects of which are still keenly felt today.

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Breaking News: U.S. Justice Department to charge Jho Low in 1MDB scandal!

Posted by temasektimes on November 1, 2018

The U.S. Justice Department is set to charge the mastermind of Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low together with two former Goldman Sachs bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Tim Leissner is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to launder money and to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He will forfeit US$43.7 million dollars.

Roger Ng, who was arrested in Malaysia will also be indicted while the whereabouts of Jho Low is currently unknown though it is widely speculated to be in China.

Jho Low was regarded as the mastermind behind the 1MDB scandal by siphoning more than US$4.5 billion dollars from the fund, perpetuating the largest fraud in the world.

U.S. prosecutors have previously filed civil asset forfeiture suits to seize assets allegedly purchased with funds stolen from 1MDB.

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Value of 3 room HDB flats in Toa Payoh declined by as much as 30% in 4 years

Posted by temasektimes on November 1, 2018

The value of 3 room HDB flats in Toa Payoh which are more than 50 years old has declined by as much as 30 percent in the past 4 years!

As a property agent specializing selling HDB flats in Toa Payoh, I can tell you that it is very difficult to find buyers for these aging HDB flats which have undergone upgrading just a few years ago.

Sellers who ask for unrealistic prices for their units, even at bank valuation, usually are unable to sell them. For those who need to offload their flats urgently, they will have to give steep discounts of sometimes more than $50,000 to entice buyers.

For the purpose of comparison, let us use the recent sales transactions of 2 room HDB flats at the same size of 710 square feet at Block 9 Toa Payoh Lorong 7.

Read rest of article here.

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How Weng Fan: Sylvia Lim is “hopeless” !!!

Posted by temasektimes on October 31, 2018

More dirty linen from the Workers’ Party continued to be aired out for public view in the latest proceedings of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) trial during which its former deputy secretary How Weng Fan described its Chairman Sylvia Lim as being “hopeless” in a phone conversation recorded in 2016 with a KPMG executive!

 

Ms How also accused Ms Lim of being “inexperienced” and “so scared of everything”, adding that the town council would “sure die” under her watch.

Parts of the conversation were read out by Mr Davinder Singh, with Ms How saying that Ms Sylvia Lim, AHTC’s chairperson and WP chairman, was a “hopeless” town council chairperson who was . She added that the town council would “sure die” under Ms Lim’s watch.

She also blamed Ms Lim for her husband’s death in 2015:

“You know, I had to lose my husband in the process. I think you read in the papers you should know. And because of her.”

When asked by Mr Singh who is the “her”, Ms How answered “Sylvia”:

“My husband was under a lot of pressure. We went through a lot of hell having to set up the town council properly, amidst all the problems that we had and at the end of the day we deal with audit, then AGO, then we have to deal with audit again, PwC, and nobody wants to listen to the problems we were facing and going through and at the end of the day, the town council accepts the AGO’s report just like that. Which cannot.”

How’s damning testimony put the already embattled Sylvia Lim in a bad spotlight with many Singaporeans harboring doubts about her handling of the takeover of AHTC such as appointing a completely new and inexperienced company FMSS to take over the town council without calling for an open tender.

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Jailed dentist Hoo Swee Tiang suspended 6 months for molesting bank teller!

Posted by temasektimes on October 30, 2018

Disgraced dentist Hoo Swee Tiang who was jailed six weeks last year for molesting a bank teller on a MRT train is now handed a six month suspension by the Singapore Dental Council (SDC)!

Hoo was sentenced to six weeks’ jail in 2016 after he was convicted of molesting a 30 year old woman who was working as a bank teller, by stroking her inner thighs while they were on an MRT train.

He lost his appeal against his sentence in 2017 and served a six week prison sentence for the offence.

SDC  brought one charge against him for his conviction of a criminal offence, implying a defect of character that makes him unfit for his profession under section 40(1)(b) of the Dental Registration Act.

At the end of his suspension, Hoo will need to work for two years under conditional registration which requires his principal supervisor to submit a report to the SDC every six months.

He will only be able to apply for full registration after completing the two year conditional registration, subject to SDC’s approval.

A quick google search of his name reveals many blogs with the title “Dr Hoo Swee Tiang – No 1 Dentist for Singapore”

It is not known if such blatant misleading self-promotion is allowed under the SDC guidelines.

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Cherian George: PAP model compromised quality of decision making in Singapore

Posted by temasektimes on October 29, 2018

The PAP’s monopoly on power has compromised quality of decision making in Singapore, charged prominent local academic Cherian George who is currently a media professor at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Speaking at the Institute of Policy forum last week, Prof George said the aspiration to build a democratic society in Singapore may have been enshrined in the Pledge but the meaning has been “hollowed out” over the decades since the country’s first-generation leaders wrote it.

 

This was due to Singapore’s minimal model of democratic government primarily by way of an electoral mandate, which has led to a failure to harness fully the nation-building potential of democracy, according to Prof George.

“The PAP’s (People’s Action Party) preferred model of democracy is one where citizens stay out of the kitchen and entrust the job to professional cooks,” he added.

Prof George compared the Singapore government to a dominant monopoly that is also its own regulator, whose unchallenged position is impervious to the marketplace of ideas.

“This model has already compromised the quality of decision making and led to an unnecessary, avoidable depletion of the political capital the government needs to serve its nation-building role, and is at odds with the clarion call contained in our Pledge, that we the citizens of Singapore are fellow nation-builders.”

Prof George used the PAP’s mismanagement of Singapore’s immigration to illustrate his point that such a model of governance has compromised the quality of decision-making.

The PAP has ruled Singapore with an iron fist continuously for 59 years since 1959, making it the political party with the second longest lived political party in the world after the Chinese Communist Party of China.

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Letter to MCYS questioning legality of WP’s fund-raising

Posted by temasektimes on October 28, 2018

Hi,

I am writing to express my concern about the three WP MPs Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh calling for public donations to foot their legal bills which has raised over $500,000 so far.

https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/workers-party-mps-receive-nearly-500000-in-public-donations-to-fund-ahtc-lawsuits

1. I understand from the Commission of Charity website that anybody who wants to solicit for public donations have to apply for a licence or permit to do so. In this case, did the three WP MPs apply for the relevant permits and are they approved?

2. The three MPs are soliciting from the public money to pay for their own personal expenses as in their legal fees and not for any charitable cause. Is this legally allowed in Singapore?

3. Given the large amount of public monies collected so far, who is going to ensure the monies are not being misused especially when the WP has clarified that the party will not use the donations in any way? Who is going to audit them?

4. Do the three MPs need to pay income tax for the “donations” which after all will be going into their pockets? It is not fair to Singaporeans who have been paying their income taxes dutifully on far less income while these MPs have gotten more than half a million dollars in a day without paying taxes.

I hope the ministry will investigate and look into this matter to ensure that public interests is protected and not manipulated by individuals for their own selfish gains.

Regards,

Germaine Lim

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Can I use my CPF or secure a bank loan to buy a 70 year old HDB flat

Posted by temasektimes on October 22, 2018

Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said recently at a dialogue session with young people that Singaporeans who buy a 50-year-old Housing Board (HDB) flat today can expect prices to continue to appreciate over the next 10 years.

“If you buy a 70-year-old flat, there is still appreciation potential especially because this Government is prepared to continue to invest in it through Home Improvement Programme (HIP) II and the Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (Vers),” Mr Khaw said.

While it is difficult to ascertain if his statement is true as no HDB flats have reached the 70 year mark yet, we can examine if it is possible to secure a bank loan and to use CPF to purchase the flat.

Read rest of article here.

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