Archive for March 2009

Look how disconnected they are

I shake my head when I see the whole story unfold before my very eyes.

It started off with an open letter to Dr Teo Ho Pin about Northwest CDC staff getting 8 months bonus in 2008. I also blog about it saying that its a good opportunity for the government to engage the new media. After several attempts to get official comments, Dr Teo finally replied saying that it’s confidential.

What kind of nonsense is that? We are not asking you to name who got exactly how much bonus. We just want to know if some staff got 8 months bonus. No need name the person out.

Then on Sunday, Dr Teo Ho Pin spoke to the media and said he don’t know the salary and bonus of the staff of North West CDC. OK, brilliant. From “confidential” to “I don’t know”. Perhaps “Confidential” is the new word for “I don’t know.” His interview with the media was very well drafted. Check out his interview with the media.

And Dr Teo squandered an opportunity to engage the New Media. (Gee…. I think I remember that phase from somewhere.) He could had reply directly to the source of this rumors which is the new media. But instead, he kept his silent until the mainstream media spoke to him. I thought you guys are going to leverage on the New Media? Well, I guess not.

So, it’s the People Association or Workforce Development Agency who decide on the salary and bonus of community development council staff. Not the Mayor. Then why didn’t you say so earlier Dr Teo? And now that it has been brought to your attention, don’t you, as a Mayor of North West CDC and a Member of Parliament of Bukit Panjang, feel that it is your duty and obligations to find out what exactly is going on in the CDC that is under your charge? Why are some of the staff getting such high bonus, especially during a recession?

No, it seems like you don’t know and you don’t care. All you want is this issue to get off your back. OK, since it is none of your business, everybody turn their attention at People Association and Workforce Development Agency.

And interestingly enough, before we can make enough noise, Mr Lim Boon Heng (hey, that’s my MP) steps out and defended the need for Community Development Councils (CDCs) to have flexibility in rewarding staff, pointing out that is how companies around the world operate. He stated that fixed monthly pay is kept down and the bonuses vary according to performance to motivate people to perform, because if a person does badly, he will not get the same high bonus. So this ensures that the reward system is fair and responsive to the needs of the organisation. He also advised people ‘not to begrudge the few people who got very high bonuses’.

Mr Lim, perhaps you don’t know that a lot of people in the private sector are having their salary and bonus cut because of this recession. (Some even lose their jobs) Are they not performing well? Nope, they got a pay cut because of the economic situation. I’m sure there are people in the private sector who are performing just as well as your staff in North West CDC. And if the people in the private sectors are getting their pay and bonus cut, why is the government sector getting excessive bonus? It’s shocking to see you defending the 8 months bonus. Are you so disconnected from the rest of Singapore to the extend that you think 8 months bonus is perfectly alright?

And come to think of it, now that we are in a recession, isn’t it about time we relook into the Minister’s salary?

In the mean time, the People’s Association said that salaries are in line with the National Wages Council’s guidelines, and that the association had moved to performance-based pay to reward and incentivise staff fairly and responsively.

Wow, for the past week, everyone kept quiet, saying it is confidential. Now everyone come out and talk about it. Although they never confirm or deny if any of the North West CDC staff (or staffs) got 8 months bonus, I think the answer is pretty clear already.

Now, the Salary and Bonus is based on National Wages Council’s guideline. If that is correct, then the high performance staffs in the private sectors should at least get 6 months bonus right? How can that be wrong? You mean the private sector don’t follow the NWC’s guideline meh? But if you think about it, if every private sector follow the NWC’s guideline and give their high performing staff 8 months bonus, I think some of them will be in financial problem soon.

And if PA and WDA really follow the NWC’s guideline and give 8 months bonus to their staff, I think we seriously need to relook into the NWC’s guideline. How the heck did someone get 8 months bonus? Even if we are not in a recession, 8 months bonus is a lot of money.

So can someone please justify why some of the staff at North West CDC received 8 months bonus? Did someone managed to find to cure to Singapore’s unemployment rate or something?

Update on 17 March, 3:30pm: The article on Mr Lim Boon Heng’s comment in Straits Times Interactive has been removed. I did a quick search at CNA website and I also can’t find Mr Lim Boon Heng’s comments. I hate linking to local mainstream media websites. You never know when will they suddenly take down an article.

