Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Will You Defend? online video contest

Come February 2009, Singapore will be commemorating 25 years of Total Defence. In the past 25 years, Total Defence has helped to build confidence among Singaporeans in facing and overcoming present and future challenges, and protecting what we love in Singapore.

Tell Singapore what you will defend via a short video clip of less than 2 minutes, and you could win yourself attractive prizes. In pairs or threes, record snippets of our Singapore way of life that you will defend. Potentially winning moments such as scenes of first day back at school, the school sports teams triumphing over the competition at inter-school competitions, or colourful ceremonies to commemorate special occasions in school are all possible subjects of "what you will defend" in Singapore.

As winning entries are selected via public voting, remember to keep your videos Relevant (tell us what you will defend), Creative (tell us a good story) and Compelling (make us cry or laugh).

You can submit their entries from 10 November to 31 December 2008 at

Here's how to do it:
Step 1: Show us what you will defend by filming a 2-minute or shorter video clip using your latest mobile phone, digital camcorder, or digital camera. Shoot as many videos as you like remember, the more videos you submit, the higher your chance of winning!

Step 2: Edit it to your satisfaction add in cool effects and music. Just make sure that the final video file is in 3GP, AVI, MPEG, or WMV format, and less than 5 MB.

Step 3: Go to to submit your video.

Step 4: After you have submitted your entry or entries, vote for the best of the rest that Singapore has submitted for the competition.

Step 5: Email the url link of your video to after upload for CA1.2 bonus points redemption.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sec 4 Suggested Answers & Prelim Papers [Updated]

  • Make a list of ALL the pointers/things to remember when answering SBQ & SEQ. Keep updating the list and keep looking at it over the next few days.
  • Complete ALL your answers = manage your time = don't overwrite SEQs or SBQ1a).
  • Know the SBQ chapters VERY WELL. ie. Stalin, Hitler (2.2), War in Europe (3.1), Korean War & Cuban Missile Crisis (4.1).
  • Put all that you know on that piece of paper! No one can mark what's in your mind.
Additional suggested answers:
Prelim II suggested answers:

Mock Exam suggested answers are here:

Additional Prelim papers are here:
All the best!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grand Marklist

You can check your overall grand total marks for the year from the links below:

| Sec 3B | Sec 3D | Sec 3F |

Pls identify yourself when you request for access.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Contacts update

Yahoo groups file-sharing is now closed. You will need a gmail account to access file-sharing in the future. For purpose of database update, please enter your email in the form below.

Loyalty perks: sneak preview will be sent to your gmail at 2200 19 Oct (Sun).

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tibet Riots: Truths, Beliefs & Bias

I am stunned surprised reading so many cases of answers claiming "Source B is by an American journalist so he must be telling the truth; Source B is an American journalist on CNN he is more likely to tell the truth... the news on CNN is reliable... he is unbiased... journalists are objective... CNN is neutral".

Sigh... It's time to re-examine your views about the world. You've been conned. Not that I believe whatever found in this site/youtube videos to be the absolute truth. It's all like one big SBQ. Who do you believe?

Check out this site

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Answer Review & Feedback

Some pointers from sample marking:
  • SBQ (reliability) - Answer the question. A few are getting ZERO because of this careless oversight!
eg. Why say "prove" when question asks "is it useful"? Why answer "it proves" when the question asks "does it mean"?
  • SBQ (reliability) - XR to evidence not to issue! This is Source-based question; means you evaluate the source for its evidence, not evaluate an issue.
eg. Quote target Source A evidence. XR to support Source A = quote evidence from Source X that matches Source A evidence; not explain how Source X supports question issue.
  • SBQ (reliability) - Who says that journalists don't lie; or that American journalists are neutral; or that journalist are not biased! Wake up kid! There is no one who is not biased. And there is no one who does not lie. Don't believe? Check out politicians, lawyers and journalists!
  • SBQ (comparison) - B would agree with C (content) + B would not agree with C (content) + B would (dis)agree with C (tone/attitude)!
Why take the risk of doing Agree (content) + Disagree (tone?! or purpose?!). When your reading of the tone of C is wrong, L3/3 is all you've got!
  • SEQ(b) - Define is to address issue in question; not a dictionary definition!
eg. which is better way to improve health service? manage ethnic diversity? The key is to define what are the problems facing UK healths service such that either way was BETTER in improving it. Or what were the complexities of ethnic diversity in Singapore such that either way was BETTER in managing it. It is to define the context such that it is meaningful to decide which is better and not a definition of the meaning of "better".

