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Friday, August 25, 2006 

National Day Rally without "Harm"

Upon an anonymous suggestion, I’ve decided to write something and some thoughts on the National Day Rally (NDR). Since many of us are sick of the “aerial” and “ground bombardment” of post-NDRs, I should write something different about this year’s NDR. Perhaps before starting on any thoughts it might be interesting (things that I’ve found boring was interesting to the readers and vice versa, so when I say its interesting, it might be boring! Readers beware!) to have some fun facts on the NDR.

Things you didn’t get to see on national TV
1) Who was the last MP to arrive at the National Day Rally?
Mr Ong Chit Chung. The MP from Jurong GRC, Bukit Batok Division, came in the hall a whooping 5 minutes late and after PM Lee had already started his speech. It didn’t help much to be stealth when he wore a red shirt brighter than the PM’s. It was a close fight between him and the former MP, Wong Kai Yuen who came in slightly later than Ong Chit Chung. But Wong Kai Yuen lost out on this one, as he is no longer a MP. Unanimously, the award had to go to Ong Chit Chung.

2) Who was the last Minister (aside from MM Lee and PM Lee) to be seated?
Tharman Shanmugaratnam. The Minister for Education and MP from Jurong GRC (there must be something with MPs from Jurong) took his seat just before the tradition last arrival of MM Lee. However, he was one of the earliest Ministers to arrive to the University Cultural Centre and mingled with the audience during the reception before the Rally. Other early comers included Foreign Minister George Yeo and Minister Lim Swee Say. Strangely, Tharman was the last to take his seat. Perhaps he might have remembered the perpetually endless toilet queues during the “half-time” break of NDR at last year’s NDR.

3) What was most peculiar and different about this year’s Rally that no one noticed?
This one is really curved-ball and has to do with SM Goh. Traditionally, just before the start of every rally, all will be seated before MM Lee Kuan Yew enter the hall to a rousing applause by all. The past two NDRs, SM Goh entered just before MM Lee and was received by applauses from the audiences. This year’s National Day Rally, GCT entered the hall with no one applauding him despite him turning around to face the audiences, expecting an applause. He intended to wave at the audience, but given the zero response, he turned back, sat down and didn’t move until to the Rally ended. Maybe he met with tough audiences or was just a victim falling from grace. But you could sense and see his disappointment. After the Rally, GCT was with Mah Bow Tan chatting about their perception on the youth near the buffet table. From my “eavesdropping”, I believed they weren’t talking about his non-applause. ;)

4) Did former Ministers get any stick from their ex-colleagues?
Unlike last year, when David Lim (former Acting Minister for MICA) walked across the whole front row Cabinet Ministers without any eye contact and smile from both parties, this year’s former Ministers faired better. Former DPM Dr Tony Tan had a lengthy conversation with now DPM Wong Kan Seng just before the Rally started and was well-received by all Ministers and MP. Former Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong had some mixed reactions. He was largely ignored by some Ministers (DPM Wong Kan Seng rather focus on his mobile phone than to look at his ex-colleague) but was greeted with smiles by some others like the ever-friendly Lim Swee Say, Lee Boon Yang and Teo Chee Hean. Only Dr Balaji Sadasivan, literately and physically, bent backwards to shake Yeo Cheow Tong’s hand.

5) Who was notably absented from this year’s NDR?
MM Lee’s wife. This is probably the first National Day Rally that she didn’t attend, or maybe I just didn’t see her there. I don’t think anyone did. Usually, she will be seated on the right side centre stand of the auditorium, with her daughter, Lee Wei Ling. But no conspiracy or wild guess, please! I do have vested interest in the stock market!

