Govt rejects poverty line, says prosperity line better for social objective

Govt rejects poverty line, says prosperity line better for social objective

SINGAPORE — The government was today baffled by calls from social workers and experts to define an official poverty line, when the problem had been declared extinct a good twelve years ago. It was in 2001 when former diplomat Kishore Mahbubani proudly told the world: “There are no homeless, destitute or starving people in Singapore. Poverty has been eradicated.” With such a bold proclamation coming from a respected thought leader and current Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, government officials have since operated on the premise that poor people exist only in third world countries. “Poverty?…

A parliamentary Freudian slip

If we read more into this little statement “they are comparing apples with lemons”, it sounds like a Freudian slip by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan. He was fending off queries in Parliament on why studio flats are more expensive than 2-room flats of the same size, despite the much shorter lease of 30 years. Why not just say apples with oranges like everyone else? I wonder if it was a slip of tongue or just a fancy choice of words. Do mind your language please, or your colleague Indranee Rajah may end up twerking in disapproval. Whatever that…

PM succession doesn't have to follow old ways

PM succession doesn’t have to follow old ways

Chan Chun Sing’s promotion to full minister back in August reignited discussion on who is poised to be the next Prime Minister. Succession is expected around the year 2020. Most observers believe Heng Swee Keat and Mr Chan are frontrunners for the job, followed by the likes of Tan Chuan Jin and Lawrence Wong. All four, with Sim Ann, were part of the newly elected “fabulous five” in the 2011 General Election. Prevalent in the discussion is the legitimate concern that should one of these end up as the next PM, he or she will have less than ten years…

Singapore Day: Let's cut OSU some slack

Singapore Day: Let’s cut OSU some slack

Singapore Day is an event organised by the Overseas Singaporean Unit (OSU) that gets rotated around major cities every year. It was held in Sydney, Australia last Saturday. A Caucasian man was turned away at this Singaporeans-only event and subsequently decided to complain to his local radio station that it was “racist” that he and his father weren’t allowed in. He also claimed that the park, where the event was held, is public space and there were no indications that non-Singaporeans were not allowed on the advertisements. We can only surmise that in his zest to enjoy the Singaporean food…

Grow or bust

Slow down? I will starve to death!

Based on a true story. A fat man walks into a clinic one day. “Good morning, mister, how can I help you today?” asks the doctor. “Hey doc, I have a problem,” the man says, not looking too happy. “I’ve been on a supersized diet for the last forty years. It used to make me strong and muscular, fitter than everyone else, but in the last twenty years or so I have grown so much, now I have difficulty getting around. “Everyone hates me because everywhere I go, I jam up the space. In trains, in buses, on the streets,…

World War II poster

National Service under the microscope

Back in the days when I did my 2 years 4 months of National Service, it never crossed my mind whether the system was fair or unfair to us guys with regard to the opposite sex or to foreigners. That is not to say that I enjoyed NS. In fact, like many others, I think of it as the biggest waste of time in my life. I hated it, from all the regimental restrictions to the stupid wayangs to an unmeritocratic system where a veteran warrant officer has to address a commissioned officer fresh out of OCS as “Sir”. The…