Monday, 20 October 2014

Snap General Elections in 2015?

Update 17 Dec 2014: PAP activists in opposition wards gear up for election
Mr Victor Lye is leading PAP activists in the Bedok Reservoir-Punggol ward in the Workers' Party-controlled Aljunied GRC

The next General Election is due by Jan 2017 and set to be a "deadly serious fight" according to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. PAP activists in opposition wards are already working the ground

During the recent People's Action Party conference, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the next General Election, due by Jan 2017, will be a "deadly serious fight". While there has been no indication when the GE will be held, PAP activists in opposition wards are working to gear up for the elections.

52-year-old Victor Lye was chosen to lead PAP activists at Bedok Reservoir-Punggol ward in the Workers' Party-controlled Aljunied GRC. He is a familiar face, having worked the ground since 1999.

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Elections will be called when the timing is right: PM


PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday that he would consider a range of factors in deciding when to call the next General Election (GE).

These include local issues, the state of preparation of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), and global developments.

"If a major crisis is coming up then we have to clear that... It also depends on other agenda (items) which we are busy with," he said.

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GE may not be held when everyone’s expecting it: PM
Mr Lee says the PAP is working hard preparing for the next General Election and it will be called ‘as soon as we’re ready’. PHOTO: OOI BOON KEONG

Giving little away, Mr Lee said there are several considerations. “It depends on what is happening in the world, if a major crisis is coming up then we have to clear that,” he said.

“It also depends on other agenda which we are busy with ... for example, next year there is SG50. We will have to take all this into account and make soundings and choose the right moment. Not necessarily when everybody is expecting it.”

He said the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is working hard preparing for the GE. “When we’re ready we will call, as soon as we’re ready.”

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Prepare yourselves, GE is nearer than you think?

OK, I’m no political pundit. Nor an academic in political science who should be better able to read the political tea leaves than your average auntie. I also don’t move in the circles of great thinkers and insiders in Singapore’s elite political circles.

But to parody the Wet Wet Wet song, I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes. GE’s all around me, and so the feeling grows; it’s written in the wind; it’s everywhere I go..

.. that the next General Election for Singapore, IMHO, is a lot nearer than all the august big brains — Eugene Tan, Bertha Henson, Kit Wei Ching, Song Seng Wun to name a few — in our midst have been predicting. So shall I bet my Pioneer Generation Card against your SICC card that the January 19 2015 sitting for this Parliament will be its last.

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Public servants called up to train as election officials
TODAY reports: Teachers say they have received letters informing them that they have been identified as election officials

With the January 2017 deadline for the next General Election looming closer, the Elections Department (ELD) has been calling up public servants for training to be election officials, as part of the electoral process.

Teachers TODAY spoke to confirmed that they have received letters – some last month and others in the past week – informing them that they have been identified as election officials, and requiring them to complete an online training module before attending in-person training at a later date.

Responding to queries from TODAY, the ELD said in an emailed statement: “ELD prepares and organises the Public Service to conduct elections in Singapore. Amongst other work, ELD selects and trains public officers on an ongoing basis to perform election duties during an election.”

related: 30,000 to be trained as poll officers


New faces for PAP candidates? It's still early, says party

A People's Association event celebrating senior citizens in the Aljunied Cluster, comprising Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC, was held on Saturday (Nov 15) evening

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob graced the event, alongside former PAP leaders Lim Boon Heng and Zainul Abidin Rasheed.

New faces touted as potential PAP candidates for Aljunied and Hougang were present at a People's Association event, but former party chairman Lim Boon Heng said it is still early to say if they will be fielded. They include:
  • Banker Chua Eng Leong, who is chairman of Eunos PAP branch
  • K Muralidharan Pillai in Paya Lebar; he is a lawyer by profession
  • Chan Hui Yuh in Serangoon, who works in a family business
  • Victor Lye in Bedok Reservoir-Punggol
  • Kahar Hassan, who took over the Kaki Bukit branch chairmanship from Ong Ye Kung
  • Lee Hong Chuang, who took over as chairman of the Hougang branch, replacing Desmond Choo
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Koh Poh Koon for Ang Mo Kio GRC?
Speaking to the media in his first visit to the constituency, Dr Koh Poh Koon said he will spend more time on the ground in Ang Mo Kio to see what areas he can contribute in

Spotted among Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s entourage at Ang Mo Kio GRC and Sengkang West's annual Tree Planting Day on Saturday (Nov 1) was Dr Koh Poh Koon - candidate for the Punggol East by-election in January 2013.

Dr Koh officially relinquished his post of Chairman of the PAP Punggol East Branch on Saturday. Speaking to the media, he said this was his first visit to the constituency, adding he will spend more time on the ground in Ang Mo Kio to see what areas he can contribute in.

"I came at the invitation of Mr Seng Han Thong, but obviously this is a big GRC so there could be many areas that we could participate and help in,” said Dr Koh. “So I'll serve in whichever area they feel I can contribute."

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ACRES founder Louis Ng announces move to join PAP
Analysts say it is unusual for activist to join party politics, but see no conflict of interest

Mr Louis Ng, 36, best known as the face of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), took the unusual route of announcing yesterday to a few reporters face-to-face and on social networking site Facebook that he has joined the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

But as political analysts pointed out, there is nothing common about a leader of a combative NGO — which has often taken on large corporations and government agencies on the issues of animal welfare — joining the ruling party.

