Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Not yet time to consider making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory: Ong Ye Kung


JULY 26, 2021

  • Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said it was not yet time for the Government to think about making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory
  • The vaccines were being rolled out under a scheme for emergency authorisation in the pandemic, he said
  • When Covid-19 becomes an endemic disease, governments around the world may consider making vaccination mandatory, he added

SINGAPORE — It is not yet time for the Government to think about making Covid-19 jabs mandatory as they are being rolled out under emergency authorisation, though perhaps it is a policy that “governments around the world will have to consider” when Covid-19 becomes endemic, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Monday (July 26).

Member of Parliament (MP) Alex Yam of Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency (GRC) asked in Parliament about making Covid-19 jabs mandatory, an issue he said he had raised at the beginning of the vaccination programme.

Mr Yam said it was “our civic duty to be vaccinated, if there are no medical grounds to refuse”.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Commentary: A different Malaysia may emerge from the ashes of its COVID-19 crisis

By Bridget Welsh

21 Jul 2021

SEMENYIH, Malaysia: Across Malaysia the hashtag #Kerajaangagal (failed government) is trending.

Malaysia is not alone in grappling with a debilitating pandemic. Yet what makes this crisis different is how it is playing out politically.

Malaysia is arguably experiencing its largest broad crisis since the 1969 racial riots. Then the riots were elite driven, but the policies in their wake fundamentally transformed Malaysia.

The same could be said of the aftermath of the 1997 to 1999 Asian financial crisis which provoked an elite struggle that gave birth to the Reformasi movement.

The government’s handling of COVID-19 has evoked unprecedented social reaction and, in the government’s failings, transformed political narratives and mobilisation.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Explainer: Which drugs are proving most effective at treating those who fall ill from Covid-19?


JULY 09, 2021

  • The global race for effective Covid-19 treatments is ongoing
  • Large-scale clinical trials are still underway in search of the most promising drugs
  • Infectious disease experts here said much progress has been made in the past year
  • Unlike in the early days of the pandemic, data now shows which treatments are effective

SINGAPORE — As nations around the world race to get their people inoculated as an exit strategy to Covid-19, using vaccines hailed as a "scientific miracle" given their rapid development, medical experts are still working to find the best treatments for those who become ill from the coronavirus.

Several large-scale clinical trials are still underway around the globe to assess and determine the most promising drugs that can be used to treat Covid-19 even when most people are fully vaccinated.

TODAY takes a closer look at how Covid-19 treatments have progressed over the course of the pandemic.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Commentary: Even if PM Muhyiddin steps down, few good options for Malaysia’s top role

Malaysian political parties are each making secret moves behind the scene leading up to Aug 1 when the state of emergency ends, says James Chin.

By James Chin

06 Jul 2021

HOBART: After tremendous pressure was applied by the Agong and the general public, the two houses of the Malaysian Parliament will now sit before 1 Aug.

Initially, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government had announced that Parliament will only sit in September, more than two months away, to give the government a chance to catch up on the vaccination programme and, perhaps more importantly, give Muhyiddin time to crunch the numbers to stay in power.

Other than Muhyiddin and his allies, everyone wants Parliament to sit as soon as possible and for the emergency to be lifted as planned on Aug 1.

Malaysians have been incredibly unhappy with the performance of the government towards mitigating COVID-19, the vaccination rollout and shutdown of the economy. Many are waving the white flag in a #BenderaPutih movement to seek help.

For Muhyiddin, there is the added pressure of UMNO, the most powerful party in the ruling coalition, wanting to pull out of the government to force a general election.

People are saying the political pressure became so overwhelming, it led Muhyiddin to check himself into a hospital on Jun 30.

Monday, July 5, 2021

What’s fuelling China’s new online nationalists


JULY 01, 2021

Last summer, a friend of mine told me that she found China’s biggest social media platform Weibo was becoming “unusable” for feminists and liberals such as her. Tempers were so heated, Bao told me, that disagreements easily became personal pile-ons.

After a friend became the centre of a social media storm, she posted a message: “We’re all just blades of grass, what’s the point of fighting with each other?”

Bao ended up becoming the next target.

At the time, we put it down to Covid-19, which, across the world, left people stuck at home, bored and anxious. They were just venting.

But a year on, Chinese nationalist sentiment is even greater online. It used to be outsiders, a United States politician criticising the government for instance, who received the worst of the attacks from bloggers.

Now insiders bear the brunt.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Most S'poreans say elections are fair, offer ‘genuine choice’ but 1 in 4 feels opposition candidates ‘prevented from running’: IPS report


JULY 02, 2021

A survey found that Singapore had the second-highest proportion of respondents who believe that genuine choices are offered to voters in elections, behind Taiwan.

  • A 2020 global survey that polled more than 2,000 Singapore respondents was analysed by IPS
  • It found that Singaporeans were among the most political apathetic and least politically active in the world
  • Most people said they had some, though not much, power to effect changes on government decisions or on politics
  • Most said elections are fair and viewed treatment of voters positively
  • Despite political apathy, Singaporeans do take part politically by signing petitions, donating to groups

SINGAPORE — Most people in Singapore are likely to believe that national elections are fair, that they have some say in what the Government does, and that they are given a genuine choice in the polls, findings by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) showed.