The meaning of May Day lost in Singapore

Singapore Democrats
30 April 2012

Singapore celebrates May Day every year on 1 May together with much of the world. The PAP Government makes it a point to stage elaborate shows with the National Trade Unions Congress (NTUC) at the forefront and the prime minister delivering a message to the workers.

But do we really know the significance behind the occasion and, more importantly, does the PAP really care about Singaporean workers?

May Day (or Labour Day in North America where it is celebrated in September) started off as a northern European tradition. In more recent times, it also became the occasion to mark International Workers’ Day, commemorated by trade unions all over the world.

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Bersih 3.0 sees both huge turnout as well as controversy

April 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
29 April 2012

On Saturday, nearly a hundred thousand Bersih 3.0 protestors took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, demanding electoral reform.

This is the third mass rally organized by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, or Bersih (meaning clean in Malay), a loose grouping of leaders from political parties, civil society groups, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Established in 2006, Berish organised the first rally in 2007 around Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) and Istana Negara (The National Palace), with a turnout of around 40,000. The government declared this an illegal assembly and used tear gas and water cannons on the protestors.

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What is the point of an internet “Code of Conduct”?

April 28, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
28 April 2012

I simply don’t see the logic or the point of trying to develop an internet “Code of Conduct”.

How is anyone going to enforce such a code of conduct given the free-wheeling nature of the internet that knows no geographical boundaries? How is any organization supposed to develop a code of conduct that will reflect the overall sentiment of netizens without incurring vast skepticism pertaining to their political neutrality or lack thereof?

And what is the purpose of it all, when there are already adequate laws in place to deal with destructive behaviour like incitement to violence, sedition, sowing racial hatred, defamation, or spreading malicious rumours?

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Insufficient care given to the elderly and chronically ill in Singapore

April 27, 2012 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
27 April 2012

There is woefully insufficient care given to the elderly, chronically ill and terminally ill in Singapore.

Hospitalization expenses are supposed to be taken care of by medisave and medishield, but that has proven inadequate as healthcare costs have escalated sharply over the years, far outstripping the overall inflation rate. Private hospitalization insurance is also expensive, which only the well-off can afford. In this regard, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has proposed to overhaul our healthcare system to a single-payer system co-funded by the government in which hospitalization bills are capped at $2,000 per annum for each person and the rest is paid for by the state.

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Facebook and The Prime Minister

April 25, 2012 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
25 April 2012

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appears to be loosening up. He has just launched his official Facebook page and Twitter account.

In launching the Facebook page, he wrote: “The social media have changed the way we live, work and play, especially the way we connect with one another. Societies, communities and governments all over the world will not be the same again.

Many of my colleagues have been using social media, including Facebook. They have encouraged me to start my own Facebook page. Having watched them, I have decided to join the fun.”

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A Singaporean feels priced out

April 24, 2012 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
24 April 2012

The heartfelt blog posting “Is this my Singapore? My home and my country?” by SMRT train officer Gin Tai makes for a sincere and sobering read.

In his latest article, Gin Tai reflected on how his Permament Resident (PR) colleages from Malaysia could cash out of their HDB flats after a few years and return back to the country of their origin with a huge windfall as a result of asset price appreciation as well as accumulated CPF savings.

Singaporeans however often have no such option. They cannot cash out of their flats as they would have to buy another one that is equally or more expensive. They cannot withdraw their CPF savings too.

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PM Lee sets up facebook page

April 21, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Archives 

WARNING: Some paragraphs are ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek.

Written by Ng E-Jay
21 April 2012

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong set up his own facebook page on Friday, 20 April 2012. It can be accessed here.

In his “welcome” message, Mr Lee said that “the social media (has) changed the way we live, work and play, especially the way we connect with one another”, and that having watched his colleagues on facebook, he has decided to “join the fun”.

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BN admits to wrongful use of ISA. How about PAP?

April 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
20 April 2012

Across the causeway, unrelenting political pressure from opposition parties and civil society groups have compelled the Malaysian government to implement changes aimed at liberalizing the political and media landscape, as well as remove legislation that has the potential to be abused for political ends.

On Tuesday, Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government admitted to having used the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the past for “wrongful reasons”.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mr Mohamed Nazri Aziz cited the example of Malaysia’s October 1987 arrests of social activists and opposition politicians under the ISA.

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Prof Lim Chong Yah debunks notion that wage “shock therapy” caused 1985 Singapore recession

April 19, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Media articles 

18 April 2012

Professor Lim Chong Yah has issued another public statement to counter what he terms as “fallacies” in the criticisms of his wage restructuring proposals, which include freezing top level wages and increasing the lowest wages by 50% over three years.

Prof Lim asserted that the first wage “shock therapy” between 1979 and 1981 resulted in a higher GDP growth rate for Singapore.

“Official statistics show Singapore had an average of 6.4 percent real growth rate per year from 1974 through 1978, the quinquennium before Shock Therapy I. They also show that in the quinquennium that followed, covering the three years of Shock Therapy I and the two years following it, the average real GDP growth rate was 9.2 percent per annum, a figure which is much higher than the preceding five years of 6.4 per cent per annum,” said Prof Lim.

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Prof Lim provides clarification on his Economic Restructuring II proposals

April 19, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Media articles 

Press Release by Professor Lim Chong Yah
Dated 16 April 2012

I am honoured that my public lecture on ERII (also termed as shock therapy) has attracted the attention of so many concerned Singaporeans. At least two reservations should be explained by me to clear the cobweb of misunderstanding.

The first serious and perfectly understandable and deeply appreciated concern is the gap between productivity growth and my recommended pay increase of 50% over the next three years: 15% for year one, 15% for year two and 20% for year three.

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