Latest MAS initiative on financial regulation is good, but more should be done

March 29, 2012 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
29 March 2012

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Monday that it would launch a Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR) aimed at lowering the cost of financial products sold by commission-based insurance agents, and raise the quality of advice provided. I welcomes these moves, but feel more should be done.

A key MAS proposal involves re-examining the current structure of life insurance policies in which the buyer pays commission to the agent as well as the agent’s supervisor. This fee structure is widely used around the world, so MAS might encounter resistance when trying to reign in insurance companies who operate not just in Singapore but globally.

Mr Ravi Menon, a managing director of MAS, said that the total commissions and overrides earned by a financial representative and his supervisors is as much as 160 per cent of the insurance policy’s annual premium.

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Singaporeans citizens to get absolute priority for P1 places during balloting

March 28, 2012 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

From this year onwards, Singaporean citizens will get absolute priority over permanent residents in balloting for primary school places.

This means that should balloting be required for a particular phase in primary school registration, Singapore citizen applications will receive priority over PR applications even if they live further away from the school.

It is only when there are still vacancies in the school after all eligible Singaporean children have been admitted after balloting that places will be given to permanent residents, with priority given to those who live closer to school.

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Hougang BE: Pragmatism and far-sightedness must rule the day

March 26, 2012 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
26 March 2012

Ravi Philemon has penned a well-articulated and thoughtful piece on TOC, entitled “Hougang is not WP’s own little fiefdom“. I do not, however, agree with some of his views.

The Worker’s Party (WP) has held Hougang successfully for two decades, and has managed it well. WP did better in Hougang in GE2011 compared with the PAP’s performance in many constituencies — a strong sign that the people of Hougang approve of the way WP has run the ward. No opposition party therefore is better suited to retain Hougang and continue the good work done there.

Will a three-cornered fight hurt WP’s performance in the coming by-election? Yes, it would. A three-cornered fight would split the opposition vote, and may even cause a few WP supporters who are dismayed at the lack of opposition unity to turn to the PAP instead.

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Multi-pronged approach needed to make good healthcare affordable and available

March 24, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
24 March 2012

The national healthcare plan recently proposed by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has alerted me to the urgent need to make good healthcare both affordable and available to all Singaporeans. But since this issue is in fact a global one, it is inevitable that we must adopt a global perspective in tackling this pressing need.

The healthcare plan proposed by SDP is not a revolutionary idea, but is a commonsensical idea based on the philosophy that the government must take good care of its citizens by co-funding and co-paying for essential services which include healthcare, subject to the parameters of long-term fiscal sustainability and prevention of moral hazard.

Our government has been a good saver in terms of accumulating foreign exchange reserves and other financial assets. However it has not been a good manager of these reserves, as evidenced by many disastrous investments made over the years. Most regrettably, the government has not used its financial muscle to take sufficient care of the citizens.

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The SDP healthcare plan made simple

Singapore Democrats
22 March 2012

There has been much interest generated in The SDP’s Healthcare Plan since it was launched last Saturday. As a result, many questions have been raised.

This is understandable since it is the first time that a comprehensive alternative healthcare system has been drawn up. We breakdown the components of our Plan and present them in an easy-to-undertand format.

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Why should I pay for someone else’s healthcare?

Singapore Democrats
21 March 2012

Why should I pay for someone else’s medical treatment?” was a question that some asked in response to the SDP’s healthcare plan. Indeed, it seems outrageous that we should shoulder someone else’s medical expenses especially if we take care of our health while others don’t. Worse, why should we pay for those who are unemployed and not contributing to the expenditure?

The answer is two-fold: One, because it is the smart thing to do and, two, it is the right thing to do.

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Changing Education Paradigms

March 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Media articles 

Hougang BE: Only SDP and Nicole Seah have done the right thing

March 20, 2012 by · 14 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
20 March 2012

No opposition politician should contest in the Hougang by-election except for the WP candidate. I thought that much was crystal clear. Apparently, some opposition politicians think otherwise, and that is deeply disturbing.

When the former WP MP for Hougang SMC, Mr Yaw Shin Leong, was expelled from his party amidst allegations of personal indiscretions and failure to come clean to the party and to the public, many people said that a by-election should be held as soon as possible. The people of Hougang deserve to have a representative in Parliament.

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was the first party to come forward to state categorically that given current circumstances, they would not consider contesting Hougang, as it was imperative that Hougang remain in opposition hands. The SDP deserves credit for being clear-minded on the issue and quick to draw the line.

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Urgent need to remodel the economy and reduce dependence on cheap labour

March 19, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
19 March 2012

The PAP government has been steering Singapore’s economy on the wrong course for the past two decades. As a result of their economic mismanagement, we now have a looming crisis in productivity, and wages at the lower end of the spectrum have remained stagnant for well over a decade.

In the early years, Singapore grew by importing technological know-how and expertise from the developed nations, and focussing on manufacturing. Later as the economy became more developed, we diversified into services, finance, pharmaceuticals, and the biomedical industry

At the same time, we also started to rely more heavily on foreign fund inflows to pump-prime the economy. Our government, in liaison with the banking system, attracted foreign funds from Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma and Europe. Singapore was (and is) well known as a tax haven.

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SDP healthcare plan: Scrap Medisave and increase govt spending

Singapore Democrats
17 March 2012

Do away with the ‘3M’ system (Medisave, Medifund and Medishield) and pay all our healthcare expenditure through a single pool of funds in which the Government contributes 84 percent.

This is proposal of The SDP National Healthcare Plan launched today. Associate Professor Paul Ananth Tambyah presented the SDP’s case, calling for a complete overhaul of the current system.

Together with him on the SDP’s Healthcare Advisory Panel are Drs Ang Yong Guan, Patrick Kee, Neo Eak Chan, Leong Yan Hoi, Tan Lip Hong, Tong Beng Chye, Wong Wee Nam and Ms Eveline How.

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