Thoughts from Moscow, G20 and Singapore Employment Situation, Second Quarter 2013. – Mr Tan Chuan Jin

Thoughts from Moscow. 

July 23, 2013 

Many of us have been reading articles about the sluggish economies in the world as well as the concerns over unemployment. These worries were clearly shared by many of my counterparts at the G20 meetings last week in Moscow, both at the formal sessions and on the sidelines. The financial crisis in 2008 had taken its toll and for a number, recovery has been slow and the impact, on the lives of those affected, remains stark, especially for the young. Job creation was repeatedly echoed as an imperative and youth unemployment was flagged up for special attention. We have been reading for a number of years now about the ‘lost generation’  in Europe and even in the US. The concerns have not abated. Real wages have stagnated. In the US, this has been so for the past few decades. Income inequality also weighs heavily on the minds of the policy makers.

What are the solutions? Be it Governments, social partners, or international organisations at the meeting, most were clear that it was only with good economic growth that jobs could be created. And when there are jobs and better employment, more resources could be generated for the respective countries’ budgets for assistance and skills programmes. Some shared that businesses were complaining about young people who lacked the skills that jobs required; hence there was also the need to create a bridge via further education and training.

These are some fundamentals that drive all economies, and we are no different. But we are, in a somewhat more fortunate situation. When asked, I shared with some about our dilemmas and what we were doing. More than a few did a double-take when I shared that we were moderating the pace of development in order to achieve more sustained and inclusive economic growth. ‘How do you know how much to slow down by?’, some asked. I acknowledged that it was not a precise science, but we needed to ease off our previous rate of growth to something more manageable and which our infrastructure can support.

We have a number of plus-es on our side at the moment. We are creating more jobs than there are Singaporeans to fill them and could possibly ease that off a little. We remain an attractive destination for companies, both foreign as well as local. One could say that we can ‘afford’ to forego some of the opportunities that will have to pass us by.

But we need to be careful. I have often said that economic growth is not a bad word (two words actually!) and that one should not pursue it for its own sake, or to chase after it at all cost. Economic growth is needed in order that jobs continue to be created and good opportunities generated for our people. Too slow a growth can cause us to stagnate and in turn impact our people’s welfare, and affect our ability to provide for our nation’s needs.

As I sat there listening to the sharing by others, it felt somewhat surreal because Singapore is not facing these same issues today. But these are stark realities that grip many countries and we will be remiss to think that life as we know it will always continue as is, and the good times will continue to roll. We may not be spared if we do not ready ourselves when the economic tides change, and if we weaken the fundamentals that have brought opportunities to many of our people.

Notwithstanding our reasonably healthy state of affairs, low unemployment doesn’t mean no unemployment. No country can ever have zero unemployment. For those who continue to seek jobs, it is scant consolation to them that our unemployment rate at 2% or 3% is the envy of the rest of the world. To the individual job seeker, until he or she finds a job, unemployment is 100%.

Our approach has provided jobs for most and wages that have been slowly creeping uprather than stagnating. Let us be careful not to undermine that which has provide for the broader interests of our people. We will have to continue to ensure that the economy grows reasonably so that good jobs and opportunities are created. We must enable our people to be equipped to take on those jobs via the foundations laid by education and built upon via Continued Education and Training (CET).

We sometimes debate issues with little regard for what is happening elsewhere, and ignore dynamics that drive countries and their economies. Observing the world around us reminds us of what can happen if we are not careful.

Source Link : Thoughts from Moscow


Employment Situation. Second Quarter 2013

As I had shared in my earlier note ( Thoughts from Moscow. ), we are in a relatively healthy state with regards to jobs for our people. MOM’s latest employment situation report released today saw unemployment edging up, but still remaining at a low level (overall: 2.1%; resident: 3.0%; citizen 3.1%). As we restructure our economy, we can expect to see more redundancies. This will be a recurring theme in the coming years.

As such, job creation, job training and job matching will be important. Those who need assistance can approach CaliberLink or any of the five WDA career centres located at neighbourhood Community Development Councils (CDCs), and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i). They can also sign up for Place-and-Train Programmes supported by WDA, where eligible individuals undergo subsidised training, receive training allowances, and will be placed into jobs.

