Thursday, March 08, 2018

Two abuses of words and labels

Let's go back to Budget Debate and how much Western educated liberals are working so hard to convince policy makers to start opening up our coffers spent the monies painstaking raised by the Singaporeans who came before us.

My first example is this stinker from the LKYSPP.  It is disgusting that this drivel is even associated with the name of our first Prime Minister.

The thought experiment is simple : Three children are fighting over a flute. Child A can play the flute. Child B made the flute. Child C cannot play or make flutes. The idea is that different people have a different ideas as to who should own the flute.

My personal belief is that the flute can either be given to Child A or Child B, but if given to Child A, then Child A is obligated to play sit o that all children can get to enjoy the music.

What I took offence about is that the analogy uses children implying that all policy decisions made by the powers to be impact only innocent parties.

Humanity is seldom innocent and blameless. I know because I now spend time in Family Court.

Find me a poor person struggling to overcome their personal circumstances and I will find you an irresponsible father who spends his days in Geylang and then complains that his children do not want to look after him.

I could have used a different thought exercise. You have three tumours but only the budget to remove one. Tumour A is benign. Tumour B is benign but awful to look at. Tumour C is cancerous and awful to look at. Which tumour do you eliminate ?

This evokes a different set of emotions entirely.

My second example is Kuik Shiao Yin who probably thinks that real life is as easily solvable as simply writing a GP essay. Some articles on her latest speech can be found here.

My beef is that allocating 50% NIRC is an arbitrary figure. Who died and gave Kuik the right to say that decreasing spending on the present is pragmatism whereas the opposite is being idealistic ?

I think no one has right to arbitrarily label a mathematical exercise. I think decreasing the NIRC cap to 40% is prudent and increasing it to be irresponsible. Does that make my label better than Kuik Shiao Yin?

Anyway, win or lose, we can always duke it out at the ballot box during the next elections.

Oh, except that Singaporeans never did elect Kuik Shiao Yin.

And Happy International Woman's Day !

So liberals, can we stop encouraging the rape of our reserves for a change ?

See the use of words matter !


  1. Hey, I read her differently. She is not asking the government to open up the reserves. She is asking the government to use a different language with our youth. A language of hope and dreams. Instead of saying, Singapore is dying, aging and running out of money so you better study hard in AI, Blockchain, Big Data and Tech so that you can get that job and earn money. Get the youth to dream of a better Singapore, explore ways in which Singapore can re-invent ourselves to find new revenue streams.

  2. I think your interpretation of the speech renders it too superfluous for a debate in Parliament.

    If what you say is indeed true, Kuik should learn from us and simply blog her opinions instead.

    To think that the Government can cramp down on our youth's idealism using a through the employment of a specific set of vocabulary, is by itself, a demonstration of how cynical Kuik really is.

  3. I actually applaud her courage to stand up and voice her concerns.
    Leading a country with too much doom and gloom can be dangerous, our youth may just decide to run road and abandon us.
    Even investor like myself are looking for greener pastures elsewhere after listening to the budget.
    I do however agree that she could perhaps be more succinct in putting across her message.
    It is however insightful to know that her story-telling presentation style may not go down well with everyone.

  4. My beef is that her presentation is so good, it's nonsense that goes down well with too many people.

    I can hardly imagine why youths would be so discouraged when there's an Ang Bao for everyone this year.

    Maybe Kuik can go to Europe, get a job there and pay some taxes so as to really understand what doom and gloom is all about.


  5. Ironically, 7 european countries are ranked in the top 10 for world happiness.

  6. You know there is a reason why her speeches are like GP essays. If you know her background you would understand why. She and her friends started a tuition center for GP in the past.

    Check out this video:

    Personally, yes, I think she makes great speeches and I can sense her passion.
    But my personal take is that it is too emotional (might not be suited for the parliament setting) and perhaps it might be helpful if she can contribute to more solutions then just raise issues. To be more inclusive and more factual.

    Yes, highlighting the difficulties of the lower income bracket is important... we are all aware, but solving the problem is what we ought to focus more on. Also not just for the lower income. I think that topic has been talked to death.
    Kind of reminds me of what she said in the past - like she knows what she doesn't want to be, but doesn't know what she wants to be. Tell you a lot about very little.

    There is a huge majority silent middle-income bracket and high-income bracket.. they too have their own issues.

  7. I don't think our society should prioritise happiness the same way the West does.

    That being said, Singapore is not doing all that badly compared to our peers in Asia in the happiness arena. We're one of the Blue Zones featured in Dan Buettner's works.