Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Recommendations to Increase Child Birth in Singapore

Press Release
For immediate release.

Recommendations to Increase Child Birth in Singapore

I read the Prime Minister’s suggestions of 16 weeks maternity leave with great wary. First of all, the 12 week maternity leave was only just recently adjusted from 8 weeks only on 1 Oct 2004. There would be repercussions to the adjustment.

Ref: http://fcd.ecitizen.gov.sg/GovernmentPaidMaternityLeave

Small & Medium Enterprises are likely going to be hit hard as they would need to cater for additional replacement for another month. Many SMEs are already feeling the impact of the slowdown in the economy coupled with the additional cost of rental, utilities, cost of products, raw materials and services being rendered.

With the increase to 16 week maternity leave, it would probably drive them to hire male staffs instead of female staff. When this happens, it would cause a huge imbalance to the gender ratio of those employed. Female jobseekers will face a harder time looking for suitable job opportunities as they face the risk of being sidelined.

I would like to recommend the following solutions.

1) Maintain the status quo of 12 weeks maternity leave. Encourage small business owners to leverage the internet to use remote access infrastructure for workers on maternity leave so they can do some light clerical work and access relevant documents using VPN (Virtual Private Network) technologies. The government should encourage companies to have a paperless environment and implement cost effective remote access solutions so that SMEs can have a more nimble and mobile workforce. If this is implemented, SME bosses would be able to create flexible work schemes for working mums. More women will have the choice of working from home if they wish to.

2) The main concern of most Singaporeans when having a baby is cost. However, a large number of parents encounter the big nightmare of having to squeeze a child’s pram in jammed packed MRTs. Manoeuvering a child’s pram is no easy feat. Even without a pram, it can be really dangerous as babies are really delicate. Most parents would really like to own a car. We would strongly request that the government waive off the COE for first time parents who wish to purchase a car and free Road Tax for the next two years. Similarly we would like to suggest a free 2 year Road Tax waiver for the second kid onwards.

I am confident that with these rewards in place, Singaporeans will be highly motivated to have kids and start building their family.

Edmund Ng Say Eng
Organizing Secretary
Reform Party

Monday, July 28, 2008

FM93.8 Interview and SingaporeSeminars.com Updates

Dear Pals,

Last week was just fantastic and I got a feeling this week’s gonna be more exciting. First I got off to a great start last Friday morning at Mediacorp 93.8 from 10am-11am at The Living Room. Thank to Stanley Leong, the producer for The Living Room.

For those guys who missed the 93.8 Radio Interview last Friday, you can download the interview here.

==> http://www.internet-empire.com/938interview.zip

We were talking about the Why Companies Fail and How to Rescue it. You can download the Free Report here.

==> http://www.internet-empire.com/10tips

During the interview, we were talking about one of my student from HWA (Handicap Welfare Association). It’s really coincident that HWA is also the adopted charity for FM93.8. For those guy who wish to find out more about how Tony made $600-$1000 in a single month, you can take a look at the special testimonial.

Basically, Tony was able to drive traffic to his blog by getting ranked at the top 2 position of Google for the keyword “Options Trading Blog” and No.3 Position for the keyword “Option Trading Blog”. He used to be No.1 but I guess he slackened a bit.

Here’s the link.

==> http://www.internet-empire.com/special-testimonial.htm



>>> Update For Ultimate SEO Challenge <<<


Yahoo.com.sg - Singapore Seminar "Ranked No.1"

Yahoo.com.sg - Singapore Seminars "Ranked No.2"

Google - Not in the top 1,000 yet. But soon.

Good news. I am going to allow Free Posting of Seminar events till we get No.1 position on Google for the keyword "Singapore Seminars" for www.SingaporeSeminars.com

This is a good deal as there are good searches for that keyword.

*For more updates on the Ultimate SEO Challenge, please visit:

==> http://www.internet-empire.com/blog

Important Announcement:

There are many people who feedback to me that the number of emails I send could be pretty overwhelming and some of them are just not seminar junkies or enjoy attending events.

Therefore, I will be asking those who are interested in attending seminars, events, conferences & networking events to subscribe to a new mailing list that only focus on that.

You can do that by visiting http://www.singaporeseminars.com and subscribing your email and name to our updates at the left side of the website.

P.S. - Be prepared for a Major Recession that could last for years. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 10 Banks & Financial Institutions have already been Bankrupted in USA and 90 others closely monitored. Major Banks that have exposure in Sub-Prime all made extensive write offs amounting Billions. According to reliable sources, the Sub-Prime exposure is in the range of maybe 2-3 Trillion of dollars so we haven’t really seen the bottom yet.

P.P.S. - According to an interview with George Soros on BBC, he didn’t suffer any major losses and perhaps made a tidy sum. Jim Rogers who got interviewed on Channel U was also smiling and explaining how he avoided the exposure on SubPrime crisis. Moral of the story: “It pays to be in good company”. I’ll be here for you to do that.

