The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia on January 3, 1986 · Page 6
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The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia · Page 6

Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date:
Friday, January 3, 1986
Page 6
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6 THE AGE Friday WC3LD MEWS Singapore By MICHAEL ItCHAKOSON SINGAPORE, 1 Jan. As debate in Australia intensifies over introduction of national superannuation, Singapore is considering cutbacks in its government-run compulsory savings scheme to reduce costs and hasten economic recovery. The Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. last night indicated that he had changed his mind about reducing contributions to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) and was now prepared to go along with proposals fro his younger colleagues who make up a majority of the Cabinet About 1.8 million of Singapore's 2.4 million people belong to the CPF a compulsory, tax-free state savings scheme with funds totalling more than $A16,000 million. Former Sri Lankan PM plans a comeback as rights COLOMBO, 2 Jan. The former Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike, said last night she planned a political comeback following the restoration of her civil rights by her arch-rival, President Junius Jayewardene. "Justice has prevailed at least after five years. I had done no wrong," Mrs Bandaranaike, i, told reporters at her home last night after Mr Jayewardene signed her pardon. Mrs Bandaranaike said she would remain in politics but had not decided on her next step. She The National. TV wis tihis cdH women foff either sex) nervoms and Boh Sorry, but in this week's Summer Times edition of The National Times, Paul Theroux writes seductively about young men's fantasies of older women. The world's most evocative travel writer explores the male libido in an article that may shock people who still believe table legs should always remain covered. j And apologies to those who find a six-foot-tall, raven-haired, beautiful Bandit Queen a trifle scary. Phoolan Devi is the female Robin Hood of India, with a reputation for ravishing some men and murdering others. Please skip this article if hair-raising mayhem brings on bad dreams. Sincere apologies from Max Gillies, too, to Bob Hawke. Max was unable to contain his gift for razor-sharp satire in Ifegms Nanliervis CurlNAT9780 3 January 1181 looks at cuts to compulsory savings plan It was established in 1955 on a modest scale to ensure that the old could finance their retirement and not be a burden on the Government But as Singapore prospered, both employer , and employee contributions to the scheme were raised. For the past few years workers have had to set aside 25 per cent of their salaries, with employers making a matching contribution. ; ;;v - Political observers here say Mr Lee's statement in a New Year message appeared to confound critics who have charged that he and several veteran leaders of the ruling People's Action Party would insist that their views should prevail on key policy issues. He said that after two decades of high growth, Singapore's economy last year contracted by 1.7 per called on Mr Jaywardene to hold a general election so people could decide on a way to solve the Island's ethnic problem. Parliament stripped Mrs Bandaranaike of her civil rights and expelled her from the assembly for seven years la October ltM after a presidential commission found her guilty of abuses while she was in power. " Mrs Bandaranaike was the ; world's first woman prime tain-1 ister. She led Sri Lanka from IH to INS and again from 197 to 1977. All political parties and news lie week to persons cent The outlook for 1986 was "dull", with zero growth forecast by official economists. Unemployment had risen above four per cent and when 1985 school-leavers sought jobs it would increase to five or six per cent of the workforce. Mr Lee said younger ministers whom he and other veteran leaders have groomed to take over power progressively in the past few years had decided to give top priority to economic recovery and creating new employment "One of their options is to reduce or suspend a portion of the employer's contribution to the CPF temporarily for a minimum of two years," he said. "In the third and fourth year, after the ' economy has picked up, the em papers welcomed the restoration of her civil rights and said the move would help to solve the violent conflict between Sinhalese and minority Tamils in Sri Lanka. Parliament's action barred her from running for the presidency, holding public office and canvassing at elections for candidates of. her Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Although