Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Revealed, 2 F-35A Fighters Capable of Paralyzing 6 F-15SG Fighters at Exercise Pitch Black 2022

September 26, 2022 

The presence of the RAAF’s fleet of F-35A stealth jets for the first time at this year’s biennial multinational exercise, Exercise Pitch Black, in Australia aroused the curiosity of many people. The first question is, is it true that the F-35 is sophisticated and will be difficult to beat by generation four plus fighters?

Exercise Pitch Black 2022 was attended by 17 countries with nearly 100 aircraft and 2,500 personnel. Germany and South Korea were the two debutant countries among the 17 participating countries. Korea sent KF-16U which has been equipped with AESA radar. Meanwhile, Germany for the first time sent a fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets. Other jets that also participated were the Rafale from France, the Su-30MKI from India, and the F-16AM/BM and F-16-52ID from Indonesia.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The SR 71 was at least 60 years ahead of its time.

The question was …is the SR 71 a product of its time? (Time frame would be late 1950s to 1966.)Former U-2 technician Damien Leimback wrote; the following *In my opinion, this man is brilliant.*He Disagrees with the question that the SR 71 was a product of its time.

I disagree because of the technologies that had to be invented or perfected in order for the plane to work that did not exist before the types (I include the A-12 here) introduction.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Consumers could pay refundable deposit of 10-20 cents for plastic, metal drink containers under NEA's plan to cut waste

Nuria Ling/TODAY

  • To boost recycling rates, NEA is proposing a scheme that requires consumers to pay 10 to 20 cents more for pre-packaged plastic or metal beverages
  • The agency is getting feedback from the public from Sept 20 to Oct 14 on the scheme, which could be rolled out in mid-2024
  • Under the scheme, consumers would have to return their beverage containers either over-the-counter or at reverse vending machines to claim their deposit back
  • The operator of the scheme will be required to achieve a target of at least 80 per cent return rate


September 21, 2022

SINGAPORE — From mid-2024, consumers may have to pay an extra 10 to 20 cents as a deposit for drinks in plastic bottles or metal cans, on top of the retail price, which they can get back by taking the container to a return point such as a supermarket, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (Sept 20).

NEA is seeking public feedback on this proposal, which is aimed at boosting recycling rates, reducing waste disposed of and reducing carbon emissions as part of the effort to tackle climate change. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Plastic Recycling Doesn’t Work and Will Never Work

If the plastics industry is following the tobacco industry’s playbook, it may never admit to the failure of plastics recycling.

By Judith Enck and Jan Dell

MAY 30, 2022

About the authors: Judith Enck is a former EPA regional administrator, the president of Beyond Plastics, and a visiting professor at Bennington College. Jan Dell is a chemical engineer and the founder of the Last Beach Cleanup.

Americans support recycling. We do too. But although some materials can be effectively recycled and safely made from recycled content, plastics cannot. Plastic recycling does not work and will never work. The United States in 2021 had a dismal recycling rate of about 5 percent for post-consumer plastic waste, down from a high of 9.5 percent in 2014, when the U.S. exported millions of tons of plastic waste to China and counted it as recycled—even though much of it wasn’t.

Recycling in general can be an effective way to reclaim natural material resources. The U.S.’s high recycling rate of paper, 68 percent, proves this point. The problem with recycling plastic lies not with the concept or process but with the material itself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Singapore among world's 20 wealthiest cities in 2022 — report

Surin Murugiah

September 19, 2022 

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 19): In 2022, the US dominates the list of the world’s top 20 wealthiest cities, with six American cities listed.

Two Swiss cantons also make the top 20, along with eight cities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tiny city state Singapore also made it to the top 20.

In its Global Citizens Report for the third quarter of 2022, residence and citizenship programme consultancy Henley & Partners (H&P) said the first half of 2022 was a negative period for global wealth formation.

It said high-net-worth individual numbers worldwide were down by 5% in the six-month period to June 2022.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Cock-a-doodle-don't: Sin Ming resident spends $7,000 on soundproof windows to block out roosters' crowing

SEPTEMBER 15, 2022


Xu shared that her family had installed soundproof windows to prevent the roosters from disturbing their sleep. 
Shin Min Daily News

How far would you go to get a good night's sleep?

One woman, fed up with roosters' crowing under her block for years, recently spent a large sum of money on soundproof windows so she'd get some peace at night.

58-year-old Xu said that the number of roosters appearing under her block along Sin Ming Avenue has increased over the past three years, Shin Min Daily News reported on Tuesday (Sept 13).

There are now more than 20 free-roaming chicken in the estate, the frustrated housewife said.

"They would fly up to the trees and crow at 2 or 3am. Closing the doors and windows didn't help [to block out the noise].

Thursday, September 15, 2022

More young Singaporeans considering renting and flat sharing as they find current property prices too high: Study

SEPTEMBER 11, 2022


One-fifth of respondents aged 22 to 29 felt that current property prices are too high. The Straits Times file

SINGAPORE — More young Singaporeans, compared with older age groups, are considering renting and flat sharing as they find current property prices too high.

Even then, most still intend to buy a home within the next two years, a consumer sentiment study released by real estate portal PropertyGuru last week showed.

WP calls for BTO eligibility age for singles to be lowered, boost in HDB flat supply

In an adjournment motion, Workers’ Party MP Louis Chua asked the Government to take “urgent and decisive steps” to increase the availability of HDB housing.

HDB flats in Singapore. (File photo: TODAY/Ooi Boon Keong)

Chew Hui Min

13 Sep 2022 

SINGAPORE: Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Louis Chua on Tuesday (Sep 13) made a case for lowering the age at which Singaporean singles can apply for a new Housing Board (HDB) flat to 28, while urging the Government to up the supply of public housing for all.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Singapore welcomes ratification of Flight Information Region Agreement with Indonesia: MFA

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (centre left) and Indonesia president Joko Widodo, flanked by Cabinet ministers,
meet at the fifth Singapore-Indonesia Leader's Retreat on Jan 25, 2022.

September 8, 2022

SINGAPORE — Singapore welcomes Indonesia's ratification of the Agreement on the Realignment of the Boundary between the Jakarta Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Singapore FIR, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Thursday (Sept 8) in response to media queries.

