Archive for the ‘Alps Tan says’ Category

The road paved with lies and deceit – by Alps Tan

We all choose a road in our lives. Robert Frost might have chosen the road less traveled, but it seems that the Worker’s Party has chosen an interesting sort of road – a road paved with lies and deceit.

A recap of the lies WP has told thus far:

1. LIE NO 1.   Png Eng Huat said on Mon night that he had taken his name out of the ballot; and that is why he was not chosen as the NCMP to represent East Coast GRC. Many WP supporters, as did many Singaporeans, took Png’s word for it. Purely on faith vested in the WP and its leadership, they believed that Png was telling the truth. But as it turned out, this was nothing but a lie. Png’s name was on the list of potential candidates to be elected by the WP CEC, and had in fact garnered 1 vote.

2.  LIE NO 2. Now to explain away LIE NO 1, Png reinvents his story, and said that he had no choice because the entire East Coast team had to be in the ballot. But that is another lie. 2 members of the East Coast GRC Team were not on the ballot – Glenda Han and Mohd Fazli. Png did in fact have a choice. He could either run for the NCMP position with Eric Tan and Gerald Giam, or he could choose not to run, together with Glenda and Fazli.

3. LIE NO 3. Png told CNA today that his choice of words were “ambiguous” and  he apologized for the confusion. But his words were not ambiguous. Png said ” I actually took my name out of the ballot for the NCMP post. Because I have a personal stand against the NCMP scheme, so that’s why my name wasn’t in the ballot. ” Png said he took out his name. It is a clear and direct statement. There is no ambiguity. But the truth is that not only did he not take out his name, he actually contested – and lost – the ballot.

4. LIE NO 4. Png also claimed that he had clearly expressed his intention not to run for the NCMP position. He claimed that he had informed the WP CEC as well as his East Coast GRC teammates of his intention not to run. The minutes of meeting do not show any protest by Png or suggestion that he didnt want his name included. These are not slipshod minutes that ‘accidentally’ missed this fact. They painstakingly recorded details of conversations and intentions between Chairman Sylvia Lim, Secretary General Low Thia Kiang and Eric Tan, and not a single mention was made of Png expressing his unwillingness to run.

5. LIE NO 5A lie can be told in a statement. A lie can also be told in silence. When Png committed LIE NO 1, the other WP CEC members who were present at the meeting – Low Thia Kiang and Sylvia Lim – did not step forth to correct the ‘misunderstanding’. Low in particular, was the one who proudly trumpeted WP’s accountability and transparency when he made the announcement to sack Yaw Shin Leong. Instead of being accountable to the people, Low Thia Kiang and Sylvia Lim allowed Png’s lies to perpetuate, hoping against odds that the blind faith WP supporters have in their leadership will carry the day.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this incident is that the truth of this matter will be lost and forgotten in the noise of campaigning.

Perhaps Mr Low and Ms Lim are right – that the faith WP supporters have in their leadership will cause them to close their eyes to the warning signs of greater dishonesty to come.

And so, I write this article for posterity, so that if the day should come where WP is swept to power on a lie, those who read this will know that we who saw the signs during By-Election 2012, chose to ignore it.

All roads might lead to Rome, or so the saying goes. But this road WP has chosen for itself certainly doesn’t lead to a First World Parliament.

by Alps Tan 


“It’s an opportunity now to put in a new man, to have a new beginning for Hougang.” DPM Teo says

Source : TODAY

DPM Teo Chee Hean, speaking at a dinnertime walkabout with Hougang by-election candidate Desmond Choo at Hougang Ave 5, said: “The events over the last two days give me pause:

  • It raises issues about honesty and being upfront. I think what Png Eng Huat said yesterday and what he said today contradicts each other … I will wait to see what he has to say tonight, to clarify matters.”

About PAP candidate Desmond Choo, DPM Teo said: “He’s sincere, honest, and want to do his best for the residents here. I hope that they will give Desmond a chance to show why he can do.”

“It’s an opportunity now to put in a new man, to have a new beginning for Hougang.”

Png Eng Huat: A repeat of the Yaw Shin Leong saga?

WP Hougang by-election candidate Png Eng Huat had, in fact, taken himself out of the running as he has a “personal stand” against the NCMP scheme, Mr Png told Channel NewsAsia yesterday. Mr Png told that he had actually taken his name “out of the ballot for the NCMP post because I have a personal stand against the NCMP scheme”.
Less than 24 hours after making this statement, Png Eng Huat came under fire when Zaobao released the leaked WP minutes of meeting for that fateful day when the WP CEC deliberated on the NCMP position.

Not only had Png Eng Huat not taken his name out of the NCMP election, he probably put his name in.

Contrary to what Mr Png had earlier claimed, he did not remove his name from the ballot. In fact, he was one of the 3 contestants for the NCMP position, and he even managed to garner one vote from the CEC. An accidental vote? I think not.

The East Coast GRC team had 5 candidates who were eligible to be elected by the WP CEC for the NCMP position.

