Saturday, 11 January 2014

From Lim Lui Teo to Yaacob

Minister in Prime Minister's Office

Born on 13 July 1954, Mr Lim Swee Say studied at the Catholic High School and the National Junior College.  He was awarded a Singapore Armed Forces (UK) Scholarship in 1973 and studied Electronics, Computer and Systems Engineering at Loughborough University of Technology in the United Kingdom.

He graduated with a First Class Honours degree in 1976 and was admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Technology in 2006.  He attended the Stanford Sloan Programme at Stanford University and graduated with a Master's Degree in Management in 1991.

related: Labour chief Lim Swee Say clarifies CPF comments

In response, Lim Swee Say, who is the deputy chairman of the PA who is organising the event, clarified that the PA had originally used the wrong list and accidentally invited Dr Tan Cheng Bock when he was not actually meant to be invited in the first place.

Lim Swee Say said that he personally called all the affected invitees and explained the policy change. Apparently, starting this year, there was a change in policy which meant that instead of inviting all past grassroots advisers from many years ago, they decided only to invite grassroots advisers who stepped down after GE 2011.

Lim Swee Say further lashed out at Tan Cheng Bock saying that when he contacted Mr Tan, he seemed understanding and accepting of the news however later, he publicised the issue through facebook.

Istana CNY Party: You are "un-invited"
Lim surprised that Dr Tan brought up CNY invite issue

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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:
By 2016, when I’m 62, if I still have to stand for election to serve as secretary-general of NTUC, to serve as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office… our effort in attracting the best people to form the best team must have run into some difficulties.
Lim Swee Say: I'll still contest in next general election
Singapore News Alternative: Lim Swee Say hints at PAP having

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The infamous notion advocated by Union Chief Lim Swee Say on Cheaper, Better, Faster (CBF) economy might be a bad model, however it works for “still” developing countries but obsolete for countries making transition into an advanced knowledge economy.

Elaborating what CBF means according to Union Chief LSS – Cheaper is to be more productive, Better is more capable, Faster is more adaptable.

Such model as modus operandi, it fails to create niche value and is thus always undercut by developing countries with cheaper operating costs. Cheaper products & services also prevails over high productivity. Cheaper better faster comes with detrimental effects often at the expense of workers in the name of economic growth.

related: Cheaper, better, faster ... and a lot more productive

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Lim Swee Say: "Upturn The Downturn"

Lim Swee Say, Secretary-General, NTUC, said: "Our slogan is 'upturn the downturn'. In other words, we believe that while everybody is focused on the downside of the downturn, we as the labour movement, look at the upside of the downturn, because we believe that the downturn presents the same challenge to every companies, to every economy in this world, yet at the same time it will draw different responses.

"In the case of Singapore, the partnership, our ability to work together as government, as employers, as labour movement, is our biggest strength and unique capability." The labour movement added that it will work with companies to restructure their operations.

Mr Lim said: "Our concern is that if every organisation takes retrenchment too lightly (and) as the first resort, as the first action, takes it as a way to cut costs...this could lead to massive retrenchment, and this could lead to a very rapid rise in unemployment. I think that is our concern, because we are already seeing that." Mr Lim feels such situations can be avoided with effective tripartism.

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A one-of-a-kind union that rejects minimum wage
Zorro Lim
Inspiring great confidence in the union

Every good party needs a clown to provide the laughs, and it was Zorro Lim (not his real name) on the PAP roster yesterday.

At the Budget debate, NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say rejected renewed callsby several MPs, including Inderjit Singh and NMP Lawrence Lien, for a minimum wage system. Instead of speaking up for the workers that he is supposed to represent, he is strangely the one voicing the objection, even if we know all along that the government is never keen on the idea.

This must be an absolute one of a kind. Nowhere in the world will you ever find another union chief who argues against higher wages for workers.

related: Govt rejects poverty line, says prosperity line better for social objective

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Union Chief Lim Swee Say: We are like a little deaf frog, deaf to all criticisms

I love Lim Swee Say. He says the darnedest things. Like this fable he told in Parliament:
THE story goes that in a kingdom of frogs, the tallest tower in the world is built for an annual competition. And when the event is held, many aim to become the champion by making it to the top, but fail as they are discouraged by the audience, who warn that the climb is too dangerous. All except one frog who did reach the top. And when asked afterwards why he ignored the crowd, the frog said: 'I'm deaf. I can't hear them.'
With this tale, labour chief Lim Swee Say responded to opposition MP Low Thia Khiang (Hougang), who repeated his criticism of a day earlier that low-wage workers continue to languish, and that the labour movement ought to do better and work harder.

