Government policies are the root cause of new fault lines between citizens, foreigners

July 27, 2012 by · 15 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
27 July 2012

As at December 2011, Singapore had 3.27 million citizens, 0.54 million Permanent Residents (PRs), and 1.46 million foreign workers, students and foreign domestic workers. The ratio of foreigners and PRs to citizens has exceeded 1:2.

These shocking statistics were recently released by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) which is currently seeking public feedback on Singapore’s population challenges.

But the paper has already made up its mind on what will happen to Singapore if we don’t continually ramp up our population. As quoted by the media, “the paper spells out the future implications of a shrinking and ageing workforce – fewer working people to support every elderly person; a less vibrant, less innovative economy; and eventually, a hollowing out of the population as young people leave for more exciting cities

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U-turn on Brompton foldable bikes shows need for citizens to keep govt accountable

July 25, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
25 July 2012

Shortly after it was first disclosed that NParks had procured 26 Brompton foldable bicycles for a hefty sum of S$2,200 per bike, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan publicly defended the purchase.

In his blog entry “Value for Money” dated 04 July 2012, Mr Khaw said that he had queried NParks on the purchase, and he was “satisfied” with their explanation. “It looks like NParks has bought the right equipment,” added Mr Khaw.

In their reply, NParks had convinced Mr Khaw that the bikes were a simple and effective way to raise staff productivity as it enables the officer to cover more ground and do more inspections within the same time.

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4 Big Questions marks on the Law Society and Mr Wong

July 18, 2012 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
18 July 2012

There are 4 huge question marks on the Law Society and Mr Wong concerning the incident in which Mr Wong barged into the High Court to try to declare lawyer M Ravi mentally unfit for Court.

1. A spokesperson from the Law Society told the media that “there was no application whatsoever by the Law Society to in any way prevent Mr Ravi from appearing in Court“.

But if so, what prompted Law Society member Mr Wong Siew Hong to go down to the High Court on Monday to present a letter to Justice Philip Pillai, written by M Ravi’s psychiatrist Dr Calvin Fones, stating the opinion that Mr M Ravi was currently unfit to practice law?

Justice Pillai is the presiding judge over the case of whether or not the Prime Minister has unfettered discretion to call for a by-election, a case in which Mr M Ravi was acting counsel.

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Inequality in education, Part 2

First published on SDP website.

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
16 July 2012

There are many aims of early education. The most important is to prepare the child for the school. For the lower income group the preparation must be adequate enough to bring him to the same starting line as the rest of the cohort.

In Singapore pre-school education is not given the attention and priority that it should. The providers are the private play schools and kindergarten. Children are also taught by parents and other childcare centres.

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Inequality in education, Part 1

First published on SDP website.

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
09 July 2012

It is often said that education is a great leveller in society. Not only does it provide individuals with the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to participate effectively in society and in the economy, it also contributes to improving a person’s life in areas of health and social well-being such as civic participation, political interest and happiness.

Studies have shown that educated individuals live longer, participate more actively in politics and in the community where they live, commit fewer crimes and rely less on social assistance. In other words, not only does education contribute to society, it also reduces the burden placed on it.

It is, therefore, the inalienable right of children of all our citizens to have access to an education that will equip them fully to face the challenges of the future regardless of their economic status.

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Singapore’s obligations to the IMF and our role in international finance

July 9, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
09 July 2012

Recently, questions were raised in Parliament and in the media concerning Singapore’s 4 billion US dollar pledge to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The purpose of this article is to shed light on the IMF and our role in international finance.

The IMF was created after the end of the second World War to foster greater international economic cooperation and to assist nations in economic distress. Like the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and various UN agencies, the IMF serves America’s geopolitical interests and helps anchor America’s vast reach in the global monetary and economic system.

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Women Democrats talk holistic health

Singapore Democrats
04 July 2012

Chaired by leading Women Democrats member Ms Chong Wai Fung, the participants who came for SDP’s Holistic Health for Women forum went away with loads of useful information and great door gifts.

The talk started with Dr Tan Lip Hong who spoke about some of the common health problems that afflict women.

He took the participants through the many diseases to which women are most prone. Generally, women are physically less active than men. Unknowingly to most people, heart disease is the number one killer for women, especially among those post-menopause. It is closely followed by cancers, with breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer being the highest killers among cancers in women.

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Chan Chun Sing implicitly admits that govt overspent on YOG

July 6, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
06 July 2012

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing, has implicitly admitted that the PAP government overspent on the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) held in 2010.

During a media interview in which Mr Chan released details about the steering committee responsible for 2015 SEA Games, the Acting Minister found himself giving the assurance that “there would be no overspending“.

“We are keeping a very tight watch over the entire budget. Unlike the YOG, the SEA Games is very different. In YOG there are various contractual things that we have to abide by, but for the SEA games itself we have greater control of the choices of vendors and the kind of things that we want to use for the Games,” said Mr Chan.

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COI findings reveal gross neglect by SMRT

July 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
05 July 2012

The Committee of Inquiry (COI) assigned to investigate the two serious train disruptions on the North-South MRT line last December has revealed its sober findings, which point to gross negligence on the part of SMRT.

In its report which was made public on Wednesday, the COI cited severe deficiencies in SMRT’s maintenance regime. Furthermore, the COI was of the opinion that the major train disruptions could have been prevented had SMRT done its job right.

The first disruption on 15 Dec 2011 was triggered by a defective fastener that was part of the third rail assembly, which caused the claw supporting the third rail to dislodge and the rail to sag beyond its tolerance limit. This in turn caused the collector shoes on the trains to became damaged, resulting in loss of power.

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Government policies are the root cause, xenophobia is merely the symptom

July 4, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
04 July 2012

At a recent forum on xenophobia attended by Zaqy Mohamad, Member of Parliament (MP) for Choa Chu Kang GRC, panelists expressed concern that Singapore might be turning into a xenophobic society.

“To me, I don’t think xenophobia itself is a problem in Singapore; the problem is that we might be heading in that direction,” said one of the panelists, Andrew Loh, editor of publichouse.sg.

Another panelist, Ravi Philemon, former editor of The Online Citizen, said: “My fear is that unless we start talking about these issues and unless we have a real dialogue, there’s a real danger that we may go in that direction.”

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