Monthly Archives: April 2010

Happy Labour Day – have a picnic

A group of Singaporean activists is organizing a celebration of Labour Day on May 1st with a picnic at Speakers’ Corner. The event, the group says, is “to express gratitude and thanks to the backbone of the world’s economy – her workers.” The picnic is also to express solidarity with all workers of the world on the day. “Look out …

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Did Today “ascertain the facts”?

This is a report from the Today newspaper on 30 April 2010. Note that the report carries no name of the author. Note TOC’s remarks after the article. SINGAPORE - Even as Al Jazeera stands by its report on homelessness in Singapore, which it feels is factually correct because the couple interviewed were "locked out of the system of state …

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TOC’s response (Part Two) – A “tidy sum”?

Four weeks ago, Samiah and Eddie* granted Al-Jazeera an interview for their story, ‘Government policies force some onto the streets’. They hoped it would generate greater awareness about homelessness in Singapore and maybe, just maybe, lead to a way out of their dire situation. But help was not forthcoming. Instead, on 27 April 2010, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) published the article, …

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TOC’s response to remarks by MCYS minister – Part One

This is Part One of The Online Citizen’s (TOC) response to recent remarks made in Parliament by the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, in relation to the issue of homelessness in Singapore. The minister’s remarks were carried in a report by Channelnewsasia, on 27 April 2010. First of all, some background on homelessness in Singapore: …

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Asia Calling – Singapore homelessness

From Asia Calling Singapore is a nation of homeowners, largely thanks to a comprehensive system of government subsidised housing. The public can either buy public housing flats directly from the government or a resale flat, which is more expensive as prices are adjusted according to market forces. But a population explosion in the last few years and a widening income …

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Al Jazeera responds to Vivian Balakrishnan’s accusations

The following is Al Jazeera’s response to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s remarks in Parliament on 27 April 2010. The MCYS minister had accused Al Jazeera of "[failing] to ascertain the facts" in its report on the homeless issue in Singapore. TOC understands Al Jazeera has also sent its response to the Straits Times. TOC will respond to the minister's remarks later …

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Certain ethnic groups marginalised by government policies, UN expert says

Singapore needs to better protect the human rights of low-skilled migrant workers and review policies that marginalise certain ethnic groups, a United Nations racism expert said Wednesday. “I would strongly urged the government to act swiftly to ensure the protection of migrant workers’ human rights, as this is one area where the situation is quite dire,” UN Special Rapporteur on …

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Never mind what the people think

In an article for Petir, Mr Sin Boon Ann, MP for Tampines GRC, expressed his difficulties of doing what is "right" and doing what is "popular"; to illustrate his point, Mr Sin recounted his encounters with his constituents after HDB decided to build a block of rental flats in his ward. The Housing and Development Board announced, through a sign on a hoarding, …

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Cooling-off day open to abuse in ruling party’s favour : Sylvia Lim

Parliament debated the introduction of the "cooling-off" period. Here is Sylvia Lim's speech on the issue. Here's the transcript of Ms Lim's speech: Sir, the Bill carries several amendments. While some of the amendments are useful, the Workers’ Party opposes the Bill because of the changes it makes to entrench the NCMP system and the introduction of the `cooling off’ …

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MCYS minister slams TOC over homeless issue?

The following is a report by Channelnewsasia which reported MCYS minister Dr Vivian Balakrishan’s response to questions in Parliament about the homeless issue. The minister said: “Some irresponsible websites have also caused these falsehoods to circulate widely on the internet. Now that the facts are out, let us see whether those who have been propagating these falsehoods have the courage …

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