Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mr Tan Ah Kow to PM Lee Hsien Loong: You did not listen, But, listen, you must.

Letter from a Grassroots Leader to PM.
Dear Prime Minister,

I am one of your grassroots leader. I’ve voluntereed and served in one of your constituency for the last 20 years. I’ve had these thoughts percolating in my mind for many months. With what I observed in the last 2 weeks, starting with the Punggol BE then the White Paper, I decided to take the risk and go ahead and send this letter to you. I hope you do not take
any of these the wrong way.

After the GE2011 elections, the PAP was dealt a big blow with the unprecedented loss of a GRC. You did a post-mortem with us, and with your MPs. One of the message we tried to send you then was: You (meaning the PAP leadership) just didn’t listen to us. We told you there were many problems on the ground, you did not listen. After the GE, you said PAP will change.

The next challenge came in Hougang BE. You picked a great PAP candidate and for a while, we thought he could pull off a win. But against the advice of the candidate and the PAP grassroots, you deployed your big guns (KBW, TCH etc) and hijacked the message on the ground. You did not listen.

The Punggol BE decisive loss was unexpected. The PAP grassroots told you to send one of us, a grassroots type person, to the fight. You chose to parachute in an unknown, someone who just joined the party weeks ago. He commited gaffe after gaffe. You did not listen.

And right after the Punggol BE, you unveiled the White Paper.

I know that those close to you, including the mainstream media, are praising you for daring to take on the problems of the future, of not sweeping things aside. But let me tell you this : I think you, and your top leadership, screwed up big time.

I am sorry I have to use this language. You see, I’m a business leader too. I know what its like to be surrounded by people reporting to you, who are naturally disposed to tell you what you want to hear. Or are all molded in the same way. I am outside your – sorry to use this word, “bubble” – so from the outside, sometimes, I can see things a bit more clearly.

Virtually all your PAP grassroots leaders and members were taken aback by the White Paper. And it became obvious very quickly that so were all the PAP MPs. Seah Kian Peng said he’s skeptical about the White Paper and thought the targets should be scaled by to 80% (how's that different from WP's 5.9 million?). Jessica said that she, and a few other MPs, would not have been able to support the White Paper in its present form. Even Tin Pei Ling said she supported the amended proposition with a heavy heart.

Why didn’t you bother to run through the White Paper with your fellow MPs before you publicly released it? They could have told you how toxic the Paper came across and how to refine it. Why didn’t you do that?

In other words, once again, why didn’t you listen? Time and again, our team scored our own goals because of the sheer arrogance of the top leadership.

And look at how your top leaders handled the White Paper since its
roll-out. Within days, KBW started back-tracking saying 6.9 million was just a “worst case target, which we hope we never reach, that is for planning purposes only”. And you quickly followed suit, saying you agree. And the rest of the Ministers echoed the same language.

And then it was pointed out to you that in the past, PAP had also used the words “worst case target” or “planning purposes only”, only to have those numbers quickly exceeded.

And you actually got ESM Goh, Mah Bow Tan and Wong Kan Seng to speak in defence of the Paper? With MBT saying “lets go for the maximum”? Are you and your leadership team really that tone deaf? These are the very guys who are most associated with Singapore’s “lost decade” – a decade where we seemingly pursued GDP growth for its own sake, where the social fabric of Singapore was put under tremendous (and some say, irreversible) stress,
where you yourself said to have “lacked 20/20 vision” in infrastructure planning. And yet, you actually got these people to speak? Do you know what message you are sending – you are essentially thumbing your nose at Singaporeans and saying, “So?”.

I now know why MBT, WKS, VB, RL, etc did not show the slightest remorse over their egregious mistakes during their tenure. It is because you, the PM, set the tone at the top. You did not see these as any big deal, and that tone filtered through your entire organisation. In other words, you still do not listen.

On the very last day of the Parliament debate, you said that the population numbers for the future is for future generation to decide. Huh ???? What then have almost 60 MPs been debating these 5 days ? You put up a White Paper, you start back-tracking and now you think that just because you've muddied it up, its become palatable?

