Hougang By Elections Update 2!

"PAP vs WP"

Desmond Choo (L) and Png Eng Huat (R).

 

Workers’ Party nominee has been announced, with little surprise.
Mr Png Eng Huat, a businessman will be WP’s candidate for the By Elections in Hougang.

Little is known about him but he stepped up after the infamous Yaw Shin Leong, former Member of Parliament for Hougang, was sacked by the Workers’ Party for personal indiscretions. While Low of WP initially maintained that those were just rumors, they eventually sacked him because he did not turn up for the meetings to clarify matters.
If someone Low has known for so long could have indiscretions which Low did not know about, what makes anyone think that Mr Png would be more trustworthy or have integrity? I’m not doubting whether Mr Png has integrity or not. I am questioning if Low and his party knows Mr Png well enough?

Yaw Shin Leong’s scandal was the first in Singapore. The first time an Opposition got into Parliament by winning a GRC and the first time a MP was sacked by his party for indiscretions. Till date, Yaw Shin Leong has not stepped up to clarify. Some friends call him a coward. I don’t know better – but I wished he came up to speak, be clear and as the phrase goes “BE A MAN.”

According this Channelnewsasia article, I quote Low’s impression of Png:

“He described Mr Png as mature and the “right candidate” for the by-election.
Mr Low said he has known Mr Png before the 2006 General Election.
He said he observed the way he works for some time and is confident that he’s a person of integrity.
Mr Low said Mr Png is sincere in serving the people. He believes Hougang needs someone like Mr Png, who can connect with its residents.
Mr Low said if elected, Mr Png can contribute to the party’s leadership and parliamentary work.”

IF HE IS SO GOOD, IN THE FIRST PLACE WHY NEVER NOMINATE HIM FOR THE ELECTIONS BUT SENT YAW SHIN LEONG INSTEAD??? I had to CAPS it because I suddenly thought of it!
The answer logically is simple – because Png wasn’t as good as Yaw so WP decided to send Yaw instead!

Well, the truth is we never know everything even if we have spent a long time with them. Sincerity cannot be judged, it is tested and only seen over time. Integrity can only be revealed over time. Also don’t know what parliamentary work is Png going to support.. maybe be like Pritam, take someone’s else work and present it as his without attributing the source at the time of speech. Damn, you can get sacked from your university course for plagarism…. Or be like Gerald who didn’t know about MX9.. Old news but relevant nonetheless.

Well, the same might be said that we don’t know Desmond Choo, PAP’s candidate, for long. But Desmond, at least, he’s been working hard for more than 1 year while the WP MP was sorely Missing In Action (hence no speech link..)

Actually, I want a peaceful by election. One that is honourable and with integrity. For candidates of quality to fight cleanly and maintain peace amongst the people of Singapore. And for Mr Tan-Jee-Say-I-Don’t-Know-Be-MP-or-President-so-I-Just-Join-Both-Elections-And-Ended-Up-Losing-Both to just stop his press releases. It’s getting *quite* annoying every time he opens his mouth.

Psst. I prefer Desmond Choo. Like his Facebook page here.

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Hougang By Elections Update

Breaking news!

1. Hougang By Elections have been called.

2. Nomination on May 16 2012.

3. Elections on May 26 2012.

PM Lee has also issued a statement via his Facebook Page.

On Labour Day…

PM Lee held his annual May Day Rally. Like some of the countries in the world, May Day, aka Labour Day, is a designated public holiday set aside to celebrate “the economic and social achievements of workers[1]

You can listen to his speech on YouTube here. Transcript available here.

Outlining the problems of cost of living, low wage workers, foreign workers and an aging population, PM Lee highlighted similar problems faced by countries such as those in Southern Europe and reminded that “…we should see our progress and problems in perspective.”

In Singapore, PM Lee shared that our problem is that we have created “…opportunities, more than we have bodies to fill…” The people are already working overtime and yet consistently, almost every sector has a shortage of manpower. As a result, it is important that we need foreigner workers. But just how many do we need depends on the economic situation.

