High pay for better talents?

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong In late 1994 the Goh Chok Tong government adopted a policy of giving cabinet ministers, parliament members, senior civil servants and other public sector employees (e.g., at the time university professors were included, but they were subsequently decoupled from civil service salary scales.) higher levels of pay, on the twin grounds … Read more

Indirect consequences of MDA licensing

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong The government’s proposal to regulate Singapore news websites, “on the same basis as printed press”, has aroused much discussion, but most of it was not directly relevant to the current proposal, which actually applies to only 10 websites operating now, 9 within the Singapore Press Holdings orbit (the remaining one … Read more

Gambling, Charity and Worthy Causes

Dr Yuen Chung Kwong A recent article https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2013/04/tote-board-donated-400m-gardens-bay/ discussed the financial contribution towards Gadens by the Bay from lottery and horse racing income. It is also useful to remember an even larger contribution from the same source towards Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay (link) Because the Board is a revenue generation agency of the Treasury, … Read more

Abortion vs Adoption – Another Perspective

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong A recent article from AWARE  opposes restricting access to abortion in order to increase births, and advocates easing the burden of parenting instead. I would go a step further: I believe the only way for “adoption instead of abortion” to work is if mothers are paid to have their babies … Read more

New Budget and Old Asset Rich Folks

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong Singapore has one of the highest per capita wealth index in the world, largely a reflection of high property prices and a high level of real estate ownership. Yet, few people feel they are rich, because most people do not have large amounts of disposable cash – one might live … Read more

New Budget and Old COE Prices

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong The diagram above plots the average successful bid prices for Certificates of Entitlement for the most popular category of cars (i.e., under 1600cc in engine size), from the introduction of the COE system in early 1990 to January 2013 at 6-month intervals. Note that the category also includes certificates for … Read more

North East Line

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong   The North-East line of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit system first started operation in April 2003. It provides an interesting illustration of the unique political process of Singapore. The first two lines of the MRT system, East-West line and North-South line, went into operation over a three year period, … Read more

Media Endorsed Government Critics

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong   In an open society, anyone criticizing the government is considered to be merely exercising his/her rights as a participant in public affairs; it is unnecessary for any critic to get prior approval. So the title of this article might strike you as being very strange, reflecting the unique nature … Read more

Leadership and Elite

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong – "I am their leader, I have to follow them!" Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin (French revolutionary leader)  The above sentence might strike some as being very strange: arent leaders supposed to "lead"? Actually, people choose a leader with the expectation of getting something from him/her, maybe material benefits arising from a … Read more