Come together, right now

I echo the words of many by saying “Well done!” to Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and Dr Chee Soon Juan. I have great hopes for SDP in future elections, but as clear to all, the Punggol East by-election is simply not their time. Frankly, I was really worried that they will lose it (not the election, but their mind) again, which was why I urged Workers’ Party (WP) to quickly announce their candidate in my previous post to show SDP that WP won’t entertain any nonsense from them. It doesn’t matter if this was SDP’s intention all along and if the…

"But the guessing game is more fun."

Workers’ Party indecision costing them time

A lot has been said about the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and its ridiculous proposal to run a joint campaign with the Workers’ Party (WP), and how WP rejected the overtures. But not much has been said about WP itself. What has the Workers’ Party been doing so far? Quite rightly, WP believes that it is the opposition party with the biggest claim to run. And if its recent responses to SDP are to be read as they seem to suggest, it is going ahead with its own campaign regardless of what any other party is doing. It is now…

Dr Koh Poh Koon

Top colorectal surgeon will see us over faecal cliff: PM Lee

[Warning: This is pure satire] SINGAPORE: A by-election will be held for Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC). President Tony Tan Keng Yam issued a writ of election today setting Nomination Day for next Wednesday. Polling day would be on January 26. The single seat SMC has been vacant since Member of Parliament Michael Palmer resigned for crossing the age boundary in his party mandate as “auntie-killer”. Mr Palmer had “killed” a People’s Association sweet young thing instead. The surprise announcement came after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he was still mulling over whether to call a by-election. Insiders…

A different look at this AIMishambles

A different look at this AIMishambles

AIMgate is such a clichéd term; I prefer AIMishambles to keep up with the times, after the Oxford English Dictionary 2012 Word of the Year omnishambles. The term refers to “a situation which is seen as shambolic from all possible perspectives” and is a fitting one to describe not just the original PAP town councils-AIM transaction, but also the government’s response so far. A lot has been said online but nothing much new since Dr Teo Ho Pin’s statement besides the brouhaha on the threat of defamation suits. There isn’t much value in the discussion when everyone is saying the same…

(click to see full size)

Manuscripts don’t burn, PAP

In the Russian classic novel The Master and Margarita, the Devil descends upon Moscow in human form, bringing with him his group of sidekicks. Amongst the unworldly entourage is the big, evil cat Behemoth who finds demonic pleasure in challenging people, use of firearms and violent punishments such as twisting off people’s heads. They go around terrorising the people of the city, especially those who dare question the Devil’s existence. The Master and Margarita is a book that satirises a Stalinist state of suffocating bureaucratic order and repression of artistic expression. In Singapore, Behemoth morphs into the form of a…

Low budget production

Statement on AIM (Ho Pin gag’em style)

The most eagerly anticipated PAP statement of the year—okay we are just two days into it—is finally out. Like a true star worthy of a Psy tribute band, Dr Teo Ho Pin has kept us waiting, clamouring, salivating over the festive holiday weekend at what juicy details he has to offer on the AIM transaction. Without going into a hair-splitting operative, I don’t find anything glaringly dubious in the numbers presented in the statement; perhaps more astute readers will. A missing piece of the puzzle was what AIM gets paid after the initial one year period, and the answer is…

Vox populi and the vocal online community

Vox populi and the vocal online community

This is a strange one from Mr Leslie Koh of The Straits Times (Online voices = vox populi?). But, you know, stranger things have been written in this newspaper. Perhaps it was a slow news day in the holiday season. The only part that I do agree with Mr Koh is that social media does not represent the voice of the majority, nor do I believe it claims to be. As he rightly pointed out, the number of Singaporeans who are active on political and social forums is very, very small. I doubt even 10% of Singaporeans regularly visit websites…

Michael Palmer

10 talking points on the Michael Palmer affair

10 quick observations and talking points on the Michael Palmer affair: PAP is smart to quickly sort out this mess and Mr Palmer even faced the cameras, after the lesson learned from the Yaw Shin Leong saga that Workers’ Party kept silent on for too long. Cynics will believe that politicians never come clean unless there is imminent danger of an exposé. What exactly led Mr Palmer to confess to his party? Now that a recent precedent has been set in Hougang, PAP cannot not call a by-election without being accused of trying to hold on to a seat unconstitutionally….

SMRT Chinese drivers strike: A bus load of issues

SMRT Chinese drivers strike: A bus load of issues

This strike by SMRT’s Chinese bus drivers is turning out to be a very interesting development. And it’s not just the thesaurus’s worth of euphemisms that we learned yesterday. While the mainstream media is busy explaining itself today why it avoided the word ‘strike’ — because apparently what they did is technically not one — and whether it’s legal or not, the incident has brought out a whole load of social issues that deserve closer examination. Foreign labour pay It is now out in the open that SMRT pays its bus drivers differently for the same job. This differentiation applies not only between…

Not red vs blue? Why not?

Not red vs blue? Why not?

Singapore can’t go down ‘red vs blue’ path, says PM Lee Hsien Loong. No, he was not talking about birth control pills versus Viagra to boost our birth rates, in which case I may actually agree with him. In his exact words: “If Singapore had a blue constituency and a red constituency, I think Singapore will be in trouble.” It is moments like these that I shake my head, sigh, and mutter to myself: “Here we go again.” Why not, PM Lee? Will Singapore be in trouble, or is it the PAP who will be in trouble? The PM may…

Gotcha indeed

Headlines and defamation suits

This is a week where headlines themselves become the subject of headlines. In this latest article in a series with Yahoo!, Law Minister Shanmugam clarified on what the government will or will not sue on. I don’t remember anyone from the PAP being so up front about this, so it was quite refreshing to read what he has to say about it. Most reassuring of all, he confirmed that it’s perfectly fine to called the PAP a bunch of incompetent, anti-Singaporeans idiots, because that’s just an opinion. Yes, go ahead and knock yourselves out. It’s not okay, on the other hand,…

From Third World to First - A book review

From Third World to First – A book review

By Lorong Cat From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 by Lee Kuan Yew My rating: 5 of 5 stars Dear Harry, Thank you for your company during my daily lunch hour for the past couple of months. When I heave open the hard bound book that is the second volume of your memoirs, I feel as if I have been transported back in time to post-colonial Singapore. I have benefited from the peek into your early struggles and that of your colleagues Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye and Raja. I am intrigued by your account of…