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Speak Your Mind, Singapore!
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margaret Thatcher, to love or to hate her?
To many outside England, Margaret Thatcher was just another well known politician, ex PM of England. It took many by surprise that some quarters in England could rise to celebrate her death. They popped champagne and held pop concerts to express their joy at her departure while the country mourns for the loss of another historical giant.
ĎSocialist Angela McCormick explains: "I'm here for a generation that didn't have a future when they left school and didn't have jobs. I'm here for the members of my family who have been devastated by the economic policies or the economic crimes of Margaret Thatcher."
Did Margaret Thatcher cause so much anguish among the citizens of her country, losing jobs through bad economic policies? And it only took her death for the bursting of boisterous elation. While she was still around, the anger and hatred for her was subdued or suppressed, only to be released now. It is quite a pity that those who were affected adversely reacted that way. But they were just human beans.
Political leaders did many good to some people and many bad things to other people. They will leave behind a legacy, to be hated and spit upon, or to be loved and respected. It is better to be leaders in totalitarian states when big statues would be unfold to honour them after death, kind of being immortalized to live forever in the hearts of their people as dear leaders.
In democracy, the ending can be quite unpredictable, and can be very unflattering.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saving Ubin
The scientists around the world are worried at the destruction of rainforests and their ecology and the ultimate destruction of Gaia. The scientists are also worried about population growth and the consumption and exploitation of livestocks and mineral resources of Gaia as well. Both are destructive forces that could make life of earth difficult for human kind. Without the green lungs to cleanse the air and recycle oxygen and carbon dioxide, to cool the temperature and the cycle of rainfall, and the rapid population growth that is consuming everything at a rate must faster than their replacement rate, Mother Earth will have great difficulties sustaining life forms in the not too distant future.
The first sign of Pulau Ubin going the way of concrete jungle has been put up. We have lost Sentosa to all the ugly man made structures, we have reclaimed Marina South only to be turned into another ugly monster that needs hundreds of millions to maintain when the plants in them could grow in their natural habitat without costing a cent. And we claimed progress and money well spent, a big scientific achievement, a great human feat over Nature.
Pulau Ubin will be dug up and rebuilt for more human activities, more unnatural concrete constructs in the name of progress. Why canít Pulau Ubin be left alone as another remnant of Mother Nature saved from the destructive forces of greedy men? There is no need to destroy Ubin if we are not crazy about filling our islands with more people. Our so called economic progress is our little contribution to the destruction of Gaia. When the world is trying to save the rainforests, trying to limit the growth of human beans, we are doing the reverse. We want to destroy Nature, we want more human beans disproportionate to the size of our islands. We are over consuming and over populating our islands for our own good.
Save Ubin. Say No to 6.9m.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HDB income ceiling should/should not be removed
This has become another pointless controversy with Singaporeans splitted. Some have valid and logical reasons to take their stands. Some are making a stand for flawed or superficial logics.
As all citizens should be treated on an equal basis regardless of wealth, why should some be deprived of a basic right to buy a roof over their heads? A roof is a necessity and every Singaporeans need a place to stay. And every male Singaporean is expected to serve NS to defend his stake in this country. By depriving him from buying a home to stay, there is nothing for him to defend and to do NS.
Maybe the Govt should retain the income ceiling and any Singaporean that is not allowed to buy a public flat, ie no stake in the country, need not have to serve NS as he has nothing to fight and defend for. And for those who have stupidly completed their NS and found themselves being suckered, at least the Govt should exempt them from reservist liabilities. I think this is only fair. Why should they be made to defend a country when the country barred them from buying a public flat to live in?
Why should new citizens be allowed to buy public flats without even having to serve NS and citizens who have served NS cannot buy public flats? And many daft Singaporeans are still singing the stupid tune that the richer Singaporeans will be competing with the lesser well off Singaporeans for flats when it is plainly the fault of the Govt for not building enough and thus causing this mismatch in supply and demand. Instead of blaming the Govt, they are blaming other Singaporeans. How silly!
Would the Govt own up and tell the daft Singaporeans that it was the Govtís fault for not building enough and not to blame other Singaporeans for it? This is the same thing as demand for C class wards in hospital when the demand is high but C class wards are under provided.
Daft Sinkies, please think clearly and address the source of the problem and stop bitching and blaming other Singaporeans. Singaporeans are divided to fight among themselves without knowing why. How pathetic. And no one, not the Govt or the media take it upon themselves to explain and educate the people on this fallacy. Daft Sinkies cannot see further than their noses or think further than 1 plus 1.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Self imposed silence
Today I am on a self imposed silent mode, appalled by the things that are happening right before my eyes. I will leave you with this saying to ponder about.
人有人道, 鬼有鬼道,人鬼不同道
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are not the cheapest

