Opinion

Does increasing social spending mean higher taxes?

By Leong Sze Hian – I refer to the article "Social spending – where will money come from?" (Straits Times, Sep 4).   How much total reserves? It states that "If you add the three pools of reserves up, you get about $800 billion. A very modest 2 per cent return on that comes up to $16 billion a year. …

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Affordable nursing homes, more Singaporean workers?

By Leong Sze Hian – I refer to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) reply “Increased subsidies help offset fee hikes: MOH” (Straits Times, Sep 4) to Edwin Lim’s letter “Homes shouldn’t undermine levy” (ST, Aug 30), and the report “'Streamline subsidies’ for patients” (Channel NewsAsia, Sep 3).    Increase subsidy, but fees increase to any amount? The former states that …

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Self Reliance and Social Welfare

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong Singapore’s official social philosophy has always placed emphasis on self reliance, fearing that that welfare provisions might encourage undesirable patterns of behavior, e.g., unemployment benefit might reduce motivation to work; child endowment might encourage illegitimate births – as well as fostering a sense of entitlement among the population. The CPF (see http://sbr.com.sg/economy/commentary/what-you-need-know-about-singapores-compulsory-saving-scheme,  http://sbr.com.sg/economy/commentary/what-you-need-know-about-singapores-annuity-scheme for my discussion) …

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National Conversation – another failed promise ?

By Walter Jayandran – Call me a skeptic, but I doubt this invitation to Singaporeans to participate in a conversation will be a useful exercise. In 2002, PM Goh Chok Tong conducted something similar to restructure Singapore with public participation – apparently to the dislike of Singapore’s founding leader. The Government was going to give Singaporeans, where the influence of …

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Singapore Bets on Casino Revenues

By Chun Han Wong – City-State Hopes for Economic Jackpot While Guarding Against Social Ills SINGAPORE—Two years ago, Singapore launched its first casinos in a bold bet that it could bolster its economy without attracting social ills, such as organized crime and gambling addiction, that have plagued other casino capitals. Today, its two new casinos—Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Marina Bay Sands and Genting …

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Why it is not wise to ignore the cynics in the National Conversation

By Ng Yi Shu – The recent ‘disinviting’ episode involving the Channel NewsAsia forum with the Prime Minister has raised eyebrows about the authenticity of the government’s commitment to listen to Singaporeans in the quest to create a Singapore for Our Singaporeans. These disinvitations has made the most cynical Singaporeans even more jaded, as the cynics confirm their belief that …

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Political Singlish – OB Markers and Civic Society

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong – One of the very unique terms of Singapore's political lexicon is "OB Markers" – OB being short for "Out of Bound". While the meaning of this is very clear in Singapore, what would a foreign reader make of it? Is this about golf or soccer? Is it related to Outward Bound (an organization to …

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Political Singlish – OB Markers and Civic Society

Dr Yuen Chung Kwong   One of the very unique terms of Singapore’s political lexicon is “OB Markers” – OB being short for “Out of Bound”. While the meaning of this is very clear in Singapore, what would a foreign reader make of it? Is this about golf or soccer? Is it related to Outward Bound (an organization to promote …

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The Origin of Nepotism

By Dr Yuen Chung Kwong –     The above painting by Raphael shows Pope Leo X (from Florence's Medici family) with his cardinal nephews. The word "nepotism" comes from the Latin word "nepos" for nephew. In the middle ages, "nephews" were often the bastard sons of bishops and popes who were officially required to be celibate so could not …

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It is Not Just Bus Drivers Who Are Exploited

By Edmund Lim – Whoever saves one life, saves the entire world: SMRT Driver brings up many abuses by our tyrannical bosses in Singapore. It is not just the bus drivers who are being abused. White collar workers in general have also suffered under the cruel torture of Singapore bosses. Singapore bosses have been ranked the most stingy. It is …

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