P.P.P.S. - My strong advice. If you do nothing now, you’re gonna be dead meat. HDB costs 740K now mind you. Get your butt out and start networking or plan to be your own boss as inflation is going to go higher than your increment.

P.P.P.P.S - Of course, it will also help if you’re joining a company that’s going to get listed or grow really big…like ours. My staffs are in this mailing list too. The last P.P.P.P.S. are for them.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Friday, July 18, 2008

Singapore, A Dying Country

By Wolfiexx1
Sammyboy Forum

It is getting sickening in a way...

The goverment sector is more profitable than most companies in Singapore.

Town councils have surpluses amounting to millions and millions.

Goverment linked companies are annoucing records profits year in and out, and yet they do not stop raising prices.

Most Singaporean deep in debt, yet country declares billions in surplus.

Oil prices are already so steep, the goverment responses by planting more ERP.

Most country are doing away with petrol taxes and even subsidising petrol prices. In Singapore, nothing is being done.

Goverment speaks nonsense all the time. The debates can go on and on but no ones dares speak againest it.

Protests held all around the world about issues. In Singapore, you have better chances of being charged for illegal gatherings.

Opposition have no credible members, but you cannot blame them. Every good man who wants to make a difference will be made bankrupt by the goverment.

Goverment investments making record losses, yet nothing has been reported. i believe the losses are more wide spread than circulated.

Goverment emphasizes on auditing for companies. Yet auditing for high level goverment sector are almost non existence - think temasek.

Rising food prices, Goverment countered with additional GST.

Crooked goverment policies, stop at 2 policy gone totally awry. Govt have to import FT, who in turn lower down median wages for the normal singaporeans, and old folks having difficulty finding jobs

Income disparity at its largest in a long long time.

Obsence profits are public housing

Allowing people to own cars, but not allowing them to drive(at ease). Pulling people into debts. - I blame the shortsightedness of singaporeans, me including...

Rising rental killing most biz - most smaller biz at breaking points.

Record amount of money being brought out Singapore. Think FT, foreign FLs etc etc

Final throw of the dice - Casino - wonder how many singaporeans will die, attracting foreign high rollers my foot, when the casino opens lets see the ratio of singapore vs foreigners.

No quality/quantity time for family life - what do the govt knows...with their million dollar salary

Public transport modelled after profit margins, and not needs of commuters. How to explain the happily packed buses like sardines in cans.

State controlled media - to ensure the right notes and noises are properganted.


Edmund Ng
CEO, President

The price of freedom

By Sholto Byrnes

"With few exceptions, democracy has not brought good government to new developing countries... What Asians value may not necessarily be what Americans or Europeans value. Westerners value the freedoms and liberties of the individual. As an Asian of Chinese cultural background, my values are for a government which is honest, effective and efficient."

The words are long-time leader Lee Kuan Yew's, but they could as well have been written by the Singaporean High Commissioner, Michael Teo, who argued in this space earlier this week that liberal democracy may work for the west, but that south-east Asians prefer a different model.

Emotions are easily roused by this debate. The British press is never slow to condemn the governments of south-east Asia as being "repressive" or "police states". The reality, however, is much more complex, as I, the former Far Eastern Economic Review editor Philip Bowring and health and women's rights activist Marina Mahathir, among others, discuss in a special report in today's New Statesman.

That Singapore's government is a form of "guided democracy" is a statement of fact, not opinion. Michael Teo is being disingenuous when he writes of "opposition parties" and "diversity of views", as genuine opposition figures such as Chee Soon Juan, no stranger to the courts or the prisons due to his political activities, could testify. The tone is still set by the city-state's long-time prime minister, now minister mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, whose comments are always characterised by an admirable, if somewhat bracing, clarity. "We decide what is right," he said in 1987. "Never mind what the people think."

But Teo is quite right to point out that many south-east Asian nations lack a long history of shared nationhood or are divided on racial and religious grounds. There were practical reasons for strong governments to prevail. In the post-war years the region's newly independent states were riven by Communist insurgencies and secessionist movements. Borders shifted; nations were created, such as Singapore, which came into being as a sovereign state only after being ejected from Malaysia in 1965. When liberal democracy was tried – as in Indonesia, where there were 17 different cabinets in 13 years between 1944 and 1957 – it led to chaos.

The more interesting point is whether, as Teo implied, these societies have struck a different "balance between individual liberties and the common good". Western critics seize on individuals such as Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's opposition leader, and make them into liberal heroes, without pausing to question just how representative they are of the populations they seek to lead. London-based commentators may be surprised by the degree of acceptance of the status quo they would find on the ground in these largely conservative, religious, family-oriented societies. We take stability for granted; it has been a hard-won prize in south-east Asia.

