Saturday, 11 July 2015


I believed many like myself, perplexed and curious by how a great nation like Greece could end up in today's predicament. I did a little browsing to see what interesting facts I can find out about descendants of Alexandra the Great.

There are many similarities between Singapore and Greece, of which the most outstanding is we both share a relatively long period of "economic miracle" in very recent times.

Like Greece, our main export is petroleum products produced with imported crude.  Pharmaceutical, port and shipping services, and tourism being the others.

Their education system too is somewhat similar with 6 years of primary education starting at about the same age, followed by secondary education with added vocational training, then tertiary.

What we do not have and they do are natural resources. They have mines of minerals and metals, large swathe of land mass for agriculture and forestry products.

A developed nation, Greece has backslided to a point where they are begging for money, though in the most dignified way. What cause the famously known "cradle of democracy" and founding member of OECD to come to such a desperate state? Some blamed it on its entry to Euro Zone.  Few people except for Lee Kuan Yew saw the deep disparity between many governments one currency and seriously doubted the sustainability of such a system.  Learning from this, I believed the Euro Zone was less about economics than of European pride.

Nonetheless, there are more dissimilarities we have with Greece than otherwise. But recent political developments do indicate we may potentially fall into the same trap as the Greeks.

We had for a long time stressed intensive and extensive economic developments, striving for higher GDP if possible. We encourage the prudence of savings. We had reformed our tax system from that of taxing on earnings to taxing on spending. We have no qualms about spending on infrastructures. We paid special attention to healthcare in a holistic way. We do not tolerate corruption. We stood firm to avoid straying towards being populist.

These has thus far help Singapore avoid the state of affairs Greece is experiencing now.  Our prudence in governing has kept us debt free. 

It is noteworthy that no big country can tell us what to do and what not to do because we owe them nothing.  Well, they are still trying very hard via alternative means.  See how they have meddled in Hong Kong.

We are thankful for many years of stability, and we continue to be a proud "Economic Miracle", a prestigious title that has since eluded the Greeks since.

Edited addendum...

The global finnancial meltdown hit Greece and Singapore at the same time, as also other countries big and small.  Singapore ride through that storm hardly scathed whereas Greece could not withstand the impact of fallout and began its downsliding path.  The fundamental between the two is governance.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


May I begin by offering my deepest condolence to the family of Taufik Zahar, particularly to his widow Nassida Nasir and his just 2 months old baby.  It is sad and it is tragic.

It is true that the police shooting was necessary, but it is also true that a family had been broken, dreams shattered and hope vaporized. For Nassida the road ahead suddenly is not going to be what she has been expecting, and now she will have to face a world of divided opinions, let alone facing uncertain years of bringing up the baby alone.

She is shocked, she is grieving.  Under such emotional trauma, it is never her usual self, so let's not be too hard on what she has just said.


Much of what I share here will be about choices, informed choices or otherwise and those that we can choose and those that we cannot choose.

Nassida has chosen to marry Taufik and it is not known if she knew about his drug trafficking activities or not.  If she had knew of his drug trafficking activities, it becomes part of her choice to accept the obvious consequences whether it will occur or not that imprisonment or death penalty constantly hanging over Taufik's head. 

Let's just say she was kept in the dark and it is until now that she discovers Taufik has all along been a drug trafficker, the feelings that goes through her right now is unimaginable.  Shall she blame Taufik for cheating her but at the same time she loved and missed him? Can she turn around and walk away with baby in hand, away from the dead man who is her husband?

There's quite a few choices we can talk about regarding Taufik.

First is his choice to become a drug trafficker.  This is an informed choice and one making the choice in a certain manner has to accept the conditions that comes with it.

Two, he chose to marry someone and had a child with that someone knowing very well that even one in a million chance, there is still a chance that he will put their lives into disarray and pain. This is also an informed choice with definite consequences.

Three, he together with the other two has chosen to carry drugs but the amount they carry will only attract a prison term should they be caught and this is also an informed choice.

So, Four, why did he chose to go through several stages of barricades knowing well that it will end in a Police Road Block?

Five, since the group has made a choice on a safer amount of drug to carry, why then later choose to crash the final block endangering their own lives and others?  Could he and the others not have surrendered and it is only jail term?  All in all, Taufik has made several choices knowingly.

First let me get back some fairness on behalf the police officer who fired the fatal shot.  He has not chosen to be the "hero", and for certain he has not chosen to be the one that fired that fatal round.

While I still empathized with Nassida's plight and sorrow, I too empathize with the officer who fired that reluctant shot. Though it is expected of a police office to use his firearm, SPF never has a trigger happy culture within.  The days of exchanging fire were long gone.

Yes the police officer has made it his career choice and that choice too come with a certain consequence that one day he may have to open fire to kill someone, but killing someone is definitely not what he has chosen knowingly.  And between Taufik and the police officer, it is not their choice that they will meet each other under such circumstances, but the possibility has always existed and it did come true.

Yet another claim of fairness here is, Taufik chose to ram the car against police officers manning the post. The same officer may have a young wife waiting at home with a two months old baby in hand.  When Taufik chose to drive straight into the officer, it is a circumstance that one of them has to die.  Now let me ask.....who should be the one to die?  Is it Taufik or the police officer?  Who had wanted to kill at the first instance?  Was it Taufik or the police officer.