Mr Ng, who founded ACRES about 13 years ago, said he was approached in May to join the PAP by Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, whom he had been helping in the Kembangan-Chai Chee ward. He took a month to decide.


Fourth generation political leadership taking shape
Desmond Choo, Ong Ye Kung leave Aljunied, Hougang wards

After serving as grassroots advisers in constituencies where they lost during the General Election in 2011, Mr Ong Ye Kung and Mr Desmond Choo are leaving their positions in the opposition-held wards of Aljunied GRC and Hougang.

The People’s Association (PA) announced today (Sept 18) that Mr Choo had been appointed second adviser to Tampines Grassroots Organisations (GROs) for Tampines East.

Mr Ong, who has been volunteering in Sembawang GRC, relinquished his post as adviser for Kaki Bukit in Aljunied. Replacing them are veteran grassroots leaders Goh Chee Koh, 69, and Dr Kee Wei Heong, 64.

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CELEBRATING THE LITTLE RED DOT
What is SG50?

Well, it represents the little red dot that we’ve come to know as home.

The logo celebrates the Singaporean spirit – signifying that our dreams are not limited by the physical size of our island nation. Use it to show your love in your own way.

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Celebrating Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence

In 2015, we will celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence. It will be a momentous year, and this milestone is a timely occasion for us to commemorate, reflect on and celebrate our journey as one people. We have come a long way together as one people, and together, we can achieve even more. This celebration is about you, for you.

A Singapore50 (SG50) Steering Committee has been formed to guide and coordinate the plans for the 50th anniversary celebrations. The committee is being led by Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat and includes representatives from the public, private and people sectors.

The Steering Committee, which is further supported by five sub-committees, will engage partners in their respective sectors to develop programmes that support the SG50 celebrations. The Committees will focus on encouraging active community participation and involvement in the activities leading to 2015. The committees are:
  • Education and Youth;
  • Culture and Community;
  • Economic and International;
  • Environment and Infrastructure;
  • Partnership.

Pioneer Generation Tribute

Our Singapore, the modern city which we are proud to call home, did not come without challenges and difficulties that our pioneers had to overcome. Our pioneers set Singapore on its path of development and transformed the lives of a whole population through their courage and resilience. We have achieved much in these 50 years of nation-building, and there is much for us to remember and learn from the values, spirit and shared aspirations of our Pioneer Generation, as we continue to chart our future ahead. SG50, beyond an occasion for celebrations, is also an opportune time for us to reflect together on our journey as a nation.

As we celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence in 2015, it is thus timely to honour and thank our Pioneer Generation for their sacrifices, achievements and immense contributions to Singapore.

It was in this spirit that SG50 held its first event - the Pioneer Generation Tribute - at the Istana on 9 February 2014. At the event, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the Pioneer Generation Package that will help the Pioneer Generation in defraying their healthcare costs.


Our Pioneer Generation
 

The Government has introduced the Pioneer Generation Package to honour and thank our pioneers for their hard work and dedication. They have made Singapore what it is today.

About 450,000 Singaporeans will benefit from the Pioneer Generation Package.

What are the benefits? The package will help Pioneers with their healthcare costs for life.


Special birth cert for SG50 babies

A prototype of the birth certificate that will be given to all citizen babies born next year

A commemorative walkway and walking trail will be launched next year as part of celebrations for Singapore's 50th birthday. And babies born next year will get special birth certificates.

The permanent 300m Art Connector will link City Hall MRT station to the entrance of the National Gallery Singapore, which will also open next year. The walkway design will feature the "diversity of people".

From next month, Singaporeans will be invited to provide a self-portrait sketch to be incorporated into the walkway design through a "Portraits of the People" campaign. The portraits will be collected at roadshows at 50 locations islandwide.



Singaporean babies born in 2015 will receive 8 birthday gifts in Jubilee Baby Gift pack

All Singaporean babies born next year will receive a Jubilee Baby Gift pack comprising eight presents, as part of the Singapore’s 50th anniversary celebrations, said the National Population and Talent Division on Friday.

The eight items are: a special medallion; a multi-functional shawl; a baby sling; a set of baby clothes including a baby T-shirt and bottoms, rompers and mittens and socks; a diaper bag; a scrapbook for baby memories; a family photo frame and a baby book.

The population agency said that the Jubilee Baby Gift contained “a balance of practical and meaningful items”. All the above items, excluding the baby book, garnered the most votes in a public poll that ended last month in which nearly 20,000 votes were cast.

related: Singaporean babies born in 2015 to receive 8 items in Jubilee Baby Gift Pack


Gift for babies born in 2015 to celebrate S'pore's Golden Jubilee
(From left) Ms Anita Fam, Chairman of the Jubilee Baby Gift Advisory Panel, with members of the Jubilee Baby Gift Advisory Panel Mrs Joni Ong, Ms Toh Hwee Tin, Mr Jim Lim and Dr Jazlan Joosoph. A list of the top ideas will be drawn up for people to vote and those with the most votes will be included in the gift set. -- ST PHOTO: GOH CHIN LIAN

Every Singaporean child born next year will receive a special Jubilee Baby Gift to mark the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The gift will be “a uniquely-Singaporean keepsake filled with practical yet symbolic items for our Golden Jubilee babies”, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu, who oversees population issues, on Tuesday.

