The frustration of Lawrence Wong, and others

The Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, Lawrence Wong, has written a Facebook post lamenting the criticisms directed at various people who had participated in certain events.

You can read it here (and also below).

I can understand Mr Wong’s frustrations. They are not new and indeed the same sentiments have been expressed by other ministers as well. And perhaps some of these criticisms are unwarranted. Nonetheless, to brush them aside would be to miss the underlying unhappiness.  Continue reading “The frustration of Lawrence Wong, and others”

No disrespect, Bertha, but you’re missing the woods for the trees

Bertha Henson, who describes herself as “officially an ex-journalist”, wrote the following post on her blog on 22 September:

With all due respect, Bertha has missed the most crucial point – and indeed the reason why Function 8 has chosen to release its letter to the Archbishop which it sent earlier this year, after the Archbishop retracted his purported support for the 25th anniversary event in June. Continue reading “No disrespect, Bertha, but you’re missing the woods for the trees”

Seeking answers to worrying developments

“As Catholics, we have an obligation to raise our voices on behalf of those who cannot, taking action to correct injustices in our society…” – Catholic Archbishop, Nicholas Chia, 14 August 2011. (Catholic News)

Events of the last two days (see here) make you wonder about conviction – conviction in the words you say. To be sure, it is not easy to live by the words one says, at times. And I am sure the Archbishop must be going through some rather serious self-reflection now. His very strongly-worded statement to the media against Alex Au and Function 8 is quite unexpected and rather out of character of the man. It has raised suspicions about the statement itself – issued as it was after a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, Teo Chee Hean. Teo is also the security “czar” of Singapore, also known as the Minister for Home Affairs.  Continue reading “Seeking answers to worrying developments”

“I did some sharp and hard things to get things right…”

Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong have agreed to accept Dr Chee Soon Juan’s offer of S$30,000 to settle the debt owed to them. I applaud Mr Lee and Mr Goh for their acceptance of the offer. I think many people also do appreciate that they are foregoing the larger amount of S$500,000.

Many too hope that this will bring to an end the defamation suits lodged against opposition politicians. There have been many of these throughout the years and each time one was lodged, I remember being utterly saddened. So, lets hope this will truly bring an end to such things. Continue reading ““I did some sharp and hard things to get things right…””

Lets be authentic

Picture from:

Sometimes you wonder who the buffoons are who do stupid things like this – especially in the age of the Internet. I am all for playing great host to our visitors, whether royals or not. But come on, at least let the welcome be genuine and authentic.

Why do we have to put on an unrealistic parade just to show what a vibrant society we are? Uncles (apparently) asked to “perform” tai chi under S’pore’s sweltering heat, children pretending to be playing, etc. [I’m not dissing the uncles, women and children who were part of this display, but those who planned for this.] Continue reading “Lets be authentic”

A conversation on this, sooner or later

Over the last 5 years, I have been privileged to meet and speak to some newsmakers, personalities and ordinary people. I would not have grown in my outlook on things if not for them. And in the process, some became my friends, others colleagues. But all have taught me a thing or two, certainly.

If you were to ask me which had the most profound effect on me, there is no doubt that it would be Vincent Cheng. I would never have thought that I would one day get to meet and speak to someone whom I vaguely recalled just a few years ago for his involvement in the alleged (in my opinion, false) “Marxist Conspiracy” of 1987.  Continue reading “A conversation on this, sooner or later”

Michelle Obama’s speech – and the simple things

If you haven’t watched the video of the speech by Michelle Obama, please do. It’s a beautiful speech – of hope, belief, courage and most of all, values. Her most important point, to me at least, is how parents have so much influence on their children. And most of the time, these influences and values are very basic – hard work, honesty, integrity, courage, perseverance. And it is a timely message not only for America which is ravaged by greed in recent times, it is also a message which is relevant to us here in Singapore.

Indeed, the Government has spoken of what values we want as we bring Singapore forward. “Shared values”, they call it. But really, they are personal values instead. For how each of us live our lives is how our children will learn to live theirs. And in this process, our values are transmitted to our children. Continue reading “Michelle Obama’s speech – and the simple things”