Thursday, 2 January 2014

From Chan Khaw Teo to Vivian

Mr Chan Chun Sing was elected Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in the 2011 General Election.  He served as Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports from 21 May 2011 to 31 October 2012, and Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts from 21 May 2011 to 31 July 2012.  On 1 August 2012, he was appointed Senior Minister of State for Defence.  Mr Chan was appointed Acting Minister for Social and Family Development on 1 November 2012.  On 1 September 2013, Mr Chan was appointed Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Defence.

Educated at the Raffles Institution (1982 to 1985) and Raffles Junior College (1986 to 1987), Mr Chan was awarded the SAF (Overseas) and President’s Scholarship to study Economics at Christ’s College, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom in 1988 and graduated with First Class Honours.  In 2005, he completed the Sloan Fellows Programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship.

During Mr Chan’s military career with the Singapore Armed Forces from 1987 to 2011, he held various appointments, including the Chief Infantry Officer (2007 to 2009), Chief of Staff of Joint Staff (2009 to 2010), and Chief of Army (2010 to 2011).  Under his command, the Singapore Armed Forces made significant contributions to the multinational stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

PAP must fight to get its message across: Chan Chun Sing

The PAP must deliver, enable and communicate said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, highlighting three priorities for the ruling party at the PAP Convention. - ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) must continuosly and strenuously defend the common space for people to speak up, because if it does not, then others will occupy the space and make them irrelvelant, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing as he highlighted three national priorities for the party at its convention on Sunday

“We must not concede the space - physical or cyber. We will have to learn from the 1960 generation of PAP pioneers - to fight to get our message across at every corner - every street corner, every cyberspace corner, be it in the mass media or social media. We will have to do battle everywhere as necessary,” he said

That is why improving communication is one of three priorities on the national level for the PAP, said Mr Chan, who is the PAP’s organising secretary. It must also deliver and enable


Chan Chun Sing has highlighted the need for the PAP to constantly fight for and defend the common spaces for discussion

He justified that if the PAP does not do its part to control the space where people engage in discussion, others will dominate the spaces and make them ‘irrelevant’

It appears that Chan Chun Sing was referring to cyber space and social media as that is where a majority of discussion takes place these days however, it is unknown what exactly he meant by ‘irrelevant’. It certainly sounds like he believes discussions not well controlled by the government are irrelevant

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Why do battle against voices of the people?

Today, Minister Chan Chun Sing said that the PAP will “do battle everywhere as necessary” and not concede physical and cyber space to get their message across

I’m not sure if I’m the only one who thinks this sounds like government propaganda. We live in a democratic nation, and I hope the government knows and respects that. Already, our press standards and rankings are among the lowest globally.

I do not understand why the PAP wants to fight dissenting voices, since the voices come from the voters. It doesn’t make sense for the PAP to fight those who have put them in power. The government’s policies have created much unhappiness. The Opposition spends much of its time helping the people and listening to their needs.

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The Case For A Singapore Poverty Line

Minister Chan Chun Sing prefers to use a "kueh lapis" approach to deal with poverty in Singapore

There has been prominent discussion lately pertaining to whether or not Singapore should have a poverty line set in place. Our government has suggested that a “kueh lapis” approach is preferred and more relevant than an actual poverty line in place.

This is surprising considering that a poverty line, if ever set in place, is a tool useful to measure the level of income adequate for living in a given country. It is particularly more useful for developed nations such as Singapore, whereby the international standard of $1.90 is no longer relevant for us.

For the government to dismiss it as irrelevant is…unexpected.

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Minister Chan Chun Sing: Broader definition of poverty reflects better the complexity of issues

Mr Chan said different nations tailor their methods to identify and help their needy according to their circumstances, and other developed ones such as New Zealand and Canada also do not subscribe to official poverty lines. - ST FILE PHOTO

Singapore is not considering having an official poverty line, as it would not fully reflect the severity and complexity of issues faced by the poor, and may also lead to those above the line missing out on assistance.

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing made these points on Monday, amid renewed calls for Singapore to look into having one after Hong Kong set an official poverty line last month.

In a written parliamentary reply, he said the Government's approach is to use broad definitions for the groups it seeks to help, set clear criteria to identify and assess those in need, and come up with tailored schemes.

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Chan Chun Sing said on his FB page today (25 oct) Saw media reports on Ashley Madison, a dating website targeting married spouses, which has plans to launch in Singapore next year.

