Social divide inevitable in Singapore, but a lot of it is caused by PAP

October 21, 2009 by · 15 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
21 October 2009

During a dialogue held at the National University of Singapore on Monday night, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said that a social class divide was inevitable in a maturing society like Singapore.

He was responding to pre-planted questions raised by a couple of students who had asked him what Singapore could do to narrow its income gap, and if he was worried about the growing social divide.

A social divide may be inevitable in Singapore, but what MM Lee does not acknowledge is that a lot of it is in fact caused by PAP policies that favour Big Business and the elites, and not merely due to the unstoppable tide of globalization.

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Liability for maid’s medical bills: Stop pushing the whole buck to employers

October 20, 2009 by · 11 Comments
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Quick Snippets from the Editor
20 October 2009

The Manpower Ministry (MOM) told Parliament on Monday that there would be no maximum medical liability of an employer for foreign domestic workers in Singapore.

Furthermore, from January next year, the minimum insurance coverage for all foreign domestic workers will be raised to S$15,000 a year, from the current S$5,000 a year. Ostensibly, this rationale for this is to reduce the employer’s exposure to potentially large hospital bills.

However, these policies are clearly the Government’s way of forcing employers to shoulder all the potential medical liabilities associated with hiring foreign maids, no matter how large those liabilities may turn out to be.

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Bad science rears its ugly head in Singapore — how annoying!

October 18, 2009 by · 9 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
18 October 2009

If certain environmentalists in Singapore had their way, folks like me would have to ditch healthy mineral water and consume soft drinks instead, which as we all know is laden with sugar, preservatives, and other stuff which is not good for our health when taken in excess.

That would be precisely what would happen if the campaign to ban mineral water in Singapore, initiated recently by Professor Tommy Koh, chairman of the Governing Council of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum, and Ms Leong Ching, a PhD student at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, gains traction. (See here.)

The apparent motivating reason for this absurd proposal is that the manufacture of mineral water “wastes resources” and harms the environment because of the use of non-biodegradable plastics.

Well, the same can be said for soft drinks, many types of confectionery like sweets, and as a matter of fact, a whole host of items that human beings either use or consume everyday. You might as well ask human beings to return to a pre-industrial society.

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Jobs Credit Scheme — raising the alarm

October 15, 2009 by · 6 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
15 Oct 2009

On Monday, a Bishan resident approached MP Lim Hwee Hua during a dialogue session at a community club with concerns over possible abuses of the Government’s much-vaunted Jobs Credit Scheme (JCS).

The resident had asked: “What happens if an employer who is given the Jobs Credit misuses or abuses these subsidies?” (CNA, “Concerns raised over possible abuse of Jobs Credit Scheme“, 11 Oct 2009.)

Mrs Lim tried to deflect the question, saying that abuse was hard to define, and that the specifics of each case would need to be looked into.

The resident was right to raise this pertinent question. Mrs Lim’s lackluster response however spoke volumes about the Government’s credibility regarding the JCS.

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Judge Ng’s acquittal of democracy activists

October 8, 2009 by · 10 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
08 Oct 2009

On Tuesday, District Judge John Ng acquitted SDP members and other democracy advocates of taking part in an illegal procession on 16 Sept 2007.

On that day, democracy and human rights activists Mr Gandhi Ambalam, Mr John Tan, Ms Chee Siok Chin, Mr Charles Tan and Mr Chong Kai Xiong had participated in a protest march from Hong Lim Park to Parliament House, and then to Queenstown Remand Prison, where a quiet but poignant evening vigil was conducted for SDP Secretary-General Dr Chee Soon Juan who was then being unjustly held for speaking in public without a permit.

Subsequently, the group was charged with conducting a procession without a permit under Rule 5 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act. With the exception of Mr Charles Tan who is overseas, the other activists are currently also undergoing trial for participating in an assembly and procession without a permit on 15 March 2008 — the Tak Boleh Tahan protest championing consumer rights and challenging ill-conceived Government policies that have led to rampant goods inflation in Singapore and caused immense hardship to the poor.

District Judge John Ng’s acquittal is to be applauded. It shows, quite rightly, that there was no case against the freedom marchers and democracy advocates to begin with. However, what is unaddressed is the larger issue concerning the climate of administrative discretion that leaves room for the authorities to interpret the law according to their own whim and for their own purposes, rather than in accordance with the public interest.

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PRESS CENSORSHIP on important HDB Issues

October 3, 2009 by · 2 Comments
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by See Leong Kit (61-year old Singaporean)

[ Mr See’s Note for Readers: My earlier letter was published, but this follow-up “right of reply” was rejected (censored) for publication by our shamelessly pro-PAP (instead of pro-Singapore) Mainstream Media. Read on and judge for yourself why.

Proof that PM Lee Hsien Loong’s much-touted promise of “an open and inclusive Singapore” is just another PAP Big Wayang Show! ]

HDB’s response “Why we peg to market rates: HDB” (TODAY Sept 25) to my earlier letter has necessitated my right of reply.

Instead of merely accusing me of being “misleading and illogical”, HDB is expected to be transparent in disclosing fully the actual breakeven cost of new flats in all its projects. After all, these are public housing developed with public funds.

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