Tag Archive | "Josephine Teo"

Khaw Boon Wan thought about Josephine Teo’s ‘You need a very small space to have sex’ comment on MRT

Khaw Boon Wan thought about Josephine Teo’s ‘You need a very small space to have sex’ comment on MRT

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He was reminded of it because there is very small space on the train.

Photo stolen from here

Photo stolen from here

Singaporeans from all walks of life, who like to take public transport because cars are for rich people, said they were appalled by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s line of thinking while he was taking the MRT on Oct. 18.

This after they said he looked like he was clearly titillated by the thought of Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo’s, “You need a very small space to have sex” comment, as he stood there in the train carriage wrapped up deep in his own world in claustrophobic conditions.

One commuter, Shuo Gan, said: “I felt violated just looking at someone who was thinking like that.”

“He must have been thinking to himself, ‘Mmm, there is really not much space on the MRT.”

“One only needs a very small space. Mmm.”

However, other locals said they are heartened by the sight of the transport minister riding the MRT with the plebeians.

Shen Jing Pin, another local, said: “It’s great he finally gets to experience how ridiculous his colleague Josephine Teo’s comment sounds.”







5 reasons Josephine Teo’s service to S’pore must be measured in dollars and cents

5 reasons Josephine Teo’s service to S’pore must be measured in dollars and cents

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Because NSmen get paid such a derisory amount it doesn’t even matter.


In a post-budget 2015 forum on Feb. 26, 2015, Minister of State Josephine Teo was asked if national servicemen should be paid more.

She said she noted the importance of giving NSmen recognition, but service for the country cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

Here are 5 reasons why only Josephine Teo’s contributions to Singapore can be measured in dollars and cents:


1. She is from the PAP.

Only dollars and cents apply to them.


2. It is a privilege for Singaporean Sons to serve National Service. Being a Minister of State, on the other hand, is a thankless job.

Only money can be used as compensation.


3. Because National Service is its own reward.

And because serving Singapore as a Minister of State is not its own reward.


4. Because Full-time National Servicemen get paid such a miniscule derisory amount it doesn’t even matter.

Unlike what she gets, which can be counted easily because it is so much.


5. She is the bulwark against any invasive force.

She is not part of Total Defence. She is Total Defence itself.

She can singlehandedly defend Singapore’s sovereignty by herself. That’s why only her contributions can be quantified in dollars and cents.


Not derisory enough:

NSFs recruits say monthly SAF allowance of $480 not ‘derisory’ enough

Don’t talk Chinese in parliament

Don’t talk Chinese in parliament

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This is not Suzhou, so why make parliamentary speeches in Mandarin?

By translation meister Chong Zhi Ping

I have no idea how the trend snowballed.

Maybe it was from Chen Show Mao, who during his inaugural parliamentary speech last October, took the silk route to compare PAP with an ancient Chinese emperor and the Worker’s Party as the side-kick court adviser, before making his point that the Blues had a role to play in the legislature.

Chen is, of course, of Taiwanese origin and spent his majority career in Beijing – so perhaps he needed time to assimilate. Implausibly, the PAP MPs rushed to entertain him. In their non-native Mandarin Chinese. Some even became Tang dynasty experts overnight.

Oh sayang.

Why couldn’t they just condemn CSM as a Munjen chauvinist?

Regardless, I kept my faith in the PAP’s ability. Their track record for maintaining the impeccable standard of atas-ness in parliament over the years has been immaculate.

So I thought: the sudden Cheenafication in parliament was probably one-off. To defy the impression that they don’t give chance to opposition. Not the best PR move in my books, but acceptable.

Except… those ching chong chang continued clanging into “now-you’re being-really annoying” territory. Like the family singing KTV downstairs until 3am in the morning.

I shall name the latest culprits:

Josephine Teo, in a pseudo channel 8 anchor voice, began her parliamentary address in Mandarin, for no apparent reason. As if hosting the Tuesday Report, she detailed the troubles she faced while making the decision to join politics; you know, public scrutiny, loss of privacy, loss of personal time, and stuff. Of course the government’s fatal attraction of being ‘clean’ then swept her off her feet. Which is why she’s on the rostrum, all sparkling and doe-eyed.

