Tag Archive | Workers’ Party

I am curious… but not yellow…

so will ask the Ministry of National Development and other ministries, agencies, statutory boards or what have you to please let me and other equally kay poh Singaporeans know

1) MND’s reply (see below) –to one of Mediacorp’s several questions ignited by the seemingly lousy debt collecting ability of the Workers Party when it came to the s&CC of households in its Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council –makes me hungering for more.

MND, do give a total breakdown of just how many 1, 2, 3 and 4 room flats there are, instead of lumping them into 3-room and smaller and 4-roomers. And don’t stop at just four Town Councils! Please give statistics for all 16 Town Councils.

That way, kay pohs on both sides of the divide — pro-PAP and pro WP — will see the exact picture of who gets what and how much. Then can better compare and contrast.

Shouldn’t be a Herculean task as I’m sure all the needed data are in the MND or the HDB’s database.

2) Other stuff that I am curious about is crime statistics. Not where crimes are committed but which town council has the dubious reputation of having the most residents calling Changi prison home at one time or another in their life.

Breakdown of their crimes too would be great for then we will know which crime flavour — murder, assault, molest, cheating, CBT, arson, you get the picture — permeates the air of which TC.

3) Another set of numbers that should prove interesting is which TC has the most residents depending on public assistance.

4) On the plus side, I would like to know which TC has nurtured the most government scholars and the most graduates. Good too if we are told whether any TC is the best breeding ground for Singapore politicians. Or where they would move to once they get into Parliament.

While Singapore and the world now knows that 1 in 3 residents in AHPETC didn’t pay-won’t pay-can’t pay their S&CC bills, it would be interesting to uncover if Tanjong Pagar Town Council is where most of our politicians live ūüėÜ

Question: How is the S&CC Operating Grant computed?

MND Answer: The S&CC operating grant is allocated to all Town Councils (TCs) based on the number of HDB flat units and the flat types. Smaller flat types get higher grants.

The grant enables TCs to subsidise the S&CC for residents living in 4-room and smaller flats, with more being allocated for 1-room (S$33.70 per month), 2-room (S$26.20 per month) and 3-room (S$17.00 per month) households. The grant for each 4-room household is S$9.00 per month.

This grant formula has been in place since 1999, and is applied consistently to all TCs. S&CC grants are not based on the number of voters, nor does it apply to private property residents. TCs will receive more grants if they have more and smaller HDB flat types.

Ang Mo Kio TC and Tanjong Pagar TC receive more grants than AHPETC because they have more and smaller HDB flats. Ang Mo Kio has 89,127 HDB flats, of which 39 per cent are 3-room or smaller. Tanjong Pagar has 75,050 HDB flats, of which 59 per cent are 3-room or smaller. In comparison, AHPETC has 71,760 flats, of which only 29 per cent are 3-room or smaller. Likewise, even though Chua Chu Kang has about the same number of HDB flats (71,348) as AHPETC, Chua Chu Kang receives less S&CC grant (S$4.9 million compared to AHPETC’s S$7.2 million), because only 12 per cent of its flats are 3-room or smaller.


WP is gracious in victory

That’s what I thought of the way the Workers’ Party handled its suprisingly (to me anyway) good victory. At least in the¬†manner Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim, Lee Li Lian and Ah Huat handled their press conference earlier this morning

They were clearly delighted that their party won quite handsomely: it’s by 3,000+ votes leh and not the the 300 votes that were being twittered around be4 pole faced n squeaky voiced Yam Ah Mee made his pronouncement.

There was no¬†trace of triumphalism among the WP leaders; no excessive and unrealistic ambitions, with Chairman Lim pointing out in answer to a reporter’s leading question. The Opposition with only 10 seats out of 90 in Parliament is a long way from being able to form a government.

So, no, unlike Chua Mui Hoong of the Straits Times, I think what happened¬†in Punggol East last night is no tipping point for the PAP or politics in Singapore — yet.

But the PAP could make it¬†the tipping point all the same if it doesn’t accept defeat with the same graciousness with which WP embraced victory.

Take the PAP’s press conference to concede defeat and congratulate the WP.

The slight smiles on the faces of Teo Chee Hean and Koh Poh Koon were painful to see. They were more like grimaces plastered there out of PR necessity than a genuine acceptance that the majority of citizens in Punggol East had gone with the WP!

Also, i couldn’t help noticing how Mr Teo kept clenching his fists or his impatience in asking¬†if there were “any more questions” –that wasn’t a real invitation for more but a signal to close for the night.