Under the FIR agreement, signed in January at the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat in Bintan, Indonesia will delegate to Singapore the provision of air navigation services in portions of the airspace within the realigned Jakarta FIR.

The agreement will remain in force for 25 years and shall be extended by mutual consent if both parties find it beneficial to do so.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Commentary: Ignoring China’s disastrous ‘three Ds’ could be a global risk

Disease, drought and debt will have worldwide consequences, says the Financial Times' Megan Greene.
A section of a parched riverbed is seen along the Yangtze River in Jiujiang in China's central Jiangxi province
on Aug 19, 2022. (Photo: AFP/STR)

Megan Greene

08 Sep 2022 

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: In a world beset by multiple crises, officials may be looking past the biggest threat of all: China.

The talk among central bankers at the Jackson Hole Federal Reserve Conference focused on inflation and rising interest rates. Absent was any mention that just 10 days beforehand, the People’s Bank of China did exactly the opposite, unexpectedly cutting its key interest rate.

China is beset by three distressing Ds: Debt, disease and drought. They belie a slowdown that is not raising sufficient alarm bells among investors and policymakers. China remains heavily integrated into the global supply chain and is a potential driver of global demand as one of the biggest markets for foreign goods and services.

Monday, September 5, 2022

NDP: Goodbye, floating platform, hello, National Stadium?

The Marina Bay floating platform hosted its last National Day Parade this year. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Ng Wei Kai

5 Sept 2022

SINGAPORE - First built as a temporary stage for the National Day Parade (NDP) in 2007, the Marina Bay floating platform hosted its last parade this year ahead of its transformation into the permanent NS Square.

But before this project is completed in 2026, Singaporeans may see the return of the iconic Kallang Wave to the National Stadium.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen suggested in July that future NDPs could be held there after next year's edition at the Padang.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Commentary: Here's how S'pore can 'get real' and be psychologically prepared for possible conflict in region

Soldiers salute from their military vehicles during the 54th National Day Parade in Singapore on Aug 9, 2019. AFP


September 1, 2022

For Singaporeans who have grown up in an era of relative peace and prosperity, the prospect of armed conflict in Singapore’s immediate neighbourhood may seem unimaginable.

The state of geopolitical undercurrents, however, suggests a starker reality.

As Sino-United States (US) relations worsen and tensions heighten, the prospects of great power competition escalating into unintended conflict have never been greater in the Asia Pacific region.

Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Lee called for Singaporeans to "get real" and be psychologically prepared for regional conflict in his National Day Rally 2022 speech.

This reality check could not have been more timely. Singaporeans must be prepared to ride what Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam described as a "perfect long storm" — a confluence of lasting structural geopolitical, economic and existential insecurities that reinforce one another.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

159,000 low-wage workers will earn at least S$1,400 from Sep 1

Local Qualifying Salary will not be further raised 'for now', wage increases to be sustainable: Zaqy Mohamad
A cleaner wiping a table at Sims Vista Market and Food Centre.
(Photo: Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment)

01 Sep 2022 

SINGAPORE: About 159,000 lower-wage workers will earn at least S$1,400 under a new local qualifying salary (LQS) requirement that kicks in on Thursday (Sep 1).

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Commentary: Synthetic milk made without cows? That could radically disrupt the dairy industry

No cows needed. Unlike synthetic meat - which can struggle to match the complexity and texture of animal meat - synthetic milk is touted as having the same taste, look and feel as normal dairy milk, says this writer.
File photo. Draining leftover milk from the udder of a cow at a dairy farm in Dmytrivka, eastern Ukraine, Aug 10, 2022.
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

Milena Bojovic

31 Aug 2022 

SYDNEY: The global dairy industry is changing. Among the disruptions is competition from food alternatives not produced using animals – including potential challenges posed by synthetic milk.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

From reduced mask requirements to the repeal of 377A: 7 key takeaways from NDR 2022

A sea of Singapore flags at the National Day Parade on Aug 9, 2022. (File photo: CNA/Try Sutrisno Foo)

Kurt Ganapathy

21 Aug 2022 

SINGAPORE: In his 2022 National Day Rally speech on Sunday (Aug 21), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the COVID-19 situation in Singapore and the rising cost of living amid geopolitical tensions.

The repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code and the enshrinement of marriage in Singapore’s Constitution were among the key policy and legislative announcements Mr Lee made during his speech at the Institute of Technical Education headquarters in Ang Mo Kio.

A significant portion of the Prime Minister’s speech was also dedicated to upcoming infrastructure projects that will help the country retain its status as a hub for trade and aviation.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

China unveils new perks aimed at boosting slowing birth rate

16 Aug 2022

BEIJING: China on Tuesday (Aug 16) announced a slew of perks aimed at encouraging families to have more babies, as birth rates hit a record low and officials warned that the population will start to shrink by 2025.

Although Beijing ended its "one-child rule" in 2016 and last year allowed couples to have three children, birth rates have
slipped over the past five years. (Photo: AFP/Noel Celis)

Friday, August 5, 2022

Commentary: China's rise is still not a given

China’s ability to face future challenges will be constrained by the fact that it’s still a developing country, says an observer.

By Henry Storey

15 Jul 2020 
[Note: The news article is two years old.]

MELBOURNE: When discussing the rise of China, a sense of inevitability often pervades.

China’s sheer population size and economic base will inevitably see it become the dominant regional power – or so the argument goes. China’s faster reopening from COVID-19 lockdowns has added to such arguments. [This was in early 2020. Situation has changed in 2022.]

But just how far will China rise? Given the price tag of Australia’s new defence posture – and the significant opportunity costs at a time when COVID-19 will stretch budgets – it is worth still asking the question.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Pair of new studies point to natural Covid origin

Fusion Medical Animation/Unsplash

The researchers concluded it was unlikely that there was human circulation prior to November 2019.

July 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — An animal market in China's Wuhan really was the epicentre of the Covid pandemic, according to a pair of new studies in the journal Science published Tuesday (July 26) that claimed to have tipped the balance in the debate about the virus' origins.