Those who dismiss the Singapore model should also remember that democratic processes can have illiberal outcomes. It is no coincidence that conservative and radical forms of Islam have gained ground in Indonesia since the fall of Suharto, and that women there and in Malaysia (one of the more consistently democratic countries in the region) face increasing legal and societal pressures to wear the hijab. More authoritarian regimes were secularism's friend; more unrestrained pluralism has sometimes led to extremist voices shouting the loudest and threatening the liberties of those who differ.

Ask Lilis Lindawati, a waitress picked up by police in the city of Tangerang on Java two years ago, what she thinks of Indonesia's new democracy. The married mother of two was waiting for a bus home after work, but because she was alone and not wearing a headscarf, she was arrested under new "religious" bylaws. The next day she was convicted of being a prostitute – because she had lipstick in her handbag. I wonder where she would feel more free now – in Indonesia, or in Singapore?

Source: Guardian.co.uk

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

A rare slip-up in court by Singapore’s elder statesman, Lee Kuan Yew

MEMBERS of Singapore’s government are notorious sticklers for legal exactitude. So it has been interesting to watch the reaction after the country’s elder statesman, Lee Kuan Yew—a British-trained lawyer before he became a politician—gave inaccurate testimony in the trial of two opposition leaders.

In May Mr Lee testified in a hearing to decide damages against Chee Soon Juan, the leader of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), and his sister, Chee Siok Chin, for defaming the former prime minister and his son, Lee Hsien Loong, who is now prime minister himself. Mr Lee senior claimed that after the London-based International Bar Association (IBA) held its annual conference in Singapore last October, its president sent a letter to the Law Society of Singapore praising the country’s justice system. It has since emerged that there was no such laudatory letter.

Mr Chee (who along with his sister was briefly jailed for contempt for accusing the judge in his case of bias) tried unsuccessfully to have the hearing reconvened in the light of Mr Lee’s incorrect testimony. Mr Lee’s counsel, Davinder Singh, wrote to the court on July 9th admitting that his client was wrong about the letter but noting that the IBA’s president, Fernando Pombo, had praised Singapore’s “outstanding judiciary” in a speech at the start of the conference. Mr Singh argues that what matters is that the IBA did praise Singaporean justice, not whether it did so in a speech or a letter. Mr Chee says there is a difference: the speech was made before the conference, where criticisms of the justice system were aired. Mr Lee was claiming, in effect, that the IBA was still impressed after this.

By coincidence, on July 9th the IBA’s Human Rights Institute issued a report criticising the use of defamation suits by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) to silence the opposition and the press, and expressing concerns about the independence and impartiality of Singapore’s judges. The law ministry has rejected the IBA’s report, pointing out that Singapore’s legal system has won excellent ratings in other international surveys. Indeed, in cases not involving the country’s leaders, there is no dispute about its quality. As for the IBA’s worries about cases involving PAP figures, the law ministry claims that the IBA failed to substantiate its “grave” allegations with evidence, though its report does discuss several worrying cases.

America’s State Department, which is in rather less danger of being sued by the PAP than are the opposition or newspapers, has expressed concern about judicial independence in political cases in Singapore. In its latest human-rights report, in March, the department noted that the PAP’s consistent success in defamation suits against critics “led to a perception that the judiciary reflected the views of the ruling party in politically sensitive cases.”

According to the Straits Times newspaper, Mr Lee on July 11th accused human-rights organisations of “a conspiracy to do us in”. He said that they saw that Russia and China had been studying Singapore’s success, and hence regarded it as a threat. Mr Lee and the government argue that doing things their way has made Singapore prosperous, orderly and corruption-free, and has earned international respect. The threat of defamation proceedings may make opposition politicians weigh their words more carefully than they do elsewhere. But Singaporean voters continue to buy the PAP’s argument that such constraints are a price worth paying—so far.

Source: Economist.com

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Singapore party calls for end to 'elite' rule

SINGAPORE (AFP) — A new political party has called for an end to rule by an elite minority in Singapore, and rejected accusations the opposition would quickly ruin the country if it took power.

The Reform Party was responding to a recent warning to voters by Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew against putting the opposition at the helm of government "in a moment of fickleness or just sheer madness."

"Let me say from here to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, that that is crass arrogance on his part," said the party's secretary general, J.B. Jeyaretnam in a speech to inaugurate the party late Friday.

"I tell him from here, tonight: We've had enough of a minority, of the elite, making all our decisions."

Lee, 84, is widely credited for shepherding the underdeveloped port into one of Asia's wealthiest nations in one generation.

His People's Action Party (PAP) has been in power since 1959 and has all but two elected seats in the 84-member parliament.

The opposition plays only a marginal role in Singapore, but four other parties sent delegations to the Reform Party launch.

Jeyaretnam told AFP he did not know if the parties could unite for the next election due by 2011.

