"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."-- Benjamin Franklin.

Monday, December 19, 2011

ST: North Korea's Kim Jong Il dies: State TV

The Straits Times; Published on Dec 19, 2011
North Korea's Kim Jong Il dies: State TV
SEOUL (AFP) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died aged 69 of a heart attack, state media announced on Monday, plunging the impoverished but nuclear-armed nation into uncertainty amid a second dynastic succession.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cost-recovery fee levied when old IC is lost

The Straits Times; Published on Nov 18, 2011
Cost-recovery fee levied when old IC is lost 
THE identity card is an important document used primarily for identification purposes ('Hefty penalty for losing old IC' by Mr Alex Chan; Nov 8). It also facilitates personal transactions in the public and private sectors in Singapore.

Friday, November 11, 2011

China needs more than a 5-year charm offensive

China needs more than a 5-year charm offensive
It's now seeking to build 'soft power', but there are limits to its likely success
04:45 AM Nov 11, 2011
by David Pilling
In the past 30 years, China has created an economic machine that has lifted more people out of poverty in a short space of time than any nation in history. It has built world-class factories, vast modern cities and a continental highway system. Now it wants to build something less tangible: Soft power.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hefty penalty for losing old IC

The Straits Times; Published on Nov 8, 2011
Hefty penalty for losing old IC
I WAS recently involved in an identity card (IC) re-registration exercise. Unfortunately, my wallet, which contained my old IC, was stolen while my new one was being processed.

Destruction of general election 2011 ballot papers and other documents

PRESS RELEASE
DESTRUCTION OF GENERAL ELECTION 2011
BALLOT PAPERS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS
In accordance with Section 49(9) of the Parliamentary Elections Act (Chapter 218), ballot papers and other documents used in the election shall be sealed and retained in safe custody for a period of 6 months, after which they shall be destroyed unless otherwise directed by order of the President. This is to ensure secrecy of the vote.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Be more discerning in adopting latest medical tests

The Straits Times; Published on Nov 5, 2011
Be more discerning in adopting latest medical tests
THANK you, Professor Tommy Koh, for shedding light on the controversy surrounding prostate cancer tests ('Why prostate test is being peddled'; last Saturday) and Professor Feng Pao Hsii ('The public is being sold increasingly sophisticated tests, devices, machines and procedures that have little long-term scientific evidence'; Wednesday).

'The public is being sold increasingly sophisticated tests, devices, machines and procedures that have little long-term scientific evidence.'

The Straits Times; Published on Nov 2, 2011
My point: Medicine
'The public is being sold increasingly sophisticated tests, devices, machines and procedures that have little long-term scientific evidence.'

Why prostate test is being peddled

The Straits Times; Published on Oct 29, 2011
Why prostate test is being peddled
I WISH to draw attention to the following facts with reference to Singapore Urological Association president Dr Michael Wong Yuet Chen's letter yesterday ('Prostate cancer screening: Careful risk assessment vital').
First, the person credited with the discovery of prostate specific antigen (PSA), Professor Richard Ablin of the University of Arizona Medical School, has expressed remorse for his discovery.

Prostate cancer screening: Careful risk assessment vital

The Straits Times; Published on Oct 28, 2011
Prostate cancer screening: Careful risk assessment vital
I REFER to the article on the new United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendation about PSA screening ('Prostate cancer test 'does have benefits''; Oct 20).
The task force, a non-governmental panel comprising internists, nurses and health behaviour specialists, advised that PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screening should not be performed for all age groups as it 'results in small or no reduction in prostate cancer-specific mortality'.

New NUS law school dean has uphill task

The Straits Times; Published on Nov 5, 2011
New NUS law school dean has uphill task
NEW National University of Singapore (NUS) law dean Simon Chesterman's effort to produce creative thinkers in addition to technically capable lawyers may be an uphill task, as his students are the products of schools obsessed with assessments and rankings ('Grads must be creative thinkers: New NUS law dean'; Tuesday).

New NUS law dean has big plans for school

The Straits Times; Published on Oct 31, 2011
New NUS law dean has big plans for school
By Amelia Tan
Professor Simon Chesterman has been named the new dean of the National University of Singapore (NUS) law school after more than 60 candidates were considered for the job.

Woman sues developer after she falls at show flat

The Straits Times; Published on Nov 8, 2011
Woman sues developer after she falls at show flat
By K. C. Vijayan
A prospective home buyer who fell and hurt her face after viewing a show flat is suing the developer.
Madam Tan Ah Lai, 59, claims she slipped as she was walking down a staircase, which was unlit and had sand on it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FairPrice took the lead in reducing plastic bag usage

The Straits Times, Published on Oct 29, 2011
FairPrice took the lead in reducing plastic bag usage
WE THANK Ms Catherine Ho Shull for her concerns on the environment ('Time to say a firm 'no' to plastic bags'; Tuesday) and would like to share FairPrice's position on this issue.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Maid borrows but boss suffers loan-shark woes

The Straits Times; Published on Oct 31, 2011
Maid borrows but boss suffers loan-shark woes
MY FIRST maid, a Filipina who worked for me for five years, left Singapore in a hurry after she had used my name to borrow money from a loan shark.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Victim, rescuer and travesty of justice

The Straits Times, Published on Oct 25, 2011
Victim, rescuer and travesty of justice
MR PEH Shing Huei's retelling of the story of Peng Yu and Xu Shoulan shows that justice in China may sometimes be miscarried ('Help me up... so I can sue you'; last Friday).

Help me up... so I can sue you

Help me up... so I can sue you
Peh Shing Huei
The Straits Times
Publication Date : 21-10-2011
The story of Peng Yu and Xu Shoulan is not part of China's rich collection of ancient folk tales, but most Chinese are familiar with it nonetheless.

Offer cheaper flats with a condition - sell them back to HDB

The Straits Times; Published on Oct 24, 2011
Offer cheaper flats with a condition - sell them back to HDB
IN HER letter, Ms Chen Xinyi argued that restricting resale of three-room flats to only low-income earners, and pegging resale prices to the original sales price plus the annual inflation rate will disadvantage current as well as future three-room home owners, as they will be unable to leverage on capital gains from the asset to upgrade to a larger flat ('Restricting sale and price of resale 3-room flats won't work'; last Thursday).

Restricting sale and price of resale 3-room flats won't work

The Straits Times; Published on Oct 20, 2011
Restricting sale and price of resale 3-room flats won't work
I AM dismayed by MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Zainudin Nordin's suggestion to restrict the resale of three-room flats to only low-income earners and peg resale prices to the original sales price plus the annual inflation rate ('Call to re-look pricing of new flats'; Tuesday).