While the message has got through somehow, the drug for more foreigners is difficult to wean from the businesses and the Govtís mentality. And letís not confuse ourselves again and again. The foreign workers are needed. It is the middle and top management that are flooding the market at the expense of our PMETs that is the real problem, the pain facing our highly qualified and trained workforce. We shall not trade our PMETs for cheap FTs and making them drive taxis for a living, ferrying cheap FTs that took over their jobs. Thinking of this I boiling already.

As Hsien Loong put it in his May Day message,

ĎWe have spent many, many decades nurturing this reputation for reliability, for openness. We have made a name for ourselves; not necessarily the cheapest place but a competitive and dynamic city thatís worth paying the premium for. And we must keep that reputation because otherwise weíre dead.í

So, do we believe that we donít have to compete to be the cheapest? We have so many advantages, tangible and intangible, that all the foreign businesses will be salivating to be here. Think SPGs aplenty. What a life! Let those who want to leave, let them go. Be selective, shrink a little to relief the pen up appetite for more FTs. We can start by getting rid of those businesses that are here and employing mainly FTs. The Govt can start by getting all GLCs to employ Singaporeans first.

Why be threatened by a few businesses and buckled under their threats of not investing here? What would Goh Keng Swee and his colleagues do when faced with such rubbish threats? Do we believe in ourselves? Do we have confidence in our system and infrastructure that the businesses need to pay a premium and not getting a Singapore discount? We have world best universities with Angmoh professors that would turn out graduates as good as Angmohs, if not, would still be better than third world universities right? With so many high quality third world FTs replacing our local graduates, I think I may be wrong on this count.

We have world famous man made gardens that cost us a fortune, F1s, casinos, safe and secure streets to party till the wee hours. These donít come free. There is value for money. The more expensive the better right? This one surely right. We keep on raising university fees to raise the quality of our education, and also medical fees for better medical services and professionalism. We have all these good stuff within 15 mins of driving, in a world class city. Want cheap cheap, go to operate in third world countries lah.

See, I also can sell koyok for my country. It is time to seriously relook and restructure and take in only those that are beneficial to our bigger game plan that compliment and not sabotage our social and economic development of our people. We want to continue to be in the First World and not downgrade to cheap cheap Third World. Swee boh?

I can also sing a song of being cheaper and cheaper and cheaper or else all the foreign businesses will run away. Singaporeans must tighten belt, compete with all the hungry workers. It is market forces at work. The song I sing depends on my mood and the weather.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enemies of the State

The second major protest Rally against the Govtís White Paper to increase the population to 6.9m went off smoothly on May Day. The international media were there to cover the event to brief the world of the kind of democracy and freedom of expression in this First World model city with a mixed of western democracy, Confucianist mandate of Heaven and a tinge of dictatorship. I hope I would not be called up to meet Sue for mentioning the taboo word like dictatorship. But that was on a placard during the Rally. It read, ĎWe need a new dicktatorí.

It is good that such irritating protest is gradually being accepted by the Govt without bringing in Sue into the picture though Sue was mentioned many times in the speeches of the speakers. Sue is a famous national icon and often sent a chill down the spine of unwary Singaporeans who talked too much, the opposition politicians, the comic writers and yes, the bloggers as well. One just does not know how far one has crossed the rubicon. They called it the OB markers.