As you can see, our businesses are still relying too heavily on labour. Total employment growth so far in 1H 2013 was 61,400, higher than the 58,900 in 1H 2012. At this rate, total employment as at June 2013 grew by 4.0% from a year ago, which is more than double the 1 to 2% desired for this decade. Is it any wonder that productivity continues to be less than desired? We need to moderate employment growth to a more sustainable pace, and encourage companies to move towards manpower lean growth. These efforts will have to continue.

On our workforce, I am acutely aware of the increasing aspirations of our younger Singaporeans, especially as education level increases. We will need to continue to create good jobs and opportunities by having quality growth and keeping the labour market diverse and dynamic. At the same time, I am mindful that we also have to keep the playing field level. The tensions pull in different directions but we need to manage the balance so that things are ultimately better for our people and society. We will continue to invest in continuing education and training.

Businesses will have to scale up their productivity plans and actively nurture Singaporeans to take on higher level jobs. Singaporeans will have to maintain a healthy work ethic, stay agile and ensure that education and training is a lifelong pursuit…alongside our many other pursuits in life.

Tan Chuan-Jin    Tan Chuan-Jin 


Singapore Ministry of Manpower - Singapore, Singapore  Singapore Ministry of Manpower

MOM released the Employment Situation, Second Quarter 2013 report today.

Unemployment edged up, though it was still low and employment creation remained high.

Layoffs have increased and there may be more workers affected, as we restructure our economy.

But, we will continue to help jobseekers find employment quickly. Read more in the Employment Situation, Second Quarter 2013 report here :



Uphold meritocracy but guard against elitism: ESM Goh Chok Tong, Singapore

ESM Goh made a very thoughtful speech at the Raffles Homecoming Dinner. Singaporeans have been debating the merits of meritocracy, a fundamental organising principle of our society. Yet how to make meritocracy work for all, and not just benefit the winners in the game, presents challenges. I am sure you will enjoy reading Mr Goh’s reflections on this important question. – LHL



Speech by ESM Goh at Raffles Homecoming 2013 Gryphon Award Dinner 

Professor Cham Tao Soon, Chairman, Raffles Institution Board of Governors

Mrs Lim Lai Cheng, Principal, Raffles Institution

Mrs Poh Mun See, Principal, Raffles Girls’ School

Mr Andrew Chua, President, Old Rafflesians’ Association

Fellow Rafflesians and Friends

1             Thank you for inviting me to this year’s Homecoming Dinner, and for conferring the Gryphon Award on me.  I want to dedicate this award to my teachers, my classmates – in particular those in my clique – and the old RI at Bras Basah Road.  Without them, I would not have such fond memories of my student days, or be the person I am today.  Some of my old classmates are here today (and when I said “old”, I really meant old), so let me recognise, or at least try to recognise, a few of them.  First, Lee Keow Siong: he was the Head Prefect, school rugger captain and leader of our clique.  We grew up together in Pasir Panjang and studied in the same primary school.  Next, Cheng Heng Kock: another old friend from Pasir Panjang and our top student.  Tan Cheng Bock:  the only singer in our group.  He stood for the underdog, and still does.  Lastly, Lim Jit Poh: a practical and hands-on science student.  He organised all our school reunions.

2             Much has changed since I left RI more than fifty years ago.  For example, there is now a school anthem which, sadly, was introduced only after my time.  The school itself has twice relocated, regretfully, to many of us.  I must confess that I did not feel any nostalgia when I visited the RI at Grange Road and the present school at Bishan.  My emotional ties are with the original Bras Basah campus and its surroundings – Capitol Theatre, and the second-hand bookshops along Bras Basah Road;  the school field, the old buildings with perpetual flaking paint, school hall with its honour roll of Queen’s Scholars, creaking wooden corridors, tuck shops, scout den, prefect’s room, and yes, the toilets with their perpetual pungent smell.  Indeed, I spent much time in the toilets, not because I enjoyed the aroma, but because I had to supervise boys whom I had sent to clean the toilets for coming to school late.  Today, the old RI lives on – in our memories, in a plaque at Raffles City and on the back of our $2 bills.  And in case you have not noticed, most of these bills carry the signature of an old Rafflesian!  But physical location and appearance changes aside, RI’s role in Singapore has not and should not change.

RI as an Inclusive Institution

3             The RI I grew up in was an inclusive institution.  Its students came from primary schools all over.  Malays, Indians, Eurasians, Chinese; Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Christians, free-thinkers; rich, middle-class and poor students: we were all there, rubbing shoulders in and outside the classrooms.  RI was indeed a melting pot of Singapore’s best male students.

