Singapore-China relations will determine the future One World One Government relationship for the rest of the world

Singapore-China Relations: A Walk Back Into Time

12 November is a significant date for Singapore-China relations.

On this day in 1978, Deng Xiaoping made his historic visit to Singapore, and it became a turning point for Singapore-China relations.

On 12 November 2018, Singapore signed an upgraded free trade agreement (FTA) with China.

I’m hopeful that the implementation of this agreement will be another milestone in strengthening our bilateral relations with China and advancing our mutual interests.

Singapore and China may differ on some issues and will go through a bumpy ride every now and then in our relationship.

However, we share largely similar perspectives on macro issues such as governance, culture, economic development, and growth.

It’s in Singapore interests to see China prosper and remain stable and secure.

That’s why Singapore takes an active interest and involvement in China almost right from the time China opened its door to the world.

1. Hand Of Friendship

Our relationship with China goes all the way back to 1976 when our founding father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew first visited China.

Mr Lee put on record that Singapore wants China’s economy to grow stronger, and that the growth of China would be good for the world.

Two years later in 1978, Mr Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore. He had many good words to say about Singapore.

Mr Lee told him that China could do better than Singapore.

During his tour of the southern provinces in 1992, Mr Deng even encouraged his people to learn from Singapore.

In his words, he said, “There is good social order in Singapore. They govern the place with discipline. We should draw from their experience and do even better than them.”

According to Ambassador Tommy Koh, after Mr Deng’s tour, more than 500 Chinese delegations visited Singapore in 1992.

2. Human Resources Development

Zhao Leji, a politburo member affirmed the “strong and substantial relationship” between Singapore and China and that the two countries should cooperate in the area of human resource development.

During his visit to China in 2015, President Tony Tan Keng Yam said that since the 1990s, about 50,000 Chinese officials and cadres had studied subjects such as urban management, social governance and public administration in Singapore.

Two of the most popular training programmes are the master’s degree programmes in public administration and managerial economics at NTU’s Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (NCPA) and the master’s degree programme in public administration at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The NTU’s programme is commonly known as the “Mayors’ Class” due to the high number of Chinese mayors and mayoral contenders enrolled in them.

According to Professor Liu Hong, the NCPA director, about 1,400 Chinese officials had graduated from the “Mayors’ Class”.

The school has also conducted short-term programmes and had trained more than 15,000 government officials from China and Southeast Asian countries. Most of the students are from China.

Although the number of attendees have declined albeit not substantially, the programmes are attracting a more diverse pool of students, including more professionals such as university management and state-owned enterprises.

Over the years, China has regularly sent many study teams to Singapore, including activists from the Communist Party.

After stepping out of politics, our the first Deputy Prime Minister Mr Goh Keng Swee became an advisor to some of the coastal cities in China.

3. Contributions On The Ground

Singapore has been a friend and shared many of its experiences and best practices with China.

In 1994, during the drive towards industrialization, Singapore helped to set up the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park.

In 2007, just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China was facing problems in environmental issues.

There was an idea to jointly develop an eco-city and that idea resulted in the development of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city.

In 2015, during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Singapore, both Singapore and China agreed to develop the third government-to-government project, the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative.

The third project was built to support China’s strategy for developing the Western Region.

The other joint projects include the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, Singapore-Chengdu High-Tech Park and the Sino-Singapore Jilin Food Zone.

4. Sociopolitical Development

Singapore stood with and supported China through many challenges.

For example, after the tragic Tiananmen incident in 1989, many countries, especially those from the West condemned China and imposed economic sanctions against It.

Singapore did not join them but instead, continue to invest in China.

When negotiations between China and the US on China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation reached an impasse, Mr Lee Kuan Yew acted as an interlocutor and helped to break the deadlock.

Singapore was also instrumental in facilitating China’s link-up with ASEAN through ASEAN +3.

It is the only country that has set up the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) with China.

5. Economic Development.

When China initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which strategically excludes the US, Singapore broke ranks with the US and was actively lobbying countries to join and support the AIIB.

Singapore is one of the largest and few offshore clearing centres for RMB.

Singapore was also one of the early supporters of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative.

The Chinese and Singapore banks are actively financing “Belt and Road” projects, especially in the South-east Asia region.

Singapore is one of China’s largest investors and trading partners.

It is a nett contributor to China since Deng Xiaoping opened up the economy.