Answering the question of whether the disease spilled over naturally from animals to humans, or was the result of a lab accident, is viewed as vital to averting the next pandemic and saving millions of lives.

The first paper analysed the geographic pattern of Covid cases in the outbreak's first month, December 2019, showing the first cases were tightly clustered around the Huanan Market.

The second examined genomic data from the earliest cases to study the virus' early evolution, concluding it was unlikely the coronavirus circulated widely in humans prior to November 2019.

Both were previously posted as "preprints" but have now been vetted by scientific peer review and appear in a prestigious journal.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

China censors strive to filter or erase details of mortgage protests

July 21, 2022

  • Homebuyers balk at paying mortgages on unfinished housing
  • Censors scramble to erase or filter details of boycotts
  • Protests come at a sensitive time for Chinese leader

SHANGHAI/BEIJING, July 20 (Reuters) - As China grapples to contain a mortgage boycott that has triggered rare protests, censors have gone into overdrive with social media messages blocked, videos of demonstrations wiped and key word searches coming up blank.

Censors are scrambling to filter or erase details of angry homebuyers threatening to stop paying mortgages on hundreds of unfinished housing projects, as regulators seek to reassure residents that everything will be taken care of.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

New SERS rehousing options for Ang Mo Kio flat owners will apply to similar projects in future: Desmond Lee

Blocks 562 to 565 in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 have been picked for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS).
(Photo: CNA/Cheryl Lin)

Tang See Kit
04 Jul 2022 

SINGAPORE: The new rehousing options made available to some flat owners in Ang Mo Kio as part of the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) will apply to a similar exercise in Marsiling and future acquisitions under the scheme, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Monday (Jul 4).

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) over the weekend announced that eligible home owners under SERS will be able to purchase a new replacement unit on a shorter 50-year lease, instead of a fresh 99-year one. A second option allows residents who are seniors to take up the lease buyback scheme for their existing flat and buy a new replacement flat of the same flat type on a short lease.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Commentary: Overturning of Roe v Wade abortion decision has upended the US midterm elections

With the US Supreme Court overturning the right to abortion, will Roe v Wade unify Democrats or rally Republicans in the November midterm elections? Yale-NUS College’s Trisha Craig says domestic politics could affect America’s role as global leader in uncertain times.
A celebration outside the Supreme Court, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Washington. after its decision
to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Trisha Craig

08 Jul 2022

SINGAPORE: Abortion in the United States has been a highly partisan issue for decades. Politically, it is often summed up by where one stands on the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.

So when the US Supreme Court – with a conservative majority of judges - overturned Roe v Wade on Jun 24 after a draft decision was leaked in May, it was expected but no less stunning.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022


Hungry? These 67 Singapore eateries just made the Michelin Bib Gourmand 2022 list

New entries this year, include Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodle, Kelantan Kway Chap Pig Organ Soup and Lixin Teochew Fishball Noodles.

Genevieve Sarah Loh

05 Jul 2022

The 2022 edition of the Bib Gourmand selection for the Michelin Guide Singapore has bestowed honours on a total of 67 eateries, nine of which are new entries.

Ayam Sate Madura (Photo: Cumi Bali)

The Bib Gourmand category was created in 1997 to recognise establishments that offer diners a value-for-money gourmet experience in Singapore, with a complete and high-quality menu priced at a maximum of S$45. All eateries are nominated by Michelin guide inspectors.

Monday, July 4, 2022

New Public Defenders Office will provide legal aid to those with per capita household income up to S$1,500: MinLaw

Bill introduced to set up Public Defender's Office that provides legal aid for people charged with non-capital crimes
Public defenders under the new office need not be called to the bar, the Ministry of Law said.

  • A proposed public defender's office will provide criminal legal aid to Singaporeans with a per capita monthly houshold income of up to S$1,500
  • The Ministry of Law tabled a Public Defenders Bill on Monday (July 4) in Parliament 
  • The public defender's office will work together with the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, which also provides legal aid to the needy
  • Public defenders in the new office need not be called to the Bar, but must have the necessary skills and education qualifications


July 4, 2022

Austere and ‘tight' approach to managing prison conditions has kept suicide, assault rates low: Shanmugam

Singapore’s prison capacity is currently at about 70 per cent, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said.

  • The "austere" regime and environment in Singapore's prisons were deliberately designed, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said
  • The Singapore Prison Service's "tight approach" has, among other things, kept suicides among prisoners low compared with other jurisdictions, he said
  • Mr Shanmugam was responding to increased interest in prison conditions following the airing of a CNA documentary 
  • Mr Shanmugam said that Singapore's approach in managing the prisons have also led to lower assault rates compared to some other jurisdictions, where gangs informally run the place
  • The minister also explained why certain race-based data relating to crime are not disclosed publicly, and how the Government arrives at this decision in consultation with various community groups


July 4, 2022

Saturday, July 2, 2022

The Big Read in short: Where did it all go wrong with the Sports Hub?

Illustration: Anam Musta'ein

In separate interviews with TODAY, former staff of Sports Hub Pte Ltd spoke about deep lying issues that plagued the project from the get-go. But everything boiled down to this: A disconnect between the interests of the Government and the private firms, and a partnership only in name that was pulled in multiple directions by a long list of stakeholders with different objectives.

Each week, TODAY’s long-running Big Read series delves into the trends and issues that matter. This week, we examine where it all went wrong with the running of the Singapore Sports Hub, which led to the termination of the public-private partnership. This is a shortened version of the full feature,​ which can be found here.

  • Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced on June 10 that it will be taking over full ownership of the Sports Hub from its private partner, Sports Hub Private Limited (SHPL)
  • Former staff of SHPL largely agree with this decision, saying that the partnership between the Government and private sector was flawed from the start 
  • Several of them say that the partnership was akin to a vendor-client relationship, and that the Government had given the private sector too much leeway to call the shots 
  • SHPL had also found it challenging to manage its various private partners, who were all jostling to make their own profits out of the venture 
  • Moving forward, the Government will have to strike a balance between maintaining the prestige of a world-class venue, and making the Sports Hub accessible to the community

Sports Hub takeover: What is a public-private partnership and have they worked in Singapore?