Hopefully what I saw last night was just the natural human reaction to an unexpected and unwanted event and that the simmering disappointment and/or anger at being rejected wouldn’t be carried over to the handing over of Punggol East’s Town Council infrastructure to the WP.

Otherwise Punggol East could go down in¬†the PAP’s¬†history as the truly tipping point ūüė• ūüė•

Medisave, Medifund & the elderly

I feel so reassured that our Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has stated that senior citizens would always receive the health care they need without having to worry about whether they can afford to pay their medical bills.

“The important message is that our senior citizens will always receive the necessary health-care services without worry about affordability,” Mr Gan said at a clan event according to various media reports.

The minister added: “I encourage all these elderly folks… if they have problems with their bills, do let the hospitals, public institutions, health-care institutions know.

“We’ll find different ways to help them.”

Medifund Silver, for instance, is a scheme for needy patients aged 65 and older, he cited.

“We also have given the hospitals a lot of flexibility in terms of eligibility criteria, so that they can reach out to more elderly who are in need of support for their healthcare needs.”

This being so, I don’t understand why¬†Mr Gan¬†has¬†to urge¬†caution¬†regarding the Workers Party Punggol East candidate Lee Li Lian’s suggestion that those older than 75 should be allowed to use their Medisave without restriction.

“We have to be mindful these are very important savings of the elderly, and they will continue to need the savings as they grow older,” the minister said.

If there is always Medifund and Medifund Silver and a plethora of help for the needy, especially the elderly needy, why need there be any restrictions for use of their Medisave, especially when they are 75 or over?

It doesn’t make sense that a citizen shouldn’t rely on himself first — when there’s still $ in his Medisave account. It also doesn’t make sense to tap on tax payers’ money when there’s still $ in his Medisave account.

It’s like putting the cart be4 the horse. It’s like saving the water in one’s home to put out a small fire and calling the SCDF instead ūüôĄ ūüôĄ

Still, I’m delighted to note that Mr Gan¬†gave a reminder of¬†what’s in store for elderly Singaporeans this year. The age limit for MediShield, the national health insurance scheme, will be raised to 90!

Hopefully, this new limit won’t be put off limits to the elderly living in non HDB homes. Hopefully too, my elderly mum — who has been thrown out of the Medishield scheme twice already — will live long enough to be thrown out a third time! That’s something I personally look forward to¬† ūüėÜ

Inane thots on Punggol East BE

First thought: SDP, despite its silly games in recent days trying to¬†bait the Workers Party, ain’t daft. By throwing in the towel even be4 the real game has begun shows that it knows the $16K deposit it will surely lose on the night of Jan 26 makes¬†for a very expensive candle just to play-play.

Second thought: The u-know-who’s from the other two parties if they go ahead with their promise (threat?) to put up candidates for the BE will surely make the state coffers $32K richer — besides¬†having to bear other expenses¬†during the 9 days of husting. If they think this kind of expensive candle is worth the game, then they are truly daft.

Third thought: stemming from thoughts one and two, it’s obvious why any Punggol resident who isn’t daft but is¬†anti PAP won’t go for anyone else other than the Workers Party candidate. This is because she¬†clearly has a far better chance than anyone from the rest of the Opposition to win against the PAP.¬†Otherwise, the anti-PAP voters might as well spoil their votes, right¬† ūüėÜ

Fourth thought: Poor Dr Koh Poh Koon. I won’t give him a drop of sympathy because he came from a poor family. What I do feel for him is why he allows such unflattering photos of himself to be captured? As an eternal sucker for good looking politicians, I really feel sorry for him that he isn’t more photogenic, especially when compared to¬†his chief rival for the Punggol East seat! ūüė•


One more after thought, no less inane: The biggest potential loser in this upcoming BE is the PAP — if it loses the single seat ward to the WP. Yet could it afford not to take this gamble, if it wishes to maintain the moralistic high ground? But would the moralistic high ground remain tenable if (heaven forbid) 10 PAP were found to have done what Michael Palmer did — have an extramarital affair? Tenable I mean for both PAP and SG ūüė•

When shall we three meet again?

B-D Trio

… in thunder, lightning or in¬†rain…?

When the hurlyburly’s done,
¬†When the battle’s lost and won….

Well, the Hougang battle’s been lost by the PAP and won by the Workers¬†Party. I don’t know when there will be a reprise of the May 26 joust.¬†Perhaps the next general election?

But I know when we three B-D gals would meet again. Soon.