Its exact contents will be up to Singaporeans to suggest. People with ideas are asked to send them to the National Population and Talent Division over the next seven weeks, until May 15.

related: Commemorative Gift Pack for Babies Born in Jubilee Year


Sweetener for 'Pioneer Generation' to buy votes for the PAP as election nears
The Star Online, 1 Mar 2014

Recently announced healthcare measures could be targeting senior votes, which are badly needed to offset declining support from young Singaporeans.

The generation most loyal to the ruling party – and now wavering a little – is being wooed like never before. The government, faced with the eroding support of young Singaporeans, has launched its biggest healthcare initiative for the elderly to date. The S$8bil (RM20.7bil) plan under Budget 2014, to be spread over a period of years, aims at subsidising part of the rising healthcare costs of people who are aged 65 and above.

The timing of the Pioneer Package comes two years before the general election is due. It is termed the “mother of all elections” by some analysts because it is likely to be the most hotly contested and crucial election in modern times. It is imperative for PAP’s future that the health measures bring in the senior votes, which are badly needed to offset the dropping support of young Singaporeans. “It is obvious that the ruling party wants to consolidate or win back the estimated half a million senior votes,” said a political analyst. A forumer said: “This is sheer naked vote buying.” Full story

related:
PGP - truckloads of profit for healthcare institutions and insurance companies
The $8 Billion Con Job

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Singaporeans FIRST 新加坡人为先

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) today announced new rules that require employers to consider Singaporeans fairly before hiring Employment Pass (EP) holders. Firms with discriminatory hiring practices will be subject to additional scrutiny and may have their work pass privileges curtailed. These changes will reinforce expectations for employers to consider Singaporeans fairly for job opportunities and enhance job market transparency.

“Providing better jobs and diverse opportunities to meet Singaporeans’ aspirations are the ultimate objectives of economic growth. Even as we remain open to foreign manpower to complement our local workforce, all firms must make an effort to consider Singaporeans fairly. ‘Hiring-own-kind’ and other discriminatory practices that unfairly exclude Singaporeans run against our fundamental values of fairness and meritocracy”, said Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin.

The new rules, known as the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) (公平考量框架), draw on feedback from Singaporeans who have submitted their views to MOM, through MOM’s Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) on Jobs and from key stakeholders such as the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and employer groups.


Group urges more transparency in drawing electoral boundaries

In five General Elections, an area in Kaki Bukit bounded by the Pan-Island Expressway, Bedok North Road and Bedok North Avenue 3 has been part of four constituencies – split between the Aljunied and Eunos Group Representation Constituencies in 1988, absorbed into East Coast GRC in 1997, moved to Marine Parade GRC in 2006 and back to Aljunied GRC in 2011.

Highlighting the “frequent boundary changes”, human rights group Maruah on Thursday (Oct 9) called for more transparent deliberations by the committee that reviews electoral boundaries and for polling data at the precinct level to be made known.

Arbitrary and unnecessary electoral boundary changes breed cynicism about the political process and weaken the relationship between citizens and their elected representatives, Maruah argued in one of two position papers released.

related:

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FORMER GRASSROOTS VOLUNTEER: CHAN CHUN SING MIGHT BE CONTESTING IN SEMBAWANG GRC

The PAP has plans to introduce Chan Chun Sing into sembawang grc and move its current popular anchor minister khaw boon wan to a grc which is more vulnerable (PAP volunteers have speculated it to be East Coast GRC because Lim Swee Say is unpopular due to his poor people skills.)

In preparation for Chan Chun Sing's relocation to Sembawang GRC, grassroot leaders in that area have began softening the ground to ease the impact of Khaw Boon Wan moving away.

On 2nd november, Chan Chun Sing is going to participate in grassroot activities followed by coffee chit-chat session to understand the problems that Woodlands residents face.


FOUNDER OF ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP ACRES, LOUIS NG, JOINS THE PAP

Founder of Animal Rights group ACRES, Louis Ng, updated his facebook page this evening announcing that he has joined politics under the banner of the People's Action Party

Louis Ng FB: AM I ENTERING POLITICS?

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ACRES founder Louis Ng announces move to join PAP

Analysts say it is unusual for activist to join party politics, but see no conflict of interest

Mr Louis Ng, 36, best known as the face of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), took the unusual route of announcing yesterday to a few reporters face-to-face and on social networking site Facebook that he has joined the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).


But as political analysts pointed out, there is nothing common about a leader of a combative NGO — which has often taken on large corporations and government agencies on the issues of animal welfare — joining the ruling party.

Mr Ng, who founded ACRES about 13 years ago, said he was approached in May to join the PAP by Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, whom he had been helping in the Kembangan-Chai Chee ward. He took a month to decide.

related: Ng keen to bring passion for animal welfare to the community

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PAP could lose ‘control, power over next 15-25 years’
PAP supporters at the Nomination centre at Singapore Chinese Girls School during the 2011 General Election. TODAY file photo

The People’s Action Party (PAP) could lose the dominance it currently enjoys in Parliament in 15 years, said prominent businessman Ho Kwon Ping yesterday, adding that the party could completely lose power a decade after that if the history of dominant political parties around the world is anything to go by.

