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Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Malays in 2007: Renewed confidence amidst turbulence?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on December 29, 2007

By Kamal Mamat

Amidst the gloom of inflation and concerns over spiky social issues, one can sense that generally, 2007 has been a positive year for the Malay community. Of course, the rising costs of goods and services dent this sentiment.

But, lest we forget, the five years preceding 2007 were pockmarked by the scars of 9/11 and the subsequent economic recession, which impacted the already economically-disadvantaged community most.

Considering the stigma of having to deal with the extremist elements within, worsened by the economic downturn of those years, the Malays have reasons to cheer, no matter how muted, to what 2007 has brought upon.

A recap of the year 2007 necessitates a detailing of both highs and lows within and surrounding the community.

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Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Kamal Mamat | 41 Comments »

TOC Open Thread: Multiculturalism, Indian style

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 6, 2007

TOC writer Kamal Mamat featured this on his personal blog here .

Below is a video of Indian Idol contestant Meiyang Chang, third generation Indian citizen fluent in Hindi.

Posted in Community, Current Affairs, TOC Feature | 1 Comment »

Beyond Tokenism- Malays, Integration and the SAF

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 6, 2007

By Kamal Mamat

I would like to propose several hypotheses which I gathered after conducting a series of intense and scholarly empirical research on the levels of representation of the Malays in the SAF.

Due to space constraints, I will only list down three of them.

1. Malays’ absence in the Navy. Malay men generally cannot swim because they cannot afford the swimming lessons when they were young. In any case, they have to attend mengaji (Quranic recitation) classes in the afternoons, soccer training on Saturdays and wedding invitations on Sundays at different void decks.


2. Malays’ absence in the Armour unit. It is medically proven that Malay men are more likely to be afflicted with claustrophobia. They hate enclosed spaces, which unfortunately include the armoured vehicles of the SAF. Their propensity for spatial wealth instead of material wealth can be seen in their natural ability to congregate at void decks and the beaches of East Coast Parkway and Changi.
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Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Kamal Mamat | 38 Comments »

A brief encounter with a Chinese woman

Posted by theonlinecitizen on October 25, 2007

By Eddie Choo

This evening I had quite a conversation with an elderly day nurse. She’s from China and she was asking me for directions. I don’t know her name, never asked for it, for convenience lets just call her Xiaomin.

I first noticed her at the bus stop just outside a posh condo near the Singapore River. She seemed a little bit anxious, fidgety, looking at the bus number.

The bus I was waiting for had just left, so I knew it was going to be a long wait for the next one (IRIS said 17 minutes). She approached me, and in her heavily accented English, asked me whether the bus stopped at any MRT stations. I said yes, pointed to the bus guide and showed her Aljunied station. She then sat down, still anxious.

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Posted in Community, Eddie Choo | 4 Comments »

Playing an active part as Singaporeans

Posted by theonlinecitizen on September 15, 2007

By Andrew Ong

After casual exchanges with friends over some local socio-political issues, I have to say that generally, majority of us Singaporeans take a very passive if not an apathetic approach when it comes to Singapore socio-political issues.

I think this can be largely due to us Singaporeans ‘taking for granted’ the strong leadership and efficiency of our government.

Personally, I think this is not very healthy for us as a country and has to be addressed as it might pose a grave danger for all of us.
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Posted in Andrew Ong, Community, Current Affairs | 21 Comments »

TOC Youth activism perspective

Posted by theonlinecitizen on September 1, 2007

By Jorina Chai

My first foray into grassroots work was in September 2005.

Bored with the run of the mill MOE-mandated community service activities organised by my school, I decided to get involved in something which would have a broader impact on the community.

Raising funds and selling flags was not my idea of meaningful and purposeful community work.

Joining the Youth Executive Committee (YEC) of my constituency appealed to me greatly as I believed it would have more far-reaching effect in terms of having a positive impact on the lives of citizens.

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Posted in Community, Guest Writers | 10 Comments »

Nation Builders

Posted by theonlinecitizen on August 9, 2007

As we celebrate National Day, lets not forget the ones who are struggling and who continue to struggle on a daily basis. Many thanks to Martyn See for taking the time and effort to lend a voice to the less-abled and needy – especially the elderly.