For our next birthday month of May, when our joint celebration is¬†held again, there won’t be the background excitement of a rare Singapore experience — a by-election to¬†add oomph and bite to our always delicious dinner cooked every year without fail by the delectable HWSNBN.

Last night’s dinner was therefore extra-special.

And if DPM Teo Chee Hean had been a fly on the wall of where we had our dinner, he won’t be so confident¬† in his words “the elections in Hougang is quite special, as Hougang is not representative of the whole of Singapore necessarily. Because each constituency is different, and Hougang has its own characteristics..

This is because of the 7 of us at our wine-dine-whine din-din, there was only one person rooting for the PAP.

OK, one of those present is a Hongkonger who dropped into SG for a quick visit. So he didn’t count.

The remaining six are all Singaporeans, all having the vote, provided where they live won’t have a walkover at the next GE. And I’m sure that walkovers are likely to be a thing of the past!

Three live in the East Coast, two in the Orchard Road area and one right in the City Centre — their votes would count in the Marine Parade, Tanjong Pagar and Moulmein-Kallang GRCs. Only one of these six were sad that the PAP lost on Saturday!

I’m not saying that the¬†outlier is¬†me or¬†it’s not me.

What I would confess to is that I was dead wrong about the PAP’s prospects in Hougang. Which¬†shows the strong pulling power of the WP, the strong turn off that has become the PAP or a combi of both.

Meanwhile, it was a delightful dinner, with two vintage white wines and a bottle of Moet & Chandon, which weren’t a lot split¬†among 7 hearty eaters ūüėÜ

Palate refreshener: sorbet & jelly

Chikx galore! Stuffed with cheese n herbs

refreshing fruit-trio n veggie salad

Home-made siu-yoke, better than Wah Lok

Fruit flan from Fullerton Hotel

Poor Png, poor WP, you will lose…

…. Hougang. And on my birthday too :razz:!

Which is a pity after WP leader Mr Low Thia Khiang had held the ward and SG enthralled for 20 years

I think the¬†success in¬†grabbing the Aljunied GRC and unseating not one but two ministers — plus retaining Hougang, despite Mr Low not being there — might have¬†proven too much for the Workers Party to digest.

Here are the¬†nettles that indicate WP has evolved into something that Mr Low couldn’t grasp:

  • Mr Eric Tan not being given the NCMP seat, despite his far longer service to WP than Mr Gerald Giam. What price loyalty? Are all the WP CEC members equal? Is a party without hierarchy what we want to run SG?
  • The tenuous explanation given¬†concerning Mr Chen Show Mao’s parliamentary speech. (According to Cynical Investor it’s¬†Mr Pritam Singh).¬†Copy and paste may be common practice nowadays but is it OK to do it for a speech to be delivered in the highest place in our country?t
  • The mysterious ousting of Mr Yaw Shin Leong. OK, the official line is that he was a serial philanderer so his “personal indiscretions” weren’t¬†mysterious. But as I’ve stated elsewhere in this blog, I simply don’t buy that as the last straw. Even if it was, where’s the party’s loyalty to him, hey? At least, he’s got enough bigness of heart to send a message to SGreans calling them to support the WP. If I were him, I would say “over my XXXX XXXX!”
  • The equally mysterious antics of long time WP stalwart Poh Lee Guan on nomination day. So, was he on standby or simply nutty?
  • The NCMP taunt to Mr Png Eng Huat. Was it no big deal what he “incorrectly” said? If the minutes weren’t surreptiously released by whatever mole there is/was in WP, would Mr Png have clarified? Still, the use of surreptiously obtained¬†material don’t do the PAP proud either, in my books, even if the¬†text shows at minimum that the Hougang hopeful couldn’t articulate to save himself.¬† As too Wongs don’t make a White, I wish DPM Teo Chee Hean would give over hectoring Mr Png and the WP on this issue. At minimum,¬†the DPM¬†would inadvertently help WP and Mr Png garner some sympathy votes.

As I dine and wine at the home of HWSNBN this Saturday, I will surreptiously look at my mobile for that text that either confirms or denies my reading of WP’s Hougang chances ūüėÜ

Ni ban shi, wo fang xin?

Of course not! But PAP candidate Mr Desmond Choo’s kindly¬†trade-mark way of greeting people — including his Workers Party¬†opponent Mr Png Eng Huat at the¬†May 26 by-election¬†— could give one the wrong impression that his body language was saying just that!

*No prizes for any Hougang resident who guesses correctly¬†the historic giant alleged to have said “Ni ban shi, wo fang xin” to his short-lived succesor!