Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Young PAP with its highly successful Facebook fan page of less than 3,400 fans

In his interview with the Chinese newspapers, Young PAP Chairman, Comrade Teo Ser Luck made an interesting comment about how Young PAP has managed to network with the people using their Facebook page, and how successful they are, regardless of the traffic. Yes, apparently the fan page traffic is not important to them.

大选临近蓄势待发 政党及论政网站争夺网友“眼球”
Source: Lianhe Zaobao

张思乐指出,他并不以加入的人数多寡来衡量行青团Facebook 的成效,成功与否的关键在于网站上提出的课题是否能掀起讨论,而这些讨论又是否具有建设性。他对于行青团的Facebook 至今所取得的成绩感到满意,觉得支持者之间的互动性很强,也经常看到一些具建设性的看法,而行青团也会把这些意见向上传达给决策者参考。

Translation in English, thanks to a friend of mine:

"Teo Ser Luck pointed out that it is not the number of fans for the Young PAP Facebook fan page that is used to measure the effectiveness of the page. The success of the Young PAP Facebook fan page is measured by whether the topics posted on the page have arouse discussions, and whether these discussions are constructive. He is very satisfied with the successful result of the Young PAP Facebook fan page, and feels that there is much interaction between the supporters, and he sees some constructive comments, which the Young PAP will convey to the policies makers."

While in social media, we learned that it is all about statistics, so much so that you can even add Google Analytics to your Facebook fan page to track your traffic, like how you track the traffic to your websites. We thought that it is important to measure our fan page conversion rate, to know our ROI in order to understand how effective our strategy is and where we should make improvements.

This is the very first time that I know of somebody who is satisfied with a Facebook fan page "liked" by less than 3,400 fans and thinks that this is just the amount of interaction that is necessary. But hey, even Subway Singapore has eight thousands over fans!

Mr Teo also feels that there is much interaction between the supporters, and he sees some constructive comments. With that in mind, I took a look at the latest discussions on the page and some of the comments...

Post: Comrade Yi Shyan Lee (Chai Chee): "The National Wages Council’s recent announcement made the same call: there is a pressing need to raise productivity to ensure that wage gains are sustainable. In this respect, wage increase should lag productivity gains in the long term."

Sinha Shekhar: Is productivity related to education? Don' think so. But it makes a good research topic.

CK Tom: What population sample are you looking at? Does this include your maid?

Annie How: obviously Russell Teo, the de facto roti-prata man here, who is an expert in twisting his words & misleading ppl, can really speak many tongues, including 'gay' as a language...No wunder robox & him can click!!!

Sinha Shekhar:
Am sorry I can't comment on the companies misusing the immigration policy. But the thing is that "We are talking about thousands and thousands of people coming to Singapore. There are black sheeps in every industry. They may misuse the trust bestowed upon them by the government. As a citizen, its our duty to inform the authorities about such misdeeds. I always believed in "Top dollars for top dogs". If not we may not get the right person forthe right job. For Singaore so much is at stake.

Nilesh Sahita: Sinha - are you saying that as a taxpayers we are paying million dollars to our beloved ministers and is it my job to monitor and report misuses? Are you telling that immigration department should not have comprehensive surveillance / audit department for this?

Hmm... not sure if these are the constructive comments that will channel all the way up.

Anyway, the number of "like"s and quality of discussion on the page aside, I suppose the fans for the Young PAP Facebook fan page has a more crucial question in their minds: Will this fan page be closed? As record has proven that once the going gets tough, the not-so-tough gets closed.

YP to close 2 Facebook pages

THE youth wing of the People's Action Party (PAP) is consolidating its online presence in a bid for better control over its new media message.

The move by Young PAP (YP) comes two months after a spate of high-profile spats between YP members and netizens.

Tomorrow, two of its Facebook pages - YP Network and YP Community - will be closed. Only the main Young PAP Facebook page will remain up.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

All kinds of valid reasons for all kinds of major audit lapses


Mr Teo and the Audit Officer entered the room, both with stern and straight faces. Ah Tan, Lui and Chinnam stood up to greet the two men. Mr Teo just nodded and signaled them to be seated.