6) What usually happen after National Day Rallies?
This is something good-to-know if you ever get invited to National Day Rally. Traditionally, there will be receptions (of course with food) before and after the Rally where the Ministers and MP mingled with the attendees. But there is an implicit observation that many don’t see. Grassroots and Party (PAP of course) cadres are usually invited to the rallies. And Ministers and MPs will also gather with their constituency members for discussions and chitchats. Occasionally, the Ministers will be talking among each other on work related issues or with prominent businessmen. But most of the time, they will be with their own grassroots. Before going to that, just some quick observations. Dr Vivian was seen with DPM Jayakumar, Mah Bow Tan with SM Goh and Lim Hng Kiang was with Kwek Leng Joo, the Managing Director of City Development Limited (CDL) – formerly in the running for the Marina IR with Las Vegas Sands. Now for the main course: what is the implicit message?

PM and the rest of the senior leaders will also be at the reception to mingle with the crowd. But sometimes, what is evident is that this is one of the occasions to assess how well supported are the Ministers and MPs by their grassroots. Every NDR, there are two areas for reception, the second floor and the first floor. For the MPs and Ministers to get maximum exposure, they will usually be at the floor where the PM is. Second floor is a lot quieter. But those Ministers and MPs who are not too concern over this will visit the second floor to mingle. Some spotted at the second floor includes, Foreign Minister George Yeo, Senior Minister of State Dr Balaji Sadasivan and MP Wee Siew Kim. {See Photo: PM Lee is in red shirt with back facing the camera. Can you spot the other Minister "near" him?}

The support from the grassroots can be quite an important assessment guide of the MPs, by the PM. If a MP doesn’t seem to have grassroots support for the major events, how well can he/she even connect with the rest of the constituency and the voters? Don’t need to believe my words, by if you have a chance, observe it for yourself and make the conclusion.

7) Was Thrasymachus at the National Day Rally?
If he wasn’t there, how could he write the above observations (not conclusions)? ;)

Thrasymachus’s Thoughts on the National Day Rally
This section could be potentially so boring that it could tranquilize an elephant that can read. So please beware! Lame jokes aside, I’ll not be mentioning the stuff and so-called “analysis” on the papers but just some implicit notes and punts (not the “mee siam mai harm” kind) used by the PM.

Contrary to popular belief that only the PM drafts the NDR speech, it is not the case. The whole Cabinet is involved in the process of tailoring the speech. Thus, long before the day itself, all Ministers would have already known the content but not the delivery. This year’s NDR, he highlighted several key areas to focus on, namely, population, digital age and Singapore Heartware. Through his speech, you can also see which Ministers he has more interaction with and which Ministers are not. Many people also underestimated the NDR as a platform and channel to communicate implicit messages to the people. Like in 2003, then-PM Goh Chok Tong mentioned several key Ministers that LHL should retain when he steps down. NDR remains as an important platform for the PM.

Rising Stars and Setting Sun
In the past three National Day Rally by LHL, only one Minister was mentioned in every of his speech: Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. Each time, the comment regarding Tharman was directed on their seemingly casual conversations. Perhaps he was consulted often by the PM and might be groomed for greatness. Aside from the commonly mentioned Ministers, there are also the “punts intended”. In this year’s NDR translation from his Chinese speech, he mentioned this, “Two years ago, we introduced major policy changes to encourage couples to have more babies. So far the results have been very modest.” Two years ago, Lim Hng Kiang was the Minister-in-Charge of the birth rates policies. Punts intended? Maybe. Given the amount of budget spent on improving the birth rates, he has done quite an abysmal job. But in the first place, this task was not something that one could easily manage and be done within two years. In other words, this is quite a suicidal task.

To Make or Import?
Since Goh Chok Tong’s time as PM until LHL, birth rate policies and incentives have always been a permanent fixture in NDRs and Budget speeches. But for the PM to highlight this issue but totally not speak about birth rates policies or incentives is quite a significant deviation from the norm. First, this might signal that they have given up their continual monetary incentive efforts of improving birth rates. Second, they would rather opt for a short-term fix in getting foreign talents than to pursue a seemingly lost cause. Lastly, if both are true, then they have to resolve the tension between the foreigners and locals. The foreign talents policy has been around for sometime, but seldom mentioned in NDRs as it is potentially touchy. Phrasing in the wrong manner, may have significant consequences. But I think the PM carried it well.