Time to say a firm 'no' to plastic bags

The Straits Times;Published on Oct 25, 2011
Time to say a firm 'no' to plastic bags
WHILE living in Shanghai four years ago, I was amazed at how resolutely the authorities ended the use of plastic bags. The city's populace quickly adapted and most people began carrying their own bags whenever they went shopping.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The instability of inequality

The instability of inequality
Unless relative economic roles of the market and state are rebalanced, protests will get more severe
by Nouriel Roubini 04:46 AM Oct 17, 2011
This year has witnessed a global wave of social and political turmoil and instability, with masses of people pouring into the real and virtual streets: The Arab Spring; riots in London; Israel's middle-class protests against high housing prices and an inflationary squeeze on living standards; protesting Chilean students; the destruction in Germany of the expensive cars of "fat cats"; India's movement against corruption; mounting unhappiness with corruption and inequality in China; and now the "Occupy Wall Street" movement in New York and across the United States.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Up to 6m plastic bags saved per year: FairPrice

The Straits Times; Published on Oct 13, 2011
Up to 6m plastic bags saved per year: FairPrice
WE THANK Ms Cheong Shu Min for her letter (''Bring Your Own Bag' scheme isn't working as it should'; last Saturday), and will consider her feedback with other inputs to improve our programmes.
FairPrice introduced the Green Rewards Scheme in 2007 to help reduce plastic bag wastage.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

'Bring Your Own Bag' scheme isn't working as it should

The Straits Times; Published on Oct 8, 2011
'Bring Your Own Bag' scheme isn't working as it should
I WAS appalled by the sheer amount of plastic bags used for bagging groceries when I visited my neighbourhood FairPrice recently.

GDP and GNP

GDP and GNP: distinguishes between gdp and gnp figures, explains why they are calculated and considers the level of accuracy of the figures.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Median income of S'poreans up 11%

Median income of S'poreans up 11%
By Saifulbahri Ismail | Posted: 11 October 2011 1935 hrs
Median income of S'poreans increased over past 10 years
SINGAPORE: Singapore has one of the highest employment rates internationally and the median income of workers also increased 11 per cent in real terms, over the past 10 years.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More people living in rental flats

More people living in rental flats
Trend due to widening income gap and growing number of lonely seniors
The Straits Times - August 21, 2011; By: Daryl Chin
More people living in rental flats
For the past 18 years, Mr Adam Teo's home has been a two-room rental flat in Toa Payoh, littered with books, toys and clothes.
Moreover, the 24-year-old is now his family's sole breadwinner, supporting his mother and two younger siblings.

Should opposition MPs be grassroots advisers?

Should opposition MPs be grassroots advisers?
Janice Heng
23 September 2011; The Straits Times (c) 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Limited
The practice of appointing PAP candidates as grassroots advisers in opposition wards has been in the news of late due to disputes in Workers’ Party-held Aljunied GRC and Hougang. Insight digs up the history of this controversial practice.
ON OCT 31, 1981, Mr J.B. Jeyaretnam won a by-election in Anson and became the first opposition Member of Parliament to be elected since 1963.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lawyer fined $50,000 for overcharging client


Law society of Singapore thinks that lawyer should charge $149 /hr, Paralegal: 116/hr.
Calc. is based upon the assumption that:
Both lawyer and his paralegal worked equal hours and overcharged proportionally.
"His hourly charge was $450. He charged another $350 an hour for his assistant, a paralegal"

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cost of treating cancer too prohibitive

Cost of treating cancer too prohibitive
We need to move beyond fighting over expensive drugs that add only a few months to life
by Karol Sikora 04:46 AM Sep 30, 2011
One in three of the population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Nearly all families have been affected. It is a disease that causes much emotion and fear.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A lesson from HK maid ruling

A lesson from HK maid ruling
Letter from Liew Kai Khiun 04:46 AM Oct 06, 2011
The recent ruling by a Hong Kong court on the right of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) to apply for permanent residency is a legal landmark for a city that already has policies on minimum wages, rest days and the right to unionisation for its estimated 250,000 maids.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shortage of question papers forces NUS to cancel economics exam

Shortage of question papers forces NUS to cancel economics exam
by Wendy Wong 04:46 AM Oct 04, 2011
SINGAPORE - Some 700 first-year undergraduates at the National University of Singapore (NUS), who were supposed to sit for a paper on managerial economics last Saturday, were told on the spot that the exam was cancelled - because not enough question papers were printed.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Credit card rule flexible, says MAS

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 28, 2011
SENIOR'S COMPLAINT
Credit card rule flexible, says MAS
MR RAYMOND Koh Bock Swi asked why the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) does not customise our minimum income requirements for retirees who want to have a credit card ('MAS rule unfair to seniors'; last Saturday).

MAS rule unfair to seniors

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 24, 2011
CREDIT CARDS
MAS rule unfair to seniors
RECENTLY I complained to Maybank after it declined my credit card application, which requires a minimum qualifying income of $30,000, and copied my complaint to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
While I had substantial unencumbered fixed deposits in that bank, they wanted me to collateralise my credit card limit, which I declined.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rogue trader at UBS racks up S$2.48-billion loss

Rogue trader at UBS racks up S$2.48-billion loss
Updated 11:55 AM Sep 16, 2011
LONDON - UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank in which the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) is the largest shareholder, said yesterday it might be unprofitable in the third quarter after a rogue trader lost US$2 billion (S$2.48 billion) at its investment bank.

Who could fill Tony Tan's shoes at GIC?

Who could fill Tony Tan's shoes at GIC?
By Leong Wee Keat, TODAY | Posted: 23 June 2011 0640 hrs
Dr Tony Tan (TODAY)
SINGAPORE: Dr Tony Tan's possible candidacy in the coming Presidential Election could leave the door wide open for a new executive director at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).
Dr Tan is understood to be collecting application forms for an eligibility certificate on Thursday to contest the presidency. He will have to resign from the GIC if he is elected.
No names were readily offered as a possible replacement for Dr Tan at GIC by most of the GIC watchers whom TODAY spoke to.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A little inflation can be a dangerous thing

A little inflation can be a dangerous thing
by Paul A Volcker 04:46 AM Sep 20, 2011
In all the commentary about Mr Ben Bernanke's recent speech in Wyoming, little attention has been paid to six crucial words: "In a context of price stability". Those words concluded a discussion by Mr Bernanke, the United States Federal Reserve chairman, of what tools the Central Bank could consider appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery.

Don't depend on a purely merit-based system

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 20, 2011
Don't depend on a purely merit-based system
MERITOCRACY does not lead to equal opportunity as Dr Khor Swee Kheng says ("Meritocracy is the only way to tackle inequality fairly"; Sept 13).

No single definition of success

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 20, 2011
No single definition of success
MRS NURHIDAYAH Hassan-Le Neel offered a superficial analogy by comparing two children of differing backgrounds and assuming rhetorically who would be more successful ("Address the problems of meritocracy"; Sept 10).

Strive for a fairer way to compete

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 20, 2011
Strive for a fairer way to compete
I DISAGREE with Dr Khor Swee Kheng ("Meritocracy is the only way to tackle inequality fairly"; Sept 13) and concur with Mrs Nurhidayah Hassan-Le Neel ("Address the problems of meritocracy"; Sept 10) that meritocracy, in reality, remains a limited system that benefits those who have an economic head start and cultural capital.

Meritocracy's shortcomings

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 20, 2011
Meritocracy's shortcomings
THE bottom line is that meritocracy is a euphemism for institutionalising a caste system ("Meritocracy is the only way to tackle inequality fairly" by Dr Khor Swee Kheng and "Level playing field" by Mr Alex Tan; Sept 13).

Level playing field

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 13, 2011
Level playing field
'Thanks to meritocracy, I graduated with honours and have a good career. I can take my parents for holidays abroad, which was once only a dream.'

Meritocracy is the only way to tackle inequality fairly

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 13, 2011
Meritocracy is the only way to tackle inequality fairlyMRS NURHIDAYAH Hassan-Le Neel made two arguments against meritocracy last Saturday ('Address the problems of meritocracy').
According to her, meritocracy is flawed because it does not work in Singapore's rigid class system that is based on economic and cultural clout.