MR TEO: Guys, the Officer here has already completed his analysis on the audit findings, and I must assure you that I'm very unhappy with what he has found out.

Lui and Chinnam suddenly felt a drip of cold sweat flowing down their spine.

MR TEO: You may disclose the findings to them.

The Audit Officer took a few pieces of papers out from his thick document file and cleared his throat before addressing the men.

OFFICER: The committee is gravely concerned with a large number of lapses that reflect poorly on the overall internal controls of your department.

The Audit Officer made a dramatic pause to glance at the bloodless faces of Lui and Chinnam.

OFFICER (continued to read from the papers): We found laxity in procurement and contract management, lack of rigour in scrutiny by the approving authorities and too light a touch in ministry-statutory board dealings.

Chinnam made a sudden strong gasp which was clearly audible in the graveyard quiet room.

MR TEO (interrupted sternly): Guys, I'm very concerned. These lapses taken together reflect poorly on the overall internal controls of your department. Officer, please continue.
OFFICER: The committee noted that you had entered into a two-year contract valued at $933,312 to outsource some of your enforcement functions. But before the start of the contract, it was already discovered that some of the functions could not be outsourced due to legal reasons. But still, your department did not seek a reduction in the contract price for the reduced scope of work.
CHINNAM (interrupted): I can explain that!

All men at the table turned to look at Chinnam.

CHINNAM: Yes, the scope of work has been reduced, but since the vendor had committed to deploy the same level of manpower for the reduced work scope, we decided not to reduce the price but to redeploy the surplus manpower instead. I mean, since we've already budgeted for it right?
LUI (whispering to himself): And if we don't spend our budget, it will be reduced next year...
MR TEO (turned to Lui): Did you say something?
LUI (shocked): No Sir, sorry...

Ah Tan kicked Lui slightly under the table. He then gave Lui a nobody-talks-about-fight-club look. Lui returned a oops-sorry look.

MR TEO: So where were the surplus manpower deployed to then?
CHINNAM (fidgeting in his seat): Er... they helped out in the office... for admin stuff like to deliver internal mails, photocopying and... printing out and documenting all the policies and... tidying up the storeroom...

MR TEO shook his head and signalled the Audit Officer to continue.

OFFICER: We also found undue delay in refunding $6.06 million in radio and television licence fees, the committee noted that at the time of the audit in November 2008, the department was still processing refunds called for back in 2005.
CHINNAM (interrupted): Wait wait! This has been resolved!

All men at the table turned to look at Chinnam again.

CHINNAM: Since last October, two automated processes have been put in place to increase the efficiency of refunds and we have since completed making the refunds! So this issue should be closed!
OFFICER: But you took one whole year to put in place the automated processes and which means in total you took four years to refund the fees!
LUI (whispering to himself): Four years okay what...

Mr Teo turned to look at Lui, who then stared back blankly. Ah Tan kicked Lui slightly under the table. He then gave Lui another nobody-talks-about-fight-club look. Lui returned a oops-sorry look once again.

MR TEO: Chinnam, why did it take so long to implement the automated processes?
CHINNAM (fidgeting in his seat): Sir, the refund process is very complicated. Very complicated. It is not as easy as it sounds. It is a very complicated process to refund the right amount of money to the right people. This is essential to ensure that we do not make a single mistake, because this concerns money. So we had to employ a very sophisticated IT company to have their very sophisticated engineers work on a very sophisticated database. Very sophisticated. Mr Teo, I assure you, the database is a state-of-art and we should not have this refund problem moving forward.

Mr Teo nodded silently.

OFFICER: We also found under-collection of broadcasting licence fees amounting to $0.84 million. This occurred after your department did not apply the normal non-concessionary rate for two broadcasting licences even after the concessionary period had ended.

Mr Teo looked at Chinnam and waited for an answer.

