PAP Internet Brigade (IB)

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I wrote this post as:

1) Some people are still unaware of the “PAP IB” ;
2) A FB friend recently commented that the “PAP IB is now out in full force” re: the upcoming elections; and
3) Another friend recently got into an online argument on FB with a stranger on conservative vs. liberal politics, which got very bad until said friend deleted the entire thread.

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From a 2007 article in The Straits Times:

The People’s Action Party (PAP) is mounting a quiet counter-insurgency against its online critics.

It has members going into Internet forums and blogs to rebut anti-establishment views and putting up postings anonymously.

According to The Online Citizen:

The 50 Cent Party are the Internet commentators employed by the government of the People’s Republic of China or the Communist Party.

Their key function was to post comments on various Internet message boards, expressing a favourable opinion towards party policies, in an attempt to shape and sway public opinion.

[In Singapore], the counter-insurgency group is popularly known as the “Internet Brigade” or “IB” for short.

The man behind the PAP Internet Brigade is self-styled “moderate” Singaporean Jason Chua Chin Seng.

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Jason Chua.

Some other excerpts from TOC’s excellent 3-part series on PAP Internet Brigade:

You will notice a group of individuals throwing attacks at the opposition party within minutes of the posting and with clear signs of an organised angle of attack. These are also people commonly found frequenting anti-opposition/pro-PAP fanpages such as Fabrications About The PAP (FAP) and Fabrications Led By Opposition Parties (FLOP).

This is clearly not the behaviour of common citizens who are expressing their opinions, but a deliberate attempt to mud-sling the political opposition and sway the opinion of the common folks online. By flooding a forum with comments as soon as possible, IBs aim to command the conversation through sheer number of posts.

To be fair, no one is stopping supporters of the PAP from expressing their views in public forums. Decisive and deliberate astro-turfing by IBs, on the other hand, prevents the public and policy makers alike from understanding ground sentiments. The PAP is actually not doing the government any favours by allowing this to happen.

More importantly, members of the public need to be aware of the presence of such entities so that they would not be misled on issues and matters in Singapore. Being aware of the Internet Brigade would allow us to take a step back from their vitriol and focus on the social discussions that can help shape Singapore the way it should be.

You can read all three articles in the series here:

While the PAP Internet Brigade responds quickly to opportunities to denigrate the opposition, PM Lee Hsien Loong has been known to block less-than-glowing comments from being posted on his Facebook page (which, incidentally, brings to mind PM Lee talking at length about “Batman, Superman, Tarzan, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” during an #AskPMLee QnA, instead of providing “solid answers” to hard questions).

PM Lee once said that he stays positive online by being “flame-proof.” Perhaps it is this same quality which allows him to ignore the severity of the Singapore government’s long history of authoritarian rule.

If the PM can block or ignore less-than-savoury comments, there’s no reason why the rest of us shouldn’t feel free to block and/or ignore aggressive cyber-bullying types of online comments, whether they’re written by PAP IB’s or members of the public who have a different view.

I only came to know of the PAP IB’s existence earlier this year. I’ve rarely gotten into online arguments which centre around politics, because I prefer to allocate my time and energy to more sane, relaxing, and constructive matters (like research, reading, or socio-political blogging…).

Occasionally I do respond to a seemingly aggressive or hostile comment left on a Facebook post. I usually keep my responses short, around 1-2 sentences at maximum. Sometimes I add a link to an article that objectively backs up whatever it is I’d like to express, so that other people who happen to read the comment later can click on the link for more info if they so desire.

When it comes to reasoning and clarity of thought, perhaps Tan Wah Piow said it best:

Read carefully, and think slowly.

I am also reminded of this Tarot card, which is an interesting symbol to think about when you’re considering whether it’s worth it to engage in a debate/argument.

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Temperance.

Joan Bunning explains the meaning of this card as follows:

Being temperate:

  • Showing moderation
  • Mitigating a harsh position
  • Reaching a compromise

Maintaining balance:

  • Achieving equilibrium
  • Recognizing all sides
  • Feeling centered and secure

Experiencing health:

  • Renewing energy and vigor
  • Enjoying well-being
  • Recovering

Combining forces:

  • Joining with others
  • Creating synthesis
  • Getting it all together
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The Over-Hyped National Day Rally

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* Blog post by former ISD director Mr. Yoong Siew Wah, who blogs at SG Recalcitrant. Originally posted on TR Emeritus.