4             RI helped shape Singapore society through its inclusive meritocracy and secular outlook.  Many of its alumni, whose values were ingrained in school, went on to become leaders in the public and private sectors.

5             But going forward, and as our society matures and stratifies, would RI remain an inclusive meritocratic institution?  Or are the seeds of elitism already being planted within its walls?

Evolving Meritocracy in Singapore 

6             At its core, meritocracy is a value system by which advancement in society is based on an individual’s ability, performance and achievement, and not on the basis of connections, wealth or family background.  For Singapore in particular, a meritocratic system, while not perfect, is the best means to maximise the potential and harness the talents of our people to society’s advantage.  However, by recognising and rewarding individuals according to their performance and achievement, meritocracy also differentiates and strings out individuals.  While unequal outcomes are problematic within each generation, when perpetuated across generations, they lead to inequity.

 Levelling the playing field 

7             As a student in RI, I used to cycle 10 kilometres to school from my home in Pasir Panjang.  It crossed my mind that the time I spent cycling could be spent studying by those schoolmates whose parents owned cars.  Moreover, some of them also had Encyclopaedia Britannica and story books at home.  But these students were in the minority.  Back then, most RI students came from poor or lower income backgrounds.  So, instead of being envious, we were grateful that we qualified for RI on the basis of merit.

8             My generation’s experience was that of an open meritocracy set against the backdrop of a young country on the move.  That meant equity and upward social mobility for almost the entire population.

9             But as our society matured, some stratification became inevitable.  Income inequality has grown over the years.  Families who had done well are able to give a head start to their children.  Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, called these children lucky.  In a speech to this year’s Princeton graduates, he reminded them not to underestimate their good fortune and its role in their success.  He said, “A meritocracy is a system in which the people who are the luckiest in their health and general endowment; luckiest in terms of family support, encouragement and, probably income; …. and luckiest in so many other ways too difficult to enumerate – these are the folks who reap the largest rewards.”  So, it is not surprising that many who have not done so well see meritocracy as a system that is biased towards those with better resources, and one which impairs their social mobility.

10           Our leaders had, in fact, always understood this inter-generational negative consequence of meritocracy.  I recall an animated discussion on this topic in 1980, shortly after I joined politics, between then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Dr Albert Winsemius, and Devan Nair.  We were sailing down the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges with time to spare.  I listened in as they debated issues of income inequality and social mobility, and how to level the playing field for all children.  Mr Lee argued that ideally and philosophically, all wealth should revert to the state upon the owner’s death. This would ensure that each successive generation would start on an equal footing, without the benefit of inherited wealth.  Then each person’s success would depend purely on his own hard work and ability.  The others agreed that this would be equitable for each new generation, but also pointed out that the idea was impractical.

11           To equalise opportunities in a practical way, the government has progressively built up the education system, put more resources into all schools, upgraded ITEs and Polytechnics and expanded university places.  It is now developing the pre-school education system for those who cannot afford the expensive privately-run pre-schools.  These, together with our progressive tax system, the financial support, bursaries and grants we provide to needy students, are part of the government’s on-going efforts to level the playing field as much as possible.  This is important to ensure that meritocracy remains accepted as a core pillar of our values and that it also benefits those who do not come from well‑to‑do families.

Guarding against elitism 

12           As parents, we all want our children to have the best possible preparation and head start in life.  This is natural and commendable.  But when society’s brightest and most able think that they made good because they are inherently superior and entitled to their success; when they do not credit their good fortune also to birth and circumstance; when economic inequality gives rise to social immobility and a growing social distance between the winners of meritocracy and the masses; and when the winners seek to cement their membership of a social class that is distinct from, exclusive, and not representative of Singapore society – that is elitism.  And we need to guard against elitism, whether in our schools, public institutions, or in society at large, because it threatens to divide the inclusive society that we seek to build.

13           The practice of meritocracy must therefore not exacerbate the divide between the successful and the rest of society.  Meritocracy, taken to a selfish extreme, could result in what is termed “crab mentality”.  This refers to the situation where crabs in a basket try and climb over each other to get out, while other crabs try and drag down those above them.  Such a situation would break down the political and social structure which has enabled Singapore to succeed.

