31 August 2006

Cinema: Singapore Dreaming

This film by Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen, boasting fine acting and sure-footed direction, is an exploration of the way we see a good life as one underpinned by consumerism and status. Full essay.

29 August 2006

Selling immigration

The government proposes to open the door even wider to immigration, but their lack of political skills makes this an uphill task. The Straits Times' obtuseness in running stories about "new Singaporeans" using the angle that they took doesn't help at all. Full essay.

27 August 2006

On the front bench

Background to and script of the 5-minute speech I gave in the old Parliament chamber, as part of Talking Cock in Parliament. Full essay.

26 August 2006

Nice pineapple tarts

Fifteen individuals tell their personal stories of what it means to be gay or lesbian in a new book, SQ21 - a first, not only in Singapore, but in Asia. Full essay.

25 August 2006

How NOT to succeed in the conventions business

The World Bank and IMF will be holding their summit in Singapore next month, but we have banned all outdoor NGO activities that are a customary part of such summits. The World Bank expresses its disapproval of Singapore's heavy-handed regulation, and we think we're winning good press for our conventions business? Full essay.

23 August 2006

Immigration, public opinion and seizable offences

Immigration was the main theme of PM Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech. In it, he acknowledged that many Singaporeans were uneasy about it, so he set out to convince people otherwise. Strange that on this issue, the government didn't feel bound by "conservative" public opinion. Full essay.

21 August 2006

Taxi problem is not a taxi problem

Are there too few taxis in Singapore? Overall, I don't think so. But we do have a problem springing firstly, from a reliance on central planning and secondly, from a failure of bus and train to serve commuters pressed for time or laden with stuff. Full essay.

20 August 2006

A rally for relationship equality

Guest writer Charles Tan sent this report from Sydney, Australia, where he helped out with an outdoor rally and march for same-sex marriage. Full essay.

19 August 2006

Apathetic youth, idols, buzz and a paedophile

Why youths are politically apathetic in Taiwan, why Singapore Idol is a disgrace, and other bits of news on the television tonight. Full essay.

18 August 2006

13 August 2006

PAP wins by a landslide

Even gays voted for them during Indignation. Full essay.

11 August 2006

Mahathir's mirror

It is impossible not to notice that in former Malaysian PM Mahathir's campaign against current PM Abdullah Badawi, we can see a reflection of Singapore politics. Perhaps that's why our mainstream press avoids commentary on what's happening across the causeway. Full essay.

Our trees

Once in a while, we should stop and look at our city, in this case, our trees. Tree cover is one of the most distinguishing features of Singapore compared to many cities, particularly Asian ones. Photo essay.

09 August 2006

Singapore government takes hostages from foreign press

The government has demanded that Time and Newsweek magazines, among others, deposit S$200,000 as surety for legal damages, and appoint legal representatives here to receive summonses. Full essay.

Clown show from our state censors

The permit for the play 'Smegma' was approved 4 days before its scheduled premiere, but half an hour later, in another telephone conversation, it became "still pending". However, within the same conversation, it became "approved" again and the permit issued in writing. Three days later, it became "not approved" with 3 reasons provided. Half an hour later, the reasons were changed. Full essay.

08 August 2006

The fear and lunacy that is arts censorship

A poem can be printed but not read. Art works that someone somewhere may take offence to cannot be exhibited. Anything that is "sexually suggestive" must be taken out of an art exhibition before an adults-only licence can be granted. This is how Singapore hopes to encourage creativity. Full essay.

The constipated MDA

Siew Meng Ee organised an art exhibition for IndigNation 2006, the gay and lesbian Pride Season. In this guest article, he records the dealings he had with the Media Development Authority, our state censors. Full essay.

07 August 2006

Political apoplexy and police priorities

Soon after IndigNation was announced, the police began applying pressure on the bars that were venues for the social events. A close-up look at the totally unprofessional, shameful behaviour of this department. But why did they behave so bizarrely? Full essay.