PAP government should be fined for every major administrative lapse

January 10, 2014 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
10 January 2014

No thanks to the PAP government, Singapore has over the years developed a notorious reputation for being a “Fine City” — a city where people are slapped with financial penalties for a wide range of anti-social behaviour including chewing gum, spitting, and littering. To be sure, society must evolve to embrace good conduct and good manners. Let me state categorically that I support the punishment of people who repeatedly indulge in crass or unhygienic practices.

However, the high-handedness of the PAP government has created a negative image of Singapore. People know Singapore for being a tightly-controlled authoritarian nation, even if they have benefitted from the economic fruits our country has produced. People still call Singapore a “nanny state” even if our economic growth has made many of the elite immensely rich (the lower income have NOT enjoyed our economic prosperity). There is the pervasive, unshakable sense that underlying all the wealth and glitz associated with Singapore, crude and backward authoritarianism and oppression is still used by the ruling party to keep the populace in line as if we were but a bunch of farm animals.

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Two encouraging indicators of the potency of civil activism

January 9, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Update: SADPC, Second Chances and Think Centre are anti-Death penalty groups, not just anti-Mandatory death penalty. (Thanks, Rachel Zeng)

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Written by Ng E-Jay
09 January 2014

Recently, there have been two encouraging indicators of the potency of civil activism. The first is the case of Mr Yong Vui Kong, a Malaysian man who had been convicted in Singapore for drug trafficking in the year 2008 and originally sentenced to death.

In 2013, after years of vigorous and tireless campaigning by anti-mandatory death penalty activists, the law was amended to allow for drug mules who were not ringleaders and who had cooperated substantially with the authorities to be granted an exemption from the death penalty. The same year in September, Mr Yong received a Certificate of Cooperation from the Public Prosecutor, and his life was finally spared in November, when Justice Choo Han Teck returned a verdict that reversed Yong’s death sentence.

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Global economic momentum improving, but don’t ignore disconnect between stocks and Doctor Copper

Global-Momentum-

Global economic momentum is improving and looks set to surprise on the upside in 2014. However, Doctor Copper should not be ignored. Copper has frequently been dubbed the metal “with a Ph.D. in economics” for its uncanny ability at forecasting the global economic cycle. When the global economy expands, industrial output increases and demand for copper pushes its price up. The converse happens when the global economy contracts. Global stock prices have anticipated this favourable state of affairs and have priced in much of 2014′s growth potential.

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U.S. stock market: due for a correction

Regardless of how the economy performs this year, I suspect the U.S. stock market is due for a correction, perhaps as soon as the first quarter of 2014. Sentiment is very bullish and fund managers have piled into the market en masse to avoid under-performing their peers or their benchmarks. People generally believe the Federal Reserve has managed to rescue the economy. The market has moved straight up for one year with at most very shallow pullbacks. I believe the time is ripe for the market to rattle some nerves.

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Will 2014 be a decisive year for the United States regarding Middle Eastern affairs?

January 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

memap

According to STRATFOR, the year 2014 might be a decisive year for the U.S. in its involvement in Middle Eastern geopolitics.

STRATFOR’s latest geopolitical diary makes the case that working toward a nuclear settlement with Iran will take centre stage in U.S. strategy, with other hot spots like Syria and Israel/Palestine playing a peripheral but supportive role.

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