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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Strike was impromptu

By Terry Xu Our insider source informs TOC that the strike was not a pre-meditated action by the workers but started by a few drivers who stood in front of the chartered bus that was supposed to drive the drivers to the bus depot. The final straw came on 23rd of November when they received their pay, noticing that their …

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SMRT strike: consequences of our Singaporean First principle?

by: Ng Yi Shu This chart, as we might now be familiar with, shows the root cause of what the current SMRT fiasco is about. It is rare to see strikes in Singapore, let alone one that has lasted this long. The last strike by foreign workers was in February this year by a group of foreign workers in Tampines …

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A Matter Of Perspective

By Dr R G Eli The recent Gallup/Bloomberg article re Singaporeans and their purported lack of feeling provides excellent motivation for some careful thinking…..(“Singapore Confronts  An Emotional  Deficit” , by Einhorn, B & Chen, S  dtd Nov 20th 2012) There have been varying responses – some accept Gallup’s pronouncement as  objective truth, some agree with it from the perspective of  their own experiences, and …

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TOC Editorial: SMRT strike should prompt introspection on several fronts

TOC Editorial   Despite the best attempts of the over-cautious mainstream media, the significance of Monday’s strike by over 102 Chinese workers (initial news reports mentioned 200) cannot be played down. The SMRT strike is basically the second strike this year involving foreign workers (news of the first was broken by TOC on 6 February 2012), and the 2 are …

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Many ways to skin a strike

By Howard Lee Strike – to cease work collectively as a protest against working conditions, low pay, etc (www.thefreedictonary.com/strike) It is interesting to note the headlines in our papers that were used to describe the "industrial action" by 102 SMRT bus drivers, as they "refused to take the wheel in protest", participating in a "day-long standoff" in a bid to obtain fairer …

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On Train announcements and Language Rights

If you are a frequent commuter on the North-South and East-West Lines, you should have noticed for a few months now a new announcement made when a train pulls into the station. The stations’ names are now also announced in its Mandarin form, following English. So, big deal. Singapore officially recognises four languages. Important train announcements have always been made …

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Strike Strikes Singapore: The Undertones of Industrial Relations

By Gerald Tan Strike strikes Singapore! A strike is defined by Section 5 of the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (“CLTPA”), to mean “the cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any essential service acting in combination, or a concerted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding of a number of persons who are or who …

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TOC Op-ed: Awake, Jim Sleeper

By Choo Zheng Xi/ Consultant Editor Yale lecturer Jim Sleeper’s provocatively titled column in the Huffington Post didn’t quite deliver. Captioned: “Blame the Latest Israel-Arab War on…Singapore?”, the article itself was more prosaic, recycling the less than titillating comparison between the militarization of Singaporean and Israeli societies and the relationship between the two countries’ armed forces. Hardly original, considering Lee …

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Parliament: Replies that never answer the question? (Act 3)

By Leong Sze Hian I refer to the article “So, what’s the true cost of casinos?” (Straits Times, Nov 17). How many visit casinos? It states that “Yesterday, the House heard that Singaporeans account for 25 to 30 per cent of all casino visits. MPs were also assured that fewer Singaporeans were visiting the casinos, as reflected in the drop in …

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TOC Report: Navigating the socio-political blogosphere

By Ng Yi Shu   Being a socio-political blogger in Singapore is not an easy job. In an era where controls over freedom of speech exist in legislation and where such controls hang over controversial (perhaps untrue) remarks about the establishment, critical speech needs to be better thought out to prevent falling foul of contempt of court, defamation laws, or …

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