The Policy “Face”
Political science lesson 201: Every policy needs a “face”. This means that for every policy, some ministers must take responsibility or take the face of it. Name any policy, and you should or must be able to find a face to it. Like Goh Chok Tong’s initiative of the CPF cuts during the economic downturn, George Yeo to FTAs, or the building of MRT to Ong Teng Cheong’s credit, are the faces of the policies. So far, Lee Hsien Loong has been elusive in doing that, rightly so. Since taking on the post of Prime Minister, he has been careful in avoiding putting his face on any policies, except the IR. I don’t think that he is trying to sidestep any responsibility or controversy but is a deliberate strategy to strengthen his hold on his leadership.

Every Prime Minister needs to step out of the shadow of his predecessor, just like GCT differentiating himself from LKY, Abdullah Badawi from Mahathir. This is no easy task. But LHL is a quick learner in this field. What some new leaders did wrong was taking an issue or policy to benchmark as “success” over the transition. When Badawi took over from Mahathir, he took himself to task of eliminating corruption in the government as his report card. And he announced this even before he has grip and control over the government. Without the good ground support, he was doomed to fail from the start and is now attacked because that was his benchmarking policy and he is the face to it. LHL has smartened from this. Instead of putting his face to the policies, he delegates the policy implementation to other Ministers once he has initiates it. An example would be the population control responsibility being with Wong Kan Seng after the NDR.

Political leaders can only be criticized or attacked in two areas, leadership and policy. Leadership can be hidden as long as your team publicly voice support for you. Policies are in the public eye and success depends also on the public eye. This, of course, is more difficult to predict or manage. Thus, unless LHL is confident that he has control over the government, with his people in place, he will be and should be “elusive” in the policy limelight. And NDR is the stage where he has to be in the policy limelight. Hence, this NDR was purposely focused on broad issues, no specific policies, general and directional at best.

The Brown Man Causing Black Faces?
Yes, the latest Mr Brown’s “mai hum feat. PM Lee” got me tickling. Maybe this is already stale news to many but maybe I could just give a little heads up on what happened behind the Brown saga from MICA’s point of view.

We all reacted strongly in the way the MICA’s Press Secretary K Bavani responded to the article. But maybe you didn’t know this but several Ministers were very upset with the Press Secretary as well. Apparently, some of the MICA Ministers (except Lee Boon Yang) and other Cabinet Ministers were not informed when the press letter was published. And many Ministers were angry with her and her badly crafted letter. Simply, she reacted too soon, too harsh and without much consideration. Considering that she was also the President of the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore, her mistake was inexcusable and was not taken too lightly. But being part of the civil service the Ministers can’t turn around and scold her in public. Unity has to be presented under every circumstance. This is the rule of thumb of the government. However, this is case of forgiven but not forgotten. Thus, if you read the statements of the Ministers after the letter was published, there was a slight disjoint in statement and tune. While seemingly supporting the Press Secretary, they tried to soften the damage done. All sang the same song with a different tune (no punt intended). Don’t be surprised if you see some changes to her position in the coming 2 years (but not within this year).

It will be interesting to see or find out if Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister of MICA, shouldered most of the blame during the stormy Cabinet meeting. In any case, it doesn’t matter, as he will be joining Yeo Cheow Tong on retirement soon.

