Friday, May 19, 2017

Hot dog issue has made Malaysia famous for the wrong reason: The Star columnist

May 18, 2017

Wong Chun Wai

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Looks like the monsoon season is starting soon. That is when it starts to rain cats and dogs. No, these animals will not fall from the skies, but it is best that Malaysians are well-prepared for the floods.

The authorities, we are very sure, will not let anyone be confused. Personnel from the Civil Defence Force and Fire Department are already on standby to face the wettest month of the year.

According to one report, tourists will almost certainly experience thunderstorms and floods - they have been predicted to take place on 83 per cent of the 25 days with rainfall. Light rain may also occur but is rare, being observed on only 11 per cent of those days.

This means our rescue teams can be expected to work really hard and as one will say - work like a dog.

Understanding the UK’s strange Singapore envy

Justin Fox

April 12, 2017

A pro-Brexit argument that always makes me giggle a little is that leaving the European Union will allow the United Kingdom to become the new Singapore. That’s right — the land of hope and glory, home to the world’s fifth-largest economy, wants to emulate its steamy little former colony, population 5.4 million.

When you look at the per-capita income data, though, you can kind of understand it. Once-poor Singapore passed the UK in 2006, and the income gap has grown to almost US$3,000 (S$4,214) a year since then.

How to figure out if an old HDB flat is worth its asking price

Chua Mui Hoong

Opinion Editor

APR 8, 2017

Those looking to buy old resale Housing Board (HDB) flats would have cause for hesitation following comments by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong last month.

Perturbed by reports that Singaporeans were forking out big sums to buy old HDB flats, he said buyers should not assume that all old HDB flats will be eligible for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers).

Under this hugely popular programme, the Government compensates HDB flat owners for their old flats and acquires the blocks for redevelopment. Home owners can buy flats in the new developments.

Some savvy owner-investors are known to peruse maps of HDB towns to identify potential Sers hot spots and buy into them in anticipation of Sers. Precincts near MRT stations, built to low-density (think low-rise blocks with large surface carparks) that are 40 years and above, are possible candidates.

Chinese deals in Malaysia under scrutiny

May 7, 2017

China's growing involvement in Malaysia has been praised and panned in recent years. The Sunday Times looks at how its widening presence is drawing increasing attention in the first of a two-part series. Tomorrow, why the promise of new ports in Malaysia with help from China may not materialise.

Shannon Teoh Malaysia Bureau Chief and
Trinna Leong Malaysia Correspondent In Kuala Lumpur

The slew of projects and investments by China's state-owned enterprises and their soft loans have been a major talking point in Malaysia since 2015, when they helped prop up state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which was burdened by huge debts.

China's deep financial involvement in Malaysia came under fresh scrutiny last week with the collapse of the Bandar Malaysia township deal.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Comey firing reminds us of a bigger danger

By Fareed Zakaria 
Opinion writer 
May 11 2017
Washington Post

I have tried to evaluate Donald Trump’s presidency fairly. I’ve praised him when he has appointed competent people to high office and expressed support for his policies when they seemed serious and sensible (even though this has drawn criticism from some quarters). But there has always been another aspect to this presidency lurking beneath the surface, sometimes erupting into full view as it did this week. President Trump, in much of his rhetoric and many of his actions, poses a danger to American democracy.

The United States has the world’s oldest constitutional democracy, one that has survived the test of time and given birth to perhaps the most successful society in human history. What sets the nation apart is not how democratic it is, but rather the opposite. U.S. democracy has a series of checks intended to prevent the accumulation and abuse of power by any one person or group. But there is one gaping hole in the system: the president.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Love, marriage, kids — life doesn’t follow a set timeline. So don’t expect it to.

By Lisa Bonos 

April 26 2017
Washington Post

When I was 24, my great-aunt and -uncle asked about my life goals. At the time, I was working nights as a copy editor and dreamed of someday shifting into a full-time writing job. (One where I got to write more than headlines and didn’t have to work until midnight!) I also remember telling them that I wanted to write a memoir someday, get married and have kids — with a move out West somewhere in there. Your standard American dream, journalist’s edition.

I remember my great-aunt telling me that I hadn’t lived enough to write a memoir yet. (She was right!) And my great-uncle asking about the marriage thing: “When do you want to get married … in 10 years?”

Ten years?! By then I would be 34, which seemed ancient.

“Nah, more like somewhere in between,” I said. After all, my mother had married at 27 — and my parents were and still are incredibly happy — so I assumed my life would take a similar trajectory. (My summation was also in line with norms for my generation; as of 2016, the median age for first marriage is 29.5 for men and 27.4 for women.)

Freedom of speech doesn’t include the right to be bigots

Chirag Agarwal

May 11, 2017

The recent death of Singapore’s first Minister for Social Affairs, Mr Othman Wok — who went against the grain to champion a multiracial Singapore at the time of independence, when racial tensions were at a fever pitch — reminds us that a thriving plural society is not built by accident.

It takes a concerted effort by leaders to unite the populace, and for the different communities to communicate in a bid to understand and integrate with one another.