14           My point is, we must adapt and strengthen our practice of meritocracy to ensure that it continues to benefit the whole of society, and not just those who are bright and able.  The solution is not to hold back the able or pull down those who have succeeded.  Nor is it to replace meritocracy with another system – there is no better and fairer alternative.  What we need is to get the successful to understand that they have a responsibility to help the less fortunate and less able with compassion, to give back to society through financial donations, sharing of their skills and knowledge and spending time to help others do better, and to serve the country.  The government will also have to continue to intervene through policies and programmes to give a leg up to the next generation whose families have fallen behind economically.  Together, these efforts will ensure that our brand of meritocracy remains compassionate, that it is fair and inclusive for all – not just those who are lucky in their backgrounds or genetic endowments.

Advancing Compassionate Meritocracy 

15           Our top schools, including RI, must play a key role in ensuring that elitism and a sense of entitlement do not creep into the minds of their students.  Those of us who have benefited disproportionately from society’s investment in us owe the most to society, particularly to those who may not have had access to the same opportunities.  We owe a debt to make lives better for all, and not just for ourselves.  Rafflesians should lead the way as exemplars of the virtues of meritocracy, and help reinforce social inclusion, compassion, and equity in Singapore.

16           In this context, the establishment of the Raffles Community Initiative (RCI) is timely.  The RCI seeks to ensure that current and future Rafflesians continue to uphold the tradition of service that the school holds dear.  The school’s objective is for all students to be involved in at least one sustained community project throughout their years in RI.  I hope the RCI will spur even more Rafflesians to see it as their responsibility to improve on what they had inherited.

Auspicium Melioris Aevi.

Source link : Uphold meritocracy but guard against elitism: ESM Goh


Tan Chuan-Jin    Tan Chuan-Jin

Have been reading the various comments shared on this issue. Every society comprises peoples with a wide range of needs and abilities. We provide what we can for all, step in to intervene where we should, minimise disparity where we are able to. But societies will remain diverse. It is not possible to ensure everyone is the same.

What is critical, which is the main point of ESM’s speech, is how we as a society pull ahead together and how we look out for one another. Those who are fortunate and more blessed, should look out for those who need that helping hand. And they in turn contribute in different ways. Our collective strength must be a virtuous cycle.

At the heart of this would be our shared purpose and values. Without this, whatever ability will come to nought.

In this respect, we must do our part at home, as parents. And to be reinforced by schools and our religious institutions, for those who follow a faith. And for Government and society to provide the right signals.


Journey to NDP 13 (Ep 1 to 6)

Men In Uniform (Ep 1 of 6)

Published on Jun 21, 2013,  Presenting “Men in Uniform” – the first episode of Journey to NDP 2013 featuring Noah Yap from :Ah Boys to Men”. Enjoy!

  • my cca ncc.. i was at the verge of quitting but watching this video boosted my morale and made me want to go ncc agn… lol although tough but shiok ah
  • All the episodes you have are all very funnyxD


Tickets  (Ep 2 of 6)

Published on Jun 28, 2013, Journey to NDP13 Ep 2, feat Aiz from “Ah Boys to Men” 

  • cool episode!


Funpacks (Ep 3 of 6)

Published on Jul 5, 2013,  Journey to NDP13 Ep 3, feat LOBANG from “Ah Boys to Men” 

  • lol so funny wahahahahahahaa lol lobang wang wei liang


Showtime (Ep 4 of 6)

Published on Jul 12, 2013 ,  Journey to NDP13 Ep 4, feat MAXI from “Ah Boys to Men” 

  • Saw the rehersal at saturday i was shocked but happy at the same time.It was AWESOME! ABTM IS PERFOMRMING AT NDP 2013


NDP From The Sky (Ep 5 of 6)

Published on Jul 19, 2013, Journey to NDP13 Ep 5, feat Ridwan, Maxi and Joshua from “Ah Boys to Men” 

  • like the ending hahahah poor maxi
  • Ridhwan likes Power Puff Girls. Haha!
  • it takes many trainings to perform skydiving, i guess all 3 of them are not qualified, so they can’t fly.


More Than Meets The Eye (Ep 6 of 6)

Published on Jul 26, 2013, Journey to NDP13 Ep 6, feat Tosh Zhang from “Ah Boys to Men” .
We hope that you have enjoyed our Journey to NDP13 Behind-e-Scene video series.