There was a publicity overdrive on PM Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally as it was obvious he was anxious that his Sermon on the Mount would reach as wide an audience as possible. As it turned out it was nothing more than a captive audience comprising mainly PAP minister, MPs, grassroots leaders, PAP supporters and a sprinkling of students, who listened in awesome attention to his so called exquisite oratory.

The Workers’ Party MPs very wisely gave the Rally a miss as it would have put them in an untenable position having to endorse the electioneering effort and excessive extolment of the late Lee Kuan Yew which they anticipated would be a feature of the Rally speech. They instead organised a dinner for their supporters to celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. Other opposition parties had also organised separate social events on that day.

The attendees at the Rally were a captive audience and PM Lee was at his best in mesmerizing his audience with his absorbing narrative on what social and political problems Singapore was facing and the Government’s efforts in overcoming them. He was seen to be in his element when he delivered his speech with such finesse that he had the audience applauding from time to time whenever he made a significant point.

It would have been a consummation of his oratory if he had refrained from extolling ad nauseam the so-called virtues of his late father Lee Kuan Yew and turning the Rally into an electioneering stunt calling for the election of the PAP team in the general election.

Of course the attendees by their very nature would be the PAP’s loyal electors. But how widely this will percolate down to the electorate will be a million-dollar question.

The PAP has the distinct advantage in its early announcement of its candidates for the general election and the fawning write-ups by a subservient press. The opposition has not disclosed its complete line-ups but the Workers’ Party will be defending its incumbent constituencies. So everything seems to be ready except the announcement of an election date by PM Lee which is thought to be likely in early September (update: September 11). The biggest PAP casualty so far seems to be the Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew who is portrayed as resigning to take the rap (引 咎辞聀)for the SMRT breakdowns. Ministers Lim Swee Say and Vivian Balakhrishnan who were given commendable mention by PM Lee in his Rally speech may have their work cut out in defending their seats because of their poor esteem with the electors.

PM Lee has said in his Rally speech that the coming general election is a critical one and that the PAP is going all out to win the election. He thinks the ground is favourable to the PAP for the general election to be called. This hustings may turn out to be a watershed election.

— Yoong Siew Wah / Singapore Recalcitrant

* Mr. Yoong Siew Wah was the director of Singapore’s Internal Security Department from 1971 to 1974. Before that, he was the director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). Mr Yoong is now retired and blogs at singaporerecalcitrant.blogspot.com.

* Stay educated with some excerpts by Mr. Yoong (Part 1 and Part 2).

Tony Tan – Related to Lee Hsien Loong?

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* Chart and verification below. If readers know of any inaccuracies, please contact me to verify the data. Thank you :)

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Short Version: Tony Tan is related to Lee Hsien Loong.

Longer Version:

1. Tony Tan’s father is Tan Seng Hwee.

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Tony Tan, Family | Source: NLB

2. According to Geni, Tan Seng Hwee’s half-brother is Tan Chin Tuan.

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In this newspaper article, Tan Chin Tuan is referred to as the “adopted son” of Tan Seng Hwee’s mother. A reader says “half-sibling” is correct since Tan Chin Tuan and Tan Seng Hwee had the same father (different mother). | Source: NLB (25 Nov 1934)

3. Tan Chin Tuan (Tony Tan’s uncle) was married to Helen Wee, who is the sister of Wee Yew Neo. (Sources: Geni, NLB, Veritas and Rojak Librarian).

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Tan Chin Tuan (Mrs. LKY’s uncle-in-law) and Kwa Siew Tee (Mrs. LKY’s father) = sons-in-law of Wee Theam Seng. Source: Veritas and NLB (4 Feb 1946)

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Wife of Tan Chin Tuan = “Helen.” Source: NLB (10 June 1954)

4. Kwa Siew Tee married Wee Yew Neo in 1910. They are the parents of Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs. LKY).

5. Tony Tan’s mother is Jessie Lim Neo Swee (refer to screenshot on Point #1).

6. Jessie Lim is the sister of Lim Geok Neo, who is the wife of Seet Cheng Kang.

Lim Geok Neo is the only portion in the family tree where I could not verify the information from more than one reliable source. However, the Geni profile for Lim Geok Neo was added by a family member (private profile), and is currently being managed by a fellow family member (Jimmy Seet).

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Lim Geok Neo was the wife of Seet Cheng Kang. Profile was added by a Seet, and is currently managed by Jimmy Seet (son of Seet Cheng Kang). Source: Geni.