Why did you put the party through this? Did it have to be handled in such a – pardon my language again – incompetent way? And how do you think we, your faithful foot-soldiers, feel ? You put us in the difficult position of having to defend something we did not agree with. How do we answer to our family members and friends, who asked what are we fighting for, what's wrong with today's PAP leaders?

Let me tell you something honestly. The reason I, and some of my friends, volunteered was because we were grateful for what the Old PAP did for this country. We believed in its policies and its leadership. But in recent years, you and your team have gradually undermined this reservoir of goodwill and support. You know, I heard that in the Punggol BE, some PAP grassroots members actually told their family members to vote opposition, while they put up the show of canvassing for KPK’s support. In my heart, I also sometimes root for the other side, especially the WP. I know. I should not feel this way. But you guys just don’t listen.

Let me tell you something else too – I personally like you. And I think many Singaporeans do too. You gave a good speech in Parliament, just like you did in the last day of Punggol BE rally.

But you know – after I actually got over the emotional high from your speech, and think through about what you said, more doubts actually crept in.

“Growth is not for its own sake. But growth is not unimportant. If you are in the top 5, 10% of the population, you may say, well, I have enough, I can manage .. (but) if you are in the bottom 10, 20% of the population, would be patronising for us to say growth is unimportant… Our experience has shown that in fact when the economy is growing, the low income Singaporeans get benefits, their incomes go up.”

Mr PM, do you know that in the last 10 years, the bottom 10% and 20% didn’t see their real income rise at all? If the last 10 years of growth, with 1 million increase in population, didn’t increase their income or make their lives better, how do you expect Singaporeans to believe you that the next 10 years of growth will be different? And Mr PM, did you realise that, until Lim Chong Yah came up with his radical proposal, even the top Union leader did not even realise that incomes of cleaners etc have not risen over the years, and didn’t realise they (the Union) have done nothing about it? In other words, they – the Union – was caught with their pants down (sorry to use this analogy, I know, Palmer-gate still hurts).

“Singaporeans, "feel together" as when the nation grieved with Mr and Mrs Francis Yap when their two sons, aged 13 and seven, were tragically killed in a Tampines accident last week. And when Singaporeans triumph, as Mr Nickson Fong, 43, did in winning an Oscar this year for a new animation technique, the country celebrates with him, said Mr Lee. .”

PM, Singaporeans did not feel together when Ma Chi crashed his Ferrari. It became a symbol of how Singapore threw its door open in wanton abandonment to the rich, and how they lived it up in Singapore. And Singaporeans feel divided, not united, when the China-imported table tennis team won medals in the London Olympics. It became a symbol of the "instant tree" mentality of the Govt. And I guess you now no longer cite the example of Feng Tian Wen as a unifying factor because she'd said bye-bye to Singapore and moved back to Beijing.

You see, Mr. PM, you cannot just quote examples in isolation, take us to an emotional high, and assume it assuage all of our raw wounds. Its almost like you are burying your head in the sand, when it comes to examples that do not fit with your idealised notion of how it should have been. We do not exist in that alternate reality. When I think through these parts of your
speech, I actually wonder if you are disconnected from us.

“He concluded with the promise that the Government will "watch the numbers" and make sure Singaporeans are clearly in the majority. It will always treat citizens better than non-citizens, he said”

Mr PM, you may not realise this, but in our public spaces – like the MRT, bus, Chinatown, Little India etc – we Singaporeans already no longer feel we are in the majority. My children tell me of attending classes in University, where Singaporeans are the minority and they feel they are in a foreign country. Do you realise that in some offices, large cliques of Filipinos or North Indians prevail, and they tend to hire their own? You see, you work in the Civil Service –when you look out of your office, everywhere you look, you see Singaporeans. It is not like that in many other offices. How do you “watch the numbers” when you do not even have an accurate sense of the current ground reality?

“For Singapore to thrive, we Singaporeans must always stay lean and hungry," he said. "If we lose our drive, we will lose out."”

OK, I now get it. Its all about money isn’t it? You are afraid that whatever counter-proposal anyone comes up with – whether it be reducing our reliance on foreign labor, or improving SME productivity, or reducing income inequality – you are afraid that it basically means touching the reserves.