I do not welcome such a website into Singapore. I’m against any company or website that harms marriage. Promoting infidelity undermines trust and commitment between a husband and wife, which are core to marriage. Our marriage vows make it clear that marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. This includes staying faithful to one another.

I’m heartened by the responses of many Singaporeans who also spoke up against such website. This reflects the significance we all place in commitment and fidelity in marriage.

Adultery website 'not welcome' in Singapore: Chan Chun Sing
Chan Chun Sing sees only enemies and no friends

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Chan Chun Sing’s Chai Tau Kway

From ‘Pay not a primary factor for PAP team: Chan Chun Sing’, 16 Jan 2012, article by Monica Kotwani, Channel News Asia.
…On whether a possible pay cut in ministerial pay after the salary review would make ministers less motivated, Mr Chan related his own experience. He said: “I don’t think anyone of them comes here for the money. They come here to provide a better life for the next generation… One of the reasons why I stepped forward was because I know I’m joining a team of people that are not here for the money.”
He added that the key is to find the right balance. He said: “Money should not be the one (factor) to attract them in. On the other hand, money should also not be the bugbear to deter them.
“(For example,) you go to Peach Garden, you eat the S$10 XO Sauce chye tow kuay (fried carrot cake), you can be quite happy right? Because you are satisfied with the service and so on. On the other hand, you can go to a hawker centre, even if they charge you S$1.50, you might not want to eat it if the quality is not good.”
Ministers should never give speeches just before lunchtime. I have no idea how making a choice to eat cheap or expensive carrot cake has anything to do with ministerial pay. MG Chan is making the assumption here that paying $10 for XO carrot cake is necessarily money well spent, and that eating an otherwise hawker staple in a fancy restaurant ‘makes us happy’. Purists of the Chai Tau Kway hawker school would beg to differ;  I wouldn’t spend $10 on carrot cake in Peach Garden, excellent service and free towelettes  notwithstanding. Perhaps MG Chan was making a point that his ‘Peach Garden’ colleagues are value for money and worth every cent, though this concept veers dangerously close to Goh Chok Tong’s ‘peanuts for monkeys’analogy back in 1993.

$10 dollars carrot cake in proper perspective
Chan Chun Sing’s Chye Tow Kuay hard to digest

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MG Chan Chun Sing: I’m not related to Lee family
The screenshot captured from a RazorTV clip and posted by a netizen. MG Chan is circled in red. (Internet photo)

MG Chan Chun Sing has denied being related to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew or his family. The newly-appointed Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports wrote an email to The Straits Times this week, saying, "I am not related to Mr Lee's family."

MG Chan move to clarify his family status after rumours online claim the former Chief of Army is related to the Lee family. This after a Facebook picture taken from a RazorTV video showed MG Chan standing behind the Lees at the late Mdm Kwa Geok Choo's funeral in October last year. Mdm Kwa was the wife of Lee Kuan Yew.

MG Chan later explained he was at the funeral in his official capacity as Chief of Army as the army was commissioned to honour Mdm Kwa with a ceremonial gun carriage procession.

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Lee Kuan Yew plants tree to mark 50 years of greening Singapore

Former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew planted a rain tree at Holland Village Park on Sunday, continuing a what has become an unbroken 50-year tradition.

On the same day in 1963, Mr Lee planted a mempat tree at Farrer Circus, then a traffic roundabout, to signify the start of an island-wide tree-planting campaign.

The National Parks Board will mark 50 years of tree-planting and greening Singapore by setting aside 1,963 trees for members of the public to plant from now until November this year.

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Chan Chun Sing: Our job as leaders is not to provide the answers

And the mainstream media is already speculating that he may become Singapore's next Prime Minister. (Is Chan Chun Sing Singapore's next PM? - Asiaone)

Chan Chun Sing organised a wayang at PSA for youth group leaders to show the need for more foreign workers

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#4 - Chan Chun Sing
Uh.. you sure I can't make Singapore last forever? I am the all-powerful general you know!
Here are more gems from everyone's "favourite" general:

Regarding meet -the-people community sessions:

"In the Singapore military, you deal with people from all walks of life with all sorts of challenges, my Meet-The-People sessions now are no different from my sessions to meet my soldiers, my commanders."
Regarding engaging the community of Singapore:
 “Every street corner, cyberspace corner, in the mass media, social media and so forth — we will have to do battle everywhere as necessary"

Get out of the military mind-set, Chan Chun Sing. The people of Singapore aren't youpeople, aren't your soldiers, and aren't your commanders.

