SDP’s May Day message 2010

By the Singapore Democrats
30 April 2010

Yet again May Day, dedicated to workers throughout the world, is knocking on our doors but without any ray of hope for our hapless workers – exploited and oppressed by the PAP Government.

After more than 50 years of rule by the PAP that came to power in 1959 riding on the back of a then powerful labour movement, the workers have been systematically reduced to mere digits without dignity and tenure of employment.

This is because the ruling party was then waving its socialist credentials but which has since morphed into an authoritarian capitalist outfit.

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No lack of sophistry from the government concerning the homeless

April 29, 2010 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
29 April 2010

It appears that there is absolutely no lack of sophistry and intellectual dishonesty on the part of the PAP government concerning the homeless in Singapore.

It is widely noted that every nation has its share of homeless folk. But our government leaders, who insist on paying themselves multi-million dollar salaries independent of the wishes of the electorate, have thus far taken a reactive, rather than proactive approach in dealing with the situation.

Worse still, the government has engaged in repeated acts of chicanery and sophistry with regards to the homeless.

It is therefore the height of ludicrousness that Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, has recently slammed alternative media channels for selective reporting of the facts, when in reality it is the government’s abhorrent track record in addressing the social problems associated with the homeless in Singapore that should be put under intense scrutiny.

Is this a government that truly cares, or is this a government that merely wishes to save face and put up a show when the spotlight has been placed on it? My answer is unequivocally the latter.

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SDP calls on High Court to look into PAP abuse of the law

By the Singapore Democrats
28 April 2010

SDP leaders, Chee Soon Juan, John Tan and Chee Siok Chin, are back in prison to serve a one-week sentence for taking part in an assembly without permit in 2008 during the Tak Boleh Tahan protest outside Parliament House.

District Judge Chia Wee Kiat had found the defendants guilty despite the fact that the defence had pointed out that pro-PAP groups had conducted similar activities in the same area.

The defendants have appealed the convictions which are pending.

It is important that these matters be brought before the High Court on appeal as the Judiciary needs to make a ruling on these arbitrary decisions taken by the Executive.

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Singaporean activists widen network in Jakarta meeting

By the Singapore Democrats
23 April 2010

SDP leader Mr John Tan, and activists Mr Seelan Palay and Ms Jaslyn Go continued to build on the strong international alliance that the Singapore Democrats have established through the years. The three were in Jakarta, Indonesia last week for the 6th Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy.

Mr Tan and Ms Go also used the opportunity to establish goodwill and friendship with members of Partai Demokrat (Democratic Party), lead by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as well as other pro-democracy parties in Indonesia.

The World Movement for Democracy is the largest gathering of politicians, diplomats, civil society leaders, and human rights advocates. The biennial conference was held in Jakarta this year and was attended by nearly 700 participants.

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Singapore’s currency revaluation has many new implications for the world

April 26, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Media articles 

Shawkat Hammoudeh,
23 April 2010

As a result of increasing exports, Singapore’s economy is booming, achieving a 13.1 percent economic growth from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010. As we are all aware, this excellent economic growth has taken place while the world currently recovers from the Great Recession. Such extremely high growth has its negative consequences on domestic inflation and the exchange rate, and entails restrictive monetary and exchange rate policies to head off those consequences.

The United States Congress attributes Singapore’s export boom, at least partly, to currency manipulation. Congress requires the White House to report by April 15 any country that it deems to be a currency manipulator in order to impose surcharges on its exports. Singapore announced its currency revaluation April 15. Congress considers the Singapore dollar to be undervalued and believes the Asian country has manipulated its currency to purposely keep it undervalued, thus stealing growth from other countries, particularly the United States. Singapore, along with China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia have been demanded to let their currency appreciate in order to improve the current American deficit.

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Young Democrats keep up campaign at Bukit Panjang

By Muhd Khalis, Singapore Democrats
25 April 2010

Like any bird that is being raised from its nest, it must, one day learn how to fly on its own. The Young Democrats (YD), the SDP’s youth wing, took the initiative to have its own walkabout and flyering exercise at Bukit Panjang last weekend.

When most of Singapore’s youth were still in bed or out with friends, members of the YD were out pounding the streets and avenues of the housing estate carrying the message of change to residents in anticipation of an election this year.