Mr Lim's point: Despite criticisms like those levelled by the Workers' Party chief, the labour movement continues to address problems faced by low-wage workers and to improve their situation.
'We never give up. We are like the little frog. We are deaf to all these criticisms,' he said.
related: Is Tan Chuan-Jin a little deaf frog like Lim Swee Say?

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Minimum wages is a “zero-sum game” and “an easy solution”: Lim Swee Say

Yahoo! News Singapore, 24 Oct 2013

Minimum-wages is a “zero-sum game” and “an easy solution”. At least that’s what Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and National Trade Union Congress chief Swee Say says.

While more than 90% of countries, ranging from developed nations such as the US to neighbouring countries like Malaysia, have seen merits in implementing minimum-wages, policymakers in Singapore continue to insist that such a system is not suitable for the island state.

We look at some arguments commonly brought up against minimum-wages, and explore whether they are really relevant to Singapore. Full story

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Darth Zorro Lim Swee Say - Liar Or A Fool?
'When times are good, we work hard together to build up ... social capital, by being one of the most pro-worker nations in the world'
Not content with leading his storm troopers and clowning about in his Darth Zorro suit to the entertainment of Singapore's nurses and the ire of Singaporean netizens, the NTUC Secretary General has now set his sights on perpetuating the insidious mistruth that Singapore is "one of the most pro-worker nations in the world".

The black-masked member of Lee Kuan Yew's elite "Intellectual Class," who infamously coined the term "cheaper, better, faster" and sang the song "upturn the downturn" (see below), incidentally is paid more than $2 million a year for his costume-bearing antics and pretensions to the Singapore idol crown. Yet, Lim's assertion that Singapore is 'pro-worker' could hardly be further from the truth.

One of the most damning pieces of evidence contradicting Lim's assertion is Singapore's persistently low wage share of GDP. In 2000, a paper by the Singapore Statistics Department highlighted that Singapore's wage share was 42 per cent, lower than the United States' (58 per cent), Japan's (57 per cent) and France's (52 per cent). This low share accompanied conscious efforts by the Government to moderate wage increases and maintain high returns to investment from foreign multinational companies. It was thus not surprising that Singapore's company profit share was 48 per cent of GDP, higher than the profit shares of the same countries mentioned above, which were closer to 35 per cent.

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Which eatery has the best toothpicks? Din Tai Fung, says labour chief Lim Swee Say
When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- PHOTO: DIN TAI FUNG

When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks.

He likes them because they are well-designed and of good quality.

"Many restaurants give you toothpicks, but the toothpick is so big it can never go through, but this one is so fine that whatever is inside sure can come out," he said on Monday.

related: Taking free items in bulk is criminal misappropriation

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Mr Lui Tuck Yew - Minister for Transport

Mr Lui Tuck Yew was appointed Minister for Transport on 21 May 2011.  He was Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts from 1 November 2010 to 20 May 2011 and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs from 21 May 2011 to 31 July 2012.

Mr Lui was an SAF (Overseas) scholar, graduating with a degree in Chemistry from Trinity College, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom in 1983.  He subsequently served in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), rising to the position of Chief of Navy in 1999.  He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) (Military) in 2000.

Mr Lui was appointed Deputy Secretary (Land), Ministry of Transport, on 1 April 2004, a post he held concurrently with the appointment as Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on 1 July 2003. He joined the Housing and Development Board (HDB) as Chief Executive Officer and was appointed Board Member in June 2005.


Finally the Transport Minister, Lui Tuck Yew, has come out to express that he is disappointed with SMRT for the string of delays and disruptions which have occurred so far this year.

There have already been 4 major disruptions this year before the very first month is even over.

