Dr Chee Soon Juan looks set to contest next general elections

April 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
30 April 2014

Dr Chee Soon Juan, the current Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), looks keen on contesting the next general elections. His bankruptcy was annulled in November 2012 after he paid a negotiated settlement of $30,000 to the Official Assignee.

The work of preparing the party to play a bigger role in the political process began much earlier in 2009 when the SDP underwent a rejuvenation, and subsequently began to attract an increased number of talented, credible candidates, as well as members and volunteers from all walks of live who play an active role in shaping the party.

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Women do not have unfettered right to alimony

April 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
29 April 2014

Justice Choo Han Teck recently refuted the notion that maintenance was an “unalloyed right” of a woman. These remarks were made in decision grounds that explained why he had rejected a woman’s $120,000 maintenance claim from her former spouse.

In this divorce case, the woman was earning a higher income compared to the man, and also had more assets. They were also financially independent of each other. The woman has a teenage son from a previous marriage, and for whose maintenance the man pays $1,000 a month, which the court has upheld

Justice Choo however declined to award the woman a lump sum of $120,000 maintenance that she also demanded, “presumably” computed at $1,000 a month for their decade-long marriage which ended in 2012.

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A more critical look at Dr Ng Eng Hen’s suggestion

April 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
26 April 2014

On Thursday, during an SAF exercise, Dr Ng Eng Hen spoke to reporters and floated the idea of giving NSmen more benefits in the areas of education and housing, in order to reward them for their contribution.

PAP MP Alex Yam, who also sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs, said in a later media interview that these benefits will not about fundamental access to basic social needs, but will be additional handouts meant to reward service and strengthen the institution of National Service.

Unfortunately, the government’s approach to compensating NSmen for their sacrifice by giving handouts and other goodies will only be a bandage that masks the underlying state of inequality, but fails to address the real issues and grievances faced by NSmen.

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AWARE clarifies its position after receiving criticism

April 26, 2014 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
26 April 2014

After receiving strong criticism on Facebook with regards to its opposition to NSmen receiving additional social benefits in compensation for their sacrifices in National Service, AWARE has updated its position on the matter.

On Thursday, it was reported that Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen was considering giving more recognition to NSmen by giving them a bigger stake in the country, such as in the areas of housing, healthcare and education. However, no details of the proposed benefits have been released thus far.

This statement from the Defence Minister prompted AWARE to criticize the proposal as being potentially divisive and intensifying different tiers of entitlement in society.

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Malaysian opposition heavyweight Karpal Singh passes away

April 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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By Ng E-Jay
17 April 2014

Malaysian opposition stalwart Karpal Singh, who was Member of Parliament for the constituency of Bukit Gelugor in the state of Penang under the Democratic Action Party (DAP), passed away in a car accident on the early morning of 17 April 2014.

Malaysiakini reported on its website that the accident took place near Tapah, Perak, at approximately 1am along the North-South Highway. Karpal’s son Ramkarpal and the driver are said to be seriously injured, and Karpal’s assistant Michael Cornandez also died in the accident.

The veteran opposition politician graduated from the University of Singapore and started his law practice before getting involved in politics and finally winning his first Parliamentary seat in 1978 as the representative for Jelutong, Penang.

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Two graphs that show what has gone wrong with Singapore

April 15, 2014 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

The first graph is the cost of living survey conducted by Reuters in 2012, which ranked Singapore as the 9th most expensive City/Country.

The second graph is courtesy of Roy Ngerng’s The Heart Truths which shows that wage levels in Singapore lag behind many other developed and developing countries. Click on the image for a large size version.

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In Singapore, we have low wages but a high cost of living. As a result the lower income Singaporeans are locked in a daily struggle for survival, and middle income Singaporeans find retiring comfortably a great challenge. The high cost of living is due to escalating property prices and rentals which force businesses to raise prices in tandem, as well as the government’s highly inflationary policy of allow hot money from around the world unfettered access to our banking system. Low wages are due to artificial wage suppression by massive foreign influx.

This is a sad state of affairs. Let us make our voices heard on all available platforms, and especially at the ballot box.

When would it be necessary to form a coalition government?

April 14, 2014 by · 1 Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
14 April 2014

Recently, an article published by the Financial Times (FT) quoted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as having said that the PAP is beginning to consider the possibility of one day forming a coalition government. (See here.) These remarks were supposedly made to a columnist over lunch at the Park Terrace of the Royal Garden Hotel in London.

This was picked up by both the Straits Times and Channel News Asia, which ran headlines stating “Coalition government possible in future, says PM Lee” and “PAP considering possibility of forming coalition government one day: PM Lee” respectively.

However, Mr Lee later clarified on Facebook that a coalition government for Singapore was “not on his mind“. He said that what he meant was that “I could imagine a situation one day where the PAP is not dominant, but that I had no idea how that would work, or whether it could be made to work at all“.

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PM Lee’s Succession Planning and Lack of Foresight

April 11, 2014 by · 5 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
11 April 2014

At the Straits Times Asia News Network Dialogue held at the Istana on Tuesday, PM Lee Hsien Loong was asked, “If you are not Prime Minister tomorrow, will Singapore be all right”? Mr Lee responded, “That is the objective”, to a round of applause.

Later, Mr Lee also added, “”In Singapore, we pay a lot of attention to succession planning and making sure we have a new team ready and new leaders who are capable of taking charge, so that the country can move ahead and the leaders can be in sync with the country.”

Prime Minister Lee is trying to convey the notion that his government has foresight and carries out succession planning in advance to ensure smooth continuity of leadership. However, in recent years, grave doubts have been cast on the ability of the government to have good foresight, to anticipate problems and prepare for the unexpected.

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National Gallery’s new logo: Passing off mediocrity as thoughtful simplicity

April 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
10 April 2014

The National Gallery’s new logo has drawn criticism from Singaporeans who feel that the design is too simplistic and mediocre. I agree with that sentiment. After all, does it really take an art talent or a creative genius to come up with two ordinary rectangles for a logo? Even a primary school child could draw it using Microsoft Paint.

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Why our politicians seriously need to stop babbling about cheap hawker food

April 9, 2014 by · 1 Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
09 April 2014

First, PAP MP Baey Yam Keng posted on his Facebook account that he enjoyed a $2.50 Nasi Padang and 50 cents Bandung drink at a coffeeshop at Tampines. When a netizen went down to try out the Nasi Padang for himself, he was charged $6 for the same dish (see here) Later, it was reported that the stall owner confessed to have charged Mr Baey a special discount “out of respect for his work and service” (see here).

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