Positive Outcome From The City Harvest Church Saga

This is currently the hottest news in Singapore right now. It inspires lots of conversations, debates on what really happened and the consequence on it. I am contributing my portion in this article. Let me begin by stating clearly that I have no intention to speculate on what will happen to the affected pastor and his friends after the trial. This article is not about the court case but rather on how the response of the church members and the circulated YouTube sermons of the affected pastor can lead to positive result for Christianity as a whole.

Here are the few areas that I will explore on:

  1. Mindless drone syndrome.
  2. Asking for money without shame.
  3. Helplessness of Poverty Gospel

Mindless drone syndrome.

I have mentioned this phrase in many of my articles as well as my ebook “10 Lies Of Religious Christianity”. What I mean is the phenomena where individuals who have been trapped, are incapable of thinking for themselves. They think what they were told to think and believe what they were told to believe.

This sounds like the practice of evil cults but the truth is, many religious churches have been trying to blackmail their members into such drones through their doom and gloom sermons sprinkled with lots of relevant Bible verses. Phases like, “you will answer to God”, “God is not pleased” and “judgement day will come” are among the common tactics used by religious preachers to instil fear into the hearts of their members in hope that they will become obedient sheep (mindless drones) to the church leaders.

Of course, most Christians are too intelligent to fall for such tricks. Most Christians have developed a clear separation between faith and facts. They may go to church every Sunday and listen to the rubbish (sermons) preached but once they set their feet out, they were transformed back into human beings living in the real world. They do not participate in missions and crusades. They respect people who do not share their faith. They may give some money to their church but they will never sell their houses and give all the proceeds to their church. They are sane. Only a small minority in every church really believe in those threats and fell for it.

In this saga, the responses from the church members to the arrest and subsequent charges to their beloved pastor show that this church has achieve great success in doing what its competitors have been trying to do.

Those members are convinced beyond doubt that their pastor is completely innocent regardless of evidence. They are so full of faith that they will not even entertain the slightest “what-ifs”. Based on their comments, it seems that they are determined to fight beside their beloved pastor at all cost.

The question here is on whether their confidence is justified. Some of them tried to share with us the reason of their dedication. All of them have the same theme. They were once living rotten lives. They went to this church. The great pastor ministered to them, showed them the love of God and raised them up to who they are now.

However, none of them ever question on how relevant are such testimonies to the charges of falsifying accounts faced by their pastor. Just because an individual has been inspiring and loving, it has no relation on whether he intentionally or unintentionally put in wrong words in the accounts book.

Can anyone find a better example on the mindless drone syndrome?

So how does this exposure benefit Christianity as a whole? I am hoping that this incident will shock the preachers from the belief that you must be an obedient sheep (Christian term for mindless drone) to be a Christian. The Bible tells us that we were made in the image of God. If God can be an independent thinker, why can’t we? Why would God give us the ability to think independently and then created churches to blackmail us into behaving like mindless drones?

This is the time for churches to reform their practice of exalting mindless obedience to the celebration of independent thinking. We are living in the real world and the real world does not follow the Bible. God gives us functional brains because he wants us to use them. The best way to please God is to use the things he gives us. In case somebody might wonder, obeying the preacher without question does not require the use of brains.

It is alright to do things because it is the right thing to do. We don’t need to stick bible verses to justify our actions.

Asking for money without shame

This happens to be the reason I left my first church. The way those pastors used manipulative tricks to squeeze money from the congregation has shown me that these are men without shame.

In this saga, YouTube videos showing the pastor asking for money have been circulated and widely criticised. Many attributed it to the “false teachings of prosperity gospel”. However, they seem to have ignored the fact that “Poverty Gospel” churches also used dirty tricks to ask for money.

My first church belongs to the “Poverty Gospel” camp and the pastors are no less shameless in demanding money from their members. I can still remember the phrase used. “God has provided us the money. It is in your pockets.” Implying that the money in our pockets rightfully belong to the church.

How does this help Christianity as a whole? Perhaps preachers will develop a sense of shame of demanding money from their church members. They will need to understand that their members worked hard in their real jobs to earn their money. They need it to support their families, pay bills and set aside for contingencies. The money does not belong to the church. Preachers should learn to respect that.

If preachers are in need of money, they should either do better jobs, get it from their God or do some other real work to get it. Not using their sermons to demand it from their members.

