Thursday, February 28, 2013

He sold his house to start dishwashing company

Feb 25, 2013

Beating the labour crunch

A new breed of companies has emerged to help food and beverage operators who cannot find enough workers to do work, from cleaning dishes to serving customers. JESSICA LIM finds out how these budding entrepreneurs have built up their businesses

Tap part-time workforce to ease labour crunch

Feb 27, 2013


By Tan Khee Giap For The Straits Times

BUDGET 2013 is best understood in tandem with the Population White Paper.

The latter spelt out the underlying population trajectory for Singapore. In fact, what the White Paper did not say, but which is clear to me, is that a larger population is not a target; it is an inevitable outcome if Singapore is to aim to remain a thriving city despite its ageing and shrinking workforce.

This is because Singapore's economy is well on the restructuring path towards a more labour-intensive services economy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Who's out of touch - our leaders or people?

Feb 24, 2013

While some feel the govt has become elitist, others say citizens are unrealistic

By Han Fook Kwang Managing Editor

What's happening to Singapore?

I get asked this question more frequently these days because many people are unsure what to make of recent events that have changed the conventional view about safe and unexciting Singapore where everything works predictably.

Busting three myths of growing old

Feb 25, 2013

By Carol Tan-Goh for The Straits Times

ALMOST everyone has a point or more to make on the Population White Paper and that "6.9 million" figure.

Pessimists fret about the replacement rate and conjure up "doom and gloom" - to the extent of the country going bankrupt - as the population ages and, say, the cost of care goes up.

Meanwhile, many of my patients tell me they don't want to grow old. My reply? Growing old is not a disease.

Ageing is inevitable. The young of today will be the old of tomorrow. The only "cure" for growing older is to die young.

Monday, February 25, 2013

White and blue: A tale of two papers


The Workers’ Party (WP) has released its own paper on population and it should be commended for its efforts in putting to paper its thinking on this important issue

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cloning the Neanderthal

Feb 23, 2013
Better think twice about cloning the Neanderthal

By Andy Ho Senior Writer

HUMAN cloning is outlawed in Singapore, as it is in Britain, the United States and elsewhere.

But what about cloning Neanderthals?

The whole Neanderthal genome, which is 99.7 per cent identical to that of humans, was mapped in 2010.

Recently, Harvard professor of genetics George Church caused a furore when he was mistranslated in a German interview as looking for a woman willing to carry the pregnancy of a Neanderthal clone to term. He later insisted: "I'm saying, if it is technically possible some day, we need to start talking about (its ethical implications) today."

From covert vigilantism to communal vigilance

Feb 23, 2013

By Carol Soon For The Straits Times

THE recent tragic deaths of two young brothers involved in a road accident in Tampines triggered an avalanche of online responses, which is to be expected these days. The responses ranged from deep sympathy for the boys and their family to outrageous claims and accusations. Sadly too, graphic photos of the victims were thoughtlessly circulated.

The insensitivity and callousness of some online outbursts led to an immediate response - voicing opprobrium - from the Prime Minister, several MPs, academics and the public.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Can slower growth lead to a stronger nation?

Feb 22, 2013


Reducing Singapore's dependence on foreigners won't affect living standards if productivity and wages rise.

By Linda Lim For The Straits Times

Population White Paper: Let's get over that emotional hump

Accept White Paper for what it's trying to do - offer a road map for planners

Feb 10, 2013

By Chua Mui Hoong


Thursday, February 21, 2013

A flawed sense of entitlement


20 February

It has long been thought that to account for the widening inequality gaps that meritocracy creates, Singapore must make the starting points for its people more equal, while being conscious of the possibility of destroying the competitive environment that meritocracy offers.

This thinking undergirds many policies that attempt to provide equal opportunities for every child regardless of family background.
But while desirable in itself, this may not be the critical change Singapore needs if it wants to resolve the growing inequalities and fault lines within society.

A farewell to arms could give Europe a shock one day

Feb 20, 2013

IN THE 1970s, prominent Danish politician Mogens Glistrup became famous for suggesting that his country replace its armed forces with a recorded message saying "We surrender" in Russian.

Mr Glistrup is no longer with us but his approach to defence seems to be gaining ground. Europe's ability to use military force is dwindling fast, and with it the power of Europeans to defend their interests around the world.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The merits of an unfinished city

Feb 19, 2013

Singapore is a global city, says the don who coined the term, but it has to resist the urge to plan everything and perhaps focus more on improving the social order to be more resilient

By Cheong Suk-wai Senior Writer

HK should look to S'pore for tips on population policy

Feb 19, 2013

Singapore's efforts to reverse the trend of its greying, shrinking workforce hold lessons for Hong Kong which faces similar challenges, says Professor Paul Yip.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A difference in approach, and not just numbers

Feb 16, 2013

By Janice Heng

EVEN as the People's Action Party (PAP) and the Workers' Party (WP) traded comparison tables and barbed comments in Parliament, a casual onlooker might be forgiven for wondering just what they were disagreeing over.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why 6.9m was too much information

Feb 16, 2013


Major policy shifts eclipsed by uproar over population projection

By Rachel Chang

IN THE wake of the parliamentary debate on the Population White Paper, People's Action Party (PAP) politicians probably feel like they have been hit by a truck.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Singapore faces nurse shortfall for years to come

Feb 15, 2013

By Salma Khalik Health Correspondent

SINGAPORE will not be able to produce enough nurses for its own needs for years to come, despite plans to increase the number of locally trained nurses from 1,700 a year at present to 2,700 a year.

The $900,000 Singapore child

Feb 15, 2013

What is the price of having a baby? A financial adviser looks at the dollars and cents of the ongoing debate about raising the fertility rate.