History has taught us that there are no permanently friendly or unfriendly parties.

Sometimes, it’s good to go through benign controversies, conflicts and challenges.

As the Chinese would say, 患难见真情.

Loosely translated, it means that in times of trouble, you’ll know who your true friends are.

China will realize that we are consistent in wanting to be a true friend to its country and people, be a plus factor to its government, and be an asset to its economy,

Both of our countries do not have all the friends in the world.

Therefore, we can support one another as a hub and spoke, and a router and connector to the rest of the world so as to promote our mutually-reinforcing interests.

In doing so, we will then have a more stable, secure and sustainable relationship.

In a bigger picture, as a small nation, we are mindful that we need to be friendly with China and for that matter, with all countries.

We have to continue to be relevant and be a vital value-addition to the world.

We must do everything possible to seek peace, prosperity and progress not just for our country but also for the rest of the world, including China.

Modi”s speech “When in Rome do as the Romans do”

Someone shared with me. Fake or not?

*Mr Narendra Modi speech – SHORTEST SPEECH EVER.* 😟😟😟😟
*you also must read & think*

*Mr Modi the Indian Prime Minister, 🇮🇳 addressed the world Conferance, and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in India:*

*”In India, live like Indians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in India, to work and eat in India, they should speak Hindi common language of India, and should respect the Indian 🇮🇳 laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, and live the life of Muslim’s then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law.*

*”India does not need Muslim minorities. Minorities need 🇮🇳, India and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination’. We will not tolerate disrespect of our Indian culture. We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland, and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Muslims are taking over those countries and they will not take over 🇮🇳. INDIA
The Indian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of Sharia Law and Muslims.*

*”When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the Indian 🇮🇳 national interest first, observing that the Muslims Minorities Are Not Indian.”*

*The politicians in the world Conference gave a five minute standing ovation.*

*If you keep this to yourself, you are part of the problem!*😡😡
Jai Hind

RCEP fixes all the issues of CECA, but India is not happy because they have no advantage

