Educating the Grassroots

November 28, 2011 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
27 November 2011

At a PAP award presentation ceremony on 26th November 2011 at the NUS University Cultural Centre, Channel News Asia carried a report which states:

Mr Khaw also lauded another senior party activist, the father of Marine Parade GRC MP Tin Pei Ling.

He said Ms Tin’s father recounted to him that his mother once got into a fight when a woman bad-mouthed the PAP and former minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

“Pei Ling’s grandmother has seen how the PAP government has transformed lives. She would not let baseless criticism go unanswered,” said Mr Khaw.

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Dr Ang Swee Chai’s eulogy for her husband Francis Khoo

November 27, 2011 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

(Reproduced with kind permission from Dr Ang Swee Chai.)

It must be so bizarre that the one person who loves you beyond words and whom you also love the most in this world goes on to make you a widow – and without polite notice!

So it is the case with my beloved. As I stepped off the plane, I received a text message sent a few hours ago that he “cannot come”. As I came into the house, I smelt delicious chicken macaroni soup freshly cooked in the kitchen. There was some left in a bowl which he must had eaten from to stem his hunger as the plane was delayed. But there was no answer to my call, except from our agitated cats. Yes, my beloved had died in the room upstairs.

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East Asian stability at risk if US trashes its defence budget

November 24, 2011 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
24 November 2011

Yesterday, it was reported that the United States is inching towards deep and unprecedented cuts to its defence budget after the “Supercommittee of 12“, comprising both Republic and Democrat legislators, failed to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to the nation’s worsening deficits.

If this political stalemate is not resolved, automatic spending cuts of up to USD 1.2 trillion spread between domestic and US defence spending will kick in from 2013 onwards, creating a possible economic and military planning nightmare.

In particular, the possible deep and protracted cuts to the US defence budget are of grave concern, given that even prior to this political gridlock, US lawmakers had already pledged to slash defence spending by USD 450 billion over the next decade.

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What any Confucian-styled ruler should know

November 22, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
21 November 2011

A few days ago, there was this news that the government has decided to allow HDB flat owners to keep mongrels and bigger dogs to solve the problem of strays in the streets. This problem is not something new. In the past, a constituent had approached a minister on the problem of stray cats. Even the prime minister had been approached to help a girl adopt a dog.

This is good news because this means that there will be fewer homeless dogs in the future. The bad news, however, is that many elderly people are making the streets their home.

Whether it is a dog or a human being, any homeless living thing will bring social problems to the country.

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An entire nation held hostage by the property market

November 16, 2011 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
16 November 2011

Singapore is one of the few countries, if not the only country in the world whose government explicitly states that property does not simply provide shelter, but is also an investment, a nest egg, a retirement plan, and an asset that is meant to grow appreciably in value over time.

Is that really logical? A rising stock market is a sign of growing corporate profits, and increasing gross national product. But what forms the foundation of a rising property market? Why should, and how can, a government mandate that property values must always be on the rise, and furthermore, always increase at a respectably fast pace?

The PAP’s policy of property price appreciation started when Mr Goh Chok Tong became Singapore’s Prime Minister at the start of the 1990s. Since then, the PAP government has mandated that Singaporeans must be invested in the country via property ownership. A rising property market has become the government’s way of anchoring Singaporeans to the country. Is this policy well-founded?

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A future prediction regarding Japan and the Pacific region

November 7, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
07 November 2011

Some readers have asked that I clarify a remark made about Japan in a previous article, “Japan versus Singapore: Why our economic direction is unsustainable“, in which I stated that Japan will eventually rebound economically, but will still be faced with an acute labour shortage, and it will eventually abandon its current pacifist mindset.

I wrote: “Japan, in the years 2020 to 2030, will be on the aggressive, slowly dominating the Pacific region in search of much needed raw materials and labour. And they will not be dead. Their economy will be lean and mean, and their citizens hungry and adventurous. Japan will reverse their pacifist role and become more militant.

Understandably, I need to substantiate this statement more. The reason for Japan undergoing this development in the years 2020-2030 has to do with geopolitics.

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What is Happiness?

November 2, 2011 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
01 November 2011

What is happiness?

To a Buddhist monk, the cause of suffering is ignorant craving. To Aristotle, it is something more tangible. According to him, “The masses take it to be something plain and tangible, like pleasure or money or social standing. Some maintain that it is one of these, some that it is another, and the same man will change his opinion about it more than once. When he has caught an illness he will say that it is health, and when he is hard up, he will say that it is money.”

As there are more masses than monks in Singapore, it is no wonder that people are pre-occupied with the idea of becoming rich and the government is obsessed with economic growth. Happiness, it seems, is about money.

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