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Archive for the ‘Andrew Loh’ Category

Aljunied Town Council – Taking the easy way out?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on May 7, 2008

Leong Sze Hian & Andrew Loh

All 14 town councils run by the People’s Action Party (PAP) will not be increasing their Service and Conservancy (S&C) charges this year.

– Channel NewsAsia, “PAP town councils to freeze S&C charges this year” (February 28, 2008)

Barely two and a half months later, on May 5 2008, this is what ‘officials’ at the PAP-run Aljunied Town Council (TC) said:

Officials also said they will consider raising the conservancy charges for the dirtiest precincts to cover the extra work that goes into maintaining them …

– “Aljunied trash index aims to wipe out litterbugs.” (Straits Times, May 5, 2008)

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, Leong Sze Hian | 47 Comments »

Demonising the Internet – and bloggers

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 28, 2008

Andrew Loh

With so many shenanigans and so much bad press, is it any wonder that bloggers here are gaining a reputation as irresponsible netizens?

The above quote is from Clarence Chang of The New Paper in an article titled, “Why are S’pore bloggers clueless and careless?” (2005).

Also in that article, Chang says:

They slime, ‘flame’ and take potshots at others. The more outrageous the comments, it seems, the better. In Singapore, bloggers appear to think that anything goes.

Three years on, it seems that the attacks by the mainstream media (MSM) on the Internet, and bloggers in particular, haven’t let up.

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs | 36 Comments »

A brief incident which says a lot

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 14, 2008

Andrew Loh

This morning (14 April) I was at the Yio Chu Kang Community Club to apply for my Singpass account. A man, about 60 years old, was at the reception before me. We’ll call him “Ah Kong”.

Ah Kong (to the lady at the reception): Do you have the vouchers?

Lady: What vouchers?

Ah Kong: The vouchers to buy things. Got discount.

Lady: Those are for NTUC members only.

Ah Kong: It’s reported in the newspapers. Vouchers got discount.

Lady: Yes, but they are for NTUC members only.

Ah Kong: So I must join NTUC?

Lady: Yes.

Ah Kong walks out of the reception.

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, TOC's Writers | 16 Comments »

NTUC’s “gift” – helping the poor or blatant exploitation?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 11, 2008

Leong Sze Hian and Andrew Loh

The National Trades Union Congress just announced a $4 million worth of assistance for 80,000 low-wage workers under the new discount vouchers scheme.

According to the Straits Times report, “NTUC’s $4m gift to less well-off workers”, the ST says:

“In all, about 80,000 lower-income union members can apply for these vouchers from NTUC.”

It goes on:

“Each voucher gets them a 5 per cent discount for every $10 spent at six NTUC cooperatives, including its childcare centres and pharmacies.”

Now, before we all start cheering the ostentatious generosity of the NTUC, read the report closely. You will notice that :

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, Leong Sze Hian, TOC's Writers | 74 Comments »

Mas Selamat’s escape – Government shifting the blame to Singaporeans’ “complacency”

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 5, 2008

Andrew Loh

If one were to follow the local media, one would be aghast at the gradual and subtle shifting of blame for alleged JI terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari’s escape.

It is propaganda at its most sublime.

It is propaganda because one, the government here in Singapore is all-encompassing and two, the local media is totally and completely beholden to the government. The media is used daily to lead public discussion and debate in the direction that the government wants it to go.

It is thus not unexpected that in a matter as serious as this escape the media would be employed to “hush things down” when ascribing blame to the government officials responsible for the “lapse”.

And so, we now witness a shameful shifting of blame – from the minister in charge, DPM Wong Kan Seng, to “Singaporeans’ complacency”.

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, TOC's Writers | 151 Comments »

A 28-hour wait for a bed at the Singapore General Hospital

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 2, 2008

Andrew Loh

“In Singapore, within half-an-hour, you would be in SGH (Singapore General Hospital), TTSH (Tan Tock Seng Hospital) and within one-and-a-half to two hours flat, you’d know what went wrong.”

– Lee Kuan Yew, TODAY, November, 2003

Recently a friend of mine (we’ll call her ‘Esther’) was admitted to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

Esther had earlier seen her GP who recommended that she consulted doctors at SGH to determine the cause of her illness.