The Singapore Sports Hub seen with the Kallang River in the foreground.

  • Sport Singapore announced that it will be taking over the Singapore Sports Hub
  • It is terminating its public-private partnership with a consortium of private partners
  • This form of partnership facilitates cross-sector collaboration between the public sector and private sector
  • Singapore has had success cases with such partnerships, such as ITE College West
  • However, the Government has taken back other facilities under these arrangements before, such as Tuaspring Desalination Plant

June 10, 2022

SINGAPORE — National sports governing body Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced on Friday (June 10) that it will be taking over the management and operations of the Singapore Sports Hub, ending its public-private partnership with a consortium 12 years ahead of time.

It explained that its decision to terminate the partnership was so that it could better integrate the hub with upcoming facilities in the surrounding Kallang precinct, such as the Kallang Football Hub, Kallang Tennis Centre and Youth Hub.

Friday, July 1, 2022


AUGUST 16, 2021

Recent months have seen much discussion of the “Davidson Window” — the idea, based on recent commentary by the then-commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Adm. Philip Davidson, that China could take military action against Taiwan in the next six to 10 years. Some within the defense commentariat accused Davidson of “sloppy exaggeration,” that he was “simply wrong as a matter of fact” (though perhaps some critics should consider that a combatant commander may have access to a different set of facts than they do). While others took his warning more seriously, there have been good reasons to question whether China could successfully subjugate Taiwan any time soon. Among these is that China has appeared to lack the amphibious transport capacity necessary to successfully conduct a cross-strait invasion. However, assessments of China’s amphibious sealift capability have typically focused on its navy’s dedicated amphibious assault ships, and have largely discounted the ability of China’s civilian merchant shipping to contribute to an invasion — especially in its initial stages. This approach does not take sufficient account of the emerging and ongoing integration of substantial portions of China’s merchant marine into its cross-strait assault forces. When civilian shipping is included in an assessment of China’s cross-strait sealift capability, Davidson’s warning gains added credibility.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Putin still wants most of Ukraine, war outlook grim, says US intelligence chief

A Ukrainian soldier wounded by an artillery strike in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on June 23, 2022. PHOTO: NYTIMES

30 June 2022

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Russian President Vladimir Putin still wants to seize most of Ukraine, but his forces are so degraded by combat that they likely can only achieve incremental gains in the near term, the top US intelligence officer said on Wednesday (June 29).

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, outlining the current US intelligence assessment of the more than four-month war, said that the consensus of US spy agencies is that it will grind on "for an extended period of time."

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

BBC asked Shanmugam about S'pore's 'social controls', 'draconian' drug laws and Section 377A. Here's how he responded

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam (left) was a guest on BBC journalist Stephen Sackur's podcast HardTalk.

  • Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam was a guest on the BBC's HardTalk programme, hosted by British journalist Stephen Sackur
  • Mr Sackur questioned the minister on Singapore's "social controls" and controversial laws such as the death penalty
  • Refuting facts presented by the journalist at several points, Mr Shanmugam set out why the Republic takes a tough stance on drugs
  • He also explained Singapore's approach on Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex
June 29, 2022

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Armed Uprising of 2024 (Or the Second American Civil War)

[These are excerpts from: 
Newsweek January 07 - 14, 2022
It makes a case for how American politics have become so fractured and the schism between Republicans and Democrats is widening into an unbridgeable chasm. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) have struck down a New York law that requires applicants for concealed carry permits to show that they have an actual need for a concealed weapon. This means anyone in New York can carry a concealed firearm. And that means that the next Storming of the Capital could be by armed protestors. The suggestion is that this schism might well lead to the Second American Civil War.]

A growing number of RADICALIZED REPUBLICANS are willing to grab their guns if the next presidential election doesn't go their way



MIKE “WOMPUS” NIEZNANY is a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran who walks with a cane from the combat wounds he received during his service...

...Nieznany is no loner. His political comments on the social-media site Quora received 44,000 views in the first two weeks of November and more than 4 million overall. He is one of many rank-and-file Republicans who own guns and in recent months have talked openly of the need to take down—by force, if necessary—a federal government they see as illegitimate, overreaching and corrosive to American freedom...

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Large crowds outside The Cathay as people gather to watch busker perform

[Buskers don't usually attract thousands of people as an impromptu audience. Let alone in Singapore. 
So this is unusual. This is newsworthy. This is... an indication that Singaporeans are badly deprived of live (or free) entertainment?]

Eileen Chew
Lakeisha Leo

25 Jun 2022 

SINGAPORE: Large crowds were seen outside The Cathay at Handy Road in Dhoby Ghaut on Saturday (Jun 25) as people gathered to watch a popular busker perform.

Lessons for Singapore: Ukraine, Chinese Narrative, and Influence on Singaporeans

[This was from March 11, 2022, with related commentaries/opinions from April and March 19. It had languished in draft for too long.]

In defending principle of sovereignty, the only side S’pore is taking is our own: Bilahari Kausikan

It's "dangerous" to think that Singapore shouldn’t take sides since it's a small country.

Bilahari Kausikan

March 11, 2022

COMMENTARY: It is wrong for big countries to try to subjugate small countries by force. By defending this international norm, the only side Singapore is taking is its own, retired diplomat Bilahari Kausikan opined.

Bilahari is chairman of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore.

He was previously Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) from 2013 to 2018. Prior to this appointment, he was the Permanent Secretary of MFA from 2010 to 2013, and Second Permanent Secretary from 2001.

By Bilahari Kausikan

Nobody can read Putin’s mind. But I think whatever his goals may have been at the beginning of this war, they have surely changed by now.

Even if he had intended to move beyond Ukraine, that is now not on the cards. Putin has his hands full. Ukrainian resistance and the international response has been firmer and more widespread than Putin probably expected.

Friday, June 24, 2022

The US, divided within, needs to reinvent itself: Harvard's Graham Allison

Nirmal Ghosh
US Bureau Chief

5 MAY 2022

WASHINGTON - Psychologically, and perceptually, it is a difficult adjustment for the United States to accept a resurgent China, said Professor Graham Allison from Harvard, author of the seminal 2017 book Destined For War: Can America And China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

It was Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew who had predicted that China would be the biggest player in the history of the world, Prof Allison told The Straits Times in an interview for the video series Conversations on the Future.

