Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Great Music or Tone Deaf ?

This is funny but the truth behind could be S'pore undoing. (cut and paste from feedback on TR)

There was a comedy called “Yes Minister” and later the sequel “Yes Prime Minister”. In one episode Sir Humphrey, the chief of the civil service astutely suggested the reason why England was in such a mess was because the Minister of Finance was a bankrupt, the Minister of Health was sickly, the Minister of Education was illiterate and the Minister of Law was a crook.

In Singapore we have a civil engineer looking after Arts and Communication and an eye doctor looking after Civil Engineering problems. Till today I can’t figure out the logic on what basis Ministers are allocated their Ministries. Maybe the top leadership thinks they are God/s. If so, then the citizens of Singapore are participants in the Divine Comedy. It is one hell of a life.


LKY remarked: “To be the Prime Minister, you don’t have to know every instrument, but you got to recognise, ah, he’s a good violinist, he’ll be the first violinist, he’ll be the double bass. Then you coordinate them and then you have great music. And if you already have a great orchestra, you can put A DUMMY there and you still got great music…”


The only problem is our violinists are trying to play the piano and vice versa. And the resulting cacophony is passed off as jazz. It works great if you are tone deaf.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Flood - Blame it on the weather again

Singapore is flooded again. Orchard Road shopping malls, roads, basement car parks are the worst hit. There is an article in Today paper that said our minister is doing 5 things to solve the problem. The title give a good impression - the minister is doing 5 things. But wait a minute - what are they ?

From what I can figure out - seems like nothing new and only 3 things are mentioned in the article :

1) proper drain maintenance (isn't this what is expected ?)

2) improve planning (so they have been sleeping all these years and not planning properly ?)

3) make sure roads are still passable during floor (good but how are you going to do it ? Details are needed !)

Minister VB can talk a lot but he has bad track record. Millions is going down the drain again if he is trapped by his own 'psychological' wrong mind set. He is blaming it on the weather even before he has done a full scale investigation on the root causes of the recent floods. Then he is playing mind game with the public - saying there is a limit to what we can do and asking us to cope.

This is poor leadership and setting the wrong direction at the start. It is so easy to blame and weather and appear to be doing something by spending millions on improvement. What is the use if these so call improvements are NOT solving the problems !

Nothing is mentioned on the Marina Barrage. If there is a 'prime suspected cause' this should be the one. What is the point of widening canals and drains when the discharge point is the problem. Water will get build up and back flow inland causing massive floods.

A word of caution, before VB starts spending millions on manpower for planning and upgrade to drainage system - do a ROOT CAUSE analysis first.

If it really points to Marina Barrage - have the courage to face it and tell the public. We know it is LKY's bright idea and pet project, but did not PM says there is no sacred cow ?

It could be just tweaking of the computer programming controlling the barrage discharge flow rate. If there is engineering design problem, then improve it.

Do not waste public funds again doing tons of improvement and at the end of the day - still floods all over S'pore.

We don't buy your lame excuse that is it due to the weather, though we do not deny it is one of the contributing factors.

We don't accept that there is a 'limit' to engineering solution, since our PM is thinking of going nuclear. This is certainly more complicated compare to flood control.

Besides, we do not pay a minister millions to cope with his failing. This is just not acceptable. If VB cannot solve the problem, suggest he tenders his resignation. We can get a foreign talent minister from aboard to do his job. Likely he /she will come better, cheaper and can do the job faster.