THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Archive for February, 2013

Russian ‘FT’ Victor Vassiltov: “NS is another joke”

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2013

A comment made by Russian ‘FT’ Victor Vassiltov sparks a massive outcry in cyberspace when he appeared to make snide remarks about National Service.

In a Facebook conversation with some Singaporeans, Victor wrote:

“NS is another joke, wash my tank, baby.”

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Victor also boasted that he is working in Singapore because he has ‘higher skills’ than any locals here.

According to his personal profile on Linkedin, Victor currently holds the position of Vice President at Barclays Capital.

Posted in News | 10 Comments »

Indian student on MOE tuition grant raps Singapore netizens for posting ‘xenophobic’ comments about India

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2013

ftdanceAn Indian student studying in a local university on MOE scholarship has written to the Straits Times Forum attacking Singapore netizens for posting ‘xenophobic’ comments about India.

In his letter,  Abhinav Mishra admitted that his education is heavily subsidized by MOE:

“My education here has been, to a large extent, subsidised through a Ministry of Education tuition grant. This grant requires me to work for at least three years in Singapore after I graduate. So I would be competing with my Singaporean peers for jobs.”

He wrote that he is sad to read about the ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’ comments online:

“I came here to get a good education. It saddens me to see how netizens paint all immigrants in the same bad light and post racist and xenophobic comments online. Getting more immigrants from New Delhi, for example, would certainly not make Singapore the “rape capital of the world”.

While he did not reveal if he is a new citizen, Mishra urged Singaporeans not to let prejudice and stereotypes guide public policy:

“I hope Singapore’s new citizens are treated in a way that is reflective of the educated, meritocratic and unbiased society that Singapore is. I hope the recent uproar does not create further barriers between citizens and foreigners.”

 

 

Posted in News | 12 Comments »

Supreme Leader Lee Kuan Yew attends Chinese New Year party after discharge from hospital

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2013

A few days after he was discharged from hospital for a suspected stroke, Singapore’s Supreme Leader Lee Kuan Yew attended a Chinese New Year Garden Party at Istana on Sunday.

In a post on her Facebook, fellow MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC Indranee Rajah wrote:

“Mr Lee Kuan Yew, A/P Koo Tsai Kee with Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru grassroots leaders and myself at the Chinese New Year Garden Party at Istana – 24 Feb 2013″

lkyhealthy
The post brought forth an outpouring of support from Lee’s subservient subjects:

“Very happy to see Singapore’s founding father Mr Lee appearing at public function. Greatest respect for him.” – Pannisamy Verrapan

“Great to see our founding father in good health, and for those that curse the founding father maythe curse be rebounce to themselves. Without Mr. Lee and the old guards Singapore will never be what it is today.” – Albert Teo

“Is so relief to see my Singapore Idol, uncle Lee in good health, taking pix with the public. This is the greatest celebration (better than striking TOTO) for whole Singapore on 元宵节 !” – Erica Ong

At 89 years of age, Lee is currently the world’s oldest living MP. He is widely regarded as the ‘founding father’ of Singapore without which it will still remain a ‘swamp’.

 

Posted in News | 8 Comments »

PRC new citizen accuses Low Thia Kiang of ‘inciting xenophobia’

Posted by temasektimes on February 19, 2013

ltkA PRC new citizen has accused WP Chief Low Thia Kiang of ‘inciting xenophobia’ in his speech made in parliament last week during a debate on the White Paper in which he proposed capping the inflow of foreign workers.

In a letter to a Chinese paper yesterday, Mr Li Yeming, vice-chairman of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, research and publications committee, accused Low of fanning anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner sentiments and dividing Singaporeans by distinguishing between ‘native-born’ Singaporeans and those born overseas.

Low counter-accused Li of selectively interpreting his speech, claiming that he made no distinction in his speech and he had called for equal treatment for all citizens.

No WP MP was present at a protest held at Hong Lim Park last Saturday evening against the White Paper. Speaking to queries from the state media, WP Chairwoman Sylvia Lim said:

“It is healthy for the issue to be canvassed on appropriate and multiple fronts. WP has made its stance in Parliament.”