But isn’t your proposal to give additional grants for children also raiding the reserves? And when KBW said that he (yes, not “we” but “he”) has decoupled BTO flat prices from the resale market by essentially increasing subsidies, isn’t he also – in the words of MBT – raiding the reserves?

“You said that 6.9 million is a worst case, and you see that the number for 2030 will be significantly below that. But that 6 million proposed by the WP will be too low and it will be higher than that. And that after this, you expect that the population will flatten out. The resident population is going to stabilise and the non-resident population will also eventually level off”

Mr PM, do you know what you just did? You, and your team, have made the argument strenuously that there is simply no way to grow the economy without population increase. And that as the population ages, we have to supplement with foreign labor.

And yet you are saying that between 2020 and 2030, this need will magically disappear. In other words, there is no intellectual coherence to your argument.

And do you know what this sounds like? You sound like someone who’s hooked on drugs or gambling. And he’s saying : just give me one last sniff, or just lend me another $100, and after that, I promise, I will not need it anymore.

And the worst part is this – nobody is going to believe you that 6.9 million is not real. Because come 2016, as long as the population increases from today’s 5.3 million to 5.6 million, the WP can easily say : See, the PAP is going along the trajectory in the White Paper. Ignore all their talk. Its already happening. If you vote PAP, you will have 6.9 million people.

In other words, you have fallen onto a trap that you dug yourself. How sad.

Let me end with the same words you used in your speech. You said you and your colleagues got into politics to improve the lives of Singaporeans. I do not doubt your sincerity. As I said at the very beginning, many Singaporeans like you and want to see you succeed, even though they disagree with your policies.

I am a grassroots leader. I’m spending time helping the PAP party because I believed that this will help Singapore and Singaporeans. I’m not paid for this. I’m doing it out of my own free will and with my sacrifice of time.

I’m rooting for you to pursue the right policies. I’m rooting for you to succeed.

But just like in GE2011, or Punggol BE, or in the recent White Paper – you do not listen.

At this rate, you will continue to erode the trust (yes, trust) and support of the people. Including people from the older generation who remembered and are eternally grateful to what LKY did for Singapore. In fact, the White Paper had turned out to be a big wake up call to Singaporeans - they better think twice about putting the PAP in such a dominant position in Parliament, if they want to maintain the Singapore they know.

So what do I want from you, other than “listen to us”? A hallmark of a successful, good leader is not his charisma, or his heart, or his eloquence, or his intelligence. The starting point is always this – who is he listening to? Whose inputs do he value, whose has he learnt to discount?

Some of the lousiest emperors in China surrounded themselves with eunuchs who told the emperor what he wanted to hear. Some of the best, like Qian Long, disguised himself as a commoner to understand the true situation on the ground.

You do not have to listen to me. But find your own channels to listen to the ground. Seriously think again about who constitutes your inner circle.

But, listen, you must.

Yours sincerely,
Mr. Tan Ah Kow

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Singaporeans Say No to the Government 6.9 Million Population Projection Rally

Protest against the 6.9 million population target by 2030. We welcome foreigners to join us for the event as we are discussing mainly on the flawed policies of the government. For media enquiries, please email If you wish to donate to our event, please email me as well. Thanks Singapore! Click Here for Facebook Link for Latest Updates Here ...


People gather on a open field at the Speakers Corner, listening to the speakers who took the stage during the protest, most of them calling for more public consultation on the White Paper on Population. (AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN)

Visitor Info

Hong Lim Park is a site of historical and national significance. It is Singapore's first privately-owned public garden and is named after Cheang Hong Lim, a wealthy Chinese businessman, who bought the land in 1876.
One of the earliest public parks in Singapore, it was originally named Dunman's Green after the first Superintendent of Police (Thomas Dunman) who retired in 1871. The name was changed in 1876 to Hong Lim Green in honour of Cheang Hong Lim who donated the land.
During the Japanese Occupation, it was the venue for storytelling. In the 1950s and 1960s. It was used as a cricket ground by members of the Singapore Chinese Recreation Club and the Singapore Cricket Club. In the 1960s and 1970s, Chinese operas were performed on the stage. The park also served as the venue of many of the first political rallies. Right up to the late 1970s, the Green was the only major recreation space in Chinatown. It is still used for various community events through the year.
In September 2000, the Government designated the park as the venue of the existing Speakers' Corner. Abutting the park is the Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre and the Kreta Ayer Neighbourhood Police Post.
Park users who wish to register to use Speakers' Corner can click here.