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Saturday (9 Nov) that the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) does not grant Indian nationals unconditional access into Singapore or immigration privileges (‘CECA does not grant Indian nationals unconditional access, immigration privileges: Chan Chun Sing’).
Claims that the bilateral agreement has cost job opportunities for Singaporeans aim to stoke fears in times of economic uncertainties, said Chan. Among these was the claim that CECA has allowed Indian nationals to take PMET jobs away from Singaporeans.
“Indian professionals, like any other professionals from other countries, have to meet MOM’s existing qualifying criteria to work in Singapore. This applies to Employment Pass, S Pass, and work permit,” he said.
Chan further pointed out that Singapore’s network of FTAs has in fact increased these jobs by 400,000 to 1.25 million since 2005. But he did not mention specifically how many of the 400,000 created jobs were due to CECA and how many went to Singaporeans.
“We understand, and we share Singaporeans’ concerns with competition and job prospects in the current uncertain economic environment. But the way to help Singaporeans is not to mislead them and create fear and anger,” said Chan.
“The way to help Singaporeans is to make sure that first, we expand our markets for our enterprises. Train our workers constantly to stay ahead of competition. Never allow others to stoke the fears and racial biases of our people. Never do this for selfish personal or political reasons,” he added.
CECA allows “intra-corporate transferees” to work for up to 8 years in host country
However, Singapore has been quite liberal in granting work passes to Indian nationals working in Singapore since CECA was signed in 2005. Under CECA, it enables movement of people between the 2 countries:
1. Professionals who are employed in 127 specific occupations are allowed entry and can stay for up to a year to “engage in a business activity as a professional”. The person would need to produce “letter of contract” from the party engaging the services of the said person. Some of the stated occupations include: engineers, architects, IT personnel, surveyors, doctors, dentists, accountants, lecturers, auditors, analysts, etc. CECA did not say they can’t go back to the host country to work again under a new contract for another year after their current contract ends.
2. Intra-corporate transferees will be permitted entry and can work for up to 2 years. This can be extended to a total term of not more than 8 years;
3. Business visitors who hold five-year multiple journey visas will be permitted entry for business purposes for up to 2 months, with an option to extend by an additional month; and
4. Short-term service suppliers will be allowed entry to service their contracts for an initial period of 90 days.
Note that for intra-corporate transferees, it is defined as an employee who has been employed for a period of not less than either six months in company and one year industry experience or three years industry experience immediately preceding the date of the application for entry.
There is also no quota requirement imposed on intra-corporate transferees, which means an Indian company can hire a whole “village” of staff and transfer them to Singapore 6 months later lock, stock and barrel.
Furthermore, under Article 9.3 of CECA, all the “intra-corporate transferees” are to be exempted from any “labour market testing” or “economic needs testing”. That means, economic needs testing like Singapore’s fair consideration framework which ensures fair hiring of Singaporeans cannot be applied to “intra-corporate transferees”.
To top it all, Article 9.6 even allows the “intra-corporate transferees” to bring in their spouses or dependents to work here too.
Indian IT companies exploiting CECA loophole
Thanks to CECA, large number of Indian IT workers were moved into Singapore as “intra-corporate transferees”, since CECA did not set any quotas. Many of these Indian IT companies reside in Changi Business Park. Few Singaporeans, if any, were hired.
But in last few years, with many Singaporean PMETs complaining about discriminatory hiring practices as well as an increase in unemployment rates among Singaporean PMETs, the Singapore government started to slow down the approvals of Indian professionals working here.
Times of India reported in 2017 (‘Singapore blocks visas for Indian IT professionals‘) that work visas for Indian IT professionals to work in Singapore have dropped “to a trickle”, prompting the Indian government to complain to Singaporean government citing violation of the trade pact. Some of the Indian IT companies affected include: HCL, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant and L&T Infotech.
“This (visa problem) has been lingering for a while but since early-2016, visas are down to a trickle. All Indian companies have received communication on fair consideration, which basically means hiring local people,” the president of Nasscom, the IT association of India, complained.
That means in the ten years or so from 2005 to about 2015, these companies have been gladly receiving work visas “happily given” to them by the Singapore government for their staff to work in Singapore under CECA, since no complaints were publicly ever heard from these companies in those “happier times”. In any case, the damage has been done. Displaced Singaporeans who ended up driving taxi would have a hard time getting back to a working career again.
In retaliation, the Indian government decided against expanding the scope of goods where import duties for Singapore goods would be cut unless the concerns of Indian industry are addressed, the report added.
In particular, the Indian government is against Singapore using the “fair consideration framework” to regulate the employment of Indian professionals in Singapore. “They (Singapore) are doing it despite the CECA clearly stating that there will be no ENT (economic needs test) or quotas on agreed services. This is a violation of the agreement,” warned an Indian official.
DPM Tharman questioned in India
In 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam visited India and spoke at an economics forum organized by the Indian Finance Ministry. He was asked point-blank about the sudden curtailing of Indian professionals moving into Singapore. DPM Tharman replied that there must be limits to the movement of people. Otherwise, there will be less push for businesses to be more productive, and “more fundamentally, you become a society where people don’t feel it’s their own society”, he said.
“It would be mindless to have an open border without any policy framework to govern and constrain the flow of people into your job market. It will not just be wrong politics but wrong economics.” said DPM Tharman.
In fact, prior to 2015-16, Singaporean PMETs working in the financial industry were already complaining about discriminatory hiring practices. In 2013, DPM Tharman and then Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin had to call up some banks in Singapore to ask them to stop the practice of “hiring their own kinds”. This was revealed in Parliament by Minister Tan in 2013.
Minister Tan did not name the banks nor the nationalities of the hiring managers but many netizens have pointed that DPM Tharman and Mr Tan must have spoken to some of these foreign banks which were dominated by Indian nationals.
Under CECA, Singapore became India’s top investor but it is believed that the investments mainly came from Singapore government and Government Linked Companies under Temasek, like DBS, Sembcorp, Ascendas, etc.
So, even though Chan said CECA does not grant Indian nationals unconditional access to work in Singapore, many were allowed into Singapore especially in the first 10 years after CECA was signed, competing with Singaporean PMETs for jobs and damaging Singaporean interests. Otherwise, why would DPM Tharman and then Manpower Minister Tan want to talk to those banks in Singapore?

What the Government did, did not get to the root of the problem

From the replies and reaction of the food delivery partners and the Personal Mobility Device (PMD) retailers, we can clearly see that the footpath ban on PMD was not consulted with the stakeholders.

And now, the government has just announced a $7 million grant to allow those affected to exchange their device for funds to purchase a Power Assisted Bike or a bicycle.

We know that this $7 million grant is definitely a reactive measure because it was not mentioned anywhere in the announcement of the ban.

