Japan versus Singapore: Why our economic direction is unsustainable

October 31, 2011 by · 16 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
31 October 2011

Japan and Singapore are a stark contrast, at least in terms of economics.

Japan is slow growth economy that has been beset with disinflation, and even outright deflation, for the past two decades. Their economy has hardly grown since the twin bubbles — in both real estate and stocks — burst in 1990. Their GDP growth is pathetic. They have been in and out of recessions for the past twenty years and economic stagnation rules the day. Japan’s culture forbid the widespread import of foreign talent. They are facing a declining population which puts limits on economic growth and stock market performance.

Singapore, on the other hand, does not have the same kind of social democracy as Japan. Our political landscape is more frigid. Unlike Japan, we have never changed governments. Our economy, on the other hand, is booming, at least in terms of officially reported GDP figures. We do not experience deflation. Our problem is one of high inflation. And unlike Japan, our ruling party imports foreigners with flagrant abandon, without any worry about the social repercussions. They do so because they believe they will always be in power. They use the Internal Security Act (ISA) to their advantage.

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Wall Street versus Main Street: Singaporeans are facing the same problems

October 17, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
17 October 2011

Last Saturday saw a truly worldwide protest by the common citizens of the world against corporate tyranny, income inequality, social injustice, and corrupt government that cuts back on social spending whilst allowing the rich and elite to get away with obscene tax breaks.

At the heart of these protests is the deep-seated anger of the common man against the blatant excesses of government-sponsored capitalism and the unwillingness of their respective governments to level the playing field.

According to the social movement website Avaaz.org, this worldwide protest is but the latest instalment in the on-going story of global citizens trying to reclaim their political and economic power. For example, earlier this year in Egypt, people took over Tahrir Square and toppled their dictator. In India, one man’s fast brought millions onto the streets and the government to its knees — winning real action to fight corruption. And this summer across Israel, people built “tent cities” to protest against the rising costs of housing as well as the lack of social justice.

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Back To The Past

October 12, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
12 October 2011

It seemed so promising. The big guns in the PAP started some instant soul-searching soon after the May general election, became very apologetic and talked about reform. A number of them even stepped down and made way for the new.

It seemed like an injection of freshness into the political air. But it now appears to be a bit of premature to hope for any drastic change. Just when we thought that we were moving from the third world to the first, the events of recent weeks brought this dream crashing down.

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Why opposition parties should speak up on ISA and human rights issues

October 12, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
12 October 2011

When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced several weeks ago that he planned to abolish his country’s Internal Security Act (ISA) and replace it with more updated legislation, opposition parties in Singapore were quick to respond.

The Worker’s Party (WP) released a statement reiterating that they had earlier proposed the abolition of the ISA in Singapore via their party manifesto.

The WP said that “… this repeal (of ISA) would destroy the prospect of any government using the wide ranging powers therein to curtail its critics and opponents. Even where there are suspects accused of espionage, trials can still be held, with modified procedures if state secrets are at risk.” (See here.)

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Cherry Picking

October 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Archives 

Why is the government so afraid of ex-detainees?

October 10, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
10 October 2011

When 16 ex-ISA detainees issued a joint statement in September citing the injustices they faced whilst under detention without trial, the government was quick to dismiss their claims and parrot the old propaganda, repeated so many times over the years, that they were violent men and women out to subvert the state and cause mayhem.

The government has painted them as criminals, as thugs, as communists out to overthrow our institutions and wreck havoc on our way of life, despite the fact that none of them have ever been tried in a court of law. None of the ex-ISA detainees have ever been given a chance to clear their names before an independent commission.

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What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs

October 10, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Media articles 

(Source)

In the days after Steve Jobs’ death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He’s been hailed as “a genius” and “the greatest CEO of his generation” by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man’s reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.

We mentioned much of the good Jobs did during his career earlier. His accomplishments were far-reaching and impossible to easily summarize. But here’s one way of looking at the scope of his achievement: It’s the dream of any entrepreneur to affect change in one industry. Jobs transformed half a dozen of them forever, from personal computers to phones to animation to music to publishing to video games. He was a polymath, a skilled motivator, a decisive judge, a farsighted tastemaker, an excellent showman, and a gifted strategist.

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Obama on Steve Jobs: “The world has lost a visionary”

October 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Media articles 

Statement by Barack Obama

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

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No use saying sorry to people during polls, says Malaysia PM Najib

October 4, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Media articles 

By Yuen Meikeng
The Star/Asia News Network
Monday, Oct 03, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR — Barisan Nasional should not be afraid to admit its mistakes and must work to correct them, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib, who is Barisan chairman, said there was no use apologising to the people during the general election.

“If something is not right, now is the time to rectify it,” he said.

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