she remained effective head of the party during the ban, she handed over the parliamentary leadership to her son, Mr Anura Bandaranaike. to apolo di .Hawker this TV script from the Gillies Report (tastelessly called "The Mass Debate"). You should also be warned that there's another instalment on the U.S. Nuclear Rower Industry Fiasco (not exactly soothing reading), plus a National Performing Arts Calendar (heaven knows what scandalous stuff those artist chappies will be coming up with this year), and even the innocent-sounding 4 A Bloomsbury Childhood" turns out to be about lust in the neurotic Court of Virginia TSfoolf and Vanessa Bell. We also apologise to those of you who leave it too late to buy The National Times this week. With so much absorbing reading it's going to sell out fast. QntflW The National Junes WITHOUT IT YOU WONT GET THE FULL PICTURE. ployer's full contribution can be restored In two instalments. "There are a few further changes in taxes, tariffs and rates which will reduce costs and increase the profitability of companies.' Details of these moves and cuts in CPF contributions are likely to be decided by Cabinet late this month or early next month when it considers recommendations in a report on the economy drawn up by representatives of government unions and. business after extensive consultations. Mr Lee said last night cutting CPF contributions temporarily would not mean a reduction in take-home pay, although be warned : that where companies were doing poorly, lower wages would be needed. The presidential commission recommended she be stripped of her rights because she had extended a national state of emergency : for six years without proper reason. The emergency was declared in 1971 to crush a youth insurrection against her government Defending her action in parliament, Mrs Bandaranaike charged that she had not been given a fair trial and that Mr Jayewardene had been trying to politically assassinate her.' c As head of the country's largest opposition party, Mrs Ban 10 of a gase pradish sposition Lee Kuan Yew. a change of mind on economic measures. ban is lifted daranaike was Mr Jayewar-dene's main political rival. ' The leader of Sri Lanka's People's Party, TJL Ilangaratne, said: The doer is now open for her to return to parliament even as opposition leader, and also play a vital role in future ethnic crisis related matters," The restoration of Mrs Ban-daranaike's rights was welcomed last night in New DelhL Indian diplomats have been increasingly distressed at the failure of their mediation efforts to resolve Sri Lanka's race conflict .Renter, The Guardian 9 for Mitterrand. By PAUL WBSTEt, of Tim l PARIS, 2 Jan. A remarkable economic recovery, underlined by a burst of business optimism, could provide the French Government with a trump card for the election on . 16 March. With inflation at the lowest rate in 18 years, unemployment apparently under control, a favorable . balance of payments and a stable franc. President Mitterrand has insisted that the Left is in a strong position to fight on its economic record..' In a new year's message, in which he confirmed that he was in personal control of the Socialist campaign, the President said it had taken four years for his policies to be seen as "being on the right road"; He called on the electorate to preserve the economic victory in March. Stressing that "disasters insistently forecast day-after-day have not materialised", the President reflected increasing confidence among Socialist leaders about economic results that are cheering even Right-wing businessmen. - In recent surveys, local business leaders have said .that they were "very optimistic" for the future while foreign investors have contributed to an exceptional year on the Bourse with a 45 per cent rise in share prices after an end-of-the-year flourish. Rival The biggest impact on public opinion will probably be inflation which is expected to be less than one per cent for December. This will bring the yearly figure down to about 4.7 per cent, 10 points lower than the rate inherited by the Left from former president Mr Valerie Giscard d'Estaing and his prime minister, Mr Raymond Barre, now leaders of rival opposition factions. An announcement on the inflation rate will be made in several weeks' time as the election campaign gets into full swing. This year's forecast is set at 2.9 per cent The year gets off to a good Aquino northern stron NARVACAN, (Northern Philippines), 2 Jan. The opposition presidential candidate Mrs Cora-zon Aquino stormed the vaunted stronghold of President Marcos in the northern Philippines yesterday, urging voters to join the opposition bandwagon.. . In her first foray into the