Ditto Lee Bee Wah, heaping copious praises on the PM’s ‘transparency’ and ‘openness’ among others. She ended up sounding more like Henry Thia in a typical Jack Neo production.

Happy Chinese New Year from this writer by the way *^_^*

Goodness me. Are the ladies trying to justify their rocket salary by insinuating, “Hey look, we are effectively bilingual?”

Because if that’s the case, it’s not working. Especially for aunt Bee Wah, who clearly needs to work on her English as well.

Or are they mindful, that if they were to speak entirely in English, they might have had their message(s) lost in translation by Zaobao reporters, ala Pritam Singh?

Here’s the kicker: after all that effort to out-cheena CSM, the bodies of their speeches were ultimately delivered in Angmoh.

Which renders the gesture as lame as it can get.

Like neither here nor there.

Like the new ministerial pay scheme.

So, you may ask, why not just do the whole thing in half-baked Mandarin to complete the Chinese opera?

– I’ll tell you why.

1) They have to take into account that Tharman, Shanmugam et al also exist in parliament (even if they may privately joke that they can’t see them).

2) English is still the lingua franca of our ruling party elitists; they need English to convey the important stuff.

In which case, Tharman could have been excused for playing Fruit Ninja on his iPhone while his colleagues were busy getting street cred from the Chinese papers.

My question is then – why create this babel? If every MP starts telling grandmother stories in their so-called mother tongue, how on earth is the parliament going to continue solving pressing issues in double quick time?

Parliamentary efficiency and first-rate government, that was what the PAP promised when urging us to vote for them, no?

Take the cue from The Old Man. He already cannot tahan. Don’t make him repent for hanging on.

Key debates at Channel NewsAsia’s political forum

Key debates at Channel NewsAsia’s political forum

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Debate centred around economic issues; Opposition wins by a whisker.

By Terence Lee


Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) assistant treasurer Vincent Wijeysingha advocated a zero-rate GST for basic services like food so as to alleviate pressure from lower-income groups.

In response, finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam came out robustly in defense of the GST system, saying that most of the revenue generated from the GST comes from the top 40 percent of Singaporeans. The money collected is then given back to the poor through subsidies and handouts. He says that the poor get more from these handouts than the GST they pay.

On a related note, People’s Action Party (PAP) member-of-parliament Josephine Teo claims that the government’s Inclusive Growth programme would benefit over 20,000 low wage workers.

Vincent’s suggestion sounds interesting but I wonder how robust it is compared to the government’s existing measures? I also have my doubts about whether the PAP’s current policies are sufficient enough to tackle insufficient wages experienced by the poor.

For instance, while Workfare acts as supplementary income for low-wage workers, much of it goes to the CPF instead of to the worker’s pockets. It’s a pity that the idea of minimum wage was not discussed much.

Result: Tie

On income of the poor

Photo: SILAS HWANG / Creative Commons

Vincent highlights a UBS report stating that the purchasing power of Singaporeans is actually comparable to Russia’s, despite being a “first-rate” economy.

Tharman counters by saying that the UBS report is flawed, without going into specifics. He then mentioned that Singapore’s median income is quite high compared to other countries.

Vincent responds by questioning the validity of median income as an indicator for the well-being of the poor. He then criticises the ministers for their million-dollar salaries, a dig that was ignored.

Finally, Tharman assures viewers that the PAP cares for the welfare of the people. He smartly reemphasises the benefits of the GST system and its trickle-down effect from rich to poor.

Result: PAP wins

On housing

Gerald Giam of the Worker’s Party and Vincent both echo the view that the HDB should be non-profit, something that Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan would claim is already the case. Gerald goes on to say that prices of HDB flats should be pegged to the cost of flats and not to the resale and private housing market.

Vincent took another tack on the issue, arguing that HDB prices are too high for the lower-income group because they spend too much money from their retirement funds on housing. That’s why they work until the 70s and 80s. Ownership to the home becomes a form of slavery.

