Pink Dot 2013 attracts over 20,000 participants

June 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Singapore government needs to beef up its environmental contingency planning

June 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
27 June 2013

Despite the haze problem persisting for close to two decades, the Singapore government was nonetheless caught off-guard last week when haze levels climbed well into the hazardous zone, registering all time highs on the PSI scale. The government’s initial response to the haze was tentative and indecisive, the supply of masks ran out too quickly, and it was a few days before the government got its act together.

This should not be the case, the problem having been around for so many years. N95 masks should have been stockpiled well in advance of any outbreak of hazardous environmental pollution or any pandemic. Emergency preparedness should have kicked into high gear right at the start, with precautionary measures well-rehearsed by all relevant agencies. Hospitals, polyclinics, and pharmacies should have acted in concert. Instead they acted in disarray, with some retail outlets attempting to profiteer from the situation by selling masks at inflated prices after receiving them from the government.

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With PSI crossing the 400 mark, we should stand united against the problem

June 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
21 June 2013

The PSI has crossed the 400 level this afternoon. With atmospheric pollution well into the “hazardous” range, urgent action needs to be taken to address the crisis. As a nation and as a people, we must stand united against the problem, and seek constructive solutions both to the immediate concern of putting out the forest fires, as well as the longer term concern of reigning in the errant companies responsible for this depraved act against mother nature and against humanity.

I back the Singapore government’s efforts to combat the haze situation, and also urge the government to take fast, appropriate measures to safeguard the health and well-being of all those living in Singapore. Surgical masks must be made readily available, and given free of charge to the poor and needy. Polyclinics and hospitals must be on heightened alert to handle cases of respiratory distress, including chronic conditions worsened by the haze.

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Time for PAP government to show leadership and mettle

June 20, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

(EDITORIAL POLICY: This article may NOT be reproduced on any blog or website, but link-backs or SNIPPETS with FULL attribution to this site are welcome and appreciated.)

Written by Ng E-Jay
20 June 2013

It is time for the PAP government to show leadership in the ongoing haze situation, which has escalated to hazardous levels. Despite being a recurring phenomenon for close to two decades, Indonesia has been unwilling to take effective measures to force big multi-national corporations to clear the land in a responsible and environmentally-conscious manner. Now is the time for the PAP government to rally its ASEAN neighbours in diplomatic solidarity and work together to tackle the crisis which has been slowly smoldering for a long time.

The case of Indonesia’s moral bankruptcy, ineptitude, gross indifference to human health, and unwillingness to do the right thing in the face of corporate avarice and recklessness provides a classic study in contemporary geopolitics and geo-economics.

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Government should apply diplomatic pressure and come clean on its investment in errant firms

June 20, 2013 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
20 June 2013

This has been the worst haze in Singapore’s history. The PSI level reached over 300 last night, before settling down near the 200 level. The air pollution has compromised the health of Singaporeans, and will perhaps also threaten the already fragile economy if something is not done about it soon.

It has become clear that the haze is not caused simply by random villagers using slash-and-burn methods to clear the land in preparation for a new season of crops. Indeed, the overwhelming part of the blame lies with big, errant corporations which, due to their greed and lack of consideration for both human health as well as the ecosystem, used fire with reckless abandon and engaged in highly destructive methods of clearing the forests.

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Questions that ATL Maintenance should answer

June 14, 2013 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
14 June 2013

ATL Maintenance Pte. Ltd., the cleaning contractor hired by AHPETC, should answer for its actions with regards to the cleaning for the Block 538 hawker centre at Bedok North, which was originally scheduled from 04 March to 08 March this year.

First and foremost, ATL Maintenance provided a full quotation for major spring cleaning, including provision of scaffolding for cleaning of high areas, to Mr Ng Kok Khim, PAP member and patron of the Block 538 Market Association. Mr Ng denied asking for such a quotation, and his statement was apparently corroborated by fellow PAP member Mr Tan Gin Xiong, who is the current chairman of Blk 538 Market Association.

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Vivian Balakrishnan and NEA versus Aljunied Town Council: Storm in a Teacup

June 14, 2013 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
14 June 2013

Before I begin my article proper, I hereby request that Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and the National Environment Agency (NEA) stop politicizing the issue about AHPETC’s cleaning of Hawker Centres and escalating it out of proportion. The urgent issues at hand are to tackle the Dengue outbreak effectively and ensure that the Singapore environment is kept clean, hygienic and healthy. Stop this silly political exercise at once, if you wish to preserve whatever credibility you have left. If you really put Singaporeans first and the welfare of citizens above partisan bickering, then cease this foolish political game, which has fallen to a level that is beneath contempt.

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Campaign by #FreeMyInternet against MDA scheme at Hong Lim Park

June 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

mda08

Written by Ng E-Jay
09 June 2013

A crowd of two thousand descended at Hong Lim Park on Saturday 08 June to campaign against a new licensing regime enacted by MDA that would require certain news sites to post a S$50,000 “performance bond” and take down what MDA deems as objectionable content within 24 hours of notice. The MDA has absolute discretion and authority to determine what constitutes objectionable content. The MDA is not answerable to the electorate or to the internet community on any take-down orders it may give. Indeed, the MDA can order a take-down of anything it pleases.

Some members of the crowd displayed placards calling on the government not to “tell me what to read”, while another said “our silence is not for sale.”

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#FreeMyInternet Media statement — A successful campaign, and moving ahead

#FreeMyInternet Media Release
08 June 2013

#FreeMyInternet is encouraged by the success of our first campaign against the new MDA Licensing Regime, which many media commentators see as the turning point in Singapore’s media regulatory landscape in Singapore.

More than 4,000 signed our online petition (and still counting), more than 150 blogs participated in our online blackout, and an estimated total of 2500 participated this afternoon in Singapore’s largest blogger-led protest.

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Bloggers showed solidarity in the Thursday blackout protest

June 7, 2013 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
07 June 2013

On Thursday 06 June, well over a hundred socio-political blogs, as well as blogs of all genres ranging from food to entertainment, blacked out their sites as a mark of solidarity and protest against the new MDA regulations.

MDA seeks to impose a S$50,000 performance bond on popular news sites that report on Singapore current affairs. and subject these sites to a licensing regime that many have come to see as oppressive.

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