Let’s Support Minister Heng Swee Keat.

Let’s Support Minister Heng Swee Keat.

I hope Minister Heng Swee Keat will become the next Prime Minister of Singapore.

His appointment as a Deputy Prime Minister came about after many years of being observed and tested on the ground, and through various assignments on national, small group, and personal levels.

Prior to entering the political arena, Minister Heng Swee Keat worked with and was trained by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (the first Prime Minister of Singapore).

Mr Lee Kuan Yew once described him as his “best principal private secretary”.

In addition, Minister Heng Swee Keat has held multiple key appointments in the government which included serving in Singapore Police Force, as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and as Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

As Singapore’s central banker, he was instrumental in helping Singapore tide over the Global Economic Crisis.

For his good work in helping to lead the MAS, he was awarded the “Central Bank Governor of the Year in Asia-Pacific” by the British magazine “The Banker” in February 2011.

After joining the political arena, he led a citizen engagement exercise on a national level called “Our Singapore Conversation”.

Through this initiative, Minister Heng Swee Keat helped to pioneer a more consultative and collaborative style of leadership and promote more ground-up initiatives to strengthen Singapore.

He also led the SG50, Singapore’s Jubilee Celebrations and chaired the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) to help craft a plan for the economic future of Singapore.

He was also actively involved in other major projects.

For example, he was assigned to lead a new ministerial committee to conduct a broad-based review of the Government’s policies and direction.

As the Minister of Education from May 2011 to September 2015, he was instrumental in reforming the educational system to prepare students for the new economy.

From October 1, 2015, he was appointed as the Minister of Finance. He led a major exercise to reform his ministry to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

From May 1, 2016, he took over from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean the responsibility of assisting the Prime Minister on overseeing the National Research Foundation.

Innovation, technology and enterprise became three of the important pillars to strengthen Singapore and to secure our future.

On May 1, 2019, he became the 12th Deputy Prime Minister, the first solo Deputy PM in 34 years.

He is also the current first assistant secretary-general of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

Throughout his career, Minister Heng Swee Keat stood out from the crowd through his leadership, insights, people skills, performance, and results.

What’s key to Minister Heng Swee Keat’s potential appointment as the next Prime Minister is that he was chosen to be the leader by younger ministers and other political office holders after a protracted period of deliberations and discussions.

In addition, he was also well liked and supported within the PAP, having been elected into the Central Executive Committee by PAP cadres three times – in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Minister Heng Swee Keat is well-positioned and more than prepared to be the next Prime Minister of Singapore.

If there’s a leader who can help lead Singapore to its next level of growth, that leader is Minister Heng Swee Keat.

Minister Heng Swee Keat is not a perfect leader. Is there a perfect leader?

He cannot carry out his roles and responsibilities effectively without adequate support from Singaporeans.

Let’s give him the latitude to continue to learn, perform, and take Singapore to another higher level.

https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/singapore-must-build-bridges-as-walls-come-up

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Lessons From Hindsight

Lessons From Hindsight

In hindsight, the authorities could have done better in banning personal mobility devices outright.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/food-delivery-riders-concerns-will-be-looked-into-minister

They should have studied downsides for applying such a blunt policy, and mitigated real and perceived trade offs to avoid unnecessary controversies and challenges.

In a bigger picture, as we face an increasingly disruptive future, technology can advance at a much faster pace than policy-makers can make complete sense of their immediate and long term impacts.

There’ll be projected as well as unexpected developments that can have a positive impact on business and societal landscapes.

The authorities should therefore adopt a light touch in their regulatory roles, and regulate technology based on a more holistic, calibrated and balanced basis so as to achieve optimized results.

The tendency is to over-protect consumers and by doing so, they may unintentionally prevent consumers from taking personal responsibility, maturing, and making the necessary changes and sacrifices to improve their lives, lifestyles and livelihoods.

The authorities should adopt a “maximum opportunity and minimum barrier” criteria for crafting and implementing policies so as not to miss out on opportunities for growth or unintentionally exacerbating downsides of disruption.

