Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hippocratic Oath of doctors or Hypocrite's Oath of politicians?

PM LEE defends Singapore's position in allowing the Myanmar junta leader General Tan Shwe to seek medical treatment by invoking doctors' Hippocratic Oath.

From Reuters:

Lee said denying Burmese leaders medical treatment in Singapore would go "against human

"I mean, somebody is sick, he wants to come to Singapore, he needs treatment and you're
telling me that I shouldn't treat him because he's not a good man? It goes against the
Hippocratic Oath of doctors," he said.

Myanmar junta leader Tan Shwe, 74, stayed in a Singapore hospital in January amid
tight security for an undisclosed ailment. Myanmar Prime Minister Soe Win, 55, was in
Singapore at least twice this year to treat an illness reported to be leukaemia.

Whilst it sounds fine and dandy in a CNN interview, what is left out is more interesting. Giving medical treatment to a sick dictator sounds like a compassionate thing to do, but surely that does not include visas for their families to stay in our nice Orchard road hotels and shop in our shoppers' paradise as well.

According to Eric Ellis, Singapore's businesses especially government linked ones are the major suppliers to the military regime Myanmar. A widely held notion (but not officially disclosed matter) is that Singapore Technoloies and other Temasek companies have invested heavily in that military state.


Singapore, a friend indeed to Burma

But by providing Burma's pariah junta with crucial material and equipment mostly denied
by Western sanctions Singapore has helped keep the military government and its cronies
afloat for 20 years, indeed since the last time the generals killed the citizens they are
supposed to protect with industrial efficiency and brutality, as now.

Without the support from Singapore, Burma's junta would be greatly weakened
and perhaps even fail. But after two decades of profitable business with the generals and
their cronies, that is about the last thing Singapore Inc is likely to do. There's too much
money to be made.

From hotels, airlines, military equipment and training, crowd control equipment and
sophisticated telecommunications monitoring devices, Singapore is a crucial manager
and supplier to the junta, and Burma's economy.

Given our heavy investment in Myanmar. Singapore is of course against imposing sanctions on Myanmar (See Why would Singapore hold back in taking a moralistic stand against an aggresive regime that murders protesting monks? Maybe it is because Singapore is Myanmar's largest investor. And the largest investor in that country happens to be its government related group of companies.

Singapore Technologies also appear to be supplying lots of modern weaponry to Myanmar. I would not be too surprised if these are used on suppresing the monks and other protestors. I have this nauseous feeling when I stop to ponder the question of whether our Singapore-made Singapore Technologies' bullets are lodged into many bodies of monks in Myanmar.

Of course the truth behind the curtain that shields the Myanmar regime and the Singapore government has not been lifted. Perhaps it never will.

If the UN does in fact impose sanctions, i would like to know whether the Singapore government is willing to disclose how much Singapore funds would be 'trapped' inside Myanmar. And how much impairment charge major Singapore companies would have to disclose as attributable to this fiasco. But given the sensitive nature of this information, I would presume it would be unlikely that we will ever know.

Meanwhile on October 4th news report, our Minister Mentor (the one who mentored 2 capable leaders but still feels the responsibility to sit in Parliament years after stepping down) spoke of the need for Singapore to distinguish itself by setting even higher standards of governance. See

It is interesting to see whether the open and transparent Singapore government will share with the world at large how much Singapore's stake in Myanmar is right now and what was exported to Myanmar from Singapore.

For a leader whose impeccable governance record includes having produced sons and daughter in law who dedicated themselves to the serving the nation, we owe an eternal gratitude. These wonderful leaders have shown the world what it meant to have real governance when there is great clarity and transparency.

There are no governance issues even though the country's Prime Minister and Minister of Finance is Hsien Loong, whose wife was appointed by a person who reports to Hsieng Loong to run the largest company in Singapore. And in turn she appointed her brother-in-law to run the largest telecommunication company in Singapore (a subsidiary company).

Our leaders have shown us that governance is more about substance than form. Even though the form may attract the pesky attraction of foreign critics, true blooded Singaporeans will see the beauty of getting the best person for the jobs.

Singapore governance, Singapore style. As Borat would say, "I like!".

Other interesting links


Anonymous said...

Is LHL going to extend medical treatment to Osama Bin Ladin if he asked for it?

James Chia said...

I almost forgot that his family members were given visas to shop here! LHL might then say only the dictator is bad. His family members are innocent! Osama should also be allowed if he asked for it. How can we go against the hypocrite's oath?

Anonymous said...

It's inhumane if we don't let him in for treatment? Is it humane then to open fire on unarmed protestor? Peaceful monks walking down the streets? Not even to speak of other atrocities !!!

Urban Rant said...

I like the Osama Bin Laden analogy.

It seems that our caring government would also similarly open our gates to Osama and Hitler if they happen to be sick and need treatment.

Anonymous said...

With our special relations with Burma, you mean that the family members of their leaders still need visas. They are likely to usher to "special tourists" ICA counters or rooms for clearance. You cannot be too sure if someone is videotaping their arrivals. Not only Singapore has ISD, you know.

Anonymous said...

Damn it!

They allow their rich cruel killer kakis to have medical treatment here but refuse to let old Made in Singapore Singaporeans use their own CPF Medisave to pay for their medical treatment because the sickness is not chronic enough.


