Opinion

Budget 2012: An Analysis (Part 1)

~by: Leong Sze Hian~   23 times more surplus? From the originally estimated Overall Budget Balance of $0.1 billion, we now expect a larger Overall Budget Surplus for FY2011 of about $2.3 billion. This is about 23 times more than what was originally projected. With this huge budget surplus what are we doing for ordinary Singaporeans, particularly the lower-income and …

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Income: What a world of difference without CPF contributions?

~by: Leong Sze Hian~ I refer to the article “S’pore households' median monthly income rises” (Channel NewsAsia, Feb 14). It states that “The Department of Statistics (DOS) said in its latest report, 'Key Household Characteristics and Household Income Trends, 2011', released on Tuesday that the increase was the sharpest for the lower-income group”. According to the Department of Singapore Statistics' …

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Only awareness of issues makes us responsible voters

~by: Ng Yi Shu~ We have all heard it – a new political awakening, an enlightened electorate – the lot. But has anyone wondered what would make us great? I would like to suggest that good decisions – decisions which we are responsible for – would make us great. Our political decisions shouldn’t simply be resigned to voting alone, as …

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Yaw, the unwitting scapegoat for accountability

~by: Ghui ~ Yaw Shin Leong has been expelled from the Workers’ Party with immediate effect. In one foul swoop, he has lost both his place in a party he helped propel into victory and his role as an MP. For the foreseeable future, his political career is well and truly over. At first blush, this move seems drastic and disproportionate. While Yaw may have …

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Better to be foreigners' dependants than spouses of Singaporeans

~ By: Leong Sze Hian ~ I refer to the reply in Parliament that 3,000 2nd-geneneration permanent residents (PRs) who did National Service (NS) applied to be Singapore citizens. (“3,000 2nd-gen PRs who did NS applied to be Singapore citizens”, Straits Times, Jan 10) The reply said that about 9,400 foreign spouses of Singaporeans were on Long Term Visit Passes each year, between …

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Speak up for people who are down

~by: Tan Kin Lian~ I wrote a letter to the Straits Times Forum, published on 10 February 2012, giving my views about the alleged extra marital affair of Yaw Shin Leong.  (See http://tankinlian.blogspot.com/2012/02/workers-party-and-yaw-shin-leong.html) Ms Christine Lim Ms Christine Lim wrote a letter to express her indignation over my views. She went further to pass judgment on me as follows “One …

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Liberalise entrance from ITEs to Polytechnics

~by: Gerald Tan~ I read with interest the article ‘Further education hot topic at ITE dialogue’ (Today Newspaper, 8 Feb 2012, Neo Chai Chin), where Minister of State for Education Lawrence Wong defended the stand of the ministry with regards to limiting the number of ITE graduates entering polytechnics. There is some truth in the argument that increasing polytechnic places for …

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Whip: To lift or not to lift? What is “a matter of conscience”?

~By: Leong Sze Hian~ The Government Whip Gan Kim Yong in response to a query from Today, said that the whip will be in place when Parliament debates a new formula for ministerial salaries – ““There is no intention to lift the whip. We would only do so if the subject is a matter of conscience," he wrote in an …

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Jobs in Singapore – Some interesting data from Labour Force 2011 Report

~by: Leong Sze Hian~ I refer to the Labour Force 2011 report (see HERE)  Less training? “Training participation fell in 2011 ……. 27% of residents aged 15 to 64 in the labour force participated in job-related structured training during the 12-month period ending June 2011.  This was down from 29% a year ago ….. fall over the year in average (mean) …

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