Address the problems of meritocracy

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 10, 2011
Address the problems of meritocracy
MR KOO Tsai Kee's commentary on Tuesday ('Social mobility carried three Tans to the Istana gate') praised Singapore's cornerstone of success, meritocracy.
In an ideal world, everyone would have access to vital resources like education and health care.
But in reality, meritocracy remains a limited system that does not, and cannot, benefit everyone.

ST 6Sept/ TK Koo: 'Social mobility carried three Tans to the Istana gate'







Monday, September 19, 2011

PM Lee expects more robust debates in the next Parliament

PM Lee expects more robust debates in the next Parliament
by Saifulbahri Ismail; 04:46 AM Sep 11, 2011
SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (picture) said he expects to see more robust debates in the next Parliament, which will convene on Oct 10.

Cycling made safer for Pasir Ris residents

Cycling made safer for Pasir Ris residents
A new 1.1km-long cycling path will link Pasir Ris MRT station to residential blocks situated in Pasir Ris Drive 3. -myp; Gwendolyn Ng
Mon, Sep 19, 2011; my paper
Cyclists in Pasir Ris can now have a smoother and safer ride on a new 1.1km-long cycling path that links Pasir Ris MRT station to residential blocks situated in Pasir Ris Drive 3.

Number of lawyers in Singapore could hit record 4,000 this year

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 19, 2011
Number of lawyers in Singapore could hit record 4,000 this year
Surge is due to changes to enable more to qualify, as well as SMU law grads
By K. C. Vijayan

Friday, September 16, 2011

Our population can't keep rising

Our population can't keep rising
Letter from Tham Su-yin 04:46 AM Sep 14, 2011
I REFER to the study reported in "Without migration of some magnitude, Singapore's population will decline, says IPS" (Sept 8). With a low birth rate and longer life expectancy, it is obvious Singapore's population is ageing.

Without migration of some magnitude, Singapore's population will decline, says IPS

Without migration of some magnitude, Singapore's population will decline, says IPS
by Tanya Fong 08Sept2011;  (Updated 10:02 PM Sep 15, 2011)
SINGAPORE - Without migration of some magnitude, Singapore's ageing population will decline - even if it manages to boost its Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to 1.85 from the current 1.15.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Different agencies could liaise with one contractor

Different agencies could liaise with one contractor
04:45 AM Sep 09, 2011
I had wondered some time ago why the landscaping contractors came to my estate so often. A friend familiar with the subject helped to solve the mystery.

Why democracy prevails

Condoleezza Rice alludes that 9/11 was due to 50 year old US foreign policy mistake.
Due to the USA "[seeking] stability at the expense of democracy in supporting authoritarian regimes"
"If people have no way to hold their governments accountable through peaceful change, they will do so violently. "

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ST (2 letters): How PA can show it's non-partisan; and not counterproductive.

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 7, 2011
How PA can show it's non-partisan 
IT WOULD be futile for the People's Association (PA) to continue denying that it is not neutral when it continues the practice of appointing defeated People's Action Party candidates as grassroots advisers in opposition wards ('PA explains rationale for choosing advisers'; last Saturday).

Why opposition MPs should be advisers to grassroots bodies

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 7, 2011
Why opposition MPs should be advisers to grassroots bodies
LAST Saturday's letter by Ms Ooi Hui Mei of the People's Association stated that the PA does not take part in party-political activities ('PA explains rationale for choosing advisers').

Monday, September 5, 2011

Upturn the Downturn song sung by NTUC


dive until very jialat!!!

Opposition MPs as advisers can be useful

Opposition MPs as advisers can be useful
Letter from Charles Poon 04:46 AM Sep 05, 2011
I REFER to the letter "PA responds on advisers" (Sept 3). It is an incorrect and simplistic view that Opposition Members of Parliament are there just to oppose.

PA to be applauded for sticking to its policy

PA to be applauded for sticking to its policy
Letter from Yee Jun Xian 04:46 AM Sep 05, 2011
I COMMEND the People's Association for assiduously ensuring that the grassroots organisations will continue to work closely with the Government.

PA explains rationale for choosing advisers (ST, 'TODAY'; both versions)

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 3, 2011
PA explains rationale for choosing advisers
I REFER to Thursday's letters ('PA must stay neutral' by Mr Chong Yew Mun; and 'Why are PA's appointed advisers exclusively from the PAP?' by Mr Tan Si An), as well as recent letters relating to the issue of neutrality of the People's Association (PA).

Friday, September 2, 2011

President's office should oversee the People's Association

President's office should oversee the People's Association
Letter from Isaac Koh Zhao Jin 04:45 AM Sep 02, 2011
The People's Association (PA), which some members of the public view to be partisan, is a statutory board under the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

PA's stance on grassroots advisers under spotlight

PA's stance on grassroots advisers under spotlight
by Ng Jing Yng 04:46 AM Sep 02, 2011
SINGAPORE - Following the recent dispute between the Workers' Party (WP) and the People's Association (PA) over the lease of common sites in the Opposition wards, the role of grassroots advisers - and the exclusion of Opposition Members of Parliament from these positions - has come under the spotlight again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A worry if PA thinks political rather than people/ respect the ppl's mandate.

A worry if PA thinks political rather than people
04:46 AM Sep 01, 2011
Letter from Chan Chi Yung
THE stand taken by the People's Association (PA) on why opposition Members of Parliament cannot be advisers to grassroots bodies is disturbing because of its implications.

What is the role of grassroots advisers? Do they have authority?

What is the role of grassroots advisers? Do they have authority?
Letter from Tan Si An 04:45 AM Aug 31, 2011
I refer to the article "Hougang grassroots adviser eyes six sites" (Aug 24), which mentioned that the People's Association appoints advisers to its grassroots organisations in each constituency.

Hougang grassroots adviser eyes six sites

Hougang grassroots adviser eyes six sites
by Teo Xuanwei 04:46 AM Aug 24, 2011
SINGAPORE - Hougang SMC grassroots adviser Desmond Choo is eyeing the transfer of the lease for six plots of land - which are currently under the care of the Workers' Party's (WP) Hougang Town Council (HGTC) - to the People's Association (PA).

Explain why opposition MPs won't support policies; reset attitude; Social cohesion/ cooking contests

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 1, 2011
Explain why opposition MPs won't support policies
THE People's Association (PA) should explain why opposition MPs are not expected to support programmes such as anti-dengue and active ageing ('Why opposition MPs can't be advisers to grassroots bodies'; yesterday). Are these not issues that affect all Singaporeans across party lines?
Sng Woei Shyong
http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/OnlineStory/STIStory_707995.html

Give voters due respect

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 1, 2011
Give voters due respect
MR MUHAMMAD Yusuf Osman hit the nail on the head ('Advisers to grassroots bodies should be elected MPs'; Tuesday).

PA should give better reasons

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 1, 2011
PA should give better reasons
I READ with great apprehension the hollow response from the People's Association (PA) in yesterday's letter ('Why opposition MPs can't be advisers to grassroots bodies').
PA should give us more convincing reasons to support the accusation before concluding that opposition MPs cannot be expected to support government programmes.

Why are PA's appointed advisers exclusively from the PAP?

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 1, 2011
Why are PA's appointed advisers exclusively from the PAP?
THE People's Association's (PA) reply yesterday ('Why opposition MPs can't be advisers to grassroots bodies') failed to point out that its management board is chaired by the secretary-general of the People's Action Party (PAP), its vice-chairman is the PAP treasurer and the special adviser to the PA chairman is a former PAP chairman.