Low has earlier endorsed the PAP publicly, praising it as a ‘competent’ government and urging Singaporeans to give it ‘more time’ to solve the numerous problems besieging the nation. He also repeated WP’s pledge to work ‘constructively’ with the PAP.

In the aftermath of the 2011 General Election, WP newbie MP Pritam Singh proclaimed proudly that the Workers Party is ready to form a coalition government with the PAP should the latter fail to gain a simple majority in the next general election.

Posted in News | 17 Comments »

Goh Chok Tong: Speakers’ rhetoric at White Paper protest too ‘political’

Posted by temasektimes on February 18, 2013

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has criticized the speakers at the White Paper protest held on Saturday evening as indulging in mere rhetoric and being too ‘political’.

The protest was organized by ordinary Singaporeans one week after the government released and endorsed a White Paper to increase Singapore’s population to 6.9 million people by 2030 via immigration, sparking an unprecedented public outcry.

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In a reply to a query from a netizen on his Facebook page, ESM Goh said he did not think out of the speakers’ rhetoric:

“Too political, too one-sided, appealing to emotions only and not shedding light on important issues,” he wrote.

A former Prime Minister of Singapore from 1991 to 2002, ESM Goh promised Singaporeans a ‘Swiss standard of living’, but it appears that they are now burdened with a Swiss cost of living minus its quality of life instead.

Posted in News | 9 Comments »

Reclaim our civil rights and freedom before calling for a referendum

Posted by temasektimes on February 18, 2013

popprotest10It was a proud moment to be a Singaporean yesterday, when 6000 of us, stood shoulder to shoulder under the unforgiving shower of rain to protest in unison against the latest draconian policy which had been shoved down our throats.

However the irony of protesting in a government sanctioned site, nestled away from the view of busy Chinatown blocked by towering woods only re-affirmed the fact that we are still, as much as we hate to admit it, a repressed people.

It was regretful to say the least that the strong message of protest against one of the most obscene population figures conjured up by a totalitarian government could not have reached the oblivious masses, whose only accurate source of information would have been the mainstream media. Not surprisingly, virtual tabloids affiliated to SPH covering the event maliciously published figures of “only a handful”, “hundreds” or “more than a thousand” to drive home the ongoing propaganda against state opposition and civil society bodies.

Imagine the impact a peaceful march to the Parliament House would have made. In the past decade, It was easy to subdue a handful of SDP activists carrying out peace protests outside key government installations and embassies because that’s all they were. A handful. The state knew it was easy to leave such random acts of lunacy unreported, or create a perception of disgust in the minds of fellow Singaporeans.

Well not anymore. The spectacle I witnessed yesterday was the evolution of a once meek, passive and gullible populace to a brave, bold and intelligent breed of lions. With only 6000 at the start, numbers could have easily swelled up to double, or even triple had the protest come into contact with the general public. I was convinced that at this point of time, what we needed was the re-emergence of non-violent agitation and civil disobedience to curb the abusive powers of the state.

The only way to realize this is by having our civil rights and liberties; freedoms of speech, assembly, association and movement unconditionally restored without any parallel laws criminalizing them. Before asking for any referendum, let’s campaign for the restoration of our total freedoms, so that the voices of yesterday will be able to reach the sleeping majority of 60%.

 

JAYWINDER SINGH

Source: Facebook

Posted in Commentary, Opinion | 9 Comments »

Tan Jee Say: PAP giving foreigners citizenship to vote for it

Posted by temasektimes on February 17, 2013

popprotest08The Singapore government is giving citizenship liberally to foreigners to boost its flagging support base, said former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say.

A population White Paper endorsed by the government last week aimed to increase Singapore’s population to 6.9 million people in 2030 with 25,000 foreigners projected to be granted Singapore citizenship yearly.

“The only reason to give them citizenship is political, not economical. Immigrants tend to vote for the government of the day,” said Mr Tan at a protest held at Speakers’ Corner yesterday evening.

Mr Tan also rubbished the White Paper’s claims that Singapore’s economy will slow down in the absence of immigration, saying that the government has run out of ideas to grow the economy.

