Saturday, August 17, 2019

Have Singaporeans misunderstood the nature of Hong Kong protests?

Some Hongkongers say that based on what they see on social media, Singaporeans do not understand the situation, and why protesters are fighting for ‘freedom and liberty’
Reports of Hongkongers relocating to Singapore and moving assets there have fuelled the perception that the Lion City is capitalising on Hong Kong’s situation

“These Singaporeans primarily think from a materialist perspective and cannot understand Hong Kong’s struggle for freedom and democracy or against growing encroachment from the mainland,”

Dewey Sim

11 Aug, 2019

Are unsympathetic Singaporeans gloating at the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong, viewing protesters as little more than disruptive troublemakers?

Some Hongkongers believe so, pointing to comments they have heard from their Singaporean friends and remarks made on social media.

Hongkonger Joyce Fung, in her 20s, said: “I keep seeing how they label protesters ‘violent rioters’, and say that Hong Kong people should accept the fact that Hong Kong is part of China.”

Friday, August 16, 2019

CPF money: Yours, ours or the Government’s?

By Christopher Gee

Being a social savings pool, the CPF is more than just a system of individual pension accounts, says the author.

14 August, 2019

To whom does our Central Provident Fund (CPF) money belong? This question comes up regularly in Singapore, and two recent cases attracted wide public attention and deep sympathies among Singaporeans.

In one case, a husband wanted to draw out his CPF monies to pay for his wife’s treatment at a private hospital. She had reportedly been given a terminal diagnosis. In another, a father wanted to draw out his CPF monies for his daughter’s tertiary education.

Indeed, there are provisions for members to withdraw their CPF monies for the healthcare needs of their loved ones and educational costs of their children. However, both men had reached limits set by the CPF Board.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Protests put Hong Kong on collision course with China’s Communist Party


13 August, 2019

HONG KONG — As anti-government demonstrations escalate in Hong Kong, each side is staking out increasingly polarised positions, making it difficult to find a path to compromise between the protesters and China’s ruling Communist Party.

[Realistically, compromise was never an option for the CCP. This report is by The New York Times. It has a certain perspective, which is not very useful in this case.] 

The demonstrations, which began as a fight against a bill that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited to the mainland, have more broadly morphed into a call for free elections, which largely do not exist in China. To Beijing, it would be a direct challenge to the leadership, tantamount to losing control of Hong Kong.

The once peaceful demonstrations have now intensified, coming into conflict with Hong Kong’s reputation for order and efficiency. Protesters on Monday (Aug 12) filled the airport, crippling one of the world’s busiest transportations hubs.

Want to do more to fight climate change? Cut down on driving, buying stuff and eating meat

By Aqil Haziq Mahmud

08 Aug 2019

SINGAPORE: In the battle against climate change, environment experts have urged individuals to look beyond single-use plastic and make bigger changes in their daily lives: Drive and fly less, and change what they eat and buy.

"Most of the individual actions people can do are often less visible than not using straws, and requires an effort to change behaviour for the long term," Associate Professor Winston Chow of the Singapore Management University (SMU) told CNA on Wednesday (Aug 7).

"Some steps would be to reduce consumption of goods, materials and services that generate carbon emissions."

A Mediacorp survey released on Wednesday showed that more than nine in 10 Singaporeans and permanent residents agreed that they would do their part to "minimise the impact" of climate change.
But what exactly should they do?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

SAF’s Hunter provides a glimpse into world of unmanned tanks. They could be game changers

By David Boey

The unveiling of the unmanned Hunter a month after manned Hunters were commissioned into service with the Singapore Army shows that the work to adapt the Hunter for remote control probably began sometime during its 13-year development, the author notes.

12 August, 2019

Fifty years after AMX-13 light tanks first appeared at the National Day Parade (NDP), the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) showcased its newest armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) called the Hunter at this year’s parade.

The three 29.5-tonne vehicles which can carry three crew members and eight other soldiers stood out among the 171 vehicles in the Mobile Column as they cruised past President Halimah Yacob and the audience with their roof hatches shut and no one visible.

The crew’s no-show was deliberate. And the symbolism goes beyond simply demonstrating the Hunter’s ability to fight with hatches closed. To some observers, seeing the Hunter move with no crew in sight reminds one that the AFV can operate unmanned.

Monday, August 12, 2019

How a village pond became a quirky tourist attraction in Indonesia in the social media age

South China Morning Post

10 August, 2019

KLATEN (Central Java) — Mr Dery Sananya sits casually on a chair “watching” television – as carp, koi and pomfret swim past him. Later, he will upload a selfie of this pose to his Instagram feed, with a quip about how easy it is to find TV channels underwater.

He is one of the many tourists — Indonesian and foreign — who have flocked to Umbul Ponggok in Klaten, Central Java, Indonesia, to take tongue-in-cheek underwater selfies in a pond.

“Many visitors upload photos of themselves on motorbikes or bicycles, and even do pre-wedding photo shoots, which quickly become viral on their Instagram accounts,” says Umbul Ponggok’s 25-year-old manager, Mr Muhammad Abdul Rahman.

Civil Unrest in Hong Kong - How will it all end?

[News articles from 4 Aug 2019 onwards on the HK protests.

What started as a protest against a law, has escalated/deteriorated in anti-government protests and demonstrations for democracy. It has been more than 2 months now, and protests/demonstrations or "riots" if you prefer, have increased. What used to be weekend protests have extended to weekdays and strikes and disruption to business and work. 

And, China has now referred to the protestors as "violent separatists". So... they are now trying to separate from China? Hmmm...

How will it end?

Not well.]

Hong Kong braces for largest citywide strike in decades on Monday

Hongkongers have long put work as a priority. But now some people are defying that and supporting the five demands of the anti-extradition movement, including a full withdrawal of the now-abandoned bill and an independent investigation into police’s use of force on the demonstrators.

South China Morning Post

04 August, 2019