28 May 2009
Wordpress has a few more functionalities than blogspot.
Otherwise, readers will hardly notice any difference; the rather strange style and structure of Yawning Bread continues.
27 May 2009
25 May 2009
23 May 2009
22 May 2009
20 May 2009
19 May 2009
13 May 2009
12 May 2009
11 May 2009
10 May 2009
08 May 2009
07 May 2009
04 May 2009
03 May 2009
1414 members voted for the motion expressing no confidence in the executive committee that seized power only a month before on 28 March 2009. 761 members supported the exco.
Proceedings were heated with many members wanting to speak, expressing their suspicions of the 28 March exco's motives and outrage at their stormtrooper behaviour since coming into power.
At various points in the meeting, society president Josie Lau and one other exco member said "Shut up" to the audience of about 3,000, and asked security guards to evict members from the room.
Here is Thio Su Mien, the one who orchestrated the take-over, trying to convince the crowd that she was a hero - "I'm on page 73"; "Respect your elders".
It was also revealed that the 28 March exco spent S$90,000 when the constitution required them to seek members' approval before spending above S$20,000.
After the no confidence vote, the 28 March exco disappeared from the hall. Members voted in a new exco headed by Dana Lam as president.
01 May 2009
COOS has been linked to the controversy surrounding the takeover of the women's organisation AWARE by its members. The self-declared "feminist mentor" behind the new executive committee (exco), Thio Su Mien - the one who told the media that homosexuality is a man's issue - is also a member of the church.
In the statement published on www.asiaone.com, COOS denied that they were behind the takeover: "Church of Our Saviour did not initiate or instigate any campaign to take over the leadership of AWARE."
To press home the point, it also said that it hoped people would not hold the "wrong assumption that the exco is a pawn of the church or that it has intentions to turn it into a religious organization as that is totally untrue." It is interesting how the church is so certain that the new exco, who are not its pawns, do not have such intentions. If the new exco is independent of the church, how does the church control its intentions? I guess I don't understand the nature of divine insight.
COOS loves homosexual people. "Church of Our Saviour does not have an agenda against homosexuals. We are not antihomosexual ... We believe homosexuals should be extended understanding, kindness and love like every other human being."
It doesn't love gay activists, however, for it "does have a stand against the agenda of activists promoting homosexuality as a normal alternative lifestyle. Just as much as the Bible commands us to love the homosexual person, it also states categorically that homosexual practice is wrong."
It sounds like a rather complicated position, but we shouldn't nitpick. So long as the church supports full equal rights for gay people, we should give them some leeway. It would have been better though if COOS explained how happily married gay couples could consummate their marriages which the church so bravely supports as an equal right.
29 April 2009
27 April 2009
26 April 2009
Constance is the sister of Clarence Singam, a preacher at Free Community Church, a pro-homosexuality congregation in Singapore.
That is erroneous. The fact is: the two are not related. I have suggested to Clarence and Constance to write to the webmaster to get the statement corrected. As for the senders of the emails, one has to wonder about their motives.
24 April 2009
21 April 2009
17 April 2009
15 April 2009
14 April 2009
13 April 2009
12 April 2009
12 March 2009
10 March 2009
08 March 2009
07 March 2009
Singapore’s finance ministry said it would amend its bank secrecy laws in mid-2009 to take account of the OECD’s standards on exchange of information. “Once the legislative amendments are passed in parliament, Singapore is prepared to negotiate and conclude double taxation agreements that will enable us to provide further assistance for exchange of information.” It said: “The decision ... is in keeping with Singapore’s role as a trusted centre for finance and a responsible jurisdiction, with strong and consistent regulatory policies and a firm commitment to the rule of law.”
The promised changes will allow foreign tax authorities to request information about suspected tax evaders, although Singapore said “information fishing” would not be allowed and there would be confidentiality and privacy safeguards, as allowed under OECD rules. Even so, its announcement will be applauded by other offshore centres that have lost business to Singapore.
Lee Kuan Yew, modern Singapore’s founding father, told bankers the city-state could not escape the pressure being applied to Switzerland. “We must move with the flow,” he said.
Switzerland is under intense pressure from the US and the EU to dismantle its bank secrecy laws, on accusations that it is acting a a tax haven. UBS, in which GIC,one of two Singapore sovereign wealth funds, has a significant stake, agreed to a US$780 million fine in February 2009, to end a US government investigation into whether it had helped US clients evade taxes. As part of the settlement, the bank agreed to release names of US account holders to Washington's Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS is said to be interested in 17,000 to 20,000 cross-border clients, though whether this number will be released is not yet known.
A legitimate question to ask is whether GIC's faith in UBS, prompting it to buy into the bank late 2007, is misplaced. Besides the subprime and related losses, the very model of Swiss banking may now have a bleak future, a model that Singapore had hoped to emulate.
Yet, as recently as May 2008, strongman Lee Kuan Yew told Bloomberg that UBS and Citi have "very good franchises" and that in the long term, Singapore's investment should prove profitable.
05 March 2009
04 March 2009
Here it is:
I thought he had an unusual way with his stressed high notes, and then found the reason why. He's apparently a trained classical singer, and not just a singer, but that rare breed called a countertenor. Here he is with an aria from Handel's Messiah:
02 March 2009
26 February 2009
24 February 2009
23 February 2009
22 February 2009
21 February 2009
20 February 2009
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18 February 2009
13 February 2009
12 February 2009
Now, parts of Dubai are "looking like a ghost town" as jobless foreigners are forced to leave. Property prices in some neighbourhoods have crashed more than 30 percent in the last 2 - 3 months, the airport parking lot is full of abandoned cars, and Dubai officials have dropped hints that they'd be willing to accept a bailout from oil-rich neighbours.
And there's no light at the end of the tunnel. People can't foresee how the good ol' days will return. Is there a lesson here for Singapore?
10 February 2009
09 February 2009
08 February 2009
Stepping down at the end of September 2009 would therefore mean a premature departure.
There seems to be no explanation yet for this apparent change in plans.
Ho Ching is the wife of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Her presence at the head of one of two Singapore government investment vehicles had complicated Temasek's investment forays abroad, giving reason to nationalists from India to Indonesia to argue against allowing Temasek to take up stakes in strategic industries like banking and telecoms.
Another possible reason for change was hinted at in the Financial Times' story. It pointed out that her successor, Charles Goodyear, came from natural resources giant BHP: "Mr Goodyear’s appointment heralds a possible change of investment emphasis for the S$185bn (US$124bn) fund towards natural resources rather than financial services, a sector in which Temasek has recently made massive paper losses in banks, such as Merrill Lynch."
According to Temasek’s most recent annual report, said the Financial Times, two-thirds of its portfolio is in the financial and telecoms sectors – with just 5 per cent in natural resources.
This overweighting of the financial sector in Temasek's portfolio characterised Ho's tenure. Is it now being seen as a serious mistake?