Revanchism ala Mahathir

[Nostalgia. The one thing you can learn from the past, is to return to the good ole days. ]

Malaysia should demand for return of Singapore and Riau: Mahathir Mohamad

Mahathir Mohamad spoke at Aku Melayu: Survival Bermula (I'm Malay: Survival Begins) on Sunday 19 June 2022. 

Amir Hussain

Tue, 21 June 2022

Singapore belonged to Johor and should be returned to the state and Malaysia, said former two-time Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

"We should demand not just that Pedra Branca, or Pulau Batu Puteh, be returned to us, instead we should also demand for the return of Singapore and the Riau Islands to Malaysia as Malay lands," said the 96-year-old MP for Langkawi in a speech on Sunday (19 June). His comments drew applause from his audience.

Historically, Malay lands stretched from the Isthmus of Kra in southern Thailand to the Riau Islands, according to Dr Mahathir, whose speech was uploaded online by Astro Awani.

"But today, we are left with only the peninsula... I wonder whether we will continue to own this peninsula. I am worried for the future of Malays, whether the peninsula land will also be owned by another party," he added.

The reason for this future possibility is that the Malays are poor and those who are poor cannot enforce their rights, said Dr Mahathir.

Already, half of Malaysian land is owned by foreigners, he claimed in his speech titled Melayu dan Kelangsungan Bangsa (Malays and National Continuity).

"Many Malays are not aware that their country which once used to be big has become small. And even this small country they will lose because they are poor," he added.

Dr Mahathir was speaking at the event Aku Melayu: Survival Bermula (I'm Malay: Survival Begins) in Selangor. It was organised by Kongres Survival Melayu (Congress for Malay Survival), a grouping of several NGOs.

[Malay Survival? Clear-eyed pragmatic realism? Characteristic Malay humility? Exploitative appeal to sympathy? Or provocative subtle call to action? Such a manipulative event title.]

In 2008, the International Court of Justice awarded Pedra Branca to Singapore. Malaysia applied for a review of the judgment in 2017 but withdrew the review application a year later after Dr Mahathir became prime minister for the second time.

Dr Mahathir says ‘reclaim Singapore’ remark reported out of context

Malay Mail

June 23, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia's former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad clarified on Thursday (June 23) that a report of him saying Johor should reclaim Singapore and the Riau islands lacked the context to show he was mocking the idea.

On June 20, Singapore news outlet The Straits Times reported him as making the remarks in a speech the previous day [see below], which Dr Mahathir categorised as “inaccurate”.

“I am not asking Malaysia to claim the land that we had lost. I am trying to point out that we are so concerned over losing a table-size rock, Pulau Batu Puteh, but never about bigger parts of Malaysia when they were taken from us. Losing is no big deal. It was the mistake of the Johor government to deny that the rock belonged to Johor.

“Had that denial not been made, there would be no dispute now. We should be grateful that the world court awarded Pulau Ligitan and Sipadan to us. They are much more valuable than Pulau Batu Puteh — just a rock outcrop. We should be thankful that Indonesia has not disputed the award. Really, we are not grateful for our gains,” he said in a statement.

The Straits Times reported Dr Mahathir as saying Malaysia should not stop at claiming Pedra Branca, but also Singapore and the Riau islands as these were once part of the country.

In 2008, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) belonged to Singapore, while sovereignty over the nearby Terumbu Karang Tengah was awarded to Malaysia.

In 2017, the Malaysian government filed an application for review of the decision of the ICJ but the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government under Dr Mahathir withdrew the application before the case was scheduled to be heard on June 11, 2018. 


[While it is good that he clarified, his statement was characteristic of him. So, being sarcastic requires one to have a reputation for NOT saying the sarcastic remarks sincerely, or the sarcasm fails. Alternatively, if your sincere (but stupid, revanchist) remarks are mocked, you can save face by saying you were just being sarcastic. The children should be fooled!] 

Ex-PM Mahathir says Malaysia should claim Singapore and Riau Islands

20 JUN 2022, 

Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has said that Singapore was once owned by Johor and the state of Johor should claim that Singapore be returned to it and to Malaysia.

"However, there is no demand whatsoever of Singapore. Instead, we show our appreciation to the leadership of this new country called Singapore," he added [mockingly?] during a speech on Sunday (June 19).

Tun Dr Mahathir also said the Malaysian government deemed it more valuable that they won control over the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan off Borneo against Indonesia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), while giving up a piece of rock "the size of a table" - Pedra Branca - to Singapore.

"We should demand not just that Pedra Branca, or Pulau Batu Puteh, be given back to us, we should also demand Singapore as well as the Riau Islands, as they are Tanah Melayu (Malay land)," he added to applause from the audience. [Playing to the crowd. Vintage Mahathir.]

The 96-year-old former premier, known for his controversial remarks, was speaking on Sunday at an event in Selangor organised by several non-governmental organisations under the banner Kongres Survival Melayu (Congress for Malay Survival) and titled Aku Melayu: Survival Bermula (I am Malay: Survival Begins).

In his opening speech, which was live-streamed on social media, Dr Mahathir, who is MP for Langkawi, said that what was known as Tanah Melayu used to be extensive, stretching from the Isthmus of Kra in southern Thailand all the way to the Riau Islands, and Singapore, but is now confined to the Malay Peninsula.

"I wonder whether the Malay Peninsula will belong to someone else in the future," he said.

He also said Malaysia today is not owned by bumiputera, because many Malays remain poor and they tend to sell their land.

Urging his audience to learn from the past, he said: "If we find we were wrong, we should rectify these wrongs so that our land remains Malay land."

The ICJ had in 2002 ruled that Sipadan and Ligitan belonged to Malaysia and not Indonesia.

In 2008, the ICJ ruled that Pedra Branca belonged to Singapore, while sovereignty over nearby Middle Rocks was awarded to Malaysia.

