Internet Brigades – Constructive or Destructive?

Today, when you go to Mainstream Media on Facebook, click on any post and find the number of negative comments on their posts. It is no secret that the opposition has an internet brigade which goes online spreading hate.

At first it was fine when they were not making personal attacks on people who did not agree with them. Freedom of speech right? Everyone is entitled to their opinion on an issue.

But what is NOT okay is when they go around and make personal attacks on well meaning Singaporeans who have voiced constructive comments or speak up in favour of the Government.

Channel News Asia released an article about steering away from negative campaign practices. Unfortunately, this only applies to candidates and agents but not their supporters.

Take a look at some of their comments. They are obviously unfair and are a form of cyber bullying.

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Their favorite term for anyone supportive of the government is “dog”. It is derogatory and disrespectful. Just because someone does not agree with you, it does not warrant name calling and mud-slinging.

I think Ms Tin has summed it up nicely.

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“As politicians, all of us have encountered our fair share of online vitriol; some perhaps more than a fair share. It is not pleasant to be on the receiving end of such online attacks, but many of us have cultivated a certain equanimity and learnt to focus on the important issues for Singapore. I went through a “baptism of fire” in 2011 and I can fully empathize with how my political colleagues and peers from other political parties feel. But online vitriol does not help our political development. Politics should be a contest of ideas, about how Singapore can tackle its challenges and improve the lives of its citizens. It should also be about who can best run a constituency and come up with the best programmes to serve residents. I may not agree with my political “competitors” on many issues, but I believe in their right to stand in front of voters, and put forth their views and positions too. Online attacks that use lies and innuendos to insinuate that a potential candidate is not fit to serve, or that use vulgar language and threats to push a potential candidate to withdraw, do not serve our democracy. It is important that Singaporeans are able to express their thoughts on issues freely. However, we can do this without personal attacks and harassment, resorting to lies or threats, hiding behind anonymity and false identities. We should be fair to others if we want our views to be heard too. Freedom of expression must be coupled with respect. I hope we can all work towards building a free yet responsible online space where constructive debates can take place.”

We should learn to respect other’s views even online and not resort to childish and rude name calling and personal attacks.

September 11, 2015. Who will you choose, to protect Singapore’s Future?

Parliament is dissolved.

The Election Writ has been issued.

Nomination day will be on 1 September 2015.

Polling day is said to be on 11 September 2015.

September 11, 14 years ago, on September 11, something tragic happened in the US. Terrorists shocked the world with destruction and left fear in all of us. We all have vulnerabilities which can be easily exploited by external and internal forces if we are not on our toes.

14 years later, we will decide our future for the next 5 years and beyond, on September 11.

Who can you trust, to protect Singapore’s Future?

Who do you think is capable, to protect Singapore’s Future? 

Who will you choose, to protect Singapore’s Future?

Steve Chia fallen to the hordes of Online Trolls.

Steve Chia fallen to the hordes of Online Trolls.
National Solidatary Party
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Today is a sad for democracy in Singapore. How could a decent man trying to make a difference to Singapore could make a statement like this?

So I went on a little investigation on who exactly are these online trolls starting with the link provided by Steve Chia.

This page was filled with embarassing information of his past.

Wait a minute. Hammer away?
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Next I back track when the attacks started by going through the time line of NSP’s facebook page. Everything was normal with each posting garnering about 100-200 likes and 20-30 comments.

But this particular post garnered 225 comments on the 19th August 2015.
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What is going on?

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How sad the comments.

One of the strongest comment which stiked us was

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So who is Firdaus?

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Even goh meng seng is pissed with the WP’s supporters attack.
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Remember AIM … Remember FMSS

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Remember AIM issue?

It was explained countless times and again it resurfaced.

1. Yes, the software was sanctioned by 14 Town Councils.
2. Yes, they paid the software by using the S&CC fees collected from residents.
3. Yes it was sold to AIM thru an open tender.
4. Yes, the software was later leased back to the Town Councils for a subscription fee.

But here are some facts.

1. The directors of AIM were not paid a director fee.
2. The software was getting outdated.
3. The cost for an upgrade would have meant a substantial initial outlay of the residents’ money.
4. Although there were several companies which took the tender documents but only AIM came back with a bid.
5. AIM did not profit from the purchase of the TC software nor from the lease back. Industry experts also mentioned that it was loss-making bid. (Maybe that is why no other companies bid for the tender)
6. Prime Minister Lee ordered a review of the AIM transaction and the fundamental nature of town councils, to ensure high standards of corporate governance.
7. The review reported that there NO wrong-doings and saying the AIM sale complied with regulations and there was no conflict of interest.

