Carlton Tan

Armchair critic with an awkward sense of humour and a tendency to go off-topic.

Don’t be surprised by reserved election, it fits within the pattern of neo-colonial authoritarian rule

The UK just suffered another terror attack on 16 September, just months after the London Bridge stabbing. This time, a bomb went off at a train station, injuring 29 people. Despite this, British politicians haven’t attempted to reintroduce sedition laws or detention without trial (with a similar scope and unaccountability to Singapore’s ISA). They also haven’t considered these attacks good …

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Train breakdowns: Is dishonesty really the best policy?

Another train breakdown, another delay, another inaccurate estimate given. Please. Why can’t we just be honest about it? Every time the train service breaks down, SMRT will euphemistically call it a “track fault” or a “train fault” (never SMRT’s fault?). It will then attempt to give commuters the information they need to “plan ahead”. Unfortunately, SMRT’s estimates about the duration …

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TODAY to revert to Temasek Holdings; has media liberalisation really succeeded?

What little independence Singapore’s second-most widely read English daily had may now be reduced even further. On August 25, Mediacorp and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced that SPH will divest its stakes in Mediacorp Press, the company that publishes TODAY (I’ll just conflate the two from here onwards). This announcement was, naturally, overshadowed by the announcement that, from October onwards, …

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National Day Rally ignores root problems and alternative solutions

Many have criticised PM Lee’s decision to focus on pre-schooling, diabetes, and Smart Nation. I disagree with the notion that these are unimportant matters. These three issues profoundly affect socioeconomic equality and have the potential to improve our lives in very real and tangible ways. It is just a pity that we seem to be obsessed with doing more rather …

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To avoid group-think, PAP must accept fair democratic contestation

“They must try their utmost to bring in potential office holders from outside the SAF and public sector to avoid group-think,” said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at a National Day Dinner. What ESM Goh failed to say is why. The ultimate goal of every political party that genuinely believes in itself is to remain in power. We may …

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The prodigal son escapes; the press secretary restates

Li Shengwu: “In Singapore, it is possible that one can be detained and interrogated for some time without a lawyer. My friends had warned me that they were concerned for my safety if I remained in Singapore.” PM Lee’s press secretary: “This is a well-established legal process. Clear laws and procedures apply to all cases of contempt, including this case …

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