Malaysian opposition heavyweight Karpal Singh passes away

April 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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By Ng E-Jay
17 April 2014

Malaysian opposition stalwart Karpal Singh, who was Member of Parliament for the constituency of Bukit Gelugor in the state of Penang under the Democratic Action Party (DAP), passed away in a car accident on the early morning of 17 April 2014.

Malaysiakini reported on its website that the accident took place near Tapah, Perak, at approximately 1am along the North-South Highway. Karpal’s son Ramkarpal and the driver are said to be seriously injured, and Karpal’s assistant Michael Cornandez also died in the accident.

The veteran opposition politician graduated from the University of Singapore and started his law practice before getting involved in politics and finally winning his first Parliamentary seat in 1978 as the representative for Jelutong, Penang.

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Two graphs that show what has gone wrong with Singapore

April 15, 2014 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

The first graph is the cost of living survey conducted by Reuters in 2012, which ranked Singapore as the 9th most expensive City/Country.

The second graph is courtesy of Roy Ngerng’s The Heart Truths which shows that wage levels in Singapore lag behind many other developed and developing countries. Click on the image for a large size version.

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In Singapore, we have low wages but a high cost of living. As a result the lower income Singaporeans are locked in a daily struggle for survival, and middle income Singaporeans find retiring comfortably a great challenge. The high cost of living is due to escalating property prices and rentals which force businesses to raise prices in tandem, as well as the government’s highly inflationary policy of allow hot money from around the world unfettered access to our banking system. Low wages are due to artificial wage suppression by massive foreign influx.

This is a sad state of affairs. Let us make our voices heard on all available platforms, and especially at the ballot box.

When would it be necessary to form a coalition government?

April 14, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
14 April 2014

Recently, an article published by the Financial Times (FT) quoted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as having said that the PAP is beginning to consider the possibility of one day forming a coalition government. (See here.) These remarks were supposedly made to a columnist over lunch at the Park Terrace of the Royal Garden Hotel in London.

This was picked up by both the Straits Times and Channel News Asia, which ran headlines stating “Coalition government possible in future, says PM Lee” and “PAP considering possibility of forming coalition government one day: PM Lee” respectively.

However, Mr Lee later clarified on Facebook that a coalition government for Singapore was “not on his mind“. He said that what he meant was that “I could imagine a situation one day where the PAP is not dominant, but that I had no idea how that would work, or whether it could be made to work at all“.

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PM Lee’s Succession Planning and Lack of Foresight

April 11, 2014 by · 5 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
11 April 2014

At the Straits Times Asia News Network Dialogue held at the Istana on Tuesday, PM Lee Hsien Loong was asked, “If you are not Prime Minister tomorrow, will Singapore be all right”? Mr Lee responded, “That is the objective”, to a round of applause.

Later, Mr Lee also added, “”In Singapore, we pay a lot of attention to succession planning and making sure we have a new team ready and new leaders who are capable of taking charge, so that the country can move ahead and the leaders can be in sync with the country.”

Prime Minister Lee is trying to convey the notion that his government has foresight and carries out succession planning in advance to ensure smooth continuity of leadership. However, in recent years, grave doubts have been cast on the ability of the government to have good foresight, to anticipate problems and prepare for the unexpected.

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National Gallery’s new logo: Passing off mediocrity as thoughtful simplicity

April 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
10 April 2014

The National Gallery’s new logo has drawn criticism from Singaporeans who feel that the design is too simplistic and mediocre. I agree with that sentiment. After all, does it really take an art talent or a creative genius to come up with two ordinary rectangles for a logo? Even a primary school child could draw it using Microsoft Paint.

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Why our politicians seriously need to stop babbling about cheap hawker food

April 9, 2014 by · 1 Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
09 April 2014

First, PAP MP Baey Yam Keng posted on his Facebook account that he enjoyed a $2.50 Nasi Padang and 50 cents Bandung drink at a coffeeshop at Tampines. When a netizen went down to try out the Nasi Padang for himself, he was charged $6 for the same dish (see here) Later, it was reported that the stall owner confessed to have charged Mr Baey a special discount “out of respect for his work and service” (see here).

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Three powerful paragraphs by Kirsten Han

April 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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“Identifying and labelling particular values as being “Asian” or “Western” is a useless exercise. We shouldn’t be adhering to values simply because they fit our own (possibly questionable) concepts of race, culture and ethnicity. We should be adhering to values because they are right, and create a better society and space for us all to live in.

Doing so is actually very simple, with no need for a confused division of values into “Asian” and “Western” boxes. All it takes is to not be a dick. Ask yourself: is my idea of society oppressing or imposing on someone else’s freedom to live as they would like to? When I am arguing for my “Asian values”, am I actually trying to prevent another human being from enjoying the same freedoms that I am already privileged enough to enjoy?

If the answer is “yes”, then you’re probably being a dick and should take some time to think about that.”

Original Article by Kirsten Han: COMMENT: The obsession with ‘Asian values’ must stop

It is time to shut down STOMP for good

April 8, 2014 by · 3 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
08 April 2014

STOMP is an SPH-run website that supposedly aims to bring light-hearted entertainment and citizen journalism to the masses. But in recent months, STOMP has disgraced itself time and again. It is both vile and atrocious that it dares to call the content it produces “citizen journalism”.

STOMP has mislead and misinformed the public time and again. It has churned out fabricated stories and has committed plagiarism on more than one occasion. It brings out the worst in human nature by encouraging people to send in incriminating videos and photos of other people caught engaging in anti-social acts, regardless of the mitigating circumstances surrounding those acts. STOMP is the epitome of what journalism — light-hearted or not — should not be.

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San Francisco bans bottled water. Singapore had BETTER NOT follow suit. I will get dehydrated!

March 12, 2014 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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I just learnt than San Francisco banned bottled water! This is crazy! This is absurd! (See here)

Outside on a hot day, where will I get my hydration? I cannot be expected to go to the toilet and drink from a dirty tap, can I? The only way I can get my hydration will be to purchase expensive soft drinks, and I will be taking in loads of sugar and artificial flavorings, not to mention taking a toll on my kidneys and liver!

If you ban bottled water, then why aren’t you banning soft drinks that come in aluminium cans and plastic bottles? Aren’t they also unfriendly to the environment? Why ban bottled water but not aluminium and plastic soft drinks? WHY WHY WHY????????

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Greed without compassion: How the PAP government exploits Singaporeans economically

February 25, 2014 by · 4 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
25 February 2014

Yesterday, we read the sad news in the Straits Times (Breaking News, 24 Feb) that Some kidney patients had refused treatment and had choose to die.

According to the article, some patients are forced to forgo dialysis because they cannot afford it.

For instance, out of the 24 patients at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) who had declined dialysis treatment in 2011, two were denied treatment because their families refused to bear the cost, and another four turned down the procedure because they did not want to be a burden to their families. Yet another six rejected the treatment because they felt it was too expensive.

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