"I don't know. It depends on a number of factors... You know, policies and outlook, and methods," said the lawyer.

Jeyaretnam, then with the Workers' Party, made political history in 1981 when he became the first opposition politician elected to parliament.

He was declared bankrupt in 2001 after failing to pay libel damages to members of the PAP, including a former prime minister.

Last year Jeyaretnam, 82, cleared the bankruptcy, which had prevented him from running for political office.

Source: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jmDwA5IyYd1gibdv_lv7VXxQwijw

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Reform Party Inauguration Dinner

Some of the highlights of the Reform Party Inauguration Dinner on 11 Jul 08 and interviews with Mr. JB Jeyaretnam.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Opposition Parties Unite to Mount a Serious Challenge to PAP

The defining moment in Singapore's History as we look to create another Political Tsunami by having a united challenge on PAP.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Singapore should free courts from govt influence - IBA

SINGAPORE, July 9 (Reuters) - Singapore should free its courts from any government influence and elevate human rights standards to international levels, the world's largest legal association said.

The International Bar Association's (IBA) human rights arm expressed concern over the limitations of freedom of expression and the independence of Singapore courts in a 72-page report released late on Tuesday.

The global legal association noted that while the city-state had a good reputation when adjudicating commercial cases that did not involve members of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), when it came to matters regarding PAP litigants "there are concerns about an actual or apparent lack of impartiality".

The Singapore government said the association did not justify its "grave allegation" of bias with evidence.

"It is also absurd to suggest that honourable and upright judges in commercial cases become compliant and dishonourable when dealing with defamation cases involving government ministers," said a Ministry of Law spokeswoman in a statement on Wednesday.

The London-based body of more than 30,000 member lawyers said that while Singapore fared well in commercial and economic rankings, it fared poorly in press freedom rankings, which it said was a concern given that a free press can generate important dialogue on issues. ADVERTISEMENT

"Singapore cannot continue to claim that civil and political rights must take a back seat to economic rights, as its economic development is now of the highest order," the report said.

"The International Bar Association Human Rights Institute strongly encourages Singapore to engage with the international community in a more constructive manner, and to take steps to implement international standards of human rights," it said.

The government said human rights groups were prescribing for Singapore the "Western norms of liberal democracy as the only way to bring stability and prosperity".

"No NGO has greater interest and understanding of Singapore's history and internal balance than Singapore's leaders," the spokeswoman said.


Singapore, where the IBA held its annual conference last year, is among the most developed nations in Asia, with the second highest GDP per capita after Japan.

However, media and human rights groups such as Amnesty International have criticised the government for restricting freedom of expression and using defamation lawsuits to financially cripple political opponents.

In a list of 18 recommendations, the IBA urged the Singapore government to ratify the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ease restrictions on the media and ensure that its courts are free from government influence.

IBA executive director said in a statement Singapore should be a leader in human rights, and its advancement would be complementary to the city-state's future prosperity.

The IBA also noted that some publications, including the Economist and the Financial Times, have paid out-of-court settlements to avoid defamation lawsuits. The government says these lawsuits are needed to protect its reputation.

The legal body suggested the government set limits on defamation payouts in cases initiated by government officials. (Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Alex Richardson)

Source: http://asia.news.yahoo.com/080709/3/3lwwu.html

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Disgruntled opposition party members consider legal action.

Agence France Presse
June 7, 2001

A DISGRUNTED faction within Singapore's Workers' Party is considering legal action to settle a row over the validity of an annual general meeting which saw veteran MP J.B. Jeyaretnam replaced as leader.
The party, which provides two of the three opposition MPs in the 93-seat Singapore parliament, is split over whether there was a quorum at last month's meeting

The division comes amid attempts to unite the city-state's tiny opposition ranks ahead of a general election which must be called by August 2002 but is widely expected to be held as early as September this year.

A complaint by angered members of the Workers' Party to the Registrar of Societies has been rejected on the grounds that the issue is an "internal matter," the Straits Times reported June 7.

The dissatisfied faction, led by Goh Yew Chye, were told by the registrar they could either take legal action or use the existing party machinery to resolve the dispute.

The party's new secretary-general Low Thia Khiang has also told Goh that if he thinks the AGM breached the consitution he could challenge it in court.

Remaining silent on the issue is Jeyaretnam, who announced before the meeting that he was stepping down after 30 years at the helm.

Asked if he would remain a card-carrying member of the Workers' Party, Jeyaretnam told AFP: "You'll have to wait. At the moment I'm still a member of the Workers' Party, so wait patiently until nomination day."

Goh said he would discuss with party cadres whether they should call an extraordinary general meeting in an attempt to resolve the row, take legal action or resign.

Low told AFP that 31 of the 60 party members attended the AGM and there was no quorum stated in the constitution.