Lui met with SMRT CEO and senior management today to find out the information which has been revealed by SMRT's initial investigations. He said later in a statement that he understands the frustration and anxiety of commuters and that he is concerned about SMRT's service.


Fare increases needed to improve service to commuters, says Lui Tuck Yew

Referring to his comments last week on how fares may go up to help raise drivers’ salaries, Mr Lui said in a Facebook post on Thursday that increases are to improve service to commuters while keeping operations commercially viable

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew has said the purpose of public transport fare increases is not to boost the short—term profits of operators or just to improve bus drivers’ salaries.

He said the government is fully committed to an affordable public transport system.

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Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew claims 'many' Singaporeans support Fare Review Committee's recommendation on fare increases
Hardwarezone Forum, 20 Dec 2013


related: Lui Tuck Yew hints of impending transport fare hike on Facebook

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Little India quieter, more orderly than normal Sundays: Lui Tuck Yew

A greater police presence, stricter enforcement as well as less alcohol and congestion are some of the measures needed to make Little India a better place, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew.

Mr Lui, who is also MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC, visited the Little India area with his grassroots leaders Sunday evening. He observed that the area is quieter and more orderly compared to a normal Sunday. Some residents are happy about the situation, while some shopkeepers who do not sell alcohol have seen more Singaporeans patronizing today, he said.

Still, he acknowledged that measures such as an alcohol ban and temporary suspension of private buses need to be evolved "to a more sustainable state". Asked about possible solutions, he said it is probably too early to give prescriptive comments.

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lui tuck yew

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told Parliament today (5 Feb) that commuters will see improvements to transportation in the next five years.

By 2030, said Mr Lui, the rail network will be doubled to 360 kilometres, with 9 MRT lines compared to the current 4.

Mr Lui said, “I therefore fully understand the scepticism and unhappiness from the public when the 6.9 million population figure was released in the White Paper. Seen through the prism of the current situation, I can appreciate how unthinkable it may seem that we can accommodate a population by 2030 that is up to 30% higher than today, even though we have firm plans to double the rail network over the same period. But I do believe we will begin to see a gradual but noticeable and perceptible improvement over the next five years.”

related: Lui Tuck Yew says Public transport significantly subsidised by Govt

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Andrew helms as Editor-in-Chief. His writings have been reproduced in other publications, including the Australian Housing Journal in 2010. He was nominated by Yahoo! Singapore as one of Singapore's most influential media persons in 2011. The views expressed here are his own.

With the news that the Fare Review Mechanism Committee (FRMC) has completed its report, all eyes will now be on the Ministry of Transport (MOT), and its minister, Mr Lui Tuck Yew.

The perennial bugbear of fare increases will feature again as MOT gives its view on the FRMC report in about a week’s time.

related: Lui Tuck Yew: We are not considering the environment for our COE policy

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Checkpoint breach should have been dealt with "more urgently and decisively"

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has expressed his dissatisfaction over the security breach at Woodlands Checkpoint as well as the subsequent response actions.

The Police and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Tuesday that a 27-year-old Malaysian woman, with a history of mental illness, had been arrested at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for criminal trespass.

The woman had entered Singapore via Woodlands Checkpoint in a Malaysian-registered car last Friday (January 17), and managed to leave the checkpoint without being stopped as officers-in-charge did not immediately raise the alarm.

related: Alleged MFA trespasser charged, remanded for psychiatric assessment

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Little India riot: 53 repatriated; 4 more to be deported
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean speaks at a press conference updating the media on the Little India riot on Tuesday, 17 December. (Yahoo photo)
Yahoo Newsroom - Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean speaks at a press conference updating the media on the Little India riot on Tuesday, 17 December. (Yahoo photo)

A total of 53 people linked to the recent riot in Little India have been repatriated to their home countries and will not be allowed in Singapore again, police said.

In addition, four people who were previously charged in court but had their charges withdrawn would also be repatriated Friday evening, Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee said in a press briefing Friday afternoon.

According to police, the 53 who were deported had been “identified to have participated in the riot” and “failed to disperse despite Police’s orders to do so”.

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During the Parliamentary debate yesterday (7 Mar), MP for Aljunied GRC Sylvia Lim asked if Singapore’s population data could be made public.

