THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Archive for May, 2012

Tan Jee Say on WP’s Hougang victory: ‘Fire of democracy’ will spread to East Coast, Joo Chiat and beyond

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

Given the convincing manner in which the Workers Party retained its stronghold of Hougang in a by-election held last Saturday, the WP has the ability to increase its current number of seats in Parliament in the next General Election, said former SDP leader and presidential candidate Tan Jee Say.

In a comment posted on his Facebook, Mr Tan congratulated Mr Png Eng Huat and the Workers Party, describing their victory as ‘remarkable.’

Despite the odds stacked against them, the Workers Party candidate Mr Png Eng Huat managed to garner 62.09% of the votes in Hougang, beating PAP’s Desmond Choo who got 37.91%, a marginal increase of only 145 votes from last year.

“The winning margin came as a surprise even to WP. PAP’s big guns over-rated themselves and their smear campaign. Hougang voters shook off the mud slung at Mr Png and WP as they poured out their frustration and unhappiness over national issues which are foremost in their minds, and in so doing reinforced their faith in an alternative voice to speak up for them,” Mr Tan wrote.

He added that WP is now well positioned to take down Joo Chiat, East Coast and other constituencies in the next General Election with this ringing endorsement from Hougang voters:

“With this solid endorsement from Hougang, “the fire of democracy” will surely spread to East Coast, Joo Chiat and beyond as described by Mr Png. There is much for WP and all the other opposition parties to do in the rest of Singapore to keep the Hougang momentum going. The road to GE 2016 has already started.”

The Workers Party won 49.7% and 54.5% of the votes in Joo Chiat SMC and East Coast GRC respectively during the General Election last year which puts it in good stead to capture these two constituencies as their aging PAP MPs and ministers are expected to step down in 2016.

 

Posted in News | 17 Comments »

Zhang Ziyi denies having sex with Bo Xilai and threatens to sue Hong Kong and Taiwan media

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

Renowned Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi has refuted rumors that she had sex with Bo Xilai for more than ten times and threatened to sue the Hong Kong and Taiwan media for the claims.

The original report came from U.S-based citizen journalism website ‘Boxun’ which said that Xu Ming, president of the conglomerate Dalian Shide in China’s northeast who has been detained due to his close ties with Bo Xilai, confessed that in 2007 he gave Zhang six million yuan (US$945,000) for having sex with him.

Zhang, who is currently filming in Guangzhou posted on her Weibo yesterday morning denying the allegations:

“Coworkers deride the fabrication (Boxun’s report) and ask ‘what is the big deal’? … It is not necessary to fabricate, just imagine anything. Frankly speaking, it is mental masturbation,” Zhang posted.

In a later post in the evening, Zhang appeared to take on a tougher stance against Apple Daily and said she felt “chilled to the bone and deep sorrow” over the “slander and smears” it had published.

“We will demand justice in law. We will dig you out from your dark corner and follow up the inquiries,” she added.

Once a high-flying politician tipped for higher positions in the Chinese Central government, former Chongqing mayor Bo Xilai’s sudden fall from grace is nothing but spectacular.

Bo has not been officially charged yet for any offences and his current whereabouts is unknown as the media continues to leak and expose sordid tales of his numerous sexual exploits.

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Related articles:

Zhang Ziyi rumored to have paid sex with Bo Xilai

Posted in World | 7 Comments »

CPF Minimum Sum to be raised to $139,000 to account for ‘longer’ life expectancy

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

The CPF Minimum Sum will be raised again to account for inflation, longer life expectancies and Singaporean’s rising expectations of their quality of life after retirement, announced the CPF Board and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in unison on Wednesday.

CPF members who turn 55 years old between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013 now have to set aside a Minimum Sum (MS) of S$139,000, $8,000 more than last year whether they like it or not.

The Medisave Minimum Sum (MMS) has also been increased from S$36,000 to S$38,500 to ‘help’ Singaporeans plan for their long-term healthcare needs.

Members will be able to withdraw their Medisave savings in excess of the MMS at or after age 55.