Many things happened prior to the May Day event in Hong Lim with many fearing for the safety of Gilbert, the organiser, and the cancellation of the protest Rally for some unknown reasons. There were some correspondence between Gilbert and the authority in the innocuous guardians of Parks. Though the police did not ask for anything, Gilbert received a kind reminder by the Parks minder that it would be appropriate for him to apply for a Police permit to hold the rally. Somehow, this friendly gesture became a kind of nightmare and many people read many things into it. Of course it was silly of them to do so as it was just a formality for the Parks minder to do the necessary. And Gilbert did the necessary by politely replying to the Parksí guardians that there was no requirement to do so. It all looked so polite and friendly, but there were great tension and trepidation coming out from the exchange, of course there was nothing to it really.

Why was there an element of fear being spread around with people saying that they would not attend the Rally to avoid being troubled? And there were many discussions in the social media with the pro rally activists trying to dismiss the fear element and the opponents playing it up. Gilbert and his team were somehow seen as enemies, being watched closely be unseen eyes, and as if something nasty could happen to them. Why should it be in a democracy for the people to fear the people they elected to be their Government, to look after them and protect their interests? It is a difficult contradiction, must be.

Recently many bloggers and activists had their encounters with Sue and were sweating cold sweat instead of thinking of having a good time with her. Are they also enemies of the State? Many bloggers were openly threatened and harassed in social media by forces that assumed that they had the right to do so and acting as if they were the law, or above the law. I too was harassed and attacked daily and threatened for acts of sedition, and may have the good fortune of meeting Sue. There appears that certain groups of people are seen as enemies of the state and are living life dangerously without having to commit any crime but just because they did not agree with policies of the authority, or have different viewpoints.

Are the citizens living in fear of the dark forces in a democracy? Is there really something out there, forces that will devour citizens in the name of the State, in the name of Sue? Who are the real enemies of the State?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gang rape by Democracy

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC PAP MP Zainudin Nordin stirs up a storm with "gang rape" quote from an American writer
Democracy in and of itself is not necessarily good. Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action. This statement by Zainudin is causing a big storm in a tea cup. Many bloggers are asking him to apologise. Apologise for what, and to who when he was just saying the plain truth? And this is not even a Freudian slip. Democracy is the rule of the majority in theory but tyranny of the minority that have been elected to rule over the majority in practice.

Now, what truth is he saying? Who kena gang raped in our democracy? The women? Come off it lah. Seriously, the women are not being gang raped by our democracy. No one is being gang raped lah. If there are they should be screaming out in pain right. How can that be? Anaesthesia in the anus or too much KY lubricant? That could take off the pain when being raped. But according to an Indonesian judge, the rapist and the victims both had a good time. The hysteria and screaming in this kind of thinking must be fake. This must be a learned judge.

Isnít it strange that in a land where people are so ecstatic with just a BJ and would risk everything because of it, rape just could not happen unless committed by foreigners? It does not make sense. Incongruent. Maybe figuratively speaking ya? More likely many people are blowing to get a little advantage and got raped happily.

And donít miss the most important part. Democracy in itself is not necessarily good. It must be complimented by a dose of a caring and paternalistic govt that will take good care of the people from cradle to grave, making sure that the people got enough money to pay for affordable housing, to pay for world class medicare, to pay for a good retirement with no fear of high inflation and high cost of living. This part is just my observation.

And good jobs too. Anyone care to be hawkers or drive taxis? You may need a degree, a genuine one from the world class local universities to get into these prized occupations. Can this be considered as being raped? Does the 69 thing got anything to do with being raped? Or the money paid to CPF as akin to being raped?

Sorry, am I missing something? What is this gang rape thing?

Thanks for revealing a state secret.

