ERP

The road to hell is paved with ERP gantries

Hell may be too strong a word, but that’s how some of us feel on the dreary Monday morning commute to work. In this letter on TODAYonline, the writer laments that worsening road congestion in Singapore shows the ineffectiveness of the ERP system and urges the LTA to come up with better solutions. While not explicitly stated, you sense that the writer may be a little too optimistic in hoping that the government will agree with him and scrap the system altogether. In another letter published last week, the writer blamed the ERP for costing him time with his family…

Singapore Scorecard

Singapore Scorecard

Guest post by Lorong Cat Is Singapore better off than she was four years ago? Mitt Romney, U.S. Republican presidential hopeful, triggered a wave of self inquisition amongst Americans earlier this month when he asked the same question of America.  After the initial fumbling over an immediate response, the Democrats came out to answer in the affirmative, pointing out the positives put in place by the Obama administration in his first term. Likewise, newspapers and bloggers with political leanings to both and neither of the parties fell over themselves to answer Mr Romney arriving at varying conclusions. The Economist produced…

Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops

Pardon our Prime Minister – he was on live TV after all when he muttered those words. I had a hard time deciding whether it was another one of those Marie Antoinette moments that our leaders are prone to lapse into, or if our PM was just being brutally honest (a hard truth as his old man calls it) when he was asked on Singapore’s future population. “Six million or so should not be a problem”, he said. No doubt, you can’t fault his logic. We can build taller flats, reclaim more land and build more train lines. And after…

On Lawry's reading list

Of course it was never about politics!

Oh, for the exuberance of youth! After the last General Election, first term politician and current Senior Minister of State Lawrence Wong was fast tracked to ministerial office and is now firmly a member of the new guard of PAP leaders entrusted to engage Singaporeans in the national conversation. Touted as one of the “fabulous five” slated for higher office, he must have received some personal coaching from our veteran ministers on the harsh realities of political life. Perhaps in one of these intimate one-to-one sessions with a senior member of the party – it could have been the Prime…

No chequered flag for now

Singapore F1: The race goes on

It should be welcome news that F1 is here to stay in Singapore until 2017 at least after negotiations with the racing body were finally wrapped up. Our authorities seemed to have left it really late, perhaps as a bargaining play, because it is important for Singapore not to be held to ransom and pay over the odds to host the event. As many will agree, right now F1 needs the country more than the other way round with global audience shrinking over the last few years. While the agreed hosting fees were not revealed (“A gentleman should never speak…

(click to see full size)

Misguided Fans

Lack of rugrats - a crying shame

Declining birth rate is a concern or is that a myth itself?

There appears to be a consensus in Singapore that a persistently low birth rate is nothing short of calamitous, because in years to come there won’t be enough working people to support the elderly. Society and the economy will suffer as the support system crumbles. But is the scenario really as bad as it sounds? Will Singapore really “fold up” if the birth rate continues to stay low without a massive infusion of immigrants? I draw your attention to the paper Ageing populations and hidden unemployment [published 2003, updated 2010] by the UK charity and think tank Population Matters that seeks to…

Stop griping about the national conversation

Stop griping about the national conversation

It is disheartening to read the reaction on blogs and social media to the national conversation so far. Many online observers are already dismissing this as a meaningless exercise, while others are more keen to nitpick and criticise what the PAP has done in its attempt to engage Singaporeans. Call me naive but I believe the PAP is genuinely interested in seeking our views as the country reaches a turning point with some hard decisions to make. I can’t see much incentive on them putting on a show just to placate the people; with elections some four years away, there…

No car but can travel: Checking our desires to own cars

No car but can travel: Checking our desires to own cars

Guest post by Lorong Cat When friends from Singapore visit me in London, I invariably get asked the question, “Why didn’t you get a car?” Fair point. A cheap second car in the UK costs about as much as the top end Apple Macbook, very affordable by Singapore’s standards. I get this question so often, I have readily on hand the standard response stocked in my bag of Frequently Asked Questions. Being an organised person and all, it comes in a bullet form: I live within the tube (London subway) network and I can get to most places in central…

Opposition Roundtable

Opposition Roundtable

Story 1, Story 2

Public Transport Subsidies

Public Transport Subsidies

Story

Tweaking our Primary School System

Tweaking our Primary School System

The Ministry of Education has announced that it is scrapping the banding of secondary schools. It sounds like a positive move and I’m sure we will hear more from parents and educators on what they think. So now, what about our primary school system? In line with our national conversation, I’ve decided to write on a number of topics relevant to our country. In some of these topics, I may be nothing but a keyboard warrior with no personal experience or insider knowledge. My views could be mistaken or downright wrong. Regardless, I figure it’s better to suggest than to…