Other than banning new and evolving developments, the authorities should also look into other ways of leveraging such developments for greater good in the short as well as longer term.

Perhaps, when there’s a new development in the horizon, the authorities should look at how to free up current systems and infrastructures to test-run such a development.

Subject related vendors and other stakeholders through a process of education, assessment and controls to ensure that they develop the necessary plans, policies and practices to support a safe, stable and sustainable environment.

And then roll out the developments gradually and wisely, and in an effective and efficient manner until they are properly embraced and adopted on a national level.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/parliament-e-scooters-to-be-banned-from-footpaths-from-nov-5

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Will Robots Rule The World?

 

The faster the world changes, the more we should return to the roots of our being, the core of our values, the heart of our aspirations.

These are things that you cannot find online or download from the Internet.

Neither can they be programmed and executed by robots, drones, and other automated technology.

These technology cannot fulfill the deepest human needs, enhance our sense of security and stability, and help us reach out to develop meaningful and satisfying relationships.

In this regard, Charles Darwin’s “the fittest will survive” or Leon C. Megginson’s “the most adaptable will survive” should not hold true anymore.

The advancement of technology should be underpinned and guided by moral, ethical and spiritual innovations.

The rise of more advanced machines should help us become more enlightened in focusing on what truly matters in work and life.

As a result, we should become more purposeful, productive and progressive to achieve worthier pursuits.

Technology should unleash human potential to do well and do good – in a cheaper, better, and faster way.

As I’ve always said, the worst disease is not to have a heart for people and the environment.

In the near future, technology will put into our hands the power to create accelerated and scalable problems or accelerated and scalable solutions.

If most people do not believe in the good of humanity, cyberspace may become a godless, lawless, and values-less world.

Then, perhaps we may have to go through another:

– Big Bang (Think nuclear bombs made through 3-D printing technology with some fissile material);

– Ice Age (Think uncontrolled climate change); or

– Pandemic Crisis (Think lab-generated viruses as bioweapons) to reboot humanity.

– Or worse, an Apocalypse to end the human story.

But I have faith in the human spirit.

I have faith that we will rise up to leverage power of advanced technology.

We will ride on power of machines and with collective consciousness to eradicate war, poverty, pain and suffering.

We will return back to fulfill our Maker’s design for us to love one another and look after the beautiful garden we call Planet Earth.

May the fourth industrial revolution lead us to a revolution of enlightened minds.

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Happy World Mental Health Day! (10 to 13 October 2019)

We need to educate our friends and the public that mental illness, including depression is NOT a personality disorder or a character defect.

It is a health issue that can sometimes take over rational decision-making process.

And drive victims through undue physical and emotional stresses and consequences.

The voices within victims are not their voices.

Spiraling downward emotionally is not their destiny.

Mental illness can be overcome.

Don’t take mental illness lightly or see it as a stigma.

Help vulnerable people around you seek treatment as soon as possible before the mental illness gets out of hands.

Need help?

Contact the following:

SOS (Samaritans of Singapore) @ 1800 221 4444

SAF Hotline (For SAF Personnel) @ ‭1800 278 0022‬

Institute of Mental Health @ 63892222

Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) @ 1800 283 7019

More help can be found on this link:

https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/support-groups-and-others/20/call-on-these-when-you-need-help

https://www.ncss.gov.sg/NCSS/media/NCSS-Documents-and-Forms/NCSS%20Internal%20Documents/LIST-OF-HELPLINES.pdf

If you want to talk to me but I’m not an expert in this area, just send me a private message:

patrickliew77@gmail.com

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There’re always help around you.

Human Capital Model – A Root Cause Of Third World Behaviours?

Our culture and educational system have largely been influenced by what economists call the human capital model, and this model may have contributed to third world behaviours.

In short, the focus of the human capital model is on helping students find better jobs, increase their personal incomes, and become a productive resource for the economy and society.

As a result, many students may not fully develop their characters and values, and responsibilities to the people around them.

And learn how to work together to address social injustice and environmental challenges.

They may consciously or subconsciously believe that success is measured mainly according to economic, financial and material terms.

Meritocracy is thus treated as a zero sum game. They have to beat others in academic and other assessments to do well.

