Monthly Archives: May 2010

Death penalty serves no demonstrable criminal justice purpose

The International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) has expressed its deep regret at the decision of the Singapore Court of Appeals to retain the mandatory death penalty for drug offences, a judgment that forecasts the execution of Yong Vui Kong for an offence committed while he was only a teenager. Yong Vui Kong today lost his appeal against his conviction in …

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The price to pay for being a global city

Did anything strike you as strange after reading today’s edition of The Sunday Times? I’m not quite sure how to describe the feeling I had — one of sadness, surprise or wonderment. One Page 16 article entitled “Big Spenders from China” talked about the expensive shopping habits of affluent young Chinese tourists from the mainland. Fashion designer Wen Hong Xia, 25, told the newspaper she …

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Letter from reader: Fortunately, we have TOC!

A reader sent this email to Today and copied us in the same email.  His email was in response to Today’s article, “More requests to help homeless families: MCYS“. We reproduce his email in full here. Thank you very much Mr Sng.  It is encouragement like yours, which keeps us going! —–The email—– Dear Wee Keat, Voices, Reference Today article, 13 May, “More …

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The de-humanisation of domestic workers in Singapore

Singapore, as Jolene mentions and writer Catherine Lim has argued, is a fiercely patriarchal society, headed by the patriarch-in-chief Lee Kuan Yew. Jolene continues: I suspect that for many Singaporean women, abusiveness towards FDWs is also connected to fear and anxiety about our own place in society. Patriarchal attitudes simultaneously devaluing and gendering care work and domestic work are well-ensconced in Singapore, …

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Not a grain of truth in sand export claims, says Cambodian Government

The Royal Embassy of Cambodia (London) sent this response to TOC, with regards to the allegations made by Global Witness: —————————- The Royal Government of Cambodia has reacted angrily to malicious and misleading claims by an international trouble maker that sand-dredging operations in Cambodia are causing widespread environmental damage. A cheap and rubbish report from Global Witness claims that Cambodia …

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Reform Party chief on impasse with SDA

The following is a letter the secretary-general of The Reform Party wrote to The Straits Times Forum on 12 May 2010: ——————— I WISH to correct Monday’s report, ‘SDA-Reform Party alliance: On or off?’. What I said was that our members had given us the go-ahead to enter into an alliance if negotiation reached that stage. That is not the …

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Straits Times plays along to HDB’s COV striptease

The Housing and Development Board can be very secretive indeed. Years of queries about flat construction costs yield only stonewalled silence. Even when statistics are released, key figures are often omitted, preventing the public from attempting alternative avenues of data analysis. When the public is faced with such a dearth of data, they might reasonably expect the professionals – journalists …

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The slippery slope, the greasy pole

Reading Today‘s report on what Law Minister K Shanmugam said, regarding the (mandatory) death penalty, makes one rather sad. The minister, it seems, has chosen to put out a soundbite and ignored all the nuances, issues and questions which have been raised (and left unanswered to this day by the government). First, the minister has conflated or confused the two …

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Netizens outraged by teen assault in lift

A video of an enraged youth repeatedly slapping and hitting his female schoolmate in an HDB lift has sparked a wave of outrage from Singapore netizens. Taken inside the lift, the video that was first posted on Facebook shows the male student repeatedly slapping the girl and slamming her head against the lift walls. The conversation in the video reveals that the girl was being accused of ratting on …

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Another first for Singapore: Worst per capita polluter

According to a recent study, Singapore is ranked the worst for its environmental impact on a per capita basis. Published at PLos One, the research studies 228 countries based on ‘natural forest loss, habitat conversion, marine captures, fertilizer use, water pollution, carbon emissions and species threat’. Amongst 179 countries, Singapore was ranked having the greatest environmental impact ‘proportional to total resource …

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