The NLB fiasco

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By Dr Wong Wee Nam
16 July 2014

The National Library Board (NLB)’s recent announcement to remove 3 children’s books from circulation does not surprise me. Such hasty knee-jerk reactions have happened with the authorities in the past. So is the speed with which the authorities take on the role as a guardian of societal moral values when there is no need to.

The decision to remove the books disappoints me. The decision to pulp the books disappoints me even more. All this while I thought only the Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuang would destroy books that he disapproved of. I never expected NLB to be so dramatic.

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Time to take a stand against bigotry and intolerance

July 13, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
13 July 2014

On Sunday, over 400 people turned up at the National Library Building atrium for a book reading session organized by two concerned parents, Ms Jolene Tan and Ms Germaine Ong, who wanted to emphasize the importance of children’s literature and its crucial role in extending horizons, broadening minds and encouraging empathy toward those who live in different circumstances.

Entitled “Let’s Read Together“, this event was also billed as a peaceful statement” against the recent decision by the National Library Board (NLB) to pulp — indeed, completely censor — two children’s book, namely, “And Tango Makes Three” (by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson), and “The White Swan Express” (by Jean Davies Okimoto).

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Why has the National Library Board become another thought police?

July 10, 2014 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
10 July 2014

Recently, the National Library Board (NLB) took on the role of thought police by taking down two children’s books, “And Tango Makes Three” (by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson), and “The White Swan Express” (by Jean Davies Okimoto).

The NLB claimed it took down these two books in response to “complaints from the public”. Actually, the complaints originated from the Facebook Group with the title “We Are Against Pinkdot“, which the founders initiated to oppose the advancement of homosexual rights and other fundamental civil liberties.

The opposition to homosexual rights stems primarily from religious beliefs as well as indoctrination in a backward and outdated social culture that practices discrimination against people based on their sexual differences rather than on their character and integrity.

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2-4 person GRC system better than NSP’s CRM proposal

July 4, 2014 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
04 July 2014

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) has proposed that the GRC system be scrapped, and to ensure adequate representation of minority races in Parliament, that a new Constituency Reserved for Minorities (CRM) scheme be implemented. Unfortunately, I feel that NSP’s CRM scheme is not well thought-out.

Under NSP’s proposed CRM scheme, all constituencies will revert to SMCs, and the government will designate that some constituencies can only be contested by minority races. I do not believe the government should be given such power, in addition to its ability to redraw electoral boundaries at will. Already, there is already the perception that the government redraws electoral boundaries to maximize the PAP’s chances at the polls. It is unwise to give the government even more power than it already has.

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Let teachers focus on teaching

July 2, 2014 by · 1 Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
02 July 2014

It is a well-known fact that our education system has deep flaws. Firstly, we are producing students who excel in examinations and display a high degree of technical competence, but we are not producing thinkers, innovators and creative minds. Secondly, our teachers are over-worked, under-paid, under-appreciated, and have onerous demands placed on them that distract them from their primary duty, which is to import knowledge, values, and help mould character.

Recently, it was reported that the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) conducted by the OECD in 2013 found that teachers in Singapore work an average of 48 hours a week, or 10 hours longer than the global average. Some teachers have countered this finding, saying that their work week is longer than that, with many putting in 10 to 12 hour days. (See here)

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Examine HDB’s BTO system as possible source of marital friction

July 1, 2014 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
01 July 2014

It was recently reported by the Singapore media that there has been a rise in the number of couples who choose to go separate ways within the first 5 years of marriage. (See here.)

Even though the research indicates that the majority of couples split up due to infidelity on the part of one spouse, the root cause of that infidelity has not been properly examined. It has been suggested that a rising quality of life may be correlated with a rising trend of infidelity, but there is no proof that correlation implies causation.

It is time to examine whether another factor — the HDB’s BTO flat system — is a possible contributing factor to marriage breakdowns, or couples choosing to postpone tying the knot and ultimately finding themselves unable to do so.

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Mr Lim Swee Say’s statements on CPF do not make any sense

June 24, 2014 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
24 June 2014

Mr Lim Swee Say spoke about the CPF at the Singapore Model Parliament debates held last week. However, the statements he made do not make any sense, and certain points he made about the CPF being risk free also deserve a rebuttal.

Firstly, Mr Lim said that people should use less of their CPF money when they are young, and they should also try to defer drawing down their CPF when they reach the age of 55. These statements were made in BOTH the original press interview as well as the clarification that he later sent to the media (see here).

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Is There a Need to Sue?

June 14, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

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By Dr Wong Wee Nam
14 June 2014

There is an old Chinese saying which goes like this: “When a leopard dies, it leaves behind the skin, but when a person dies, he or she leaves behind a name.”

In Chapter Nine of The Romance of The Three Kingdoms, Wang Yun told Lu Bu, “If you, the general, can help the Han Dynasty, you are a loyal minister and will leave a good name in history and to posterity (流芳百世).” To do otherwise (and support the tyrant Dong Zhuo), Wang Yun said, “You bequeath your stench that will last for tens of thousands of years.” (遗臭万年)

The bidding “To leave a good name to posterity” is what most people aspire to do, whilst the idiom “To bequeath a stench that will last a thousand years” is what people would not want ascribed to them.

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Roy Ngerng’s employment at TTSH has been terminated

June 10, 2014 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
10 June 2014

[UPDATED at 11pm]

Roy Ngerng’s employment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital has been terminated as of Tuesday, 10 June 2014. He will be given one month’s pay in lieu.

The reasons given for his termination are allegedly misuse of company resources and improper public conduct.

According to his Facebook note, Roy Ngerng said that his advocacy on the CPF and the stress of the court case had made it difficult for him to concentrate on his job. He said that he had campaigned at his workplace as well.

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Stop increasing minimum sum: Mr Vincent Wijeysingha’s speech at the CPF Rally on 07 June 2014

June 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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