Saturday, June 16, 2018

Govt in overdrive to justify $20 M Summit spending

Seems like the focus of our govt after the US-N Korea Summit ended is to justify the $20 M poured into holding it.  Could it be because of the negative outcome as most critics said the agreement signed between the 2 leaders is full of holes?  Or could it be because our closest neighbor Malaysia is cutting back on govt expenditure while ours is still spending like they have a gold mine?

The main stream media went into overdrive the last few days to highlight how much monetary benefits Spore has gotten out of the summit.  Really?

I recalled after PM Lee announced that $20 M will be splashed on the summit, CNA interviewed 2 economists if Spore would benefit from the summit.  Both said the tangible economic benefits are limited.  However, after the summit we are thrown figures like $700M - Meltwater report, $200M worth of global publicity, $150M to $750M of economic benefits ($750M- increase by $50M overnight ?)......

Looking at the figures from $150M to $750 M - the difference is $600M ie 400% difference! Such a wide gap - and they expect us to accept them at face value and believe in them?

The $20M is already spend on the Summit, but all these airy figures are intangible benefits which may not even materialized.

To top it up, Minister K Shanmugam said that North Korea missiles can reach S'pore in 20 mins. The same old trick- using scare tactics.  Since when did North Korea ever threaten S'pore? They may not even know of our geographical location since they have no relationship with us.  If US, our long time  friend thinks we are part of Malaysia, N Korea is likely unaware of our existence before the summit.

Sigh! After wasting $20M of public fund, now they want to dupe us into believing the money spend is worth it. This is too much to stomach in 1 week.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

US-N Korea Summit, YOG, F1 Race - $ Worth ??

What is common linkage of US-North Korean Summit, YOG and F1 Race in Singapore ?
Answer : Obscene amount of money splashed on them. 

F1 Race started in 2008. The licencing cost is $65 million every year. The cost of hosting it is in the range of $150 million.

Youth Olympics Game (YOG) was held in Spore in 2010. The initial budget was $104 million, but it overshot by $280 million.  YOG cost us a cool $387 to host.

The recent US-N Korea Summit on 12/6/18 cost $20 million to host.

What is the justification of all these big spending ?  F1 and YOG were supposed to put S'pore on international stage - get the world to know Spore through wide media coverage and exposure.

The recent summit is Spore 'contribution' to world peace.  But after the 2 presidents signed a piece of loose binding agreement which most critics have doubt of its effectiveness of getting N Korea to denuclearized - our govt change track and said the money well spend as it gives Spore international coverage. 

US State Dept made a mistake to address Spore as part of Malaysia in the recent summit. For US to make such a mistake to the host country - it is a wake up call to PM Lee that no amount of money or apple polishing is going to correct misconception of Spore being part of some other bigger country (eg China, Malaysia, ....)

It also reflects the obscene amount splashed into money losing venture such as F1 race over the years does little enhance world citizens knowledge of Spore geographical location.  If a high US official  can made such mistake - what can we expect from common folks ?

Similarly the $387 million spent on YOG for international coverage was also money down the drain, as most would not care where is Spore located.

What makes our PM Lee thinks that folks around the world are more interested in politics than sports?  Beside US, Japan and South Korea - the likelihood of other countries citizens paying much attention to this summit event is minimum, as they are not affected and have no direct stake in it.

Our govt expects us to be proud that Spore is hosting this summit.  But what is there to be proud about ?  Trump leadership is full of controversy and is the laughing stock even within his own party.  Kim is a brutal dictator who terrorized neighboring countries and US with his nuclear arm. He murdered his own relatives and brother.  He don't believe in human rights and starve his people to fund his nuclear program.  He never foot his own bill.  N Korea still yet to pay up the bill for the cars they imported from European country.  South Korean paid around US$3 million for N Korean to participate in the Winter Olympics and Para Olympics game.  N Korean internet hackers stole millions from third world country bank which had weak security system. Kim is just a big time gangster, robber and terrorist.

So just because he is a the head of a country - all these can be overlook?  This seems like it seeing how our PM Lee and ministers butter him up.

As a S'porean I feel ashamed and disappointed at our leaders behavior.  It is a waste to spend $20 million to host the summit.  Besides our govt put our Spore and us at security risk as these 2 leaders are not the most likable nor popular and have plenty of enemies.

Likely the summit serves as a ego booster for our govt leaders instead than anything else.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Careshield Life - review community Chairman's statements don't hold water

CNA interviewed Careshield Life review community Chairman, Mah and the discussion touched on higher premium for female and the starting payout of $600 which is still pretty low to be helpful to those who are severely disable. But according to Mr Mah, this new scheme has 'significant improvement'.