The CPF Board pays a measly interest rate of 2.5% to savings kept in Ordinary accounts and 4% in the Special and Medisave accounts in contrast to Malaysia’s Employment Provident Fund which pays a higher interest rate of between five to seven percent.

Unlike the Malaysians, Singaporeans are NOT allowed to withdraw their CPF savings in full when they reach 55 years old of age and will be paid a monthly allowance instead for the rest of their lives.

Posted in News | 36 Comments »

Lexus driver Kelvin Seah Koon Yong in Bugis accident charged in court for drink-driving and dangerous driving

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

Kelvin Seah Koon Yong, the driver of the Lexus which was involved in a traffic accident with a Sonata taxi at the Bugis junction between Rochor Road and Victoria Street has been charged in court for drink-driving and dangerous driving.

The accident occurred last Saturday morning at exactly the same spot where a Ferrari smashed into a Sonata taxi two weeks earlier, killing the Ferrari driver as well as the taxi driver and his passenger.

Seah was reportedly drink-driving and driving dangerously by beating the red light and ramming into a taxi which had the right of way at the junction.

The case attracted much public attention due to its close timing to the Ferrari case.

Seah did not engage a lawyer and will return to court on June 13.

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Related articles:

VIDEO: Speeding Lexus crashed into Sonata taxi at same Ferrari crash site

PHOTO: Accident at Bugis junction involving Lexus and Sonata taxi

Posted in News | Tagged: | 24 Comments »

Baey Yam Keng: The balance of media coverage is now quite ‘fair’

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

The Singapore media is not only only neutral and independent, it is not controlled by the government either, declared PAP MP for Tampines Baey Yam Keng, who also sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Information, Communications and the Arts.

Mr Baey was commenting on the recent blistering exchange between WP Chief Low Thia Kiang and Lianhe Zaobao Chief Editor Goh Sin Teck on the mainstream media’s coverage of the Hougang by-election.

Mr Low had earlier accused of the media of being used as a ‘tool’ to undermine the chances of the Workers Party in the election, a charge which was fiercely denied by Mr Goh.

Speaking to queries from the media, Mr Baey reiterated that “no one can control the media and any responsible media would want full editorial independence”:

“Sometimes reports may not be what the newsmaker wants it to be, because there may be neutrality by the media, so it’s not always what the newsmaker wants.”

Mr Baey also disagreed with Mr Low’s assertion during Saturday’s press conference that the conduct of the by-election was regressive.

“I don’t think we have gone back 20 years, I think the balance of coverage now is quite fair in that you have more profiling of the Opposition parties than you did before, perhaps even more than what the PAP would like. Readers will have to decide for themselves, and nowadays social media also plays a big role … They can look at what is out there and form their own opinion.”

The Singapore media was recently ranked 150th globally in terms of press freedom by U.S. NGO Freedom House, below the likes of Russia, Romania and Azerbaijan.

 

Posted in News | 27 Comments »

Former SPH manager: I never believe any news articles by SPH after I left the company

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

A former employee of Singapore Press Holdings Mr Peter Gan said he never believe any news articles published by SPH after he left the company.

Mr Gan worked as a product manager in SPH between 2010 and 2011.

In a comment posted on a Facebook discussion thread about the heated exchange between WP Chief Low Thia Kiang and Lianhe Zaobao Chief Editor Wu Xindi on the Singapore media being used as a ‘government too’, Mr Gan wrote:

“I used to work in SPH and although I support neither WP or PAP because I believe the bigger picture here is on the issues raised, rather than which party is better / worse, I totally agree with Mr Low.”

He added that he never believe in any news articles by SPH again since he left the company:

“Let me put it in another way: I used to read Straits Times, Business Times, Zaobao, Wanbao, TNP and believed what I read in the news since I was young. However, ever since I worked and left SPH I realize I can never ever see SPH in the same light, and I will NEVER ever believe any news articles by SPH ever again.”

Mr Gan did not elaborate on why he felt this way.

The Singapore media is now ranked 150th in the world in terms of press freedom by U.S. NGO Freedom House this year.