Jeyaretnam and Low give the Workers' Party two of the three opposition MPs in the 93-seat parliament dominated by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).

The third opposition MP is Singapore People's Party head Chiam See Tong who is attemping form a coalition of parties to challenge the PAP on a single Singapore Democratic Alliance ticket.

Source: http://www.singapore-window.org/sw01/010607a1.htm

Some old history for reference.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Asia Sentinel - Singapore’s Minister Mentor Slips Up Under Oath

Lee Kuan Yew testifies to a laudatory letter that was never sent by an international legal organization

It was the kind of error that would earn a Singapore opposition politician a trial for perjury, probably with a heavy fine and perhaps a jail term. But when Lee Kuan Yew testified in the recent trial of opposition leader Chee Soon Juan probably “misspoke” – told a crucial untruth, deliberate or not.

Lee, Singapore’s octogenarian Minister Mentor and the country’s first Prime Minister, volunteered under oath during cross-examination in the May trial of Chee that the International Bar Association, following its October 2007 convention in Singapore, wrote a letter to the organizers, the Law Society of Singapore, describing “how impressed they were by the standards they found to obtain in the judiciary…Standards of the rule of law and the judges, the meritocracy which is practiced throughout the judiciary.”

In fact, says the International Bar Association, it did no such thing. On July 2 the association told the Singapore Democratic Party, according to the SDP website, that there was no such letter. The Law Society of Singapore also denied it had received a letter from the association, according to the website. Then, on July 8, the IBA issued a report expressing concerns about the “limitations on the freedoms of expression, assembly, and the press, and of the independence of the judiciary in Singapore.”

In October, against protests by international human rights organizations because of the lack of independence of Singapore’s judiciary, the International Bar Association, which claims some 30,000 individual lawyers and more than 195 Bar Associations across the globe, held its conference in Singapore. At the time, the IBA defended itself by saying that “It is not uncommon that countries selected to host IBA events are themselves challenged to adhere to international human rights norms and laws. The IBA has held, or supported, events in Nigeria, Mexico, Jordan, the UAE, Russia, Iraq, Peru, Malawi, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Swaziland, Colombia, the former Yugoslavia, Poland, the West Bank and Gaza, Cambodia, Venezuela, and China, all countries struggling to uphold the rule of law.”

The conference was held against a backdrop of continuing controversy over Singapore’s judiciary. Members of the Lee family have repeatedly bankrupted opposition political figures through libel suits and forced international news organizations to apologize and pay damages for libeling them. The Lees have never lost a libel suit in Singapore despite the fact that international law scholars often scoff at the charges as trumped up. Nor have they won one outside Singapore.

In May, Singapore Democratic Party leader Chee Soon Juan and his sister, Chee Siok Chin, were sentenced to jail after a contentious trial in which the two were judged to have “scandalized the court” and “obstructed the administration of justice.” It was during that trial, in which the Chees were accused of yet again having libeled Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, that this exchange took place between Lee Kuan Yew and Chee Soon Juan, who was conducting his own cross-examination:

Chee Soon Juan: The whole entire matter rests because you want to turn this fight into one of a personal duel. I'm not interested. What I'm interested in is justice, the rule of law, because ultimately it is not about you, Mr Lee. It is not about me. It's about the people of Singapore, it is about this country and everything we stand for. You and I will pass on but I can tell you, the practice of the rule of law, the entire concept of justice, democracy - that is going to last for all eternity.

Lee Kuan Yew: Your honor, the International Bar Association decided to honor Singapore and hold its annual conference in this city and you were given an opportunity to present your case, with your complaint that Singapore lack the rule of law. There were some 3,000 lawyers there. I think they left Singapore with a very different impression from what you have projected because we have a letter from the President of the International Bar Association to the organizers, namely the Law Society of Singapore, how successful the meeting was and how impressed they were by the standards they found to obtain in the judiciary –

Chee Soon Juan: Standards of the MRT or standards of the rule of law?

Lee Kuan Yew: Standards of the rule of law and the judges, the meritocracy which is practiced throughout the judiciary.”

Lee later described Chee as a “near psychopath.” Chee responded by calling Lee a “pitiable figure.” Both Chees were sentenced to 10 days in jail for the same offenses by Supreme Court Justice Belinda Ang, who also charged Chee Soon Juan with contempt for accusing the court of being biased and of having prejudged the hearing, as well as not obeying her orders to stop particular lines of questioning. It was the seventh time Chee had been sent to jail in Singapore, four for speaking in public without a permit, once for attempting to leave the country without a permit after being invited to a conference in Istanbul for the World Movement for Democracy's Fourth Assembly in April 2006, and once before for “scandalizing the judiciary.”

Singapore has been under widespread criticism by press groups and human rights organizations for decades for what they term political repression and restrictions against free speech.