Helplessness of Poverty Gospel

I have mentioned the term “Poverty Gospel” earlier. Let me give you the meaning now. I created this term based of the relative frame of reference. A observer from Fraction A accuses those from Fraction B of preaching the prosperity gospel. What does he call his “gospel”? He has no name for it because his gospel is the true gospel.

Now, let us shift the frame of reference to the observer from Fraction B.

If he follows the same pattern of thought, he too will call his gospel the true gospel. He will call those in Faction A something gospel.

Poverty Gospel is only a name for the something gospel.

Let me give you the characteristics of this gospel. The common feature is the fear of the promise of health, wealth and any other things that can be proven objectively. They prefer to be safe in things that cannot be proven objectively like the “spiritual” and “treasures in heaven”. This way, they will not face the risk of being wrong.

Within this fraction, there are 2 sub-fractions, the moderates and the fundamentalists.

The moderates do not really hate prosperity. They are just uncomfortable for church and prosperity to be mixed together. As long as prosperity is preached outside the church and with no reference to Bible verses, they are fine.

In contrast, the fundamentalists are totally opposed to Christians living wealthy lives. Any form of comfort and luxury is sin to them.

How does this affect them? For many years, Poverty Gospel churches have been losing members to their Prosperity competitors. Now that the City Harverst Church, (which is from the Prosperity Fraction) is suffering from negative news, it will be an opportunity for them to take advantage on this situation to grab back their market share.

Have they succeeded? My bet is they won’t. At best they can slow down the decline on membership. People may still leave and it is very unlikely for the Prosperity Fraction to cross over to the poverty side. Can you guess why?

Christians are real people living in the real world. They have their dreams and aspirations. They want to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. They want to have things and do things without being constrained by the lack of money. They are also not perverts, meaning they do not delight in suffering from sickness and poverty.

The prosperity fraction has been successful because they treat their believers as real people. So, if the poverty fraction is really serious in surviving in this competitive world, they will have to meet the needs of their members who are real people living in the real world. Hiding behind outdated and impractical doctrines will not help. Neither does the excuse of “serving God” help. You are preaching to people not God.

Therefore, it is my hope that the poverty fraction will start to reform themselves to make themselves relevant to the people whom they expect to give them money.

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Flawed Defence Of City Harvest Church

This is my second article on the City Harvest Church Saga. In my first article, I have explained that the real problem is on not whether the pastor is found guilty. It lies in the church members’ reaction to this event. The church members behaved as though they have been brainwashed into mindless drones and faithful worshippers of the pastor.

This means that even if the pastor is found innocent by the investigators, this church will still have to live with the public impression that it is an evil cult that manipulates its members to turn them into mindless drones who are only capable to obey the pastor’s every command. Its legacy as a great church has ended.

In this article, I am going to provide you with the real analysis of the problem and how the church had messed up.

How it began.

The senior pastor and a few members were summoned by the authorities to assist in investigation relating to mismanagement of church funds. Although technically these people are innocent until proven otherwise, the public perceives them as guilty. The media has even linked them to previous frauds by other institutions like NKF and Renci. After all, we do not believe the authorities investigate people at random.

Of course, those who do not like this church will take advantage of this situation to throw a few stones.

However, no matter how this investigation turns out, the church will still be there. The government will not close it down. Surely, common sense tells us that this is not an attack to the church. The church can continue to function as usual even if the pastor is convicted and imprisoned. There is absolutely no need for church members to behave as though they are under siege, being attacked by the devil or being under any form of persecution.

It is the responsibility of the church leadership to explain this situation to their members and warn them not to over-react. Did they do that? The answer is “no”. The opposite has happened. The incompetent church leaders has failed to control the fanatics among their members from creating the impression that it is a cult that turns people into mindless drones.

Members Reaction.

Let me explain on how the efforts put up by the members with the intention to “defend” their church and pastor had resulted the opposite effect. I refer to the 2 Facebook groups set up by the church members:

1. CHC United In Prayers
2. We believe City Harvest Church is framed and maligned.

In my first article, a church member wrote in to me to question my objectivity in using these groups to represent a church of 33,000. My reply is, I insist on using them as true representation of the church’s 33,000 members based on one reason: Neither the church leadership nor any of the “real” members have openly denounced, condemned and exposed them. Until that happens, I have the right to think of them as the true members of City Harvest Church.