Look at the position of the bullet hole on the windscreen and you tell me where was the police officer standing.

The police officer will now have to live a life haunted by mental images that he shot dead someone point blank.  Yes he did that heroically to save his colleagues lives aw well as his own, but that heroic feeling won't wipe away the memory that someone died in his hand.  God forbid that Singapore should become a trigger happy nation that killing someone no longer haunts.

Some has asked, why shoot at the driver and not the car?  Let me pose this to those who ask or even want to ask the same you know at what speed the car was dashing against the officer?  Do you know that if that round did not stop the vehicle from ramming forward, someone will die?  Do you know that even if the round hit the driver the car can still run over the police officer? 

Let's be fair to our intelligence and don't make foolish suggestions.  Life don't perform along what we wish it is like most of the time.

By the way, the police officer is not about to be made a hero as yet.  He will still be subject to thorough investigation that the circumstances truly warrants him to fire the shots from his firearm.

Monday, 18 May 2015


It really has been quite a long absence for me.  The stamina, discipline and having a keen nose for subjects of interest by local bloggers fascinates me and left me wondering how come they are so good.

Anyway I found manage to find something that I could also make a little claim on Singapore's blogosphere.....Amos Yee.

I did made a few comments, not from the onset but when he was being charged in the courts.  I said he is an extremely intelligent person and had been fed with information through certain workshops or meetup sessions conducted by anti-establishment groups that later was confirmed by Yee's own statements that he is influenced by meetups conducted by the Singapore Democratic Party.  What really surprised me was the revelation that Yee's mother was also among those attending the meetups. This may not be accurate but I kind of remember that at the first instant that Yee was being charged, the mother was said to be defending Yee's prank video was only a joke.

I have also said that Yee's personality would eventually find those presently around him boring and cannot live up to his expectation of equal intelligence.  That too was proven true subsequently.  Yee is extremely logical and being that, anything that is illogical and does not make sense deeply disturbs him.  That also means to say that when someday someone comes up to him and demolish the foundations of his beliefs, he would have gladly give them all up and embrace whatever that wins him over through logic.  That is how extreme his reliance on logic can be.

Anyway, the story is now stuck at facing off Vincent Law.  The table is turned against Yee now for being ungrateful to one who stakes a $20,000 bail and perhaps personal reputation to get Yee out of jail for the time being. Now Yee seems to be left with only enemies and no friends where once the enemies were on the pro-establishment and the antis were friends.

To establish that Vincent Law the bailor is an anti-establishment person is not my point here.  It is his maiden comment on their virgin meeting that raises my special interest.  "I am a Christian", Law said. "Oh Fuck" was Yee's instant response according to his own account in his blog

What was that supposed to be that Yee should know as the very first thing of Law other than being his bailor is that he is a Christian?

Is Law trying to say that I am sent by God to save you Amos? That being the case, he has made a mockery of God and himself for failing terribly in the face of the public.  

What else could that mean?  I know many had use this before and I was being taken in once when someone claimed that he is a pastor, that Christians are good and trust worthy people.  Many church going Christians would jump in to defend that these are "fake" Christians.  But how do you tell between a real and a fake Christian?  By the time you know, you'll probably have been conned.

Careful now.  I am not in anyway saying that Vincent Law is a fake Christian. What Law could have been thinking is that if I say I am a Christian, I would have established that much needed credibility at first instant.  

To help Yee, Law was grossly wrong from the very beginning. Instead of bridge building by establishing credibility and trust between bailor and bailee, counselor and counselee, Law cut the only rope that he might connect with Yee by saying he is a Christian.  It was known that Yee is now an atheist after walking out of the Catholic Church.  Yee simply distrust Christians and Christianity, hence also the video he produced that put him in trouble.

It is not wrong for Law to declare publicly that he as a Christian was not offended by the video that Yee made, but using his status as a Christian and his belief in a manner that would eventually form the basis of relationship between the two and how that relationship should be guided was an absolute disaster.

The details of how that relationship went as in the account given by Yee in his blog. Law had been rather regimental in his approach. If Law believes his role as bailor can help and guide Yee to grow up to be a better person and that the Christian faith can make the difference, then Law must take the approach that the Christian faith is one that is rational, logical and reasonable to all and at all times. Law needs not just what takes to be a SG certified counselor but one who can explain his faith in the most relevant way that makes sense even to an atheist like Yee.

There is another approach which is yet to be established, and that is the state initiated help where probation officers be appointed to assist Yee in dealing with his unique adolescent experience.

For whatever sympathy that people have on Yee for his young age, Yee has committed a serious wrong in the eyes of the law.  For Singapore, the law cannot waver, and people upholding the law cannot waver for if we do the foundation of which this nation stands will begin to erode and degenerate.

But this is a case where the wrong was committed due to a natural personality development, therefore I think the execution of penalty should be tampered with mercy.  Whether we take it from the religious or secular perspective, we condemn the act but not the person.  If there is any way that this person can be awaken to the realities of personal expectations and social well being, let's put our hearts behind this case with hope or prayer and leave the lad alone.  Hyping up the case for whatever purpose is not helpful and destroys the chance of Yee finding his normal self.