Finally, the authorities are willing to do the right thing

June 27, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Media articles 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The authorities are now willing to do the right thing and take bomb disposal into their own hands rather than trying to push the buck to citizens, because they know they cannot withstand the backlash from the public. This shows how important it is to have an active and concerned citizenry.

Source: ST, 27 June 2011

Another WORLD War II bomb — found at a Land Transport Authority construction site in Marina Bay on Saturday — was safely removed.

It is the second war relic found in a week.

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Bomb disposal and the grand art of Tai Chi

June 23, 2011 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
23 June 2011

On Sunday, construction workers at a site in Sungei Kadut dug up a 160kg World War 2 relic. Not knowing what it was, they tried to sell the scrap metal. Later, it was discovered that it was an old bomb.

Mr Raymond Yap, the assistant manager of LHT Holdings, which had leased the Sungei Kadut site in order to build a furniture warehouse, contacted the police to request that they dispose of the relic safely. The police told him to hire the services of a private bomb disposal company instead, because it was on private property. To paraphrase, the police effectively told him it was none of their business.

The often lackadaisical attitude of senior civil servants is common folklore. This episode however brings the Art of Tai Chi to a whole new level.

Mr Yap was literally left with a bomb on his hands. He had to pay a bomb just to hire two officers from security management firm Certis Cisco to stand watch over the relic before it could be disposed of.

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A Look at Tan Kin Lian

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
21 June 2011

Tan Kin Lian was one year my junior in Raffles Institution. However, I did not know him in school.

There are many reasons for this. Firstly we belonged to the baby-boomers and it was unprecedented that each cohort had ten classes and each class had over forty students. Secondly to be recognised and known, you had to be a rugby player. And thirdly, the bus-stops after every school session were filled with students from the Convent of the Holy Infant and so you had no good reason to look at the faces of your own schoolmates.

Thus, it was difficult for any student to recognise all the students in his own class, let alone his own cohort and even more difficult, someone from another cohort.

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SDP: A party ahead of its time

Written by Ng E-Jay
14 June 2011

Apart from the late J.B. Jeyaretnam, who was revered by opposition supporters, the most vilified politician in Singapore is still Dr Chee Soon Juan, and the most misunderstood political party is still the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

The mainstream media has seldom been kind to the SDP. It was only in the recent general elections when the Government-controlled press found that the alternative media and the internet was giving it a run for its money, that it was forced to give fairer and more balanced coverage to the SDP.

The struggle for media fairness is far from over, though. The tabloid-like New Paper, early on in the 9-day electoral campaign, ran an article smearing Dr Chee Soon Juan, painting him as a man who wanted to lead an illegal protest after an election rally.

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The Anxiety of the Presidential Election

Written by Dr Wong Wee Nam
12 June 2011

Anxiety About The Candidates

When Dr Tan Cheng Bock publicly announced that he is going to contest the 2011 Presidential Election, he received, as expected, all kinds of response.

People are generally excited that there would be a contest. Many voters of Tanjong Pagar GRC are glad that they are finally going to experience what it is like to go into a voting booth. However, for some reason, some of his ex-comrades in the PAP do not feel very comfortable with the idea.

The former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Lim Boon Heng, said he read the news of Dr Tan’s intention with “very, very mixed feelings”.

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Dr Wong Wee Nam
02 June 2011

In 1996, when the formula for the ministerial pay was introduced, my friend Dr Patrick and I wrote a letter to the Forum Page of The Straits Times.

In it, we said, “It is indeed very disturbing that our success, material progress and prosperity have driven our present leaders to resort to using financial incentives to induce potential leaders to come forward to serve in public office.

“Unfortunately, in doing so, they have transformed the office of political leadership from a noble calling into a highly paid bureaucratic job. It will also erode the high respect which our people have of our leaders as exemplified by our past and present crop of ministers.

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Aim for balanced and sustainable growth

June 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

The following is my unedited letter sent to the Straits Times, which was published on Wednesday 01 June 2011.

You can read the edited one in the Straits Times here.

Aim for sustainable and balanced growth

I refer to the article “Slower growth means fewer job opportunities” (30 May) in which National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan cautioned youths that slower economic growth means fewer job opportunities and possibly lower starting pay.

I do not profess to speak for all members of my generation, but I believe no one can reasonably demand lower growth for its own sake.

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Tin Pei Ling resigns from Ernst & Young

June 1, 2011 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
01 June 2011

Ms Tin Pei Ling, beleaguered PAP MP for Marine Parade GRC, has resigned from Ernst & Young.

In a Facebook posted dated 01 June, 0149hrs, Ms Tin said that the previous day was the final day with the company, and “after long and careful deliberation”, she resigned from the firm to focus on her “responsibilities in MacPherson and Marine Parade GRC”.

Ms Tin also said:

I have now been on the ground in MacPherson for over two months. MacPherson has a large number of elderly and poorer households. I feel strongly for them. They require and deserve more help and attention, and there is still much that can be done for them. I have decided to spend more time on the ground, to better serve the needs of residents, and to implement my plans for MacPherson.

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