Thursday, 30 August 2012

A future of our own making

by Devadas Krishnadas

Todayonline  Aug 30, 2012

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech not only hit notes of humility and sincerity, its positive reception was reinforced by his indications that some long sought-after policy adjustments, such as paternity leave, would be finally forthcoming.

This willingness to shift was underscored by the announcement of a national conversation. This is intended to feed input to the general review of policies to be headed by Minister Heng Swee Kiat. Such a step signals a new "co-creative" model of policy making.

For such a model to work, Singaporeans must play their part. It begins with participation. As one cliche goes, "decisions are made by those who show up". Today, "showing up" can be done virtually as well as physically. However, participation alone is an insufficient threshold to ensure that this experiment succeeds.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Section 377A of the Penal Code

Aug 25, 2012


Constitutional cases 'rare'

A Court of Appeal decision this week to allow a claim challenging the constitutionality of the law criminalising sex between men to be heard in court has sparked much debate on the issue. Two legal experts give their views.

By goh chin lian

SENIOR Counsel Alvin Yeo is an MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC and a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law.

What do you think of the case being heard in court, and what are the key issues?

The key issue before the court was whether the plaintiff's contention - that Section 377A of the Penal Code is unconstitutional - is so unarguable that the case should be struck out even without a full hearing on the merits.

Within that key issue are a number of sub-issues, including whether the plaintiff had locus standi (or the legal standing) to bring this claim.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Singapore's changing political landscape

Aug 17, 2012


This primer is the final instalment of a 12-part series in the Opinion pages, in the lead-up to The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz.

By Lydia Lim Deputy Political Editor

  • PEOPLE describe General Election 2011 as a watershed election. In what way did it mark a new phase in Singapore politics?

SINGAPORE will hold its next General Election in about four years' time.

By then, 2016, most of you who are taking part in this year's current affairs quiz will be of voting age, that is 21. More likely than not, you will have a chance to cast your vote, and elect your Member of Parliament. You could say voting in elections is a new norm in the so-called "new normal".

How so?

In the decade from 1991 to 2001, the number of seats contested by the opposition in each election fell, from 40 out of 81 in 1991, to 36 out of 83 in 1997 and finally to just 29 out of 84 in 2001.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Why Chinese Officials Are In Love With The Singapore Model

In this article, Kyle Spencer explains why China is enamored with SG's economic and political model, but how the Chinese underestimate the task ahead of them of emulating SG (in part if not in whole, and if this is indeed their intent).

However, the reasons for China's interest in the Singapore Model makes for a compelling argument for Singapore as an investment interest, and Spencer makes this argument well.

Inevitably, there will be conspiracy theorists and Singapore bashers who seem to crawl out of the woodwork and trot out their pet conspiracy theories as to how Singapore succeeded (they need to justify to themselves why their own country is in the shits pits, despite having more natural resources, despite having more people, despite having more land, despite having history on their side).