“We’re asset secure but income insecure,” he says.

Neither Tharman nor Josephine addressed Gerald’s point. Responding to Vincent, he says that Singaporeans on average use 23 percent of their income to service their housing mortgage, a figure that hasn’t changed much over the years. However, he does not say how the figure is like for the poor.

The PAP reps’ response to the housing debate was not as concise as the GST and income level issues. Neither Vincent’s nor Gerald’s criticisms were successfully rebutted.

Result: Opposition wins

On foreign workers

Photo: KODOMUT / Creative Commons

There isn’t much disagreement between the political parties here: All admit that productivity must go up, while reliance on foreign workers must go down. While the PAP highlighted existing measures to achieve those aims, the opposition (Vincent especially) was quick to point out that the PAP was slow in realising their mistakes.

Vincent, in a ballsy but effective move, interrupted Melissa at one point and mentioned how the PAP was flawed in its measurement of productivity over the past 27 years.

Indeed, a study by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy indicated that Singapore’s productivity growth has stalled over the years, despite government intervention.

Surely, a sore point for the PAP.

Result: Opposition wins

Other issues

On healthcare, Singapore People’s Party second vice-chairperson Lina Chiam’s assertion about the lack of hospital beds was countered by Tharman’s mention of statistics: Occupancy rate for hospitals is only 85 percent. Of course, this figure should be scrutinised further. Lina went on to say how healthcare costs can be reduced by discouraging medical tourism.

She then goes on a tear by highlighting a smorgasbord of other issues: More critical thinking in schools, better political education for students, more recognition for single mothers. Despite her incoherence, the ideas she mentioned are actually pretty good.

But the bad impression she made negates whatever good things she said.

Vincent, being typically SDP, highlighted exorbitant ministerial salaries and persecution of Opposition figures in the past, although he did not press the point home to the extent where it would challenge entrenched views. These issues were not addressed by Tharman and Josephine, which meant the debate was mainly centred around the economy.

Result: Tie

Final score

PAP: 1; Opposition: 2

I must disclaim that I am effectively pro-opposition. That’s my bias. So I felt the Opposition did better in this debate (whether Singaporeans vote for them is another matter). What’s clear is that Vincent is the star striker amongst them all.

For an assessment of the individual candidate’s performance, click here.

Finance minister and Singapore Democratic Party come out winners in political debate

Finance minister and Singapore Democratic Party come out winners in political debate

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Worker’s Party played it safe, Lina fumbled, and what’s-his-name was plain horrible. And yes, the moderator said “Domination Day” instead of “Nomination Day.”

By Terence Lee

BEWARE, the gods may not be smiling on certain opposition parties this General Election, especially if the slip-up by moderator Melissa Hyak towards the end of the one-hour debate is any indication.

Some conspiracy theorists will insist that this was a deliberate attempt to “prove” the show was uncut, but let’s not go there.

The debate, screened on Saturday on Channel NewsAsia, lasted an hour, which was way too short for me. Candidates rattled off their points quickly, racing one another in a sprint to the finish line. It makes for fun TV, but a good substantive debate? I don’t think so.

But in all honesty, I think the extra time might actually hurt some of the opposition reps. Mohamed Nazem Suki, assistant secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA), was a total embarrassment.

Unable to string together even a coherent sentence or two, you wonder how is what’s-his-name going to perform at the Rally or in Parliament, if he does get in by the slimmest chance?

Right now, I can’t even recall a single thing he said, and if I am a young voter getting introduced to the SDA for the first time, that’s a bad first impression.

Let’s hope he speaks better Malay.

Lina Chiam of the Singapore People’s Party emerged slightly better-off. The bad news is: She behaved like a slightly older Tin Pei Ling, the 27-year-old rookie PAP politician poked fun by netizens for her youthful exuberance.

Except that Pei Ling had more style, fashion-wise.

She often giggled nervously and sounded unsure, and there was even once where she appeared confused and zoned out. Melissa had to prompt her twice or thrice about the question of foreign workers before she rattled off a semi-coherent answer.

