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Archive for the ‘Choo Zheng Xi’ Category

The Unions, the Press and the People

Posted by theonlinecitizen on May 8, 2008

Leong Sze Hian & Choo Zheng Xi

Let the people eat…detergent?

Does the media’s reporting of detergent prices reveal a deeper conflict of interest that may harm the country?

Once in awhile pearls of wisdom are found in The New Paper. Larry Havekamp a.k.a. Dr Money, in his financial column in The New Paper, likened statistics to bikinis: what they reveal is suggestive, what they conceal is vital (New Paper, May 5).

We refer to the article in the Straits Times headlined “Rice and cooking oil lead price rise: New Case survey of prices across retailers points out cheaper options for buyers” (Straits Times, May 3).

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs, Leong Sze Hian | 32 Comments »

Bloggers’ group proposes sweeping changes in Internet regulation

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 18, 2008

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release

By Choo Zheng Xi and Alex Au

18 April 2008

Bloggers’ group proposes sweeping changes in Internet regulation

A group of committed bloggers will submit recommendations to the Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts within the next few days, on the subject of Internet regulation. This open letter, which will be released to the public at the same time, will call for sweeping changes to bring Singapore in line with international norms and the reality of the new technology.

Its key proposals include:

1. All regulation of speech should be platform-neutral, given the steady convergence of various platforms as a result of the digital revolution. There should not be different rules for different media.

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs | 37 Comments »

5 Minutes With…. Choo Zheng Xi on PM Lee’s interview

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 15, 2008

On PM Lee, succession, and weak leadership

TOC’s Chief Editor Choo Zheng Xi gives his response to today’s Straits Times’ reproduction of an interview done with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long, and gets him to answer the tough questions the mainstream press isn’t.

(The ST report is titled “Beyond kissing babies”, April 15, Page H6.)

Zheng Xi will try to bust some myths, ask some tough questions, and attempt to shed some light on the PAP’s remarkably opaque succession plans.

Question 1: Succession?

The interview seems to focus quite a bit on questions relating to his Ministers’ caliber, as opposed to focusing on his collective assessment of his government’s work. Why is the press so keen on getting his appraisal of his ministers’ work as individuals?

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs, TOC's Writers | Tagged: | 28 Comments »

TOC Feature: No female full Minister in Cabinet

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 31, 2008

Is something wrong with the process, the people, or the PAP?

Choo Zheng Xi

The government’s decision not to appoint a female full Minister has disappointed both male and female Singaporeans.

In a surprise move on Saturday, the People’s Action Party (PAP) government failed to break the 42-year female dry spell in the highest echelons of government. Prior to the reshuffle, many observers were expecting Ministers of State Mrs Lim Hwee Hua or Ms Grace Fu to be appointed full Minister.

Instead, Lim Hwee Hua is the new Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport and Grace Fu is to be the new Senior Minister of State for Education, while continuing her present appointment as the Minister of State for National Development.

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs, TOC Feature, TOC's Writers | 37 Comments »

TOC Report: Bureacratic muddle leads to canning of International Fringe Festival event

Posted by theonlinecitizen on January 27, 2008

By Choo Zheng Xi

Members of the Singapore Complaints Choir have an additional grievance to add to their future lyric sheets: they have been effectively muzzled by the city state’s police.

The arrival of the Finnish ‘Complaints Choir’ in Singapore was an eagerly anticipated component of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2008. The Singapore leg of the Complaints Choir was billed as the first Asian Complaints Choir to be organized.

Now, the Choir’s experience will be remembered as a first for a very different reason: it was effectively banned from performing in public by the police because of foreign members’ participation in the choir. (See the choir’s press release below).

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs, TOC Reports | 17 Comments »

Have we lost our audacity to hope?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on January 17, 2008

By Choo Zheng Xi

I’m completely unashamed to admit that watching Barack Obama give his Iowa Caucus victory speech sent shivers down my spine and made me more than a little misty eyed.

This wasn’t the first time I felt this way watching him speak: I remember the same reaction following his speeches ever since he gave the keynote address to the Democratic National Congress (DNC) in 2004, the speech that launched him to international prominence.

But this isn’t a paean to American politics or Barack Obama.

In fact, I credit much of that cathartic release to a transposition of emotion I feel at the inspiration deficit from our local political scene.

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs | 16 Comments »

MM Lee: Lucky Indonesians

Posted by theonlinecitizen on January 15, 2008

By Choo Zheng Xi

In another Singaporean first on the world stage, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was the first foreign dignitary to visit the ailing President Suharto in hospital in Indonesia.

In glowing comments on Suharto’s reign, MM Lee attempted to put a gloss on the ailing dictator’s shortcomings: (Read the Straits Times).“Yes, there was corruption. Yes, he gave favors to his family and his friends. But there was real growth and real progress,” Lee was quoted as saying.