PM Lee also outlined how European countries were struggling due to welfarism and state paid pensions that are bankrupting the governments. He quoted Italy as an example. What the Italian government spend on pensions in 1 year is almost (in terms of percentage GDP) what the Singapore government spends on the budget every year for everything. Everything includes healthcare, defense, education, housing… just to name a few.

PM Lee also explained the problem with youth unemployment from another perspective. In Spain, at least 24% of the population is not working, of which about 52% are youths. The implications are youths who do not know what it means to be in a job or learning the necessary job skills. That’s like a generation of youths having a late head start in life and possibly lower economic power when they are older.

Disagreeing with Professor Lim Chong Yah’s proposed shock therapy of increasing low wage workers’ wages by 50% in 3 years, PM Lee while appreciating Professor Lim’s good intentions, shared that the only realistic way of increase is to do it “step by step, with wages and productivity going up in tandem together as fast as we can but as fast as is possible.”

PM Lee also emphasized, “Let me be quite clear, Singaporeans will always be our priority. This is the focus of all our policies.”

Hear hear!

“Look into the future, not back to the past
Commanding a premium, not offering a discount
The first choice for investments and talent
Not a place which is bypass and neglected
Where things get done cheaper better and faster” – PM LEE

Political Leaders in SG Rank Better Among Singaporeans

A friend forwarded me this through the email. We don’t know who is the author as it was also a forwarded mail. Nonetheless, if you are the author, please let me know. I will be glad to edit and give credit accordingly. It’s too good not to be shared!

Business, Political and Religious Leaders Around the World Fall Short of Expectations

Political leaders here rank better among Singaporeans, according to Ketchum’s Leadership Communication Monitor

· Over 50% of Singaporeans believe that political leaders are the most effective communicators, compared to business and religious leaders

· 65% of Singaporeans believe that leaders need to be open and honest about the challenges ahead amidst challenging economic times

 

SINGAPORE, March 20, 2012 – Singaporeans feel that political leaders demonstrate the most effective leadership domestically and internationally compared to other types of leaders. This is one of the key local findings of a 12-country survey by global communications firm Ketchum. While the overall study reveals that leaders from business, political and religious life are falling desperately short of expectations around the world – with Europeans and Americans the most disillusioned – Singapore leaders have performed better among their peers.

Amongst Singaporeans, leadership skills that matter include the ability to handle an issue or crisis calmly (68%), to lead by example (66%), to communicate in an open and transparent way (65%), and also be able to articulate a clear long term vision (63%).

They add that the most important action leaders need to take to restore confidence during challenging economic times is to be open and honest about challenges (65%). Over half of Singaporeans (57%) state that effective leadership from business leaders will be very important in terms of navigating the unstable economic future. Most leaders seem to be moving in the right direction, with more than one third of Singaporeans having greater confidence in business (40%) and political leaders (36%) navigating through the economic crisis within their country compared to one year ago.

In terms of industry, 32% feel that the technology industry showed leadership, the highest of any other industry, followed by media (27%) and the banking industry (27%). Consumer goods companies (13%), brewing and spirits (12%) and over-the-counter personal health care product (12%) companies all rank among the lowest in terms of exhibiting leadership.

Effective communications is closely linked to leadership, as eight in ten Singaporeans (80%) stating that effective communication was extremely important to leadership. Singaporeans believe that political leaders (51%), business leaders (47%) and religious leaders (45%) are the most effective communicators, more so than other categories of leaders.

Singaporeans find the most important areas for business leaders to be personally involved in communicating are crisis response (58%) and financial results (58%). When Singaporeans form their views on leaders and leadership, channels that allow for both visual and audio content, such as broadcast media (48%) in-person contact (49%) and televised speeches (47%) are seen as most credible.