MWH SA2 Revision Q&A

Modern World History SA2
SBQ (25 marks)
1a. b. c. d. (compulsory)
SEQ (25 marks)
2a. b., 3a. b., 4a. b. (choose ONE)

You can download compilation of SEQ questions for your practise below:
Unit 2.1: Impact of WWI
Unit 2.2: Stalin in USSR
Unit 2.2: Hitler in Germany
Unit 3.1: War in Europe
Unit 2.2 & 3.2: War in the Pacific

You can ask questions under COMMENTS.
Pls review to ensure your questions have not already been asked/answered.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

HSS SA2 Revision Q&A

Social Studies SA2
SBQ (45 mins)
1a. b. c. d. (compulsory)
SEQ (45 mins)
2a. b., 3a. b., 4a. b. (choose ONE)

You can download compilation of SEQ for your practise:
Chapter 2: Understanding Governance & Transport/Population
Chapter 3: Provision of Healthcare Services
Chapter 4: Ethnic Conflicts in Sri Lanka & Northern Ireland
Chapter 5: Bonding Singapore
*Topics not hyperlinked are new; there are no database of SEQ.
** Most of these questions are compiled from days of old syllabus. While the basics are still the same, the details may not be found in new text. If it's not in new text, then leave it out.

You can post questions under COMMENTS.
Pls review to ensure your questions have not already been asked/answered

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sec 4H Consulation Schedule

Mon 29 Sep 08 1445-1730
Zhiyang, Dev, Ian, Junming, Keith, Jayme, Michael, Azmeer, Hasif, Stanley, Zhicong, Jon, Matt, Jiarong

Tue 30 Sep 08 1430-1630
Bastien, Yibing, Daniel, Ken, Clement, Mervin, Yuanhao, Cedric, Shuliang

Please note changes of dates
Wed 8 Oct 08 1430-1530
Nicholas, Poh, Teng Yau, Zhiwei, Mingyang, Eugene

Mon 13 Oct 08 0900-1300
Zhiyang, Dev, Ian, Junming, Keith, Jayme, Michael, Azmeer, Hasif, Stanley, Zhicong, Jon, Matt, Jiarong

Tue 14 Oct 08 0900-1300
Samuel, Dominic, Peixiang, Dexter, Fernando, James, Travis

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Population hits 4.84m

THE sense of a growing squeeze in shopping malls, MRT trains and hawker centres has been borne out by figures released by the Government on Friday.

Singapore's population grew by a record 5.5 per cent last year, the highest annual spike since Census figures were collected in 1871.

This means that as of June, there are 4.84 million people living in this country, up from 4.59 million last year.

Of these, the number of foreigners - fuelled by a fast-trotting economy last year - expanded the most rapidly, by a whopping 19 per cent, swelling their numbers to 1.2 million.

In contrast, the number of citizens grew by 1 per cent, while the number of permanent residents climbed 6.5 per cent. Together, they add up to 3.64 million residents.

The figures were released by the National Population Secretariat (NPS), under the Prime Minister's Office, which is tasked with overseeing Singapore's population policies.

The nation's total fertility rate (TFR) is still low but more births were registered.

The resident TFR rose slightly from 1.28 in 2006 to 1.29 in 2007. There were 18,032 resident births registered in the first six months this year, compared with 17,325 births a year ago. The increase is primarily due to more first-order births.

With the recent enhancement of the Marriage and Parenthood (M&P) Package, the Government hopes to support more Singaporeans in getting married and having children.

Singapore also welcomed more new permanent residents and new citizens. There were more foreigners becoming PRs and citizens, with 34,800 granted PRs and 9,600 granted citizenship in the first six months, compared to 28,500 and 7,300 in the same period in 2007.

More Singaporeans are also going overseas for work and study.

As of June, there were about 153,500 overseas Singaporeans (OS) compared with 147,500 a year ago.

The countries with a high concentration of overseas Singaporeans are Australia, the UK, the US and China.

Mr Roy Quek, Director of the NPS, who also heads the OSU, noted that 'having more Singaporeans go overseas is not a problem per se, so long as they stay engaged and connected with Singapore'.

'The fact that many Overseas Singaporeans have done well in other countries attests to the success of the Singaporean system in producing top students, professionals and entrepreneurs who can succeed outside of Singapore,' he added.

'We should celebrate their successes and help them stay connected to home, so that they remain Singaporeans in their hearts and minds even when they are physically away from the rest of us'.