PAP supporter reminds party to stand firm, rebuts PA critics

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 1, 2011
PAP supporter reminds party to stand firm, rebuts PA critics
I REFER to Mr Muhammad Yusuf Osman's letter on Tuesday ('Advisers to grassroots bodies should be elected MPs') and the People's Association's (PA) reply yesterday ('Why opposition MPs can't be advisers to grassroots bodies').

PA must stay neutral

The Straits Times; Published on Sep 1, 2011
PA must stay neutral 
A CANDIDATE who is elected MP should be considered as part of the Government, regardless of political affiliation ('Why opposition MPs can't be advisers to grassroots bodies', by the People's Association yesterday; in reply to Mr Muhammad Yusuf Osman's letter on Tuesday, 'Advisers to grassroots bodies should be elected MPs').

PA: Why opposition MPs can't be advisers to grassroots bodies

The Straits Times; Published on Aug 31, 2011
Why opposition MPs can't be advisers to grassroots bodies
WE REFER to Mr Muhammad Yusuf Osman's letter yesterday ('Advisers to grassroots bodies should be elected MPs').

Advisers to grassroots bodies should be elected MPs

The Straits Times; Published on Aug 30, 2011
Advisers to grassroots bodies should be elected MPs
MANAGING the spat between the People's Association (PA) and the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council over the use of sites for community activities requires concrete and real effort from the Government, which has to be clear and consistent in applying its rules to all constituencies regardless of their local governance ('Curbs lifted on events at PA sites'; last Wednesday).

PAP's Desmond Choo asks PA to lease six sites (pict)

PAP's Desmond Choo asks PA to lease six sites (pict)

Curbs lifted on events at PA sites

The Straits Times; Published on Aug 24, 2011
Curbs lifted on events at PA sites 
Li Xueying; Teo Wan Gek
IN AN apparent softening of stance by the Government, residents can now invite whoever they wish to events held on public sites leased by the People's Association (PA).
This means that MPs from the opposition parties can now be invited to these activities in their personal capacity.
There are two caveats though.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WP: Media Release on Use of Public Sites at Aljunied GRC

Copy of: 'WP: Media Release on Use of Public Sites at Aljunied GRC'
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm
This release seeks to enlighten the public about what transpired in the weeks after the May General Election, which has led to the current controversy about use of public spaces by residents of Aljunied GRC to organise events.

No cover when you need it most

The Straits Times; Published on Aug 22, 2011
No cover when you need it most
LIKE Mr Leong Quee Hian ("MediShield burden"; last Wednesday), my dad had signed up for MediShield cover when it was launched years ago. The cover expired in April when my dad reached the age limit of 85.

MediShield burden: 'I suggest a feature similar to the no-claims discount in motor insurance.'

The Straits Times; Published on Aug 17, 2011:  My point
MediShield burden
'I suggest a feature similar to the no-claims discount in motor insurance.'
MR LEONG QUEE HIAN: 'I signed up for MediShield when it was launched but in April this year, the Central Provident Fund Board informed me that my insurance cover had expired at the end of March when I reached the age limit of 85 years.

App helps drivers steer clear of 'summons auntie'

18 Aug 2011: The Straits Times (Singapore)
App helps drivers steer clear of 'summons auntie'
...The app is the work of Replaid, a two-month-old local start-up which received a $50,000 grant from Spring Singapore.
Mr Ron Wee, its sales and marketing manager, said the app is popular for being user-friendly and funny. For instance...

IN COFFEE shops, one can count on seeing motorists make a mad dash to their cars nearby when the coffee-shop keeper yells 'Auntie lai liao!'.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

PEC took 'spirit, not letter' of law

[2011] 12 Aug_ST
PEC took 'spirit, not letter' of law
Source: Straits Times; Rachel Chang
THE Presidential Elections Committee's decision to issue four certificates of eligibility has put paid to concern that the criteria are onerous and may prevent contests.
In fact, observers said yesterday that the way the criteria have been applied has widened the goalposts. It now seems far more people than thought could be eligible to run for president, they said.
It is good to know that it is not a strict interpretation of the criteria, but involves human discernment as to the complexity of the role,' said Singapore Business Federation chief operating officer Victor Tay.
He was referring to the criterion that a candidate must have been chief executive or chairman of a company with paid-up capital of $100 million.

Presidential election: Tweak system to ensure 50% majority

The Straits Times- Published on Aug 15, 2011
Presidential election: Tweak system to ensure 50% majority
 KUDOS to the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) for issuing certificates of eligibility to four presidential hopefuls, thus ensuring a contest on Polling Day ('PEC took 'spirit, not letter' of law'; last Friday).
If, on Nomination Day, it is confirmed that this time, it is a four-horse race, then one of the four candidates could be elected president despite securing less than 50 per cent of the valid votes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

PRICE AND INCOME GAP (Beware housing debt bomb)

The Straits Times: Published on Aug 13, 2011
PRICE AND INCOME GAP (Beware housing debt bomb)
MR GAN Boey Keow's letter ('Adopt Aussie housing rules'; Aug 4) highlighted an Australian measure to maintain home affordability for its citizens. Foreign property owners can buy only new properties, so they can sell their properties only to Australians.

Open private housing market to competition

ST Forum: HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY:
Aug 4, 2011
Open private housing market to competition
I THANK Mr Huang Yangxuan ("Entitlement"), Madam Koh Chin Chin ("Protect citizens") and Mr Alexs Chua ("Not quite a joke") for their letters last Saturday, as well as the Law Ministry for its reply ("Others want more, not less, curbs on foreign ownership"), in response to my letter ("Landed home values stifled by property law"; July 27).

PROTECTING CITIZENS (Adopt Aussie housing rules)

ST Forum: HOME > ST FORUM > STORY: Aug 4, 2011
PROTECTING CITIZENS: Adopt Aussie housing rules
I WAS immensely glad and relieved to read the letters last Saturday ('Entitlement' by Mr Huang Yangxuan, 'Protect citizens' by Madam Koh Chin Chin and 'Not quite a joke' by Mr Alexs Chua) rebutting Mr Frankie Mao's proposition to lift the ban on foreign purchases of landed property ('Landed home values stifled by property law'; July 27).

LANDED PROPERTY (Others want more, not less, curbs on foreign ownership)

ST Forum: HOME > ST FORUM > STORY; Jul 30, 2011
LANDED PROPERTY: Others want more, not less, curbs on foreign ownership
MR FRANKIE Mao suggested that the Government lift restrictions on foreign ownership of landed property ('Landed home values stifled by property law'; Wednesday). We note his reasons, but other Singaporeans have asked the Government to further restrict foreign ownership of such properties.

Entitlement; Not quite a joke; Protect citizens

ST Forum: HOME > ST FORUM > STORY; Jul 30, 2011
Entitlement
'Because landed properties are a testament to our stake in the country, we should not open them for foreigners.'
MR HUANG YANGXUAN: 'I was rather perplexed after reading Mr Frankie Mao's opinion on landed home values ('Landed home values stifled by property law'; Wednesday).

Landed home values stifled by property law

ST Forum
HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
Jul 27, 2011
Landed home values stifled by property law
LANDED properties have been mispriced for a long time because of the Residential Property Act. The Act, which was gazetted to safeguard land ownership for citizens, has unfortunately penalised many landed property owners like me who are not speculators.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

True property rights require agreement by all

ST Forum: HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Aug 5, 2011
True property rights require agreement by all
I AGREE with Mr Tan Keng Ann('En bloc'; Wednesday) about the plight of minority dissenters in a collective property sale.