Is it possible that over-emphasis on the human capital model might have contributed to many of the issues in society, including the Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) syndrome, a prevalent issue in many quarters of society?

Why many would drive their personal mobility devices (PMDs) indiscriminately?

Perhaps, it’s time to re-think and refresh our culture and educational philosophy, and review how we can help students adopt a more empathetic and compassionate conduct and
achieve a more holistic, balanced and altruistic outcome.

Become a wise, moral, responsible, and useful person who will not serve ethnocentric interests but instead, will reach out to help those around them and to strengthen workplaces, communities, and society for greater good.

https://www.straitstimes.com/…/why-are-singaporeans-a-third…

 

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To Antagonize or Advocate?

With Hong Kong’s past and current protests as the backstop, I wonder how anybody can make ambiguous statements at best, incendiary statements at worst, to instigate anti-establishment movements.

Obviously, she can clarify her position and put the blame on miscommunication.

However, her statements are open for public preview.
“So it’s already happening, and I think it’s important for us to acknowledge that, because a social movement is not 500,000 people [in the streets]… it’s all the work that goes into potentially one day having 500,000 people in the streets. And that work is as, if not more important, than getting huge numbers to attract the media attention, because the groundwork, that foundational work is what sustains the network after the 500,000 people go home. “

“…when the government says, you know, foreigners should not influence domestic affairs, or foreigners should not bring their country’s politics into Singapore, we should push back on that as well, because why not, because solidarity is important.”
As a public person and a specialist in mass communication, she should be responsible for the miscommunication and if not, for the potential provocation to incite open protests on Singapore streets.

If nothing else, at the least she can provide the essential balance of encouraging collaboration with the authorities to unite Singaporeans, co-create solutions, and make Singapore a stronger and more secure, stable and sustainable place.

14-year-old shot by plainclothes Hong Kong police officer as protesters attack vehicle

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Comments

Third-World Citizens?

I have tons of respect for Professor Tommy Koh and I’ve personally written to him to tell him so, and to also express some of my concerns to him.

Without sounding overly-defensive of Singaporeans, do we really have a third-world mentality?

Bad drivers and road rages are everywhere. Are we ranked among the worst drivers?

Which country has people that would willingly queue up and queue up politely to be served without being told to do so?

Also, which country in the world has no explicit or implicit class differences?

Even in the most homogeneous of societies, welfare states, and communist countries, there’re class divisions.

Professor Koh has been arguing for a poverty line and minimum wage but there’s no evidence to support that these provisions will resolve socioeconomic issues.

Case in point, if the authorities
draw $1300 as the poverty line, and offer more welfare schemes to help those below the line, those earning slightly above $1300 will find ways to lower their salaries to enjoy similar schemes.

Mr Lim Boon Heng has told Tommy Koh in another seminar that Singapore has somewhat of a minimum wage scheme, but it’s implemented differently to those in other countries.

The question is how much more money should the government offer to those in the lowest socioeconomic sector? To the best of my knowledge, the good Professor has yet to offer a response.

For some of his comments, I would like to believe that Professor Tommy Koh is exhibiting a favorite pastime of many Singaporeans – grumbling.

To put things in perspective, many Singaporeans grumble a lot.

When we are in Singapore, we grumble about Singapore.

But when we go overseas, we continue to grumble.

We grumble about why the other countries are not like our Singapore.

Our grumbling spirit is both a strength and a weakness.

We grumble because we believe in and take ownership of our country, otherwise why do we care?

We grumble because we set high standards in this country.

It takes great commitment to achieve those standards and that can lead to grumbling if these standards are sometimes not within our grasp.

We grumble because we know that we can change and make things happen so as to achieve the standards we set for ourselves.

If we don’t, we will just accept and live with status quo.

While it’s true that Singapore has people who grumble, it’s also equally true that many of those people who grumble also took action.

That’s why, in Singapore, there are many success stories to inspire those who visit our shores.

https://www.straitstimes.com/…/tommy-koh-laments-that-singa…

 

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Go4It!

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Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

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Go4It!

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By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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