The International Bar Association’s report, titled “Prosperity versus individual rights? Human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Singapore,” makes 18 recommendations which the association urges the Singapore Government to implement as a matter of priority.

In its conclusion, the 72-page report states that “Singapore cannot continue to claim that civil and political rights must take a back seat to economic rights, as its economic development is now of the highest order. In the modern era of globalisation, isolationist policies and attitudes are no longer tenable. The international community, through the mechanisms of the United Nations, regional forums and non-governmental human rights bodies, has a role to play in commenting on practices that it perceives to fall short of international standards.

“The (association’s human rights institution) strongly encourages Singapore to engage with the international community in a more constructive manner, and to take steps to implement international standards of human rights throughout Singapore. It is imperative that Singapore now takes its place as a leader in the region, not only in business and economic development, but in human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

Singapore’s government, the report continues, “is currently failing to meet established international standards in these areas.” Reports of opposition candidates being targeted for criticizing the government, it says, “are of significant concern and threaten democracy and the rule of law in Singapore.” It describes an “apparent climate of fear and self-censorship surrounding the press in Singapore,” and that the “increasing tendency for high profile and respected publications to pay large out-of-court settlements to avoid litigation with PAP officials and the continued run of success within in-court claims is worrying.


Simply amazing. Just like how the PAP like to put it. It's probably an honest mistake.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

PNG minister kickback account in Singapore, claims paper

Media in Papua New Guinea claim a government minister has a Singapore bank account containing about 40 million US dollars skimmed off the country’s log exports.

The Post Courier newspaper says the money is a percentage of every log exported from PNG, in a deal struck several years ago.

The paper says the money goes into this private account in exchange for logging deals in PNG from several loggers operating in the country.

The paper says two Government officials claim that while most of the money belongs to one MP, some is shared with other Government MPs.

They say the scheme has the backing of an Asian multi-millionaire businessman.

The Government officials say the bank accounts must be investigated and an explanation sought because the money rightfully belongs to the people of PNG.


Simply amazing.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Monday, July 07, 2008

ERP helps more S'poreans to own cars: Raymond Lim

Responding to a question for written reply in Parliament on Monday, Transport Minister Raymond Lim said this is reflected in the growth of Singapore's car population from 680,000 in 1997 to 800,000 in 2006.

THE use of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) has made it possible for more Singaporeans to own cars.
Responding to a question for written reply in Parliament on Monday, Transport Minister Raymond Lim said this is reflected in the growth of Singapore's car population from 680,000 in 1997 to 800,000 in 2006.

Dr Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC, had asked the Minister if the ERP scheme has met the objectives that it was meant to achieve and if it has improved the traffic flow on expressways especially during peak hours.

In his reply, Mr Lim said since its implementation in 1998, ERP has been effective in maintaining average travel speeds on priced roads within the optimal speed range through regular reviews and rate adjustments. For example, average speeds on the expressways have remained at above 45km/h during peak hours.

"The use of ERP to manage traffic has made it possible for more Singaporeans to own cars than we otherwise could, and our vehicle population has grown from 680,000 in 1997 to 800,000 in 2006," he added.

"It has also allowed the Government to rely more on car usage charges and less on car ownership taxes to manage traffic demand, and as a result, vehicle ownership taxes have been reduced. "

The Ministers said the government will continue with a holistic and integrated approach using all the tools available to keep the roads smooth-flowing. These include building more roads, regulating vehicle growth, implementing traffic engineering solutions, managing traffic demand through ERP and promoting the use of public transport.

Source: ST

Yes, this is a really good joke.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Gopalan Nair Get Whacked By Thugs Part 2

There is some truth in the fact that Gopalan Nair got whacked by Thugs.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Gopalan Nair Get Whacked By Thugs Part 1

Simply amazing.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Professionals Networking Night Preview

Don't miss it. I'll be sharing tips on conducting a successful e-marketing campaign.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Free Tibet?

You can make your own conclusions after watching the video.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Consumer Day Protesters arrested

Awesome video by Andrew Loh from The Online Citizen.

The Police has kind of lost the plot with the hard hand tactics. Let's see how this event develops.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Monday, March 10, 2008

Singapore faces blogging ire over militant escape

By Melanie Lee

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's state-controlled media and government have come under fire from critics and Internet bloggers for failing to give the public important answers on the escape of a suspected Islamic militant.

With a cynical eye cast on local newspapers such as the pro-government daily, the Straits Times, critics say media coverage has skirted key issues and so more people were turning to alternatives such as blogs for a differing viewpoint.

"The mainstream media did its job of trying to play down the most shameful part of the incident. It is a blow to Singapore's image as being efficient," Seah Chiang Nee, a political commentator and former Singapore newspaper editor, told Reuters.

"The more Internet savvy would not depend on the mainstream media for news of what's happening in the country, they would go to the Internet," said Seah.