I was supposed to talk about the National Day Rally, but landed up talking about many other things that are not really related. As usual…

One more note:
Well, while many thought that the government "forced" TODAY papers to suspend Mr Brown, they didn't. When the editor of TODAY decided to suspend Mr Brown, out of fear of kanna knocked in the head by his boss or pure stupidity or purely to push the blame to the government, they did not inform the government or MICA. The officials only learnt about the suspension when it was published. This led many MICA Ministers even more upset as the whole would have thought that the government "forced" TODAY into doing that. You may not believed me in this, but trust my MICA source and TODAY papers friend. TODAY did a screw job on the government, well enough to think that it was the "MICA's heavy hand" in action again. I'm so sure about this statement that I double dare TODAY to sue me on this one (Ooops, sorry James Gomez, for bringing up unhappy and familiar GE2006 memories. I was well indoctrinated by the white forces during my early education.).

tony tan may be no longer minister, but he was made chairman of SPH, deputy chairman of GIC (whose chairman is LKY himself) and also the national research foundation, all important posts; being polite to him is a good example of ex-ministers not being ignored

GCT's failure in his mission impossible (Hougang/Potong Pasir) has obvious consequences; he is still deputy chairman of MAS, but unlikely to have much influence their with LHL and Tharman both there to make decisions;

it should be clear that LKY's preference for Tony Tan as successor has not changed over the years; while one is handling large sums of money, the other only has vague jobs like "relation" "image" "popularity"

thanks for the update! very informative!

Interesting insights into the NDR.
Always look forward to your postings as it helps me to try and see things from an angle.

Keep it up!

bavani's letter was considered to be a mistake by ministers? really? did any of them ask Today to unsuspend Mr Brown? sounds like disinformation to me

however, there are always optimists around to suck it all up, the same guys who though bartop dancing and crazy horse would increase freedom and democracy

Looking at the Govt Directory it seems K Bhavani answers only (or primarily) to the M Lee, not to 2M Bala-K or SMS Bala-J. So maybe it might be the M's idea and responsibility. After all, he stood up in Parliament to whack Royston for an attack on Amy.

"Every Prime Minister needs to step out of the shadow of his predecessor, just like GCT differentiating himself from LKY, Ahmad Badawi from Mahathir."

Abdullah, rather.

Hi Anonymous of 26 Aug 1.34am,

The government can't "ask" Today to unsuspend mrbrown. It is the same reason why they can't and didn't "ask" Today to suspend mrbrown.

maybe many ministers "asked" Today to unsuspend Mr. Brown, but Today, being free to make its own decision, ignored them all...

but since no minister publicly said so, I guess we shall never know that they are actually in favour of unsuspending him...

optimists, keep hoping!

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Erm... on one hand, people wants the government not to influcence the mainstream media. On the other hand, when the people feels like it, they ask the government to influcence the mainstream media.

So do the people want freedom for the press or not? I'm counfused now.

Also, have you read my blog? If not, aren't you jumping to conclusion by calling me an optimist based on my one comment?

My comment was just stating an observation. It was neither supporting nor dismissive. So how did I end up being an optimist based on my ONE earlier comment?

so you declare youself to be neither an optimist nor a non-optimist; fine

but there are others around who are optimists

Hi all

Thanks for your comments and do keep your thoughts flowing in. I guess we all have to be open but be prepared to back our arguments when challenged.

Cheers!
T

Although I never forgave Goh Chok Tong for blackmailing Singaporeans with the upgrading threat, my heart goes out to him for the cold reception described by you. I am reminded of Teh Cheang Wan's daughter's remarks that the phone stopped ringing after her father was investigated. Suddenly all the adulating friends seem to disappear into thin air.
Your take on TODAY's sacking of mrbrown is refreshing, but many will maintain that Bhavani acted in the true spirit of the ruling party - the well oiled sledge hammer treatment. So it is quite difficult to swallow the line that "many Ministers were angry at her and her badly crafted letter". PM Lee's own strong words on the matter include "it hit out wildy at the government" and "how can you not reply?"
GCT's velvet gloves approach disappeared long ago with "the turn into slums" bully tactics.

Hi Saleh

I guess we shouldn't be too harsh on that. There are in a position where is easy to criticize difficult to be in. Not a very "thanking" job to say the least.

As for the PM Lee comments, let's just say that it might not be spoken in unison but has to show his support to Lee Boon Yang and co.

Cheers!
T

Nice article.

