It is just both sad and funny to read that PAP ministers were calling Mikhy Farrera Brochez a “pathological liar”. Let’s take a look at how much we can trust our PAP ministers.
1. PAP ministers made no qualms about showing “utmost love and respect” for Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), to the extent of building a 5-acre gigantic Founders’ Memorial Park, even though LKY had repeatedly stressed that he did not want to be worshipped like a cult leader. However, despite all the “utmost love and respect” for LKY, his dying will to demolish his own private house was blatantly ignored, with a secret government committee set up to ensure Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) and Lee Wei Ling (LWL) could not carry out his last wishes to demolish the house.
In the process, LWL pointed out Lee Hsien Loong (LHL) might have lied in his statutory declaration. There were never any follow-up explanations nor investigations made concerning this matter.
2. From 1980s to 2017, PAP ministers had asked the Singaporeans to embrace the Asset Enhancement Programme. They told Singaporeans that votes were traceable to flats and flats with high PAP vote shares would be prioritised in the upgrading programme with promises of increased asset values. PAP ministers assured that “HDB flats will never fall in value” and people were “daft” to reject such a lucrative house-ownership programme. After receiving more than 40 years of support at the voting booths and with no further old HDB flats to upgrade, they decided to pull the plug and informed Singaporeans that HDB flats will indeed become worthless at the end of their 99-year leases.
With the coming elections, LHL decided that the government would have a VERS programme to re-upgrade the flats at 60 years old and buy back these flats at 70 years old, with details to be revealed 10 years later. However, conservative estimates show that the government needs to pay up to $3 billion every year to buy-back the flats if each HDB flat is compensated with an average of $250,000, which is hardly enough to buy another HDB flat. It does not take an idiot to realise that this is not sustainable to spend $3 billion every year to buy-back old flats that would eventually be worthless.
In the meantime, a significant number of Singaporeans had already poured their entire life savings and CPFs into buying their dream HDB flats.......welcome to a whole new nightmare.
3. The government gave “generous packages” to the Pioneer Generation (before the 2015 election) and the Mendaki Generation (before the next election), only to slap the entire nation with higher water prices, electricity prices, transportation prices, car park fees, ERPs, airport taxes, conservatory fees, carbon taxes, sugar taxes … with promises that GST will increase from 7% to 9% after the coming election.
In the meantime, the pioneer generation discovered that they could only claim $4.50 for an eye operation that costs thousands of dollars and have to pay full sums for X-rays that cost almost a hundred dollars. At that same time, all CPF monies would remain locked up while the retirees could only claim a few hundred dollars every month.
4. PAP ministers were incensed and called WP MPs dishonourable for suggesting that the government were floating “testing balloons” to test reactions with regards to whether the general public was accepting of GST increases before the coming elections, without mentioning that surveys on GST increases were sent to NTUC union leaders.
5. LHL cuddled up to Clinton before the US elections and insulted China; who could forget the callous statements made about how one only need to open windows to smoke (referencing the air pollution in China) or turn on water taps to drink pork soup (referencing farmers who dumped pig carcasses into rivers) ? He even had the gall to demand that China obey the Hague Convention even when Philippines did not dare confront China. The result: China left Singapore entirely out of the one-belt-one-road initiative and decided to build a mega-port in Malaysia that would eventually threaten Singapore's maritime industry. Meanwhile, Clinton lost the election and when Trump took over as president, he pulled the US out of the TPP at the snap of a finger. These combined effects caused Singapore's economy to falter, thus many Singaporeans ended up losing their livelihoods, this happening even without them having to compete with foreigners for jobs. The 'genius' remedy proposed to turn things around? Singaporeans needed to upgrade their skills and the government therefore pushed out the SkillsFuture Scheme to train university graduates to become hawkers and private-hire drivers, only to be subsequently scammed of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.
6. The question of how much a minister was paid had been raised in the Parliament for a few times, but to date, no figures were given except that the payout scheme is publicly available. However, the payout scheme merely stated that the junior ministers’ pay start at $1.1 million, without giving any maximum payout.
Since the government refused to give exact figures, to the extent of not wanting to confirm that the junior ministers were paid $1.1 million, a plausible explanation is that the junior ministers were paid significantly higher than $1.1 million.
However, all these payouts paled in comparison to Ho Ching (HC), whose pay was likely pegged to Chip Goodyear’s $54 million pay in 2009. In light of such an assumption (which isn't unreasonable) she would have received more than $100 million in 2018, despite Temasek Holdings losing more than $1.5 billion on its Bayer’s investment alone. Hence, one can see why ministers’ pay and HC’s pay have to be “state secrets”.
