Colors: Blue Color

Veteran opposition politician, Goh Meng Seng, has done the opposition cause no favours with his criticism of the Workers Party (WP) over the town council saga.

On his social media, Goh slammed the WP for what he deemed as their incompetence and mismanagement of their town council. He also lamented the lack of proper "checks and balances" in WP, emphasising the importance of good governance.

 

Simply put, Goh is of the view that he can't support the WP.

In the interest of a free media and freedom of expression, Goh is entitled to air his thoughts on the matter.  People who criticise him for his views are being hypocritical - they are doing what they have accused the PAP of doing to the opposition. 

Goh can choose to vote for whoever he choses to vote for whatever reasons.

However, let's not forget the bigger fish at hand.

Now, more than ever before, the ground is ripe for opposition parties to make greater inroads into parliament. Many have the conviction and believe that they will be members of parliament after the elections are done.

The key to the success is opposition solidarity.

A fragmented opposition will only play into the hands of the PAP. It is what the PAP wants.

The opposition must learn from this.

Instead of bickering with fellow opposition politicians, leaders like Dr Tan Cheng Bock, Pritam Singh, and Chee Soon Juan should focus on cooperation and charting the way forward for the opposition parties.

 

 

In his paper titled "Equal Justice Under The Constitution And Section 377A Under The Penal Code" published online by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL), former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong opined that the law was outdated and needed to be reviewed.

Chan explained that the current wordings and provisions of S377A fail the reasonableness test set out for a case in 2015. The contention was that the wording may be perceived to be discriminatory against men who commit acts of gross indecency in public.

This led Chan to conclude that S377A is a violation of Article 12(1) of the Constitution. 

Three people have filed court challenges against the constitutionality of S377A and they will be heard in court in November. They include LGBT-rights activist and Pink Dot pioneer, Dr Roy Tan, former executive director of LGBT group Oogachaga Bryan Choong Chee Hong, and DJ Johnson Ong Ming. In particular, Dr Tan is leveraging on the views of former Justices such as Chan, Walter Woon, V K Rajah, as well as current Deputy Attorney-General, Hri Kumar, for his case.

Chan is one of an increasingly long list of former and current government officials and legal personalities who have voiced out against S377A and questioned its validity.

Lee Hsien Yang (LHY), the younger brother of PM Lee Hsien Loong, and his family members, are known supporters of the LGBTQ community. LHY's son, Li Huanwu, and his husband, Heng Yirui, is a part of the LGBT community. The family graced the latest iteration of Pink Dot earlier in June this year.

In September this year, Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh, also called for the repeal of S377A, and urged the LGBT community to bring a class action to challenge the constitutionality of the law.

Before that, in 2018, former AGs Woon and Rajah, asserted their views that the selective enforcement of S377A undermines the rule of law.

Indeed, the voice against S377A has gained greater gravitas and credibility with the show of support from esteemed and highly regarded personalities such as Woon, Rajah, LHY, Koh and now Chan. 

It will be increasingly difficult for the court and the government to maintain status quo.

It is a matter of time before S377A is repealed.

Will religious and anti-LGBT groups come around to this or will they continue their opposition to the liberal voices?

What are the implications for Singapore?

According to media reports, Speaker of Parliament and PAP politician, Tan Chuan-Jin (TCJ), addressed activists from the PAP Seniors Group (PSG). He reportedly urged them to help "reframe the narrative" on ageing, and in the process, making Singapore the "best place in the world to retire and grow old in".

TCJ is of the view that the negative framing of ageing must be replaced with one that is more positively oriented. This is not surprising coming from someone who views having to collect cardboards in their old age as a positive (to earn income or for exercise).

It is ambitious. What makes a country or city the best place to retire and grow old in? 

There is no straightforward answer. Different people with different values and different socio-economic backgrounds will have different parameters.

However, one parameter common to a large group is the quality of life that they can look forward to.

This quality of life is not necessarily strictly defined by tangible mesaures like a country's GDP. This is where Singapore, is lacking.

A recent survey by Natixis Investment Managers ranked Singapore 28th out of 44 countries for retirement security. The survey noted that while Singapore came first in terms of retirement finances, it performed relatively poorly for the retirees' "quality of life and material well being".

This is the reality for retirees in Singapore. It is the reality that the PAP government needs to accept, understand, and help improve.

It is not a coordinated negative framing of ageing in Singapore. It is a reflection of the reality here.

Singaporeans work to prepare their finances for their various life stages, and also to ensure financial adequacy during retirement. This does not guarantee contentment and happiness in old age.