Let us look at the name itself. The first one, “CHC United In Prayers” is good. It sounds positive and does not imply anything bad. However, the second one, “We believe City Harvest Church is framed and maligned” is a disaster for 2 reasons:

1. It views the authority’s investigation on a few individuals as an attack on the church.

2. The members have made up their minds that their pastor is innocent from all wrongdoings regardless of the results from the investigation.

Other than the names, I see no clear distinction in the contents of the 2 groups. The members believed that this investigation is an attack from the devil and they must be united to fight the devil.

One member had even bragged that the church’s membership is half of the Singapore Armed Forces regulars and they have the money to buy weapons. I don’t see anyone in the group rebuking him for this treason. Please feel free to visit these groups before they decided to remove them from public viewing.

As I read the comments, the only impression I got is a cult. This cult has effectively brainwashed its members into mindless drones who only know how to obey their pastor without question. In their minds, the pastor is as infallible as God. They are prepared to go to any extend to defend their beloved pastor.

An investigation on the pastor is an attack to the whole church. Church members must be united to fight off this enemy, who is of course the Devil. So, most of the contents there are battle calls and war cries. It is basically a holy crusade there.

There are some occasional rational postings there to appeal for calm but I don’t think anyone bothered. As I have mentioned before, neither the church leaders nor the rational members dare to confront them.

After reading the posts in these groups, I doubt if anyone will still want to join this church.

Then, there is this church service last week. It does not take much intelligence to know that it would be infiltrated by reporters and they were not there to write good things about the church. So, if the church leaders have any common sense, they must make sure they don’t do stupid things that will reinforce the perception that the church is a cult. Have they succeeded? The answer is “no”.

A member went to the worship service with a placard expressing support for Pastor Kong Hee. Since when do Christians go to church with placard to show support to their pastor? This is nothing more than pure stupidity. These people really think that by declaring their undying support for their pastor, they are actually winning. In reality, they will only cause people to see their church as a cult.

Some may say that this is only the action of one individual. It does not represent the whole church. My question is why did the leaders or the ushers not confiscate the placard? If the reporters can see it, why can’t any of them see it? Since they saw it, why did they not confiscate the placard to limit the embarrassment?

There were interviews by RazorTV to some members after the service. The answers are idiotic:

“He is a good pastor because he is my hero.”

“He laid down his life for us and for people in many countries.”

What type of opinions are that? Is the church that good in attracting intellectually challenged people or do these people become intellectually challenged only after they have joined the church?

Devil’s role.

The most common battle cry by the members is they are under attack from the devil. Is that true? My answer is “no”. Do you know why? If your church have members like these who had never stopped making fools out of themselves and disgracing the church, you don’t need the devil. In this case, the devil is redundant.

Conclusion

Based on the above observations, I conclude that a great church has fallen not because of any attack from outside but due to internal stupidity.

City Harvest Church And The Devil

The recent news on a few members including the founding pastor of City Harvest Church being investigated by the authorities has become the latest news sensation on Christian churches. First, we have a situation where a group of female church members ganging up to take over a NGO. Then, in another church, a pastor openly mocked Buddhism and showed the video in its website. Now, we have the top pastor of the largest church being investigated for mismanagement of church funds.

As the authorities have not released any news on the investigation and the pastor had not been convicted by the court, I will not make any statement on whether there is any wrongdoings involved. The pastor may be found to be innocent or guilty. This article is not about him. I am writing on the way some members respond to this investigation.

Here are some excerpts:

“Excited for service City Harvest Church (Official) later….Will be there to see how CHC United in Prayers…..Gonna seek God and make the devil sit alone in hell…..

yeah me too.But i really trust Pst Kong wholeheartedly.. can’t wait for service 2dae! =p

Stand up and be counted, Havesters! 100% behind CHC and all Pastors.
I strong encourage everyone if you can, go to Service 1 to build strong atmosphere. Let the whole world see we stand and united together.

the bad plan by evil will be turn into best by our GOD
GOD is good and has big plan to everybody

satan will not WIN!! cause jesus has already won …. the devil knows his time is short but we no he will not win …… cause god is with us

the devil hates a united family his a coward ….. but we will show him that we are united as a family ……. together we can show the devil that we still will stand together …..”
Source: CHC United In Prayers Facebook Group

The above are some representations on what I can read in the support group’s page. I believe I have quoted enough to give you an overall picture on how these people think. It is the devil’s fault. The members had made up their minds that their beloved pastor is innocent regardless on the results of the investigation. If the authorities release a negative result, then they must be the devil.