I was hoping that you'd include an analysis on post NDR's NDR repeat broadcasts that seem to have *erased* any mention of MSMH. Is this MCS, MICA or some re-programmable world aka Matrix that we are living in.

>PM Lee comments, let's just say that it might not be spoken in unison but has to show his support to Lee Boon Yang

what? LHL afraid LBY would be upset? oh he is so wimpy...no wonder his dad does not feel comfortable leaving the son in charge...

Fact: Press Secs (or any other civil servants) do not release press statements without explicit approval from Minister(s), in this case, for MICA.

Fact: Bhavani's reply did not just cover topics under MICA's purview, but also from other govt. agencies, e.g. MOH and EMA. MICA would have needed inputs from those agencies, one way or the other. They would have needed approval from their respective bosses as well (DS or PS at least)

Fact: Who owns Today? (or who is linked to Today / Mediacorp)

I am not saying that it is not possible for other Ministers to feel strongly against such a crude reply (I actually felt the only crude part was the reference to mrbrown's daughter).

But the way you wrote it looks as if Bhavani was the main instigator of the reply. Possible but highly unlikely based on my experiences in the civil service. The reply covered too many varied topics to be truly a MICA reply. It read more like a political statement, which again, the people do have the right of reply.

CT

I am willing to believe some ministers are privately ambivalent about the matter; I doubt they would openly say it and break cabinnet solidarity; they know very well the powers did not like beef nooble video (nor the white elephants) and were merely putting on a smiling face while waiting for the right opportunity to take action

Hi Anonymous (the second one)

First, let's not jump into conclusion by saying that "he is so wimpy". It is not the case. No government can afford to disunity in Cabinet. Even Najib has to stay united to Badawi even if he wants him out. This is politics of man management. It is not that he is weak or scare of LBY but should not be seen that the Cabinet has any differences in opinion. That is why all Cabinet Minister do not comment on the content of the NDR speech as that speech is suppose to represent the whole Cabinet.

Ctho,
To your fact (1) & (2): Could be true and not true. You will need to see the timeline for this one. Between the release of the Mr Brown article and the release of the press statement, it is only a short day. Retrival of information by a press sec from a stat board need not go through Ministers or even PS/DS. Maybe you might be in a better position to know how the Press Secs like to tell PS/DS that they only report to da minister.

To your fact (3): Yes, what more when the chairman is Ho Kwon Peng, the former journalist who got jailed under ISA. And yes, the people should have right to reply, likewise the government. So it works both ways.

But in all, I think we also need to agree that this whole issue, is expected to generate negative publicity to the government given that kind of unprofessional reply by Bavani. Most people would expect such a backslash, same as the Ministers. If given to "some minister", the response might be totally different.

Cheers!
T

you should be less trusting towards confidential sources, but proximity to power is so intoxicating...

True, advice well-noted... Though, sometimes I find the internet totally the opposite. It is a matter of looking at all things grey rather than black and white.

As being the leader of my company, I am always on the chopping board. If my staff makes a mistake, I'll have to stand out for my staff and not hide behind her, nor put her out to slaughter. That is the price of leadership. That is why even in private sectors, when big scandal happens, it is the leader that resign, even if it did not involve the chief.

Trust me, a lot of things can be done in a few hours, let alone in one short day.

Again, (1) is a fact. Anything put out by any Ministry needs to be cleared by the Minister.

The reply was by MICA, for the whole government. Bhavani is only there because she's the Press Sec. And yes, Press Secs can get a bit cocky.

Yes, retrieval of info need not go through PS and DS. There was not the issue however. But clearance of the reply still has to go through senior management. Of course, it is a different matter if no one happened to be around that day... but that's speculation.


My point is that by painting Bhavani as the main instigator of the reply, certain things are lost in your representation, such as clearance of public statements.

ct

Hi Ct

Yes, that is what I said in my article that Lee Boon Yang was responsible to it. And note that I wrote "MICA Ministers (except Lee Boon Yang)".