7. PJ Thum was grilled for hours for suggesting that PAP falsely accused members of the opposition to be Communists during Operation Cold Store in 1963 and that LKY was the mastermind. All this information is as recorded in the British Archives. Granted that Singapore and British may have different perspectives, we could check our own archives to determine if our own records are genuinely different. However, the Singapore government simply refused to open these up for public scrutiny, so how can all the facts be properly established?
8. The government sued Leong Sze Hian for criminal defamation. But look at the following report from C4 Center, an independent organisation that seeks to uncover corruption in Malaysia.
It is clear that the focus of the report is on corruption in Malaysia, and on 1MDB in particular. The report is NOT about corruption in Singapore. However, in following the corruption trail in 1MBD, Singapore is mentioned more than any other countries. In particular, point 9 on page 29 reads as follow:
Singapore figured very highly as a place from which money laundering occurred. All the money misappropriated moved in at some stage to bank accounts in Singapore.
The only consoling point is that the report stopped short of accusing Singapore to be a criminal accomplice in 1MBD. Nevertheless, Singapore was portrayed as being totally useless in its control and oversight on the financial system, and is definitely not a state-of-the-art global financial centre that we have always attempted to portray ourselves.
The above report is publicly available to anybody who is interested in the 1MBD saga and is likely to have already been viewed by millions of people worldwide, especially when this is a classic case study on corruption, cronyism, nepotism and morally faulty business dealings. If the Singapore government was so anal about maintaining a squeaky clean reputation, why was there no public statement issued in the interim to strenuously refute the report?
I could go on and on, but this is enough for one day. Otherwise, my boyfriend is going to complain that I am just like a naggy old woman.
Maybe it is just myself, but I do not feel that the government has any more legitimacy or moral authority to command any trust.
When I read the news of the data leak, I could not help thinking that Brochez may be telling the truth and the entire episode was really a cover-up for the government’s incompetency. At the very minimum, a few clear points emerged.
1. Brochez was NOT the main data thief. The data thief may be Ler or Levine or perhaps even somebody else, but definitely not Brohez himself. This should be obvious, since he was never a medical doctor and he had no direct access to the medical records. So Brochez could not have stolen the data even if he had wanted to. (I am assuming that the medical records were sufficiently secured that an outsider would not be able to waltz away with them at the snap of a finger.)
2. Brochez had complained to the police about Levine as he claimed. Singapore reported that the police had investigated Levine and could not find anything at that time.
However, by the same reasoning, the police presumably would not have any data records in Brochez’s possession at the time when he was deported from Singapore or it would be total incompetence to deport Brochev with the data records.
While it was not obvious if Brochev complained out of jealousy or if Levine (or Ler) stole the data records, it was quite clear that:
(a) Brochev did indicate he had knowledge and access to the data records (hence the complaint) and
(b) the police probably did not take him seriously at that time.
One possibility is that Brochev probably retrieved the data records upon leaving Singapore, that is, if we correctly assumed that Brochev was responsible for leaking the data onto the internet. However, it is quite befuddling as to why Brochev would wait for a few years before leaking the data.
Another possibility, if we gave Brochev the benefit of the doubt, that he was merely a scapegoat to cover up our government’s incompetency. If we were to really ask ourselves, we do not know for sure if Brochev was indeed responsible for leaking the data onto the internet. To date, I have yet to come across any investigative report from the US police that conclusively demonstrated that Brochev had done so. If either Ler or Levine had stolen the data, the data could have in turn been intercepted by yet another party who was never identified or caught. Hence the time delay between Brochev’s deportment and data appearing on the internet. Since the government had no idea how the data was leaked, Brochev was merely used as a scapegoat so as to cover up the fact that we were not able to apprehend the real culprit(s).
To be fair, while Brochez is probably not a saint (he faked his blood test and lied about his educational qualifications), it is quite a stretch to outright accuse him of stealing the data (which he did not have direct access to) and leaking it onto the internet (where's the rock hard proof?), while calling him a pathological liar so as to discredit him.
To be clear, I am not saying in the affirmative that Brochev did or did not leak the data. However, I would like to see concrete evidence of his alleged wrongdoing. I don’t think it is right to plainly accept Brochev leaking data to be the Gospel Truth simply because our government said so. If we looked at what I have presented at the beginning of this article, it is not altogether obvious that the government is always telling the truth.
At the end of the day, these events may merely be distractions to divert attention away from the incompetency and un-accountability of the government in failing to ensure proper security of public medical records.