Read this poor guy's story.


"Before I Die"

"To a question by opposition MP Low Thia Khiang (Hougang) on whether the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) uses funds from the CPF funds to invest, Dr Ng said: "The answer is no."

"Later he rose to add: "The relationship is not so simple".

Oops, reminds one of engaging the gear before stepping on the clutch!

I watched a video of parliament and I saw hen denigrating a nation by mocking his own and other MP's, violating and belittling the intelligence of Singaporeans, insulting uncles like me for being too dumb to handle our finances, saying, "having a fling here, having a fling there". "Trysts"? I could not believe my ears and eyes! I cannot believe that an overpaid manpower servant that we pay with our taxes thinks so lowly of his fellow citizens! A case of “kurang ajar” or, in the hokien dialect which is pretty popular in parliament now, “kiam kah” or “boh kah xi!

If I remember well, when I started work as a teenager in 1968, I was told by my boss that 25% of my pay will go to CPF. He will contribute 25%. My boss said, “That’s law, don’t worry. Government guarantees you’ll get it all back when you retire at 55”.

On reaching my retirement goal/age of 55, I was shocked that they have moved the goalposts many times since I started work in 1968. My money wasn’t my money anymore. Yes, there's Special, Medisave & Retirement Account - SMRA - But, "You can't touch these!" Courtesy of MC Hammer?

To be fair, I received my yearly CPF statements of the changes, but who reads? I did not.

8 years ago I had a heart attack and ventricular fibrillation. I was jobless for 7 years. Lately, I was suspected of having other health challenges and in the past months, I had my share of visiting polyclinics and hospital.

Poor rich! I'm rich enough to have more than $28,000 sitting in my Medisave Account BUT I cannot use it for tests, treatments and medicines in hospitals and polyclinics. Yes, my bills from Changi General Hospital and Polyclinics had to be paid in cash from my pocket.

Oh, they tell me I can only use it for chronic illnesses only and/or if I spend more by visiting the hospital again for an artery ballooning/stent or a by-pass procedure. Or maybe another heart attack and ventricular fibrillation triggered by the agony and heartache of “My Money Sits in CPF but Cannot Use For Staying Alive!” ; “They Use my $$$, Make A Profit, Don’t Pay Back, Then Say I Stupid” & “Not Enough, Want Some More, Force Annuity On My Children!” or "Their Shameless Audacity Is Too Overbearing For Me".

Since nobody wants to employ a sick geezer with a heart condition and other challenges, I am fortunate that a kind soul, having faith, love and trust in me, offered me a sum of money to start a little business last year. I registered a sole proprietorship in ACRA to start the little biz. Another heartache - I was informed that I could not register because I owed CPF Medisave which I did not pay when I was self-employed previously. Unless I pay up, I could not register my little business.

Imagine, I was broke and I still had to top up my Medisave (already loaded with >$28,000) if I wanted a license to make myself productive again. Simple: No Top Up, No License. This is what I know as Uniquely Singapore First World Standard of Whatever!

Another irony: After 7 years of joblessness (due to my health challenges) without paying tax, I made good enough to pay tax again for year ending 2006. I've done my part as a citizen, I even did NS in the army from 1969 to 1971. Yes, and my fair share of reservist training for many years too!

"Fend for myself"? I have. I even pledge myself as part of “a united people regardless of race language or religion to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity & progress for our nation”. As a simple heartlander, I’ve done my tiny part. No worries, I may just jump in front of moving MRT before I bother my busy hardworking government with any problem. Maybe they need their precious time to fix the opposition and plan to buy more votes (or lose less votes?)

Question: What has the Government done for me? Zilch. . . and please don’t do anything. Whenever you do something for the good for the people, you cause me more pain than gain! Eg: PUB increase, 7% GST, Bus fares increase, you-name-it-it-increase, etc. Just don’t hurt my family further by forcing my children to pay for annuity which is another scam to leech from innocent citizens!

On second thought, you may want to upgrade my HDB flat with a “Go-And-Die-Chute” so that sick and old people like me who have outlived our usefulness to the regime can self-destruct by jumping into it. Health Mintster may like this idea as he wants me to die at home so that I will not be a bother or a burden to his money making hospitals. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the polyclinic’s webcam!

Based on the video, Mintsters just give us plenty of sarcasm and zero empathy. Just hen talking cock! Another wayang, another day’s work to justify obscene million dollar pay! The more they "strengthen the CPF", the worse our lives become. To "CPF - Pow chiak, pow ho", I wouldn’t say, “Mee Siam Mai Hum” but I'd say, "Chui kong, lampar song”.

Please, denigrate us no more and stop treating Singaporeans like idiots! Yes, delay no more! Let us live with dignity. Just because we are peace loving citizens does not mean that you can walk all over us. Trying your luck too far may just change a push to a shove. Yes, even peaceful monks can turn into citizen activists. They are at it in Myanmar!

Do what’s honourable - Simply explain the difference in returns of GIC, Temasek and my hard earned CPF. Come clean with transparency! I may not understand but Mr Ong Kian Min and Mr Siew Kum Hong may help me out.

My problems may have been less if the returns in my CPF had been on par or better than Malaysia’s EPF. Maybe part of the interest that could have been mine has ended up in the purchase of Manchester City Football Club. Am I a co-owner now?


Feed me to the Fish

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