Posted in News | 29 Comments »

DPM Teo to Singapore youth: You have to work hard to make Singapore ‘better’

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

Fresh from his blistering exchange with WP Chief Low Thia Kiang in the aftermath of the Hougang by-election, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean now finds time to give a lecture to Singapore youth during this year’s pre-university seminar.

During his lecture, DPM Teo reminded students the need for a well-founded ‘optimism’ in Singapore’s future.

A poll conducted in the session revealed that about 80 per cent of participants also indicated they were optimistic or very optimistic about their future in general, a result which DPM Teo was happy about:

“The message I was trying to have the students discover for themselves is that life is not an escalator, you actually have to work to make your country better, you have to work hard to make your life better. And when I say work it also means making a contribution to your community, to society, not just yourself.”

DPM Teo also expressed optimism that Singaporeans can overcome the challenges faced by the nation together:

“I’m quite cheered by that because it means that the students don’t have a blind optimism. They understand that there are challenges, but those challenges can be overcome and if we do put in that effort together, we can do that.”

The five-day seminar is being attended by students from polytechnics, junior colleges, centralised institutes and integrated programme schools which allows an opportunity for the youth to engage with political, community and industry leaders and discuss issues of importance to Singapore.

Posted in News | 27 Comments »

Angry customer stops subscription to SingTel over criss-crossed networks

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

I’m giving up Singtel mobile service. At Woodlands Waterfront Park I sms back needs to pay in Malaysian rate and needs to switch roaming to call back our Singapore yet Starhub can sms and phone back at local Singapore rate. Is Singtel really PUBO??

I think reason Singtel wishes to co-share with Malaysian networks so that Malaysians can use their mobile phones freely at northern parts of Singapore to earn their money, as Singtel may find out huge numbers of Malaysians using mobile phones in northern parts of Singapore so huge potential to make money, outweigh those local Singapore users. But is Singtel correct doing so??

I never see China Shenzhen and Hong Kong can criss-cross each other border to use mobile network though HK belongs to China.

EDWARD TAN

Posted in Letters | 9 Comments »

‘Pinoy Cuisine’ owners fined for falsely declaring information to MOM

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

Two owners of a restaurant ‘Pinoy Cuisine’ Singaporean Tan Jackson @ Muhammad Rafiq Tan Abdullah, 44, and permanent resident Canares Lualhati Sikat, 31 specializing in Filipino food have been fined S$5,000 each for declaring false information to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a work pass application.

They were found guilty of declaring to MOM the monthly basic salary of an employment pass holder as S$2,500 when they are only paying S$1,600.

Both also pleaded guilty to employing a foreigner without a valid work permit.

Between January and April this year, the MOM prosecuted 18 employers for illegal employment or deployment offences. and a total of 14 employers were prosecuted for false declaration offences.

Posted in News | 15 Comments »

Tay Ping Hui asks: Shouldn’t 70% of jobs created last year go to Singaporeans instead of foreigners?

Posted by temasektimes on May 29, 2012

MediaCorp celebrity and Young PAP member Tay Ping Hui has expressed his surprise at recent statistics published by Bloomberg which revealed that the majority of new jobs created last year were taken up by foreigners:

“Of the 122,600 jobs created in Singapore last year, about 70 percent, or 84,800 positions, went to foreigners.”

The percentage of jobs going to Singapore citizens is likely to be less as the country lumps citizens and PRs under the same category of ‘locals’ in all its statistics.

In his latest tweet, Ping Hui wrote:

“Of 122,600 jobs created in Singapore last year, about 70%, or 84,800 jobs went to foreigners. Shouldn’t it be the other way round instead?”

[Source: #taypinghui]

He also appeared to weigh in on the heated exchange between WP Chief Low Thia Kiang and some PAP leaders in the aftermath of the Hougang by-election:

“Its sad how some dim-witted individuals around us can only resort to personal attacks when their intellectual myopia is exposed. So boring.”

Due to the government’s ultra-liberal immigration and pro-foreigner policies, large number of foreigners have flocked to Singapore to find work in the last few years leading to sky-rocketing property prices, stagnant wages and a noticeable decline in the quality of life.

 

Posted in News | 59 Comments »

 
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