 The Park is lit from 7.00pm to 7.00am

PETITION :  Dear respected Singaporeans on Facebook Platform, I wish to invite you to join this Petition to ask for a Referendum to be held on the Population White Paper. Go to
We, the citizens of Singapore, wish to express
our concern at the possible increase in population to 6.9 million in 2030, as contained in the Population White Paper.

We urge the Government to hold a Referendum for us to express our choice of the economic, social and living environment for our families in the future.

Majulah Singapura.

Ex-presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian has the Hong Lim crowd rapt with attention.
 Citizens are people who protect the nation from the government flawed public policies.

Large turnout at Speakers' Corner for protest against Population White Paper

Published on Feb 16, 2013 .4:45 PM 

A large crowd gathered at Speakers' Corner for a protest against the Population White Paper that was endorsed by Parliament last week. (Organisers estimate that close to 5,000 people attended.)

Many came with umbrellas and caps, braving the light drizzle at around 4pm on Saturday afternoon. Organisers had lined up a list of 12 speakers, including activists as well as current and former opposition party members.

The White Paper had drawn flak largely because of the 6.9 million headline population figure. The Government has strenuously emphasised that this number is a planning parameter, not a target.

The first speaker was National Solidarity Party member Ravi Philemon.

Speakers taking turns to address the crowd at Hong Lim Park. Former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian and Dr Vincent Wijeysingha from the Singapore Democratic Party were spotted at the venue. (Photo: Dylan Loh)


Large turnout at Speakers' Corner for protest against Population White Paper

 By Goh Chin Lian And Maryam Mokhtar
Saturday, Feb 16, 2013

SINGAPORE - A crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered at Speakers' Corner for a protest against the Population White Paper that was endorsed by Parliament last week.

Many turned up with umbrellas and caps, braving the light drizzle at around 4pm on Saturday afternoon. Organisers had lined up a list of 12 speakers, including activists as well as current and former opposition party members.

The White Paper had drawn flak largely because of the 6.9 million headline population figure. The Government has strenuously emphasised that this number is a planning parameter, not a target.

The first speaker was National Solidarity Party member Ravi Philemon.
He revved up the crowd, asking if bringing in 900,000 to 1 million foreigners every decade was acceptable, to which they responded by shouting "No".

Among those gathered was IT executive Mike Tan, 45 who came with his son, Yuan, 15.

He said: "The event is to say no to 6.9 million, and I want to show support."

 Click on here to view (Photos: ST, TNP, AFP, Reuters)

A large crowd had gathered at Hong Lim Park despite a downpour, to voice opposition against the White Paper on Population. (Photo: Dylan Loh)
 S'poreans hold protest against White Paper on Population
By S Ramesh | Posted: 16 February 2013 1846 hrs 

 SINGAPORE: A protest was held against the government's White Paper on Population at Speakers' Corner on Saturday, organised by

Organisers said close to 2,000 people turned up despite the rain.

The intermittent drizzle did not deter the organisers, who led attendees in singing the national anthem and reciting the pledge.

"I think it's the largest protest in decades. It is also the first one where anger is directed squarely at the government," said Reuben Wong, an assistant professor of political science at the National University of Singapore.

"People are now more willing to air their grievances. They have been doing it on the Internet for the past few years, but it is new for them to physically come down in such numbers," he told AFP.

The 12 speakers lined up for the event include young Singaporeans, bloggers, and opposition politicians. Most of them called for more consultation with the public.

Lawyer Nizam Ismail called on the Singapore government to supersede the White Paper with a Green Paper.

He said such a procedure is in practice in developed countries.

