In defence of Mr Han

Poor Han Fook Kwang.

The former editor of the main broadsheet in Singapore has found himself – once again – on the receiving end of a scolding from a vindictive, hypersensitive and irrational government. And I use all 3 adjectives deliberately and accurately. They apply to this present government, whether they are made up of 2G, 3G or 4G ministers.

So, what is it that Mr Han has done that has so tormented the political leadership that it feels it had to give him a dressing down in public?

Poor Mr Han. All he did was to offer his two cents worth of advice to the multi-millionaire ministers, after witnessing their speeches in the recent opening of Parliament.

In truth, it was a pretty heartfelt, sincere and rather commonsense piece of advice which no sensible person in a leadership position would find fault with. Continue reading “In defence of Mr Han”

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MPs park for free in Parliament House, says Clerk; but Minister Fu says no. What is the truth?

On 25 May, I posted a simple question on my Facebook page.

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I posed the question after the government’s decision to charge teachers for parking in school premises, and remarks from Education minister Ong Ye Kung supporting the ban on free parking for teachers.

Mr Ong explained the move on his Facebook page which, incidentally, came after almost one week and as a response to MP Seah Kian Peng’s speech in Parliament lamenting the move. Continue reading “MPs park for free in Parliament House, says Clerk; but Minister Fu says no. What is the truth?”

Ambassador “cannot recognise” the S’pore described by Kirsten Han? Here’s some help.

Singapore’s ambassador to the United States, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, has written a rebuttal letter to the New York Times in response to Kirsten Han’s article in the paper a month earlier.

Ms Han’s piece was titled “What Trump is learning from S’pore – and vice versa“.

In that piece, she drew parallels between what Donald Trump is trying to do in the states, and what Singapore is doing here, and how both come from an authoritarian viewpoint in dealing with things, such as “deliberate online falsehoods” and the death penalty.

Whether you agree with Ms Han or not, you should read her article first before you draw your conclusions.

In his rebuttal, ambassador Ashok – unsurprisingly – regurgitated the template response which government ministers or spokespeople are wont to do, namely: Singapore has ranked highly in certain areas, and there is freedom to express oneself here.

Similarly, you should read Mr Ashok’s letter in full before you come to any conclusion. To do so, click here.

Interestingly, Mr Ashok’s letter was titled, “A false portrait of Singapore”. Continue reading “Ambassador “cannot recognise” the S’pore described by Kirsten Han? Here’s some help.”

Test balloons finally spotted

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Singaporeans were unfortunate witnesses to what was a shameful baying of blood in Parliament recently – namely, PAP members hounding opposition MP Sylvia Lim for an apology.

Ms Lim, as everyone now knows thanks to the PAP’s antics in the House, had said she had suspicion that the Government would have raised the GST sooner rather than later if not for their (PAP’s) earlier public statements (in August 2015, especially) that the GST would not be raised after the next general election (in September 2015). Continue reading “Test balloons finally spotted”

Did “influencers” in MOF’s campaign contravene Advertising Standards Authority’s guidelines?

TODAY, 2015

Earlier this month, it emerged that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) had paid some social media practitioners, or so-called “influencers’, to help publicise Budget 2018. Leaving aside the debate of whether it was money well spent by the ministry (note: the MOF has declined to disclose how much it dished out to each “influencer”), there is also the question of whether these “influencers” had in fact contravened the guidelines issued by the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS). Continue reading “Did “influencers” in MOF’s campaign contravene Advertising Standards Authority’s guidelines?”

Fake news Select Committee should investigate 30-year old falsehood

The Government has announced the setting up of a Select Committee to look into the issue of “fake news”, especially online.

Ostensibly, the aim of the committee is to find out how the authorities can deal with online falsehoods.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam claimed that “online falsehoods can destabilise societies far more easily than ever before”, without providing any examples of any society which has been “destabilised” by online falsehoods.

Nonetheless, while there are questions and concerns with such a potential move (of new legislations to curb “fake news”), the Select Committee should also be as non-partisan as possible when looking into the issue, and also consider what should be done if the fake news is put out by the Government or authorities themselves.  Continue reading “Fake news Select Committee should investigate 30-year old falsehood”

Is the Attorney General afraid of Li Shengwu?

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When it comes to the prosecution of cases, sometimes the Attorney General’s decisions (whether to prosecute or not) are puzzling, and even questionable.  

Website Must Share News has highlighted 3 such instances where apparent wrongdoing have gone unchecked by the Attorney General (AG), although these cases are seemingly similar to that involving the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).

Another recent case is that of Li Shengwu, the son of Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern. The couple are the brother and sister-in-law of Prime MInister Lee Hsien Loong.

On 15 July, Li made a post on his Facebook page which seemed to attack the Singapore judiciary.

In his posting, Mr Li had linked an article by the Wall Street Journal, titled “Singapore, a model of orderly rule, is jolted by a bitter family feud”, on the recent public war of words between his father and his aunt, Lee Wei Ling, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The 3-week saga, a dispute over the fate of the house of their father, Lee Kuan Yew, had hogged the news as the siblings lashed out at each other. Continue reading “Is the Attorney General afraid of Li Shengwu?”