  • Nothing beats facing the audience I am from the combined schools choir
  • niceee


NDPeeps   NDPeeps  


New 2-Room BTO Flats for Singles

Published on Jul 30, 2013

Have family and friends who are Singaporean, single, age 35 years & above, and earn up to $5,000/month?

First-timer applicants meeting the criteria above can now buy new 2-room standard flats in non-mature estates direct from HDB under the Singles Singapore Citizen housing scheme.

Link for other language :

MNDsingapore's channel


Meeting Diverse Housing Needs – 4,079 New Flats for Families and Singles

Date issued : 30 Jul 2013

HDB has launched 3,861 flats for sale in Bukit Merah, Sengkang, and Yishun under the July 2013 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise. A wide range of flats, from Studio Apartments to 5-room flats, are being offered to meet diverse housing needs. In this BTO exercise, we are launching a new housing policy for singles. We are also making three refinements to existing housing policies.

2  From today, eligible singles will also be able to apply for new 2-room flats in non-mature estates from HDB. This is a new housing policy. A total of 519 new 2-room flats in Sengkang and Yishun will be offered in this BTO exercise, comprising 301 units in new BTO projects, and another 218 units from previous BTO exercises. First-timer singles will enjoy up to 30% of the 2-room flat supply in these non-mature estates.

New 2-Room BTO Flats for Singles

3  Currently, singles aged 35 years and above can buy resale flats of any size and in any location. Those who are eligible can receive CPF Housing Grants totalling $30,000, if they apply under the Joint Singles Scheme (JSS). This is the same as for married couples. However, if the singles apply under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme (SSC), they will get half the grant amount, at $15,000. The new BTO housing policy for singles takes reference from the current resale policy for singles.

4  From this BTO launch, first-timer single Singapore citizens earning up to $5,000 per month and are 35 years and above, can buy a new 2-room standard flat in non-mature estates directly from HDB. Singles who apply for these flats under the JSS will pay the same BTO price as married couples. However, singles who apply under the SSC will pay $15,000 more than married couples. Singles who later marry will receive the CPF Housing Top-Up Grant of $15,000 after marriage.

5  In parallel, the Government will extend the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) to eligible singles buying BTO flats. Singles who apply under the SSC with a monthly income of up to $2,500 can receive AHG of up to $20,000. Those with monthly income of up to $1,125 can also receive an additional SHG of up to $10,000. Singles who apply under the JSS with a combined monthly income of up to $5,000 can receive AHG of up to $40,000. Those with a combined monthly income of up to $2,250 can also receive an additional SHG of up to $20,000.

Extension of AHG to Singles buying resale flats

6  With effect from today, the Government will also extend the AHG to singles buying a resale flat in the open market. This is the first refinement.

7  The AHG will be up to $20,000 for those who apply under the SSC and up to $40,000 for those who apply under the JSS. These will be on top of the CPF Housing Grant ($15,000 under SSC and $30,000 under JSS), that they would already be getting.

8  The extensions of AHG and SHG are intended to provide even more help to singles to buy their first flat. More details are in Annex A.  (PDF 191KB)

Higher Income Ceiling for 2-Room Flats in Non-Mature Estates

9  With effect from this BTO launch, the monthly household income ceiling for families for 2-room flats in non-mature estates will be increased from $2,000 to $5,000, to give more families the option to buy such flats. This is the second refinement.

Higher Priorities for Couples comprising First-Timer and Second-Timer and Refined Application Process for Non-Selection of Flats

10  From this BTO launch, a couple comprising a first-timer and a second-timer applicant will enjoy the same priority in flat allocation as families comprising two first-timers. This is the third refinement.

11  The priority for first-timer families include a higher proportion of flat supply set aside for first timers, additional ballot chances and eligibility for schemes such as the Parenthood Priority Scheme and Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme. This change will help singles who subsequently marry after buying a 2-room BTO flat, to purchase their new matrimonial flat. It will also benefit reconstituted families comprising a first-timer and a second-timer applicant, such as divorcees who remarry.

12  Currently, first-timer families who do not book a flat when invited twice to do so will have their first-timer priorities suspended for a 1-year period. From today, first-timer families who have their first-timer priorities suspended but continue not to book a flat when invited twice will have these priorities suspended for another year. Second-timer families and singles who do not book a flat when invited twice to do so will not be able to participate in HDB’s sales exercises for a 1-year period. This is to prevent applicants who are not ready to commit from depriving other applicants who are in urgent need of a flat.