Mr Mah said females are required to foot higher premium because they live longer.  But it is the average life span of female which is longer than male, NOT survival years after being hit with severe disability. Are that statistic to show that severely disable female lives longer than their male counter?

According the Mr Mah, the new scheme has 'significant improvement' as the payout is $600 for life. But it is only $200 more than the previous scheme which payout is $400 for 6 yrs. This was last revised in 2007. So it is a miserable $200 increase over 13 years ! (2020-2007 as Caresheild Life starts from 2020).  Is this amount significant? 

We also need to see concrete statistic that those severely disable does live longer, as previously we were told the surviving years is 6 after being hit by severe disability.  If not there is no significant improvement in Careshield Life, except that it is significantly more expensive with 10 years earlier sign up age and 12 yrs longer and higher premium payment compare to formal Eldershield scheme.

Mr Mah also claimed that the new scheme caters for inflation.  He gave the example of a person suffering from disability at age 31 (2021) will get $600 payout for life.  While one who suffers from disability at age 55 (2045) will get $1000 for life. But to me this is because he/she pays longer premium that is why the payout is more rather than catering for inflation.  What about that poor chap who is hit with disability at age 31?  He still gets $600 in 2045 presuming he is still alive.  How can this be catering for inflation ?

Thus, the review committee for Careshield Life justification for the scheme premium and so call 'significant improvement' don't hold up to reasoning.


Monday, May 28, 2018

Careshielf Life ...another 'helping us' scheme to load up CPF coffer

Seems like what started out as voluntary scheme in CPF always end up being compulsory.  The latest being Eldershield renamed as Careshield Life. So they claim that it is a better scheme as payout is for life - if one meets the criteria of unable to do 3 basic daily activities such as feeding, washing, dressing, mobility, toileting and transferring.

What an irony, if one is so severely disable, one would wish to go earlier than to live longer to get more payout. Perhaps they should consider including legalizing euthanasia if they are serious about helping us. What is the point if our quality of life is at rock bottom.

The most important clause in the formal scheme remain untouched - criteria for claim eligibility. This has been a point of contention of the public as most likely to suffer 1 to 2 disability. To suffer from 3, is too strict a criteria.  Perhaps that is the reason the payout rate is so low since only a minority meets the claim criteria.

It is stated that there are 1.3 million Eldershield policy holders and the total premium paid is $3.3 billion, but payout is only $133 million ! So much profit perhaps that is the reason CPF taking over the scheme from the appointed 3 insurance companies.

It is not stated out of the 1.3 million policy holders the percentage that meet the claim criteria when they suffer from disability. Their biggest 'selling' point in this new scheme is the life payout if one is disable.  But what is the point if one can't even meet the criteria for claim.

In the old scheme, the payout is for 6 years because they told us that their statistic has shown that those who suffer from severe disability die within 6 years.  Now they tell us this scheme is so 'good' as it is life payout. But likely most will still go to heaven within 6 years and CPF coffer will be loaded  with premium paid.

Besides premium being higher in Careshield life, premium payment is 12 yrs longer than the previous scheme.  The premium also gets higher each year (unlike previous scheme, premium fix at joining age).  Only the first five year premium is made known to increase by 2 % each year after that it is unknown. Oh yes - there is some subsidy which will last for 5 years - this has always been the 'carrot' they offer us whenever they come out with some new scheme or increase taxes...etc.

They said that the opt out rate for the old scheme has been stable at 5%.  So if the new scheme is so good - why make it compulsory?  Wouldn't everyone rush to join in even if it is to remain voluntary?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Shouldn't AVA Be Prosecuted ?

In the recent case of culling of chickens in Sin Ming, who can verify that all those birds culled were domestic fowls?  There is a high probability that there are red jungle fowls among them.

A healthy brood of red jungle fowls which are protected endangered species has been featured in a few documentaries (besides Wild City). Thus it is unbelievable when AVA claims that those were all domestic chickens.  It is unlikely that a healthy brood of red jungle fowls 'disappeared' overnight to be replaced by a brood chickens.

Besides, AVA also claims that the birds were killed humanly. However, there is no explanation on the method used.  If the current method to cull pigeons is used - it is very cruel.  Pigeons are first poison to incapacitate their motion, so we see pigeons falling of ledges and roofs after ingesting poison but still alive. Then they are stuff into bags to suffocate slowly to death.

It is an irony that AVA being the 'gatekeeper' for the act on cruelty against animals condone such inhumane culling method for years.  Can AVA be trusted to be a reliable 'gatekeeper' for our protected endanger species?

What if the authority such as AVA has crossed the line and infringed upon the Act to protect endangered species and animals against cruelty in the Sin Ming fowl incident - who will prosecute AVA ?

Can we trust AVA to own self check own self ?