A Snapshot of Democracy in Asia – Part 3/6

September 29, 2011

The People’s Action Party (PAP)  of Singapore has been the dominant political party since 1959. The politics of Singapore take the form of a parliamentary republic and the Prime Minister is the head of the government.

On May 7, 2011, the election results for parliament resulted in 60.14 percent of the votes for the PAP,  and  they hold 81 of the 87 seats in Parliament.

Singapore has been accused of being a social democracy. The Economist Intelligence Unit says Singapore is a “hybrid” country, with authoritarian and democratic elements. Freedom House does not consider Singapore an “electoral democracy” and ranks the country as “partly free”.

Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 136 of  more than 178 countries listed in the 2010 Worldwide Press Freedom Index.

The ruling Party’s policies contain aspects of socialism as does mainland China, which includes government-owned public housing constituting the majority of real estate and the dominance of government controlled companies in the local economy.

For 31 years from 1959 to 1990, Lee Kuan Yew ruled Singapore as prime minister, and he still has much influence as a Senior Minister and as a Minister Mentor.

Chinese make up 76.8 percent of the population and according to a comment left for another post, the Chinese mostly vote for the PAP keeping Lee Kuan Yew’s party in power.

The CIA says unemployment is 2.2% (two point two) and there is no information from the World Bank, the CIA, the World Health Organization, or from  Global Edge on how many live in poverty in Singapore.

Mr. Biao.com says, “Singapore has no beggars, because they will be picked up by the police… We have no poverty, because Singapore has no official poverty line.”

Continued on September 30, 2011 in A Snapshot of Democracy in Asia – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 5/5

September 26, 2011

In conclusion, I ask this question of the Kiers of the world.

Do we blame China’s central government when the manufacturing sector (many of the private companies in China are controlled by Western corporations) hasn’t cooperated regarding environmental laws in China designed to clean the air and water?

To cooperate would mean raising prices and Western/American consumers refuse to pay more so violations of these new environmental laws often go unpunished due to the sheer numbers of Chinese that do not want to see their source of income flow to Vietnam or another country willing to ignore environmental disasters.

Talking about Vietnam—during the Vietnam War, America sprayed a defoliant called Agent Orange, which led to generations of birth defects and health problems among Vietnam’s people and American veterans.

In fact, since I served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange, the VA added my name to the Agent Orange watch list. I read recently that two-thirds of US servicemen that served in Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange are now dead.

In 1990, Time Magazine wrote, “Critics charge that the agency (CDC) and one of its senior officials, Dr. Vernon Houk, helped scuttle a $63 million study that might have determined once and for all whether U.S. troops exposed to Agent Orange suffered serious damage to their health.”

Then in 2009, Time World said,, “Agent Orange Poisons New Generations in Vietnam.”

Do we blame that on China and/or Mao too?

In addition, have we forgotten Erin Brockovich (2000) starring Julia Roberts, where she plays an unemployed single mother that becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.

Erin Brokovich was based on a true story, and recently in the news, it was revealed that another cover up may be happening with the  same company in the same location, and this is not the only time cover-ups have been attempted in the West/America by government agencies or private sector corporations.

Another example would be The Ford Pinto Conspiracy, a deliberate cover up of the danger of fires being caused by rear end collisions of its Pinto car. I had a close friend whose daughter burned up in the back seat of a Pinto after a rear end collision.  Ford fought long and hard in the courts to avoid responsibility for that failed conspiracy until a memo was leaked that revealed the facts.

The same could be said of America’s tobacco industry, which knew tobacco was addictive and caused cancer and emphysema and covered that up as long as possible until another leaked memo revealed the truth.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills up to half of its users—nearly six million people each year and tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century. My dad died ten to fifteen years early because he started smoking when he was 14. It was a horrible death.

Tobacco executives know their product causes people to suffer and die but they keep growing and selling it. How many of these executives have gone to jail?

I could probably spend a long week researching and writing about similar cover-ups in the Untied States and Europe—the ones that were caught that is. Remember Enron and how many lives were ruined?

The environmental pollution in China is a fact since China joined the World Trade Organization and allowed Western companies to manufacture products there to boost corporate profits, but all of China’s pollution since the early 1980s does not compare to the pollution from the West’s Industrial Revolution which started in the later 18th century in England, and then spread to Europe and the United States.