Interestingly, residents of Singapore view press releases (57%) as the most credible communication sources when forming opinions about leaders. Online sources such as Twitter (6%), blogs (25%) and other social media platforms (14%) are all much less credible.

Global findings

In other parts of the world, more people believe leadership will actually get worse in 2012 (31%), compared with anticipating better leadership (27%). Perhaps most concerning, the report found a 28-percentage-point gap between expectations of leaders and their delivery against those expectations.

However, the study reveals leadership credibility in 2012 and beyond requires a combination of decisive action and honest, transparent communication – most effectively achieved through a leader’s personal presence and involvement.

“Our study reveals for the first time the full extent of the world’s disappointment with its leaders across every category of human endeavor,” said Rod Cartwright, Director of Ketchum’s Global Corporate Practice. “But the research is also rich with practical insights – a clear blueprint for more effective leadership and leadership communication. What is clear is that effective leadership and effective communication are inextricably linked.”

Perhaps unexpectedly, the Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor found that business leaders were seen as the most effective over the past year – beating politicians, not-for-profit bosses and even religious leaders. More than a third of respondents said they were more confident in business leaders than a year ago, with 36% viewing business as providing effective leadership (receiving an “excellent” rating of 8 or above on a scale of 0-10) and 48% seeing them as effective communicators.

This compared with just 25% of politicians and religious leaders, who achieved the same “excellent” rating. Although expectations of politicians to provide effective leadership in difficult times were higher than any other group (63%), they suffered the lowest vote of confidence, with 47% expecting worse political leadership in 2012.

Within the business community, knowledge-based industries were perceived as having the most effective bosses. Ranked highest on leadership effectiveness was technology, with a 44% approval rating, followed by media (39%) and telecommunications (36%). Banking chiefs came in fourth overall in the poll worldwide with 32%. The energy sector and financial services leaders were ranked fifth (31%) and sixth (30%) respectively. Consumer business leaders lagged far behind on leadership, with consumer packaged goods placed lowest at 20%.

Perhaps most significant for the business community, the research underlines a direct link between positive perceptions of leadership and business-critical decisions such as a willingness to buy stock, goods and services or recommend working at a company. This explains crisis response being seen as the most important area for business leaders to communicate personally (53%), followed by financial results (48%) and the state of the business (40%).

Personal Leadership and Powerful Communication – A Direct Link

Clear, transparent communication topped the table of key leadership behaviors. For 84%, effective communication is extremely important to strong leadership, while 48% rated it as the number one factor. However, action matters – with tough decision-making, leading by example and calm crisis-handling following immediately behind.

The study also revealed that globally, the number one action leaders should take to restore confidence in 2012 is to be open and honest about the nature and scale of the challenge ahead (57% US; 52% Europe v s. 43% China). By contrast, only 17% indicated a preference for leaders to spare them the full picture to avoid panic.

Trustworthiness was seen as the number one source of leadership credibility for corporations, placed above quality of management and financial strength. In order to win that trust, the report found that the personal “presence” and involvement of a leader in communicating was vital. As a result, communication via face-to-face and traditional media left social media trailing. Face-to-face contact provided the greatest source of leadership credibility (50%), followed by televised speeches (43%), broadcast media (41%) and print media (38%). Digital platforms and social media were well off pace, with blogs at 20%, Facebook at 16%, advertising at 13% and Twitter at just 8%.

Cartwright said: “It is clear that mainstream media still carries a great deal of credibility. When it comes to digital and social media, the message is that most people don’t believe that the leader is actually involved. This doesn’t mean we should conclude that these channels are redundant as a vehicle for establishing credible leadership – quite the contrary. Rather, it underlines the absolute imperative of making the ‘presence’ of the leader shine through.”

World Leaders Falling Short of Expectations.. But in Singapore.. It’s a Different Story

A very notable release was made in the Press 2 days ago.

Business, Political and Religious Leaders Around the World Fall Short of Expectations Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor Finds Global Economic Crisis Matched by Crisis of Confidence in Leaders and How They Communicate

Just how much did the leaders fall short by? 1%? 5%?