Jul 2013 BTO Exercise

13  The 3,861 BTO flats offered in this BTO launch are located in four projects in Bukit Merah, Sengkang, and Yishun. In addition, HDB will offer 218 units of 2-room flats in Sengkang and Yishun from previous BTO launches. First-timer families will continue to enjoy priority flat allocation, with at least 85% (for 4-room and 5-room) and 70% (for 2-room and 3-room) of the BTO flat supply in Sengkang and Yishun (non-mature estates) set aside for them. For the mature estate of Bukit Merah, first-timer families will continue to enjoy priority flat allocation with at least 95% of the flat supply.

14  Eligible first-timer families can enjoy up to $60,000 of housing grants, comprising the AHG ($40,000) and SHG ($20,000). With these grants, 2-room, 3-room and 4-room flats will be priced from as low as $16,000, $115,000, and $236,000 respectively (Table 1). Further details can be found in Annex B  (PDF 753KB).

Find out more: Meeting Diverse Housing Needs – 4,079 New Flats for Families and Singles


image ~ CNA


* Updates : Two-room BTO flats for eligible singles in high demand ~ CNA

  • OVERSUBSCRIBED: 2-room flats for eligible singles in high demand. As of 11am, there were 1573 applicants for 231 units in Sengkang and Fernvale Riverwalk, 825 applicants for 288 units in Yishun.

Singapore : MDA tells website, The Independent, To register, NOT accept foreign funding

SDP’s lawyer is part of The Independent. Let’s take a look at SDP, its members and their relationships with online-media sites, such as TOC. You also see some organisations with foreign-sounding names which have ties with SDPs. Kumaran Pillai is also “former” SDP member, former TOC Chief Editor, now he is part of The Independent.

By Alan Tay.


MDA tells website to register, not accept foreign funding

Posted on Jul 29, 2013, by Tessa Wong

A new local news and current affairs website called The Independent, due to launch on Aug 9, has been asked by the Media Development Authority (MDA) to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification. It has agreed to comply.

Political websites registered under this legislation are not allowed to receive foreign funding. In a statement released Monday, the MDA said that the Government has “received specific information which gives it cause for concern over foreign interest to fund The Independent”. It did not elaborate.

The Independent, which will be officially launched on Aug 9, has been online since May and describes itself as a site that covers current affairs, economics and politics in Singapore. Among its founders are former The Online Citizen editor Kumaran Pillai, and former Today editor PN Balji. It is owned by local company Protegesoft, whose director is Mr Pillai. The founders said they would release a statement shortly.

The MDA added that The Independent’s registration would “not in any way” affect what it can publish. “However, it will prevent The Independent from being controlled by, or coming under the influence of, foreign entities or funding, and ensure that Singapore politics remain a matter for Singaporeans alone,” it said.

Source link : MDA tells website to register, not accept foreign funding


Read the full statement from the Media Development Authority here:

Registration of new website to guard against foreign influence on Singapore politics

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has notified the promoters of The Independent (, a news and current affairs website, to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification, which was enacted under Section 9 of the Broadcasting Act. As part of the registration, they will be required to undertake not to receive foreign funding for its provision, management and/or operation.

The promoters of The Independent have agreed to register and to undertake not to accept foreign funding.

The Independent is owned by a locally incorporated company Protegesoft Pte Ltd. Its stated aim is to bring in-depth perspective and analysis on current affairs, economics and politics in Singapore. The Government has received specific information which gives it cause for concern over foreign interest to fund The Independent.

The registration and undertaking will not in any way affect what The Independent can publish on its website. However, it will prevent The Independent from being controlled by, or coming under the influence of, foreign entities or funding, and ensure that Singapore politics remain a matter for Singaporeans alone.

It is a firmly established principle that foreign entities may not engage in Singapore politics.

Foreign interests are not allowed to control or worse to manipulate our local media platforms, which are prime vehicles for political influence. The Newspaper and Printing Page 2 of 2 Presses Act and the Broadcasting Act therefore empower the government to restrict and control the ownership of newspapers and broadcast media.

The need to prevent foreign interests from influencing local politics through the Singaporean media remains the same whether in print, broadcast, or online. When MDA reviews the Broadcasting Act, it will look into incorporating more comprehensive safeguards in the Act to prevent this from happening.