In reply, DPM Teo Chee Hean said most of the information is already available in the public domain.

However, he refused to provide detail breakdown for some of the information of Singapore’s population data. He said that “it may not be in our interests to do so”

related: A List Of SAF Generals That Are Ruling Singapore

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Allegations of DPM Teo being dodgy and dismissive were simply swept under the carpet

The mainstream media has done it again. If they are to be believed, DPM Teo Chee Hean has been shown to be gracious and magnanimous, almost to the point of scoring a moral victory, in the Reuben Wang saga.

The story we get from the press is that a rash teenager lashed out against the esteemed Deputy Prime Minister using a vulgar word, but he repented after receiving feedback from his friends and seniors. DPM Teo graciously accepted his apology in person, and even gave him an autographed copy of an economics textbook. The image we get is of a brash youngster being guided toward the right path and of the DPM exhibiting both grace as well as a personal touch.

The problem with this version of events depicted by the mainstream media is not so much that the DPM gets a positive image of being a gracious and personable mentor to a young impressionable student, but that the original issues Reuben Wang raised in his blog post, which has since been taken down, have been entirely swept under the carpet and quietly buried.

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Integrity key to building trust between govt and people: Teo Chee Hean

Integrity is key to building trust between the government and its people, and the concept of integrity should be adopted as a social norm, said Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Mr Teo made the remarks on Tuesday at the opening of the fourth Singapore-China Forum on Leadership.

The forum is co-chaired by Mr Teo and Zhao Leji, who is a member of the Politburo and Minister of the Organisation Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
Cyber hacking not a light matter: DPM Teo

The recent spate of cyber hacking incidences should not be taken lightly, as it "causes inconvenience to others and... sometimes serious disruptions to services which are important to many people in the country," said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Sunday

He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a parenthood event at the Pasir Ris Elias Community Club.

On Wednesday, the websites of 13 schools, including Raffles Girls' School (Secondary), St Andrew's Junior College and Henderson Secondary, were hacked by a person or group who signed off as "Jack Riderr". The Singapore Art Museum also admitted on the same day that the names, e-mail addresses and, in some instances, nationalities of 4,000 individuals on its online mailing list were illegally published on a New Zealand-based website on Nov 5. The authorities said they were still investigating if the museum's website had been hacked.

Mr Teo, who is also Minister for Home Affairs and Coordinating Minister for National Security, added: "In many cases, what they do is illegal, and we will take action against them if we can find them, and arrest them."
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Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said Thursday that allowing Singaporeans to hold more than one citizenship could likely dilute national identity, and so should not be done.

He was responding in Parliament to a question submitted by Nominated Member of Parliament and law lecturer Eugene Tan on the conditions necessary for dual citizenships to be possible, given the rising numbers of international marriages taking place in recent years.

“Singapore is a small and young nation,” he said. “It is all the more important that we are clear that our citizens have a long-term commitment to building a future here. Allowing Singaporeans to retain or acquire a second citizenship is unlikely to enhance that commitment but could dilute it.”

related: Teo Chee Hean shifts blame onto civil service for Govt’s missteps

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DPM Teo pushes for support of population paper in Parliament
DPM Teo publicly endorsed the White Paper in Parliament on Monday

Amid widespread fury from Singaporeans after the release of the government's population white paper, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean stood up again Monday to publicly endorse it in Parliament.

Speaking to Members of the House on Monday, Teo said that he understood the concerns Singaporeans had over an increase in the migrant population and fears of "Singaporeans feeling like strangers" in their own country.

He went on to emphasise the importance of integration. "Most of these migrants come from similar ethnic backgrounds. They will adapt to our lives, become more like us over time," said Teo as he sought to assuage a wave of negativity about Singapore'sprojected population of 6.9 million by 2030, of which little more than half would be Singaporean. 

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Teo Chee Hean admits he had summoned Archbishop Nicholas Chia to his office for "lunch" over Function 8 letter, 16 Oct 2012
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said any individual or group seeking to embroil any religious group or use a religious office to further its political agenda would face firm action from the Government.