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Is Chan Chun Sing Singapore's next PM?

Is Mr Chan Chun Sing set to be Singapore's next Prime Minister? A Straits Times special report today detailed his list of accomplishments to date which, the paper said, has fuelled talks that he is the frontrunner to become the next prime minister.

This list includes being a President's Scholar at 18, Chief of Army at 40, and being one of the youngest ministers to be appointed to cabinet at 42.

According to the report, observers say that his performance as the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has been promising as well. Some of his recent MCYS plans benefit the elderly and disabled as well as in improving the childcare sector.

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University degree 'not vital for success': Khaw Boon Wan

Singaporeans do not need to be university graduates to be successful, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Saturday

What is more important is that they get good jobs after leaving school, Mr Khaw told some 160 students and young adults in an Our Singapore Conversation dialogue.

"If they cannot find jobs, what is the point? You own a degree, but so what? That you can't eat it.

If that cannot give you a good life, a good job, it is meaningless," he added.

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Minister’s bill for bypass surgery: $8

HEALTH Minister Khaw Boon Wan paid just $8 after recent bypass surgery, and it was because he had signed up for the MediShield scheme and had an additional shield supplement from a private insurance company. He wrote about the experience in a post on his blog – mohsingapore.blogspot. com – yesterday. In the post, he likened health insurance schemes, such as MediShield and ElderShield, to umbrellas that help Singaporeans
weather rainy days.

According to the minister, reforms in recent years, such as increasing the MediShield payout from 56 per cent to 66 per cent of large hospital bills in 2008, have helped these insurance plans reach out to more in the population. The number of uninsured young Singaporeans has fallen from 45 per cent in 2007 to 17 per cent last year as a result of school programmes to reach out to the young.

Some 88 per cent of Singaporeans are now protected by MediShield and of these, 58 per cent have topped up with a private shield plan for hospitalisation in Class A wards and private hospitals. Subscription to  ElderShield, the long-term disability insurance, has also increased almost 15 per cent since 2007, from 789,000 to 906,000. Of these, 19 per cent have topped up with private ElderShield supplements to enjoy higher payouts.

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The PAP chairman Khaw Boon Wan said yesterday at the biennial party meeting that Singaporeans look to the PAP to ensure that their welfare is protected.

It is unknown what kind of welfare he was referring to. He also said that the PAP’s leadership plays and important role in managing Singapore’s way forward.

Khaw also said that the party’s purpose and values have stayed constant throughout, despite changes that are made to adapt to the changing environment


Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan Pays only $8 for Heart Bypass Surgery
Reprise Of The $8 Heart Bypass
Khaw Boon Wan's $8 bypass....
Random Discourse – $8 Heart Bypass Surgery
Khaw Boon Wan pays S$8 for bypass surgery

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Khaw: My new housing policies are showing results

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan boasted on his MND blog [Link] yesterday (26 Dec) that his new housing policies are showing results. He said that when he took over MND, he “moved quickly” to:

(a) ramp up BTO flat construction
(b) introduce the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS), and
(c) the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS)

“All three initiatives are meant to help the young meet their aspirations as soon as they are ready to do so. In particular, those applying under the PPS in non-mature estates enjoyed a very good chance of success,” he said.


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HDB Loses $1 Billion a Year, and Why You Shouldn’t Care

HDB Loses $1 Billion a Year, and Why You Shouldn’t Care

Some Singaporeans asked that land costs be excluded from HDB pricing. The answer to this was a stern no. Too much social welfare, as we all know, leads to laziness, communism, and Satan worship. Or even worse, voting for the Opposition.

Besides, HDB loses a billion dollars a year as is. That’s pretty bad, right? Trouble is, that “loss” is irrelevant…as an argument or otherwise:

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HDB is not making money out of building homes, says National Development Minister Khaw Boon WanHDB is not making money out of building homes, says National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has said that the government loses "hundreds of millions" of dollars when constructing public flats.

He made the point at a Our Singapore Conversation dialogue session on 25 April 2013 on housing issues. This comes amid calls from some quarters that land costs be taken out from the pricing of public flats, to make them more affordable.

Mr Khaw also hinted at several other changes to come - among them, subsidies for Executive Condominiums. 

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S'pore open to idea of housing foreign workers at offshore islands: Khaw

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said Singapore is open to the idea of housing some foreign workers at nearby offshore islands.