“Leaders from business, political and religious life are falling desperately short of expectations around the world – with Europeans and Americans the most disillusioned – according to a 12-country survey by global communications firm Ketchum. And in fact, more people globally believe leadership will actually get worse in 2012 (31%), compared with anticipating better leadership (27%). Perhaps most concerning, the report found a 28-percentage-point gap between expectations of leaders and their delivery against those expectations.”[1]

That’s a grand 28% drop!

But, did this apply across every country?

Interestingly NO! Yes, I’m sure you knew it coming from the post title. 😀

Comparatively, Singapore fared much better!

I found this article online by Daniel Goh, very well written.

Daniel says:

“Meanwhile, in Singapore…

Compared to other parts of the world, Singaporean political leaders demonstrate the most effective leadership domestically and internationally compared to other types of leaders. Amongst Singaporeans, leadership skills that matter include the ability to handle an issue or crisis calmly (68-percent), to lead by example (66-percent), to communicate in an open and transparent way (65-percent), and also be able to articulate a clear long term vision (63-percent).

Respondents also feel that the most important action any leader needs to take to restore confidence during challenging economic times is to be open and honest about challenges (65-percent). Over half of Singaporeans (57-percent) state that effective leadership from business leaders will be very important in terms of navigating the unstable economic future. Most leaders seem to be moving in the right direction, with more than one third of Singaporeans having greater confidence in business (40-percent) and political leaders (36-percent) navigating through the economic crisis within their country compared to one year ago.

Eight in ten Singaporeans (80-percent) stated that effective communication was extremely important to leadership.

When Singaporeans form their views on leaders and leadership, channels that allow for both visual and audio content, such as broadcast media (48-percent) in-person contact (49-percent) and televised speeches (47-percent) are seen as most credible. Bizarrely, Singaporeans view press releases (57%) as the most credible communication sources when forming opinions about leaders. Online sources such as Twitter (6-percent), blogs (25-percent) and other social media platforms (14-percent) are all much less credible. ”[2]

I have been thinking why social media platforms are less credible. I think it is simply because it started as a platform utilised by the Opposition to spread assumptions, declare unfounded claims and misinterpret statistics if any! The more astute ones will do their homework before jumping on the bandwagon. However, many others retweet and post on FB links and stories that are not true. Over time, even as more people use social media and spread the word from the Opposition camp, it only perpetuates misinformation and serves to erode the credibility of the social media sites. IMHO, one of them was/is Temasek Review…

Mainstream media needs to verify and ensure credibility of news publications. What a shame it would have been if the Editor allowed untruths to be on it hence why.. the Opposition couldn’t get their news on it. See, that’s why they turned to social media.

People listen to reliable and trustworthy leaders, and particularly in a crisis, leaders who are steadfast. Singapore has been able to steer through many challenging circumstances such as economic crisis and health crisis such as SARS because we have leaders who can be trusted, leaders who are steadfast, leaders who are constantly thinking for the future.

Our recent Budget is a case in point. The Opposition would like to claim credit for the shift to a more socialist type of budget but this credit is NOT theirs to claim. The Singapore PAP Government was already raising funds in the earlier years, saving up so that the money can be used when the time is right. If we didn’t save or raise funds through various measures (remember, everyone complained about rising costs of living such as ERP etc) , we would not have enough money for today. With the aging population in sight, this is the right time to release the money. Any earlier, we would have no money for the now or future. Any later, the costs of healthcare could have escalated, the way it has in so many countries.

So what’s my point? Trust the PAP Government.

Not the dubious claims of 1st World Government by the WP, nor the impossible and ridiculous Budget by SDP that will throw the future generations into debt or the silent SPP or wild & incoherent RP.

KJ – Wrong.. Again

Reform Party secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam (KJ) presented misleading information to Wall Street Journal over the facts about his father Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam. Read it here.

