Why is Ong Teng Cheong not recognised as Singapore’s first Elected President?

The changes to the Elected Presidency (EP) scheme were passed by Parliament on Monday, 7 February.

The Government have also announced that the next EP will take place in September 2017.

This next presidential election will be a special one which is reserved only for Malay candidates.

It is part of the slew of changes made to the EP scheme by the Government which claimed that it was concerned about there not being a minority-race president for an extended period. Continue reading “Why is Ong Teng Cheong not recognised as Singapore’s first Elected President?”

Mindef was no victim – part 2: Gov’t a helpless victim of “falsehoods”?

After having filed for protection under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA), the Ministry of Law (Minlaw) now says “the Government  has never said that it needed protection from harassment.” (See here.)

“This case… had nothing to do with harassment,” Minlaw said. “It was about false statements.”

The ministry was responding to a statement from the Workers’ Party (WP) following the judgement of the Court of Appeal (CA) in the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) vs Dr Ting Choon Meng/The Online Citizen (TOC) case.

The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), acting for the Government (and Mindef), made the application “to obtain an order for [the two parties involved] to be prevented from or to cease publication of a false statement of fact and, if so, when it would be “just and equitable” to do so.”

In a nutshell, the CA, in a split decision, upheld the High Court’s earlier decision and ruled in January that Mindef/the Government did not constitute a “person” under the Act and thus has no recourse to it. Continue reading “Mindef was no victim – part 2: Gov’t a helpless victim of “falsehoods”?”

Mindef was no victim – part 1

Back in late 2014, when I was informed that the Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC) had sent us a letter of demand about an article we had published on The Online Citizen (TOC), my first thoughts were, “Oh crap.”

And when I later read the letter itself, I was flabbergasted.

The AGC had threatened to use the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) against us if we did not comply with its demands.

I remember the first word which came to my mind after reading that letter.

“Sneaky”.

I was in disbelief – disbelief that this government would be so sneaky as to use a law, which was meant to protect the truly vulnerable, for itself, a government which is all-powerful, and which has unlimited resources.

Sneaky indeed.

And more than that, it was distasteful. It was pathetic. It was horrible. Continue reading “Mindef was no victim – part 1”

Post-op follow-ups – how much do they cost?

bill2

It has been more than two months since I had my quadruple coronary heart bypass surgery at the National Heart Centre (Singapore). Earlier, I wrote about the costs of the operation itself which cost a total of S$25,000, before government subsidies and insurance. (Please see here.)

In this article, I will talk about the post-op follow-up consultation and rehabilitation costs, so as to give readers – and those who may be undergoing or contemplating similar procedures  an idea of what to expect in terms of financial commitment.

Deciding to go through a heart bypass operation is a major decision, often a necessary one, as in my case. Three of my main arteries were significantly blocked, which resulted in chest pains, shortness of breath and a general deterioration of my health the year before the surgery. Continue reading “Post-op follow-ups – how much do they cost?”

Healing

Blood diffusion on left thigh after CABG op. It has cleared up entirely now.
Blood diffusion on left thigh after CABG op. It has cleared up entirely now.

It has been slightly more than 3 weeks since I had my surgery on 22 September 2016. Things are going well, and I am recovering better than I had expected.

I still have a little chest discomfort when I exert myself, such as when I reach for something, or when I try to carry something. So, I have to be careful when I do so.

I can’t carry a 2kg watermelon, for example. It would be too much of an exertion. My chest also hurts when I sneeze. I particularly hate sneezing now cos it feels like your heart is being squeeze rather tightly whenever I do.

But other than this, I am fine. Continue reading “Healing”

Is Medishield Life a rip-off?

mslSince my last article in which I wrote about the bills for my two medical procedures – an angiography (including a percutaneous coronary intervention) and a coronary heart bypass surgery (CABG) – some have criticised the Medishield Life scheme for not paying out enough in situations such as mine.

Just to recap, the bills are as follows. I am including the PCI as a separate item:

First bill:

Angiography: $3,393.00

PCI: S$4,379.85

Misc (medication, ward charges, etc): $2,954.24

Medishield Life payout: $720

 

Second bill:

CABG (including 6 day ICU/ward charges): $4,903.63

Medishield Life payout: $4,529.15

 

GRAND TOTAL: $15,630.72

I won’t go into the details of the numbers and how they are derived as I have already explained it in my previous article. (Please click here.) Continue reading “Is Medishield Life a rip-off?”

The bills

Arm healing nicely
Arm healing nicely

A lot of us, not without justification, worry about medical bills. This is especially so if you are hit with a serious illness which require extensive and expensive medical care. And there are such cases. I am not going to deny that there are not a few people and families who struggle with medical fees.

What I hope to do, however, that in spite of this, you may take heart that not everyone may have to go through such trying times, if you do not ignore symptoms and catch your illness early. This may not only save your life but also prevent potentially crippling medical expense.

Anyway, I have received the bills for my two medical procedures – both done in the same month of September 2016.

The two procedures are:

  1. Angiography
  2. Quadruple coronary heart bypass graft (CABG)

In this article, I will focus on the costs of these two procedures, as per my own case. Continue reading “The bills”