In a written reply to a question in Parliament on Monday, he said the country has in fact housed workers on Jurong Island and Pulau Brani, at different times and durations.

However, he said not all offshore islands are suitable, due to the availability of supporting infrastructure such as sewers, as well as other planning considerations.

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Khaw Boon Wan unveils new draft masterplan: 500,000 new homes in 10-15 years for possible 10m population
Xinhua, 20 Nov 2013
SINGAPORE, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Urban Re-development Authority of Singapore unveiled an upgraded draft masterplan on Wednesday, pursuing better transport, more homes and a more liveable city.

The Draft Master Plan, which guides land use over the next 10 to 15 years with revisions every five years, points to more homes to be built in new housing areas as well as in the established estates. In total, enough land has been earmarked for 500,000 new homes, mostly public housing. Full story

Cap on subletting of HDB flats to foreigners: Are PAP Minister Khaw and PAP MP Foo xenophobics?

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Nursing home in JB’ remark only a suggestion, says Singapore minister
Singapore's Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan had a suggestion on Monday for Singaporeans: Consider staying at a nursing home in neighbouring Johor where prices are lower.

Yesterday, it received flak from two opposition MPs. Workers' Party chairman and Non-Constituency MP Sylvia Lim said the suggestion was “quite a bad indication of affordability of our own health-care services here and also a reflection of our national values”.

Fellow WP member Low Thia Kiang (Hougang) asked: “Is the minister suggesting that Singaporeans who cannot afford medical treatment or step-down care here should now consider such facilities in Johor?”

If so, is the minister “outsourcing the government's responsibility to provide affordable health-care service to Malaysia?” he asked.
  1. Khaw Boon Wan prophesy came true - sinkees using JB nursing home
  2. Nursing home in JB’ remark only a suggestion, says Khaw Boon Wan 
  3. Putting our old folks in Johor - Diary of A Singaporean Mind
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Teo Ser Luck on grassroots trip

Teo Ser Luck clarifies on photos taken together with Laura Ong at Beijing - 13Dec2012

Teo Ser Luck 'not close' to woman in affair

It has been a day since Mr Michael Palmer resigned from all positions in politics, including his post as Member of Parliament for Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC).

And his interim replacement in the ward, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck, has wasted no time in addressing the needs of residents in the constituency.

Speaking to My Paper yesterday, Mr Teo said that his work as a "stand-in" had taken effect immediately and that he had cancelled his planned leave to see to his fresh duties.

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Teo Ser Luck: Photos with Laura Ong taken on grassroots trip

Minister of State Teo Ser Luck has clarified that the photos of him and former People's Association staff member Laura Ong currently making the rounds online were taken during a grassroots retreat in Beijing in 2010.The group of around 50 people - including staff and volunteers - from the Punggol South GROs (grassroots organisations) went on an annual retreat in Beijing in September 2010.

Mr Teo explained that Laura Ong had been the constituency director of Punggol South then, where he used to be Member of Parliament (MP) and adviser before the 2011 General Election.

He also said that the photos were candid shots taken by the group constituency director, and there was nothing untoward about them.The pictures were posted on two blogs anonymously the same day news of Michael Palmer's affair with Laura Ong broke out, on Dec 12. One of the blogs have since been taken down.Yesterday (Dec 13), exchange of text messages between Michael Palmer and Laura Ong were also revealed.

Teo Ser Luck: Photos of Laura Ong taken on grassroots trip
Photos with Laura Ong taken at grassroots retreat, says Teo Ser Luck
Teo Ser Luck: Photos of Laura Ong taken on grassroots trip
Is Teo Ser Luck the missing link between Laura Ong & Michael Palmer?

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Mystery blog surfaces with photos of woman in Palmer’s affair
Mystery blog surfaces with photos of woman in Palmer’s affair
On the same day former government official Michael Palmer announced his resignation from politics, a blog containing only a collection of photos of Laura Ong (R), the woman implicated in the affair with him, was created online. Mayor of North East District Teo Ser Luck (L) is pictured in one of the photos (Photo: Former Member of Parliament (MP) Michael Palmer may have resigned, but what transpired that led to the discovery of his affair with a grassroots leader continues to stir talk online. The near silence from the parties involved is not helping to placate those who want answers. Photos of Laura Ong, the woman in an extra-marital relationship with Palmer, started surfacing last night. In a bizarre find, a blog created yesterday – when news of his resignation broke – holds a collection of photos showing Ong on a trip to China with grassroots colleagues, including Mayor of North East District Teo Ser Luck. A few of them showed Teo striking funny poses and Ong laughing along. related:Teo Ser Luck denies being close to Laura Ong
laura ong blog

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Shortly after Ms Laura Ong was identified as the woman who was involved in an extramarital affair with former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer, several photographs of her - including those taken with Minister of State Teo Ser Luck - were circulated online.