“This is actually not a radical conclusion — almost everyone I informally surveyed broadly agreed with it, but (differed) only in their estimation as to how many years it would take before the PAP would lose an election and how many terms it would stay out of power before bouncing back,” Mr Ho added.

Mr Ho, who is executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and an S R Nathan fellow, raised the scenarios at an Institute of Policy Studies (IPS)-Nathan lecture, where he spoke about politics and governance to an audience comprising about 300 civil servants, students, academics and members of the private sector.


Challenge for PAP to retain same dominance as in the past: Ho Kwon Ping

The People's Action Party will face a challenge to retain the same degree of control over Parliament as it has had in the past, said Mr Ho Kwon Ping in his first lecture as S R Nathan Fellow for the Study of Singapore.

Speaking at the University Cultural Centre, Mr Ho said history has not been encouraging to founding political parties after three or four generations. He said historical trends elsewhere point towards a possible election loss by the PAP in the second half of the next 50 years.

The most likely reason could be a freak election, followed by a split within the ruling party and a massive loss of political legitimacy, said Mr Ho.

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Kuan Yew's PAP could LOSE 'control, power over next 15 to 25 years'
“This is actually not a radical conclusion — almost everyone I informally surveyed broadly agreed with it, but (differed) only in their estimation as to how many years it would take before the PAP would lose an election and how many terms it would stay out of power before bouncing back,”

In theory, freak election results, splits in the PAP or a massive loss in legitimacy due to corruption are possible factors that can cause the PAP to lose power, said Mr Ho. Other factors that could delay or speed up the process include the level of support from elderly voters, “internal rigidity and intrigues” in the PAP cadre system and possible loss of economic competitiveness.

Noting that ruling parties in democracies have “generally floundered” after 50 to 75 years, Mr Ho nonetheless said the PAP is “very likely” to overtake the record of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, which lasted 71 years.


Big plans for S'pore's Golden Jubilee
Fresh from chairing the year-long Our Singapore Conversation dialogue, the next big task on Education Minister Heng Swee Keat's plate is to lead a new committee to prepare for Singapore's Golden Jubilee celebrations in two years' time

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced this yesterday as he said that such a milestone - the country's 50th anniversary since independence in 1965 - should be marked properly with not just a big birthday party, but make it an occasion where people could both reflect on the past and think about the kind of future that they want for the nation.

As far as Mr Heng's new committee - named S50 to mark the nation's age in 2015 - is concerned, Mr Lee called on Singaporeans to look back on the journey taken so far and to work together for a better future.

Calling for a "right mix" between a big celebration and giving thanks for the country's achievements, he said: "We've had 50 good years. Let's work together and put in the effort to have another 50 years. It's a subject where you need as wide an involvement as possible - people, community and government - and then we can do it together."


Golden Jubilee celebrations to be ground-up efforts

Fireworks lit up the sky during the National Day Parade. PM Lee Hsien Loong has said that "we should mark the occasion (Singapore’s 50th year of independence in 2015) properly, 50 years is a significant milestone…I don’t think we should just have a fireworks display and a party”

Singaporeans will not only have a say in how the nation celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2015, they will also be invited to plan and organise activities.

A steering committee has been formed to guide and coordinate the plans for Singapore's 50th anniversary celebrations.

Members of the SG50 Steering Committee come from all walks of life including visually handicapped research scientist, Dr Yeo Sze Ling, who was mentioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech.

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Channel NewsAsia unveils plans to mark Singapore's 50 years of independence

As Singapore marks a grand milestone in nationhood in 2015, Channel NewsAsia has unveiled ambitious plans to develop iconic Singapore-made documentaries to celebrate the Singapore story.

With the support of the Media Development Authority, the channel will commission, produce and outsource over 30 hours of documentaries

S$13 million will be disbursed from the next financial year for three years.


Channel NewsAsia calls for docu ideas for SG@50 project

Channel NewsAsia is calling for the submission of documentary ideas that capture and celebrate all things Singaporean.

This SuperPitch was announced at the Channel NewsAsia trade and media launch on August 21.

It is part of plans by the channel to develop iconic Singapore-made documentaries to celebrate the Singapore Story as the country marks its 50 years of independence.


Upgraded waterfront for Pasir Ris residents by 2015
Groundbreaking ceremony for ABC Waters at Sungei Api Api & Sungei Tampines. From left: Mr Zainal Bin Sapari, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC; Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, and PUB Chief Executive Mr Chew Men Leong. (Photo: PUB)

Come 2015, Pasir Ris residents will have an upgraded waterfront right at their doorstep when nearly one kilometre of the town's two waterways, Sungei Api Api and Sungei Tampines, will be spruced up.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean officiated the groundbreaking ceremony for the water project on Sunday evening.

Located between Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3, the new waterway will have rain gardens as well as additional plantings.



More food, scenic rivers for Pasir Ris residents
Artist impression of the spruced up Sungei Api Api waterway. Pasir Ris residents can look forward to more pleasant waterways and a new hawker centre at the heart of their town in the next few years. -- PHOTO: PUB


Pasir Ris residents can look forward to more pleasant waterways and a new hawker centre at the heart of their town in the next few years.

Nearly 1km of the town's two waterways, Sungei Api Api and Sungei Tampines, will be spruced up by 2015.