In 2017, Malaysia applied to the ICJ to revise this judgment. But in May 2018, after Dr Mahathir became prime minister again, Malaysia announced that it would discontinue the proceedings.

[One comment was that this was a veiled message to the Johor Sultan, or a challenge to the Johor Sultan. Their antagonism towards each other is known. Mahathir is trying to embarrass the Johor Sultanate.]

The rise of pro-China Singaporeans and what it means for Singapore

Justin Ong
Political Correspondent

20 MAR 2022

SINGAPORE - He runs his own tuition business, but Mr Michael Chan's biggest classroom is the website Quora.

There, the 50-year-old father of four has amassed millions of views over nearly a decade of responding to thousands of questions - many of which are about China.

Through posts that explain communism or rebut what he sees as Western media bias against Beijing, he sees his role as helping people better understand China.

This mission to enlighten comes from what he describes as a "pro-China" position - at a time of heightened tensions between the Asian giant and the United States.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Singapore begins importing renewable energy from Laos through Thailand and Malaysia

Ng Hong Siang

23 Jun 2022 

SINGAPORE: Singapore started importing renewable energy from Laos through Thailand and Malaysia on Thursday (Jun 23), after an initial two-year power purchase agreement was signed between Keppel Electric and Laos' state-owned Electricite du Laos (EDL).

The Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP) will import up to 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable hydropower using existing interconnections, marking the first multilateral cross-border electricity trade involving four ASEAN countries.

This is equivalent to about 1.5 per cent of Singapore's peak electricity demand in 2020, enough to power about 144,000 four-room HDB flats for a year.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Commentary: Why China is not rising as a financial superpower

Unlike the US and Japan, China’s economic rise has not resulted in the yuan becoming a global currency. Beijing has not found the confidence to lift capital controls and make the yuan fully convertible, says the Financial Times’ Ruchir Sharma.

Ruchir Sharma

21 Jun 2022

NEW YORK: China’s rise on the world stage is perhaps this century’s most frequently repeated news story. The country’s economic footprint has expanded spectacularly. Its widening military reach has made recent headlines.

Yet as an aspiring financial superpower, China is going nowhere.

This has not happened before. The United States rose as an economic force and then as a financial power, before the dollar became the world’s leading currency in the 1920s. Previous empires, from Britain to 15th century Portugal, followed a similar arc, as investor Ray Dalio recently showed.

China is breaking the mould, rising rapidly as an economic force but glacially as a financial power.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Some Ang Mo Kio residents dismayed by top-up for similar-sized Sers replacement units

The HDB announced in April that four Ang Mo Kio HDB blocks had been selected under Sers.

Michelle Ng and Nellie Toh

15 JUN 2022

SINGAPORE - When part-time hairdresser Janice Ong learnt in April that her Ang Mo Kio Housing Board block was among the four picked for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), she thought she would be getting a brand-new flat with little to no extra money out of her pocket.

So it came as a shock to the 54-year-old when she realised that she might have to fork out more than $100,000, if she were to pick a similar-sized four-room flat at the Sers replacement site.

"I thought I could live here for the rest of my life, but now that I've just finished paying for the flat, they want me to pay another $100,000," said Madam Ong, who moved into the flat at Block 562 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 around six years ago with her husband. Their two daughters and a son-in-law live with them.

Friday, June 17, 2022

China launches third aircraft carrier, named after province opposite Taiwan

17 Jun 2022

This screengrab made from video released by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV shows the launch ceremony of the Fujian, a People's Liberation Army aircraft carrier, at a shipyard in Shanghai on Jun 17, 2022. (Photo: AFP/CCTV)

BEIJING: China launched its third aircraft carrier on Friday (Jun 17), the Fujian, named after the province opposite self-ruled Taiwan, sending a statement of intent to rivals as it modernises its military.

HDB facebook page on new drying racks hung out to dry for promoting same sex couple

 HDB amends graphic 'to avoid misunderstanding' after suggestions that original depicted same-sex couple

In Pakistan, people are being asked to drink less tea. Because, economy.

China is still trying to contain Covid. With lockdowns.

In the US, Gas (petrol) prices exceed US$5 (a gallon).

And the Malaysian government cannot keep prices of chicken low for their people. Even with a ban of chicken exports to Singapore.

And of course, over in Ukraine, they are fighting Russian invaders.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

News Release: NREL Creates Highest Efficiency 1-Sun Solar Cell

May 18, 2022 

The record-setting solar cell shines red under blue luminescence. Photo by Wayne Hicks, NREL

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) created a solar cell with a record 39.5% efficiency under 1-sun global illumination. This is the highest efficiency solar cell of any type, measured using standard 1-sun conditions.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Govt petition platform ‘never been live’, idea now canned: GovTech

iStock The Straits Times reported that PetitionsSG was created with the aim of empowering citizens
to push for change and to connect important ground sentiment to government ministries.


May 5, 2022

SINGAPORE — The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said that it has canned an idea in which a petition website would reportedly have been used to submit petitions to relevant government ministries if more than 10,000 signatures were garnered. GovTech added that the platform has "never been live".

In an email on Thursday (May 5) in response to TODAY's queries, GovTech said that the Government “actively seeks out views and concerns of citizens through various channels but we do not make decisions on the basis of petitions”.

The agency's response came less than a day after The Straits Times published a report about the PetitionsSG website developed by GovTech's Open Government Products unit.

The report stated that Singaporeans "may soon get a new avenue to voice their concerns through a platform where petitions that garner 10,000 supporters will be submitted to the relevant ministries for review".

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Commentary: Why is Ukraine so keen to join the European Union?

Joining the European Union would be Ukraine's symbolic act of placing a stake in the ground, claiming an identity and a heritage, and building towards a peaceful and prosperous future, say two academics.

Members of the European Parliament sit behind signs in support of Ukraine during an extraordinary session on Ukraine in Brussels on Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Mathew Doidge

Serena Kelly

03 May 2022 

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: With the weight of Russian military might bearing down on it, Ukraine applied to join the European Union (EU) on Feb 28. While the Russian invasion provided the immediate pretext, membership had been on the Ukrainian political agenda since the Orange Revolution of 2004–2005.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Hawkers say they have to raise prices to survive, as rising cost of ingredients hits hard

Jalelah Abu Baker

29 Apr 2022 

SINGAPORE: On Monday (Apr 25), chwee kueh seller Theresa Tan's chye poh (preserved radish) supplier told her that he will increase his prices.

