Polling agents play an important role in Singapore’s electoral process.

It is the first and possibly, the one location that could cause a voter to have a change of heart and/or mind if they were being influenced at the polling centres.. The polling agent’s role is that of an enforcement officer, to ensure that there is fairness by all parties.

Fairness to ensure that no candidate or polling agent from another party is able to influence a voter through any means or ways possible.

Some ways that could possibly be done to influence, is to whisper “Vote XXX” to a fellow voter or to stand at a location close enough to apply undue influence/pressure on the voter to vote for a certain party. The polling agent could also observe to ensure that the ballot boxes are properly sealed and not tampered with prior to and during transportation to the counting centre.

This is why, the job of the polling agent, is critical and important.

For alternative parties, trying to find individuals to volunteer as polling agents is no easy feat when compared to the incumbent who has access to a pool of volunteers within their capacity as PA Grassroots Advisers. As much as PA has claimed to be apolitical, personal experience tells me otherwise as I have received messages calling for support for the grassroots adviser.

Therefore, if you’d like to lend a hand to the alternative cause and would like for your issues to be debated in parliament, besides voting for the alternative and encouraging others within your constituency to do the same, you can also volunteer your time to assist and to rally others around you to volunteer to help the alternative cause.

Newer and smaller partiers like Red Dot United, would no doubt be in need of such volunteers as do other older and smaller parties like Singapore People’s Party.

Do reach out to them directly, and sound out your interest to volunteer in our democratic process.

To read more on the role of polling agent, click here.

The Indonesian Way

What’s Abd?!!

The recent tragedy of the water dam that broke in Jakarta, Indonesia resulted in several dead bodies. In my opinion, the tragedy was merely an accident waiting to happen. It was only a matter of time before the dam or anything in Indonesia, would give way and along with it taking several lives.

As President Bambang Yudhoyono rallies on his countrymen to stamp out corruption, the habits of Indonesians are hard to die simply because Indonesia is a country with more than 1500 islands ranging from the majestic Sumatra to the many small islands of which not even every Indonesian is proficient in.

The tragedy of the dam would be a good example of how corruption works in Indonesia. As reported, the cause of the tragedy was due to poor foundation during the construction of the dam of which the base was not made of concrete.

It is by no means a secret that when doing business in Indonesia, the principal amount set aside for construction would pass through several hands before reaching the construction company. As the money passes through the many hands of the so-called middle men, substantial amounts of money are taken out and kept by these middle men. Such corroboration ensures that construction work will take place within a shorter time frame and success is measured by the completion of the project and the fat pockets of those involved.

Whilst I may seem to be slandering Indonesians, as a visiting resident/ citizen of Indonesia, I do have credible information to support such an accusation. Perhaps the case mentioned above would be too drastic to be used as an example so let me just quote an example which came directly from a friend of mine who works for the Indonesian government.

A good example would be in the construction of roads in the country. The government would set a side an amount and request for tender. Companies would then bid for the tender and the winning bid would be awarded to the company that is able to offer a cut from the amount to the official managing the project. Further to that, let’s say that the road specification requires the company to mix 80% tar with 20% cement for a road thickness of 10cm. The constructed road would probably contain 40% tar and 60% cement with a thickness of 6cm. The missing amount of money would have been pocketed by the construction company. Objective of constructing a road would have been accomplished but the life span and usability of the road would have been shortened resulting in gaping holes with wear and tear that most of us experience when visiting Indonesia.

Nonetheless, corruption is still rampant country-wide and it will definitely take a long period of time before corruption in the country can be put to a minimum or within a level of comfortable control. As Indonesians go to the polls this April 9th to vote for their Caleg (Legislative Representative), I urge you to vote for the party member who will ensure that the future of your country and children are well-taken care of.

My recent trip to Indonesia also enlightened me on how much corroboration and collaboration as well as cooperation that Singapore has with Indonesia. Didn’t you know that the late Soeharto was really a close friend of …….

Until it’s fixed, corruption is a way for life in Indonesia. Don’t blame them because you never know when your integrity will be at stake.


What’s Abd?!!
Local News
  • Singapore wins it’s first Olympic Medal in 48 years
  • Prime Minister announces that Malay/ Muslims will have to pay more for Mosque Building Mendaki Fund (MBMF) at National Day Rally

International News

  • Malaysia’s Ex-DPM Anwar Ibrahim begins campaign in a three-cornered by-election campaign at Permatang Pauh.
  • Saiful, accused victim of sodomy swears on Quran.

Wow! That’s quite a lot to be discussed. Let’s discuss about our medal win at the Beijing Olympics. What are your views on that?