Strange, wouldn’t the son know better? Or was the son misinformed? Or was the son KJ , like many of his other posts, just out to misrepresent and misinform? Now, such a man, we cannot allow to be a politician in Singapore. What if our National Interests get misrepresented at a World Forum?

The Government has been compelled, for national integrity sake, to clear his mess. There are many important matters on the country’s agenda such as ensuring a consistent supply of water. It is clear this incompetent political party secretary-general has placed personal interests above country. Such a man… we must ensure he does not become a political leader in Singapore.

An own goal.. in Opposition’s camp

The Singapore political scene has become so interesting I’ve been reading more than posting!

Remember, Singapore’s political system is an election based on political parties and not an individual. This maintains a sense of stability throughout, enabling the majority government to push through policy decisions without wasting much resources of trying to create a consensus, much like what Obama went through.

This came in through a friend’s mail today and thought someone might find it noteworthy too. I don’t know who wrote it but if you did, please drop me a note and a link – I will do the necessary referencing. As all trained students who write essays have been taught lest we are found guilty of plagarising, failed and then expelled! Twice, the opposition have been caught failing to give the original authors credit and in the process, created a false impression that they were the originators of the thoughts.

Check it out here!

Mr LTK chose to score political goals !

LTK built his political career in Hougang, winning the support of residents who courageously voted him into Parliament in 1991. They kept faith with him, standing by him for 20 years till he moved to Aljunied and fielded Yaw Shin Leong as replacement.

The rest, sadly, is history — including Yaw Shin Leong, who was expelled by WP in the wake of allegations about personal issues.

WP clearly knew the implications of what they were doing. Sylvia Lim asked in Parliament: “Does the prime minister not agree that with the Hougang SMC being vacant, there is actually an under-representation of the Hougang voters in this House?”

So if under-represented, who caused it? WP had lots of options, but they decided to sacrifice long-serving Yaw Shin Leong, abandoning the people of Hougang to struggle without an MP. They clearly acted in the interest of their party and not in the interest of the Hougang residents who put the party in power in Hougang. The residents of Hougang are NOT casino chips to be wagered in WP’s political betting. NEITHER should Hougang residents be pawns in WP’s political chess game.

Now there is no MP for Hougang. This didn’t have to happen. Here are 5 ways WP could have done things differently:

1. “Jack Neo” style. Yaw Shin Leong could have hosted a press conference with his wife and apologize in tears, then promise to turn over a new leaf and never, ever do it again. Can even use the words “My Greatest Regret”, just don’t say “My Greatest Regret is not having one of my encounters in Universal Studios”…

2. “Bill Clinton” style. Like Jack Neo, but more statesmanlike. Apologise on TV (or YouTube) with serious charisma. Speech can be scripted, video can be rehearsed until perfect. Can include Bill Clinton phrases like “This has gone on too long, cost too much and hurt too many innocent people…” (but must give credit if copying other people’s words!). Conclude by saying we should not let this distract us from the business of serving the people of Hougang.

3. COI style. WP could have accounted a Committee Of Inquiry to determine the truth of the allegations and investigate processes to see how future problems can be avoided. Can even ask a former civil servant to chair the COI, like Donald Low who deserves some payback after Chen Show Mao copied his article!

4. “Steve Jobs” style. Steve knew how to advise people without interrogating them. During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, he reportedly told Bill Clinton: “I don’t know if you did it, but if so, you’ve got to tell the country.” Even if Yaw Shin Leong was too paiseh to discuss private parts of his life with Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim, they could still have given good advice and guidance.

5. Quiet save-face style. Whatever the truth about Yaw Shin Leong, WP could still have kept him on till the next GE and then retired him quietly, saying “Shin Leong will be stepping down to focus on career / concentrate on other interests” etc.

The people of Hougang are being kicked around in this game of political football. Problem is, WP scored an own goal and the Hougang residents are the ones suffering the loss.

(Extracted from Email circulation: If author reads this, please let me know. Will give due credit)