Another PAP MP echoes SDP’s policies

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Archives 

By the Singapore Democrats
30 Aug 2009

Original link

PAP MP Josephine Teo recently called on the Government to “re-tune” the Foreign Talent Policy (see report below). She says that this is to reduce our “over reliance” on foreign workers.

If that sounds a wee bit familiar, that’s because the Singapore Democrats have been saying this for quite a while now – ten years to be precise. We have been advocating our Singaporeans First Policy since the turn of the century and we campaigned on it in the 2001 general elections. It is engraved in our manifesto (see here).

We invite readers to compare what we have proposed with what the “labour” MP is now saying:

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Temasek updates its charter, but any difference in accountability and transparency?

August 27, 2009 by · 2 Comments
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(Temasek’s updated charter is attached below.)

Quick Snippets from the Editor
27 Aug 2009

Temasek Holdings recently updated its charter to distance itself from the role of managing investments on behalf of the Government.

Temasek now portrays itself as an investment holding firm operating purely on commercial interests whose role is no longer focussed on diversifying away from local companies. Its updated charter also states that it seeks to create and deliver sustainable long-term value for stakeholders, as opposed to the old charter which states that it manages investments for the long-term benefit of Singapore.

Amidst all these cosmetic changes, we should ask: Will there any difference in Temasek’s level of accountability and transparency?

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We need a minimum wage in Singapore

August 26, 2009 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

(This is an elaboration on a recent article by the Singapore Democrats, which I have attached below.)

Quick Snippets from the Editor
26 Aug 2009

The issue of whether Singaporeans should be entitled to a minimum wage has cropped up from time to time and sparked heated debates.

Some people have argued that the presence of a minimum wage may paradoxically lead to an increase in unemployment, due to the fact that the profit margins of companies employing low wage workers will be reduced, forcing them to either close down or relocate.

Allegedly, in response to larger labor costs, businesses will then try to compensate for the decrease in profit by simply raising the prices of the goods being sold, thus causing inflation and hurting consumers.

But in my opinion, such arguments fail to take into account the responsibility of a Government to provide for its citizens by making sure there is always a level playing field for all, including working class Singaporeans. Such arguments also neglect to consider the unique circumstances Singapore is in and the failed economic policies of the PAP.

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Credit cards: Don’t let the banks go scot-free

August 25, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

SEE ALSO: Grossly inadequate protection for credit card users by the editor.

ST letter by Liew Yeng Chee, 24 Aug 2009

I REFER to last Wednesday’s letter by Mr Fong Sau Shung, ‘Card fraud: Users ultimately responsible’.

The question is not who is ultimately responsible for what. The question is, has due diligence been exercised to protect the cardholder from loss that is not his fault?

One may lose one’s card, but since a card is not cash, procedures must be in place to prevent someone from using it unlawfully. If the procedures are not sufficient to do that, better ones must be implemented.

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We, the Citizens pledge …

August 22, 2009 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
22 Aug 2009

Like the majority of Singaporeans, I learned to say the National Pledge when I was in school. Since then I think I have lived by the vow that I had made. I am still committed to building a democratic society as I am to speaking out against injustice and inequality. To me a pledge is a solemn promise or a vow. It is not like a New Year’s resolution that you make on the first day of the year and forget it immediately the next day.

When Mr S Rajaratnam crafted the National Pledge, I don’t think he meant it to be just a New Year’s resolution. I believe he wrote it with conviction. It is not just an aspiration to be desired but a goal to be attained.

The words in the National Pledge meant a lot to me as it was to the founding fathers of Singapore. After being suffocated by the turbulent years in Malaysia, all Singaporeans wanted was to breathe the air of freedom.

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Did NMP Viswa Sadasivan just shake the foundations of the PAP facade to the very core? (Part Two)

August 20, 2009 by · 16 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

READ the full text of Mr Viswa Sadasivan’s maiden Parliamentary speech here.

Sgpolitics.net Special Feature (Part Two)
Written by Ng E-Jay
20 Aug 2009

On Wednesday, Parliament accepted an amended version of the motion submitted by NMP Viswa Sadasivan, after a total of 14 MPs had taken turns over a two-day period to lambast Mr Viswa’s “highfalutin” ideals.

Amongst those who severely criticized Mr Viswa’s motion was Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew who delivered his scathing rebuttal in a rare Parliamentary appearance after his previous speech in April 2007 during which he defended ministerial pay increases.