Current mangroves will be preserved, and more greenery will be planted along the canal walls. Gardens which filter rainwater through soil and plants will also be installed.





Newly-named Al-Islah mosque in Punggol to be ready by 2015

The Kiblah - the direction of the Kaabah in Mecca that Muslims pray towards - was also determined at Saturday's ceremony by Mufti Fatris.

The new mosque is scheduled to be completed by early 2015. Construction was previously estimated to cost between $17 million and $19 millio

Chairman of the mosque's building committee Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah said $3.1 million in donations has been raised for the mosque's interior furnishing and fittings. The initial target of $1.5 million for furnishing works had been revised to $3.5 million, taking into account rising costs

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Govt's 2015 goal for older workers


THE Government hopes to achieve by 2015 an employment rate of 65 per cent for older workers aged between 55 and 64.

This goal is within reach if the economic and employment climate remains optimistic, and with the steps taken to make older workers more employable, said Minister for Manpower Gan Kim Yong.

He noted that the employment rate for residents aged 55 to 64 rose to a new high of 59 per cent last year, coming after two years of "stagnation" during the recession

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New multi-service centre for needy by 2015

By 2015, the poor and the vulnerable in Singapore will get more support through a multi-service centre in Toa Payoh.

Agape Village, a four-storey centre which houses charities and services provided by the social arm of the Catholic Church, will offer services such as counselling, legal aid, caregiver support, job training and job-matching for displaced workers

The centre will also have facilities such as counselling and training rooms, a multipurpose hall, thrift shop, food bank and cafe.

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iN2015 Masterplan
iN2015

In May 2005, a high-level steering committee convened to spearhead the development of Singapore's 10-year masterplan to grow the infocomm sector and to use infocomm technologies to enhance the competitiveness of key economic sectors and build a well-connected society.

iN2015 is a living blueprint, jointly developed with the people and the private sectors, to navigate Singapore's exhilarating transition into An Intelligent Nation, A Global City, Powered By Infocomm

iN2015 will fuel creativity and enable innovation among businesses and individuals by providing an infocomm platform that supports enterprise and talent.It will connect businesses, individuals and communities, giving them the ability to harness resources and capabilities across geographies. iN2015 will be the conduit to enable access to the world's resources and for Singapore to export her ideas, products and services to the global marketplace


SG2015 – 50 Birthday Gifts for Singapore in 2015
SG2015 – 50 Birthday Gifts for Singapore in 2015

Stepping into the office of GridSynergy, you will find that it looks very different from other companies. It is filled with employees working enthusiastically behind giant monitors. Evelyn Lau (39), cofounder of gridsynergy, greeted me with a warm handshake.

According to her, Gridsynergy is one of the first transmedia companies. Eve might look non-imposing, but this businesswoman has been involved in creating many ideas, including *SCAPE. Philip Wu (45), the other co-founder has worked in the movie industry and for Singtel before. The two of them, although from different industries, met 8 years ago and found that they have the same aspiration about doing good.

Recently in 2012, Gridsynergy has set up the SG2015 Project, which hopes that by August 9 2015, they can create 50 people-driven continuous projects as birthday gifts to Singapore. Right now, the cofounders Eve and Philip are involved with 2 projects of their own.

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Rumour of early snap election

There are some noises that an early poll could be called judging from the visits by ministers to residents. I can’t confirm this but are there reasons for an early premature poll? It is something that would be frown upon as a waste of money and time of the people when the last GE was slightly more than two years back.

The calling for a snap poll must need a very good reason to do so. And looking at the sentiments today and the revelations of so many flaws in the system, it cannot be a good time for the PAP right now. Unless my perception is wrong and the PAP thinks that the ground is sweet again. Who knows?

There could be a few reasons for the PAP to want to call an early election. LKY is looking more like a physical burden to himself and to his constituency, and it is best to remove the obvious and put in a younger MP to do what an MP is supposed to do. It is also a good time for him to take a really good rest, to reminisce and romanticise his youth, and to bask under the glory before it is gone.

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How to Make Your Own Judgement on PM’s NDR 2013 Speech

Lee said his speech was a feedback of Our Singapore Conversation that seeks consensus for the future development of Singapore. Do you agree with this consensus?  Do you see the consensus?

After viewing the video, you can then use the 6 short-cuts to make you own judgement.  If the election is called tomorrow, will you vote for Lee and the PAP?  Which one of the short-cuts is the most critical factor for you to make your decision? And are you a marginal voter and will you make a change after listening to his speech?

Voting is secret and we should all make a wise choice for Singapore. There is rumour in social media, if Lee’s sales technique and persuasion work, the PAP will call for early election.

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GILBERT GOH: WILL THE PAP HOLD A GENERAL ELECTION THIS YEAR?

So is general election going to be round the corner this year? The last election was conducted only in 2011 and the prime minister has to call one by 2016 latest.

Netizens set the alarm bells ringing as they saw many tell-tale signs of an early election initiated by the ruling party - the big Pioneer Generation Package benefitting 450,000 seniors to buy their heart and then the damaging attack on their biggest political rival Workers' Party through the account fiasco via Aljunied town council.

There is also the Indonesian tussle with regard to the naming of the new warship after two heroes who bombed MacDonald house in 1965 which killed three people. Critics accused the government of using the incident to fan up nationalistic feelings so that the people is seen as uniting behind the country. So far it is not working as planned.