Source Link : Registration of new website to guard against foreign influence on Singapore politics


Comments :

  •  Please be careful of their agenda to tear down Singapore.
  • What all this means is Singaporeans need to think seriously, consider what happens if we lose PAP as our Government.
    I am not patronising PAP, but just being sensible. There is no reliable and trustworthy alternative to PAP right now. The facts and evidences are now opened for us to see.
    I can sense a big threat ahead for our economy, our life savings and jobs, if we allow ourselves to be deceived. 
    Many foreign investors and company bosses are asking the question what if PAP lose the GE. They are very worried.
    The future of Singapore is in our hands to decide. If we make the wrong choice and everything falls apart later , there will be no reverse gear. 
    I hope our youth voters understand that a change for the sake of change is wrong thinking. We must not allow ourselves to be manipulated .
  • History has shown us how foreign powers have manipulated to control other countries by proxy.


For more readings  :


  •  Not a less surprise.

by Jong Kian Ee


President of Georgia : Singapore’s economic model becomes a guarantor of reforms’ success in Georgia

President: Singapore's economic model becomes a guarantor of reforms’ success in Georgia

Georgia, Tbilisi, 29 July / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /

Singapore’s economic model has become a guarantor of the success of reforms in Georgia, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said during a working visit to Singapore on Monday.

During the visit, Saakashvili met with the President of Singapore Tony Tan.

According to the Presidential Administration, the two leaders discussed future relations and the prospects for deepening cooperation.

The sides mainly discussed successful economic reforms that have been implemented in Georgia in recent years.

Mikheil Saakashvili said that “it is still important for Georgia to familiarize with Singapore’s experience in terms of ease of business activity.”

Along with economic matters, the sides discussed political issues and stressed the need for close cooperation between the two countries in the framework of the UN and other international organizations.

During the visit, the President of Georgia met with the Minister for State Development Khaw Boon Wan. The sides discussed prospects of relations with economic and investment funds.

Source link : President: Singapore’s economic model becomes a guarantor of reforms’ success in Georgia


 Dr Tony Tan

President Tony Tan Keng Yam received a courtesy call by His Excellency Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, at the Istana on 29 July 2013. In this photo, President looks on as HE Saakashvili signs the guest book upon arrival.

Why are we such litterbugs? “India vs Singapore”


Singapore became an independent country in 1965, about 20 years after India. In a few decades, it went from a being a Third World country to a developed first-world country. The architect of this transformation was Lee Kuan Yew, who served as its PM from its birth in 1965 to 1990. This is all the more remarkable because Singapore has no natural resources to speak of, and has to depend on neighbouring Malaysia even for drinking water (while in India, even neighbouring States cannot reach an amicable settlement on sharing river waters). Today, the country has the third highest per capita income in the world (higher than the U.S., Japan, and countries of western Europe), and boasts of having the world’s number one airline.

Singapore is not some small homogeneous country. It has people of diverse religions, languages, races, and culture living together in peace: Chinese, Malays, and Indians; Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. Mainly because LKY realised the importance of maintaining religious tolerance and racial harmony, and was ready to use the law to counter any threat that might incite ethnic and religious violence.

When LKY visited New Delhi in the 1960s, he saw that the two places were quite similar in terms of (lack of) cleanliness and litter. He realised that people are inherently dirty, and you need draconian laws if you want to keep a place clean. That is why throwing waste paper or plastic anywhere in Singapore will attract a fine of $200, no arguments. Chewing gum is banned; in fact even sale is punishable. That is the price you have to pay if you want a clean place, which I am sure most Indians want. And litter and open garbage is the underlying reason for stray dog menace in India; there are no stray dogs in Singapore, or any developed country for that matter (and in Kerala in India). On a recent trip to Singapore, our guide told us that there is a local place where, for a fee, you can go in and litter to your heart’s content, get your litter fix so to speak! And it is quite popular among Singaporeans.

Contrast this with India. People chew paan and all the time, spit the “cud” in the most unhealthy manner, throw gutka wrappers everywhere — in short, make the surroundings intolerably dirty. There is not a single tourist spot that I have gone to which is not dirty with plastic non-biodegradable litter, notwithstanding the ad campaign by Aamir Khan. And despite there being laws against it, or explicit signs asking people not to litter.

