Can filial piety be legislated?

August 18, 2009 by · 8 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
18 Aug 2009

During PM Lee’s National Day Rally speech in mandarin, he said that the Government will study how best to use the Maintenance of Parents Act to get children who dump their elderly parents in hospitals or nursing homes to do their filial duty and help pay for their parents’ care.

He also openly dismissed the line allegedly taken by some people who say: “There is no filial son for long-term illness“.

Many would agree that the Maintenance of Parents Act is a well-intentioned piece of legislation.

But could it also be a symptom of a desperate Government trying to push the buck of parental care to children who are already overly burdened with living in high-cost Singapore?

Could it also be a symptom of an uncaring Government which allows the cost of healthcare to escalate and then saddle young adults with lifelong debt and financial desperation as a result of having to fork out an arm and a leg to pay for medical treatment for their chronically ill parents?

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Why the large discrepancy in value of contracts awarded to ST Electronics for installation of platform doors at SMRT stations and at Taiwan’s Neihu Line?

August 14, 2009 by · 12 Comments
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Quick Snippets from the Editor
14 Aug 2009

Why is there such a large discrepancy between the value of contracts awarded to Singapore Technologies Electronics for installation of platform screen doors at SMRT train stations and at Taiwan’s Neihu Line?

It was reported in the Straits Times on 13 Aug that the first sets of platform screen doors had been erected at Pasir Ris MRT station.

Despite repeated calls for platform screen doors to be installed at all above-ground MRT stations to prevent the obvious tragedies, the Government chose to place the lives of commutes second to cost considerations, and agreed to this suggestion only when costs had come down due to the global downturn.

This pussyfooting by the Government resulted in 31 unnecessary deaths in 2007, or around one death every 12 days, as a result of accident or suicide on the MRT tracks.

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The Agenda

August 13, 2009 by · 2 Comments
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By the Singapore Democrats
13 Aug 2009

Original link

As the dust settles after the National Day hoopla, the media have had a field day pushing forward whatever message it wants to push through. High on the agenda was of course their continuing glorification of the party that feeds them.

Also high on the agenda is its continuing effort to blackout news on the Singapore Democrats. While the media published the Workers’ Party’s National Day message made by its youth wing, it completely ignored the SDP’s.

Our Women Democrats had delivered a video message whose number of viewers shot up to more than four thousand in just a few days since it was posted on YouTube. (Watch video here) Yet, there was absolutely no mention of this in the newspapers.

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The fine art of cherry picking

August 12, 2009 by · 3 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
12 Aug 2009

If there is one thing about how issues are debated in Singapore that irks me, it is the tendency of pundits to miss the forest for the trees, spend an inordinate amount of time and energy dwelling on the periphery rather than the main issues, and engage in the fine art of cherry picking.

A couple of years ago, someone uploaded a video on Youtube showing a teacher reprimanding a student openly in class. After a lengthy and humiliating tirade in which the teacher scolded the student for lacking punctuality in handing up assignments and for writing about anti-establishment views, she unceremoniously tore up the student’s homework and threw it back at him. This sensational scene attracted thousands of views on Youtube as well as a wide variety of comments.

Some people felt that the teacher was wrong to have openly humiliated the student and trampled on his dignity. Others felt that youngsters nowadays are so arrogant that they deserve to be taught a fine lesson from time to time. Yet others laughed off the incident as commonplace, if a little bit humourous.

But soon into the discussion, the focus turned to the person (most likely a student) who filmed the tirade and uploaded it onto the Internet. The entire debate eventually revolved around whether the student who uploaded the video should be disciplined for his or her actions, and whether there had been any breach of privacy.

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Time to look past motherhood sentiments and start asking the hard questions

August 9, 2009 by · 7 Comments
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We have to know that we are defending a place that we can call our home, and not some hotel that has been sold out to foreigners in the name of economic growth. A beautiful skyline with a glorious sunset is not enough for us to lay down life and limb. We need to know that we are defending a nation that places Singaporeans first.

Written by Ng E-Jay
09 Aug 2009

Mr Kor Kian Beng’s (ST political correspondent) national day eve missive entitled “Look at S’pore’s bright side, not dark spots“, was a sincere and balanced piece written from a personal standpoint.

But it also left me with the conviction that it is time to call upon Singaporeans to go beyond being content with the apple-pie and motherhood sentiments expressed in his column and start asking the hard questions about Singapore and our Government.

Mr Kor confessed that there have been times when he was not altogether proud to be a Singaporean, and even entertained the thought of migrating someday, but his feelings changed when he realized that the “grass was not always greener elsewhere“.

Citing the problems faced by other countries like the long-running political unrest in Thailand, and the fact that not many other countries welcome foreigners as openly as Singapore does, Mr Kor argues that we should try and look at the bright side of Singapore even though there are areas in which Singapore can improve.

This is where my own beliefs and convictions depart markedly from Mr Kor’s.

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SDP’s National Day Message

August 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Women Democrats deliver the SDP’s 2009 National Day message: It’s time that Singaporeans come together to reach out with the Singapore Democratic Party to bring about political change.

Mr Yeh Siang Hui’s ST letter on protection for pregnant women misses several critical points

August 7, 2009 by · 5 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
07 Aug 2009

Mr Yeh Siang Hui’s Straits Times Forum letter “Pregnancy no guarantee against job loss” fails to consider several critical points with regards to pregnant women being sacked from their jobs and left without maternity benefits.

Mr Yeh was responding to an earlier ST Online letter by Ms Chin Hwee Chin, who claimed that she had been fired from her job recently when she was 5 months pregnant with her first child.

Ms Chin’s company had declined to pay her any maternity benefits, citing the fact that she had not been within the last three months of her pregnancy. This prompted her to write in asking the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to review the Employment Act to provide better protection to pregnant women, in alignment with the Government’s encouragement of couples to procreate.

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“Pledge ourselves as one united people”

August 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay, for the Online Citizen
06 Aug 2009

Original TOC link

What does it mean to be “one united people”?

Does it mean forging a national identity that can be shared by all Singaporeans regardless of race, language or creed? Does it mean accepting and respecting all our differences, whether in terms of political affiliation or sexual orientation? I can certainly agree with this.

Or does it mean adopting an unquestioning attitude towards Government policies and social issues, and agreeing to make personal sacrifices whilst the PAP reaps the benefits, in the name of “staying together, moving ahead” (PAP’s 2006 GE slogan)?

Does being united mean having to welcome large numbers of foreigners and accept them as part of the community, even if there are social consequences?

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Singapore Democrats: We want deeds, not words

August 6, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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By Gandhi Ambalam, for the Singapore Democrats
05 Aug 2009

Original link

The unmanageable surge in job losses in Singapore has brought into sharp focus the contrast between words and deeds of the PAP government.

In the second quarter of this year, close to 19,000 jobs have disappeared despite PAP’s much hyped Jobs Credit Scheme (JCS) to stem the tide of unemployment and retrenchments.

It was with much fanfare that the JCS was introduced in Budget 2009 as a means to “encourage businesses to preserve jobs in the downturn.” Under the scheme, a $4.5 billion cash grant was promised to employers “to provide a significant incentive for businesses to retain existing workers, and where their business warrants, to employ new ones.”

But from the latest figures on job losses released by the Ministry of Manpower, words and empty slogans seem to be the feature of the PAP government.

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NSP National Day Video

August 6, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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National Solidarity Party (NSP) National Day Video:

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