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Looming perils of ASEAN common market may force GE in 2014

With each passing day, my life is filled with greater joy. The reason is clear – I am increasingly confident that a snap election will come within this year and PAP will be consigned into the dustbin of history. PAP’s, of course, have long started, even before PM LHL NDR 2013 speech in August 2013. Who can forget their invention of “DRUMS” politics of “Distortions, Rumors, Untruths, Misinformation & Smears” modus operandi?

Voters will not forget this strange mathematical formulation of untruthful = falsity = lacking in integrity leveled at the Workers’ Party (WP) only to be exposed in the cyberspace discovery of facts involving a tainted dossier and unraveling of some white cockroaches lurking the crevices of political deception claiming virginity of innocence?

Petty bitching of a hawker centre ceiling cleaning issue filled the pages of dramatization in the print media, as incumbency drove as much political mileage as they could in that ignominious journey. Sadly for the aggressors, voters saw the anti-climax outcome for those trying ever so desperately to upturn the downturn of “AIMS” ignominy backfired.


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Election: PAP’s vote-buying

I had speculated that PAP will hold a snap general election in 2014.

I remain convinced this is still on track, looking at the consistent pattern and vigor of political posturing by the incumbency – subject to one caveat – the economic backdrop turning acerbic from its current benign state.

PM LHL, in his CNY message to the nation said the “global economy is heading up”. His claims did not elaborate on nor explain the exuberant claim. Current economic climate points to the contrary. Emerging market news and economic statistics coming out of key major economic centres from EU, Japan, and China were gloomy of upturn prospects although there is some hint of shine in the US economic data.


IMPORTING VOTERS AND BUYING VOTES?


Various signs indicate that the PAP Government is likely to call for a snap general election as they are more concerned with holding on to power than to work for the benefits and welfare of the people.

For the past two years, we have seen them engaging in dirty politics of smearing the Workers’ Party and trying to entrap them in town council politics with the assistance of government ministries, government agencies, statutory boards, and the notorious state-controlled media which is ranked 153rd and 150th in the global press freedom rankings by Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders respectively.

Is the Pioneer Generation Package an electioneering strategy to induce the estimated 450,000 seniors who made up about 20%, or a fifth, of the 2.21 million registered voters in the 2011 general election, to vote for the PAP? A post GE2011 IPS survey showed a big drop in the conservative segment, i.e. those who are happy with status quo, from 46.5% to 28% reflecting deep resentment among seniors aged 65 and above.

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Can Tharman’s Social Budget Save the PAP?

A change or sudden change of behavior is just like the new reality. We are not able to predict and forecast the new reality or behavior accurately in advance.  For the PAP, the best hope is still big coefficient and technical analysis. This model has past evidence to support and can be calculated within the box.

For the oppositions, it is new reality and behavior that will give them a breakthrough.  The lower the basic supporting interception, the more new realities and behavior changes are needed.

So, what do you think? Can the election budget save the PAP? Is 60% still a reality? If not, what will be the new reality?


So What If They Are Gunning For Votes?

Here in Singapore, the Singapore government has just released its Budget for the year and the eye-catching thing about it was a S$8 billion fund to "honor" the older generation. Called the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP), it is to help our elderly cope with daily expenses and especially their medical needs.

Others called the PGP an attempt to score political points and channels more money into the GIC through our CPF accounts. I agree. The PGP is designed to score political points with the elderly and probably to get more money into the CPF.

Does anyone truly believes the ruling PAP (People's Action Party) is going to do anything that doesn't benefits them? Aren't they are a political party? You think they are not looking to get votes for the coming elections? You think they are doing this out of the kindness of their heart

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Voters acted, govt listened

An overdue healthcare package Put bluntly: The voters won – yet again.

The $8 billion Pioneer Generation Package is the second most significant and substantial “victory” for true-blue Singaporeans since the General Elections of 2011. Setting up a committee to review and finally trim ministerial salaries was the first. The committee’s recommendations went some way to appease critics who saw politics as public service and not corporate appointments.

There are many heart-and-soul issues still to be resolved. Among them: the large number of foreigners jostling face to face with locals for living space on this small island, the widening income gap, getting the MRT one hundred per cent back on track, “de-elitising” our schools, universities and social system to ensure every child or person gets the same opportunities, whatever his or her background and the debatable “imperative” that all-out economic growth must be pursued at all costs.

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Beer, real wages & next GE

The news that beer costs $1.30 more at Kopitiam after the increase in excise duty reminds me of something I heard at CNY.

A senior marketing officer at APB told me that while Tiger still dominates the beer market here, sales of Anchor (APB’s value brand) have been up 60% (I think) since the noughties. He said S’poreans were economising. With the rise in duties, APB might be advertising,”Make mine an Anchor” or “It’s Anchor time”?

We’ll know when S’poreans really feel that they have more in their pocket when they switch back to Tiger from Anchor. That’ll be a gd time for PAP to call a GE. They can remind S’poreans that “Only the PAP fills yr belly with Tiger”.


What if PAP Govt plans a general election in 2014?

What If PAP Govt Plans A General Election Next Year 2014? Are You Ready?