As expected, the medal win brought much controversy as the all the medal winners were China-born athletes. There would inevitably be a number of people who would dismiss that win as a win by a Singaporean. Reason being, they were scouted to play for Singapore to win medals and the question lingers on whether or not they even feel Singaporean.

No doubt, that question can never be answered by anyone other than for the athletes themselves. However, we should all take note that this is the current trend in sports. Players being poached over with the sole objective of bringing sporting glory to their adopted country. It is completely normal and so all Singaporeans should bask in the joy that we did win a medal and that medal is credited to Singapore, not China. The trainings she undergone and the tournaments that she went on were all under Singapore’s Red and White colours. What we can only hope is that she learns how to sing Majulah Singapura, our national anthem and learn how to say the pledge as this is what makes us truly Singaporean.

Well said indeed. That should answer the many questions that linger on Singaporeans minds. So, next on the table to be talked about is the increase of this Mosque Building & Mendaki Fund (MBMF). Your comments on this, sir.

The MBMF is the merging of two separate funds in 1984. The main purpose for MB was to fund mosque building programmes in Singapore. With the shift in time, current building costs have dramatically increased and the amount of contribution is no longer significant. Though an automatic deduction from the monthly salary, employed Malay/ Muslims are able to withdraw from this by filling in a form to CPF and submitting it.

The MF’s main purpose is for contributions to Yayasan MENDAKI. This amount shall then be used to administer projects for the interest of Malay/ Muslims in Singapore.

More information of MBMF can be read here:

If you read the statutes link above, you will realize that this is optional and not compulsory. Therefore, any Muslim who feels that he does not wish to contribute further to the MBMF, may inform his employer after attaining a certificate from MUIS. However, I am of the view that this fund especially the Mosque Building Fund (MBF) should continue to be paid by all Muslim Singaporean for the very simple reason that, you earn a good deed easily – through automatic deduction! A form of investment towards Paradise I should say.

I do however understand that whilst there are many Malay/ Muslims who contribute to the Mendaki Fund, they are not able to capitalize on the fund either because they do not know how or they do not qualify. My advice to you is to get yourself involved in the activitities by Mendaki so that you may capitalize on the funds contributed. However, in all circumstances, the public have to understand that the most of the funds issued by Mendaki is focused on Malay/ Muslims who are less fortunate. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Malay/ Muslims who fall under this category!

In conclusion, I’d say that you have the hand to decided how much you want to contribute. So, stop grousing so much if you feel the pinch because you can download the form online and decide – how much you want to contribute, if any.

Thank you sir. That was indeed spicy thoughts yet informative. I hope that information would have been able to be absorbed by our readers. Moving on to Intenational News, what are your thoughts and views on the by-election campaign.

Finally, we get to my favourite topic, Malaysian Politics. I’d like to consolidate points 1 and 2 together for this if you don’t mind as they go hand in hand.

Please do.

Let’s begin with Saiful. I find it rather discerning that such measures were taken and broadcasted on the news. Such measures being that he decided to swear on the Quran to prove innocence. I believe that in Islam, the Quran should be used as a last measure to prove innocence and not to be used nonchalantly. I find that it is a mockery that the Quran was used and felt humiliated by the actions. Further to that, Islam also mentions that in swearing over the Quran, there is no need for one to swear in front of it, physically. The mere mention of the Al-Quran would have more than suffice. What Saiful did was shameful and should be disregarded.

As it is, the swearing ‘coincided’ with the start of Anwar Ibrahim’s by-election campaign. By-election campaigns would have been made known early to the public and the election board and information would have been readily available, therefore pure coincidence is too gullible for anyone to believe it to be true. I am full of confident that Anwar Ibrahim will triumph in this election unless the ruling government, Barisan Nasional (BN) decides to pull a new stunt and causes Anwar to lose.

The current dramatic events only seem so orchestrated especially with Saiful. He has been spared the cuffs and police have indicated that they will not arrest or charge him because he is a victim. More recently, the government also announced the introduction of DNA bill. This bill would require criminals to provide their DNA sample and it has most certainly been directed towards Anwar although Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has denied this allegation to be politically motivated. Nevertheless, this bill will not affect Anwar’s chances of winning the by-election and Anwar cannot be forced to give a sample as it could not be applied retroactively, this as informed by Gobind Singh Deo, an opposition lawmaker.

Nonetheless, it seems very certain to me that Anwar will win this by-election, god-willing.

Very interesting views. I hope all is well for Malaysia as well or it could get very ugly in their quest for power.

So I guess that will be all from us at the moment.

Keep your eyes glued on the Olympics at the moment for more action.

Till next time, this has been Whats Abd?!!