The new statistical publication, 'Population in Brief' can be downloaded from

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sec 3 Mock Exam Suggested Answers

Modern World History
mock exam on Nazi totalitarian state & SEQs can be downloaded here.
Social Studies
mock exam on Bonding Singapore can be downloaded here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Youths in Chinese Films after 49 [2]

Date: 24 Sep 2008
Venue: National Museum Gallery Theatre
Time: 730-10pm
Anyone interested pls let me know

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Youths in Chinese Films after 49 [1]

Date: 19 Sep 08
Time: 730pm-930pm
Venue: National Museum Gallery Theatre
Price: FOC
14 tickets only.
Sign up under comments.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Movie Review

Many of you have appealed for your quiz participation after 7 Sep to be counted. I appreciate the enthusiasm and am not averse to finding ways to reward your support. But we'll have to do this without being unfair to those who kept the deadline.

So here is my proposal: In the last 3 weeks, you have watched at least 2 very meaningful films. I know some of you have blogged about it. I am interested to hear how you felt after watching Nanking & Hiroshima/White Light Black Rain. How has it affected-impacted you. I know it's being a while for Nanking. Like the making of the docu-movies, it will be all the more valuable to capture your thoughts now than later before the impact is completely forgotten.

Write your feelings about watching the films in the space below. Pls do not do this just for the credits. It'll be too contrived. Instead, find the inner thoughts that caught your attention, trained your eyes, and engrossed your feelings throughout. Own it before you lose it. So for those among you who want your quiz participation counted, do this simple task. The rest, they say, is history.



White Light Black Rain

Thursday, September 11, 2008

SEQ Combinations

In SA2, there are 2 sections: SBQ & SEQ. In the SEQ section, there are 3 questions and you choose ONE. Each SEQ has 2 sub-parts a. and b. So you will have 1a. b., 2a. b. and 3a. b.

Many have asked about the distribution of SEQs for SA2. Here is a table showing the possible combinations (in green) and the not-possible combinations (in red) of the a. and b. parts.

Pls note the table is only an example of possible and not-possible scenarios. It does not mean that these questions will be tested in SA2.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

MWH3.4.1 War in the Pacific

Topic: War in the Pacific
Essential Question: Who was responsible for the outbreak of the Pacific War?

  • complete worksheet evidence & links. Refer to slides on Pacific War.
  • Complete online quizzes 1-5.
  • Participation top-up for 30% component ends on 7 Sep. Quiz completed after 14 Sep incurs penalty deductions to 30% component.
  • Why was Japan become expansionist by 1920?
  • Why was the military important after 1920
  • Why was the failure of LON significant?
  • Why did Japan invade China?
Understanding goals:
  • Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbour?
  • Why was Japan defeated in 1945?
  • Lookin at the online quizzes: What are the variations in the SEQ types?
  • Watch Hiroshima & White Light Black Rain.
  • 3D: worksheet will be checked on Thursday.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

End of the Pacific War

The Japanese military losses in the Pacific battles contributed to her impending defeat but it did not at once bring about an end to the Pacific War. Arguably it was the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki that made the military surrender hence an end to the war in the Pacific.

You can follow the story of the development of the atomic bomb to the bombing of Hiroshima at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Hiroshima then

Hiroshima now

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

War in the Pacific

Previously, we saw how the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour bought them time to launch their invasion of Southeast Asia. It was not longer before the US declared war on Japan and fought back.

Quiz 5: Here are several reasons responsible for Japan's defeat in the Pacific War. Which do you think contributed the most?

Find out more about the key battles in the Pacific from this interactive.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Japan's Attack on Southeast Asia

Previously, we saw Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour to prevent US intervention to her expansion in the Pacific. With US forces crippled on 7 Dec 1941, Japan began her invasion of Southeast Asia immediately the next day.

Follow the animation to find out more about Japan invasion of Southeast Asia.


You have had a number of practises with Explanation-Ranking (a) type SEQs in the 3 previous quizzes. This time, try a Explanation-Judgment (b) type SEQ:

Quiz 4: Here are two reasons why Japan invaded Southeast Asia in 1941: Economic supplies and Ideological drive. Which do you think was more important?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour

Previously, we saw how the Japanese military took advantage of the situation in China to invade Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. Allied to Germany & Italy in 1940, the Japanese made the fateful decision on 7 Dec 1941, to attack the Americans at Pearl Harbour starting the war in the Pacific.

Quiz 3: Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbour?

Follow the animation to find out more about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Which is the truth???