Mr Nizam argued that the Green Paper will contain the views of Singaporeans about the population challenges, and he stressed that this was missing in the formulation of the White Paper.

Former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian argued that four rounds of the baby bonus had not solved the problem of declining total fertility rate.

He said at the end of the day, it all boils down to affordability for Singaporeans to first get married and then have children.

Mr Tan said it is important for a policy change on the part of the government to encourage marriage and procreation.

However, he did not offer any new solutions or ideas to improve the total fertility rate.

"The large crowd here shows the PAP government that they are not afraid any more, they don't want to hide behind a moniker on Facebook to show their displeasure," said chief organiser Gilbert Goh.

"They are showing their deep displeasure with the White Paper," he told AFP.

A spokesman for the Singapore Police told AFP that it was not monitoring the size of the crowd, which was largely clad in black, armed with clappers and clutched a sea of umbrellas.

- CNA/AFP/xq  Click Here To view More Photos 

People hold banners at an open field at the Speakers Corner to protest against the White Paper on Population. At one point, the crowd started singing Count on Me Singapore. (AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN/CNA Digital Desk)

  Crowd singing 'Count on Me, Singapore' at Say "No" to an overpopulated Singapore — at Hong Lim Park. (Click Here To View Video)

 <p>An estimated 4,000 turn up for the protest despite a steady drizzle.</p>

4,000 turn up at Speakers' Corner for population White Paper protest.

 An estimated crowd of 4,000 people gathered at the Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Park on Saturday afternoon to protest against the Population White Paper endorsed by Parliament last week.


Organised by, a support site for unemployed, the nearly four-hour protest saw people of all age ranges and races turn up in the light drizzle, with umbrellas and some with home-made, colourful placards and posters. Many also came with their young children in tow.

While organisers put the official figure at 4,000, others compared the size of the crowd to that of Pink Dot 2013, in which close to 15,000 took part.

A total of 12 speakers, including former NTUC chief Tan Kin Lian, former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say, SDP's Vincent Wijeysingha, NSP's Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss spoke at the event, mainly hitting out at the 6.9 million population figure mentioned in the White Paper.

Each speaker was given 10 minutes to address the crowd.

The peaceful protest was marked by poignant moments when the crowd sang "Count On Me, Singapore" at the midway mark, and also at the end when the National Pledge was lustily recited in unison.

Organiser Gilbert Goh told Yahoo! Singapore he was pleased with the turnout. Calling the protest "history-making", he said he initially only expected 200 to show.

"This protest event is meant for Singaporeans to come here in a peaceful manner to show their displeasure at the 6.9 million population target," he said.

"We also wanted to show Singaporeans that there's a place for you to come to legitimately protest against any policy that you have against the government. You don't have to sit behind Facebook and complain. You can show up in unity, in person to complain," he added.

Last week, Parliament endorsed an amended motion to the White Paper on Population by 77 votes to 13.

The amended motion filed by Holland-Bukit Timah MP Liang Eng Hwa stated that the White Paper “supports maintaining a strong Singaporean core by encouraging more Singaporeans to get married and have children, supplemented by a calibrated pace of immigration to prevent the citizen population from shrinking”.

PM Lee, in an address before the motion was endorsed, stressed that the 6.9 million population figure had been taken out of context and that the paper was not about any specific population size for beyond 2020, but rather that it was being used for the purpose of land use and infrastructure planning.


Protesters at the event, mostly clad in black clothing, hold banners with slogans opposing the White Paper on Population. (Photo: Nuraishah)

Children were also spotted at the protest, holding banners with slogans opposing the Population White Paper. Some groups were heard chanting reject, reject. (Photo: Dylan Loh)

Singapore National Anthem

 at Hong Lim


(click to watch youtu

 OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM is in Malay language, 

which is our National official language, but we use English as it is the international business language to communicate and coneect to the global citizens.