Responding to the photos, Mr Teo said they were taken at a grassroots retreat attended by about 50 people two years ago.

Mr Teo also noted that since the shocking news of Mr Palmer's resignation, more pictures of Ms Ong have been uploaded anonymously and the pictures of him with Ms Ong are "only a few".

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Connecting The Dots

Off site meeting, China hotel

Personal disclosure. We shared the same lift down to the CK Tang basement carpark after Michael Palmer made a fool of himself doing the hip hop at Chingay 2007.

Poor sap had no choice, he was one of the 12 post-65 MPs directed to perform for 1 full minute "to connect with the youths of today". He was so wet behind the ears, he actually mouthed, "Before I joined the grassroots organisation, I never knew there were poor people in developed countries".

Someone should have warned him advisers to grassroots organisations are expected to uphold highest standards of personal conduct. This conduct unbecoming begs to be scrutinised.

related: Photos of Laura Ong taken on grassroots trip

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MP Teo Ser Luck steps in after RC's Tagalog sign sparks online debate

A picture circulating online, of a poster (above) in Tagalog asking for volunteers to join a Filipino sub-committee at the Compassvale Villa RC, has reignited the debate about the lack of integration between foreigners and locals. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK

A sign in Tagalog seeking volunteers for a Filipino residents' sub-committee has sparked controversy online, prompting the area's MP Teo Ser Luck to clarify that it was a mistake and that no such sub-committee was formed.

The Straits Times understands that a Singaporean member of the Compassvale Villa Residents' Committee (RC) had come up with the idea for a Filipino sub-committee as a way to improve integration, and had put up the sign in the RC's vicinity.

RCs are grassroots bodies set up in HDB estates to organise activities for residents and to promote community bonds. They are under the purview of the People's Association, a statutory board.

Filipino sub-committee in Punggol never formed: Ser Luck
Foreign worker numbers must be controlled, but Govt will help SMEs

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Teo Ser Luck: We should allow PAP activists to contribute to the future of Singapore

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck has spoken up in defence of his party colleague Lawrence Wong, who was widely criticized by netizens for his decrying those expressing skepticism at the “National Conversation”.

In a posting on his Facebook page earlier, Mr Wong lambasted netizens for exposing the identities of PAP activists who were invited to participate in the first telecast forum with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and questioned their agenda:
"Indeed, the critics online clearly have their own political affiliations too, even though many have chosen to stay silent on this, or to hide their real identities behind anonymous online profiles."
Netizens rebutted and condemned Mr Wong for lacking real understanding on the ground sentiments.

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Teo Ser Luck and blogger debate the national conversation

A Facebook post by Senior Minister of State Lawrence Wong, describing his disappointment with netizens’ reactions to the Queenstown Royal Visit and the televised forum with the Prime Minister, has become a platform for a national conversation of sorts.

Among the nearly 600 comments on the post is an exchange between Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck and netizens.
Mr Teo waded into the conversation on Tuesday morning saying that Mr Wong’s post was well-intentioned, and added that PAP members should also be allowed to be involved in the national conversation.

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Teo Ser Luck: Singaporeans must accept F1 race as a necessary event

Is this true? No mistake, that Teo Ser Luck said this. Singaporeans must accept F1 as a necessary event! Does it mean that if Sinkies do not accept, something bad is going to happen? Our woman folks will become maids or something like that? So the F1 is being raised to the same status as foreign immigrants. Sinkies must accept more immigrants as a necessary thing or there will be no economic growth?

So the future well being of Sinkies is now dependent not only on foreign immigrants to increase our population, but also F1, another savior.

Would the F1 organisers and drivers now also can thump down Sinkies as without them, like without the casinos and foreigners, our economy would go on a downward spin?

