Inconsistency?

idiotMinister in charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim on the Nizam Ismail incident:

What is clear from the comments made from Nizam is his wish to be more politically-active. The government considers AMP as an important Malay/Muslim self-help group like Mendaki, and offers assistance to help AMP handle social and education issues in our community. However, this assistance should not be used to aid political activities or self-help groups to carry out political agendas.” (Yahoo Singapore)

What about the president of the Young Sikh Association (YSA), Mr Malminderjit Singh? The YSA also receives funding from the Government. Yet, Mr Singh is a PAP member, in fact he was elected Chairman to the PAP Policy Forum last year, 2012.

Mr Singh is also the “recruitment head” for the SINDA Youth Club, according to his LinkedIn page. Continue reading “Inconsistency?”

CNA censors comments on public institutions and officials

News agency AFP asked me for a comment for its report on the demands by the Attorney General for several websites and Facebook pages to remove certain postings and comments. The AG made the demands because it felt that such comments – about the judgement of 25 months jail for a Chinese national who had hijacked a taxi and subsequently killed a cleaner in an accident – would “pose a real risk that public confidence in the administration of justice would be undermined.”

My comments to AFP, which it subsequently published in its report, were:

“Our public institutions and public officials should accept and allow a wider threshold for criticisms from the public, including those online.”

The AFP report was then published by several other news sites, including insing.com, New Straits Times, Yahoo Singapore, and the Nanyang Post. [Click on the names to see the reports.]

All these reports carried the AFp’s original headline too: “Singapore judiciary demands apology for web backlash“.

They all also carried the comments I made about public institutions and public officials. Continue reading “CNA censors comments on public institutions and officials”

Kishore

When I first read this article by Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, I thought it was a rather badly written article. I still do.

What is (un)surprising is that the Straits Times finds such bad writing worthy of publication.

Incidentally, The Economist recently panned Mahbubani’s latest book, the grand-sounding “The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World”. Unfortunately, The Economist had this to say about the book [emphasis mine]:

But he provides few reasons to believe that the world will now follow his prescriptions—such as an overhaul of the United Nations—desirable though many of them may be. It hardly helps that Mr Mahbubani can be sloppy with facts. In arguing that it was Asian “engagement” as opposed to Western sanctions that produced reform in Myanmar, for example, he keeps Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest a year longer than the Burmese authorities did. He is also guilty of argument by non sequitur. He suggests that allegations of American torture invalidate American reservations about academic freedom in Singapore. And he can be cavalier with evidence. The claim that China’s government began to worry about its environment only after warnings from the United Nations Development Programme is attributed to a sole, anonymous “Chinese policymaker”.

Much of the book reads as a continuation of disparate arguments Mr Mahbubani has made over many years in his fulminations against the shortcomings of Western political leadership. The theme of “convergence” and his optimistic take on it are not enough to turn a disjointed flotilla of a book into an ocean-liner. [Economist]

I was going to write a rebuttal to his Straits Times article but then I thought, why bother with a pretentious article which doesn’t really say anything worthwhile.

Instead, I point you to two articles by New Nation – that website which promises “50% real news”.

‘I’d have failed Kishore Mahbubani’s essay’

Kishore Mahbubani is the most intelligent man in the Milky Way

Kishore wants you to respond to his article and – get this – the Straits Times will “pick 10 readers to get tickets to a dialogue between Kishore Mahbubani and National University of Singapore law faculty dean Simon Chesterman on Mr Mahbubani’s latest book.”

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Well, good luck to you.

The article in question: Continue reading “Kishore”

Singapore’s shameful state-sanctioned class divide

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“Although the official abolishment of Apartheid [in South Africa] occurred in 1990 with repeal of the last of the remaining Apartheid laws, the end of Apartheid is widely regarded as arising from the 1994 democratic general elections.” (Wikipedia)

One of the most poignant symbols of apartheid in South Africa were the townships, part of a system of racial segregation enforced through legislation. The non-white population had to be segregated from the whites.

The word “township” was used pejoratively during that period which lasted from 1948 till 1994. It continues to be a reminder of that era of blatant state-sanctioned racism. Continue reading “Singapore’s shameful state-sanctioned class divide”

Give ourselves some credit

polw

I was at the Port of Lost Wonder (POLW) in Sentosa some weeks ago. POLW is a water playground for children 12-years old and below. It was great to see the kids splashing and dashing around in such excitement. I couldn’t help but think to myself how fortunate these kids are. I would have loved to have such a playground when I was younger. But playing paper boats in the drain after the rain isn’t that bad either.

Children can be great teachers. There they were, soaking up the fun – children of all races, shapes and sizes. Malays, Indians, Chinese, Eurasians, Caucasians, etc. What was interesting is to see how these kids take to each other so readily. Complete strangers one moment, absorbed in play with each other the next. Skin colour? Nah. Nationality? Doesn’t matter. Continue reading “Give ourselves some credit”

Zero tolerance for intolerance? Try STOMP

So the Straits Times had this article (below) in its Saturday edition (31 March 2013), written by Tessa Wong:

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On the same day, in the same paper, there was another article about some so-called “10 cyberspace commandments” preached, no less, by a member of the recently installed Government-appointed “Media Literacy Council”:

ST 300313

The two articles were preceded by a speech made by PAP MP Hri Kumar on 11 March in Parliament, which was given much prominence by the Straits Times: Continue reading “Zero tolerance for intolerance? Try STOMP”