Tuesday, April 21, 2009

World Standard Government?

In a letter sent to the media, National Environment Agency CEO Mr Andrew Tan wrote:

“When markets and hawker centres are being upgraded, grassroot organisations and their advisers can choose to have a temporary market which is not provided for under the Government’s Hawker Centres Upgrading Programme.

If so, they also carry the responsibility of keeping the temporary market clean to meet NEA standards. However, NEA will intervene if it assesses the need to do so in the interest of public health.

In the case of Geylang Serai Market, the Kampong Ubi Citizens Consultative Committee decided to build and manage the temporary market. Despite the best of efforts put in by the Temporary Market Management Committee in implementing its cleaning regime and in tackling the rat infestation problem, the problem had persisted.”

The above letter is disturbing in the following ways:

Firstly, persistence rat infestation is not considered threatening enough to public health for NEA to intervene.

Secondly, NEA seemed only too happy to cede its oversight duty to some ordinary laymen.

But worst of all, PAP is feared so much that no public agencies dare to censure any of its subsidiaries even if their action, or inaction as in this case, not only can harm but lead to loss of human life.

What happens to our world standard government?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

'Bonus' Not a Dirty Word

BONUS has become almost a dirty word in these times, with its meaning highly misunderstood, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Boon Heng said on Saturday.

Speaking at the launch of this year's Singapore Kindness Month, he noted that public anger arose in the United States over large bonuses paid to executives of failed American corporations because of the economic downturn.

'Nowadays, the word 'bonus' is almost a dirty word,' he said in his speech. 'There has been great misunderstanding over what the word 'bonus' entails. You have to understand that in today's context, companies' bonuses are part and parcel of the overall wage package.'

'We now operate differently from the past. So, let us not get overexcited whenever we see the word 'bonus' being used,' he added.

He said the uproar over bonuses paid by troubled firms like AIG was because the American public perceived these to have come from government bailouts.

But Mr Lim said people should not mistake a bonus as 'somebody getting something extra and undeserved and out of line with the current economic situation'.

He stressed that, with the downturn, it is even more important for Singaporeans to be kind and considerate towards others.

He also called on Singaporeans to be kind to foreigners living here, such as students from overseas.

Be kind and considerate towards others? Does that mean keeping an elegant silence when we learn of some Deputy General Manager and Senior Manager of some government agencies receiving 7 months bonus?

If the bonuses paid to executives of troubled U. S. firms did not come from government bailouts then could Mr Lim enlighten us where did the money come from?

So, for organising MM Lee's 80th birthday bash, Mr Lim deserves every cents of the millions he gets?