Friday, 22 September 2023

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NEA vs NATO? Which is worse?

By Leong Sze Hian

NEA: Never Ever Action? 


A reader posted a comment – NEA is Never Ever Action (this one is new after Never Ever Accurate and  Never Ever Admit)

NEA better than NATO? 

The first thought that came to my mind when I read this was – NEA may be better than NATO – because “no action” may be bad enough, but if also have “talk only” (No Action Talk Only) – may be even worse as “talk only” also needs a lot of time, effort and money, which could be put to better use.

NATO indicators?

So, I began to think about how do I try to find evidence of NATO?

Just read the news lah? 

Almost by chance (life works in strange ways), I had kept 4 newspaper articles’ (from the same newspaper) over the last week or so, with the intention to read them later as I have been rather busy.

As usual, as I was flying (not running from the haze, this trip planned long ago) – I found the time to read the 4 news articles and write this article.

NATO evidential indicators:

Help lower childcare fees?

19 June – “Childcare centres raise queries over tender rules”, Straits Times – since “The changes, which came into effect on Friday, will (only) apply to two sites ….  These sites are open for bidding until July 5” – this one not “no action”, but is kind of like “very little action” because if we truly want to help to lower childcare fees, we should be lowering all existing rentals instead of just new bids.

Help low-income increase pay? 

20 June – “101,000 Singapore millionaires in 2012”, Straits Times – This one more like “a lot of talk only” – because despite all the rhetoric in recent years to lower the income gap (Gini), help lower-income workers earn more, etc – the number of full-time low-wage workers actually increased from 110,000 to 114,000 last year. (Gong Zhin Juay, Zhou Bo Zhap!)

Housing more affordable?

20 June – “Housing ‘more affordable’ now if measured against income growth”, Straits Times – this one like “talk a lot for very long, but no results” – despite years of protestations that measures (think about 7 cooling measures so far already in recent years) to cool the  property market (especially HDB) has resulted in continuing skyrocketing prices (especially HDB which has just hit another record high).

More housing grants?

19 June  – “More low-income households buying flats with Govt grants”, Straits Times – this one like “talk one thing, do another thing” – Keep increasing HDB prices that increase faster than housing grants.  And what about Singaporeans who don’t qualify for housing grants, or get a very small grant – die lah – prices keep skyrocketing!

16% cap on foreign students?

17 June –  “Yale –NUS selects 157 from 11,400 applicants”, Straits Times – this one like “talk one thing, do another thing” – Since only 97 of the inaugural class of 157 students are Singaporeans, it means that 38% are foreign students.  What happened to the assurances given in Parliament that the foreign intake of foreign students in our public universities has been reduced from 20 to 16%?


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