I call this the ultimate case of mindless drone mentality. Those who had been infected by it can only believe what their pastor said as the only Truth. Any other testimonies that contradict the pastor’s words are automatically classified as lies from the devil. There is no room for consideration, analysis or any “what if” scenarios. I see the emergence of a personality cult. The pastor has become God.

Even if the pastor is found guilty of misusing the church funds, it is a lesser problem compared to the damage he has done to the minds of thousands of people. Are we going to see a holy crusade if the good pastor is found guilty?

Welcome to religious Christianity.

Engineering Analysis On Rony Tan Saga

I have written my views on Rony Tan saga as a Christian. Now, I want to look at it from an engineering perspective. For those who don’t know me, I have a degree in civil engineering from the National University of Singapore. I am qualified to do this analysis.
(Some people find fault in the above sentence. If I have written this article last month, I would have said I am an engineer. I can’t said the same now because I am not an engineer at this moment.)

Let us begin from the status quo. Pastor Tan had removed the offending videos and apologized to his victims. His apology was accepted by the leaders of Buddhists and Taoists. Yet, there is still widespread anger on him. Why?

The most obvious part is, there is a perception on double standards in the enforcement of law. There were 3 teenagers been arrested by the police for posting racist remarks. Pastor Tan’s offence was definitely more serious. Yet, he was never arrested. This has created the impression that pastors are above the law.

However, I believe there is an underlying reason behind this widespread anger. The people are not angry with Pastor Tan as an individual but on what he represents. He is now seen as an icon the represents all the aggressive evangelistic moves done by Religious Christians.

I have read many postings on over-enthusiastic Religious Christians trying to convert people at all cost, including insulting their religions. Such phenomena is not new in Singapore. Religious Christians can sink to any level, even to the point of humiliate others in order to get them to convert, What Pastor Tan has done is he has presented himself as a focal point for people to direct their anger from their humiliation.

Therefore, punishing Pastor Tan represents punishing those Religious Christians.

There is also an issue of perverse logic. I have watched the video on the interview with the ex-nun. The pastor’s logic was totally sick. When miracles happen to Buddhists, the demons are behind it. When the same miracles happen to Christians, then it must be God. If I don’t know better, I will avoid Christianity like a plague. No wonder, people are angry and want to see justice done.

Finally, many churches are still very hostile toward religions other than theirs. Pastor Tan would never have stepped into a temple if the ISD did not call him. I can relate a personal experience here. When I was in my first church, I attended one of their overnight prayer. One of the prayer item was to pray against a coming Buddhist event.

The was an event that would take place a few days after where there was an exhibition on Buddhist arts. Somehow, we saw that as an offence to us and we have to pray against it. On hindsight, I find that very sick. Even prayer was used to propagate hatred.

So, my advice to all religious churches is, if you want to be accepted by the public, you have to stop all your hostilities.

This is all I have for now.

Senior Pastor Rony Tan And Buddhism

I have not been writing recently because I have been busy in my new job. However, I am compelled to make time to write in to state my position because I think it is important for some Christians to show the world that some of us are not evil. If you have been following the news in Singapore, you should be quite familiar with the above name. So, I will not waste time dwelling on it.

Let me begin by describing how I first got to know about this famous incident. Actually, my wife was there in the service with our son. Our son’s health had not been good. So, my wife had decided to take him to Lighthouse Church to attend the healing service. In case somebody may ask where was I at that time, the answer is I was at work. We work on Saturdays in the construction sector.

It was only after I reached home that my wife told me about the service and how she was disappointed in it. She went there for the healing but all she got was an introductory course in Buddhism. As I am quite experienced in attending churches, I am not surprise that it was meant to degrade the religion. After all, it is not really unexpected.

At that time, I did not predict the present outburst unless some spies went there to tape the service secretly and show it openly in the internet. It seems that the service of the spy is not needed at all. The pastor himself uploaded the video of the service in his website for the world to see. He shot himself in the foot and the rest is history. It caused a widespread anger and even the authorities got involved.

Subsequently, Pastor Tan removed the video and apologize publicly. There are basically 2 different responses from the public. Some people choose to accept his apology and move on. The rest wanted him to be punished for his crime.

That is the summary of the hottest news in Singapore. Now, I shall present my analysis as a Christian.