CHINNAM: Er... we have since instituted a procedure to track and ensure compliance with licence conditions.
MR TEO: And you are confident that this procedure works?
CHINNAM (nodding): Don't worry, Sir, we have another checkpoint procedure to ensure that this procedure works, and another procedure to review the checkpoint procedure periodically, and one last procedure to internally audit the review procedure.

AH TAN (whispering to himself): And I'm already feeling giddy from the swirl created by all your procedures...



Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hitler will watch World Cup matches at one of the 16 CCs

Hitler: Boycott Starhub and Singtel Overpriced World Cup Package
Video by Cloudywind

Seriously? Just because the World Cup is once in every four years, they think that we will just pay the price obediently thinking that it's a "once in a while" expense?

Singtel, Starhub face revolt

SINGAPORE Telecommunications and StarHub, Singapore's two cable-TV providers, face a protest from more than 20,000 soccer fans after raising fees to watch next month's World Cup sevenfold to the highest in Asia, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

The increase from the previous tournament four years ago, announced May 7, prompted local resident John Chua to rally disaffected fans on a Facebook page, including Kelvin Chan, who plans a public demonstration next month.

Some viewers will instead tune in to free-to-air broadcasts of the games from neighbouring countries, Mr Chua said. 'It's a clear case of exploitation pricing,' he said in an e-mail. 'They have no concern for the public even under this economy crisis and think that we will pay regardless.'

Monday, May 17, 2010

No reason for an increase in crime due to IRs? Really?

No matter how strongly most Singaporeans feel that the IRs would attract undesirable people and increase crime rate, our dear Law Minister Mr Shanmugam saw no reason for an increase in crime because of the IRs.

Really, Mr Minister? Seriously?

Someone please pass him a copy of today's newspapers.

  • RWS cashier jailed for theft

    A FORMER cashier of Resorts World Sentosa was jailed for two months on Monday for theft of $10,000 at the casino.

  • Man arrested for 'sabotage'

    A MAN has been arrested in connection with a power blackout at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino last Wednesday.

    He is believed to be a disgruntled engineer employed by a subcontractor of the integrated resort (IR), which was plagued by a series of blackouts over the course of a week following its opening on April 27.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hitler's closed doors meeting on weightage of Mother Tongue in PSLE

Hitler: Weightage of the Mother Tongue in PSLE will not be lowered
Video by Cloudywind

Warning: The audio is in one particular mother tongue and the subtitles in another mother tongue. Not safe for bananas.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Criticise the government some more? We'll cut your funding!


Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali were having their morning break at the pantry when Lui joined them.

AH TAN: Hey Lui, long time no see! What were you busy with?
LUI (grunting): Ah... you have no idea how fed up I was!
AH LIM: Orh... busy with the Singapore Arts Festival har?
LUI (shaking his head): No, no... that I have left it to my men.
AH TAN: Hmm... you don't have to screen those performances before the public gets to see it?
LUI: Nah, as long as there's no gay content and naked body, they can show anything to the public. It's not as if I understand any of those performance anyway!
ALI (chuckled): Hahaha... yah man! Especially those contemporary dance! Totally no idea what are they trying to portray! Aku data wu!

All men laughed and sipped their coffee and tea.

LUI: Ali, these contemporary dances and theaters are good, you know? Though nobody understands them and some pretend to do so, these Ang Mohs are harmless. Whereas our own local theaters, these are the people we should be worried about!
AH LIM: Why leh?
LUI: These local theaters... they thought they can say anything and show anything behind closed doors, but they forgot that we've got ears everywhere! Ha!
AH LIM: What did they do?
LUI: Have you heard of this local theatre company called Wild Rice?
ALI: I only know nasi lemak and nasi goreng!

Ah Lim laughed and punched Ali lightly on his left arm.

AH TAN: Yah, I know them. In fact, I've attended a couple of their performances, like their local version of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, damn funny!

Lui gave Ah Tan a hard stare. Like a laser ray that will burn through stones.

AH TAN (shocked): What?
LUI (frowning): How dare you find them funny!
AH TAN (frowning too): Why not?
LUI (raising his voice): These are the ungrateful clowns that put up performances that promoted alternative lifestyles, were critical of government policies and satirised political leaders!
ALI: Apa ini?