May all of us do our small part to make the lives of our elderly a little better.

Here is Martyn’s latest film. It’s titled “Nation Builders”.

Posted in Community, Current Affairs, The Poor | 17 Comments »

More than just money needed to help poor

Posted by theonlinecitizen on July 15, 2007

This is TOC writer Leong Sze Hian’s letter to The New Paper which was published on the 14th of July, 2007.

I refer to the article ‘Would you work 2 shifts over 14 hours for $4.90 an hour?’ (The New Paper, 6 Jul) and the recent launch of the Centre for Social Development (Asia) at NUS.

Helping the poor is not so much about giving money or assistance to them. The most important areas that the poor need help in are, in order of priority:

1. Reduce the risk of losing their HDB flat and lifetime CPF savings, in the event of foreclosure by the HDB or banks.

Lower-income Singaporeans have a much higher probability of defaulting on the typical 30-year mortgage.

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Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Leong Sze Hian, The Poor | 3 Comments »

“Every citizen is a reporter”

Posted by theonlinecitizen on July 4, 2007

This is an extract from the blog, DailyKos.

Meet some of the citizen reporters of OhmyNews, a South Korean venture that in 2000 became the first online newspaper in the world to accept, edit, and publish articles from its readers.

It was established by Oh Yeon Ho, who has earned his credibility in the student pro-democracy movement of the 1980s, including having served a prison term for his activities.

OhmyNews was instrumental in bringing down the previous South Korean president in 2002, and the election of current President Roh Moo Hyun. Not only did OhmyNews garner the first media interview from new President Roh, but the president himself addressed the opening of the conference:

“The media has to change if our society is to advance. The most powerful force that raises the standards of the media is no other than the participation of alert citizens.

The standards of the media and quality of its products can improve when more citizens participate in the production and distribution stages and use their responsible criticism to act as a check against the possibility of the media morphing into a political power.

Moreover, solidarity between the media organizations that are actively participated in by citizens will greatly contribute to advancing democracy globally.”

 To read the full article, click here.

Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Internet/Blogging | 8 Comments »

Should homosexuals be allowed to teach?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on June 27, 2007

At first glance, the answer to the question above is obvious. A teacher’s sexuality belongs to a private realm, and has no bearing on his ability to teach. There have been no known instances, for example, where one’s sexual orientation has impaired one’s ability to prepare lessons or manage a classroom.

Yet, imagine a straw poll conducted by a newspaper, with the same question directed at what the local press likes to term the ‘man-in-the-street’. Imagine if the question is raised after prominent media coverage of a male teacher who has been accused of molesting his male students. Imagine also, the leading phraseology: the question reads ‘Should a gay teacher be allowed to teach in schools?’ instead of, say, ‘Should our schools discriminate against a teacher who happens to be gay?’

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Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Education | 15 Comments »

Homosexuality as a “disorder”: classification denies potential trainee teaching position

Posted by theonlinecitizen on June 26, 2007

After a clarification from Alfian Sa’at, who writes for Trevvy, we have decided to only publish an excerpt of this article, as follows. You can view the full article here.

“I watch Francis as he tries to describe how he feels about the turning his life has taken the past few months. He was told being 302 was not going to be a liability in the civil service. He was told that there was nothing wrong with him, and that a psychiatrist would vouch for his suitability. And yet his one dream of teaching Art in schools is now dashed. “I don’t feel like I’m wanted here,” he says.

Read also: Award winning local playwright fired from teaching position

And: Where is the basic common decency?

Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Education | 13 Comments »

$200 GST offset, but so much more to pay ad infinitum

Posted by theonlinecitizen on June 14, 2007

This is a letter by TOC writer Leong Sze Hian to the Straits Times

I REFER to StarHub’s announcement that it will increase cable TV subscriptions by between $4 for basic groups and $10 for sports content.

This is an increase of 17 to 67 per cent. The reason given was that ‘the price hike is a natural result of ongoing increases in prices of pay-TV content”, without any mention of the GST increase.

When I received my GST offset letter informing me that I will receive $200, I began to recall the things that I have had to pay more for in recent months.

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Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Leong Sze Hian, The Poor | 5 Comments »