The Deputy Prime Minister touched on the recent controversy involving Archbishop Nicholas Chia, the leader of the Catholic Church here, and a letter he had sent to an activist group, Function 8, reportedly to support a rally marking the 25th anniversary of the “Marxist Conspiracy”, when a group of people were detained under the Internal Security Act.

Teo said that three days before the rally, he asked to meet Archbishop Chia together with Presidential Council for Religious Harmony Chairman Goh Joon Seng, TODAY newspaper reported. Full story

SDP calls for DPM Teo CH to explain his meeting with Archbishop Chia
It is not about religion but Govt opacity -
Teo Chee Hean applauds Indian expats' "community work" in Singapore

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DPM Teo responds to calls on hijab, explains need to maintain social harmony
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The Government has responded to mounting calls that it allow Muslim women to don the hijab or head scarf in all workplaces, saying that it understands those views but has a responsibility to balance the varied needs of different communities with what is necessary to maintain social harmony in Singapore.

"Government understands these community perspectives, but the Government also has the responsibility to balance all these different community requirements, and keep in mind what we need to maintain overall social harmony," said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in a statement on Tuesday.

There are certain public sector professions that require uniforms which do not include the hijab. Those in the Police force and military service also cannot wear or display conspicuous religious symbols on their uniforms or faces.

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#7 - Teo Chee Hean

Speaking about National Service, Singapore's forced conscription, in the first quarter of 2013, Teo Chee Hean stated the below,
"[Our Singaporean soldiers] may help to ensure the safety of foreigners who are here in [Singapore] in times of conflict..." Teo Chee Hean, in the beginning of 2013
Well, since many Singapore citizen men have to compulsorily and without fail give up approximately 2 years of their lives in full-time national service, in the prime of their lives, around 18-21 years of age, AND, have to serve another approximately 10 more years of short-term "reservist" training, many were indignant, and took to Facebook pages to rant:
Okay, so Teo Chee Hean says that Singaporeans may protect the foreigners.. in times of conflict...

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Yaacob wants you to read the "right" things
My mother, when I told her about MDA's new online licencing scheme: "Gahmen so free ah? Why they don't do something more useful?"

Mom has a way of not mincing her words. But Minister Yaacob "Freak Events" Ibrahim says, to the BBC in this video:

"I think it is important for us to ensure that they [ordinary Singaporeans] read the RIGHT thing…"

Siew Kum Hong says on Facebook about this quote from Yaacoob, "There will of course be claims that those who quote this sentence, are taking it out of context — because he goes on to say that "the right things" really means accurate reporting. To which I say — this quote probably betrays what the gahmen is truly seeking to achieve. And if the goal is to ensure that falsehoods and inaccuracies are not reported, then why not limit the power to order content removal to only the content that is false or inaccurate?"

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Singapore News Regulation. If we don't go online, we won't see the right news
BBC News - New regulations hit Singapore's online press

New regulations hit Singapore's online community
Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Singapore:
"As long as they go onto online news sites to read the news, I think it is important for us to make sure that they read the right things."
If we don't go online, we won't see the right news.

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Light touch approach to regulating Internet stays: Yaacob

The new ruling is not a “fundamental shift of policy”

But while the “light touch” approach to regulating the Internet remains, the new licensing regulation put in place by the Media Development Authority (MDA) last week could be expanded to other news sites and even broadcasters, said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim (above) yesterday.

He said: “We will consider websites ‘news sites’ if they report regularly on Singapore’s current affairs. We have identified 10 websites (seven Singapore Press Holdings sites, two by MediaCorp and the Yahoo Singapore site) which meet the criteria, and if other sites are deemed to be reporting regularly on Singapore’s current affairs, we will license them a later stage.”

The minister made these comments in a nine-page response to 22 common questions as a result of the new rules which came into force last Saturday.

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Singapore 'not alone' in tweaking media laws

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said the rationale for licensing mainstream media is to ensure they report responsibly, and this rationale remains valid even with new media. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

Singapore is not the only country tweaking the laws governing traditional and online media, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said yesterday.

New Zealand and Britain are also reviewing their regulatory approaches and frameworks for new and old media.