For the record, Zainudin has clarified that he was only quoting Terry Goodkind. It is not right for the bloggers to put the blame on him.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depoliticisation is the way
The issue of politics and depolitics has again taken the spotlight in Parliament. For obvious reasons, common sense, chicken sense, for the interests of the people, continuity, in the name of administrative efficiency, many govt institutions must be depoliticized. Tiok boh? Agree or not? The judiciary, uniformed groups and the civil service are depoliticized for good reasons. They are the pillars of the non political govt, the state institutions, to provide continuity and the same level or service and dedication to the country and people irrespective of whichever political party took office.
Many people would sneer at such a comment. Understandable. The level or degree of politicization of state institutions is apparent and many would not want to say too much about the realities on the ground. It is a very subjective thing. But many concerned citizens, righteous citizens, must know that the lesser these institutions are politicized the better for the people and country. Anyone thinks or believes otherwise, that the more politicized these institutions are, the better for country and people? Admittedly it is not possible to be completely neutral from the political realities of the day.
And more institutions are best depoliticized to maintain neutrality, objectivity and continuity as they are meant to continue to exist and to serve the people regardless of a change of govt. Do I feel talking about this issue?
Of course politicians will want to politicize as many public institutions as possible for the good of people and country, and not for their own vested interests. And they will speak with a hand over their hearts that they are speaking with all honesty, that they are telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And if they are God fearing, they will even swear to their God that they are saying with full convictions, and their conscience are clear. Believe me at your own risk.
What are the obvious institutions that should be depoliticized or politicized for the good of people and country? Dunno leh! I think even this simple obvious state of things would not get an honest answer from honest and righteous people. They say politics is politics. Now what does that mean?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shane M the civic minded model citizen
Shane M is a young man. But he is standing tall, taller than many above his age, taller than many above his position as a student intern. He saw injustice, another intern being bullied and beaten in the office by his supervisor. He stood up against injustice. He video taped the incident, but being young and inexperienced, sought advice from Hardwarezone forum.
He was advised to make a police report. And he did. The Police and MOM have received reports of this case and are investigating. And the poor intern is saved from further physical assault and beating. The psychological wound on this young man can be serious and he would have to bear with it throughout his life.
Thanks to this young man Shane M, he is saved from the clutches of hell. Shane M deserves a commendation from the Police for his act of bravery and chivalry. I salute this young man. Our society needs more such fine young man that would not look the other way when something grossly wrong happened before him.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The number game
Playing with numbers can bring great benefits to some and make losers of some innocent folks. One simple number game is the estimation of utilities usage that affects every household. For instance if the average utility bill is $100 pm, and if the meter is only read every third month, the usage of two months will be estimated. To maintain some consistency, the estimates must be done with care, probably by using the latest readings or the moving average, or something in that order, to keep the estimates realistic. But in practice, the method can still bring about distorted results.
Take for instance a festival when there more cooking take place or more people are at home, that particular month would drive up the bill and would affect the next average. It is ok actually if not of the GST or taxes based on the monthís bill. When there is a surge due to a wrong estimate, the household will end up paying more taxes for that bill. When the bill is readjusted after an actual reading is made, would the extra taxes, though small in amount, be refunded? The extra payment comes about when the rate is variable and higher at higher usage particularly water tax. Some households will thus have to pay a bit more taxes that they donít have to but because of estimation.
In the corporate world, the numbers can also be juggled to give the best returns to whoever wants it. As an example, if a profit of $1m is expected and no extra bonus will be paid, a company with 3 or more years of $1m profit will not have to pay extra bonuses to the management on a profit sharing scheme. But by recognizing, in line with or overriding accounting principles, some profits may be delayed or not recognized and accumulated to another year. So a company may show 2 years of $500k profits only to show a startling performance of $2m profit on the third and ending with a big payout to the management.
This could be a deliberate result of manipulation. But at times, it is due to business cycle. The best example was quoted by Prof Tan Khee Giap during a programme on GDP aired on CNA. He pointed out the great GDP growth of 15% in year 2011, I think, was such a case. The result of that spectacular growth was due to the shrinking of the GDP in the previous years. The base for growth computation shrank accordingly. Thus when the economy returned to its previous numbers, the growth rate or percentage of growth became so much bigger than normal.
A reward system that is based on the growth rate will thus compute a huge payout to the management. And because the growth rate was so big, the payout could be disproportionally big relative to the average payout though the company/economy did not do anything spectacular in real terms.
What happens or could happen in such a situation is for management to take recognition of the low base and the real productivity and massage down the payout. If not, the management will be rewarding themselves happily with outrageous bonuses and still looking very legitimate and deserving, because the bonus formula said so.
The number game can be played very cleverly and ingeniously to benefit the players or designers of the game.
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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to create a nation of stupid people?
Is it possible to create a nation of stupid people? I donít think this is an easy task. You can train people to do things but training people to be stupid is quite a remarkable call. The more formidable task is to educate them, give them the best tertiary education, let them think they are smart, but actually stupid without knowing it? Now that is really something isnít it?
In communist, totalitarian or authoritarian countries, I think the task is so much easier. Just clamp down on the news and information and feed them with all the information that the state would want them to see and hear. Keep repeating that their lives are the best in the world, everything is fine, and the rest of the world are suffering, in poverty, with bad govt, and no dear leaders to help them. After a few generations of not knowing what is happening to the outside world and only seeing a world within, the people will be convinced that they are living in paradise.
Now, how can this situation be recreated in a cosmopolitan and open democratic country? Can it happen, that people living in a democracy, cosmopolitan, well travelled and well informed, and stupid at the same time? Really, it is impossible to do so. Such well educated and informed people will not be gagged, will not be fooled, will not allow to be blinkered. Any attempt to do so will be met with violent protest, unless they are really stupid.
A stupid people will elect a govt to be their masters, to control them, manage their lives, squeeze every cent from them, and tell them it is for their own good. And only a stupid people will believe such things without questioning and live happily ever after, and keep going to the poll to elect the same people to be their masters, to control them, to threaten them, to sue them, to keep them in fear, to keep their money from them, year after year.
It will be one of the major wonders of civilization, an achievement no one has ever done in human history. I am still wondering if it is possible, to train or create a nation of stupid people.
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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