Mas Selamat bin Kastari, the alleged leader of the Singapore cell of al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah, a group blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, escaped on Wednesday last week from the toilet of a detention centre.

Security experts said the escape was embarrassing for a country that prides itself on tight security. The escape sparked an unprecedented manhunt in the small island and a rare apology from the government, who blamed a "security lapse". But few further details of his escape have since been released.

Cherian George, an ex-Straits Times journalist and media lecturer, wrote on the Internet that the Singapore media had not answered the "immediate" question of how Kastari escaped.

"The question is so natural and so obvious that you'd think anyone barely paying attention would ask it. Unless, apparently, one worked for the national news media," George wrote.


George said the absence of this question was due to media management by the government and that the main result would be a loss of credibility for the national media that would push readers to other sources.

Letters to The Straits Times have also poured scorn on the government's handling of the crisis and flow of information.

"I am disturbed by the security lapse ... more explanation is required," wrote Rosemary Chwee Keng Chai in a letter.

Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of the Straits Times, told Reuters by email that the paper took its responsibility to readers seriously and that George was "utterly wrong" in his conclusion or that its journalists had never asked questions on how Kastari escaped.

"If Cherian had checked with us, we would have told him that we asked that question, and many others too, many times," he said, adding the paper had run an article exploring the issue headlined "How did he manage to escape?" on Friday.

Reuters, a global news and information provider, repeatedly asked the Ministry of Home Affairs for more details on the escape but was either referred to its initial five-line statement or was unable to reach its spokeswoman on by telephone.

Singapore retains a tight grip on its national newspapers through a comprehensive legal framework that requires, among other things, a publication permit to be granted at the discretion of the minister. A substantial shareholder of a newspaper company must also gain approval of a minister.

"I think that there was tacit understanding between the government and the media," Catherine Lim, a prominent local author and political commentator, told Reuters.

"It's a good working relationship. Local media would never be as inquisitive, probing or rambunctious as the Western media."

Some bloggers had a field day, morphing Kastari's face onto a poster for TV series Prison Break and saying even students doing examinations in the city-state were accompanied to the toilet.

"We are not like those free-wheeling and chaotic governments from Western democracies that make their leaders accountable for every little thing," wrote Lee Kin Mun, better known under his online moniker 'Mr Brown', Singapore's most famous blogger.

(Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Alex Richardson)


Great article from Melanie Lee. We need more neutral and courageous journalist in Singapore.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PM Lee Hsien Long - How To Fix The Opposition

This is the statement PM Lee Hsien Long made just before the last GE.

PM Lee in a rally speech at Raffles place, 3 May 2006 just before the General Election:

“Supposing you have a Parliament with 10, 15 or 20 opposition members out of 80, then instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I will spend all my time, I have to spend all my time thinking of what is the right way to fix them, what’s the best way to buy my own supporters over”.

Yes, I've been fixed alright.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Monday, February 25, 2008

Malaysia Election Song

Interesting Malaysian Election Song.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Check Three Times

Interesting video on Video Scandal on Malaysian Minister. ;-)

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Lingam's Devil Curry

More insights to the controversial Lingam videos. ;-)

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Rough Little Indian Boys

Nice song with great humour. I pray all those guys at Hindraf are not marginalized.

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Visualization -> Taking Action -> Accountability

P.S. This is a video I took in Dec 07. ;-)

Edmund Ng
CEO, President

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Suharto's shadow over S'pore REVERED, REVILED, REALITY

Suharto's shadow over S'pore REVERED, REVILED, REALITY
Why S'pore should not forget him
By Peter H L Lim
January 29, 2008 Print Ready Email Article

EMPAT MATA in both Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia means four eyes.
Click to see larger image

In Asean diplomatic circles, the phrase does not refer to shortsighted people wearing glasses.

Empat mata sessions are closed-door, deep discussions between national leaders meeting, literally, one-to-one. Absent are the usually ubiquitous aides, interpreters and note-takers.

In such a setting, the leaders can talk frankly and without reservation.

There are no witnesses. Such heart-to-heart chats can solve pesky problems, postpone them - or make things even worse.

In May 1973, an empat mata meeting took place in Jakarta between then President Suharto of Indonesia and then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore.

They had a bundle of deeply-rooted problems to tackle. The peskiest of them was what many Indonesians regarded as Mr Lee's disrespectful, even humiliating rebuff of Mr Suharto.


That problem had its origins 10 years earlier. In January 1963, Indonesia under the late President Sukarno launched what he called Konfrontasi (Confrontation) to try and abort the birth of Malaysia.

The proposed nation was being formed by the British bringing together the Federation of Malaya and their colonies on Singapore island, on the Malayan peninsula and in Borneo.

In today's lingo, the Indonesian armed incursions and sabotage missions against Malaya and the British colonies were acts of state-sponsored terrorism.

