The New Year that I would like to see

December 31, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
31 December 2010

It is no good for democracy if a country is run by a monolithic political party.

Neither is it good to have a ragtag army of small political parties running around unable to provide a coherent alternative, let alone being able to form an alternative government.

It is for this reason that for the past one year, I have been trying to get the opposition parties to come together to work out a common plan to contest this coming general election. To this end, I roped in Mr Bentley Tan to help.

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Desmond Lim engages lawyer to get response from SDA

December 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Media articles 

CNA, 23 Dec 2010

SINGAPORE: The rift between Potong Pasir Member of Parliament Chiam See Tong and his former right-hand man Desmond Lim looks set to deepen, after the latter engaged a lawyer to defend him in disciplinary proceedings initiated against him.

Colin Ng & Partners’ Peter Low, a former Law Society president, will be representing Mr Lim. MediaCorp understands that a lawyer’s letter was sent to Mr Chiam on Wednesday.

On Dec 6, the Singapore People’ Party (SPP) central executive committee had sent Mr Lim a letter detailing nine charges against him, including the allegation that Mr Lim had made defamatory remarks about Mr Chiam in an October newspaper article over the issue of the Reform Party (RP) joining the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA).

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Goh Meng Seng declares war on HDB and housing issues (part two)

December 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

By Goh Meng Seng
20 December 2010

The War on Housing (Part Two)

The mismatch of Demand and Supply in the New HDB flat market due to MBT’s “caught off guard” has been transferred to Resale Market via this increase in grants for “lower income” couples.

One must not look at the difference in prices of the flats in both New and Resale flat markets as just that difference. For every dollar difference, you must add in interest cost. This difference in prices will compound over time with interest rate.

Who benefits from these “grants”? Many think it will benefit Singaporeans, especially those first time buyers. Look deeper into the situation. If you are a citizen selling your flat in the resale market, whether you downgrade or upgrade, you will have to buy another flat. These grants which sustain the high prices will not benefit you unless, you are like me, sold my flat and stay with my parent.

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Goh Meng Seng declares war on HDB & housing issues (part 1)

December 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

By Goh Meng Seng
18 December 2010

Elaboration on answers to Housing Issues @ TOC Forum

I was invited to be one of the panelists at TOC end of year event, Face-to-Face Forum on 16 Dec 2010. Housing issues became one of the hottest again.

Due to time constrains, I have given key points and short answers to the questions asked. I would like to elaborate further here on what I have said during the forum.

The first question asked was whether HDB should be privatized. My first response is that it should not. HDB is part of a socialist Land Reform program. Due to scarcity of land in Singapore, it is important for us to avoid land hogging by a small group of landlords while the masses and future generations suffer. The fall of the ancient feudal systems was basically due to the income and wealth inequality partly exaggerated by the unequal distribution of land.

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TOC face to face forum: Meeting of Bodies but not of Minds

December 20, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
20 Dec 2010

I went to the TOC Face to Face Forum as a guest of The Online Citizen and came away pleased and puzzled.

I was pleased to see the various political parties coming to share their views on the same stage. This is the first time that all the major parties are seen together at a single event. Except for the PAP who did not turn up and the Worker’s Party who sent a representative, all the secretary-generals of the invited parties honoured the occasion.

It was not a forum where the political parties make speeches about their stands on issues. It was a Q and A Session. However from the answers given, the listeners were able to know what the various parties stand for. From the answers given by the leaders of the various political parties, it was obvious that there were really not many differences in views and stands to the many issues that were brought up.

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Mah Bow Tan notable absentee in PAP’s latest CEC

December 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Media articles 

CNA, 15 Dec 2010

SINGAPORE : The ruling People’s Action Party has released the names of those elected to its Central Executive Committee (CEC), with National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan being the notable absentee.

Mr Mah who was one of five members co-opted into the previous CEC two years ago, did not feature in the party’s latest highest decision-making body – which was decided at a meeting on Wednesday.

His place has been taken over by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who was elected by party cadres in secret ballots cast at the PAP Party Conference on November 29 at the NUS University Cultural Centre.

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Democrats propose a fairer COE system

Singapore Democrats, 14 Dec 2010

The recent announcement that the Government intends to slow the growth of the car population in Singapore has resulted in a hefty jump in COE prices. The latest bid for cars in Category A (1600 cc and below) is $47,604 in December compared to $39,000 in November – a jump of 22%.

The existing system is highly unsatisfactory and in dire need of an overhaul for two fundamental reasons:

One, it pits those who are financially powerful against those who are not. The system does not take into consideration the fact that working folks may have as great a need for private transport as those who are in the high-income bracket.

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The Battle of Tampines

December 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

By Goh Meng Seng
10 December 2010

Yes, I know, I am supposed to write about the unsustainable policies of PAP. But the Straits Times’ constituency report on Tampines is just too interesting to be missed.

I have made a comment on The Online Citizen Facebook with regards to Minister Mah’s column on TodayOnline and it is as follows:

Two years ago, before TOC went into the homeless issue and I banging on the unaffordability of HDB flats, many people think that HDB under MBT is great. When I first started the fire on HDB issue coupled with my minister-specific strategy aiming at MBT Tampines, many people say I am crazy. They reasoned that Tampines has the best flats which is appreciating, why would they want to vote for someone who tell them their flats are too high a price?

I am glad that after one and a half year of banging on housing issues with the help of New Media blogs and websites like TOC (and Temasek Review), we manage to change people’s mind and get this very important point across. So much so that even hardcore PAP supporters have to admit that high HDB prices are a grave concern.

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George Yeo on Wikileaks — full transcript

December 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

The following is the transcript of Foreign Minister George Yeo’s Interview with the Media on Wikileaks at the Eurasian House on Sunday 12 December 2010 at 5.00pm.

Q: Minister, with regard to the recent comments that there were some comments made by Ministry officials about other countries like Malaysia, what are your comments on these things that came out on Wikileaks?

A: 250,000 emails, reflecting the views of US diplomats, have been leaked. I’m quite sure that there will be a few which emanate from Singapore. These are interpretations by US diplomats of what they have heard, their conversations. I don’t think it is right of us to comment on these, because these conversations were confidential, some might be informal, but we don’t know the context, so I would not go beyond that. But it is bad practice to me for such confidential communications to be leaked, because it makes future confidential communications that much more difficult. It is almost as if when we talk, we have to talk on the basis that there is a camera in the room recording everything we say. Then we lose something when that happens.

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Stage protests in ballrooms? Really?

Singapore Democrats, 06 Dec 2010

During the appeal in the High Court last Friday, Dr Chee Soon Juan pointed out that it was ultra vires (beyond the power) of the Constitution for the PAP to ban all demonstrations and protests as Article 14 clearly guarantees citizens the right to freedom of speech and assembly.

Not true, Deputy Public Prosecutor NorAshikin Samdin rebutted, “They are free to do a demonstration in a hotel ballroom.”

The Appellants did a double take and looked at the DPP to see if she was pulling the judge’s leg. To everyone’s shock, she kept a straight face.

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