So effectively, the tax-payers are paying for a $7 million screw up by the person(s) who decided to ban PMDs from footpaths without any proper consultation, measures to address the fall-out and without any buffer period for those affected to make alternative plans.

Given how the PAP govt had hounded the Workers’ Party MPs over the supposed loss of public monies, shouldn’t the PAP govt throw out the civil servant(s) or political appointee(s) who made this $7 million mistake and answer for it?

Let us not forget that the government clearly stated just a month ago, in October that PMDs will not be banned but clearly, the new restriction on PMDs that has just been announced, is no different from banning the devices from daily use.

Will this be another no blame culture incident with the PAP government?

(Lam Pin Min at his announcement that PMDs will be banned from travelling on footpaths the next day, from 5 Nov 2019)

LTA never use their brains to implement laws, their cause and effects

“I am an ITE graduate who previously work in office job, it paid me $2,200 every month, no 13th month, no bonus, 3 days MC.

Since Grabfood come along, with my trusty PMD, I earn $3,500 every month.

Now overnight, my PMD is illegal and I cannot use it for daily work.

With my $3,500 salary, I thought it was good time to start family, I can provide for my baby. Combine with my wife $2000 salary, we buy $250,000 BTO in CCK.

Now my income suddenly become zero, if I go back old job, it drop by $1,300 every month, I have baby that need diaper, need milk powder, need infant care, now my expense is more than my income.

Govt ask me to buy certified UL2272 PMD, I support and follow.

Govt ask me be careful while riding on the footpath, I careful. Never hit anyone or get into argument before in my 2 year as PMD rider.

Govt tell me to register PMD, I register.

Govt ask me to have stable proper job, I found one.

Govt ask me to have children, I agree and have kid.

I do everything you ask me to, but you still ban me from doing my job, a good job that pay me well. Now my children childcare fee how? Now their daily expense how? Overnight my salary cut by 30%, how can I be a good father to raise my children responsibly?

I want to be good citizen and help the country by being employ and by having children.

I want to help my country, but now my country don’t want to help me.

Tell me what I should do now? With one speech now my income drop so much, if I am irresponsible rider, u penalty me I nothing to say. I am safe delivery rider but I pay price for those YP black sheep.

How I face my wife now, how I tell my children I cannot bring them go out enjoy some family excursion?

Sad to be a loyal Singaporean. I want to be loyal but there is no care for me.

Written by: M Siva, Grabfood pmd rider since 2018″

The ban on PMD on footpaths is not necessary, Singapore is not like France or Japan

Stupid government pass laws without considering all the consequences. To solve this problem, mandate by law all PMDs must be equiped with a bell and users must sound the bell when approaching pedestrains to warn them of their presence. Cycling tracks and park connectors how much is their usage? Most crowded will be town centrals and near MRTs, if you do not let PMDs use their transport, where do you expect them to use it? On the roads? Contributed by Oogle.

The ban of electric scooters on footpaths kicked in today (5 November) in Singapore, and those found guilty of the crime can be fined up to S$2,000 and jail time of up to three months once the ban is strictly enforced from 2020.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement that despite “significant efforts” to regulate the use of such personal mobility devices (PMDs) using laws and to educate the public in using such devices responsibly, “offences relating to errant behaviour and incidents involving e-scooters remained on an upward trend”.

Although e-scooters are banned from being used on roads in the Republic, but it will still be allowed on cycling paths and Park Connector Networks (PCNs).

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said in Parliament on Monday (4 November) that the ban follows Japan and France’s move to prohibit the riding of e-scooters on its pavements.

He said that France just banned the use of e-scooters on pavements last week, following the high number of accidents involving such devices, several of which were fatal. Those found guilty of riding their e-scooters on pavements will now be subject to a €135 fine in France.

“Cities have allowed the use of such devices on footpaths as they are non-pollutive, inexpensive and, of properly used, convenient for short intra-town travels. We expected the co-sharing of footpaths to be challenging but were hopeful that with public education, PMD users would be gracious and responsible. Unfortunately, this was not so,” Dr Lam said.

As such, he noted that it was a “difficult decision” to prohibit e-scooters from being used on footpaths. “But it is a necessary step for pedestrians to feel safe again on public paths, while still allowing e-scooters to grow in tandem with cycling path infrastructure,” he added.

Ban in France and Japan

In September 2019, France banned the use of e-scooters on pavements, after an increasing number of e-scooters in the country caused tensions with residents.