En bloc

ST Forum: Home > ST Forum > Story
Aug 3, 2011
En bloc
'We fling an 'old' apartment to the scrap heap and replace it with one twice the price or half the space.'
MR TAN KENG ANN: 'The collective sale rule is an undeserved right given to the majority ('One owner should not hold collective sale to ransom' by Mr David Lim; July 23).

Good Presidents past (the second key is but a mystical dragon that may never require)

Good Presidents past
Published on Aug 10, 2011
NEVER have I seen Singaporeans so confused regarding the elected presidency.
The purpose of converting the presidential selection from a nominated to an elected process was to have a non-partisan, highly qualified elected official who would prevent a renegade political party from winning power and using a populist agenda to plunder the reserves. Hence the elected president had to be unconnected with a political party.

MPS AT PARADE (One people, one dress code, please)

MPS AT PARADE (One people, one dress code, please)
Published on Aug 11, 2011
TUESDAY'S National Day Parade marked another evening of joyous celebration of Singapore's birthday.
Next year, I hope to see a tweak in the dress code of our Members of Parliament (MPs). MPs from the People's Action Party and the Workers' Party were dressed in their respective party colours of white and blue.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Downside to multi-cornered presidential race

Downside to multi-cornered presidential race
Letter from Edwin Yeo Tee Yeok 04:45 AM Aug 10, 2011
While the prospect of a multi-candidate contest for the Presidency looks to be an exciting spectacle, I am concerned that the splitting of votes among the candidates could result in a situation where the winner garners fewer than half of the total votes cast.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Singapore ahead in the losing game?

Singapore ahead in the losing game?
Letter from Leong Sze Hian 04:45 AM Aug 03, 2011
I refer to the article "IRs here have not created more gambling addicts: CRA" (July 30). On the call for greater transparency regarding the number of Singaporeans entering the casinos, it states that Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) chief executive Lau Peet Meng had agreed that the legality of the information - and how it is shared - could be looked into more carefully.

IRs here have not created more gambling addicts: CRA

IRs here have not created more gambling addicts: CRA
by Ng Jing Yng 04:46 AM Jul 30, 2011
SINGAPORE - The presence of the Integrated Resorts (IRs) here has not caused a spike in the number of gambling addicts, said Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) chairman Richard Magnus yesterday, citing a study done by the Institute of Mental Health.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011Feb: Target white-collar foreigners instead

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
February 23, 2011 Wednesday,
Target white-collar foreigners instead 
WHILE the Government's decision to lessen reliance on foreign labour to raise productivity is laudable, the wrong sector is being targeted ('Worker levy increase shocks businesses'; last Saturday).
The Government should not focus on tightening blue-collar foreign labour as such migrant workers are needed in transient work.

2011 Mar: 'MOM, about that $575 chair...' & another

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Mar 29, 2011
MOM, about that $575 chair...
I AM puzzled and perturbed by Friday's report ("MOM staff to get ergonomic chairs") in which a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokeman rationalised the $271,400 allocation for 472 Herman Miller chairs (at $575 each) for its staff.

Check the work, not the title

ST Forum
HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Jul 22, 2011
Check the work, not the title
ON THE issue of misuse of the employment pass facility ("Foreigners offer to 'pay' for employment passes"; Tuesday), we focus only on whether the declared salary is paid or not, but there is another form of cheating.
This happens mostly in restaurants.

Foreigners offer to ‘pay’ for employment passes

Foreigners offer to ‘pay’ for employment passes
July 19th, 2011 | Author: Your Correspondent (By Melissa Kok & Amanda Tan)Straits Times, 19 July 2011
EMPLOY us and we will ‘pay’ you.
That offer was made to Mr Henn Tan, owner of a local technology firm, when he interviewed two men – a Myanmarese and a Filipino in their 20s. They had applied to work as a webmaster and a software engineer respectively.

2011 Mar: Ergonomic chairs offer best value for money: MOM

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Mar 31, 2011
Ergonomic chairs offer best value for money: MOM
WE REFER to Mr Lee Seck Kay's letter on Tuesday ('MOM, about that $575 chair...').
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) conducted an open tender in accordance with government procurement guidelines for the purchase of office chairs for our employees at the Kim Seng premises. The brand of the chairs was not specified in the tender invitation.

Is $575 chair too expensive for civil servants?

Health @ AsiaOne
Is $575 chair too expensive for civil servants?
MOM paying $575 for Herman Miller chair that retails for $1,200. -TNP
Mon, Mar 28, 2011
The New Paper, By Ng Wan Ching
A CHAIR is not as simple as it looks. Take the Herman Miller chairs, renowned for their ergonomic design.
Photos: A $1,200 ergonomic chair for $575

2011Mar: 'MOM staff to get ergonomic chairs'

HOME > BREAKING NEWS > SINGAPORE > STORY
Mar 25, 2011
MOM staff to get ergonomic chairs
STAFF at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) headquarters in Kim Seng Road can expect designer chairs at their workplace soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Do we need the IRs?

Do we need the IRs?
04:45 AM Aug 01, 2011
Letter from Jedidiah Tan
I READ with great interest the apparent divide between Ms Grace Fu's and Mr Tan Kin Lian's thoughts on the issue of gambling.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Playing God is good for the planet

Playing God is good for the planet
We have the tech to save the world, but we must put aside doubts about nuclear energy, geo-engineering
by Mark Lynas 04:45 AM Jul 14, 2011
In May 2010, for only the second time in 3.7 billion years, a life form was created with no biological parent, out of a collection of inanimate chemicals. This transformation took place not in some primordial soup, still less the Garden of Eden, but in a Californian laboratory. And the Divine Creator was J Craig Venter, a world-renowned biologist, highly successful entrepreneur and one of the first sequencers of the human genome.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jetstar Magazine and the compensation payable on intellectual property violations.

Quote:
He posted picture on Flickr and it turned up in a magazine ...
01:05 AM Jun 30, 2011
by Ng Jing Yng

Re: 30 cops, dogs in 6-hour hunt for... parking offender

Moral of story:
  1. 'AETOS' is a premier security company because if anything goes wrong, its subsidiaries, SPF and perhaps SAF are always at their immediate disposal.
  2. AETOS is so powerful, that it can order its subsidiary companies (SPF, whatever) will do everything possible to recover even a pair of missing handcuffs misplaced by 2 bungling AETOS auxiliaries on a slippery parking offender.
  3. The Minister of Home Affairs (SG) is possibly a puppet of the CEO of AETOS security too.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beef up credit card security

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Jun 13, 2011
Beef up credit card security
TRANSACTIONS involving the physical use of credit cards with merchants continue to be prone to fraud.
Banks must implement a personal identification number (PIN) system for all credit cards, where the customer inserts the card into the terminal, either at the sales counter or at his table in a dining establishment, and validates it with his PIN.