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The “Super Seven” Junior Ministers

Dr Vivian was a President’s Scholar and, prior to politics, he was active in a variety of involvements ranging from debates, hosting the televised Singapore 21 series to becoming the presenter of health education programmes in the 90s. He was a vocal critic of the PAP government prior to joining politics but was actually “converted” by Minister Lim Swee Say. Thus, Vivian holds Lim Swee Say is very high esteem and respect in all matters.

Dr Vivian probably has one of the most portfolios in the history of Singapore Government

“Sink or Swim”, seems to be the message to Dr Vivian. Apparently, he is not only swimming but seems to be on a “speedboat” for greater things. From my several encounters with him, he seems to be able to handle all his portfolios with ease and even answered my email at 2.30am when I emailed him 20 mins earlier!

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Balakrishnan: Welfare of neighbours not Indonesia's priority

In a strongly-worded Facebook post on Tuesday night, the minister said that hotspots were increasing “dramatically” in Sumatra again.

“Haze may worsen when the winds weaken next week. Some rain expected, but not enough to douse the fires,” added Balakrishnan. He also expressed frustration with Indonesia over the haze situation.

“We will try to encourage them to take action - but we all know the welfare of close neighbours is not their priority. Hard truths of regional politics,” he said.

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"One statement which will haunt me for my entire political life"

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday expressed regret over a comment he made in Parliament which he described as 'one statement which will haunt me for my entire political life'.

The comment was made in 2007, when the Minister for Community Development and Sports had an exchange with fellow MP Dr Lily Neo, on whether the government could give more money to the poor so that they could afford three meals a day.

He had said: 'How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?'

The full transcript of the exchange can be found here

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"Unfortunately for me, I'm one of those ministers who likes to speak without notes and sometimes I make mistakes"

In 2007 when the issue came up, public assistance was $290 and it now stands at $400.

Dr Balakrishnan said that needy families can also tap on other social assistance schemes such as the CCC ComCare Fund to cover their food expenses.

He added: 'So I'm stating for the record that I believe in helping people, and... I do take action and I will look after each and every single Singaporean.'

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In another wayang interview with mainstream media, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has claimed that his ministry will be taking action against those who caused the haze.

Balakrishnan is the head of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and he said that they will "get tough" on the companies which have been lighting fires and causing the transboundary haze which reached an all time high earlier this year.

Balakrishnan said that he'd be introducing a new act in parliament early next year which would allow authorities in Singapore to start criminal proceedings against the directors of companies found to have contributed to the haze. He explained that he is almost done with the drafting and will soon release it to the public for feedback before refinement and hopefully pass it in the first half of next year.

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Dr Balakrishnan: 'I am energised by crises'

In a new Straits Times interview series Supper Club, Elgin Toh talks to Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan over fish head curry in his ward in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.

Dr Balakrishnan, a former eye surgeon who entered politics 12 years ago in 2001, has been in the thick of things recently, having had to deal with two national crises - dengue and the haze - and a spat between his ministry and a Workers' Party-run town council in Aljunied GRC.

In Part 1, Dr Balakrishnan talks about the perfect storm of haze, dengue and hawker centre cleaning.

Part 2: "PAP not afraid of differences of opinion"
Part3 : "‘Everything is temporary, family is forever"

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Vivian Balakrishnan says PAP should be upfront, transparent and not to misuse their power

Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister of something, during his engagement with WP’s Sylvia Tan was mentioned to have said the following in his closing speech:

  • You know, let me make this further point. Politics is a contest of power. But you know, the key principle is when you have power is, don’t take advantage of people under your charge and always be honest and upfront with your people.
  • All of us will make mistakes and when a mistake is made, just come clean and say so. But don’t cover up. That’s why I have not let this go
  • Because it is not about cleanliness of the ceiling. It is about clean politics.
Bravo!! He is one of the few PAP MPs who are willing to stand up to PAP and point out all the faults of PAP and ask them to clean up their acts and run clean politics (or was it the politics of effective cleaning.. I wonder).


TR Emeritus: Dr V accuses Sylvia of being untruthful over AHPETC cleaning issue
Online Citizen: Media sense-knocking needed on hawker centre saga
Singapore Recalcitrant: A Comical Display Of Pomposity
Singapore News Alternative: NEA Minister Likes to Play Politics

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Come on, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, what’s the real story?
  • “If you were a poor person, anywhere on this planet, Singapore is the one place where you will have a roof over your head, where you will have food on the table. Even if you can’t afford it, we will have meals delivered to you. You will get healthcare.” Dr Vivian Balakrishnan
Sounds very appealing and believable? It was. Till news channel Al Jazeera reported on the homelessness situation in Singapore, highlighted by The Online Citizen (TOC).