Mari kita rakyat Singapure (We, the people of Singapore)
Sama-sama menuju bahagia (Together march towards happiness)
Cita-cita kita yang mulia (Our noble aspiration)
Berjaya Singapura (To make Singapore a success)

Marilah kita bersatu ( Let us all unite)
Dengan semangat yang baru (In a new spirit)
Semua kita berseru (Together we proclaim)
Majulah Singapura (Onward Singapore)
Majulah Singapura (Onward Singapore)

The Origin : The Republic of Singapore present National Anthem was written in the wake of nationalism during 1956-1957. Its composer, the late Encik (Malay for Mr) Zubir Said, had written it on the basis of two words, "Majulah Singapura" or Malay for "Onward Singapore" . "Singa" means lion while "pura" means city.

The patriotic song was first performed by the Singapore Chamber Ensemble on the occasion of the opening of the newly renovated Victoria Theatre. It was launched on the 3rd of December, 1959.

Upon independence in 1965, "Majulah Singapura" was adopted as the Republic's National Anthem.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hi Soong< I think I Can ..I Know I Can

Hi Soong,
I think I can…

It’s the first step to achieving your goals.

So say it to yourself – “I think I can…”

Keep saying it.
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”

The more you say it, the better.
After a while you’ll start to believe that you really can.

And that’s when you get your power working for you.

After a while you’ll hear
your mind trying to fight back.

It might say: “I can’t.”

That’s okay – just keep saying: “I think I can”

Push yourself to feel like you really can.

When you keep saying: “I think I can”
you start to believe that maybe,
just maybe you can.

But you need to go one step further and believe.

Saying “I think I can…” is a good start but
on it’s own the phrase isn’t strong enough.

To get your power working for you, to get
your subconscious working for you so that
you get what you want you have to go from:
“I think I can…” to “I know I can…” or “Yes I can…”

The difference between “I think I can” and“I know I can” is believing.

“I think I can…” offers hope.
“I know I can…” states a belief – a belief that
says you know you can.

It’s the belief that the subconscious and your
inner powers pick up on.

They create your life based on what you believe.
That’s why when you believe you can… you will.
When you truly believe you can your
subconscious and your inner powers will compel you to succeed.

They’ll make sure you get what you want.

So create a strong belief that says you can and you will.

That means no wavering.
You also have to get rid of any
doubts by getting rid of the negative thinking.

Those negative thoughts destroy your success.

No matter how much you want to change things,
no matter how much you want to succeed,
the negative thoughts will cripple your success.

So start believing that you can.
Direct your subconscious and your inner powers
to bring you what you want.
Get rid of the negative thoughts.
Eliminate the doubts – start today

Yes you can.

Forget about the past failures.
Put aside the doubts.

You can and will achieve your goals.
You just have to believe that you can.

Sure you have those negative thoughts that say you can’t.

You look back and you see the failures while
ignoring all the success (no matter how small).

Turn that around.
Ignore the failures and remember the success.

Magnify that success.

When your mind brings up past mistakes,
failures and shortcomings change the thoughts.

Think about a time that you did succeed.

Think about your positive qualities.

You’ll then start to think that maybe you can.

From there you begin to think you can.
Then you start to believe you can.

And that’s when you get your powers working for you.
That’s when your subconscious mind and your
inner powers make things happen.
That’s when you get what you want.
That’s when your subconscious and
your inner powers respond
So get them working for you today

Your subconscious and inner powers are always at work.
They’re always creating and shaping your life.

They simply follow what you believe.

If you believe that you can’t then you’ll never succeed.
If you believe it’s difficult to accomplish
your goal you’ll always struggle, fail or give up.

If you believe that it’s difficult to
lose weight then you’ll always have difficulty losing weight.

If you think you can never be healthy then
you’ll always make choices that don’t allow you to be healthy.

Your subconscious and inner powers simply follow your beliefs.

Change those beliefs and you change your life.

The first step is to change those thoughts.
Then you change your beliefs.
Then you change your life.

It starts with “I think I can…”
And when you believe you can – you will.

Today you create the thoughts and beliefs that lead to success.
Think about what you want and get your powers working for you

You can achieve your goals.
You can live the life you want.
You can make more money.
You can meet the right person.
You can enjoy better health.
You can be free do what you want when you want.

You are a powerful person.
More powerful than you realize.
You can achieve anything you want when
you direct your subconscious mind and your inner powers.

Wishing you continued success…