By Joseph Chong For The Straits Times

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Levy national defence tax on PRs, foreigners: MP

Feb 14, 2013

Proposal for non-citizens to also contribute towards national security

By Leonard Lim

TO SHARPEN the distinction between Singaporeans and non- citizens, a Member of Parliament has mooted an annual national defence tax to be levied on permanent residents and foreigners.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Marathon debate over Population White Pap

Feb 10, 2013


By Jessica Cheam Political Correspondent

It was a marathon debate spanning five days and featuring more than 70 speeches from MPs as well as ministers, past and present.

As Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean noted: "This is the longest debate we have had on any single motion in Parliament in my memory."

In the end, the White Paper on Population was passed on Friday, but not before it was dissected and amended.

Lessons from Population 2030 Debate

The population 2030 white paper was a case study for poor communication. The previous figure of 6.5 million was bandied about as early as 2007, and public reactions to it should have been telling. Lessons should have been learnt then! Instead mistakes in communication was repeated.

Feb 10, 2013
Government will study lessons from White Paper debate, says PM Lee

By Toh Yong Chuan

The government will study the lessons learnt from the White Paper debate to see how it can do better next time, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday.

But the public can also think over what has been debated in Parliament and understand what the government is trying to do, he added.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two-thirds of Singaporeans in white-collar jobs by 2030

Jan 29, 2013

By Jessica Cheam

Two thirds of Singaporeans will hold white-collar PMET jobs by 2030, up from half the workforce currently, a new population White Paper has projected.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Don't talk down motivation to defend Singapore

Feb 09, 2013

This is an excerpt from a speech in Parliament yesterday by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Social and Family Development.

WHEN I was in the army, I had a unit where only eight out of 32 soldiers were "true-blue Singaporeans", as some of you may call them. The rest were either not born here or not raised here. I asked why they would fight together. None of them gave me some high-brow answers like how many percentage of the people staying here are Singaporeans.

They fight because their buddies fight alongside them. They will defend this place because this is their home - where they share common experiences, common values and most importantly a common vision for a better life tomorrow.

The right policies to ensure success

Feb 09, 2013


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke during the debate on the Population White Paper in Parliament yesterday. Here are extracts from his speech.

Some PAP MPs had difficulty endorsing original population motion: Denise Phua

Feb 08, 2013
Denise Phua, Population

By Robin Chan

A FEW People's Action Party MPs would have found it difficult to support the motion on the Population White Paper if it had not been amended, said Ms Denise Phua (Moulmein-Kallang GRC) on Friday.

When voters have conflicting desires...

Feb 09, 2013


Many want to have more opposition MPs but not a change in government

By Elgin Toh

'Suicide for PAP vs euthanasia for S'pore'

Feb 08, 2013


By Rachel Chang

AMID talk of an impending silver tsunami, PAP MP Lim Wee Kiak (Nee Soon GRC) predicted yesterday that the "political tsunami" would come first.

Nudge, nudge, but there's a limit in politics

Feb 08, 2013

By Andy Ho Senior Writer

MANY women may not know it but there is a housefly drawn at the right spot in some public urinals that men use. This offers males target practice, which lessens spillage.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How far to go over the right to know?

Feb 06, 2013

By Choo Zheng Xi For The Straits Times

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong was less than enthusiastic when responding to an audience member's question about whether the Government was considering a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at this year's Institute of Policy Studies Perspectives Seminar last week.

The exchange was the latest instalment of a perennial but peripheral discussion about an FOIA. In fact, there is much misunderstanding and inflated expectations about such an Act and what it might achieve.

Extract from Gerald Giam's parliament speech - WP alternative population projection

[Taken from WP website.]

6 Feb 2013
"We will target to increase our local labour force growth by up to 1% per year from now until 2030. We should strive to keep our foreign labour force constant between now and 2020, depending on our success in growing the local labour force. It does not mean that we shut the doors to foreign workers. Instead, new work passes will be issued only to replace expiring work passes or to supplement shortfalls in the local labour force. Companies will have to find ways to hire more Singaporeans.

Monday, February 4, 2013

WP opposes Population White Paper, says its chairman Sylvia Lim

Feb 04, 2013

Sylvia Lim, Population

By Rachel Chang

THE Workers' Party opposes the Government's Population White Paper , said party chairman Sylvia Lim in Parliament today.

It believes that the Government, in expanding the population to reach its economic growth targets, has gotten its priorities the wrong way around, she said.

My life transformed in Japan

Feb 03, 2013

By Fiona Chan

Two months ago, I quit my banking job, packed up my life in Singapore and moved to Japan.

S'pore the real winner in Punggol East by-election

Feb 03, 2013

By Han Fook Kwang Managing Editor

The Punggol East by-election result was a vote for a smooth and stable transition towards greater multi- party democracy in Singapore.

There, I've said it, and the sky didn't fall on me.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why I became a citizen after living here for more than a dozen years

Feb 03, 2013
My Singapore story

By Radha Basu Senior Correspondent

It was a tough phone call.

One evening early last year, I rang my mother in India to tell her that my family and I were applying for Singapore citizenship.

Parties fight to be 'on your side'

Feb 03, 2013
Sunday with Warren Fernandez Editor

Voters will judge who they most trust to speak for them and realise their dreams

By Warren Fernandez Editor

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It’s a vision thing: S’pore politics to come

30 January 2013 Todayonline

In 1992, Mr Bill Clinton decisively and surprisingly defeated Mr George H W Bush in the American Presidential elections.

Mr Bush, the scion of political aristocracy, was a highly experienced politician who had just won a major victory in the first Gulf war. Mr Clinton, a generation younger, was from a poor family from a poor state, Arkansas.

The Republican Party had been in power for 16 years and had reshaped American foreign policy, public finance and financial systems.

Mr Clinton was thus an underdog candidate from the underdog party. But he won anyway.