His remarks yesterday follow concerns that the Government's move - requiring prominent local news sites to get licences - amounts to tighter regulation

MDA: Views on blogs do not amount to news reporting
Traditional & online news providers must uphold common standards
MDA: Views on blogs do not amount to news reporting
Licensing scheme: Changes to regulations gazetted
The trouble with trying to control the Internet
News websites to require own licences

Govt to continue light touch approach on Web
Govt has been lenient in asking websites to remove content
New MDA licensing regime is still 'light touch regulation': Yaacob
Jury still out on impact of MDA ruling

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Idea of the '50-year flood' has been misunderstood
For many people, the sight of all four city-bound lanes of the Ayer Rajah Expressway submerged just over a week ago would have triggered a thought along the lines of: "Isn't this sort of thing only supposed to happen once every 50 years?"

This half-century time-frame entered the national consciousness in 2009, when then minister for the environment and water resources Yaacob Ibrahim said the flooding in Orchard Road that year was a "freak event" that happened once every 50 years.

Dr Yaacob was referring specifically amount of rainfall that caused the flood although his quote is now dredged up every time there is a flood (and there have been several) as proof of how badly the authorities misjudged the flood risk here.

related: Idea of the '50-year flood' has been misunderstood
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Deluge a 'once in 50 years' event

THURSDAY'S deluge which submerged parts of Bukit Timah was a 'freak' event that occurs once in 50 years, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim said yesterday.

'What happened was very unusual,' he said. 'The intensity was tremendous.'

Shortly after 1pm the skies opened and in the next two hours, almost 110mm of rain fell - almost half the average monthly rainfall for November.

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SPH’s political correspondent and Deputy Editor of, Jeremy Au Yong, wrote an article yesterday (15 Sep), “Idea of the ’50-year flood’ has been misunderstood”, in an attempt to defend what PAP Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said when he was the minister for the environment and water resources.

In 2009, after a heavy downpour causing massive flooding in Orchard Road, Dr Yaacob uttered the famous statement to the media saying that the flooding was a “freak event” that happened once every 50 years.

Every time when there are flooding after a heavy rain, Singaporeans will inevitably remember Dr Yaacob’s famous words.

“Once in 50 year event” just happened again!
Yaacob Ibrahim’s once-in-50-years flood goes north, affects Thailand
Yakult said flood once in 50 years event, but now 50 times one year...
Yaacob Ibrahim: Unrealistic to expect EPL prices to remain low

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Personal attacks on Muslim leaders over hijab issue uncalled for: Dr Yaacob Ibrahim

Singapore's Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs has weighed in on an ongoing debate over the Government's rules on wearing of the Muslim headscarf in the public service, calling for mutual respect from all involved

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, in a Facebook post on Thursday, criticised the use of "abusive and disrespectful language", and said the personal attacks on two Muslim leaders were completely uncalled for.

Mufti Dr Fatris Bakaram and his predecessor Shaikh Syed Isa Semait have been criticised online, after their comments in the press and on Facebook on the tuding issue.

It has been in the news since last month, when a polytechnic lecturer asked at a forum on race why nurses were barred from wearing the headscarf.
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Singapore short of cybersecurity experts, data analysts

Singapore is short of cybersecurity experts, a gap made even more acute by the recent hacking of government websites

But the Government is moving to plug the shortage by giving more scholarships for such degrees and diplomas, and getting tertiary institutions to include cybersecurity in the curriculum and have it as a specialist track in degree programmes.

But a tough-to-crack problem is that "young people do not find the job sexy", said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.

"A young IT (information technology) grad wants to go into banking, finance, sales and marketing. He doesn't want to be at the back end," he said at a media interview last week when he addressed recent infocomms-related incidents as well as Malay/Muslim issues
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Singapore has been under “cyber attack” since early Nov. Going by the commentaries and reports and the many people I have talked to, it gives me great comfort to know that many Singaporeans have taken a stand against those who threatened our country’s computer systems and websites – your support is much appreciated.

Many of our agencies, including IDA, have worked hard in the past weeks to strengthen the security of our computer systems and websites. In recent days, those responsible for the recent attacks have been arrested or are being investigated.

