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Archive for June 23rd, 2007

Yes! You can have welfare in Singapore!

Posted by intellisg on June 23, 2007

Mohd Arif, 32, works as a technician and takes home $2200. He hardly saves and needs to support his three children at home. His wife, a production operator helps out but brings home only $900 a month. Below the median family income of about $5400, life is harsh. Things could easily get more depressing if you find out that after July 2007, your consumption will be taxed 2% higher.

The year 2007 will be remembered by the blogosphere as the one in which Singapore ministers declared a 32.5% salary increase for themselves from about $1.2 million to about $1.6 million. It is also a year where the good and services tax will be raised from 5% to 7%.  Clearly, declaring a tax increase and granting senior government servants a large pay increase in the same year has ruffled the feathers of many citizens, the most vocal being the bloggers in the Internet. The political capital expended in these initiatives is clearly a heavy one and only time will tell if this decision will impact the people’s support for the government in the years to come. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Chris Ng | 23 Comments »

HAL, You’ve Been Invited for Tea! – A Singaporean Odyssey

Posted by intellisg on June 23, 2007

hal.jpg“I have no hesitation in thinking that a machine can be just as intelligent and just as real as a person, in principle.”

– Professor Rodney Brooks, Director, MIT (AI)

Since the advent of the computer age, automated systems have featured increasingly in every facet of work, life and play. Millions of commercial airliners take off and land safely every year managed wholly by fail proof navigation computers. Traffic lights change colors faultlessly managed by computers to ensure optimum traffic flow. Products and services are manufactured, warehoused, shipped and tracked by computers with hardly a glitch. Computers are also friendly always adopting that smooth and confident voice even when we take the wrong turn while navigating with our GPS. They don’t bitch, complain or gripe – they just hum along – excepting for what we are, warts and all.

hal2.jpgIt’s enough for me to ask the question: Do we really need human politicians to run Singapore these days? Why don’t we just replace them with high intelligent computers like HAL? You know who HAL is – don’t you? We even have one unit here, in the Intelligent Singaporean and he manages all our communications and even takes care of security along with a thousand other task – HAL’s, the quintessential fail proof, butler, chess savant, wizard extraordinaire all rolled up into a clean, efficient and uncomplaining peak performer – summarized in his own words in the 60’s sci-fi flick by Kubrick in 2001, Space Odyssey “By every practical definition, we are incapable of error!” Just to prove my point, allow me to demonstrate, why I think, it would be a good idea for PAP to consider recruiting HAL as their next parliamentarian:

Still think humans are up to the job? What do you say?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Politics, Science, Sociology | 2 Comments »