Pedestrian fined for causing hurt to cyclist

HOME > BREAKING NEWS > SINGAPORE > STORY
Jun 13, 2011
Pedestrian fined for causing hurt to cyclist
By Elena Chong
A teenager, who stepped onto the road without looking and caused a cyclist to crash into her and die, was fined $1,500 yesterday.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Urine and effluent will feed the world

TODAY: Behind the Headlines
Urine and effluent will feed the world
by Esther Ng
Published on April 6, 2011
Urine is liquid gold, said Dr James Barnard, this year’s recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize.
Half the world’s population cannot afford fertilizer, so it makes sense to use urine, said the 75-year-old, drawing laughter from a room of journalists who had gathered for the press conference.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Delink political affiliations of grassroots bodies

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
Jun 4, 2011
Delink political affiliations of grassroots bodies
I REFER to Monday's report ('PM: Unfair to criticise grassroots activists'). Being a grassroots volunteer myself, I could not help but feel that debating whether the grassroots activists are telling MPs the truth is just barking up the wrong tree.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rules of prudence: Serving in a new era

Rules of prudence: Serving in a new era
04:47 AM May 28, 2011
THIS letter by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was circulated to all People's Action Party MPs and released to the media yesterday.

Our Party has won 81 out of 87 seats in the just concluded General Election. The opposition contested 82 seats, of which the PAP won 76, with 60.1 per cent of the votes.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Becoming First World people

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 24, 2011
Becoming First World people
IT IS heartening to see the People's Action Party making changes to better meet the demands and aspirations of Singaporeans. It is also encouraging to see the Workers' Party's commitment not to oppose for the sake of opposing, and to act as a check on the Government to create a First World Parliament.

Friday, May 27, 2011

NDP tickets/ Sale of NDP tickets strictly prohibited

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
May 21, 2011
My Point
NDP tickets
'Tweak the balloting system so applicants who have never been successful will have a higher chance.'

Disturbing driving practice

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 27, 2011
Disturbing driving practice
I HAVE noticed lately a very disturbing practice by motorists whenever I cross a traffic junction.
When the lights show that the pedestrians have the right of way, cars tend to continue on their way even when there are pedestrians walking across the road.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spurring on eco-shoppers

Spurring on eco-shoppers
Letter from Teo Siyang 04:46 AM May 26, 2011
I APPLAUD Ms Barbara Tan for her suggestion in coming up with an alternative practice in reducing the usage of plastic bags in supermarkets ("Give eco-shoppers the green-carpet treatment", May 13).

Give eco-shoppers the green-carpet treatment

Give eco-shoppers the green-carpet treatment
Letter from Barbara Tan 04:46 AM May 13, 2011
FOR a long time I have wondered if there is a better way to encourage people to take their own shopping bags to supermarkets.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bring back rental flats in big way

Bring back rental flats in big way
Letter from Chia Hern Keng
04:46 AM May 17, 2011
May I suggest that the Government consider restoring the HDB rental system in a big way. During the early days of this nation, this was how many Singaporeans were adequately housed when they were resettled from kampungs. One-, two- and three-room Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats were rented out to those who could not buy.

Allow non-elected ministers

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 17, 2011
Allow non-elected ministers
MY TEARS flowed as I read about our two respected ministers quitting the Cabinet ("Lee Kuan Yew steps down"; Sunday) .

GRCs no longer safe havens for newbies

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 18, 2011
GRCs no longer safe havens for newbies
MR ELGIN Toh's commentary ('GRC loss impacts PAP's renewal plans'; last Saturday) hit the nail on the head. The People's Action Party (PAP) has become a victim of its own policies.

GRC loss impacts PAP's renewal plans

The Straits Times: Published on May 14, 2011
GRC loss impacts PAP's renewal plans
Opposition may now find it easier, and PAP harder, to recruit talent
By Elgin Toh
Just about every piece of conventional wisdom articulated about Group Representation Constituencies (GRCS) has been overturned or at least called into question by the May 7 election results.
Of these, one or the most important has to do with how political parties in Singapore recruit new candidates for party renewal.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time to scrap it

Home > ST Forum > Story
May 13, 2011
GRC AFTER GE 2011: USEFUL OR NOT?
Time to scrap it
MORE than anything else, GE 2011 shows how wrong the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) system is, because it produces results that go against the wishes of the entire electorate.
Most of us, whether we voted PAP or the opposition, do not wish Mr George Yeo and Mr Chiam See Tong to be voted out of Parliament. Nor do we wish the PAP's Ms Tin Pei Ling voted in.

It works fine

Home > ST Forum > Story
May 13, 2011
GRC AFTER GE 2011: USEFUL OR NOT?
It works fine
THE aim of the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) system in ensuring that there is an adequate number of minorities elected into Parliament works.
If the entire electoral format features single member constituencies (SMCs), there is a high probability that Chinese Singaporean candidates will win, despite the fact that 16,969 voters in Punggol East SMC returned PAP's Eurasian candidate Michael Palmer to the House.

It's uniquely Singaporean and very rude

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
Apr 26, 2011
It's uniquely Singaporean and very rude
SINCE my arrival in Singapore almost nine months ago, the tissue reservation practice at various eateries irks me most ('An issue with tissue on road to graciousness' by Mr Francis Cheng; April 16).
During our break on our first day at work, we headed to the Maxwell Food Centre, where my colleague and I could not get a seat after having bought our food.

An issue with tissue on road to graciousness

An issue with tissue on road to graciousness
Source: The Straits Times Apr 16, 2011
THREE weeks ago at the Queen's Street hawker centre during lunch time, a Chinese tourist asked if he could share a table with me and I readily replied yes.

Mini-GRCs work better

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 14, 2011
Mini-GRCs work better
DESPITE obtaining 40 per cent of the total votes cast, the opposition parties secured only about 7 per cent of the seats in Parliament. This sad fact is obviously due to the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) system.

Newbies should stand in single wards

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 14, 2011
Newbies should stand in single wards
THE flaws in the GRC system allowed proven, capable candidates to be voted out (think Mr George Yeo).
New candidates without experience, who may be capable, were also voted out (think Mr Ong Ye Kung).
On the other hand, Marine Parade GRC candidate Tin Pei Ling got into Parliament riding on the reputation and track record of Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

Too small for unhappy slapping

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 14, 2011
Too small for unhappy slapping
SINGAPORE is where it is today not because of a miracle. It took decades of dedicated planning and work.
Many nations with poor leadership have fared badly in the last 10 years. A lack of confidence in the government, and stock prices fall, currency value drops, foreign investors pull out and so on.

Monday, May 16, 2011

More reports might go online

More reports might go online
Looking into feasibility, with enhanced IT system for parliamentary reports
Letter from Yip Siew Joo Official Reports Department Parliament Secretariat
04:46 AM Apr 27, 2011

More thorough access to parliamentary records, please

More thorough access to parliamentary records, please
Letter from Tan Eng Keong
04:46 AM Apr 25, 2011
I REFER to recent reports in which Minister Lui Tuck Yew is quoted as saying the Government has put up a lot of information on its websites. However, it is odd that key pieces of information are not easily found online.

New system will give free access to subsidiary legislation

New system will give free access to subsidiary legislation
Letter from Li Jin Haw, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications Unit, Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore
04:46 AM Apr 27, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Minority candidates don't need GRC system to succeed

Minority candidates don't need GRC system to succeed
Letter from Michelle Liang 08:55 PM May 10, 2011
This election has thrown up many issues causing simmering unhappiness among Singaporeans, some of which have overshadowed the many good things that the PAP Government has done over the years.
One of these issues of contention is the GRC system that many view as unfair. I believe that the Government needs to take a good hard look into whether it is serving its intended purpose.