Subsequently, after this video was aired, Al Jazeera was dropped from Singtel mio TV, which gave all kind of reasons for it’s decision.

Poor? Government “will deliver meals to you”

At a forum organised by REACH, the government’s online feedback portal, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, said:

“If you were a poor person, anywhere on this planet, Singapore is the one place where you will have a roof over your head, where you will have food on the table. Even if you can’t afford it, we will have meals delivered to you.”

Dr Balakrishnan did not clarify who he meant by “we” when he said “…we will have meals delivered to you.” One assumes that he is referring to the government, or more specifically, his own ministry.

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Vivian’s Virulent Verbilization

Dr Balakrishnan, I urge you to get off that high horse you have perched on top of your ivory tower, take the elevator of shame and descend onto ground zero, and view for yourself the poverty that you claim to have stamped out.

View for yourself the plight of the homeless, whom you claim to have helped. View for yourself the hungry, whom you claim to have fed. Then take the elevator back up, sit in front of your vanity table, look yourself in the mirror, and repeat that silly statement to yourself.

And if you still find it easy to persuade yourself, I can only ask that you stock up on Ambien, lest you have difficulty sleeping at night. God forbid you don’t have enough energy to “do your duty for people who need your help”.

PUB should not have used the word "ponding": Balakrishnan
PUB should not have used the word "ponding": Balakrishnan
The capacity of Stamford Canal will be increased by at least a third to reduce the risk of flooding along Singapore’s shopping belt of Orchard Road

Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in Parliament on Monday, that a consultancy study is underway and is expected to be completed by May.

He said such projects can be costly, but his ministry is prepared to undertake longer term investments.
But he cautioned that Singapore faces constraints.

There have been three episodes of flooding in this area over the past eighteen months. Dr Balakrishnan said the episodes are part of a larger pattern of rainfall change in Singapore over the past decades.

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V Balakrishnan, the PAPpy minister with a schoolgirl’s tantrum

Apologise to tax payers for busting the YOG budget.

Dr Balakrishnan calls on WP to clean hawker centre and apologise to hawkers

Why are we overpaying ministers so much, only for them to act like petty schoolgirls arguing who started first?

WP has invited V Bala to talk things over, yet this guy (or gal? btw isn’t Vivian a girl’s name?) seems to be so free and bored, he has to look for action

It pains me to see that a million dollar minister is wasting his time on petty things, protracting issues that are already resolved, instead of paying more attention to national needs.

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MCYS minister: We miscalculated on YOG budget
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan speaking at the PAP rally on 4 May. (Yahoo! photo/ Christine Choo)
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan speaking at the PAP rally on 4 May. (Yahoo! photo/ Christine Choo)

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has admitted that his team had miscalculated the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) budget.

Speaking at the People's Action Party (PAP) rally in Clementi on Wednesday night, Dr Balakrishnan explained what happened to the YOG budget by relating it to his conversation with Thaddaeus Wee, an undergraduate, who asked him about it four days ago on the LRT train at Bukit Panjang.

"We got the initial estimates of the money to be spent on the YOG wrong," Dr Balakrishnan frankly told the 1,000-strong crowd that gathered on the mud-soaked field in Clementi. He explained that the games exceeded its original budget of S$104 million by over three times because it was the first time that such an event was organised and there was no other model for reference.

related: Haze: "A minister rises from the ashes"

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Being a Minister is so stressful

Being a Minister is so stressful, no wonder they need to be paid higher...

- Lui Tuck Yew worried why MRTs and buses are unreliable and always breakdown
- Yaccob Ibrahim worried why M1 and Singtel are not perform their duties
- Teo Chee Hean worried why civil servants are increasingly corrupt
- Gan Kim Yong worried why there hospitals are short of beds
- Tan Chuan-Jin worried why employers prefer to employ foreigners
- Khaw Boon Wan worried why housing prices are too high
- Ng Eng Hen worried why Citizens not treating others as they would like to be treated
- Lim Hng Kiang worried why SG's FTAs are not working well
- Vivian Bala is worried why NEA cant nail WP for the lapses
- Heng Swee Keat worried why education system is not producing employable citizens
- Chan Chun Sing is worried why there are so many poor citizens in SG
- Lee Hsien Loong worried he feels S'poreans are like a pack of hounds going after him

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