Monthly Archives: May 2010

The conservative renaissance – part 2

Ambiguous clauses and the problem of interpretation Far from providing clarity, the latest statement issued by the National Arts Council (NAC) has farther mystified the supposed guidelines that are adhered to in awarding grants, by throwing out a set of ambiguous clauses that masquerade as objective markers. What on earth are “alternative lifestyles”, this perpetual staple of conservative discourse? What …

Read More »

Death Penalty for drug offences decline but hundreds still executed

A comprehensive study released today by the International Harm Reduction Association finds that hundreds of people are executed for drug offences each year around the world, a figure that very likely exceeds one thousand when taking into account those countries that keep their death penalty statistics secret. In many instances, foreign nationals make up the majority of those executed or …

Read More »

A world cup for the red-green giants (only)

Even before soccer’s biggest show – the FIFA World Cup – has even started, the public is already divided. The facebook group lobbying for the boycott of Singtel-Starhub world cup packages has gathered storm over the past week and, surely, this is no mere rhetoric because succumbing to the high prices will only prove that Edward Ying is right. He …

Read More »

Why should death sentences be mandatory?

While the death penalty and other tough measures like caning may seem barbarous to many, I feel as deterrents to serious crimes they have few equals. But why should such sentences be mandatory? It is as if the circumstances leading to every crime are the same. Too many offences here carry a mandatory sentence. Yes, tough measures are needed to …

Read More »

The conservative renaissance – part 1

“And I think censorship takes many, many forms. It may not be as blatant as cutting your words but they certainly give you a rating, which severely limits your audience. And ratings prevent you from reaching out to a younger audience who may also need to hear these things. But this is the whole idea of nanny-ing, isn’t it? You …

Read More »

Pink dotted!

Pink Dot 2010 Hong Lim Park was awash in pink on Saturday afternoon as thousands came together for Pink Dot, a communal celebration of the freedom to love. If the inaugural event last year presented a compelling show of solidarity, this year’s Pink Dot brought it farther by conveying a palpable sense of community as 4000 people – almost double …

Read More »

Hong Lim Park becomes a sea of pink, with over 4,000 turning up for Pink Dot 2010

Over 4,000 pink-attired people gathered at Hong Lim Park today at 6pm to form a giant pink dot in a show of support for inclusiveness, diversity and the freedom to love. This makes Pink Dot 2010 the largest public gathering ever seen at the Speakers’ Corner since its opening in 2000, and is nearly twice the number of people who turned up at last year’s event. The …

Read More »

State funeral for truly exceptional contributors

I refer to the report “State funeral for former DPM Goh Keng Swee” (Channel News Asia, May 14). When former President Wee Kim Wee passed away in May 2005, I penned a letter (published in the Today newspaper on 10th May 2005), to ask why former President Ong Teng Cheong was not given a state funeral – a honour accorded …

Read More »

Prejudicing a fair trial? The Yong Vui Kong case

“Yong Vui Kong is young. But if we say ‘We let you go’, what is the signal we are sending?” With these words on 9 May 2010, Law Minister Mr K. Shanmugam tread where no right-minded Singapore politician ought to have gone – commenting and therefore potentially prejudicing an appeal before it had been decided in court. The effect of …

Read More »