Archive for February, 2011

How the game is played in Singapore

February 27, 2011 Comments off

“What it means is that government will have to tax and tax and you will have to pay and pay. If you don’t want a Pay and Pay government, better don’t vote for the opposition. Vote for the PAP.”
– DPM Lee Hsien Loong rebutting opposition’s economic proposals, Straits Times, Oct 29 2001

In Singapore politics, the game is quite simple. As the General Elections approaches, the ruling party will put the brakes on price rises which affect ordinary Singaporeans. Not good to go to the polls with an electorate all pent up with anger. Once the brakes are on, the goodies are dished out – as in the recently-announced Budget. All adult Singaporeans will get between S$600 and S$800 – in cash. As in the General Elections of 2006, this will undoubtedly be credited into citizens’ bank accounts. Citizens need not do anything – except to trudge to their nearest ATM to withdraw the cash.

And again, as in 2006, the cash dished out will be close to Polling Day. That year, it was one week before citizens went to the polls. This year – 2011 – the cash is set to be given out from 1 May. A General Election is expected to be called soon after.

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Categories: General

A revolution? Who wants to offer his neck?

February 10, 2011 Comments off

Reading these two articles – one by the Singapore Democratic Party and the other by Alex Au – there is apparently a difference of opinion on how effective new media is.

The SDP’s online effort to raise S$20,000 for its secretary-general to avoid being sent to jail was “a historical development”, the party says on its website. The funds were needed to pay the fine imposed on Dr Chee Soon Juan for speaking in public without a permit. If he fails to pay the fine, he would be imprisoned for 20 weeks, which would most likely mean he would not be able to lead his party in the upcoming General Election.

“More than just keeping Dr Chee out of jail,” the SDP says, “Singaporeans have rallied and sent a message that they will not sit idly by when the opposition is persecuted.”

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Categories: Media