A tin of chye poh, which she can easily go through in a day, will cost S$158 from May 1, up from S$130 now.

This additional cost for the ingredient, an essential in the making of the steamed rice flour cake dish, would come on top of others.

Speaking to CNA at her stall at Bendemeer Market and Food Centre on Wednesday, Ms Tan rattled off a list of ingredients that have become more expensive recently – cooking oil, sugar, garlic and onions.

As a result, Ms Tan will also raise her prices from May 1. Four pieces of chwee kueh will cost S$1.60, up from S$1.20, while eight pieces will cost S$3.20, up from S$2.40.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Singapore's core inflation rises to 10-year high in March

Gabrielle Andres

25 Apr 2022 

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s core inflation rose to a 10-year high of 2.9 per cent year-on-year in March, up from 2.2 per cent in February, official data released on Monday (Apr 25) showed.

The last time core inflation was at 2.9 per cent year-on-year was in March 2012.

The increase was driven by higher inflation for food and services, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a joint release.

Friday, April 22, 2022

EMA issues Request for Information to assess geothermal energy potential across Singapore

Sembawang Hot Spring Park is one of the sites of the exploratory studies currently conducted by the
Nanyang Technological University. (Photo: CNA/ Jeremy Long)

Ang Hwee Min

20 Apr 2022 

SINGAPORE: The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has issued a Request for Information in its bid to assess the geothermal energy potential across Singapore, as part of moves to decarbonise the power sector for a more sustainable energy future.

The Request for Information is to facilitate a geophysical investigation into possible approaches, methodologies and execution details in carrying out the geothermal potential assessment, said EMA in a press release on Wednesday (Apr 20).

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Commentary: The 'Battle for Donbas' will be protracted and bloody

A reorganised Russian army, backed by loyal separatists, has begun its assault on Donbas in Ukraine. But an experienced Ukrainian defence, reinforced by supplies from the West, is ready to put up a dogged fight, says this military expert.

After encountering fierce resistance around Kyiv, Moscow is focusing on the eastern region of Donbas.

Frank Ledwidge

20 Apr 2022

PORTSMOUTH, England: There will be no peace deals, no ceasefires and no surrenders in Ukraine. The next two months will bring what United States defence officials have called “a knife fight” in the area that the Ukrainian army calls “The Joint Forces Operation”. We know this region better as Donbas.

For eight years, the two sides have fought there, with Russian regular army elements supplementing separatist units. Now, after Kyiv, Russian forces are redeploying there to take on Ukraine’s best and most experienced units.

The battles to come will resemble more the manoeuvre battles of World War II than those fought around the cities of Kyiv, Mariupol and Sumy in the seven weeks that the war has raged so far. Nonetheless, the Russians are unlikely to prevail.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Polder project at Pulau Tekong more than halfway complete: Desmond Lee

Screengrab from a video showing the polder project at Pulau Tekong. (Screengrab: Facebook/Desmond Lee)

17 Apr 2022 

SINGAPORE: A project to build polders at Pulau Tekong is more than halfway complete, and is set to finish by the end of 2024, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said on Sunday (Apr 17).

Polders are tracts of land that lie below sea level and are reclaimed through the building of dykes, drainage canals and pumping stations. They will help to protect Singapore against rising sea levels brought about by climate change.

Singapore officially opens fifth desalination plant

An aerial view of the Jurong Island Desalination Plant.

April 17, 2022

SINGAPORE — Singapore on Sunday (April 17) officially opened the country’s fifth desalination plant, which is about 5 per cent more energy efficient than conventional desalination plants.

Due to its co-location with an existing power plant, the Jurong Island Desalination Plant can save about 5,000 megawatt hours per year, equivalent to the annual power needs of nearly 1,000 Housing and Development Board households.

The new facility, which has been operational since earlier this month, was officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Sunday.

The 3.7-hectare plant can produce up to 30 million gallons of fresh drinking water per day, equivalent to 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water or up to 7 per cent of Singapore’s daily water demand.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Commentary: With egg freezing, Singapore women aren’t forced to sacrifice career and self to become mothers

The ageing population and total fertility rate have long been topics of national discussion. With elective egg freezing set to be allowed, the Institute of Policy Studies’ Kalpana Vignehsa discusses what this means for Singapore women.

With egg freezing, Singapore women aren’t forced to sacrifice career and self to become mothers. (Illustration: Rafa Estrada)

Kalpana Vignehsa

15 Apr 2022 

SINGAPORE: If things go as we hope, my family will soon welcome our much-awaited second child. Getting here hasn’t been smooth – obstetricians consider this a “geriatric pregnancy” due to my “advanced maternal age”.

Still, I count myself lucky. Last year, I had a heartbreaking miscarriage late in my first trimester, a few months before this pregnancy. Two close friends had stillbirths and others struggled through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). 

MH 2664: MAS Boeing flight 'dives', passengers 'float' in their seats

(Pic for illustration purposes) The incident last Sunday, involving Flight MH2664 to the Sabah coastal town, resulted in the flight turning back to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), after what the airline termed as having encountered ‘technical issues’ during inclement weather. -NSTP/HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM

By Adrian David
New Straits Times

April 5, 2022

The incident last Sunday, involving Flight MH2664 to the Sabah coastal town, resulted in the flight turning back to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), after what the airline termed as having encountered ‘technical issues’ during inclement weather. -NSTP/HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM

SEPANG: Several passengers 'floated' in their seats, as a Malaysia Airlines flight to Tawau suddenly "dove" 7,000ft.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Nine ways Russia botched its invasion of Ukraine

By Liz Sly

April 8, 2022

The ineptitude displayed by the Russian military in its initial attempt to overrun Ukraine has astounded military professionals. The world’s second-most-powerful army has bungled almost every move since the first hours of the invasion. Now, seven weeks into a war that Russia as well as the West had expected would last only days, the Ukrainians have the momentum. They have forced the Russians to make a humiliating retreat from the north of the country and stalled or reversed Russian advances on most other fronts.

