29 April 2008

China and (inter)nationalism

More protests and scuffling as the Olympic torch is run in Seoul. Yet another issue is brought to the fore. China's view of the international order is out of date. Full essay.

27 April 2008

Watch it! Part 2

Part 1 discussed some TV commercials that used the gay angle in offensive ways. Here in Part 2 are examples of advertisements that are much better. Full essay.

26 April 2008

Rice price as capitalism's vice

The current problem with high food prices is not just a supply and demand problem, but also a symptom of the ills of global capitalism without sufficient social conscience. Full essay.

25 April 2008

Upholding our 'fine city' reputation

A TV station is fined S$15,000 for "promoting" homosexuality because a reality show had a gay couple in it, while in Japan, public broadcaster NHK breaks its taboo. Full essay.

22 April 2008

The great hunt: more management failures than guards' lapses

Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng gave a detailed and well-prepared account to Parliament of Mas Selamat Kastari's escape from detention... until the questions came. Full essay.

21 April 2008

Bloggers submit proposals to government

Further to an open call issued on Yawning Bread and The Online Citizen late last year, a group of bloggers came together in December 2007 with the aim of submitting proposals to the government on the deregulation of the internet.

The 20-page submission was sent to the Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts on 21 April 2008. Click on the graphic to download.

It calls for sweeping changes to the regulatory system, in order to bring Singapore in line with international norms and fundamental principles of free speech. What regulation that remains and are justifiable should be through clear laws rather than administrative discretion. It should also be realistic with regard to the borderlessness of the technology.

19 April 2008

Prosecute or nothing

What's rotten about the regulation of speech in Singapore is not just a question of this rule or that rule, but the entire way it is done. The process, or the system, is the bigger problem. Full essay.

17 April 2008

Watch it! Part 1

It is rare for commercial advertising to depict gay (and racial) minorities, and when they do, it tends to be a poorly thought out job. Full essay.

15 April 2008

Political activism, cyber or otherwise

A private forum was organised last week featuring a Malaysian opposition activist and the founder of online newspaper Malaysiakini. Some thoughts following that event. Full essay.

12 April 2008

Lee Hsien Loong calls on world to kowtow to China

The protests around the Olympic torch relay are counter-productive, he says. People should be sensitive to the nationalistic pride felt by the Chinese. Full essay.

11 April 2008

Ban-happy Singapore

A cable TV operator is fined S$10,000 for airing a scene in which 2 women kiss. More about 3 of the 4 films banned from the Singapore Film Festival. Full essay.

06 April 2008

The mathematics of elections 2

Data from the last 4 general elections support my thesis that GRCs have a homogenising effect on electoral outcomes, effectively disenfranchising many voters. Full essay.

05 April 2008

Why the Films Act should be trashed

This piece of sweeping legislation makes criminals of all of us, yet in practical terms is pointless in the digital age. Full essay.

04 April 2008

The children we leave behind

So many children in this world are hurt needlessly, traceable to unthinking habits of thought on our part. So many more would have loving homes if we'd only get our moral dogma out of the way. Full essay.

02 April 2008

Cinema: Lion City

This 1960 production was the first Chinese-language film ever made in Singapore. The streets, the clothes that the characters wore, their concerns... they're so strange. Full essay.