President's region of Northern Luzon, she told thousands of cheering farmers and fishermen in the seaside town of Narvacan that all signs pointed to a clear victory for the opposition in the 7 February election. ; Narvacan, in Ilocos Sur Province, is about 70 kilometres south of Mr Marcos's birthplace at Ba-tac in Ilocos Norte Province. The Ilocos region of Luzon island is in the heart of what Mr Marcos has called his "solid north". Mrs Aquino and running mate Salvador Laurel had planned to campaign in the Ilocos Norte provincial capital of Laoag, but cancelled the trip because local officials denied them a rally permit and radio stations refused to extend coverage. The President's son, Ferdinand, jnr, is the provincial governor and his daughter, Mrs Imee Marcos-Manotoc, is a member of the National Assembly from Ilocos Norte. Mrs Aquino told the Narvacan rally that the President's solid north had been broken. "We are so way ahead of Marcos now he does not even feel like campaigning anymore," she said. "What he is concentrating on now is how to cheat" Before;; heading north, Mrs Aquino responded to the President's description of her as "an inexperienced pilot". She said reelecting Mr Marcos would be "like booking a flight on a plane full of terrorists". Who will rule Taiwan? The guessing game gets harder TAIPEI, 2 Jam Taiwan's Nationalist ; rulers are playing a guessing game over who will succeed President Chiang Ching-kuo, who at 75 is now frail and inactive. A series of reshuffles in 1985 in : the Government and Kuomintang (Nationalist) Party-sidelined some favoured candidates and made forecasts of who will take over the island's leadership even more difficult than before. Two years ago one could predict with fair accuracy which men would be moving up or down in the party hierarchy, according to Liu Shi-yuan of the Institute for Political Studies here. "Now, with most of the original contenders out of the running, through resignation or rftamt no one knows who will take over the mandate of heaven when President Chiang leaves the scene," he said. A senior opposition member of parliament said it had taken the Kuomintang only two years to purge the group of potential hew leaders it had been grooming for the past two decades. The Kuomintang seemed to have been dismantling- its own ladder of succession ; instead of building one, said Mr Yu Ching. - That neatly sums up a series of incidents in the past two years which has gradually eliminated possible successon to Chiang. Mitterrand: "on the right road." start as the Government has cut gas and electricity tariffs. - Encouraged by the increasingly moderate program since the break with communists last year, both national and international investors appear convinced that no big economic upheaval is on the horizon to upset an increasingly confident economy. The "very optimistic" reports of business leaders come from the Government Statistic Institute which also reported that investment was about to rise for the first time in four years. But growth forecasts have been anticipated by stock buyers at home and abroad after record share-buying which saw a 20 per cent jump in November and another five per cent increase in hectic buying during the last few days of the year. Such confidence is based partly upon a forecast growth rate of at : least two per cent this year, an increasingly firm franc and more competitive French industry after large-scale modernisation which has turned most of the lame duck firms nationalised in 1982 into profitable companies. The Right's main hope of puncturing the socialist electoral message is to accuse the administration of fiddling the storms N f 1 'JSSammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm The opposition presidential candidate Mrs Coraron Aquino and running. mate Salvador Laurel, have set a cracfeing pace in their election campaign in northern, central and southern Philippines. They have dnabiC large and enthusiastic crowds like this one at Mr Laurel's home province of Bataneas. ,m !? Mrs Aquino said the 20-year administration was a "full of people in mismanagement and violations of human rights". Manila's Roman Catholic bishops, including Cardinal Jaime Sin, have issued a pastoral letter calling on people to vote in the election and to try to prevent ballot box fraud, cheating and other irregularities. Mrs Aquino and Mr Laurel were showered with flowers and confetti when they landed in Narvacan in separate helicopters after a whistle-stop visit to the old Spanish colonial town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur. They have set a cracking pace in their campaign, visiting a dozen cities and towns in the northern, ; ' The r Nationalists, who have ruled Taiwan since being driven from the mainland at the end of the civil war with the communists in 1949, suffered their first blow when the popular former Prime Minister, Sun Yun-suan, suffered a stroke in February 1984. Then a powerful general, Wang Seng, head of the army's political department for two decades, was suddenly made ambassador to Paraguay for undisclosed reasons in August 1984. Wang had been Chiang's close confidant since the 1940s when Chiang was appointed by his father. