Opinion

Homeless and Abandoned with Four Children

by: Leong Sze Hian Miss Lee (not her real name) is a 37-year-old Permanent Resident (Malaysian citizen), with four young children. Her husband is a 39-year-old Singaporean businessman and they have been married for about ten years. He abandoned her and the children, after leaving for China to do business. Taking with him their entire life savings of more than …

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A case of too little too late?

by: Jason Lee/ Since the May 7 election, several MPs from the ruling party have told their grassroots leaders to do away with excessive and unnecessary formalities at events which they will be gracing. One MP, who was first elected in 2006, has requested not to be addressed as the guest-of-honour at such events. Instead, the constituents should simply be …

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From State to Temasek

Leong Sze Hian/ According to Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) Annual Report 2009/10 , “Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009”. Its revenue for the year was $961 million, profit after tax was $227 million and total assets was $7.2 billion. Changi Airport only …

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HDB: 18 appeals and still homeless

Leong Sze Hian and Ko Siew Huey/ She was the first in line at her constituency’s Meet the People’s session that night, having arrived a few hours earlier to ensure she got to see her new Member of Parliament, Sylvia Lim. Single and therefore unavailable? Amy (not her real name) is a 43-year-old single woman who has been staying at …

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HDB: $431,000 CPF – But homeless soon?

Leong Sze Hian / It was 8 p.m. on a Thursday night when our first couple came for financial counseling. Mr Lim (not his real name) is a 47-year-old taxi driver and a bankrupt. Mrs Lim is an accounts executive. They have three children  – two are in school and one is in National Service. They have obtained permission from the Official Assignee to …

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Reviving the Minimum Wage Debate (Part 4)

In Part 3 of a series of articles on the minimum wage,  Gordon Lee explores the limitations of the Workfare. In this last part of this series, he look at the ways in which a minimum wage is best implemented. Level of minimum wage The level of minimum wage should start off at a relatively low level to avoid any economic shocks, and …

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HDB Focus Week (part 5): 15 Q & A – Uniquely Singapore?

Leong Sze Hian/ Q. Which is the only country in the world that allows foreigners to buy public housing? A. Singapore – permanent residents (PRs) can buy resale HDB flats. Q. Which is the only country in the world that allows not just citizens, but also PRs to own public housing and private property at the same time? A. Singapore – You can …

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Reviving the Minimum Wage Debate (Part 3)

In Part 2 of a series of articles on the minimum wage,  Gordon Lee examines the relationship between minimum wage and costs of production, inflation, productivity and competitiveness. In Part 3 he explores the limitations of the Workfare. “Singapore has something better than a minimum wage and it is called Workfare.” – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong What is Workfare? Workfare has two …

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Focus on HDB (Part 3): Shorter queue for HDB rental flats- Really?

Leong Sze Hian/ Mdm Tin (not her real name), a 34 year old divorcee, whose highest education is PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination), has been living with her eight year old daughter, in a homeless shelter, for more than a year. Homeless shelter The homeless shelter, has no sign board, and I understand houses about 100 women and children, as it is a …

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Change, really?

G Hui/ I read with disappointment that British author Alan Shadrake’s appeal against a conviction for contempt of court was dismissed by the Singapore Court of Appeal on Friday, 27 May 2011. Is such a harsh sentence necessary? Is a custodial sentence needed? Has he even committed a crime? Whether or not the death penalty should be abolished is a …

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