Young Democrats have previously conducted walkabouts and flyering with our mother party. It was a good experience for many of us as we learned first hand from party seniors and leaders on the art of campaigning and getting to know the electorate.

With good leadership and guidance, we continue to grow not only in strength but also in capability and ability.

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MOE apologises over invite mix-up

April 24, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Media articles 

Source: Straits Times, 24 April 2010

IN A mix-up by the Ministry of Education (MOE), a top American teacher was first invited to speak at a teachers’ conference here in September, then had the invitation withdrawn within a week amid concerns about her disability.

MOE has since apologised for revoking the invitation it had extended to Ms Susan Elliott (above), a hearing-impaired teacher, to speak at the Teachers’ Conference 2010. The conference is a biennial event at which international and local experts share perspectives on learning in mainstream education.

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Singapore’s city upon a hill

April 23, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Media articles 

Anthony Mullen, Teacher Magazine
16 April 2010

Teacher of the Year Susan Elliot was excited about traveling to Singapore … Once the Singapore education officials discovered that Susan was hearing-impaired, they retracted her invitation.

Quite a few critics of the American system of education are kept busy seeking “A City Upon a Hill” on foreign shores. One such country is Singapore. After all, Singaporean students rank 1st in the world in mathematics on the latest TIMSS (U.S. students rank 16th) and Singapore boasts a nation of high performing students and excellent schools. Could Singapore be the City Upon a Hill that Puritan leader John Winthrop described while giving a speech aboard the ship Arbelle en route to the Massachusetts Bat Colony? Maybe. But Winthrop was careful to remind his fellow pilgrims that such a city would be carefully watched by “the eyes of all people” and warned of the accusation of hypocrisy should his weary and seasick flock not practice what was taught in the Good Book.

Singapore will be hosting a major education conference in September and has invited distinguished scholars and teachers from throughout the world to share ideas and presentations. One such distinguished teacher is Susan Elliot, the 2009 Colorado State Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for the 2009 National Teacher of the Year (I may have pulled the sword from the stone but Susan will always best me as Lancelot did Arthur).

Susan Elliot has spent three decades in education and taught thousands of students. She is bright, articulate, and has a great sense of humor. She teaches social studies and history to mainstream and hearing-impaired students-all in the same classroom. Her unique ability to teach social studies and history to both “regular” and hearing-impaired students in the same classroom is a remarkable display of master teaching. Susan is the perfect educator to help represent America’s teachers and deserves a key to this Asian City Upon a Hill.

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Politics as Public Service — Just a little Sacrifice

April 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

By Goh Meng Seng
22 April 2010

I hope this public statement could round it up and close the chapter.

I didn’t know the little leak of my intention of selling my flat to finance my party’s election campaign would create such a hype on the internet. I didn’t even tell the real reason behind my sale of my flat when I mention it to my property agent friend and an associate. But they know me long enough to second guess my real intention. Out of good intention, they make it public.

I hereby send my heartfelt thanks to many of my friends and supporters for their encouraging words and support. When the going gets tough, I will get tougher. Don’t worry about me as I am a survivor and I would definitely not pitch tent on the beaches to live for the rest of my life although I do like to camp outdoors once a while. I especially touched when friends from the old days send messages to show their support. Touched because as old friends, they understand me well and have that trust and confidence in me that I would really make sacrifices for social-political causes if there is a necessity to do so. They would not believe in other people’s skepticism of my move and stood firmly behind me by giving me and family the uncompromising support and comforting words.

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NSP’s Goh Meng Seng pledges to sell flat to fund election bid

April 22, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
21 April 2010

(This article was originally written for TOC.)

The Secretary-General of the National Solidarity Party (NSP), Mr Goh Meng Seng, has revealed to close associates and supporters that he intends to sell his HDB flat in Serangoon North in order to fund his upcoming election campaign.

This was announced on Mr Tan Kin Lian’s blog as well as on the Sammyboy Alfresco Coffeeshop forum. Mr Goh had helped the ex-NTUC chief deliver the mandarin versions of his speeches at Hong Lim Park in late 2008 during the Lehman minibond saga.

TOC’s Political Desk caught up with Mr Goh Meng Seng yesterday to enquire about his decision to go “all in” against the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP).

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