He then attempted to tell Indonesians how privileged they were to have grown up under his rule:

“I think the people of Indonesia are lucky. They had a general in charge, had a team of competent administrators including a very good team of economists.”

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs | 73 Comments »

TOC Breaking News: 50 Burmese nationals protest

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 20, 2007

For more pictures, please visit Pseudonymity’s blogsite.

20/11/2007, 1930 hrs:

50 Burmese nationals gathered outside Orchard Hotel in groups of three. Standing in rows of three, they formed a line that snaked across the frontage of the Hotel. One group carried a banner that said: “Listen to Burma’s desire, don’t follow junta’s order”.

We want to meet Gambari

Mr Marc Myo, a protest spokesperson and a student at Singapore Management University, told the assembled reporters that the Burmese community would like to meet with UN Special envoy Ibrahim Gambari. Mr Gambari will soon be in Singapore to meet with Asean leaders.He said this show of force was to put pressure on Asean and Burma to effect the immediate release of jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, TOC Reports | 34 Comments »

Editorial: Time to stop Asean’s humiliation

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 20, 2007

By Choo Zheng Xi

Every big family has its awkward characters: the cousin who can’t stop talking about Multi-Level Marketing. The 50 year old aunt who can’t stop talking about her sexual escapades. The mad uncle everyone wishes would just stay in his attic.

Asean has been trying to pretend there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Mad Uncle Burma for a very long time.

Paragraph 76 of the July 2007 Manila Communique reads:

“We recognized the fact that Myanmar has tried to address the many and complex challenges she is facing. We reaffirmed our commitment to remain constructively engaged with Myanmar as part of building “one caring and sharing” regional community together.”

Drivel like ‘caring and sharing’ might have worked, pre Burma crackdown. However, it is getting increasingly hard to hide behind such meaningless euphemisms. Actually, it is getting downright embarrassing.

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs | 8 Comments »

Gutter journalism masquerading as citizen journalism: Racist rhetoric stoked over irresponsible reporting

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 18, 2007

Choo Zheng Xi
Editor-in-Chief
On behalf of TOC

“Ang moh and friend attack Star Blogger Michelle and friend” screamed the headline on STOMP, the Straits Times’ online media portal.

TOC would like to highlight the irresponsible and lopsided way this story was written.

One of the basic rules of journalism is to get both sides of the story before running a report. If you can’t get both sides, at least qualify the information received from the only source you have with the word ‘ALLEGED’.

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs | 47 Comments »

High cost of living? Buy cheaper products, says minister

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 13, 2007

By Choo Zheng Xi

Recent price hikes have prompted several members of Parliament to voice their concern about increasing cost of living, especially with respect to basic necessities.

In the third quarter of 2007, the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 2.7% year-on-year, compared to 1.0% in the second quarter and 0.5% in the first quarter.

Inflation is projected to hit a record 5% by 2008.

Yesterday in Parliament, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister of Trade and Industry admitted that these were due to a ‘one off effect of GST hikes’ and mainly higher food prices. In his response to MPs questions today, he also had this advice for families hit by higher prices: “Switching to cheaper products can reduce the cost of living despite a rise in the CPI.”

TOC would like to point out the inadequacy of his answer: if people are complaining about higher prices, it is no answer to tell them to find cheaper goods. The point of the complaint is that people are finding it difficult to find cheaper goods.

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Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs | 37 Comments »

TOC Breaking News: Safety concerns cause US, Japan to ground F-15 fleet two weeks after Singapore buys 12 F-15s

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 7, 2007

This morning, (Nov 7) western media reports highlighted that the US grounded its entire fleet after a F-15 started to fall apart on a training mission. Japan soon followed suit by resting all 200 F-15 planes in the Japanese Self Defence Force. (Bloomberg)

On October 22, 2007, Singapore’s Ministry of Defense exercised an option on an existing contract with Boeing to purchase eight F-15SG aircraft and has ordered four more additional ones to make up a total of 12. (See Bloomberg report)

According to media reports, while the Missouri crash was the catalyst for the grounding, F-15 jets have been involved in three other accidents in recent months. Grounding an entire fleet is not common.

The original contract Singapore inked with Boeing in 2005 involved an estimated USD $1bn, excluding the option to purchase. Information on the original contract can be found here and here.

Singapore’s defense budget in the fiscal year ending March 2006 was 9.26 billion Singapore dollars, and accounting for almost a third of the national budget.

Local media has yet to report the news, and international media enquiries directed at Singapore’s Ministry of Defence as to the status of the Singaporean F-15 fleet have so far gone unanswered.

Posted in Choo Zheng Xi, Current Affairs, TOC Reports | 7 Comments »