Which is reliable? Which do you believe? Which is useful?
Reliability = usefulness + purpose?
Can cross-referencing help? What do you cross-reference to?
Do you believe what you see? Or do you see what you believe?
Is it possible to be objective?

This is like a Source-based case study...
Where there is an existing issue [Medal Tally];
different sources present different views [US, China & EU];
they are all seem right and true;
reliability and usefulness are determined by PURPOSE [L5/7]!
thanks Davis!

Japan's Imperialism & the Civil War in China

Previously, we saw how militarism grew in Japan after the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War. After annexing Korea, Japan set its sights on Manchuria.

The catalyst of Japan’s invasion was the Mukden Incident on September 18, 1931. The Chinese were accused of blowing up a section of a Japanese South Manchuria railroad when, in fact, it was the Japanese themselves who did it to provide themselves with an excuse to send troops into China to take over Manchuria. Their goal was accomplished and, as Japan withdrew from the League of Nations, they continued to press on into China from 1937.

Find out more from the map below about Japan's expansion into Manchuria and China proper while the Chinese are embroiled in civil war.

Quiz 2: Why did conditions in China encouraged the rise of militarism in Japan. Explain your answers in comments.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Recess Review

Dear students,

Thanks for all that you have been.

For someone (i.e. me) who has been teaching the same (roughly the same) content since 2002, it does get repetitive sometimes. Like going through the same facts, answering the same questions and watching the same videos (by now, I've watched Nanking like 6 times). What keeps the excitement going is that while the content, facts, worksheets, videos are the same, the responses from students are always different, from year to year; even in the same year, from class to class and from individual to individual.

So it really heartens me to know when a student enjoys something he watched. Maybe he blogs about it, another may recommend to his friends, or some may go google for more information. The idea is that if something engages you, it should take you on this self-propelled auto-pilot journey into multiplier dimensions to discover things you will never even hear in class. That is when teaching has succeeded and learning has begun. And you have all been very encouraging in this respect. It is your response that keeps me excited about showing you the next video.

I am glad most of you enjoyed Nanking for causing many thoughts to well up from within you. Listen to those voices of "whys" and it will help put the perspective back into the worksheets. The information in the slides and the questions in the worksheet are supposed to help us understand "why". There is so much more intriguing information you can google.

I have lined up a few more videos when school reopens: HIROSHIMA and WHITE LIGHT BLACK RAIN. In the meanwhile, take a relook at your worksheets and try to write out the links for each factor under each heading question. That is your only homework for this holiday.

Once again. Thanks for everything so far. I hope you have enjoyed yourself as much as I have.

The Battle of the Atlantic

Friday, August 22, 2008

MWH3.3.10 Rise of Militarism in Japan

Topic: War in the Pacific

Essential Question: Why did the military become so important in Japan in the 1920s?

  • 3F Make-up class on Monday 25 Aug 08 1415-1530
    • this is to pre-emp lesson lost on coming Friday.
  • Understanding goals:
    • Why did was the a rise of militarism in the 1920s?
      • International disarmament
      • Weak political leadership
      • Nationalism in China
    • How did the Great Depression affect Japan
      • Search for economic security
      • Turn to regionalism
      • Economic-military alliance
  • Performances:
    • Complete Worksheet on Rise of Militarism/Pacific War
    • Watch NANKING.
  • Assessment:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Imperialism & Colonialism

Previously we tried to explain how Japan became an imperial power. One of the reason was that the period from 1871 (after the unification of Germany in the Franco-Prussian Wars) till 1914 was a time of new imperialism. This race for territories, and increased global militarism necessary to secure new territories, was arguably one of the reasons contributing to the outbreak of WWI.

Find out more about the scale of imperialism from the map below:


Saturday, August 16, 2008

MWH3.3.9 Rise of Imperial Japan

Topic: War in the Pacific
Essential Question: How did Japan become an imperial power?
  • Admin
    • Notes check for Unit 2.2 (Fascist Japan) & Unit 3.2 (War in the Pacific)
  • Understanding goals:
    • How did Japan modernise in the period 1868-1893?
      • Role of the West
      • Rivalry between clans
      • Meiji Restoration
    • Why did Japan become an imperial power? 1894-1914
      • Age of imperialism
      • Effects of military victories
      • Effects of foreign intervention
  • Performances:
    • Watch Horror in the East during triple periods.
    • Construct Factor-Explanation SEQs on the rise of imperial Japan.