I have often heard and read these  common lines by many Singaporeans and netizens : ” Wait till 2016”, “ Come GE2016” or “ We will show them in 2016”. Or similar to that with YR2016 as the deciding year assumed to be GE and Singaporeans having a much opportunity to vote in or out their MPs and govt.

Qn: What if PAP Govt decides to have a quick fresh snap elections later next year instead of the targeted 2016 in everyone’s mind or assumed right timeline as GE is due?

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WILL THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTIONS BE HELD LATER THIS YEAR?

Recently, the PAP seems to be sweet taking the electorate and embarking on a major PR campaign.  Accordingly, I have little doubt that the next general elections may be coming soon, very possibly before the end of this year. As this happens, average Singaporeans should not be fooled to thinking that the PAP has changed but to see this as a ploy to stay in power before life for Singaporeans will continually go downhill.

In my opinion, there are 3 incidents which I believe point to a possible early election. Firstly, the PAP has recently come out to introduce 5 new candidates, an unusually early move considering the elections are supposed to be held in 2016. Secondly, minister-without-a-portfolio Lim Swee Say has also decided to announce his intention to run in East Coast even though he has previously decided not to run. Why did he make such a statement at this juncture?

Last and perhaps most importantly – the PAP and Ah Loong seem to be embarking on a major PR campaign. For example, the Guest-of-Honour at the annual Ministerial forum would usually be a junior minister (or a full minister in charge of a smaller portfolio) but Ah Loong decided to grace the event himself this time. In addition, his decision to invite 1500 guests from the pioneer generation to the Istanta is unprecedented.

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LIM SWEE SAY WANTS TO CONTINUE CONTESTING IN EAST COAST GRC NEXT ELECTION


Labour chief and minister without portfolio, Lim Swee Say, has announced that he is interested to continue running as a candidate in the East Coast GRC.

He said that he has enjoyed serving the residents there in the Bedok ward and said that he has plans for the ageing constituency there. Funnily enough, this goes against his previous comments saying that 2011 would be his last election.

Back in 2007, he had suggested that if he still had to contest in 2016 to fill the positions of NTUC secretary General and PMO Minister, it would mean that the PAP's efforts to attract the 'best team' must be struggling.

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Votes Don't Count

Trust Lim Swee Say to announce that he will be contesting in the East Coast GRC at the next general election, supposedly to implement plans he has for the ageing constituency. Only in Singapore, can an ageing politician simply declare he plans to be minister again, regardless of the wishes of the electorate.

Lim must be addicted to the high he gets each time he looks at his Central Provident Fund (CPF) account balance. "Some more, it's guaranteed," he gleefully told his audience. He may have to step down as union chief when he turns 62 in July 2016 - pursuant to a National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) constitutional change made in 2011 - but he still wants to keep collecting those million dollar cheques.

You would expect an outgoing chief to endorse at least one of the 4 successors in waiting, but the selfish sycophant (synonyms: toady, creep, crawler, fawner, flatterer, flunkey, lickspittle, kowtower, obsequious person, minion, hanger-on, leech, puppet) would not volunteer a single word of support for Zainal Sapari (48), Patrick Tay (42), Ang Hin Kee (48) or Yeo Guat Kwang (52).

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Lim Swee Say: I’ll run in next general election

The Chinese media reported yesterday (27 Jan) that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Lim Swee Say wants to contest the next general election [Link]. Mr Lim is the secretary-general of NTUC.

He declared his interest to contest in East Coast GRC in the next general election during an interview with the Chinese media. He told Zaobao, “I have made up my mind. I want to contest in East Coast, in Bedok, and fight for another chance to serve the residents of East Coast.”

He is the MP in East Coast GRC’s Bedok ward. Previously, on 2 separate occasions, he indicated that the 2011 general election would be his last. The first hint he gave was in Parliament, 2007:

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Chan starts ‘election campaign’ with 60 community events

Chan Chun Sing is starting his election campaign in Tanjong Pagar GRC early. He is leaving nothing to chance since he will likely be the minister leading the PAP team in their traditional fortress at the next general elections.

Tanjong Pagar GRC has been a walkover constituency for many years, being the “homeground” of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. It is a given that Mr Lee will retire from politics at the next elections, as he is 90 years old, immobile and confined to a wheelchair (LKY enters Parliament on wheelchair‘).

Needless to say, Mr Chan and his team remain untested in Tanjong Pagar GRC. Therefore the minister may be feeling a bit jittery as far as the elections go, to be held by 2016 at the latest. To usher in 2014, residents in Tanjong Pagar GRC are being treated to a series of celebratory events right up to New Year Day. All in all, some 60 community events make up the year-end festivities in Mr Chan’s ward.

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Pioneer Package wins the PAP votes

Thus far, the Pioneer Generation Package easily ranks as the most universally welcomed policy announcement since the 2011 General Election. Who, after all, would begrudge older Singaporeans this expression of gratitude after the sacrifices they endured in those early years of independence.

Even those not used to praising the government for generosity were probably pleasantly surprised to find out that the package would cover citizens as young as 65.

The move acknowledges that even if the idea of Singapore had been imagined by a few, it was built by many. And while the majority saw their standards of living rise, they would never enjoy the full suite of opportunities that came to later generations. For example, among babyboomers born in the immediate post-war years, around 60 per cent never got a secondary education. Many who were academically able had to sacrifice school to help their families.