50,000 IPs, what is this?
My concern with IPs stemmed from my experience in redbeanforum.com. When the brigades were attacking my site, dunno who they are or where they are from, every morning my site will be hit by a few hundred spam postings of all kinds of stuff, from porno sites to fictitious retail sites. And it was quite a task trying to delete them. Eventually I gave up and locked the site from comments. It is now a read only forum : )
The IPs can become more mischievous if the new MDA regulations come into force. Any site can be hit by a few hundred or thousand spams daily and getting 50,000 IPs showing in the counter is a piece of cake. Can these sites then tell MDA, sorry, the IPs are spammers. And would MDA accept that reasoning? What do you think?
Would someone say, put in firewalls or blocks, or allow a special counter to be inserted into the blog or site for counting minus spams? And you can have cheeky buggers creating little programmes to ramp up the IP hits of any site they want to hit and sorry folks, your 50,000 IPs are up. Please apply for a licence, and put up a bond. No worry, a bankerís guarantee will do. How much is a bankerís guarantee? Freely issued by the bankers?
Would MDA provide free software to make the counter numbers genuine and not flooded by spammers? Would a blog or site allow MDA to insert programmes into it? Or in case of blogs, would Google allow such interference to their system?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the RIGHT thing to read?
I think it is important for us to ensure that they (ordinary Singaporeans) read the RIGHT thing. Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister of Information on BBC.
What is the RIGHT thing to read? I think everyone must be very interested to know what this RIGHT thing is. Yaacob could do the ordinary Singaporeans a favour by explaining what this RIGHT is all about. I also want to know the RIGHT thing, to write the RIGHT thing, so that my readers will also have the benefit of reading the RIGHT thing.
Doesnít anyone of you want to know the RIGHT thing also? After reading so many wrong things in cyberspace, Singaporeans need to be enlightened by the Ďusí to teach them the RIGHT thing which presumably must be good for the Singaporeans. Yaacob must be generous to tell us what it is and not keep the RIGHT thing for us. It must be something good and he should not keep us in suspense, wondering what this RIGHT thing is all about.
I confess I have not the faintest idea what this RIGHT thing is. Please help, please enlighten us. Thank you so very much.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wake up Chinese Ė Serdarlah Cina
Apa lagi Cina mau was the headline of Utusan Malaysia after the GE. The shrinking support of UMNO/BN had led to angry cries by the ultras blaming the Chinese for not supporting BN. This attack on Chinese voters was refuted as not a Chinese tsunami but an urban shift of Malay and non Malay voters to PR. There was a lull as if the ultras have simmered down and things going back to normal.
Yesterday Utusan Malaysian again attacked the Chinese with another headline Serdarlah Cina and sanctioned by the collective voice of its editorial under Awang Selamat. The paperís continued attack on the Chinese calling them greedy, ungrateful amounting to racist started last week. This is an indication that the moderates of UMNO and Najib are losing ground and the ultras are now calling the shot and setting the agenda, a dangerous trend for Malaysian politics. And Mahathir apparently is in charge.
Last week Mahathir wrote in his blog that the Chinese are racists for not voting for the UMNO, MCA, MIC Kongsi, the BN. Only by voting for this BN Kongsi would the Chinese be seen as not racists. He does not question whether the policies of this Kongsi is racist or non racist.
The Malaysian Chinese actually voted for another Kongsi with two Malay majority parties, the Keadilan and PAS. Why are they called racists by voting for a Kongsi that is 2/3 Malay majority? Shouldnít they be accused of voting for a more Malay party? In this sense they are racists by voting for more Malay leaders.
In terms of policies, the PKR is in many ways more multi racial than UMNO with its Malay Ketuanan policies. So who is the real racist? This looks like a case of the racists accusing the innocents of being racists. And if Najib fails to take control of the situation, Malaysia may be heading to a road for more turmoil.
The Wake up Chinese call is quite appropriate in another way. The Chinese are political naÔve and condescending, thinking that others in power will be kind and generous to them. In a way this can be seen down south when foreigners are being brought in in great numbers and thinking that foreigners are benign and will be fair when the original Singaporeans become a minority. This naivity will have serious consequences when foreigners become a majority and assume power in the future, just like what is happening to Malaysia. Serdarlah Cina!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Calling for a boycott against Citibank