Any forms of cyber attacks or threats are actually threats on the people regardless if the intent was malicious or mischievous. These include curious netizens who claimed to have followed instructions found online – It is irresponsible and does not bring about any positive outcome

related: Yaacob Ibrahim: My thoughts on the Hijab issue
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Continuing Spectre of Dr. Yaacob's Licensing Rules Saga

The fact that the draconian new licensing scheme for online news sites was foisted on the Internet public with hardly any notice, much less any consultation with the concerned public or debate in Parliament does not bear the hallmark of a government that is confident of clinching GE 2016 or   people-oriented. Very craftily, Dr.Yaacob Ibrahim presented ten news websites which included seven Singapore Press Holdings sites, two Mediacorp sites and Yahoo Singapore which required licensing from 1st June and pledged that other Internet users or bloggers would be free to continue to criticise the government without fear of governmental restrictions, unless racial and religious issues were involved.

The PAP Government hopes that in this way it will be able to pull a wool over the public's eyes and deflect any agitation from the Internet public against the licensing scheme.

The groundswell of resistance against the scheme was something which the PAP Government may or may not have expected and Dr. Yaacob  became the PAP hatchet man to try to manage damage control. The bloggers formed a "Free the Internet" movement to spearhead and co-ordinate action to pressurise the Government to rescind the licensing scheme which is regarded as a sinister move by the Government to clamp down on dissent. On this Dr. Yaacob and the Media Development Authority (MDA) are seen to be  strenously working to try to assure the Internet public that the Government has no such intention but the bloggers remained adamant and would accept nothing short of rescinding the sinister scheme.

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Yaacob Ibrahim Defends New Internet Rules In Parliament

Yahoo! Finance Singapore, 8 Jul 2013

Singapore's government, facing growing disquiet from foreign investors over tightened rules on news websites, on Monday defended the new regulations and downplayed concerns over potential impact on business and Web freedoms.

The comments, made by the information minister in Parliament, came after U.S. Internet giants—including Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.—said the new rules were hurting Singapore's business-friendly reputation and creating uncertainty for Web entrepreneurs. More than 1,000 citizens staged a protest last month to challenge what they perceived as an attempt to stifle Internet-based news media, often seen as critical of Singapore's government.

The new licensing regime "is not a departure from the 'light-touch' regulatory approach that the government has adopted for the Internet," Yaacob Ibrahim, minister for Communications and Information, told Parliament in response to lawmakers' questions. Full story

Internet giants criticise Singapore news curbs - Australia Network News
Yaacob Ibrahim clarifies childrens' citizenship

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Ashley Madison unlikely to take up ads in S'pore: Yaacob Ibrahim
The homepage of the Ashley Madison dating website is seen displayed on a laptop in Hong Kong

It is unlikely that extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison will be taking up any advertisements in local media, now that access to its site has been blocked.

Communications and Information Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim said this in a written parliamentary reply to a question by MP for Marine Parade GRC Seah Kian Peng.

Advertising in Singapore is largely self-regulated by the industry through the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS), an advisory council to the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE)

Reading Dr Yaacob Ibrahim’s statement on hijab gave me a sense of de javu

The reference to “common space” is not something new. When Goh Chok Tong banned the hijab in 2002 and agreed with the girls’ expulsion, he referred to the need for common space.

And like Yaacob’s statement, Goh Chok Tong claimed the ban promotes racial harmony.

How banning the hijab, expelling Muslim girls from school and denying Muslim women of employment promotes racial harmony has however, not been explained. A rational response would have been to recognise diversity. The embrace of our unique characteristics would have better served any attempt to develop racial harmony.

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Allowing hijab problematic for some jobs: Yaacob
Allowing hijab problematic for some jobs: Yaacob
Minister urges members of Malay-Muslim community to be patient and says they will continue discussions

Wearing a Muslim headscarf at the workplace would be “very problematic” for some professions that require their staff to be in uniform, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim yesterday.

Weighing in on the issue for the first time since a debate began in September, Dr Yaacob said in a note on his Facebook page that many employers here have exercised flexibility on the practice. However, he pointed out that police officers and Singapore Armed Forces servicemen are not allowed to wear or display religious symbols on their uniforms or faces.

“Nor do we allow Muslim police women officers to wear the hijab on duty,” Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for Communications and Information, wrote. “But when they are out of uniform, they are free to wear the hijab, as indeed many do going to and from work.”

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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