Independent Review Committee (IRC) finds that sloppy practices contributed to Hepatitis C outbreak

December 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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The report by the Independent Review Committee (IRC) has found that sloppy practices, including poor infection control, led to the Hepatitis C outbreak in Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) renal wards 64A and 67.

A total of 25 patients were infected between the period of April and June 2015.

The independent review committee is headed by Professor Leo Yee Sin, the director of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, and the review committee was convened on 28 September by the Minister of Health, Gan Kim Yong.

The review committee concluded in its report that a combination of overlapping factors was the most likely explanation for the outbreak. The virus spread due to gaps in infection control practices, lapses in disinfection protocol, as well as a deficient working environment in which staff had been shifted from one ward to another.

The review committee also found fault with SGH’s detection procedures, as it did not recognise the outbreak in a timely manner.

The committee also stated that there is no division within MOH which has clear responsibility to deal with outbreaks of unusual Health Associated Infections (HAIs), and this hindered MOH’s ability to respond in a timely way to the unexpected event.

Of the 25 affected transplant and renal patients, eight have died.

China criticizes enhanced U.S. defense ties with Singapore

December 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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09 December 2015

BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday criticized enhanced U.S. defense ties with Singapore that include the deployment of U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft to the Southeast Asian city state.

A stronger U.S. military presence does “not conform to the common and long-term interests among the regional countries,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chuying told reporters at a daily briefing.

“So we hope the relevant side does more to enhance mutual trust among regional countries, and thus benefit the regional peace and development,” Hua said.

Her comments followed the signing of an enhanced defense cooperation agreement Monday between U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carton and Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen.

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Why go after the bottled water industry with pitchforks?

May 15, 2015 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
15 May 2015

I do NOT understand why people would go after the bottled water industry with pitchforks when the soft drink industry causes far more environmental damage, and markets a far more unhealthy product. The soft drink industry also liberally uses plastics, non-biodegradable containers, and other environmentally-unfriendly agents. They also draw water from drought-affected areas for their own selfish use. Why condemn bottled water and leave soft drinks alone? It makes no sense.

The environmentalists would have me drink a can of coke rather than a can of plain water after a workout. And they always say I can go drink from water fountains or bring my own water bottle. Well I don’t trust public water fountains because of hygiene, and even if I did trust them, I don’t see the government providing water dispensers all throughout the island for people to use.

There was once, on a very hot day, when I was stuck at Upper Thomson Road with no source of hydration except for a seven-eleven store. Imagine if the environmentalists had succeeded in banning bottled water in Singapore. To quench my thirst, I would have to buy a soft drink from the seven-eleven store. What a joke!

The bottled water industry is under attack because of a group of environmentalists who are on the payroll of the soft drink industry to undermine and discredit a simple, perfectly healthy, calorie free product. It is as simple as that. Shame on you, California, for banning a healthy product whilst ignoring the slew of unhealthy beverages being forced down the throats of the general public.

Shame on you, you hypocritical environmentalists.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s eulogy for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (29 Mar 2015)

PM Lee Hsien Loong’s eulogy for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (29 Mar 2015)

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The Best of Lee Kuan Yew during his term as Prime Minister

March 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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Mr Lee Kuan Yew at his finest during his term in office as Prime Minister of Singapore.

Henry A. Kissinger: The world will miss Lee Kuan Yew

March 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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Henry A. Kissinger was the U.S. secretary of state from 1973 to 1977.

By Henry A. Kissinger March 23, for the Washington Post

Lee Kuan Yew was a great man. And he was a close personal friend, a fact that I consider one of the great blessings of my life. A world needing to distill order from incipient chaos will miss his leadership.

Lee emerged onto the international stage as the founding father of the state of Singapore, then a city of about 1 million. He developed into a world statesman who acted as a kind of conscience to leaders around the globe.

Fate initially seemed not to have provided him a canvas on which to achieve more than modest local success. In the first phase of decolonization, Singapore emerged as a part of Malaya. It was cut loose because of tensions between Singapore’s largely Chinese population and the Malay majority and, above all, to teach the fractious city a lesson of dependency. Malaya undoubtedly expected that reality would cure Singapore of its independent spirit.

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The post-LKY era

March 25, 2015 by · 3 Comments
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(EDITORIAL POLICY: This article may NOT be reproduced on any blog or website, but link-backs or SNIPPETS with FULL attribution to this site are welcome and appreciated.)

Written by Ng E-Jay
25 March 2015

Mr Lee Kuan Yew governed Singapore with an iron fist. Under his reign as Prime Minister, he enacted tough laws against public assembly and even public speaking. He imprisoned many people without trial under the ISA, he muzzled the press, he created a highly unlevel political playing field, and he co-opted the best and brightest of society and made them conformists. But he and his team of cabinet ministers also brought tremendous economic growth to Singapore and brought about great social development. His team turned a thriving British entrepot and already bustling metropolis into a first world nation.

But can the current administration carry on Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy? The current political administration has flooded Singapore with foreigners, but without adequate planning. Our migrant workers are being housed in cramped quarters and are sometimes given food of inferior quality, as has been widely reported. The large numbers of foreign PMETs we are taking in have collectively displaced Singaporeans from their jobs, and pushed property prices sky high. The strain on our physical as well as social infrastructure from this huge influx of foreigners is clearly visible. In addition, we have a government that has withheld the CPF savings of Singaporeans against their wishes, and insufficient measures have been enacted to deal with the escalating cost of living.

Clearly, the achievements of Lee Kuan Yew’s administration has not been matched by the current team of political leaders. As a result of failed government policies that have caused wages for the lower and lower-middle income segment to stagnate, the opposition has seized the opportunity to gain mass support. Lee Hsien Loong’s cabinet has vacillated between continuing the brutal dictatorial methods of his father’s administration, or taking a softer approach that will most likely win hearts in the long run. Thus, we have witnessed the curious spectacle of a political administration saying they wish to open up and have freer debates, yet at the same time using the sledgehammer of lawsuits against prominent activists like Alex Au and Vincent Wijeysingha.

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Charlie Rose interviews Lee Kuan Yew (Oct 2009)

Charlie Rose interviewed Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew about the new global order — 23 October 2009

The protocol for public figure deaths

GLENN GREENWALD: “We are all taught that it is impolite to speak ill of the dead, particularly in the immediate aftermath of someone’s death. For a private person, in a private setting, that makes perfect sense. Most human beings are complex and shaped by conflicting drives, defined by both good and bad acts. That’s more or less what it means to be human. And — when it comes to private individuals — it’s entirely appropriate to emphasize the positives of someone’s life and avoid criticisms upon their death: it comforts their grieving loved ones and honors their memory. In that context, there’s just no reason, no benefit, to highlight their flaws.

But that is completely inapplicable to the death of a public person, especially one who is political. When someone dies who is a public figure by virtue of their political acts — like Ronald Reagan — discussions of them upon death will be inherently politicized. How they are remembered is not strictly a matter of the sensitivities of their loved ones, but has substantial impact on the culture which discusses their lives. To allow significant political figures to be heralded with purely one-sided requiems — enforced by misguided (even if well-intentioned) notions of private etiquette that bar discussions of their bad acts — is not a matter of politeness; it’s deceitful and propagandistic. To exploit the sentiments of sympathy produced by death to enshrine a political figure as Great and Noble is to sanction, or at best minimize, their sins. Misapplying private death etiquette to public figures creates false history and glorifies the ignoble.”

Read more here.

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