Whether one works through retirement and old age through their own volition, or otherwise, also makes a difference.

That is the challenge for the PAP, or for whatever party/parties that govern Singapore. This is an issue that needs to be managed with sound investments and policies to ensure a good quality of life for Singaporean retirees.

The problems will not disappear by a simple re-framing of the issue.

 

 

 

During a keynote speech at the NTUC Delegates' Conference, PM Lee Hsien Loong (LHL) was quoted by local media to have urged for the strengthening of the relationship between the PAP and the NTUC, amidst the challenging global conditions.

LHL also promised that workers will continue to be at the core of socio-economic development here in Singapore.

The relationship between the NTUC and the PAP is a long-standing one. Historically, it allowed Singapore to navigate through tumultuous economic, social, and political conditions.

Yet this unique relationship should not escape scrutiny. It may have served Singapore's economy well in the past.

Can it continue to do so in the future where AI and automation are expected to transform industries, and more and more workers become part of the gig economy?

The main grouse against this special relationship between NTUC and PAP is the lack of independence of the NTUC. Just look at who the Secretary-General is.

Arguably, independent unions who place the interests of the workers at the core of their existence, would be better able to represent the workers. The interests of the workers are not subordinate to other interests or factors, including those of employers and big corporations. 

Furthermore, such specialised, independent unions are arguably more nimble and better able to react to changing conditions that may affect workers. 

With the PAP in power, it is unlikely to diminish its own position by disrupting this special relationship.

Who can step up to ensure independence of the unions?

 

 

“We have so many plans for Singapore, in terms of new industries, new businesses, new schools, new opportunities, new towns to live in, new parks — a new society to be built for the next generation. And what we need are new people — our children,” says PM Lee. But lets look at what he's doing to stop us from actually having children.

Rising costs in Singapore. Can we really afford to have a child nowadays? Everything is so expensive and only getting more expensive thanks to them. Not everybody might have the capacity to pay for a child in their life together with saving for rainy days, paying bills, supporting their lifestyle. Many people are also not as lucky as those white horses earning millions a year. 

PM Lee mentioned having a good infrastructure in infant care, preschool and day care so that mothers can return to their careers in a couple of months after childbirth. But did he think about how these mothers would like to be able to stay home with their children too? Every mother would like to stay at home and look after their child, watch them grow up, nurture them. But because of how everything is so expensive, mothers are not able to afford not going back to work. What's a point of having a child if you don't even get to spend time with them? Not to mention, these infrastructures like infant care need money as well. Who can afford?

The number of FTs coming to take our jobs. Mother's also can't be away for too long in fear of FTs stealing their "lunch". They also feel like they can't slack off at work in fear of getting replaced. If they have to concentrate on working hard for their career, where got time and energy to make baby??

Image result for new citizens singapore graph

Let's talk about the small space to have sex issue (she claims it was a joke btw). We need a space to have sex. Like it or not. The same space could also be used to bring the child up. Yup, I'm talking about BTOs. With the rising costs of BTOs, everybody is working harder and longer to be able to afford them. And who wants a small house? We all need our own space for our own lives. Having a small space is not good enough for most of us. 

They think they are doing all the right things in trying to get the birth rate of Singaporeans up. But they're actually not. They simply do not understand what all of us are going through.

The Malaysian Parliment voted to repeal the Anti-Fake News ACT (AFNA) yesterday. This is the second time the Lower House (controlled by Pakatan Harapan) has voted for the repeal of the AFNA. They also voted for the repeal in August last year but was blocked by the upper house, or the senate (controlled by Barisan Nasional).

The senate cannot block what has been approved by their MPs for a second time. Therefore, the repeal has a high chance of going through now with the Malaysian King's approval left. He is also not expected to go against the repeal according to experts.

Singapore has always wanted to be first or best in everything. Now, Malaysia is the first one trying to move forward for their citizens and repeal against an act which could be abused by their ministers. What about Singapore? Two days after the introduction of our POFMA bill, they used it to target the main editor,Terry Xu, of the alternative news site The Online Citizen.

All members of the Worker's Party voted No to the bill in the parliament with all of the PAP members voting yes. Is this the road we want to go down? We definitely need more opposition members in the parliament to fight for our rights. How can we be sure that our ruling government will not abuse the law and take down any of their enemies?

Maybe we can wait to see if Singapore can do a Pakatan and take over the current ruling government. With our own Pakatan fighting to repeal against such laws unfair to us as well.

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