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Jimmy Seet, son of Seet Cheng Kang. Source: Geni

7. Seet Cheng Kang’s second wife was Chua Swee Neo, who is the sister of Chua Jim Neo, who is the mother of Lee Kuan Yew.

8. This means that Tony Tan is related to Lee Hsien Loong through the family members of both Mr. and Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew.

Lee Kuan Yew on CPF

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1. LEE KUAN YEW on CPF:

“This is your wealth, the savings of people in individual accounts are not government reserves.”

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Screenshot: LKY’s Speech | Page 13

Source: Speech by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, at The Fullerton Square Rally on 19 December 1984 (NAS)

2. BOARD OF DIRECTORS on GIC:

GIC is a sovereign wealth fund (i.e. government-owned investment fund) established by the Government of Singapore in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. GIC and Temasek Holdings are the soverign wealth funds owned by the Government of Singapore.

GIC’s Corporate Gorvernance page states that “the government holds the GIC board accountable for portfolio performance, but does not interfere in the company’s investment decisions.”

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Screenshot: GIC Corporate Governance (1 Aug 2015)

The page goes on to list the GIC’s Board of Directors.

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Some of GIC’s Board of Directors | Source: GIC

How is the government supposed to “not interfere in GIC’s investment decisions” when government members such as the Prime Minister and several Ministers are on the GIC’s Board of DIrectors?

Is the Prime Minister not supposed to discuss GIC and Temasek Holdings with his wife, Ms. Ho Ching, who has been the CEO of Temasek Holdings since 2004 and is the world’s 59th most powerful female according to Forbes?

As Roy Ngerng says in a recent blog post:

“Can the GIC claim not to have any regard to the sources of funds it receives if the government also sits on the GIC’s board of directors?

Can the GIC claim not to know if it is using Singaporeans’ CPF to invest?”

(Source: Roy Ngerng / The Mysterious Circumstances of How GIC was Formed)

3. OTHER PERSPECTIVES:

A modest selection of commentaries on CPF.

a) Leong Sze Hian

I thought it may be in the public interest, to try to summarise some of the questions on CPF that Roy Ngerng and others have been asking.

  • Is there any other country in the world that keeps so much of the returns from the national pension fund – from the people?
  • Is it true that since 1999, the CPF had the lowest real rate of return amongst all national pension schemes in the world?
  • . . .Does it mean that we may have lost [about] 84 per cent of our total CPF funds of $151.3 billion in 2008 (CPF Trends, October 2013) in just one year?

(Source: Leong Sze Hian – What are Roy’s Questions about the CPF?)

b) Roy Ngerng / CPF Blogger

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Roy Painting | Source: SG Daily / FB

i) “DEMAND FOR TRANSPARENCY: What are the losses that GIC and Temasek Holdings have made since their inception? What have they done to manage the losses? How much “capital” has the government injected into the GIC and Temasek Holdings since their inception? Where does this additional “capital” come from?”
(Source: Roy Ngerng / 30 June 2014)

ii) As most Singaporeans would know by now, our CPF is being taken by the PAP to be invested in the Temasek Holdings and GIC. In 2008, Temasek Holdings lost $58 billion, which is equal to 40% of the value of our CPF (Chart 76). When this money is lost, who has to pay off the loss and the debt? It’s not them.

Short Version: When The PAP Started Turning Against Singaporeans

Video Version: When The PAP (Video)

iii) “This is the top viewed article on my blog and has been viewed more than 550,000 times. Many Singaporeans are angry because: the government said that since we borrowed our own pension funds to buy housing and they cannot pay us the interest on the money withdrawn, when we sell our homes, we will have to pay back this interest into the pension funds. This is possibly the article which started the government watching me.”

Article: Truth Exposed: The Dirty CPF-HDB Scheme To Trick Singaporeans

Video Version: Truth Exposed (Video)

iv) “This is my second attempt after I got sued, to trace how the government has been taking our pension funds to earn and use since the 1980s.”

Article: What PAP Has Done to Your CPF (The Real History)

v) “The Rothschild family used to control large swaths of the banking industry in Europe and effectively controlled their governments. In 1982, the PAP started working with them.”