Opposition MP Low Thia Khiang also gave Mr Viswa a very humiliating thumbs down by dismissing his motion altogether, and stating categorically that he did not want to have anything to do with the debate.

The MP for Hougang also said that the National Pledge should not be brought up unnecessarily, and that we should not invoke it for the sake of argument.

With both PAP MPs as well as Opposition MPs ganging up against Mr Viswa, and mainstream media channels like Channel News Asia zooming in on the new NMP in an attempt to portray him as acting nervous under pressure, it is time to give an objective assessment of the debate.

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NMP Viswa Sadasivan: Did he just shake the foundations of the PAP facade to the very core? (Part One)

August 20, 2009 by · 27 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

Sgpolitics.net Special Feature (Part One)
20 Aug 2009

Did new Nominated Member of Parliament Viswa Sadasivan shake the foundations of the PAP facade to the very core in his maiden Parliamentary speech on Tuesday, and in so doing, attracted an avalanche of criticism from PAP MPs who sensed that very essence of their self-serving political philosophy had been given a thunderous jolt?

Viswa Sadasivan’s motion was deemed so threatening, so audacious, that no less a personality than MM Lee Kuan Yew was compelled to state that it was dangerous to allow such high falutin ideas to go un-demolished lest they mislead Singapore.

In tabling his motion on Tuesday, NMP Viswa Sadasivan wanted Parliament to reaffirm its commitment to the principles enshrined in the National Pledge. In his view, this entailed strengthening Singaporeans’ sense of citizenship, and upholding the fundamentals of democracy and racial and religious unity. He admonished Parliament to stay mindful of these tenets when pursuing economic and other national policies.

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ND message critique — the SDP’s response

August 19, 2009 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

EDITOR’s NOTE: The Singapore Democrats have re-iterated that the party leadership is one with the video presentation, in both form and substance. They also thank Mr Andrew Loh and Ms Tng Ying Hui for their effort in providing their valuable critique, and welcome it graciously.

By the Singapore Democrats
19 Aug 2009

Original link

We note the critique of Ms Tng Hui Yi and Mr Andrew Loh of the SDP’s National Day Message (watch video here) at The Online Citizen. It is apparent that much thought went into the review and the criticisms were considered ones. We welcome them.

We note that much of the critique dwelled on the substantiveness of the arguments, or the lack of it, rather than on the presentation of the message. Some of these observations are valid and will be taken on board in future presentations.

Unlike a speech delivered live to an audience, however, the attention span of viewers on an Internet video is limited. Our experience has been that a longer video filled with too many statistics and charts will attract less interest among viewers.

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Finance Minister remains evasive on Temasek Holdings and former CEO Charles Goodyear

August 19, 2009 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

Written by Ng E-Jay
19 Aug 2009

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was so evasive about questions posed in Parliament in Tuesday concerning Temasek’s short-lived CEO Charles “Chip” Goodyear that one cannot be blamed for thinking he could have been hiding some private secret that he does not want dragged into the light of day.

According to a Channel News Asia report, Mr Tharman was grilled for nearly 20 minutes by MPs who raised various questions pertaining to Temasek Holdings, including whether it should be headed by a foreigner, as well as the reasons for the sudden departure of Mr Goodyear after he had obtained the ringing endorsement of the Government only months ago.

Mr Tharman told Parliament that the Government will leave the decision to Temasek on when to appoint a new successor, but he added the next CEO should ideally be a Singaporean.

However, when he was asked for more details on why Mr Charles Goodyear left Temasek Holdings recently after having held the job for only 5 months, Mr Tharman flatly refused to divulge anything, saying it “serves no strategic purpose” for the public to know.

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Social cohesion and religious harmony: Look who’s the complacent one

August 18, 2009 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

Written by Ng E-Jay
18 Aug 2009

This year, PM Lee chose to make the topic of social cohesion and religious harmony the central theme of his National Day Rally speech.

Coming on the heels of the AWARE saga which saw a religious group infiltrate and attempt to take over a secular organization through subversive means in order to impose a homophobic agenda on Singaporeans, such a message seems timely.

PM Lee advanced his opinion that Singaporeans tend to shy away from talking about race and religion, because they think it is too sensitive a subject, or believe it is not a problem. He also said that from time to time, we have to discuss such topics honestly but tactfully, to recognise the trends in our society and tell ourselves where we need to do better.

I wonder how sincere PM Lee was when he promoted the idea of discussing race and religion in an open but considered manner in order to clear the air surrounding various issues.

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