Lui turned and gave Ali a hard stare this time.

LUI: It means they have gay content in their shows!
AH LIM (softly to Ah Tan): So the Sleeping Beauty was a man?
AH TAN (softly back to Ah Lim): No lah!
LUI: Not all their shows, but most of their shows!
AH LIM: Oh... hehe... paiseh!
LUI: And they make fun of and criticise our policies, some daring one even joke about our bosses! Can you imagine that? Making fun of our Big Boss?
ALL MEN (together): Wow!
LUI (berating): They even organise a biennial festival showcasing local scripts that take on political issues in a cheeky way! How dare them!

Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali sipped their coffee and tea in silence.

ALI: But brudder, you can't put all of these people in jail for making fun of the government right? Our prison not so big, yeh?
LUI (shaking his head and giggling): No, no, no... I've got a better idea to punish them!

Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali waited for Lui to stop his evil giggle before continuing.

AH TAN: So what's your great idea of punishment?
LUI: These art people need money to do their little plays right?
AH TAN: And then?
LUI: So I'll cut their funding! I'll cut their annual grant! Let's see how are they going to perform without money! Hahaha...

Quietly, Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali watched Lui laughed.

AH LIM (whispering to Ah Tan): I think he's the perfect role as the evil queen of Snow White...



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Just another Cinderella story

Long long time ago, just when Cinderella was taking a nap in the kitchen, she thought she heard her stepsisters' foot steps. Immediately she picked up the broom and pretended to sweep.

STEPSISTER #1: Hey Cinderella, we're going to the palace ball tonight, so good for you, you don't have to cook dinner!
CINDERELLA: What? Since when is the palace opened to the public?
STEPSISTER #2 (shoved a pamphet onto Cinderella face and chuckled): Yo, baby sister, haven't you heard? The king feels that the palace is too big and there is not enough people in it, so he has decided to open up the gates for everyone and anyone!
CINDERELLA: Whether rich or poor?
STEPSISTER #2: Whether with a degree or illiterate, whether you come from an honorable family or a criminal one!
CINDERELLA (eyes beaming): Cool!
STEPSISTER #1: Hey Cinderella, you're not thinking of going right?
CINDERELLA (gasped): Why not? You girls are going right?
STEPSISTER #1: Yah, we're going of course. But you can't go! Look at the kind of rubbish you're wearing! The people in the palace only respect people that dress well, regardless of how they themselves wear shorts and slippers at time!
STEPSISTER #2: Unless you're an Ang Mor. Then you can wear just about anything and the royal family will still welcome you with arms wide opened.
STEPSISTER #1: But too bad you're not! Ha!

With that insult, the stepsisters walked out of the kitchen laughing. Cinderella looked down at the old and dirty dress that she was wearing and sighed. Just at that moment, a strong light embraced the whole kitchen and with a "thud", one old lady appeared in front of her.

CINDERELLA (shocked): Oui aunty, where are you from? This is private property!
FAIRY GODMOTHER (grinning): Relac lah! I'm here to help you. I heard you want to go to the palace ball?
CINDERELLA (eyes wide opened): Of course! You can help me? Really?
FAIRY GODMOTHER (chuckled): Of course dear! I can get you into the palace on any pass you want! Social pass, student pass, work permit, you name it and you'll get it! At the right price of course!
CINDERELLA (lifts left eye brow): At the right price?
FAIRY GODMOTHER: Hey girl, I've got to earn a living too yah? It's just a little commission, but for the way into a better life!
CINDERELLA: Oh well... okay, whatever... but I don't have a degree and I don't even have any skill!
FAIRY GODMOTHER (chuckled): Don't worry dear, the guards don't check for these stuff these days, all are free to enter! I just needa give you a nice piece of dress and we can get going!

And so the fairy godmother dressed Cinderella up and shoved her to the palace. Indeed, the guards did not ask even one question and let her in. The palace was not as huge as Cinderella had imagined and the whole ballroom was crowded with people, some were from the palace itself, but even more were outsiders like her.