1. Gerald Giam (In the running)

2. Eric Tan (In the running)

3. Png Eng Huat (In the running)

4. Mohamed Fazli (Did not run)

5. Glenda Han (Did not run)

It appears that Mr Png got it the wrong way round. Not only did he not take his name out of the ballot. He put his name in for the running of the NCMP seat.

The Zaobao article does not reveal the complete list of WP CEC members who were present, but if we examine the minutes of meeting, at least 2 members were confirmed to be present.

Secretary General – Low Thia Kiang

Chairman – Sylvia Lim.

Were they aware of Png contesting for the NCMP vote?


Were they also aware of Png’s claim that he had taken his name out of the ballot?


Did they do anything to correct the misrepresentation by Png?


This goes directly against the grain of accountability and responsibility that Low Thia Kiang had so proudly trumpeted when he sacked Yaw Shin Leong over a lack of the same.

Is this the First World Parliament that WP is trying to create?

by Alp Tan
Link : Png Eng Huat: A repeat of the Yaw Shin Leong saga?


How a First World Parliament dealt with copycat plagiarism – by Alps Tan

Germany’s Defence Minister, Pritam Singh and Chen Show Mao

Chen Show Mao recently copied almost wholesale from an article by Donald Low. Donald had given permission, but that wasn’t the point. Because even Wikipedia recommends giving credit in such situations.

Then Pritam Singh also copied pieces of an article for his ombudsman speech in Parliament.

Is this just a storm in a teacup? Or is it a serious matter?

In early 2011, German Defence Minister Guttenberg was found to have copied large parts of text for his 2006 university doctorate thesis. There was public outcry. Guttenberg resigned.


Imagine that, a Defence Minister resigning because of plagiarism!

This is what happened in Germany, a First World Parliament.

What is the Worker’s Party view on plagiarism? Will Pritam Singh and Chen Show Mao resign? Or do they think Germany is not First World enough? Well, from WP’s silence over so many issues, don’t hold your breath waiting for them to answer these questions.

(Enclosed – graphic from Wall Street Journal showing the plagiarism by German Defence Minister. Haven’t we seen this kind of copycat work somewhere else?)



by Alps Tan  :


Wikipedia Link :


Let us all do more! Can Singapore go beyond First World? – by Alps Tan

Thoughts on Donald Low, Chen Show Mao and Vikram Nair

I was impressed yet saddened to read the piece Donald Low wrote for Chen Show Mao, “Vikram Nair’s flawed economics”. Donald uses words well and his economics training shows. Personally I think Show Mao should have given credit to Donald for such good help, even if Donald did not expect the attribution.

Donald is spot-on that spending can achieve many different kinds of returns and that philosophies used to be different about infrastructure versus social spending. As an economist, Donald would also be familiar with the idea of “stickyness”: some policy decisions are harder to move in one direction compared to another. Around the world, cutting back on big economic projects is generally easier than cutting back on social expenditure. So there’s also a policy case for being careful with moving social spending. It doesn’t mean you don’t spend — but social spending requires care in the same way that big investments need a different kind of care.

Donald also makes good points about how spending upfront can stop a small problem from ballooning into a big problem — thus avoiding much bigger expenditure later on. This is good common sense, which may be why spending on education is regarded as an investment too, such as the generous financial support and subsidy given to Singaporean school students, especially those from low-income families.

So why was I saddened? Because when I read Donald’s article, I felt some kind of anger had shaded his thinking. Donald wasn’t so much rebutting Vikram Nair’s speech, but rather an idea of Vikram Nair’s speech, and an idea of what the PAP was supposed to be a long time ago.

Vikram Nair’s speech might have been uncalled for if Chen Show Mao, in Parliament, had made all the points Donald provided several days later. But Show Mao didn’t do that in his speech. Show Mao’s speech had none of the analysis, none of the detailed explanation you need to understand how an investment will lead to economic, social and cultural returns. Show Mao basically said: “It will pay for itself and there will be returns — take my word on it (but I’m not telling you exactly how).”

The saddest part of all is that Donald and Show Mao are perpetuating some very outdated thinking about what kind of society Singapore should be. When Show Mao says “Let’s Do More” and Donald analyses state expenditure, both are still speaking the ideological language of people versus state, of one against another: they are really saying is that “the state should do more”.

But what about We, The People?

And that’s why Singapore needs better politics and better politicians than Show Mao, and better policy thinkers than Donald. We will have failed, if our First World status comes with First World Taxes and First World Debts and First World Divisions.

I propose a different rallying cry of hope: “LET US ALL DO MORE”.

Because a truly inclusive society isn’t just about the state giving out more.

It’s about all Singaporeans stepping forward and stepping up as proud citizens to help their fellow men and women.

When was the last time you looked around the MRT train before taking a seat, to see if somebody needed it more?

When was the last time you gave a dollar to charity without somebody prompting?

When was the last time you volunteered your time and energy and passion for a cause? (Writing articles doesn’t count.)

And that’s why in the new Singapore, the real rallying cry should be LET US ALL DO MORE.

Because We, The People, make up our Singapore.

Link :

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