Vivian and Shanmugam had differences but became neighbours at Ridout bungalows eventually
In a historical debate from 1990, now-Ministers Balakrishnan and Shanmugam clashed over the government's questioning of Singaporean loyalty. While Balakrishnan challenged the government's approach, Shanmugam defended it as an attempt to face hard realities. Despite this contentious past, both men later found common ground in the People’s Action Party and even neighbours now.
Elected presidency: Is there anything quite like it anywhere else?
Opinion piece: As the presidential election looms, we confront a system that sets the bar high for candidacy, perhaps compromising our democracy. Despite a largely ceremonial role, the President's authority in key areas renders this election critical. Should we continue to accept 'walkover' elections and seemingly hand-picked candidates, we risk degrading our 'elected presidency' to a mere 'nominated presidency,' a shift that threatens to undermine the fundamental principles of our society.
A Tale of Two Standards: Unpacking the moonlighting conundrum in Singapore’s civil service
Moonlighting in Singapore's civil service unveils a stark inequality - low-level officers face penalties for minor income supplements while high-ranking officials can hold lucrative side jobs. This double standard, undermining transparency and fairness, not only exacerbates income disparity, but also damages morale within the civil service. To rectify this, clearer guidelines should be established for all civil servants, regardless of rank, on what constitutes a conflict of interest.
Controversy unleashed: Reappointment of Singapore’s oldest Attorney General
Lucien Wong's reappointment to a third term as Singapore's Attorney General in January this year sparked controversy over political cronyism, potential conflicts of interest, and age-related issues. Despite never having argued a case in court, Wong will be 72 at the end of his term - well beyond the traditional retirement age. His prior relationship with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, particularly during the contentious 38 Oxley Road property dispute, is further fuelling debates on transparency, impartiality, and the independence of public institutions.
Warning of the dangers of inequality, Minister Shanmugam said the richest in bungalow and...
Opinion piece: Minister K Shanmugam warned in 2018 about the dangers of inequality in Singapore and its potential to fracture society. He highlighted the proximity of extreme wealth and poverty, emphasizing that the richest and poorest are just 15 minutes apart. It is puzzling, then, that Minister Shanmugam chose to occupy a massive government-owned colonial bungalow, drawing attention to the stark disparity he had spoken against. Has he considered the message this sends to Singaporeans struggling to make ends meet?
Hong Kong artists mark Tiananmen quietly or overseas
Artistic expressions commemorating the Tiananmen Square crackdown have dwindled in Hong Kong since the implementation of the national security law in 2020. Public events and performances that once marked the anniversary have been suppressed, and artists face uncertainty and repercussions. Some artists have relocated their works to Taiwan, where they continue to foster a connection to the memory of Tiananmen and advocate for freedom and democracy. However, concerns persist over erasure and censorship in both Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Two Malaysian former PMs, Tun M and Muhyiddin Yassin ready to join force once...
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has stated his willingness to collaborate with National Alliance Chairman Muhyiddin Yassin to fight for the welfare of Malays, despite their past political conflicts. His statement follows a three-year fallout post the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government. In response, Muhyiddin welcomed Mahathir's statement, affirming his readiness to collaborate with Malay and Islamic leaders. Both leaders emphasize the need for unity and to reject corruption for the betterment of Malays.
Associate Professor Daniel Goh announces expulsion from Workers’ Party
Associate Professor Daniel Goh, formerly of the Workers' Party, the largest opposition party in Singapore, announced his expulsion from the party via Facebook. The expulsion follows disputes over his posts on the party's handling of the Raeesah Khan saga. Goh defended his actions, emphasizing the importance of public accountability. The Workers' Party has yet to respond to his expulsion announcement.
RDU invites Singaporeans to join their 3rd Anniversary Fundraiser Gala Dinner on 24 June
Singapore's emerging political party, Red Dot United (RDU), celebrated its third anniversary on 26 May. Marking this milestone, RDU invites supporters and the public to a Fundraiser Gala Dinner on 24 June at Mouth Restaurant. Having made a positive impact since its inception, RDU contested the Jurong GRC in the 2020 General Election, securing over 31,000 votes. Today, the party, rooted in sustainable economics and building a fair society, has a strong team of 150 members and volunteers.
New political alliance announced in Singapore: Four opposition parties unite to form “People’s Alliance”
Four opposition parties in Singapore - Peoples Voice (PV), Reform Party (RP), People’s Power Party (PPP), and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) - have formed a new political alliance named "People's Alliance." This move comes in response to growing public demand for a united opposition against the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). Set to contest the next General Election, the alliance plans to vie for seats previously contested in 2020, promising to address concerns about the cost of living, property prices, and job security.
Travel industry looks to Chinese tourists to cap post-COVID rebound
Industry leaders are predicting a global tourism revival this year, with the return of Chinese tourists playing a significant role. The desire to travel is at an all-time high, with leisure travel surpassing business travel. Chinese tourists, now free from COVID-19 restrictions, are expected to contribute to the boom, putting pressure on the travel industry. Hotel chains are experiencing a shift in travel habits, with a greater focus on leisure rather than business. The industry is working to meet the surge in demand and recover from the challenges of the past two years.
Arts & Culture
Malaysian comedian get cancelled on Chinese social media, invites audience to attend upcoming June...
Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng, famously known as "Uncle Roger," faces a ban on Chinese social media platforms following satirical comments about China's government. Ng humorously addressed potential surveillance and mockingly praised President Xi in a video. Following jokes about surveillance and the One-China policy, several of his accounts were suspended.
Malaysian Home Ministry withdraws appeal against High Court’s 2021 ruling on ‘Allah’ in Christian...
Malaysia's Home Ministry has withdrawn its appeal against a High Court ruling that overturned the ban on using the word "Allah" in Christian publications. Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail cited 'contradictions' between an administrative order and a 1986 Cabinet decision. Despite this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim stated that restrictions remain for non-Muslims in other states, a claim contested by Sarawak state assemblyman Baru Bian
Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh receives warm homecoming reception after historic Oscar win
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim received a visit from Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, the first Malaysian actress to win the Best Actress trophy at the 95th Academy Awards (Oscars). On Thursday (20 Apr) morning, the meeting was shared on Anwar’s official Instagram story. In the post, Anwar also expressed his gratitude to the Hollywood actress, born in Ipoh, Perak, for bringing the trophy she won through the film Everything Everywhere All At Once back to Malaysia.
Seasoned busker forced to spend S$2k on flight back to Singapore to renew permit;...
Singaporean busker, Jonathan Goh, has criticised the National Arts Council (NAC) for the difficulties he faced in renewing his busking permit. Previously, experienced buskers were granted a two-year permit, but the NAC changed it to a one-year validity for everyone after lifting busking restrictions last year. Despite being a seasoned performer, Mr Goh is required to undergo a physical audition for five minutes in front of a panel of judges to assess his street performance skills, which he believes is outdated. The NAC defended the physical auditions to provide "fair and open opportunities for everyone".
Singapore’s Mediacorp defends drama series “Silent Walls” against accusations of harmful gay stereotypes
Mediacorp's TV drama "Silent Walls" has received criticism from some members of the LGBTQ community for perpetuating harmful gay stereotypes. The criticism was primarily driven by an article from online LGBTQ+ publication Dear Straight People, which called out the relationship between two characters, citing their "problematic" large age gap as well as reinforcing the harmful stereotype that gay men are predators and groomers. The storyline was also criticized for implying that gay men are all diseased and promiscuous, suggesting that gay couples will always meet a tragic fate.