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PAP IS READY FOR FALL, SAYS CANDIDATE TAN JEE SAY

Opposition candidate says ruling People's Action Party may lose the 2016 elections in a backlash against influx of foreign workers

Encouraged by recent electoral gains, opposition candidate Tan Jee Say believes the ruling party's long-held grip on government could come to an end in Singapore's next general election. The former senior civil servant, who ran unsuccessfully in the election two years ago, intends to take part in the poll expected to be held in 2016, and believes the opposition is ready to run the city state.

"I will be contesting in the general election. It is a possibility for the opposition to take over the government in 2016," he said on a recent visit to Hong Kong. Very much a product of the ruling People's Action Party's (PAP), which has been Singapore's ruling party since 1959, Tan appears an unlikely opposition candidate.

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Voter rolls open for inspection

The registers of electors have been revised and will be open for public inspection from Tuesday.

Eligible voters have until March 3 to check their particulars in the registers on the Elections Department (ELD) website, at its Prinsep Link office, or at community centres and clubs.

Singaporeans living overseas can do so at any of the Singapore overseas missions that serve as polling stations.

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Singaporeans Only Have One Last Chance In 2015
The Heart Truths, 19 Feb 2014The turning point in Singapore really came in 2015. The general election that was held then was widely known as the “last chance” among Singaporeans. However, Singaporeans then did not realise how dire the situation is. For a few, it was clear that in the 1980s, the government had started introducing policies that would make it more difficult to withdraw from their retirement funds, while the government could also earn from the medical payments by Singaporeans.

By the late 1990s, the wages of Singaporeans were being depressed, while prices shot up – the cost of living shot up from being ranked 97th in the world in 2001 to 6th most expensive in 2013, in just over 10 years. The purchasing power of Singaporeans was severely undermined.

Meanwhile, Singaporeans were still submitting to the doctrine that they had to continue to “work hard” and be “self-reliant” on themselves, so that they continue to keep buying branded goods to keep up with their lifestyles. Unknown to them, the government had wanted Singaporeans to be “self-reliant” so that the government could then be “reliant” on the citizens for their retirement funds and medical payments for investments, while the people received very little back.

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Elections before 9/8/15?

Conventional wisdom is that the next GE will be held after the 50th anniversary celebrations of S’pore’s independence which will be a celebration of all things PAP. So the Oppo parties are not gearing up for an early GE (end of this yr or before Aug 9 next yr.)

And this piece of news doesn’t disturb the narrative:With the January 2017 deadline for the next General Election looming closer, the Elections Department (ELD) has been calling up public servants for training to be election officials, as part of the electoral process … , the ELD said in an emailed statement: “ELD prepares and organises the Public Service to conduct elections in Singapore. Amongst other work, ELD selects and trains public officers on an ongoing basis to perform election duties during an election.” (CNA 17 October)

There have been early training sessions before with no elections following. The conducting of training sessions is a lousy leading indicator. But think about the economic prospects of S’pore and the training could be a sign of early elections.

related: Why a 2015 GE is now more probable

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All eyes on the year 2016 - Seah Chiang Nee
Malaysia Star, 18 May 2013

In all discussions about national issues, Singaporeans point to a possible shift in political power during the general election. In particular, is the current government still good enough to helm the country’s progress?

The year 2016 seems to be the most frequently mentioned in Singapore these days. It is w­he­n the next general election will take place. Whenever angry Singaporeans ta­l­k about national problems, one or t­wo will likely end up with an implied threat, “Wait for 2016!”

It reflects the rapid politicising of the Singaporean, once renowned for being among the region’s most apathetic.  Full story
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Snap General Election in Sep 2015?



Fresh from chairing the year-long Our Singapore Conversation dialogue, the next big task on Education Minister Heng Swee Keat's plate is to lead a new committee to prepare for Singapore's Golden Jubilee celebrations in two years' time.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced this yesterday as he said that such a milestone - the country's 50th anniversary since independence in 1965 - should be marked properly with not just a big birthday party, but make it an occasion where people could both reflect on the past and think about the kind of future that they want for the nation.

As far as Mr Heng's new committee - named S50 to mark the nation's age in 2015 - is concerned, Mr Lee called on Singaporeans to look back on the journey taken so far and to work together for a better future.

related: Big plans for S'pore's Golden Jubilee

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Next GE to be a deadly serious fight: PM Lee

Lee Kuan Yew points way forward for PAP

The People's Action Party (PAP) has stayed in power for more than 50 years because it has continually adapted itself to changes in Singapore's society and around the world, former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew has said.
"We must keep the party dynamic, relevant and in sync with the times"
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Countdown to the GE begins
Snap General Elections in 2015?
Fourth generation political leadership taking shape
Order of Succession And Baton Passing
Snap General Elections in 2014/2015?
Snap General Election in Sep 2015?
A Rainbow Budget 2014
Support for the Needy and Elderly
PM Lee In The Limelight
From NEA MND MOF to AGO
Singaporeans FIRST 新加坡人为先
Days of Rage
Singapore urges Jakarta not to 'reopen old wounds'
FAQs on Sexuality, LGBTs and Section 377A
Targeted wage model can better help vulnerable: Tharman
Our New Way Forward, A Call to Action
Tackling poverty the 'kuih lapis' way