Article: How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s

c) Phillip Ang

i) PM Lee’s famous words which I think Singaporeans will now find them hard to believe: “Never forget that we are servants of the people. Always maintain a sense of humility and service.
(Phillip Ang, 1 July 2015)

ii) “The total balance of our CPF is not $282 million but $282 BILLION. GIC should not be allowed to continue managing our CPF without providing a proper set of accounts as it would be logical to suspect something’s not right.”
(Phillip Ang, 30 June 2015)

iii) “There wasn’t a whisper heard in Parliament on the CPF issue until Roy came along. And what’s more outrageous – PM Lee did nothing because he had probably assumed zero transparency and zero accountability did not matter, as during his father’s time.”
(Phillip Ang, 4 July 2015)

d) Christopher Balding

i) “The claimed 17% earned by Temasek in SGD belongs to the people of Singapore who provided the public surpluses and capital investment to build companies.”
(Christopher Balding, The Real CPF Scam)

ii) “I have said many times that if I am wrong, it is easy to prove me wrong with very simple and data that should have no reason to be secret. They could easily prove me wrong if the truth was on their side. It isn’t. I know it and they know it.”
(Christopher Balding, In Singapore: Truth is No Defense)

e) Kenneth Jeyaretnam

“GIC has confirmed what I wrote that in fact GIC’s funding comes from CPF. They say so here: GIC, along with MAS, manages the proceeds from the Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) that are issued and guaranteed by the government which CPF board has invested in with the CPF monies.
(Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Exposing the Problems with CPF / March 2015)

f) Chee Soon Juan

“PM LHL’s proposal to return retirees 20 percent of their savings upon retirement does nothing to resolve the problem of inadequate CPF funds. This move is symptomatic of Mr Lee’s leadership – trying to appease the public while sticking to unjustified, and unjustifiable, policies.
(Chee Soon Juan / SDP / February 2015)

g) Martyn See

“There are over 450 comments to this open letter titled DEAR CPF: GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY!, virtually all of which support the writer’s plea. Many also describe their personal stories of financial struggle. There is no better way to understand the lives of the working class Singaporean than to start here.”

Excerpts: Compiled by Martyn See (FB)

Teo Chee Hean – Related to Lee Hsien Loong?

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* Thanks to Veritas for making the original identification.

I have included a family tree chart and verification below.

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Short Version: Teo Chee Hean is related to Lee Hsien Loong.

Long Version:

1) Kwa Geok Choo is the mother of Lee Hsien Loong.

2) Kwa Soon Chuan is the brother of Kwa Geok Choo.

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Image from NLB.

3) Kwa Soon Chuan is the husband of Ivy Lim Seok Cheng.

4) Ivy Lim Seok Cheng is the daughter of Lim Chong Pang, a prominent businessman.

5) Lim Chong Pang is the son of Lim Nee Soon, one of the pioneers of rubber planting.

6) Lim Nee Soon is the son of Lim Peng Guan, who married Teo Lee’s eldest daughter (Teo Choon Lian). He died in 1887 and left his son Nee Soon in the care of his maternal grandfather, Teo Lee (1833).

7) Teo Lee was the husband of Tan Poh Neo, the granddaughter of the Kapitan Cina from Muntok. Teo Lee is the great-great-grandfather of Teo Chee Hean.

  • Teo Bah Tan = 5th son of Teo Lee.
  • Teo Eng Hock = Uncle of Teo Beng Wan (great-granduncle of Teo Chee Hean).
  • Teo Eng Hock = Brother of Teo Choon Lian and Teo Bah Tan (Father of Teo Beng Wan). 
  • Teo Beng Wan = Father of Teo Cheng Guan
  • Teo Cheng Guan = Father of Teo Chee Hean

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Some closing words by Veritas:

It has been wildly speculated [that] family members of top civil servants and elected officers from PAP either own big businesses or hold important appointments. Although information regarding families of our politicians are held almost like a top secret, some interesting dots between them can still be connected thanks to the Internet.

World’s Highest Paid Minister

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Image Source: Martyn See (Facebook)

Added supporting links below.

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He hangs people. He flogs men.

He imprisons Muslims without trial.

He criminalises gays.

He imprisons a 16-year-old blogger.

He imprisoned an author.

He bankrupted politicians.

He shuts down websites.

He pulps children’s books.

He withholds public funds from opposition wards.

He sues bloggers and journalists, and demands from them the highest costs.

He pays himself the world’s highest salary for a politician.

A very reputable man indeed.

Source: Martyn See (Facebook)

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MARTYN SEE is a Singaporean political blogger and filmmaker with two banned films, two police investigations and a conscience that just won’t let him rest.

Martyn See Online: Blog | Excerpts | Facebook | Photo Album | Interview | YouTube