Shooting the messenger – PAP’s growing desperation

July 27, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

By Alex Au, for the Asia Times Online
27 July 2010

(This is an abbreviated version of the article. The full article can be accessed here.)

Three recent incidents have brought renewed attention to the repressive nature of Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP)-led government at a time when the island state is bidding to attract more foreign tourists and investment.

A book critical of the way the death penalty is applied in Singapore saw its British author, Alan Shadrake, arrested on July 18. He was interrogated for 39 hours and now faces possible imprisonment for contempt of court.

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Problem: Overpopulation. Solution? Bring in more people

By the Singapore Democrats
22 July 2010

Rarely do stories dovetail so perfectly to make nonsense of what officialdom spews out, but these two did: What Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said yesterday about the floods in Singapore and what Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Singaporeans about foreign workers.

Lee Sr told his listeners: “There’s a limited amount of space that’s been dug underground, limited amount of space you can run off for canals and if you have an extraordinary rainfall, well you got to prepare for it.” Limited amount of space in Singapore. Now who could have guessed that?

Haven’t we been having that fact beaten into our heads for only, oh, the last half-a-century?

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Dr Lim Hock Siew

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
20 July 2010

“You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power — he’s free again.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I first met him at the wake of the late Dr Lee Siew Choh in July 2002. That was 20 years after he was released from an almost 20-year detention. I saw a friend sitting at another table and went up to say “hello” to her. He happened to be sitting at the same table and she introduced us.

That was the first time I saw how he looked like.

I have heard of him when I was a young boy. He was the son of a famous fishmonger in the market where I had lived. The father was famous because he had a clever son. Not a lot of poor people then had children who are doctors.

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Our police state is fraying at the edges

July 20, 2010 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
20 July 2010

Recent events have shown unequivocally that not only has the PAP Government run the country as a police state, but also that the authorities are now getting panicky and desperate to the point that they are fumbling and making glaring mistakes.

Barely two weeks ago, a member of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) was fined by the National Environment Agency (NEA) for illegal hawking. (See here.) His alleged “offence”: Selling the Party newspaper in a public area.

The NSP has written to NEA seeking a clarification on the matter, based on the fact that it was not engaging in any unhygienic activity, but merely promoting its political cause in a fashion that surely, in any democratic country, is 100% legitimate.

Apparently the authorities must have felt that NSP’s activities are politically unclean and pose a political health concern (to the PAP, that is).

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Every flood is a slap in the face for PAP

July 17, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Media articles 

Saturday’s flooding embarrasses PAP yet again.

Source: ST Online, 17 July 2010

HEAVY rains lashed Singapore early on Saturday morning, uprooting trees and causing flash floods in many area.

The affected areas included Braddell Road, Changi Road and Bukit Timah, where rising floodwaters stranded several drivers in their vehicles.

At the Tessarina Condo in Bukit Timah area, waters rose to knee-high, flooding the basement carpark. Some cars were almost submerged in water, prompting frantic residents to move them out to drier grounds.

Straitstimes.com reader Jerry Chan said the flooding was ‘chaotic’ and it was the third time in seven months, not ‘once in 50 years as suggested’.

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Once in 50-year freak event now occurring on regular basis

“Impossible To Flood” Orchard Road flooded for UMPTEENTH time this year; MEWR lambasted by citizens for making “sweeping statements”.

Source: ST Online, 17 July 2010

AFTER being hit by the worst flooding in 26 years last month, Delfi Orchard was again flooded on Saturday morning.

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Hong Kong to introduce minimum wage. Singapore?

By the Singapore Democrats
15 July 2010

Hong Kong, one of the last few moderm economies holding out on minimum wage, will likely pass a bill next week that will legislative minimum wage in the territory. According to legislators, the law is meant to protect workers from being exploited.

The Singapore Democrats have been calling for more than a decade for a similar law to be introduced in Singapore. We have said time and again that the most vulnerable workers are being taken advantage of by being paid wages that does not provide them a decent living.

For example, elderly workers are routinely paid a little more than $3 an hour for doing menial jobs. This works out to less than $600 a month for a full-time job. How does one survive on such an income in an expensive economy like Singapore?

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A lesson for the opposition

By the Singapore Democrats
13 July 2010

The oft-quoted poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller “They came first…” (see below) has much to teach the opposition in Singapore. A variation of this truism is the adage: United we stand, divided we fall.

We are, of course, referring to the victimisation of the members of the opposition and civil society groups by the PAP, and the concomitant lack of solidarity among the actors in these sectors whenever the ruling party embarks on one of its crackdowns.

The latest, of course, is the issuing of a fine to a member of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) by the National Environment Agency for selling the party’s newspaper.

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Future generations will pay for the sins of PAP

July 7, 2010 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
06 July 2010

I wish I could come up with a more optimistic pronouncement. But this is the most honest assessment I can make: Future generations of Singaporeans will have to pay for the sins of the PAP if something is not done about the present situation.

Let me state quite frankly that I do not deny that Singapore has made huge economic progress over the decades under the PAP’s watch. As some of my friends would point out, however, much of the growth could have come about not because of, but in spite of, PAP’s policies.

Singapore is situated in a very favourable geographical location, and even though advancements in transportation technology over the decades have eroded our geographical advantage slightly, it cannot be denied that our prime location at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula has afforded us enormous leverage as far as trade is concerned.

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Chee: Have clear guidelines of what constitutes speech

By the Singapore Democrats
06 July 2010

Dr Chee Soon Juan asked for clear guidelines from the courts as to what constitutes a speech. The SDP leader made this call in his closing submissions today to District Judge Jill Tan.

Dr Chee was convicted of giving an address in April 2006 without a permit. He was fined $5,000 with 5-weeks imprisonment in default. He was selling The New Democrat at bangkit Road in Bukit Panjang and was accused of giving a speech. The police recorded him addressing passers-by for about four minutes asking them to purchase a copy of the newspaper.

The Public Entertainment and Meetings Act (PEMA) under which Dr Chee was charged does not specify or define what a speech is.

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