Consider reverting to three-member GRCs

Consider reverting to three-member GRCs
Letter from Vincent Chin 03:20 PM May 12, 2011
As the PAP starts its post mortem and soul-searching, many questions will be raised. These will include issues like the cost of HDB flats; the congestion commuters are facing in our public transport; the influx of foreign talent and the spiraling cost of living. While there is no doubt the PAP Government will do its best to tackle these problems, there are other areas they should look into as a result of several revelations during the General Election 2011.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

(02/11): Foreign worker levies to increase, says MOM

CNA:
Foreign worker levies to increase, says MOM
By Saifulbahri Ismail, S Ramesh | Posted: 21 February 2011 1654 hrs
SINGAPORE: Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is sending a strong signal to businesses to invest in productivity changes and reduce their reliance on low-skilled foreign workers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

China's road accidents take a murderous turn


The Straits Times: Published on May 10, 2011
China's road accidents take a murderous turn
String of cases where drivers try to kill their victims after hitting them
By Ho Ai Li
BEIJING - WHEN 21-year-old Chongqing native Tian Houbo hit a female beggar while driving home from work last December, he simply drove on.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

'Wild card' proposal is not democratic

'Wild card' proposal is not democratic
04:46 AM May 10, 2011
Letter from Mohamed Fairoz Bin Shariff
I REFER to the letter by Mr Ng Ya Ken, "Why lose the losers?" (May 9). He suggested that we modify the existing election system "to allow a 'wild card' window in a General Election so that a second chance could be provided for certain losing candidates to have another contest immediately after".

... Scrap or let voters decide on GRC scheme

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
May 9, 2011
... Scrap or let voters decide on GRC scheme
THE General Election results have shown up the GRC rationale in three ways.
First, Mr Michael Palmer's single-ward win in Punggol East over two opposition Chinese Singaporean candidates shows that a minority candidate can prevail. Singaporeans vote in candidates on merit and passion, not race.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Issue opposition rightfully flagged

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 6, 2011
Issue opposition rightfully flagged
THE Workers' Party may not be ready to form a government. But if the turnouts at its rallies are any indication, the public may not care if the opposition isn't.

Driving S'pore too fast

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 6, 2011
Driving S'pore too fast
MUCH has been discussed on the driver and co-driver for Singapore. But I'm suggesting a traffic control officer here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

We don't want mum to gamble our home away

We don't want mum to gamble our home away
Kids take on jobs and downgrade flat to help hawker mum pay $300,000 gambling debt, but she still goes to casinos and is willing to lose up to $5,000 a day. -TNP
Wed, Apr 13, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

PA denies allegation of 'double standards' by NSP's Nicole Seah

PA denies allegation of 'double standards' by NSP's Nicole Seah
04:46 AM May 05, 2011
SINGAPORE - The People's Association has said the Mountbatten Community Club's toilets are open to members of the public but party-political activities - regardless of where they come from - are not allowed in community clubs.

On GRCs and losing Ministers

On GRCs and losing Ministers
Letter from Daniel Koh Kah Soon
Updated 07:30 PM May 04, 2011
If the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) had been intentionally designed primarily to protect not just untested candidates but also to keep experienced minister in power, the system is flawed. Everyone knows that the GRC introduced by the government has an inherent risk. If the ruling party wins a GRC, it gets between four and seats seats in Parliament. But if it loses one GRC, it loses those number of seats which, in the current election, would include at least one serving minister.

If PAP loses GRCs, it will weaken Government

If PAP loses GRCs, it will weaken Government
It will also impede leadership renewal, warns DPM Wong Kan Seng
by Tan Yo-Hinn 04:46 AM May 04, 2011
SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng says the loss of a few Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) will have serious implications and severely weaken the current Cabinet.

(6/06) GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM

27 June 2006
Straits Times
GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM
Without good chance of winning at polls, they might not be willing to risk careers for politics
By Li Xueying

Seas could rise 1.6m by 2100: Study

Seas could rise 1.6m by 2100: Study
04:46 AM May 05, 2011
Quickening climate change in the Arctic, including a thaw of Greenland's ice, could raise world sea levels by up to 1.6m by 2100, an international report showed on Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

6 million plastic bags saved

Thu, Apr 21, 2011
6 million plastic bags saved: FairPrice Foundation will donate up to $30K to charity based on sales of reusable bags & customer recycling efforts. -AsiaOne
SINGAPORE - SOME 6 million plastic bags were saved last year through NTUC FairPrice's Bring-Your-Own-Bag (BYOB) initiative.
This is a 16 per cent increase compared with the previous year of over 5.1 million plastic bags, said the local company in its recent press release.

Giving up seats: Learn from other nations

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
May 2, 2011
Giving up seats: Learn from other nations
WHEN my father and I stepped into a crowded train in Taipei, a few people from different areas on the train stood up to offer their seats to my elderly but robust dad.

Unfair criticisms of opposition

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
May 2, 2011
Unfair criticisms of opposition
WITH Polling Day around the corner, The Straits Times Forum Page has been flooded with comments on both the People's Action Party (PAP) and the opposition parties. There are plenty of irrational criticisms of the opposition parties.

Friday, April 29, 2011

She thinks S'poreans are still apathetic

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 29, 2011
She thinks S'poreans are still apathetic
HAVING spoken to many Singaporeans from different walks of life, I realise that, despite the heat of Nomination Day, many Singaporeans are either still apathetic about politics and its significance, or are not willing to seriously think through what the political parties have to offer, because they are happy to continue voting for the same political party and do not feel the need to be engaged.

PAP has blurred line between State and party

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 13, 2011
PAP has blurred line between State and party
THE cry for multi-party representation in Parliament is the People's Action Party's own doing ("A single party can't represent all views" by Mr Michael Cyssel Wee; last Friday).

Getting the past right to look into future

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 22, 2011
Getting the past right to look into future
I REFER to the report on new People's Action Party candidate Chan Chun Sing ("Singapore needs 'creativity and gumption to beat odds of history'"; Monday).

What WP should have advocated for housing

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 29, 2011
What WP should have advocated for housing
I REFER to Mr Ng Kok Lim's response ("Asset enhancement affects future generations too"; Wednesday) to my letter ("WP's plan leaves home owners vulnerable"; April 21).

Asset enhancement affects future generations too

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 27, 2011
Asset enhancement affects future generations too
MADAM Shirley Chng cautions against pegging new flat prices to median income ("WP's plan leaves home owners vulnerable"; last Thursday).

WP's plan leaves home owners vulnerable

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
Apr 21, 2011
WP's plan leaves home owners vulnerable
AS 85 per cent of Singaporeans own HDB flats, I would advise caution in considering the Workers' Party (WP) proposal to peg new HDB flat prices to median income ('WP's policy proposals'; April 10).
The WP plan may seriously affect home owners who are forced to resell their flats, for which they paid a lot, because of a personal downturn.

(03/10) MBT: Comm of Supply debate

Source:  http://www.mnd.gov.sg/newsroom/speeches/speeches_2010_M_05032010_COS02a.htm
Speeches
SPEECH BY MR MAH BOW TAN, MINISTER FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AT COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY DEBATE, 05 MARCH 2010, 6:00 PM AT PARLIAMENT

Thursday, April 28, 2011

GE: Good that PAP "contested strongly", says PM Lee

GE: Good that PAP "contested strongly", says PM Lee
By Sharon Tong | Posted: 27 April 2011 1753 hrs
SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also the People's Action Party (PAP) Secretary-General, said at an hour long media conference after Nomination that it is good the opposition is putting up a strong contest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Singapore's not as green as it should be

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 25, 2011
Singapore's not as green as it should be
WHILE visiting Singapore, I was disturbed to see plastic bags being used indiscriminately and with abandon at several retail outlets. Besides supermarkets, bakeries are among the worst culprits. A popular local bread franchise dispenses a plastic bag for each piece of pastry or bread. Even fast-food restaurants serve their food in containers that appear to be non-biodegradable. The multiplier effect of the unconscionable practice of using plastic or its similar derivatives is unthinkable.