After the device was introduced in the French capital last year, about 15,000 scooters were seen in the city and the number is expected to increase to 40,000 by the end of 2019.

France’s Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said to Le Parisien daily that those who found to be riding an e-scooter, monowheel, personal transporter or hoverboard on the pavement will be imposed a fine of €135.

She added that the riders will now have to use the street or dedicated cycling paths, so that “pedestrians are no longer squeezed against walls”.

However, riders are still permitted to push their devices on the pavement, as long as the engine is turned off.

As for Japan, e-scooters are viewed as motorised bicycles under the traffic law in the country, based on a 2002 notice from the Japanese National Police Agency. This means that the devices have to come with license plates and side mirrors, and a driver’s license is required to operate. Without these, electric scooters are considered illegal unless it’s used on privately owned land.

On top of that, they must also be ridden on the road alongside cars and other vehicles. This applies to other types of transportations with a battery, like other micromobility options such as unicycles.

Singapore’s restrictions on PMDs more severe than Japan and France

Therefore, though countries such as Japan and France banned PMDs from being used on pavements, they are allowed to be used on roads.

However, under the Road Traffic Act, it is illegal for PMDs – such as e-scooters and hoverboards – to be used on Singapore roads from 15 Jan 2018, with first-time offenders subject to a fine of up to $2,000, a jail term of up to three months, or both.
This, however, was not mentioned by Dr Lam in his speech as he made references to the practice of other cities.  While Dr Lam stressed that it is not a complete ban of PMDs as they can be still be ridden on cycling path and the park connectors, but what is the difference in light of the restrictions imposed upon the PMDs?

The post Singapore states PMD ban is same as France and Japan, but fails to mention PMD are allowed on streets for the two countries appeared first on The Online Citizen.

Why suffer when the under lying issue is already well known


The reason why Singaporeans cannot save enough inside their CPF for retirement is because – a huge chunk of the money is being taken to let GIC/Temasek Holdings invest

The reason why jobs are being replaced based on the contractual agreements PAP signed with other countries is because – PAP gets to profit from its investments via GIC/Temasek Holdings through these contractual agreements

The reason why Singaporeans cannot afford healthcare is because – a huge chunk of the money is being taken to let GIC/Temasek Holdings invest

The reason why Singaporeans are paying expensive university fees is because – a huge chunk of the money is being taken to let GIC/Temasek Holdings invest

The reason why Singaporeans have to pay for expensive ‘public’ housing is because – a huge chunk of the money is being taken to let GIC/Temasek Holdings invest

The reason why Singaporeans earn only half the wages workers in similarly-rich countries earn is because – a huge chunk of the money is being taken to let GIC/Temasek Holdings invest

The reason why Singaporeans have to pay for expensive public services is because – a huge chunk of the money is being taken to let GIC/Temasek Holdings invest

The reason why the largest Singapore companies owned by Temasek Holdings are charging such high prices is because – a huge chunk of the money is being taken to let Temasek Holdings invest

Look, even if you don’t know/don’t want to know/don’t want to think about how your money is being used, the fact of the matter is that you are losing your earnings and overpaying for goods in Singapore because – a huge chunk of the money is being taken to let GIC/Temasek Holdings invest

And until you face up to this reality, you are still going to think – oh, that person stole my job; oh, that person caused me not to earn enough, etc etc. When you put the blame on people and things, when the real issue is really how all that money is being sucked away by PAP into GIC/Temasek Holdings, then you are missing the forest for the trees.

It is just easier to complain about this or that person, rather than to point to the real problem. Meanwhile, the inequality and unfairness in Singapore is causing people to become angrier and more selfish.

If you want to do something, then stop voting for a company to run your country.

If you want a proper country, then vote for a government to run your country.

You know as well as I do the PAP is made up of a bunch of people who take over the country to run it for profits that is largely not returned to you.

But if you keep pretending that isn’t happening, then you can keep blaming this and that person for stealing your job, your food.

Then you can forget about the larger issues and keep voting for the same people who are letting your job and food get stolen.

You want to do something about it? Then vote for people who actually care.

People who will at least do more justice for you.

Post-edit: If you are asking what they are doing with your money in GIC/Temasek Holdings, I also want to know. You aren’t getting answers from PAP, they’ve already stonewalled Ong Teng Cheong, and they are stonewalling you too.