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, to clean up corruption in Shanghai, China's largest city. Scandals The Kuomintang was rocked by two major scandals last year which led to the resignation of the party secretary-general, Tsiang Yen-si, the Economic Minister, Hsu Li-teh, and the Finance Minister, Lob Jen-kong. The scandals were triggered by disclosure of official involvement in the murder of dissident writer Henry Liu in California and the downfall of the Cathay business empire. - It had been thought certain that Sun, Wang, Tsiang and Hsu would au be members of the collective 22E n books by deflating employment statistics, controlling prices artificially and hiding a bigger budget deficit than admitted. ! But accusations that Me achievement, particularly Wfla don, is due malar to falling! prices and dwindling dollart are strongrV:41suted by the socialists. Hr . ' Accusij? alt purchas power JMr ' , jt to acceler. deflation. 6 f, T answered-1 statistfcsitaf hat the Freaft-had 1.4 per cent more in tM$f pockets last year after two tean" years. The trend Is being rathV forced Just before the election byt ' a series of increases in child alf-lowances," pensions and the minV mum wage.;ijt z; ' RICHARD BERNSTEIN of 'The New York Times'-Teports that-if the right waSj successful. President MHteraad, whose term djoe$ not end until 1988, would have to govern with a right-wing prime minister and government pledged to oppose his policies? .--- In that way the election would begin a period of considerable testability In France and could even lead to a constitutional crisis. ,. Specifically, this is what would be likeiy' to '.happen if the right took control parliament: ; ;) First,; Prime Minister Laurent Fabius and -the French Cabinet would have to step down to be're-placed by -another figure who would governiiunder. President Mitterrand in an arrangement never before seea but these days frequently: discussed that goes by the name cohabitation". Second, according to the views of many, the. right would try, to overturn: Mitterrand's program pressing intentionally for a crisis. This in turn would force Mittecr rand either to accede to a state of powerlessness or to dissolve the National Assembly i and call for new elections.;; . : ; - it,;, If the right were returned, to power again, the President would then have little choice buti to resign before his term ends. -v. rt i. & central and southern Philippines in less than three: .weeks. .;.j Mr Marcos, "by" contrast, "has made only loun ut-flf-town i au of uiem withflJ about 80 1 Manila apart fram one Laoag. Presidential palace ciais said he would visit neis ing Quezon, Laguna and provinces at theweekend. The ODDosition claimed ye day claimed a big prize a4 switch of allegiance by a souti political leader. Governor Fortich of Bukidnon in Mind island. Mr Fortich sent Mr Marcos a letter declaring his "irrevocable resignation" from the ruling New Society Movement (KBL). Renter leadership expected to emerge after the ageing president leaves the scene. Most analysts agree that the new Prime Minister, 71-year-old Yu Kuo-hua, and the 76-year-old party secretary-general, Man Soo-lay, are only transitional figures because of their age. One Asian diplomat said power struggles had injured both moderate and conservative factions of the party because Chiang was ada-. mant in maintaining a centre course. "Neither the anti-communist die-hards nor the moderate reformists have won in the power game. The result is that now there are no apparent successors to Chiang at all," he said While family succession might be a solution in some countries, Chiang was at pains last month to dispel speculation that he might be succeeded by one of his sons. ' "Some people may raise the . question whether any member of my family would run for the next presidency. My answer is: 'It can't be and it won't be'." he declared. He also sought to allay the fear of many Taiwanese that the end of rule by the Chiang family father and son have led the Nationalists for the past 60 years might lead to chaos and a military takeover, as has so often happened in Chinese history. . Beater Marcos ghold tre knU visurie MTJ stfo Una

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