Cinderella walked around and saw Stepsister #1 leaning against a pillar. She was tagging any man that walked by and shouting "Cheap! Cheap! We don't have to go Geylang! Joo Chiat, Lavender, Kovan also can!"

Cinderella then caught Stepsister #2 at another corner. She was providing massage service to some rich dukes and Cinderella thought she heard her stepsister whispered "I also offer special service" to one of them.

Cinderella was so engrossed looking around the palace that she tripped on one of the outsider's dress and fell. When she tried to get back on her feet, she realised that she had twisted her ankle. It was then it happened. While Cinderella was sitting there with her twisted ankle, a duke walked past and threw a coin onto the ground in front of her. Then another lady did the same. Cinderella was stunned but thrilled.

CINDERELLA (to herself): So it is true that you can earn easy money in the palace!

And so Cinderella continued to sit on the ground to collect money thrown to her. To attract more people, she even tried to sing some oldies. Then he appeared.

PRINCE CHARMING (bending down to hold Cinderella's hand): Babe, you're beautiful! A pity that you're handicapped.
CINDERELLA: No, no! Actually I'm not!
PRINCE CHARMING (eyes blinking): Huh? You're not?
CINDERELLA (struggling to stand up): No, no! See! I can stand!
PRINCE CHARMING: Ohh... oh well, then it's good! Do you want to dance?
CINDERELLA (nodding eagerly): Yes, yes! Of course!
PRINCE CHARMING: Can you bear me some children?
CINDERELLA (still nodding eagerly): Yes, yes! Of course!
PRINCE CHARMING: Can you bear me a dozen of kids and stay at home to look after them?
CINDERELLA (still nodding eagerly): Yes, yes! Of course!
PRINCE CHARMING: Great! Let's get married then!

And so Prince Charming married Cinderella and both of them lived happily ever after, okay, at least while he had the money

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Did Singapore just imported more hookers?

All these in a day's news...

32 massage parlours busted

A SERIES of police raids in March netted 32 unlicensed massage parlours in Bedok, Tampines and Marine Parade - and ended with 25 operators being summoned to court.

During March 15 to 29, officers also arrested 60 female Chinese nationals for various offences, including working illegally in the massage parlours. Some of the women were said to be involved in vice activities and offered sexual services for a fee.

The cat-and-mouse game of vice crackdowns

SINGAPORE - A more intense spotlight has fallen on vice activities here in recent months.

There have been no less than 10 raids on different days reported in Today and The Straits Times, in operations carried out between January and April by law enforcement agencies. These include landmark anti-vice operations online.

In contrast, there was just one raid reported on during the same period last year.

Even as the crackdowns have taken on a higher profile this year, the number of foreign women nabbed for vice has been climbing since 2006, when 4,310 were arrested. In 2008, the figure was 5,047 and last year, it was 7,614.

Following the clean-up of Joo Chiat, the women have sprung up in other areas such as Lavender and, closer to the heartlands, Kovan.

In the past, wives only had to make sure that their husbands stay away from certain areas in Geylang, Joo Chiat, Orchard and sometimes Changi. These days, a wife has to think again when her husband said he has some business to attend to in heartlands like Bedok, Tampines, Marine Parade, Lavender, Kovan, Woodlands and Bukit Batok.

How did we manage to attract so many of such foreign talents into our land? Are we giving out social passes/work permits/student passes too eagerly? Are these the new immigrants that our government has wanted us to integrate with (well, I'm sure the men did a great job integrating well with them)?

In business, where there is demand, there is supply. With so many of them showing up around here, demand is definitely at all time high like the HDB prices. Besides local customers, we could definitely expect patrons from the foreign workers quarters as well. Oh yes, so we are back to the same old question again. Did we imported too many lonely foreign workers?

And by the way, when is the police going to check out those hanging around the tables in the two IRs? Don't forget that they have free admission so nothing is stopping them from going there everyday, unlike the locals who are deterred by the one hundred dollars.