Thursday, February 24, 2022

Commentary: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a timely reminder of hard truths for Singapore


February 24, 2022

After months of building up a huge, powerful force surrounding its neighbour, Russia on Thursday (Feb 24) began what many regarded as unthinkable a few weeks ago: An invasion of Ukraine.

Despite President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that he had ordered a “special military operation” — what most initially took to mean limited armed action in the self-declared independent areas in the eastern part of the country — reports from correspondents on the ground revealed this to be an all-out assault, with explosions heard in many cities.

Apart from news junkies and others interested in international affairs, the gathering clouds of war in Europe attracted little interest in Singapore.

Various media outlets have tried to frame the issue, and its impact on us, in terms that most Singaporeans would relate to: Rising prices, supply chain disruptions and the like.

These impacts will hurt our wallets, and there is nothing more likely to make us perk up than having to pay more at the pump or supermarket, or having our orders from Amazon delayed.

But these explainers miss a larger, and much more important, point. The invasion of a sovereign nation by a much more powerful one rubs up against a fundamental tenet of Singapore — adherence to international law.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Commentary: Just how concerned should we be about COVID-19 reinfections?

Reports of COVID-19 reinfection have become common since the Omicron variant emerged, but many cases are still likely to go undiagnosed, says a medical professor.

Paul Hunter

20 Feb 2022 

NORWICH, United Kingdom: We’ve known since early on in the pandemic that COVID-19 reinfections could occur. One of the first reinfections reported was in a 33-year-old man from Hong Kong. His initial infection was diagnosed on Mar 26, 2020, with his second infection, with a genetically distinct virus, being diagnosed 142 days later.

Since then, reports of reinfection have become common, especially since the emergence of the Omicron variant. Early research from South Africa (awaiting review by other scientists) suggests that the risk of reinfection increased quickly and substantially after the variant arrived.

So why are reinfections increasing? The simple answer is because our immunity is often no longer sufficient to prevent an infection.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Commentary: WP’s woes underline pivotal choice facing Singaporeans

February 14, 2022 Committee of Privileges has recommended that Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh (left) and
vice-chair Faisal Manap (right) be referred to the Public Prosecutor for further investigations for
lying under oath in their testimonies.


Is it the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end?

The release of the Parliament’s Committee of Privileges (COP) report on Thursday (Feb 10) marked the end of the committee’s investigations into the lies told by former Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan in Parliament last August and October.

The COP has recommended that WP secretary-general and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh and the party’s vice-chairman Faisal Manap be referred to the Public Prosecutor for further investigations for lying under oath in their testimonies.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Migrant worker’s tale of inequality grips China, then is erased

Jialun Deng/The New York Times

A migrant worker, who revealed a parallel universe to well-off Chinese, became a symbol of inequality that the Chinese government had to erase.

February 13, 2022

HONG KONG — He visited 28 places in the first 18 days of 2022, including a puppet theater, a few luxury residential compounds and a shopping mall in the heart of China’s equivalent of Silicon Valley.

He didn’t go to any of these places for fun. He was often there in the wee hours when they were deserted, to unload concrete and sand from trucks that weren’t allowed in the city until after midnight. He would be gone before day broke.

The migrant worker, surnamed “Yue,” toiled in obscurity until he tested positive for Covid-19 and authorities released the extensive details of his movements. After that, he became known as the hardest working person in China.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Why are young children contracting COVID-19 at such a high rate and what can parents do?

Jalelah Abu Baker

09 Feb 2022 

SINGAPORE: On Tuesday (Feb 8), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung revealed that among all age groups in Singapore, children are contracting COVID-19 at the highest rate.

The infection rate for children between the ages of five and 11 is about 67 per 100,000, followed by those aged 12 to 19, with an infection rate of about 55 per 100,000.

The Omicron variant is more likely to infect children than the Delta variant, added Mr Ong. To this end, public and private hospitals are setting up more beds for children, he said, and COVID-19 treatment facilities are also converting more beds for children and their caregivers.

But admitting children to hospitals and facilities is often “precautionary” in nature, he added, with short stays of about two to three days.

CNA spoke to health experts to find out why this age group has the highest infection rate and what parents should do.

Peng Shuai’s Weibo Post (with translation)

[Disclaimer: My Mandarin is VERY limited. So I cannot attest to the accuracy or veracity of either the original post, or the translation. Peng Shuai may well refute either the authenticity of the (alleged) Weibo post (but she has not!), or the translation or misunderstanding (which she has, but only to state generally, that it was an "enormous misunderstanding" but has not provided any specifics, or even the purpose of the Weibo post. So here's the text (in Mandarin) of her (alleged) original Weibo Post, and the translation provided by "What's on Weibo"]

Full Text Translation of Peng Shuai’s Weibo Post   

In a previous post, What’s on Weibo gave a partial translation of Peng’s Weibo post. Here, we will provide a full translation. Please note that this is a translation provided by What’s on Weibo and not an official translation issued by any other party.  

Monday, February 7, 2022

Singaporeans doing Italian (food)

 So there's a survey of what Italians think are the worst food crimes against Italian food, and how people around the world agree or disagree with the Italians.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Explainer: Why EU nations are lifting Covid-19 restrictions despite high case numbers and should Singapore do the same?

Several European Union countries are doing away with infection controls for Covid-19
Denmark has had none since Feb 1 and France said on Feb 2 that it will be lifing most restrictions
This is even though they have a high number of Covid-19 cases
The World Health Organization is, however, cautioning against relaxing curbs too quickly
Infectious diseases experts in Singapore said that the Government here may consider easing some restrictions


February 4, 2022

SINGAPORE — Several European Union (EU) countries are lifting most, if not, all of their Covid-19 restrictions, despite recording high number of Covid-19 cases.

Denmark removed all restrictions, including mask-wearing and Covid-19 vaccination passes, on Tuesday (Feb 1) — the first EU country to do so.