Wait, the video is still there. Although I think they will take it down soon.

忽然之间

Received a good news today, although it’s 2 1/2 months late. I thought that one is gone case already. I should be happy. At least there is a good news for a change. Better than keep having one bad news after another for the past few weeks.

But strangely, I don’t feel a thing. Don’t feel happy at all. The good news came and I was like “Oh, ok lor.”. How unexciting it can be? I guess good news is nothing when you got nobody to share them with.

Youtube is amazing at recommending songs to me lately. Part of this song really reflect my current mood.

我为什么总在非常脆弱的时候怀念你

莫文蔚 – 忽然之间

忽然之间 天昏地暗
世界可以忽然什么都没有

我想起了你 再想到自己
我为什么总在非常脆弱的时候
怀念你

我明白 太放不开你的爱
太熟悉你的关怀 分不开
想你算是安慰还是悲哀

而现在 就算时针都停摆
就算生命像尘埃 分不开
我们也许反而更相信爱

如果这天地 最终都会消失
不想一路走来珍惜的回忆
没有你

Dear PM Lee

Dear PM Lee

Thank you for coming to my small neighbourhood yesterday morning. It’s been a long time since anyone important came to my neighbourhood. You see, during last election, my GRC has a walkover. So all the important people decided to go to those places with elections to shake hand with those people there and we are totally left out. Even my MP decided to champaign at other GRC and was never seen at my neighbourhood during the election period. I guess we are not important since we can’t vote. My MP do come to our neighbourhood every once in a while after the election. I knew he is coming when the cleaners start cleaning our block outside the cleaning schedules. But his work load has been increased since one of the MP in our GRC passed away and he is taking over part of the work load. They are too busy to even have a by-election. So I’m glad that you visited my neighbourhood yesterday morning.

Sorry for not going down to greet you personally. I didn’t overslept. The loud noise from the carnival to welcome you woke me up in the early Sunday morning. But I need more rest. It’s 8am on a Sunday Morning. Who wakes up at this unearthly hour? So I closed my window and use the blanket to cover my head in an attempt to drown out the loud noise on an early Sunday morning to get more rest. I hope you won’t mind that I didn’t welcome you to my neighbourhood personally. Next time if you come to my neighbourhood at more “friendly” hours, I promise I’ll go over and shake hand with you.

But really, thank you for visiting my neighbourhood. You see, I’ve been living here for 25 years and I’ve never seen my neighbourhood in such a clean state. I was walking pass the market the night before your visit and the workers are still busy cleaning the market at late hours. The whole neighbourhood looks brand new, like a new constructed new town. I believe your impending visit must have inspired the cleaners to work extra hard. I wish you come to my neighbourhood more frequently. Your leadership skills really motivated the town council staff to work harder than ever.

Oh, and its a coincident that they planted several new plants next to the community center a few days before your visit. The new plants looks beautiful and are great additions to the neighbourhood. I hope you visit us more often so that we might coincidentally have more new stuff added to my neighbourhood.

Thank you PM Lee for visiting my neighbourhood. Your visit really improved my neighbourhood a lot. I wish you will visit my neighbourhood again soon.

From a resident of Jurong GRC

Free BJ!!!!

It’s the time of the year when they are giving out FREE BJ again! 21 April 2009, from 12 noon till 8pm. Mark your calendar. WOOHOO!!!

OK, I don’t know why am I so excited whenever they give out free BJ. I never go for free BJ. I don’t mind paying for a good BJ. I prefer to sit down and relax while having my BJ at a slow enjoyable pace. I don’t like to queue up for free BJ. The whole BJ experience is different.

Anyway, someone created a facebook event page just like last year.

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Oh, here is a photo of the queue for free BJ last year. In case you are thinking of queuing up.

PS: BJ stands for Ben & Jerry.

The BlackBerry Bullet Ads

I love advertisement that targets their competitors in a “indirect” manner.

But then, if “Nothing can touch it”, then how am I going to control the BlackBerry with my finger? Hmmmm….. FAIL.