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, TOC's Writers | 55 Comments »

In the spirit of giving a “full account”

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 26, 2008

Andrew Loh

A month has passed since suspected JI leader Mas Selamat Kastari escaped from the Whitley Road detention centre.

Perhaps it is a good time to re-visit what has been revealed – especially the information which the government has chosen to give the public about the escapee since the jailbreak.

When one looks at the information disseminated so far, by the government through the local media, one cannot help but notice the woeful lack of important information and, at the same time, the confusion surrounding one aspect of it.

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, TOC's Writers | 32 Comments »

An old man and his tin can vases

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 18, 2008

By Andrew Loh

Tucked away in a little corner in the courtyard in front of the Chinese temple at Waterloo Street, an old man sits and works patiently on his vases—vases made out of discarded aluminium cans.

Under the umbrella which shields him from the rather hot Tuesday afternoon sun, he waits for passing customers, hoping to make a few sales today.

As I watch him, I wonder what is going through his mind, as he twists together strands of tin foils he has cut out from the tin cans he collected to make his vases.

I stand up and walk over to his makeshift stall.

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Posted in Andrew Loh, TOC's Writers | 12 Comments »

Breaking News: Protesters arrested for World Consumer Rights Day event

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 15, 2008

By Andrew Loh

It took less than an hour for the Singapore police to stop a protest by about 20 Singaporeans, all dressed in red t-shirts and some holding placards, outside Funan Shopping Centre this afternoon at about 2.50pm.

The protesters were marking World Consumer Rights Day, which is held all over the world. They were protesting the rising cost of living in Singapore.

Those arrested include the Singapore Democratic Party chairman Gandhi Ambalam, SDP secretary general Dr Chee Soon Juan, Chee Siok Chin, John Tan and SG Human Rights activist Chia Ti Lik.

Videos and pictures below.

Read Reuters report: “Singapore arrests opposition members over protest”.

And International Herald Tribune’s “Singapore police round up opposition party members for protest against rising prices”.

*The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) will hold its event tomorrow. Click here and TOC’s earlier article here.

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, TOC Reports, TOC's Writers | 120 Comments »

From blogger to politician – in Singapore?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 12, 2008

In the recent Malaysian elections, blogger Jeff Ooi stood as a candidate for the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) in Penang’s Jelutong Parliamentary seat and won. His margin of victory was a whopping 16,246 votes. (The Star)

It was Ooi’s first attempt in an election.

Will we see Singapore bloggers doing a Jeff Ooi, entering the political fray as candidates?

The New Paper (March 12, 2008) interviewed theonlinecitizen’s writers Gerald Giam and Leong Sze Hian for their views on this. (Click here)

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs | 20 Comments »

TOC Special Report : Opposition creating a buzz in Penang elections

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 7, 2008

By Andrew Loh

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) of Malaysia is quietly confident of its chances in the upcoming General Elections, the 12th in the country.

Although it managed to win only one seat in the Penang state assembly in the last elections, DAP members told theonlinecitizen (TOC) that they are confident of creating a severe dent in the ruling Barisan National’s (BN) hold this time round.

The DAP, founded by Mr Devan Nair who later became Singapore’s 3rd president, is now led by Secretary General Mr Lim Guan Eng, son of the former leader, Mr Lim Kit Siang. The junior Lim was first elected as a Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka in 1986, defeating ex-Malaysian football captain Soh Chin Aun with a majority of 17,606 votes. (DAP)

The senior Lim is now the chairman of the Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission of the party. (DAP)

TOC paid a visit to the DAP’s headquarters in Penang on Sunday and Monday.

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, TOC's Writers | 26 Comments »

Has our Prime Minister gone missing too?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 5, 2008

By Andrew Loh

Mas Selamat Kastari is the most wanted man in Singapore right now.

He is the number one terrorist threat to Singapore.

A massive island-wide manhunt is on the way to find him.

Malaysia and Indonesia are also on the lookout for the escapee.

Interpol has put out a worldwide warrant of arrest for the man.

The international news media has reported on his escape.

Singaporeans, both on the internet and in the mainstream media, have given their opinion on the matter.

It seems that the only person missing from all of these is the prime minister himself.

Perhaps we should start asking: Where is prime minister Lee Hsien Loong?

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Posted in Andrew Loh, Current Affairs, TOC's Writers | 49 Comments »