So I didn't just pin it down to Bavani. As in all articles, somethings are made deliberately vague. Read between the lines is essential to information interpretation.

Cheers!
T

Hi Ct

Yes, that is what I said in my article that Lee Boon Yang was responsible to it. And note that I wrote "MICA Ministers (except Lee Boon Yang)".

So I didn't just pin it down to Bavani. As in all articles, somethings are made deliberately vague. Read between the lines is essential to information interpretation.

Cheers!
T

but LBY represents the cabinet; I dont think any minister would have openly disagreed, nor was LHL merely agreeing for the sake of appearance, since I doubt the cabinet as a whole would take a stand contrary to his or MM's.

it is of course true that nobody had to "tell" Today to suspend mr. brown; knowing that Bhavani/LBY was speaking for the cabinet including LHL/MM/others, Today management knew what action would be appropriate without waiting to be told; maybe you think it was a "mistake" that "upset" various ministers, because you have reflected your own ideas on them; to me it looks entirely consistent with the recent events, e.g., Gomez, IMF meeting demo arrangements, police permits for gay activities etc

any idea if the cabinet also contributed to LKY's NDR speeches? quite difficult to imagine as that man is so full of himself.

mr T,
your post sounds suspiciously like PAP spin "narrow cast" aimed at the blogging community: don't mind our heavy hand doing real damage to mrbrown and press freedom, it was just a wild and crazy woman (who will soon be stepping down along with her out of favor patron) and a cowardly tabloid paper kissing the wrong ass. And who is trying to have his cake and eat it too -- your patron?

quite so; naive guy falling so easily for disinformation, or deliberately helping to spread it?

removed

One seriously doubts if the NDR speech was written by the "whole cabinet", and not a single soul spotted the mee siam error. Knowing the character of LHL, they may not even have been given a chance to review it and pass comment - that fellow is "so full of himself", to borrow someone else's words, that he actually thinks he is God's gift to Singapore. Wong Kan Seng for one, whose mother brought up the family of five by running a noodle stall, would have spotted the gaffe from a zillion miles. Unless, of course, the cabinet members did know of it, and decided not to tell the emperor he was wearing his birthday suit on national TV. Which is worse.

Better divert ur energy to somewhere else besides reading so deeply into things it will do u more HARM than good!!!

Hi Anonymous x4, Locy2ky and Angela

Couple of days off from the net, didn't expect some much activities.

Well, of course, all are entitled to their own views and I respect all here as well. If some think that this blog is the PAP spin, no way I can persuade you otherwise even if the answer is no.

Other technical points, that mee siam error is an oratorary error and not the speech error. Surely you've differentiated and intepretated it right? But as I said, all your views and my views are just perceptions, not absolute rights and wrongs. But thanks anyway.

Believe it or not, this is no PAP blog. Well, you still can express that in the polls on your right sidebar. ;)

Cheers!
T

the pap is entitled to disseminate its views through this blog and other means; it is even entitled to plant stories that try to soften the blow of its own ministry spokenspersons like bhavani; but if a person keeps passing on such spin without recognizing he/she is doing that, he/she wont be able to maintain his/her own status as an independent voice

deleted

Hi Yuen

I found it necessary to challenge your statements again. 1) The PAP is NOT entitled to disseminate views on THIS blog. This blog is owned by me and only disseminates views of mine. However any party can comment but not disseminate on this blog. Note the differences.

Next, I thought you are an egalitarian democrat but you surprised me with your minimalistic comment likening Schumpeter.

If one constantly makes a spin, then the writer will lose creditability and the audiences will lose interest. Let the people have the freedom to choose what they want to read and trust them to be matured and learned enough to assess the information for themselves.

If one comments or write without even much thought, thinking or knowledge, but just repeats himself, how better is he from one who doesn't have his own voice? ;)

Cheers!
T

I am a confucian marxist, therefore elitist; however, elites need to know when they are not doing a good job and try to improve, hence my senate idea

I know your blog is supposed to be based on your own views, but you need to ask whose interest your confidential sources might be advancing

Yuen,

May I borrow this quote made by a foundering father, "I write as I pleased..."