Before you think that this is the work of illiterates, let me assure you that the literate ones are the worst offenders. I was recently visiting the Qutub Minar complex in Delhi. Three college students — one girl and two boys — casually flung an empty plastic water bottle against a wall inside. Watching this with my young daughter, I told them: “Can’t you read the signs saying that what you are doing is prohibited? Is this the example that you want to set for youngsters?” Their response: “Who are you to tell us the rules?” And they made no attempt to pick up the bottle.

In the same trip to Singapore, I also stopped on at the beautiful Andaman and Nicobar islands. Plastic is completely banned here because it is fatal to the ecologically sensitive coral reefs. And the ban is followed religiously on the main islands. Anything you buy is given in biodegradable bags. Despite the ban, one of the popular side islands has lot of beach kiosks that serve tea in small plastic cups. But there are lots of dustbins to throw the used cups. I saw a young couple, wearing designer clothes, finishing their tea and throwing the plastic cups on the open beach. When the nearest dustbin was just 10 feet away. I am sure the same people would find a dustbin in Singapore because the fine for littering there is so huge.

I have a simple solution to all this. First, you catch the offenders using CCTV cameras. Then, instead of a fine, the punishment is to pick up the trash and clean up the place. And this exercise should be taped and displayed prominently, in the form of photographs or video, so that future offenders are deterred. It is amazing how the shame and embarrassment of being seen like this works as a deterrent. That is why the punishment for many petty crimes in the U.S. is so many hours of community service, including removing trash thrown on the highway.

I know, deep down, most Indians are honest law-abiding citizens. Because I see the same people, who litter like fearless tigers in India, become meek pussycats when they go to Singapore. I think that they are emboldened to break laws here because they see their political leaders breaking all laws with impunity, being corrupt with no fear of retribution. Political corruption is present everywhere, including in Singapore. LKY addressed this by instituting the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, and giving it immense power to conduct arrests, call witnesses, investigate the bank accounts and income-tax returns of suspected persons and their families, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. India would do well to have such an institution, instead of the toothless CBI.

(The writer belongs to the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science. Email:

Source : Why are we such litterbugs? , July 28, 2013


Some Good, matured and reflective comments from the article, there are many more, please click on the source link and take your time for more reading :

We are an indisciplined, selfish and corrupt people. The indiscipline makes us lazy, careless and reckless. The selfishness makes us do things that only benefit us individually, often against the larger interest of our fellow humans and the rest of the world. And the corruption means that we do not get punished for our mistakes and misdemeanours – in fact, not just that, the corruption helps those who break the rules to move forward faster.

These three aspects are deeply inculcated in our psyche – indiscipline, selfishness and corruption. And because of this, we will implode one day. History shows how foreigners used these inherent character flaws of us Indians to dominate us. The future will show how we used these same flaws to decimate ourselves.

What can the average citizen do? Just his or her own bit, to strive to observe the basic principles and practice a life of discipline, concern for the rest of the world and be uncorrupt – and hope and pray that there are others like you.

We have got all the best laws in place that can match any developed country in keeping the society clean and corruption free. Where we fall short (in fact didn’t start at all) is enacting these laws. The sheer lack of intent in administering (lack of administration infrastructure to be blamed partly as well, say we have few thousand policemen for several lakhs of people in TN) the law, single minded devotion from the governing fraternity to achieve the efficacy of rules in first place is what we need.

Excellent article. Thanks to the author for bringing this issue out. Developing countries use severe punishments to become litter-free. Developed nations do have such laws in place, but people know by themselves that they should keep their surroundings litter-free to remain as a developed nation. When I lived in Malaysia several years back, Mahathir once said in a TV interview that developed nations have matured in their civilization and know how to be disciplined, but Asians are not fully civilized yet and need laws and strict enforcement to keep them disciplined. I fully endorse that view. We do need stricter laws and enforcement to help us mature in our civilization.


Should the solutions to all our problems be a product of political will? Those who are talking about the population of India and Singapore are missing the point completely.Why can’t we take matters into our hands? Most of us are guilty of the behaving just like that couple on that beach. People talk about there not being any dustbins and when there are, they suddenly become too lazy to use it. I ask – how many of you throw the peel on the streets after eating a banana. How hard is it to find a dustbin to throw it in? How many of you have thrown garbage from a moving train without bothering to use the dustbin? Commenting that the cleaning staff is going to empty the contents of the bin onto the tracks anyway is not the solution to the problem at all. All it means is that you are very interesting in doing their job. I had done this before too, but not anymore. Let us be the change for once, instead of blaming the political powers.