It was reported that during the 2011 General Election in the United Kingdom, 80 percent of immigrants voted for the incumbent Labor Party which eventually lost the election.

The ruling coalition in Malaysia is reportedly giving Malaysian citizenship to immigrants ahead of the General Election due to be held this year.

 

Posted in News | 19 Comments »

WP MPs absent from Singaporean event to protest against White Paper at Hong Lim Park

Posted by temasektimes on February 17, 2013

popprotest07The Workers’ Party may have the largest opposition presence in parliament, but when it comes to supporting Singaporean causes, their leaders are often strangely absent.

A rare protest was held at Hong Lim Park on Saturday evening by ordinary Singaporeans to voice their unhappiness against the population White Paper released by the government last week.

Among the speakers are leaders from the Singapore Democratic Party, National Solidarity Party and Reform Party, but no WP MPs were present at the event.

It is understood that WP has barred its MPs and members from attending the protest out of fear of antagonizing the PAP.

Though the WP claims to ‘oppose’ the White Paper in parliament, it still proposes increasing Singapore’s population to 6 million people in 2030, only 900,000 short of the PAP’s target.

WP Chief Low Thia Kiang recently chided Singaporeans for not giving the PAP enough time to work on the many problems besieging the nation, praising the PAP as a ‘competent’ government, much to the disgust of many Singaporeans.

The Workers Party has publicly pledged to work ‘constructively’ and ‘closely’ with the unpopular PAP, including forming a coalition government with it (Pritam Singh, May 2011) if it fails to win an outright majority in the next General Election. Its MPs have often endorsed the PAP publicly, leading some to label it as the PAP’s ‘B’ team.

Posted in News | 14 Comments »

PM Lee to Singapore couples: Have confidence in your children’s future

Posted by temasektimes on February 17, 2013

pm6millionDespite a massive outcry over the government’s White Paper released last week leading to a landmark protest at Hong Lim Park yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appeared to be unaware of the simmering discontent on the ground, urging Singaporean couples instead to have confidence in Singapore’s future.

Speaking at the Lunar New Year dinner at his Teck Ghee ward on Saturday evening, PM Lee said it is important for couples to have confidence in Singapore’s future and ultimately want Singapore to be the best place to settle down and raise children:

“Here, your children will get good education, will have good opportunities, that here we can build a home together. A home where we feel Singaporean, a home where we can have opportunities, a home where we can help look after one another, and make tomorrow better than today.” 

However, judging from the rare public display of dissent at Hong Lim Park yesterday, many young Singaporeans are fearful of Singapore’s future, a future in which they will be relegated to being second class citizens in their own country if the government goes ahead with its plan to increase Singapore’s population to 6.9 million people by 2013:

Due to the government’s ultra-liberal immigration policies, foreigners now make up 40 percent of Singapore’s population. Of the remaining 60 percent who are ‘citizens’, an increasing number are born overseas.

Posted in News | 3 Comments »

Over 5000 Singaporeans turned up at Hong Lim Park to protest against population White Paper

Posted by temasektimes on February 16, 2013

Despite a rainy afternoon, more than 5,000 Singaporeans turned up at Hong Lim Park to protest against the population White Paper released by the government last week which sparked a massive public outcry.

popprotest04

 

The White Paper proposes increasing Singapore’s population to 6.9 million people by the year 2030 which will relegate native Singaporeans to a minority in their own country.

The protest was called by social activist Gilbert Goh who contested in the General Election in 2011 under the banner of the National Solidarity Party.

Though the event was given extensive coverage by the foreign media such as Reuters, Bloomberg and BBC, the mainstream media has been strangely silent on it.

The speakers who spoke today are mostly ordinary Singaporeans who took turns to lamblast the government’s immigration and labor policies which has led to a widening income gap, sky-rocketing property prices, rampant inflation and stagnant wages in recent years.

Singapore has been under the iron-fisted control of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) since attaining self-rule from the British in 1957. The PAP holds 80 out of 87 seats in parliament, with the remaining seats being held by its subsidiary party, the Workers Party whose Secretary-General Low Thia Kiang recently publicly praised and endorsed the PAP as a ‘competent’ government.

 

Posted in News | 6 Comments »

 
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