So how did this saga came about? hint* FMSS…. Overspent … WP…. Friends… (got it?)

Source: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20130504-420308.html
Source: http://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/ips/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/04/TD_Ministry-review-clears-AIM-deal_040513.pdf

Opposition parties whine over changes, say they were expected.

Oh no, now that number of SMCs have gone up and the size of the GRCs have gone down, what will the oppies have to accuse the PAP of now? 

That was my first thought when the ERBC released their report yesterday. And then Today released this Article.

Various Opposition MPs or parties have also released statements on their facebook pages.

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Response from Worker’s Party NCMP Yee Jenn Jong

He’s highly disappointed because he can’t walk around for 9 days and hope to win the election? Haha…
Show the people what you’ve been doing on the ground all these while! SMC or GRC they should be supportive of you if you have been doing good work. 

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Response from The Reform Party

Wow, they talk big but for the past 4 years what have they brought to the table or what have they done for their residents? Being in Government is more than big talk.

Unfortunately, that’s all they have shown us.

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Response by Singapore Democratic Alliance

They are literally asking PM to hand them the SMC on a silver platter. Hearts have to be won, not handed to you.

Through their responses, evidently they just want an easy win without hard work. Do they really deserve our votes? 

Gerrymandering… to whose advantage?

For the longest time, the opposition has been shouting foul play whenever election boundaries are redrawn.

In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts. , gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts.

Is it just me or did the new boundaries not seem to be in PAP’s favor? So can it still be considered gerrymandering? 

The other opposition parties should really be thanking the PAP now for giving them this added advantage. But where have they been? Their silence is deafening.

For the longest time they have been saying we should stop changing the electoral boundaries each election. Today, when the boundaries are in their favor they have changed their tune? Double standards indeed. 

Pot calling the kettle black? AHPETC vs PA Accounting lapses

The Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) has conducted its selective audit of PA and 124 of its grassroots organisations (GROs) between July 2014 and February 2015, and has observed that there were procedural lapses among GROs.

Netizens have expressed concerns regarding these lapses, citing the recent AHPETC saga which saw several dramatic episodes in parliament between the WP MPs and the PAP MPs. They say PAP is the pot calling the kettle black; they question the right of the PAP to condemn the actions of AHPETC when the PA GROs have committed similar offences.

There are some differences between AHPETC and PA to bear in mind.

1. WP has repeatedly refused to acknowledge their accounting lapses and conflicts of interest. They have not only refused to acknowledge their wrongs, they have refused to right their wrongs.

PA on the other hand, takes these findings seriously and has taken immediate actions to rectify all the lapses. PA has since informed AGO that it will review its procurement rules for GROs, to strike the right balance between competitive procurement and “expeditious decision-making” on the ground.

 Note the difference: If there is a mistake, they admit, investigate, punish if warranted and learn from it. This is not how AHPETC has done itYear after year, AHPETC has been making the same errors over and over again. Evidently, they have not learnt from their mistakes. 

2. Responsibility taken by the individuals is also an important factor to consider.

After many months of investigation, and pressure from the public and the court, AHPETC finally decided to do away with FMSS. No legal or stern action was taken against the company.

On the flip side, there was also one case of non-declaration of conflict of interest in a Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC). While the Investigation Panel set up by PA found no evidence of dishonesty by the volunteers concerned, this is nonetheless a serious lapse. The Chairman has apologised for the lapse and has resigned from the CCC. The CCC member has been advised to comply with proper procedures. Despite only being a volunteer, the CCC chairman has taken responsibility and has resigned.

Note the difference: AHPETC is run by paid staff, not volunteers. Hence, they are obliged to know the proper financial procedures. Volunteers in the GROs may not have this knowledge at present.  

3. AGO audited both AHPETC and PA. In the AHPETC case, the AGO said that the accounts cannot be relied upon and there can be “no assurance that public funds are properly spent, accounted for and managed”.

For PA, there were procedural lapses which were fixed and action taken.  But there was no issue with the overall accounts.

I think the difference is clear; the severity of the accounting lapses should be seriously considered when comparing both cases.

At the end of the day, the AGO report is impartial and it gives the organization a chance to improve on its governance. How it is managed is the crucial point. The management should be accountable and responsible for their flaws and make sure it does not happen again.