And God forbid, she attributed the quote “power corrupts absolutely” to her husband. Epic fail there.

To be fair to Lina: She did say some good things. But she needs a lot of polishing up if she wants to convince voters in Potong Pasir that she is a credible candidate.

Member-of-Parliament Josephine Teo comes across as being too… nice. While she has sure knowledge of the facts, she sounded like she was there to back Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam instead of standing on her own two feet.

Although she did okay at the beginning, she wasted her last two minutes of airtime going on a self-indulgent, off-topic ramble about the Singapore Story, and how it is co-authored by many people. Vincent Wijeysingha, assistant treasurer of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), questioned her assertion later on, remarking on how scores of opposition figures and activists were silenced unfairly.

As long as Vincent and Danny the Democratic Bear continue their outreach during the elections and after, I think SDP’s chances at the voting booth in this Election and the next will improve.

In a nutshell, Josephine might’ve been slaughtered if Tharman was not there.

On to Gerald Giam, a potential candidate for the Worker’s Party. True to form, he sounded like a foot soldier espousing the mantra of his party, starting every sentence with “The Worker’s Party believes that…”

I don’t think it’s awful; it’s just too safe. Which is what the Worker’s Party has become since Low Thia Khiang took the helm. Although he was calm and confident at the debate, much like Josephine, he could have spent more time talking about his party’s proposals on policy issues.

No doubt, he was right in saying that good Opposition is necessary in Parliament, but he seemed to have fallen back on that again and again, as if he had nothing else to say. Furthermore, he did not press home the point that despite having 33 percent of the votes, the Opposition only has three seats in Parliament.

I was also a bit surprised that he stopped his final ramble at the one-minute mark. Perhaps he felt he has done his job: Present Worker’s Party as a safe choice for voters. And by the way: We’re weaker than the People’s Action Party, we admit it.

Finally, we come to Tharman and Vincent. If I am the CEO of MediaCorp, I would allocate another one hour-show just for the two to slug it out, seriously.

While Vincent was the assertive bulldog raring for a fight, Tharman was the self-assured minister who appeared comfortable but not overbearing. He displayed some subtle command over the other candidates, exhorting everyone to think in Singapore’s best interest when it came to the issue of foreign workers. He reached out across the table to Gerald at times, praising the Worker’s Party for their views on increasing productivity.

He did not address criticisms about ministerial salary and legal prosecution of Opposition members, but I’m not sure if it matters to most viewers. For the politically-disinclined, these things might just pass over their heads.

But Vincent will be the one to watch. He sounded eloquent and quick-witted. He was enthusiastic, and even promoted SDP’s Shadow Budget while criticising the mainstream media, all at the same time.

He even found time to raise the issue of exorbitant ministerial salaries at least twice, but the PAP reps have totally ignored that.

Sure, the SDP cried foul over how the debate was unfair because candidates who are not contesting are not allowed to speak. This meant that Dr Chee Soon Juan, who declared bankrupt, cannot appear at the forum.

But surely they realise that putting a fresh face on television will take the party one step closer towards rehabilitating their image in the eyes of the populace, especially how Soon Juan has been demonised by the media?

As long as Vincent and Danny the Democratic Bear continue their outreach during the elections and after, I think SDP’s chances at the voting booth in this Election and the next will improve.

For a summary of the key debates, click here.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: Creative Technology? Never heard of it

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: Creative Technology? Never heard of it

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Getting topnotch speakers to a civil servant-run event on raising productivity isn’t enough to encourage innovation in Singapore.

By Fang Shihan

steve wozniak

Photo: Campus Party Mexico

THE event started off promisingly enough, with the Other Steve slated to speak about: “Innovation and Creativity In the 21st Century”. Organised by Singapore’s WDA and NTUC LearningHub, the session began with a keynote speech by Ms Josephine Teo, Assistant Secretary General of NTUC.

Oh no, you heard alarm bells going off too? Government? A People’s Action Party Member-of-Parliament? INNOVATION?? *beep beep!* cognitive dissonance!

Wait… Read the full story