I have ceased to follow much of the news these days, which is basically why I have stopped writing for quite a while. It is not that I no longer cared, but rather I believed that while some of the things maybe a concern there is very little I can do that would effectively influence or change it presently.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics
Mark Twain popularized this saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” And that is the basically the attitude I adopt when presented with statistics. All the more so when someone presents statistics to make the government look bad. Or the government doing so to make the people believe it’s not really the case.
I am no fan of the government, but over my slightly more than 4 decades of living, I have learnt to be wary when someone keeps saying the things I liked to hear. Either this person really is doing this to keep everyone informed, or this person wants you to align yourself with his agenda. On top of which, anyone can paint a different picture with statistics but as long as that picture is not how the majority experiences it, then it is a lie. That is the reason why I read a lot of Roy Ngerng’s articles with a pinch, if not a bucket, of salt.
I am not surprised that Roy Ngerng has steadily gained a following. After all, the Internet is the last place left where anti-government views more or less flow unimpeded. Worst of it all the “state media” in the form of Singapore Press Holding’s (SPH) many newspapers, is generally not helping at all. The politically awakened, who are convinced that no truth can be found in our local newspapers, readily flocked to the Internet to seek out such information. Social media like blogs, Twitter and Facebook makes it easy for such information to be distributed.
It is my considered opinion that Roy Ngerng got carried away as his reach, if not popularity, grows. After all, the government has not actively refuted some of the things he said. For those who are rabidly anti-government, it further convinced them that there is something for the government to hide. Some believe that the government has refused to “join battle” simply because it will be exposed just like what happened with the cases on AIM, and subsequently that matter with the hawker center cleaning. They are utterly convinced that Roy Ngerng has found the government’s“Achilles Heel” and coupled with the stuff a Christopher Balding has been writing, they believe they now have the once mighty Singapore government “on the run”, or even“cowering in fear”.
On the contrary, I believed the government ignored Roy Ngerng simply because there is really nothing to refute even when I disagree with the justification for the CPF minimum sum. Similarly, I also think it is utter nonsense to argue that since the government has higher returns from its investments, it should give us all that earnings even when I agree that the returns on my CPF monies hardly covers inflation. My only peeve is that it is not fully explained where the rest of the returns has gone to. And I suspect I will never be able to find the right question to ask, much less get an answer to that. As for Minister Tan Chuan Jin’s assurances on the CPF, my thought is that he is right as long as those people who have able to withdraw their CPF money are able to get their money back regardless whether it is the full sum, or a part of it. In other words, your CPF is about as safe as your money saved in or invested with a bank. I believe I need not further elaborate on that.
Anyway, to openly refute Roy Ngerng would give him a bigger platform to air his views. Clearly, other than those who actively follows his blog or come into contact with those articles, the rest of Singapore are either blissfully unaware of all the statistic wizardry Roy Ngerng has employed to present a horrifying picture of the state of our Central Provident Fund (CPF), or that they don’t really care. As for what I think, my take is: assume the worst cases scenario whereby we will never get all our monies back, and make contingency plans.
Anyway, I am not surprised even Roy Ngerng believes that he has the Singapore government “on the run” when he foolishly drew comparsion between the Prime Minsiter and the City Harvest case that’s still being heard in court. I do not need to explain the implication of what he has written has finally provoked a response. To put it simply, there following four Chinese words will adequately explain Roy Ngerng’s predicament:
I understand this will hurt the feelings of a lot of people sympathetic to Roy Ngerng’s plight, but well I prefer to call a spade for what it is. Face it, blogger “Mr Miyagi” has pointed out that he has written more or less the same stuff Roy Ngerng has written about the CPF, but he has not gotten any letters from the Prime Minister because “Mr Miyagi” has not made any accusations. So really, let us bloggers not flatter ourselves. The People’s Action Party (PAP) really doesn’t care very much about our opinion on the Internet, even when it might affect the decision of other voters or even suggest how the individual blogger would vote.
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I almost laughed when I heard the term used on Roy Ngerng’s offer of $5000 for compensation. Perhaps Roy Ngerng should have offered peanuts, the golden kind that cost S$660,000. Get what I mean?
I personally don’t think the offer was derisory. In fact, depending on how much Roy Ngerng is earning, that amount might even be a very substantial portion of his liquid assets. If I was as stupid as Roy Ngerng to have made those accusations, I would even have offered a token compensation of just $1. I do so not because I want to insult the Prime Minister. I do so because even though I understand the Prime Minister is serious, I choose to believe he is a different person from his father. After all, why even offer me the choice of offering compensation and not just sued my pants off in the place?
How much does the Prime Minister expect Roy Ngerng to offer? Every cent in his account? And then Roy should sell his backside to pay an annual interest of 2.5% on that amount until he is 62? The Prime Minister should jolly well understand this analogy:
There are those who understand that the farmer has no choice but to go down into the mud to wrestle with a pig that kicks mud at him. The farmer will know he’ll get dirty anyway. But to expect the pig to offer gold in restitution, and then complain it’s derisory when all the pig had to offer is its vomit is some what a self-inflicted humiliation.
Spare us this charade! Just meet Roy Ngerng the old fashioned way ~ in the cul-de-sac with a hatchet. Neither this charade nor the old fashion way will endear the PAP to those who have already lost confidence in its ability to guide Singapore into a better future.
As for those who are giving the chap money to “fight the bully”, it is your money and thus no one could fault your choice in doing so. I have only this to say to you all: Roy Ngerng made his bed. He should sleep in it… alone.