26 August 2008

The first fruits of civil disobedience

The newly relaxed rules on podcasting, vodcasting, political films and demonstrations at Hong Lim Park are not a gift from the government, but a victory won through civil disobedience. Full essay.

25 August 2008

Family benefits? Gay men and women need not apply

Where do gay men and women figure in this childbearing frenzy? Guest writer Isaac Powell pose this and other questions at the heterosexism of the latest measures. Guest essay.

24 August 2008

Babies wanted, but only in traditional families, the traditional way

Newly announced tax exemptions, baby bonuses and extended maternity leave all reveal a reluctance to think out of the box. Is conservative morality so important that we'd rather not try our best for more babies? Full essay.

23 August 2008

Feeling a little silly in a football tabloid

The New Paper asked me for a 400-word article on the theme, "If I were the prime minister". Would any of the tabloid's football fans bother with a political piece?. I gave it a go, but still felt like fish out of water. Full essay.

Singapore shows Burmese dissidents the door

Stealthily, the Singapore government is deporting the activists who have been organising against the military junta. From a moral perspective, it's totally wrong. From a long term realpolitick perspective, it's utterly stupid. Full essay.

19 August 2008

Demonstrations to be allowed in Hong Lim playpen

Prime Minister Lee Hisen Loong announced 3 new liberalisations in his National Day Rally speech. They were couched in so many ifs and buts, do they amount to anything more than mere tokenism? Full essay.

Side-stepping the death penalty

Three men were caught with 18.4 grams of heroin. Under the law, they would face the mandatory death penalty. However, the prosecutor told the court that they were being charged with possessing 14.99 grams. Was he playing fast and loose with facts? Full essay.

17 August 2008

Sodomy law makes you look foolish

Home Minister Wong Kan Seng tries to explain the government's position on the Chan Mun Chiong case. Meanwhile more developments in Malaysia (the Anwar case) and India. Full essay.

13 August 2008

Cirque de Singapour

We're investing in sports and arts education, but we should also think about providing multiple career paths for the graduates before they leave for greener shores. Here's an idea: invest in a dance/acrobatic theatre. It's crazy, some will say. But seriously, why not? Full essay.

Lording over all the Rios

For transgenders, private citizens can be their worst nightmares, behaving like vigilantes and petty tyrants, making life a misery for them. Rio Moreno's story. Full essay.

10 August 2008

Give me dogs over religionists anytime

The anti-abortion campaigners are now saying that women who undergo abortion may suffer mental health effects, using this argument to support their call for a "relook" at the laws. A call made out of "love", you understand. Full essay.

09 August 2008

Straits Times redesigned, parts 1 and 2

Singapore's leading English daily, the Straits Times, relaunched a revamped version 8 August. The redesign of the print version looks successful. The online versions, however, still look messy. Part 1 and Part 2.

07 August 2008

Boys should dance

Equality is an elusive thing when we start off with different body shapes. At the Olympics, we will celebrate inequality, but in daily life, we have to find ways to compensate for it. Full essay.

05 August 2008

The state should pay for maternity leave and provide childcare

Anticipating the theme of this year's National Day Rally, the government is likely to announce more measures to boost the birthrate, but they will likely be parsimonious half-measures. Full essay.

04 August 2008

Malaysian politics can make you stupid

One month ago, Mohd Saiful accused Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim of engaging in sodomy with him. The police and media treat it as sexual assault. Now they're arguing over medical reports, pus and blood, or the absence of such. Did anyone notice the slippery slope from sodomy to sexaul assault to rape? Full essay.

03 August 2008

More changes to electoral system in the offing?

Goh Chok Tong said in a recent speech, "the status quo cannot last forever." A week later, the Straits Times had a two-page spread about Group Representation Constituencies and how they have changed over the years. Full essay.

01 August 2008

Punitive approach not the best, says drug policy advocate

Ethan Nadelmann pointed out how Singapore is now a far outlier in our approach to drug abuse. Many countries, even in Asia, have moved to a harm reduction strategy because the latter delivers better social and public health results. Full essay.