Let us look at the issue on insulting Buddhism. Why did he do it? The answer is clear. The pastor wanted to get people to leave Buddhism and become Christian. I don’t think I have to convince anyone that his objective has failed miserably. Why did he fail?

First, the entire event was in a church. Those who attend the church are mostly Christians. This means they did not believe in Buddhism. They believed in Christianity. What is the logic in degrading Buddhism to a group of people who do not believe in it in the first place? This is the first flaw.

Secondly, the approach the pastor used was totally not objective. He used an ex-temple assistant cum ex-Buddhist to explain what Buddhism is. How objective was that? The event was not about revealing the truth of Buddhism but on finding excuses to insult it.

Third, the way the pastor clowned around in pretending to be Buddha has removed all doubts on his true intention. His motive was to insult. If he had done that to Islam, he would have received a lot of fatwas on his head by now.

He must have thought that such a great sermon must be shared with the whole world. So, he did something very bold. He put the entire video on his website to share his “gospel”. He must be hoping that the Buddhists would watch his video and realize how dumb their religion is. Then they will turn to the True Religion, the Christian Religion.

Unfortunately, the opposite happened. In fact, the Buddhists are now seen as peace loving, honorable, open-minded, kind and forgiving. In contrast, the Christians are now seen as war mongering, petty, insulting and narrow-minded. The pastor has effectively promoted Buddhism and insulted Christianity instead.

That is not all. No other churches dared to condemn such a behavior. When some Muslim terrorists commit terrorism, many Muslims had openly condemned their actions. Why? They do not want the rest of the world to see them as terrorists. However, when a Christian pastor commit evil acts, none of the churches dare to condemn it. Do they realize that their silence may be seen as an endorsement to evil?

As a Christian, I find this phenomena extremely insulting. This is why I want to openly state that I condemn the actions and behavior of Senior Pastor Rony Tan of the Lighthouse Evangelism. I declare openly that such actions were against the will and nature of the God of the Bible. Such action can only be inspired by the Devil himself.

I hope I have made myself clear as a Christian.

Death Penalty In Singapore

There seems to be campaigns inside and outside Singapore aiming to get us to remove the death penalty from our system. Reasons were given on why Singapore should drop this “barbaric” way of punishment and join the rest of the “civilized” countries that had removed death penalty. In this article, I will analyze those reasons based on sound engineering principles.

Many countries had removed death penalty.
An engineer will consider the above sentence to be incomplete. Since many countries had removed death penalty from their justice system, how have they benefited from such move? Do they enjoy lower crime rate? Do they have a higher standard of living? Do they enjoy higher economic growth? The bottom line is how will the removal of death penalty benefit us as the people who do not murder or carry drugs?

None of the advocates of anti-death penalty is able to provide us with any answer other than some empty slogans. The situations in those countries without death penalty show us that there is no benefit for the people in removing death penalty. The only difference I can think of is the increase in the cost of imprisonment. Think. When you lock up those murderers and drug traffickers in jail, you have to pay for their lodging, food and medical care. Who will pay for these? Tax-payers.

In this regard, I am glad the Singapore Government has enough common sense in not apeing others without thinking on the implication.

Statistic shows that death penalty does not deter crime.
The idea behind this statement is criminals like murderers and drug traffickers commit their crimes without thinking of the consequences. So whether the death penalty exists, they will still commit their crimes. The engineer’s respond is, so what? At least we can be sure that with death penalty, those convicted criminals will not be able to repeat their crimes.

Another important question is, will the removal of death penalty deter crimes? Will the drug traffickers stop bringing drugs to Singapore if we remove our death penalty? Common sense tells us that being nice to the criminals will not cause them to commit lesser crimes.

Therefore, the only valid reason for removing the death penalty is the guarantee that it will reduce crimes and make our streets safer. Until that can happen, the engineering way is to keep the death penalty.

Life sentence is just as effective as death penalty and more humane.
Some people say that keeping the drug traffickers in prison for life will also prevent them from repeating their crimes. Sounds good but the problem is, prisons are very expensive. When you keep people in prisons, you have to pay for their lodging, food and medical care. Not only that, you need to employ an army of prison guards to take care of the inmates. These things cost a lot of money. Who should pay for them?

