Singapore: A country where risks are socialized and profits are privatized

February 28, 2012 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
28 February 2012

The bailout of financial institutions in the 2008 credit crisis, as well as the manner in which the current European financial crisis is being dealt with, has led many to critique that global capitalism has evolved into a state where risks are socialized and profits are privatized. This is true especially in Singapore.

In Singapore, tax payers provide money to the government for the development of national infrastructure such as public transport facilities, telecommunication grids, power grids, as well as water and gas supply lines. Logically, when profit is earned from the provision of such services, the money should be used for the good of the people, for example, in the maintenance and improvement of these essential services, and to provide more assistance to the poor, needy and aged.

However, because the providers of essential services in Singapore have been privatized and turned into publicly listed corporations, the profits from the provision of essential services accrue to the respective companies’ bottom lines and are not returned to the people in any way.

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Leaders should persuade, not silence, our critics

Singapore Democrats
27 Feb 2012

The recent threats of defamation suits by PAP’s leaders against Mr Alex Au and the editors of Temasek Review Emeritus (TRE) is another blow to freedom of speech in Singapore.

For years, the Singapore Democratic Party has been the target of attacks from the ruling party and the media it controls. In addition, blogs and websites publish articles and comments from PAP supporters criticisng us in unreasonable, often defamatory, ways. But we have never threatened editors of such sites with legal action.

We choose, instead, to publish our own website and put forward reasoned arguments to counter such views. More important, rather than silencing our critics through lawsuits the SDP responds to our detractors by demonstrating our capability and leadership qualities.

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Current civil defamation laws are in urgent need of reform

February 26, 2012 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
26 February 2012

Current civil defamation laws are in urgent need of reform.

To see a classic example of how lop-sided civil defamation laws are, we need only go back to the late 1990′s when former NKF chief T.T. Durai sued then NKF volunteer Archie Ong and aero-modelling instructor Piragasam Singaravelu for alleging that he had flown first class and that under his charge, NKF has squandered monies. Both paid an undisclosed amount of damages to the NKF, and made public apologies. The allegations later turned out to be true.

In 1999, NKF sued Ms Tan Kiat Noi, who circulated an email saying that NKF paid its staff unrealistically high bonuses. She was forced to pay $50,000 in damages and publish full page apologies in the major newspapers. When the NKF scandal broke a few years later, Ms Tan’s remarks were vindicated.

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Budget 2012 should have more economic stimulus, direct cash assistance for needy

February 21, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
21 February 2012

In the 2012 Budget announced in Parliament, the Finance Minister laid out plans to reduce Singapore’s dependence on foreigner workers, implement a permanent GST voucher scheme, provide more assistance to the elderly, and encourage firms to employ older workers and disabled workers, as well as raise productivity levels.

While the government’s long term view is to be applauded, we already have see many of these issues raised in previous budgets, with nothing much to show for. For example, the government has thus far not honoured its promise to reduce the dependency on foreign workers, because the government did a U-turn last year and increased the intake of foreign workers from 53,000 in 2010 to 85,000 in 2011. This led to a plunge in labour productivity which negated the earlier measures implemented by the government to counter the decade-long trend of declining productivity.

Also, the government till this date has refused to eliminate GST for basic necessities like rice and cooking oil, but instead has chosen to eliminate GST for gold and precious metals. Do the poor eat gold and not rice?

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PM Lee’s lawyers send letter to TRE editor Richard Wan

February 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Media articles 

Excerpt from the Straits Times, 20 Feb 2012

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday sent a lawyer’s letter to the editors of the TR Emeritus (TRE) sociopolitical website, asking for a post alleging cronyism in the appointment of Madam Ho Ching as head of Temasek Holdings to be taken down.

Madam Ho is PM Lee’s wife.

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WP sets a high bar for the conduct of politicians

February 16, 2012 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
16 February 2012

“Bold”, “Decisive”, “Courageous”, were some of the words that came to mind when the Worker’s Party (WP) announced today that it has expelled Mr Yaw Shin Leong from the party. After so many weeks of sullen silence and refusal to address valid concerns by the people and the media, WP has finally acted to protect its integrity and begin the path of healing.

I am, of course, sad that an opposition MP has been compelled to vacate his seat a mere nine months after his term had begun. This is the last thing Singapore, and in particular opposition supporters, need at a time when our political development is still in the adolescent stage. Nonetheless, WP has done the right thing and has chosen an honourable course of action.

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Worker’s Party expels Yaw Shin Leong, Hougang MP seat vacant

February 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Media articles 

WP Press Release
15 February 2012

Expulsion of Yaw Shin Leong from Party Membership

The Workers’ Party has expelled Yaw Shin Leong from the party with immediate effect.

WP believes strongly in transparency and accountability, and expects no less from our party members, especially our Members of Parliament.

Shin Leong has been accused of several indiscretions in his private life. By continuing not to account to the Party and the people, especially the residents of Hougang, he has broken the faith, trust and expectations of the Party and People.

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Shanmugam and Foo Mee Har speak up against online allegations

February 15, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Sgpolitics.net Breaking News: WP is holding a press conference this afternoon. Stay tuned.

Written by Ng E-Jay
15 February 2012

Lawyers acting for Mr K. Shanmugam, Singapore’s Minister for both Foreign Affairs as well as Law, have written to activist blogger Alex Au, asking him to remove comments from his blog that refer to defamatory remarks made against Shanmugam on other internet sites (primarily by a moniker “Scroobal“). Alex Au complied with the request late Tuesday night and has published the lawyer letter in full, also at their request.

While Mr Shanmugam’s lawyers from Allen & Gledhill LLP did not specify the exact nature of those defamatory remarks, it is widely understood that they refer to Mr Shanmugam’s private conduct and not his political duties. Following Alex Au’s posting, other websites like TOC and TRE are also said to be conducting “search and remove” operations to eliminate potentially defamatory comments. Also, to the best of my knowledge, no comments of this nature has ever been allowed on Sgpolitics.net (I have stringent comment moderation in place).

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SDP supports Govt’s idea to build eldercare centres

SDP Media Release
13 February 2012

The Singapore Democrats support the Government’s proposals to build an eldercare centre in Woodlands and a block of flats for the aged at Toh Yi. This is because as our population ages, more and more elderly people will be in need of care and that care will need to come from the communities where they reside.

As most of the younger generation of Singaporeans are busy with their work and are unable to provide the necessary care for their elderly parents, care centres for the older generation are crucial.

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Remain Focused, Singaporeans!

February 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

By Tracy Tan (Sammyboy forummer)
13 February 2012

There are a lot of worms in PAP’s can.

Since the last GE, the pressure is on the PAP and they are feeling the heat. The pap knows it can’t contain the anger and scrutiny of Singaporeans for long and is trying to distract and divert attention from its can of worms.

The people are slowly but surely holding the pap accountable for their past misdeeds and lies. The abuse of the ISA, the lies about the cost of building HDB flats, the mismanagement of SG reserves, corruption at the highest places, poverty in SG, neglect of the sick, high inflation, etc, are more important that a School Principal having a good time with a prostitute. So, Singapore, stop focusing on unimportant matters.

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