24 January 2009

Saving jobs, savaging filmmakers

In Parliament this week were two important announcements. The government in Budget 2009 announced a slew of schemes to cope with the economic downturn, but something is still missing. And then they showed how insincere they were when they spoke of freeing up media. Full essay.

21 January 2009

Obama White House uploads its gay agenda

Anti-gay rightwingers like to use "gay agenda" as a sneer to suggest some kind of hidden, illicit conspiracy, but the new US President has one too. What's in it? Full essay.

Israel's unpleasant surprise

With ceasefires now declared by both sides, Abun Hentag offers his views on the recent Israeli bombardment of and incursion into the Gaza strip. Guest essay.

20 January 2009

Move on, shut up

Is it really in the public's interest that we shouldn't know about how civil servants spend their wealth? That civil servants should keep quiet about it? Is it in the public's interest that the police should have summary powers to chase people off the streets? Full essay.

19 January 2009

Muddy Singapore swallows China workers, parts 3 and 4

These are the much-delayed (apologies!) wrap-up stories about the six men who were being pressurised by their employer to accept a fraction of their wages after not being paid for three months. Part 3 tells what eventually happened to them. Part 4 discusses the bigger picture why our foreign labour recruitment system is dysfunctional, resulting in the mess we see. Read Part 3 and Part 4.

17 January 2009

Are our economic priorities right?

Singapore was the first country in Asia to fall into recession last year, and the numbers are getting gloomier. Why are we so vulnerable? Full essay.

16 January 2009

The pretty boy barber

In Singapore, the government says race, language and religion are sensitive subjects, and OB markers are set. Questioning nationhood is also frowned upon. Result: people seldom write about these topics, except in banal, politically correct ways. Let me talk about them my way. Full essay.

14 January 2009

Independent investigation needed over Tang's kidney transplant

A hanged prisoner's kidney goes to a wealthy man who had been convicted previously of trying to buy a kidney, and who was thrown off the kidney transplant waiting list. The Minister for Health dismisses the matter as a private affair. It is not. Full essay.

13 January 2009

Why there mustn't be an election this year

Someone whom I think should be in the know tells me an election is coming. I find this rather hard to believe. There are no good reasons for holding an election. Full essay.

09 January 2009

Singapore government rejects AIMS' key recommendations

Refusing to make any significant moves to liberalise the internet, the Singapore government insists on keeping the law banning political films, and on retaining the Class Licence Scheme, including the registration requirement. Full essay.