Will those human rights organizations raise funds to help us to finance our prisons so that our tax money can be channel for better use? The answer is clear. Those people are only good in empty talk. They can talk a lot on morality, but when it comes to real issue like paying for the cost of their plans, they become very quiet as though we are obliged to pay for them.

As a tax-payer myself, let me share my personal views. I pay taxes because I have no choice. The law says I must pay my tax or face the penalty. I also cannot dictate the government on how to spend my tax money. However, I can understand that the lesser prisons we have, more of the government’s money can be channeled into healthcare, education, economic stimulus programs and other things that benefit the people.

The removal of death penalty means more of the tax-payers’ money will have to be channeled into providing free lodging, food and medical care for the drug traffickers and murderers. Why should I (and other law-abiding citizens) be forced to bear the cost of sustaining these criminals? I have no desire to pay for those scums. Being forced to pay for the welfare of criminals is not humane to me. This is the real injustice.

There is no U-turn in death penalty.
The basic idea is if the person is wrongly convicted and found to be innocent, it might be too late. After the person is hanged, you cannot unhang him and bring him back to life. This is a real problem.

From the engineering perspective, the issue is in the system of conviction and not the death penalty. There should be sufficient fail-safe mechanism in the justice system to ensure that only the truly guilty person be hanged. Of course, some people may say that since nothing is perfect, there can still be innocent people being hanged.

In response to such view, my answer is welcome to the real world. In the real world innocent people die every day. Let me give you an example. Many innocent people have died in road accidents. We can always improve on the road safety but there will still be innocent people dying in road accidents. Should we close down all our roads to stop innocent people from dying?

The answer is clear. We know that no matter how much we improve on our road safety, there is bound to be innocent people dying there. Yet, we still want to keep our roads because they bring us greater benefits. We are willing to accept the fact that some innocent people may die. This is the price we are willing to pay.

The same applies for the death penalty. There may or may not be innocent people being wrongly convicted but the benefits from it is far greater. If you have never been to Singapore, I invite you to pay us a visit to look at our streets by yourself. Compared to may countries, our streets are safe and drug free. Will we continue to be the same if we remove the death penalty? I am not willing to take the chance.

Death penalty is too harsh for mere drug trafficking.
Let me be personal here. I have a four-year old son. My desire is for him is to grow up in a healthy, safe and drug-free environment. If I ever catch any drug dealer trying to get my son hook to drugs, I am willing to volunteer to push the lever for the scum to be hanged. If there are 100 drug dealers, I am willing to do it 100 times. (Of course this is subjected to the authority’s approval.)

I am sure all responsible parents will share my sentiment. Nothing is too harsh when it comes to protecting your own family from being destroyed by drugs.

There are reports out there that says Singapore has the highest per capita hanging in the world. In my view that statement is irrelevant. If one person brings in drugs, we hang one. If 10 come in with drugs, we hang 10. If a million come in with drugs, we hang a million. We have the right to defend our families from being harmed by drugs.

This is war. We have made it clear that we do not tolerate drugs in our country. Anyone who still brings in drugs to harm us is effective in declaring war on us. We have the right to respond in kind. There is no nice way of killing people. Hanging is the most cost effective and humane way available. This is our weapon against the drug traffickers.

Forgiveness.
Some people say that we should learn to forgive those criminals and not to resort to eye for an eye type revenge. I agree. I forgive all the drug traffickers who are convicted in Singapore. However, that does not mean we must forfeit our rights to defend ourselves. We have promised to hang those who bring in drugs above a certain limit. If they fulfill their roles in bringing drugs to qualify for the death penalty, it is the authority’s responsibility to give the drug traffickers the reward they deserve – ropes around their necks.

Hanging drug traffickers is not eye for an eye type revenge. If we want to have an eye for an eye type revenge, we should tie up the drug trafficker and stuff him with all the drugs he carry. We do not do that. Instead we show the convicted drug traffickers mercy by giving them a quick death.

My stand is, I forgive all the drug traffickers who bring in drugs to harm my family. At the same time, I hope all the convicted drug traffickers will also forgive the people of Singapore of doing what we can to defend ourselves from their drugs.

Conclusion.
The above is not exactly exhaustive but I hope I have made my position clear. No matter what people may say about our death penalty, we Singaporeans consider it as the weapon of self-defense. Unless we can find better weapons, this weapon is here to stay. For those who still dare to defy us, we challenge you to come to Singapore with your drugs. We are ready with our ropes.

