SDP sets its sights on Tanjong Pagar GRC

September 30, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
30 September 2011

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) may have set its sights on contesting Tanjong Pagar GRC in the next election.

In their latest blog posting (see here), the Singapore Democrats announced that they have started their groundwork in Tanjong Pagar, and that “it is important to start early and build itself up in the constituency“.

An SDP team held a walkabout at the ABC Market at Brickworks last Sunday, led by CEC members Bryan Lim and Mohd Isa, as well as former Sembawang GRC candidate Dr James Gomez.

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Lee Senior and Junior play games with Taiwan

September 27, 2011 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
27 September 2011

It was recently reported that former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew announced at an international convention that he considered Taiwan to have been independent since 1989.

Mr Lee was reported to have said that he didn’t “see Taiwan being able to resist the pull of the mainland, with or without American help” and that there would “come a time when the Seventh Fleet cannot intervene because of Chinese aircraft carriers”.

“China has always considered Taiwan as a part of China, and they want China to be reunified,” Lee added. “The fact that Taiwan was independent from 1989 to the present does not make any difference.”

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Time to free up Singapore’s media

September 23, 2011 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
23 September 2011

The Prime Minister of Malaysia has announced that the annual renewal of press and publication permits would be abolished, and all press licenses will now remain valid indefinitely unless they are revoked. The obvious question now is why the Singapore government fails to heed repeated calls for media liberalization, and in fact, continues to justify existing laws even in the face of the changes happening across the causeway.

Malaysia’s Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA), enacted in 1984, has been used to censure newspapers on a very wide range of issues, some of it justified, but much of it not. While this degree of control has allowed the Malaysian government to censor inflammatory speech, it has on a multitude of occasions also been used to silence legitimate and peaceful dissent, curb freedom of expression, and instil fear.

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Former detainees: Abolish the ISA

September 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

A statement issued by Singapore’s former ISA detainees

We welcome Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement that his government would repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Emergency Ordinance. He said the changes are aimed at “having a modern, mature and functioning democracy which will continue to preserve public order, ensure greater civil liberties and maintain racial harmony.” We look forward to the Malaysian Prime Minister fulfilling his promise to his people.

Singapore inherited the ISA from Malaysia. This law has been in existence for more than half a century and its impact on society is both crippling and pernicious. Its life began soon after the Second World War as the Emergency Regulations in 1948 when the British used it to put down strong anti-colonial movements. In 1955, the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance incorporating the Emergency Regulations was passed. When Singapore joined Malaysia in 1963, the Federation of Malaya’s Internal Security Act 1960 became part of our law.

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While Malaysia’s government is forced to embrace change, our government still resists change

September 19, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

Written by Ng E-Jay
19 September 2011

A very significant political development happened in Malaysia last week. On Thursday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA) would be completely repealed, along with the 1969 Emergency Ordinance which also allows for detention without trial.

According to PM Najib’s press release (attached at the bottom of this article), these laws would be replaced with ones which incorporate greater judicial oversight as well as limit police autonomy, and the new laws will be enacted under Article 149 of the Federal Constitution.

Point number 25 of the press release states: “Above all, the government will ensure that the rights of those involved will be safeguarded. Legislation formulated will take into consideration fundamental rights and freedom based on the Federal Constitution. The new laws will provide for a substantially shorter duration of police custody and further detention can only be made with a court order, except laws pertaining to terrorism which will remain under the jurisdiction of the minister.

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AWARE disagrees with Mr Lee Kuan Yew

September 14, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Media articles 

ST forum page
13 September 2011

THE stark choice between motherhood and professional advancement presented in Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s comments to Ms Joan Sim is not new (‘A PhD’s fine, but what about love and babies?'; last Tuesday).

In 1983, he said: ‘We shouldn’t get our women into jobs where they cannot, at the same time, be mothers.’

In 1994, he said that ‘attractive and intelligent young ladies’ should go to finishing colleges so that they will be ‘marvellous helpers of their husband’s career’.

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1983 SBC propaganda drama serial about National Service

September 13, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Media articles 

This youtube video features the theme song of the 1983 Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) propaganda drama serial about National Service, entitled 新兵小传 (Diaries of National Service).

Starring Huang Wenyong (黄文永), Jeffrey Wong (王昱清) and Ang Puay Heng (洪培兴), this mandarin drama serial was aired during SBC prime time and was watched by over a million chinese-speaking Singaporeans.

The need to label the SDP as confrontational

Singapore Democrats
06 September 2011

Monday’s Straits Times‘ report ‘SDP’s new CEC under scrutiny’ is yet another example of how the press is used to help the PAP maintain its grip on power.

The report cited Mr Eugene Tan, associate professor of law at the Singapore Management University, as saying that the new CEC line-up was a sign that “moderate voices” are being “sidelined” in the party.

Is this true? Are there “radicals” and “moderates” within the SDP? What, in the first place, is a radical or a moderate in Singapore’s political context?

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Some Reflections on the Presidential Election 2011

September 1, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
01 September 2011

The Presidential Election 2011 is interesting and intriguing for many reasons. For the first time in its 18 year history, there was no walkover and there were no reluctant candidates. In fact the candidates were so keen that what was expected to be a boring affair turned out to be a race as interesting as a general election. It was even ice-capped with a nail-biting finish.

The presidential election was supposed to be above politics. One candidate told me when he first threw his candidacy into the ring that he might not have a rally. We are not fighting on issues and there is no reason to attack the other candidates. During the rally we can only praise ourselves. The president should be above politics.

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Dr Tony Tan as president defies common sense

Singapore Democrats
30 August 2011

The SDP cautioned Singaporeans against electing Dr Tony Tan as President of Singapore because Dr Tan is very much a part of the system designed to shield the financial reserves from the people’s scrutiny, in particular the operations of the GIC (see here and here).

Dr Tan was at the helm as deputy chairman of the GIC when disastrous decisions were made to invest in financial institutions in the US and Europe. Singaporeans have short memory but that was a time when our financial security was hanging by a thread.

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