There is a thread in TRE titled ĎSingaporean should boycott Citibankí by a blogger calling himself, Angry Singaporean Customer. He is unhappy with the knowledge that Citibank is one of the foreign banks that employed a predominant number of foreigners as staff of the bank. 40% of the banks staff is foreigners or it is more? Some banks regard PRs as locals and lump them together with Singaporeans. If this is the case, then the percentage of foreigners could be much bigger.

With the influx of foreigners into the little island and with many PMEs being replaced, and with foreigners and foreign banks found to practise discriminatory employment policies against Singaporeans, the anger is growing among the Singaporeans against foreigners and foreign institutions. Citibank has been quoted in many places as one of the biggest culprit in favouring the employment of foreigners.

In the thread concerned, the author is calling for Singaporeans to boycott Citibank and not to do business with the bank. Many bloggers have responded positively to the call and some claimed to have cut their credit cards from the cards and stop using them. Some have been urged to bring away their deposits or business elsewhere.

This is probably the second time in recent months that there were calls in social media to boycott foreign businesses. The first was against Jollybeans that was not much of a success. Would this call to boycott Citibank end with similar result that it was all noise and nothing much will happen?

How would Citibank head office in the US view this threat of unhappiness against Citibank here? If the anger grows and becomes widespread, it would definitely have some negative impact on Citibank and also affect the reputation of the bank as one that is anti Singaporeans or even a racist bank.

The thread just appeared today and still gathering responses from netizens that are unhappy with the situation created in the bank. Maybe it will just fizzle out in a couple of days, like all protests in this little sanitised island. A little noise is all there is to it.
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