Aim of public housing policy

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 25, 2011
Aim of public housing policy
BOTH the People's Action Party and Workers' Party have focused their arguments on prices of HDB flats, but failed to address the most fundamental issue of public housing policy, which is to provide housing to all citizens, regardless of marital or financial status.

Attributes of a First World Parliament

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 25, 2011
Attributes of a First World Parliament
PEOPLE'S Action Party MP Indranee Rajah said the Workers' Party (WP) is refusing to explain what it really means by "First World Parliament", so as not to alarm voters ("The inconvenient truth about WP's campaign slogan"; last Saturday).

First World Parliament: Let voters decide

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
Apr 25, 2011
First World Parliament: Let voters decide
THE Workers' Party (WP) does not see the need to model its 'First World Parliament' theme after any country ('The inconvenient truth about WP's campaign slogan' by People's Action Party MP Indranee Rajah; last Saturday).

He understands where WP is coming from

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 27, 2011
He understands where WP is coming from
AS A first-time voter, I view the ongoing scrutiny and debate over the Workers' Party's campaign slogan, Towards a First World Parliament, as bordering on the irrelevant and unproductive.
If we were to extend this same standard of scrutiny to the People's Action Party's campaign slogan, Securing Our Future Together, then one could question, among other things, whether the PAP will change its policy of differentiating between citizens living in PAP-held and opposition-held wards in terms of upgrading policies and so on, in the future.

First World Parliament needs competition

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 25, 2011
First World Parliament needs competition
I REFER to People's Action Party MP Indranee Rajah's letters ("WP's fictional First World Parliament"; last Tuesday, and "The inconvenient truth about WP's campaign slogan"; last Saturday).
They represent an unproductive picking of words and a distraction from the real issue confronting us, which is to have competition in Parliament.

The inconvenient truth about WP's campaign slogan

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
Apr 23, 2011
The inconvenient truth about WP's campaign slogan
MR GERALD Giam's response ('If a First World govt is possible, so too a First World Parliament'; Thursday) shows how the Workers' Party has been twisting every way possible to explain away its campaign theme, 'First World Parliament', and yet not alarm voters on what it really means.

Waxing lyrical online

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 21, 2011
Waxing lyrical online
WEBSITES are now full of bards waxing eloquent about Singapore's great divide. The thrust of these websites are that the ruling party should be voted out because of its pro-wealth and anti-poor policies.
Really? What should we believe... that Singapore should be ruled by a pro-poor and anti-rich political leadership?

What makes a valid opposition

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 21, 2011
What makes a valid opposition
I REFER to Ms Indranee Rajah's letter, ('WP's fictional First World Parliament'; Tuesday).
Effective governance should not be measured by the speed of passing constitutional amendments, but by the quality of such amendments. If the opposition has a valid concern to oppose the passing of any constitutional amendment, it should be heard and not be labelled troublemaker.

Let's have a First World political debate

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 21, 2011
Let's have a First World political debate
I REFER to Ms Indranee Rajah's response to the Workers' Party (WP) vision of a First World Parliament ('WP's fictional First World Parliament'; Tuesday).

His view of a First World Parliament

HOME > ST FORUM > ONLINE STORY
Apr 21, 2011
His view of a First World Parliament
MS INDRANEE Rajah named countries with a multi-party legislature stuck in gridlock and engaged in political theatre while governance, the economy and people suffer, and policies which would benefit the people cannot get passed, ('WP's fictional First World Parliament'; Tuesday).

If a First World govt is possible, so too a First World Parliament

HOME > ST FORUM > STORY
Apr 21, 2011
If a First World govt is possible, so too a First World Parliament
THE Workers' Party (WP) does not share Ms Indranee Rajah's cynicism of democratic politics ('WP's fictional First World Parliament'; Tuesday).
The fact that the WP's vision of a First World Parliament does not model itself after any particular developed country should not be surprising to Ms Indranee.

Three problems with single-party democracy

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Apr 21, 2011
Three problems with single-party democracy
MS INDRANEE Rajah contends that a multi-party Parliament will lead to inefficient governance, while one dominated by a single party is able to pass beneficial policies without hindrance, and hence, govern more effectively ('WP's fictional First World Parliament'; Tuesday).

NCMP scheme has no precedent either

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Apr 21, 2011
NCMP scheme has no precedent either
I READ with interest Ms Indranee Rajah's response ('WP's fictional First World Parliament'; Tuesday) to the Workers' Party's (WP) vision of a First World Parliament which had no reference to any particular developed country.

WP's fictional First World Parliament

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Apr 19, 2011
WP's fictional First World Parliament
MS SYLVIA Lim's attempt to explain what the Workers' Party is saying exposes the inconsistencies in the WP's position ('What First World Parliament means: Sylvia'; April 15).
Ms Lim, astonishingly, says that WP's vision of a First World Parliament has no reference to any particular developed country! It is obvious why she refuses to name any specific country - there is no successful model that she can point to.

What First World Parliament means: Sylvia

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Apr 15, 2011
What First World Parliament means: Sylvia
IN RESPONDING to the Workers' Party's (WP) campaign slogan 'Vote Workers' Party - Towards A First World Parliament', Mr Eugene Tan has misunderstood the term 'First World' used in the slogan ('UK, US? Give him a S'pore MP any day'; Wednesday).
It was made clear at the launch of the slogan that WP is not taking any particular developed country as a model.

UK, US? Give him a S'pore MP any day

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Apr 13, 2011
UK, US? Give him a S'pore MP any day
THE definition of a First World Parliament seems to refer to numbers rather than quality ('WP's goal: A First World Parliament'; Sunday).
In the United States, a deadlock last week nearly shut down the government. American institutions of democracy and a First World Parliament did not stop the US or Britain from fighting a disastrous war in Iraq. The recent British general election has perhaps put the country on the road to permanent minority governments, like those in continental Europe.

WP's goal: A First World Parliament

Published on Apr 10, 2011
WP's goal: A First World Parliament
By Chong Zi Liang
THE Workers' Party (WP) on Saturday unveiled its manifesto and campaign slogan at its party headquarters along Syed Alwi Road.
Titled Towards A First World Parliament, the manifesto contains 15 points on a diverse range of national issues like economic growth, the electoral process, public housing and the judiciary.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Asset enhancement works only with a second home

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Apr 21, 2011
Asset enhancement works only with a second home
I REFER to Mr Tan Jiaqi's letter on Monday ('Perils of asset enhancement for younger Singaporeans').
Assuming that a home is a necessity to a family, the family's asset is not really appreciating as other home prices are rising in tandem. Only when the family acquires a second home can it be truly said that the asset is appreciating in value?

Govt deserves due credit, but what's the endgame?

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Apr 21, 2011
Govt deserves due credit, but what's the endgame?
I REFER to Monday's letter by Mr Tan Jiaqi ('Perils of asset enhancement for younger Singaporeans').
While it is true that many Singaporeans have benefited from the People's Action Party's policy of 'asset enhancement', it was not that obvious a policy back in the 60s to the early 80s as I know of no records available of such a policy being articulated and deliberately pursued.