If you think I am advancing some other's interest, so be it. No point convincing you the otherwise if you are so adament about it. As much as you think I am...I think I am not, just as much.

A marxist is always skeptical about all things, thinking that there is always conspirator behind every message. Maybe that is why they are extinct in modern times.

Cheers!
T

I said "whose interests --your confidential sources-- might be advancing"; no doubt I am a more sceptical person than you

marx's analysis of the shortcomings of capitalism, that it gets into periodic crisis because of over-investment, has been repeatedly confirmed, latest being the 1997 asian crisis and 2000 dotcom crash; the leninist social control method is still widely used, including here; the part of marxism discredited by history was its social utopia

just to add: marx's idea that technology/economics determine social structure, politics and history, is so widely accepted that people do not even know they already believe in marxism

maybe just to add to your marxism list of achievements,

1) The Great Leap Forward
2) Hundred Flowers Campaign
3) Cultural Revolution
4) Fall of Soviet Union

But I've never said that absolute liberal democracy is any good either...

in what way are these due to marx's ideas? you need to read carefully what I wrote, and avoid confusing different concepts; I can excuse a man in the street not knowing what was due to Mao and what was due to Marx, but you?

Then you should be quite well-read that Mao's ideas were largely influenced by marxism. Marxism maybe attractive concept but never practical. Building an utopia from year zero? Can that ever be done? A society without bourgeoisie, can that ever be possible, economically? While it is a good ideology, there hasn't be a modern day success in the true bred of marxism. Unless you have one in mind.

Are going to land up having another 30+ comments and debate again? ;)

isnt your blog meant to be for discussion, 30+ or not? or like the various feedback channels, it is there just to be nice and openminded?

I see you know little about communist china, great leap forward and cultural revolution, nor about gorbachev, yeltsin, the collapse of soviet union, but I wont recommend books for you to read like you recommended to me; it's not my style to do so

to say Mao was influenced by Marx therefore everything he did and failed to pull off is a failure of Marx, is like saying your blog is influenced by PAP's ideas and the blog's failure to provide good comments on my input is...

Aside from your polemic statements, assume that I am ignorant about all your specialty. So care to answer my question of which modern country has successfully adopted marxism?

Thrasymachus,

It is not right to say that TODAY fired Brown without the knowledge or directive of the ministry. Any one working in the mainstream media circles know that the truth was very much the opposite of what you shared. Just to clarify.

Hi Anonymous (although I don't know which one you are)

If you can, do verify with the mainstream media circle (especially people from TODAY) on that. I'm quite certain of my sources.

Cheers!
T

Thrasmyachus

I work in the msm. Sorry cannot reveal more. But just want to set the record straight.

Poor Alahudeen, having graduated from NUS, he went deep into Islamic studies and the Tabligh group. Later ended up taking too seriously a book titled 'The Grave' published by International Islamic Publishing House, author Husayn al-Awayisyah. Especially page 84, influenced him him to join the MILF in Philliphines to 'protect the borders of Islam' and achieve the massive reward in the day of judgement and protect himself from the punishment of the grave.
Now he is facing judgement without trial, locked up in ISD detention, taking psychotic drugs to cure his islamic extremism, siggghhhh.
I wish MM Lee will release him and give him some kind of state pardon for his 'protecting Islamic borders' activity, because its almost five years since he seen his wife.

This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Cheers!

