30 November 2007

China's trade surpluses: disequilibrium and accommodation

China's trade surpluses are humongous, with both the US and the EU. Yet the solution is quite obvious, only difficult to implement. Full essay.

26 November 2007

Asean still toothless after 40 years

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations did its already crumbling reputation no favor by stiffing UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari at the last minute after he was invited to brief the 10-nation group on his mission to Myanmar. Though the 40th anniversary summit did make a big show of unity and ballyhooing its new (ineffective) charter, it was clear that by kowtowing to Myanmar's junta it is likely to remain a paper tiger for many years to come. Asia Times article.

Fees or fines, we make it all the easier

The MDA is a blundering fool in making its rap video, but is also a sinister force in its attempts to massage the news. Full essay.

25 November 2007

Enforcing racial and religious harmony

What are the laws in Singapore that can apply to inciteful speech related to race and religion? Do they have clarity? Full essay.

23 November 2007

Taxi problem the result of 3 deadly sins

Why is the taxi problem so persistent? Why do passengers complain there aren't enough taxis, and taxi drivers complain there aren't even passengers to make a decent living? Full essay.

It's the principle, stupid

Guest writer John Toh ruminates on marriage and the values we imbue it with. Why adhere to traditional forms of marriage when we have the capacity to think? Guest essay.

19 November 2007

Parliamentarians with nothing to say

Singapore boasts about being ahead in information technology. Funny, then, how few members of parliament maintain an active blog. Full essay.

18 November 2007

Open call for a bloggers' meeting

A government-linked body is conducting a review of internet regulations. Word from those who have participated suggest that liberalisation doesn't seem to be its aim.

This is an open call for bloggers to come together to discuss this issue and organise a submission representing their views.

There will be a brainstorming meeting on Tues, 4 Dec, and a drafting meeting on Tues, 11 Dec, at the Substation, Armenian Street. Both meetings start at 7 pm.

For more information, see here. Please come. And help pass the word out.

When the wind blows, thank the government

Is there anyone left in Singapore who still feels that free speech is a fundamental right? Three examples of censorship, each fortunately reversed. Full essay.

17 November 2007

A Rumsfeldian future

Singapore coasts along with a one party system. Our opposition parties have insignificant roles to play, and going by present efforts, won't be growing anytime soon. What if some unknown hit us in the future, and the government proves incompetent, or the unknown hits the government, paralysing it? Full essay.

13 November 2007

Flat jokes and dumb remarks

The Prime Minister says, to his audience's delight, that some opposition party candidates have gone "Awol". Another minister says we shouldn't "dumb down" our political system. Full essay.

12 November 2007

Minorities and state protection

How do we decide which group should receive state protection, or minority rights? And in any debate over this, what's wrong with identity politics? Full essay.

11 November 2007

Towards a human rights mechanism, part 2

On human rights, the Asean Charter contains motherhood statements and a joke of a monitoring or enforcement body. Full essay.

09 November 2007

Nasal straws in the wind

What does the threat letter to Thio Li-Ann really represent? What's the significance of 2 recent articles - in the Straits Times and Zaobao respectively? Full essay.

Too proud of our noose

Prof Michael Hor (NUS Law faculty) recently gave a talk, speaking out against the way Singapore uses the death penalty. Full essay.

02 November 2007

Dispelling heat, light and smoke

A guest essay by Kyle the vampire slayer, in response to Thio Li-Ann's parliamentary speech on Section 377A of the Penal Code. Guest essay.

Ake Green and the freedom to monger hate

When preachers and like-minded religionists say gay people are out to muzzle religion, the case of Ake Green is one of the examples they have in mind. Full essay.