One such act, the bombing of a Hongkong & Shanghai Bank branch in Orchard Road in 1964, killed threepeople.

The saboteurs - as terrorists were called then - were caught, tried and sentenced to be hanged. They were given the full benefit of the law.

Their appeals against the death sentences went all the way to the Privy Council in London, then the highest court of appeal for Singapore judicial decisions.

The Privy Council dismissed the appeals in 1968. The two saboteurs were to be hanged.

They were regarded by the Indonesians as commandos who had been on a wartime mission.

The Indonesian view was that they should have been treated as prisoners of war rather than murder accused to be tried in a criminal court.

Mr Suharto sent an emissary to Singapore to seek clemency for the two men. Commute the death sentences to prison terms, he pleaded. The two men were hanged.

Mr Lee explains in his 2000 book From Third World To First, the second of his two-volume memoirs: 'If we yielded, then the rule of law not only within Singapore but between our neighbours and Singapore would become meaningless as we would always be open to pressure.

'If we were afraid to enforce the law while British forces were still in Singapore, even though they had announced that they would be withdrawing by 1971, then our neighbours, whether Indonesia or Malaysia, could walk over us with impunity after 1971.'

The reaction in Jakarta streets and elsewhere were violent.

There were threats against Singapore from sections of the Indonesian armed forces. Trade restrictions were imposed.

So a really hot potato was added to a whole basket of long-standing grievances held by various Indonesian sectors against Singapore. Among the grievances was the feeling that Singapore was benefiting unfairly and illegally in various ways in its dealings with Indonesia.

So the September 1965 coup and counter-coup in Indonesia and its bloody aftermath were bad news also for Singapore. The chaos in Indonesia, with some of its islands so close to Singapore, could easily spill over.

Then, after Mr Suharto had taken over power from President Sukarno, the former unexpectedly chose a Singapore newspaper to announce the end of Confrontation.

Said the paper's front-page headline of 2 May 1966: Suharto tells The Straits Times: Peace, The Sooner The Better.

There was indeed peace on the military and terrorism fronts. But relations between Singapore and Indonesia did not start to warm up until September 1970, when Mr Lee and Mr Suharto met for the first time at a Non-Aligned Conference in Lusaka.

They found that they clicked. But it was not until May 1973, when MrLee visited Jakarta, that the formal relationship between the two leaders started to morph into friendship.

Says Mr Lee in his 2000 book: 'If there was to be genuine friendship with President Suharto (so said Indonesian generals to Singapore's Ambassador K C Lee), the episode over the hanging of the two marines (the commandos) had to be closed with a diplomatic gesture that addressed 'Javanese beliefs in souls and clear conscience'.'

So Mr Lee scattered flowers on the graves of the two marines during a cemetery visit to pay respects to generals killed in the 1965 coup.

And Mr Lee and Mr Suharto were then able to have their first empat mata meeting that led to a sea change in relations between the two countries. Differences still existed, but the respective points of view were heard and, even when not fully understood, were given due respect.

Singapore and Indonesia could live and work together, the bilateral relationship surviving the changes of leadership in Jakarta. Stability and progress in Indonesia also benefited the region.

Asean as a whole progressed.

When Mr Suharto himself was ousted, the friendship continued. A measure of the strength of that friendship came on 13 January, when Mr Lee went to Jakarta to visit the ailing Mr Suharto, now no longer President.

'It is sad,' said Mr Lee, now Minister Mentor, 'to see a very old friend... not really getting the honours that he deserves.'

Mr Suharto had become much less revered by his people and much reviled as a result of years of misrule.


His legacy had started so promisingly. Under President Sukarno, Indonesia was becoming a failed state that was shutting down. Mr Suharto rebooted it.

But, as Mr Lee acknowledged two weeks ago, 'yes, there was corruption ... but there was real growth, real progress'.

Mr Lee also said: 'What is a few billion dollars lost in bad excesses? He built hundred of billions of dollars worth of assets.'

That statement stunned people in Singapore and elsewhere. Was Mr Lee condoning corruption and nepotism? Would that lead to a deterioration of our integrity of governance?

I think not. Mr Lee was not signalling that corruption and nepotism were okay if you could built up national assets. He was paying tribute to a leader and a friend who had done a lot of good and also bad. A leader and friend whose legacy includes its impact on Singapore.

There will be continuing discussions of Mr Lee's stusnner of a statement and the need for unceasing vigilance against bad governance.

Indeed, Mr Lee and Mr Suharto were an odd couple. But national interests and historic perspectives can also come across as odd.

But that's reality.

About the Writer:
Peter H.L. Lim, 69, was editor-in-chief of The Straits Times Press from 1978 to 1987. As a unionist with the SNUJ in the 1960s, he held various positions, including that of secretary-general and chairman.


Edmund Ng
CEO, President