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

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.