Engineering Solution To The Sub Prime Crisis

In this article, I shall present the engineering solution to the sub-prime crisis in America, which is having a negative effect throughout the world. I shall begin by describing the origin of the problem. Then I shall proceed with the analysis of its nature. Based on its nature, I will present the solution with all the necessary explanations on variations of scenarios. Let us begin.

Origin of the problem.
The problem begins when banks and other lending institutions in USA lent money to people who would not have qualified for loans to buy properties, thus the term “sub-prime”. They did that in order to charge higher interest. Higher interest means higher profit, which will inevitable lead to higher income to the CEO. As for the sub-prime borrowers, they got to own their houses for the first time. So, everybody was happy.

How about the risks? It must not have been obvious in the beginning. The loans are backed by properties. If the borrowers fail to pay the installments, the banks can seize their properties and recoup their money. Property prices were quite stable at that time. Not only that, the sub-prime loans had increased demands for properties. As a result, property prices had increased. So, the risk of borrowers failing to pay their installments plus property prices dropping appeared to be a remote possibility.

How did this affect the whole world? When the banks run out of cash to lend, they securitized their sub-prime loans to sell them to investors worldwide for a few percentage of the loan amount in commission. In return, they got new injections of cash, which enabled them to lend more.

The problem came when the seemingly impossible scenario happened. Borrowers cannot pay their installments and property prices fall. This has become a global problem as many institutional and retail investors have invested into these sub-prime loans. The rest is history. Companies had gone bankrupt and many Americans are facing the prospect of being evicted from their homes. Welcome to the biggest recession in history.

Nature of the problem.
Despite the huge impact on the whole world and millions of lives affected by it, I am going give you an analysis that may seem out of place. In my opinion, the problem is entirely virtual and not physical.

Let me explain further. If a house is burnt to ashes, there are physical losses. The furniture, food and clothes in the house had been reduced to ashes. Their value is gone forever. This is a real physical loss. However, in the sub-prime crisis there is no real physical loss. Many houses are worth lesser than what they used to but the physical houses are still there. Not a single brick is lost. This is what I mean by saying that the sub-prime crisis is entirely virtual and not physical.

My solution is derived by this fact.

Solution to sub-prime crisis.
Based on the true nature of this crisis, I shall now present my engineering solution as follow:

Allow the banks to repossess the houses. Do not prevent nor delay them. Let nature runs its course.

In case somebody accuses me of being insensitive, not compassionate and not knowing what I am saying, let me explain the rationale. What will happen when the bank repossess your house and evict you? It has to sell it for whatever price it can get to get back their money. Will the banks be successful in getting back their money?

Consider this. The United States of America is facing an oversupply of houses right now. If there is a massive repossessing of houses and auctions of these houses, there will be a huge increase in the supply of houses. The result will be a drastic drop in property prices. Those who had been evicted from their houses can buy back their houses at a fraction of the present price. The problem would have been solved.

Of course, I do not pretend to know about the law. Does the law allow those who are evicted to buy back their own houses? Can the banks repeat the repossessions if the evictees buy back their houses?

In this case, let us assume the worst case scenario. Let us assume that those who are evicted cannot buy any houses. In this scenario, two seemingly contradictory events have happened in the same space and time. On one side we have a lot of empty houses and on the other we have a lot of people with no houses.

What will happen then? Foreigners like myself will come to the rescue. I will buy those houses at dirt cheap prices and rent them back to the Americans at dirt cheap rents. If I buy a house at US$100, I do not mind renting it at US$1 per month. My condition will be the tenants are to take full responsibility in all the maintenance. In one year I will have US$12. This is equivalent of an annual yield of 12%. So even if the property prices never rise, I am still making good profits. I am sure a lot of foreigners will share my sentiments.

As a result, those who had been evicted from their houses can continue to live in their original houses with low rents. They may have lost ownership of their houses but at least they do not have to sleep at the streets. The problem is solved.

How about the investors and lenders?
My response is, be a sport. You took the risk for the sake of higher returns. The risks turn against you. You lost the bet. When you invest in bonds or any loan instrument, you are basically placing a bet that the underlying borrowers can afford to pay you back the principle amount plus interest. If they fail, you lost your bet.

Let this be a lesson learned in investing and trusting in the so-called financial expert. Pick yourself up and move on.

Conclusion.
In conclusion, the solution is very simple. This is what engineering is all about, simplicity. However the bottom line is, it works.