It is convenient for the Kiers of the world to forget two centuries of pollution in the West while blaming China for three decades of pollution and ignoring the fact that in the last few years China has emerged as the largest manufacture of alternative forms of solar and wind energy in the world, while replacing its old coal burning power plants with modern cleaner ones.

However, in the United States, not one coal burning power plant has been replaced with a modern one. The old ones are still spewing pollution into the air.

One last question — Does patriotism mean ignoring the facts and supporting lies?

Return to No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 4 or start with Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


The WHO’s War on Tobacco

August 17, 2010

Gillian Wong for the Associated Press wrote about a battle over tobacco heating up in China—pun intended. China also signed the global anti-tobacco treaty backed by the World Heath Organization to cut tobacco use.

However, in China, tobacco companies sponsor public schools.  Something similar happened in the US when Coke and Pepsi installed vending machines in the public schools where students could feed their sugar cravings and grow obese at the same time.

In fact, at Nogales High School in La Puente, California where I taught for years, I was told one morning by the truck driver filling the vending machines in the halls that more than two-thousand “cases” of Coke were selling a week there. 

The schools district made a nice profit from its share. Now, it seems selling sodas at schoolmay” be against the law.

Maybe the US was China’s role model, but the Chinese have gone one-step further by (according to Gillian Wong) taking elementary students on school sponsored tours of cigarette factories where the slogans say, “Talent stems from hard work, tobacco helps you become accomplished.”

Where’s Qin Shi Huangdi when China needs him most? After all, when the first emperor wanted to get something done, nothing stopped him. He unified China, finished building The Great Wall, mandated one written language and had the scholars who complained dig their own graves before setting them on fire and throwing dirt on the remains.

On the other hand, if China did nothing, the One-Child policy could be abolished pleasing Christians around the world.

Then China could encourage smoking to reduce the population. Estimates say that one in three young men will die early from tobacco use. Within fifty years, China’s population problems would be solved while making a profit.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China


Learning from Sherlock Holmes

June 26, 2010

I was shopping at Costco and saw a piece in The (June 19) Economist about China’s secret media.  I bought a copy and read it when I got home. One of the major reasons that the Qing Dynasty collapsed in 1911 was because the Manchu leaders were out of touch with what was going on. The royal princes lived behind high walls in a fantasy world of opulent gardens. The young Emperor and the Empress Dowager lived inside the Forbidden City or The Summer Palace—surrounded by ministers who filtered the news.

Sherlock Holmes

In Chinese whispers, The Economist reveals the different layers of news in today’s China. One layer is the cleansed version for the people then there are other layers depending on how high one is in the government. Each layer appears to have less censorship. What this piece reveals is that China’s top leaders wants to know what’s going on before anyone else does.

One example would be the SARS outbreak in 2003. According to the Economist, by the time China’s leaders learned about SARS, there had already been 300 cases and 5 deaths. Two days after learning about SARS, China’s leaders told the World Health Organization. Since Xinhua’s reporters and editors do such a great job filtering the news for mass consumption, it seems that China’s top leaders have to become sleuths to discover the missing facts.

See The Collective Will

________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning concubine saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you also marry her family and culture.

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China


Chinese Herbalism

March 15, 2010

If given a choice, I will use herbal medicines when I’m sick instead of modern Western medicine, which will be my last resort.

The use of herbal medicines in China has been traced back to the Zhou Dynasty, late Bronze/early Iron Age, about 2500 to 3000 years ago. The video at the end of this post will give you a better idea how herbalism came to be.

Li Shizhen

In 1596, hundreds of years before Western modern medicine, Li Shizhen spent decades writing down the vast knowledge of herbal lore.

His book, the Ben Cao Gang Mu (1596), has been used as a pharmacopoeia, but it was also a treatise on botany, zoology, mineralogy and metallurgy.

 
Ben Cao Gang Mu

The Ben Cao Gang Mu mentions 1,892 different herbs and is divided into 6 sections, 52 scrolls and 60 different categories.

It has been reported that Darwin had a copy of the Ben Cao Gang Mu with him on his voyage of discovery in 1831.

In fact, the World Health Organization reports that about 80% of people worldwide use herbal medicines for their healthcare.

Discover more about Health Care Without Drugs

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

Where to Buy

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline