Opinion

Excuse me, did the Prime Minister just say sorry?

Sophia Tsang For the longest time, I never understood why members of the ruling party never seemed to ever, EVER say sorry. I mean, I heard complaints about how there was no lift upgrading, about how salaries were so low, low, low but cost of living was so high, high, high. I heard complaints about expensive housing. But none of …

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Letter to Heng Swee Keat, Education Minister

The following is an excerpt of a Facebook posting on Ms Monica Lim’s page: Dear Mr Heng, The recent polls have triggered many dramatic changes, the biggest of which is PM’s consistent refrain for transformation. In this spirit, I’m writing to you to ask whole-heartedly for a transformation of our education system.  If not a complete transformation, at least a …

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The sandwiched class of PAP bureaucracy

G Hui / A friend of mine who works in the civil service once commented: “If you think the ministers are high-handed, you should try talking to their minions!” This statement stuck in my mind because it encapsulates the mindset of the civil service, the PAP grassroots leaders/workers and the PAP MPs. This is of course a generalisation. Not all …

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10 ideas for ministerial salary reform

Leong Sze Hian, Alex Lew 1. Remuneration should have a reasonable basis and be internationally benchmarked across comparable nations. What constitutes a reasonable basis? A benchmark that would command an above average pay and to reflect the risks of the job scope would be considered fair. 2. The structure of remuneration should include a larger variable portion. The variable payment …

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Reviving the Minimum Wage debate (Part 1)

Gordon Lee / Since the parliamentary “debate” in January this year, which saw Members of Parliament coming out strongly as a united front against implementing a minimum wage, discussions on the pros and cons of a minimum wage seem to have died down. Government rhetoric asserts that a minimum wage policy has few merits, but significant demerits – such as …

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Gratefulness has nothing to do with it

This is a letter from a TOC reader. G Hui/ I would just like to add on to Elaine Ong’s article: “False Identities and disloyalties”. Like her, I have heard many comments levelled against voters who have voted against against the PAP. Comments such as “How can you be so ungrateful?” were indeed rempant. But why would it be ungrateful to vote for an …

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REACHing out? Try a little humility first

Howard Lee/ Today published an article on 24 May, “Going through REACH alone might not work”. The headline is about as close as we will get to the People’s Action Party admitting that the crown jewel of its engagement efforts since the dawn of Goh Chok Tong’s consultative style of government has really fallen flat on delivery. But the key reason why REACH remains ineffective is …

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False identities and disloyalties

Elaine Ong / The voice of the electorate at the recent General Election resounded loud and clear to the ruling party and indeed, some observers claim that politically, the population has come of age. I beg to differ. The political maturity of the electorate is still in its infancy with a large majority of the population still left unclear and …

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Another potential problem with the GRC

Andy Loh/ Much has been said about how the GRC system has failed because it has seen the exit of able politicians and the entry of politicians who were considered less than able. However, this is not the only failing of the GRC system. The GRC system violates one important tenet of the deomcratic process (which is the one man, one vote system). It …

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PAP Transformation Series – 13 suggestions to transform the CPF

Leong Sze Hian, Alex Lew / “Nothing’s sacrosanct in Government review of policies.” – PM Lee Hsien Loong. I refer to the articles “Tharman open to ideas, say economists” and “Big change, great expectations” (ST, May 20). I would like to applaud the Prime Minister for his bold changes to the cabinet. I believe what Singaporeans would like to see …

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