As Russia refocuses its energies on capturing Ukraine’s eastern region, the crucial question will be whether its military can redress the mistakes of the early assault. Here are nine of the most important mistakes identified by military experts.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Benz Hui claims S'poreans are spoiled by the govt & like to complain

An observation the actor made while living in Singapore.

Karen Lui 

April 13, 2022


Complaining is a national hobby in Singapore, and even Hong Kong veteran actor Benz Hui agrees.

In a video interview with Lianhe Zaobao, the 73-year-old shared his observations of Singaporeans during his prolonged stay in Singapore due to the pandemic.

Singaporeans are complain kings and queens

Towards the end of the interview, he described himself as someone who speaks his mind, unlike some people who are afraid of doing so.

Without mincing his words, Hui candidly remarked, "Singaporeans have been spoilt by the government and like to complain."

Sunday, April 10, 2022

‘Nobody will look after us’ if S’poreans can’t look after ourselves: Bilahari on Ukraine in 2014

8 years later, his reflections still hold weight.

Bilahari Kausikan 

February 25, 2022

COMMENTARY: In March 2014, former permanent secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bilahari Kausikan, published a commentary on lessons for Small States from Ukraine in The Straits Times.

He visited Ukraine in December 2013 and had the opportunity to observe the EuroMaidan demonstrations. After his visit, he reflected on how a country has fallen prey to Great Power politics and what this means for Singapore and Singaporeans.

The essay was written in the wake of Russia's invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea in early 2014. It can be found in Bilahari’s 2017 “Singapore Is Not An Island: Views on Singapore Foreign Policy” book. Published by Straits Times Press, you can get a copy of his book here.

Bilahari Kausikan is chairman of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

The coronavirus is still mutating. But will that matter? ‘We need to keep the respect for this virus.’

A drop in infections offers hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight. The virus may have something to say about that.

By Joel Achenbach, Ben Guarino and Aaron Steckelberg

October 18, 2021 

[Note the date. As we open up, we need to keep an eye on the ball, and be prepared to respond again, if necessary. But let's all hope for the best. There's an overseas vacation calling to me!]

Coronavirus infections are down across much of the United States. Hospitalizations, too. Deaths are finally dropping from their dismaying late-summer peak of more than 2,000 a day. Most people are vaccinated, and booster shots are gaining approval. Officials in the United States are hoping the worst of the pandemic is over.

But so much depends on the virus itself. It is not static. It mutates. Delta, the variant of SARS-CoV-2 now causing virtually all infections in the United States, is more than twice as transmissible as the virus that emerged in Wuhan, China. The possibility of further significant mutations in the virus looms like a giant asterisk over any discussion of the trajectory of the pandemic.

In recent weeks, scientists who closely monitor the virus have said it still appears to have plenty of room to evolve.

What it means to have nuclear energy in Singapore power sector’s net zero emission aim

Deemed unsuitable due to safety and reliability concerns in a pre-feasibility study conducted in 2012 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Energy 2050 committee projects that nuclear energy could supply about 10 percent of Singapore’s power needs by 2050 due to technological advancement.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Report: Americans are deeply ambivalent about emerging technologies

Pew surveyed over 10,000 US adults about AI, exoskeletons, and brain-machine interfaces.

By Dan McCarthy

March 25, 2022

Whether you’re a luddite or a tech solutionist, whatever—that’s your business. But new research from Pew provides a window into where a broad swath of the American public—10,260 US adults, to be exact—falls along that spectrum.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Research raises fresh questions on adverse impact of ‘long Covid’. Here’s why a vaccine-plus approach is needed


March 28, 2022

A mild infection changed my life.

In the final year of high school, shortly before my final exams, for around six weeks, I caught Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and developed mononucleosis or glandular fever.

The months of fatigue, a hallmark of EBV infections, took their toll on my exam performance, and I missed admission to law school by a single point.

While the effect on my vocation was arguably positive, mild EBV infections can, in some cases, have a devastating long-term impact on health.

EBV was recently discovered to be the leading cause of multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease of the nervous system with symptoms from incontinence to depression to blindness.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Commentary: Countries that focus the most on happiness may make people feel worse

Measuring a country’s subjective levels of happiness has become something of an international sport, say two researchers, but focusing on happiness may backfire, say two researchers.

A woman is seen smiling. (Photo: Unsplash/Constantinos Panagopoulos)

Brock Bastian

Egon Dejonckheere

20 Mar 2022 

MELBOURNE: Have you looked at the international rankings of the world’s happiest countries lately?

Measuring a country’s subjective levels of happiness has become something of an international sport. People look with interest (and a little jealousy) to nations such as Denmark, which consistently tops the world happiness rankings.

It has also led to Danish practices such as the “hygge” lifestyle gaining popularity elsewhere. If only we could add more cosiness to our lives, perhaps we would be as happy as the Danish!

Friday, March 25, 2022

How countries can respond to a perfect long storm

In a speech at the Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS)-Bloomberg Investment Conference on Wednesday (March 9), Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam spoke about how countries can navigate the current problems and “five fragilities” the world faces. Below is a transcript of his speech.


March 9, 2022

I am very happy to join you this morning. It is an important conference, both because it’s IMAS’ 25th anniversary, and importantly because of the theme that you're focusing on — investing for a green future.

Let me put this in the context of the era of profound uncertainty and fragility that the world has entered.

Investing for the future has become a much more complex game. It's more complex than it was pre-pandemic. It's also more complex than it was two weeks ago.

Biden to join allies in revoking Russia's favoured trade status

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Winter Meeting in Washington, U.S., March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

11 Mar 2022 

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden will move on Friday (Mar 11) to revoke Russia's "most favoured nation" trade status, joining with allies to punish Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Biden will announce the plans at the White House at 10.15 am.

The White House said Biden would announce "actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine". Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation".

The administration will revoke Russia's "most favoured nation status" over its invasion of Ukraine, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference earlier on Friday.