Here is my blog post - freed ()

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    Current results


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    What do you think of the General Election 2006 (GE) Results?
    Accurately reflects the political preference of Singaporeans
    Somewhat accurate in reflecting Singapore's political preference
    PAP's win was too flattering
    Oppositions' percentage was too high
    Not accurate in reflecting the political preference of Singaporeans
    Totally inaccurate!
    Current results


    NEW!
    What do you think of the Gomez Issue?
    He is guilty of deceiving!
    He is not guilty!
    The whole issue was overblown by the PAP & media
    Don't care, Don't know!
    Current results


    NEW!
    What do you think of this site (singaporegovt.blogspot)?
    Good, Fair, Objective, Interesting Read
    Above Average
    Average
    Below Average
    Total Rubbish!
    Total mouthpiece of the PAP government!
    I HATE this site!
    I LOVE this site!
    Current results


    NEW!
    Which (Senior) Minister of State do you wish to see promoted to Full Minister?
    Ho Peng Kee
    Dr Balaji Sadasivan
    Zainul Abidin Rasheed
    Heng Chee How
    Lim Hwee Hua
    Grace Fu
    Radm Lui Teck Yew
    Lim Yi Shyan
    Gan Kim Yong
    Current results


    Which Election Candidate do you prefer?
    Low Thia Khiang (WP)
    Chiam See Tong (SDA)
    Sylvia Lim (WP)
    Chee Soon Juan (SDP)
    J.B. Jeyaratnam (Formerly WP)
    Lee Hsien Loong (PAP)
    Dr Ng Eng Hen (PAP)
    Sitoh Yih Pin (PAP)
    Eric Low (PAP)
    Current results


    How do you rate PM Lee Hsien Loong's Performance (as Prime Minister) so far?
    Excellent
    Very Good
    Above Expectation
    Average
    Poor ("I can even do better!")
    Very Poor
    Current results


    Do you have confidence in PM Lee Hsien Loong's leadership and his team of Ministers?
    Yes
    No
    Too early to tell...
    Any one but them!
    Current results


    Do you think Lee Hsien Loong became Prime Minister on his own merits?
    Yes!
    Yes! ("He was the best candidate")
    No! ("He has obvious backing from LKY")
    No! ("There wasn't any alternative candidate to challenge him in the first place")
    Current results


    Which of the (Junior) Minister to you wish to see him/her step down? (Part III)
    Raymond Lim
    Balaji Sadasivan
    Ho Peng Kee
    Chan Soo Sen
    Lim Hwee Hua
    Heng Chee How
    Gan Kim Yong
    Yu-Foo Yee Shoon
    Zainul Abidin
    Current results


    Which Minister do you wish to see him step down? (Part I)
    Lee Hsien Loong
    Goh Chok Tong
    Lee Kuan Yew
    Lim Boon Heng
    Lee Boon Yang
    Yeo Cheow Tong
    Mah Bow Tan
    George Yeo
    Teo Chee Hean
    Current results


    Which Minister do you wish to see him step down? (Part II)
    Lim Hng Kiang
    Wong Kan Seng
    S Jayakumar
    Tharman Shanmuguratnam
    Lim Swee Say
    Ng Eng Hen
    Vivian Balakrishnan
    Khaw Boon Wan
    Yaacob Ibrahim
    Current results


    What is your utmost concern for the coming General Elections?
    "Bread & Butter" issues - Jobs, economy, salary, etc
    Freedom of Speech - or lack of
    HDB issues - upgrading, high housing cost, etc
    International Issues - govt's handling of foreign relationships
    Transport issues - LTA, NEL, MRT
    Change of Leadership - from SM Goh to PM Lee
    All of the above
    I'll vote any party except PAP!
    I'll only vote for PAP!
    Current results


    Which is your favourite Minister?
    PM Lee Hsien Loong
    SM Goh Chok Tong
    MM Lee Kuan Yew
    DPM Jayakumar
    Dr Vivian Balakrishnan
    Teo Chee Hean
    George Yeo
    Tharman S.
    I Hate of them!
    Current results

Faces of Singapore

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    Thrasymachus' photos More of Thrasymachus' photos

Disclaimer

    The author of this blog bears no responsibility for any misinterpretation, libel, defamation, injury and death as a result of reading this blog. Contents are high subjective and readers should read with caution. All readers should be 18 years and above, with half a decent brain to judge the validity of the articles.

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