War In The Pacific
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: japan history)

Friday, August 08, 2008

HSS3.3.8 Bonding Singapore

Topic: Bonding Singapore
Essential Question: What are the challenges of managing multi-ethnic societies?

  • Admin:
    • Review SEQ practise assignment
  • Review:
    • Challenges Singapore face in managing multi-ethnicity: race, religion, region
    • Fostering national identity: Multiracialism, Common practises, Bilingualism
    • Safeguarding interests of minority groups: Minority representation, Self-help groups
    • Developing common space: grassroot, education, housing, National Service
    • Focusing less on Race: ethnicity, cosmopolitanism, internationalism
  • Performances
    • Watch clip on CEP in Singapore
    • Construct hierarchy chart of chapter Bonding Singapore
    • Form sample SEQ questions from the chapter
  • Assessment
    • Q&A review session for 3F on 12 Aug 08 1430-1500.
    • CA2.2

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Old Man, the Boy, and the Donkey

An old man and a young boy were traveling through their village with their donkey. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked.

As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding.

The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later, they passed some people that remarked, "What a shame, he makes that little boy walk." They then decided they both would walk.

Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey.

Now they passed some people that shamed them by saying, "How awful to put such a load on a poor donkey."

The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey.

As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story?

If you try to please everyone, you may as well just kiss your ass goodbye.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Secret bunker open to public

Nearly 19 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the nuclear shelter for former East German leaders will be opened for three months

PRENDEN (Germany) - Visitors flocked to the once top-secret bunker of Erich Honecker and other leaders of former East Germany as it opened to the public last Friday, almost 19 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The huge underground complex northeast of Berlin, close to where Honecker and the former ruling elite of communist East Germany used to live, will be open for three months and then closed for good.

It was built between 1978 and 1983 at the height of the Cold War as a shelter and command centre for the East German National Defence Council in case of nuclear attack.

Honecker visited the bunker only once. 'Contemporary witnesses told us that Honecker was more or less frightened or shocked when he walked through here,' said Mr Sebastian Tenschert, a founder of the Berlin Bunker Network, which helped make the facility accessible.

The complex covers an area slightly smaller than a soccer pitch. The guided tour of the three-storey bunker takes visitors through heavy steel doors and musty hallways past some 300 rooms. The tours are being booked up quickly, he said.

The interest in Honecker's bunker is the latest example of Ostalgie - a nostalgia for the former east. Last year, a communist-style hotel, or Ostel, opened in Berlin with pictures of Honecker on the walls.

Mr Wolfgang Schubert, a member of the former East German government who helped plan the bunker, said the facility had been unknown in western Germany.

It was closed in 1993 and declared a historical building, but intruders repeatedly broke in to hunt for souvenirs.

In October, the bunker will be sealed with a concrete cap intended to make it fully secure.


Friday, August 01, 2008

HSS3.3.7 Bonding Singapore

Topic: Bonding Singapore
Essential Question: What are the challenges of managing multi-ethnic societies?

  • Preview:
    • Race Conflicts:Sri Lanka
    • Religious Conflicts: Northern Ireland
  • Understanding goals:
    • What are challenges Singapore face in managing multi-ethnicity
      • Perceptions of race
      • Perception of religion
      • Influence from region
    • How can Singapore manage ethnicity
      • Fostering national identity
        • Multiracialism
        • Common practises
        • Bilingualism
      • Safeguarding interests of minority groups
        • Minority representation
        • Self-help groups
      • Developing common space
        • grassroot programmes
        • educational opportunities
        • housing integration
        • National Service experiences
      • Focusing less on Race
        • remove race categories
        • celebrate cultures & cosmopolitanism
        • integrate international immigrants
  • Performances
    • Who is the Real Singaporean?
      • Who has left? Who is left?
      • Read article on latest Singapore demographics
    • Complete worksheet on Bonding Singapore
      • Refer to lecture slides here:
    • Checking of notes on Bonding Singapore during first HSS perios
  • Assessment
Complete the following practise SEQs by 1st HSS period:
  • How far was the education system the cause of the conflict between the Protestants and the Catholics in Northern Ireland? (12)
  • Was the economic impact of the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict more damaging to Sri Lanka than the political impact? EYA. (13)
  • Population grows to 4.59 million

    SINGAPORE'S population now stands at 4.59 million.

    It grew by almost 200,000 between 2006 and last year, with foreigners accounting for the bulk of the increase.

    The number of foreigners - professionals, workers, students and their family members - rose 14.9 per cent over 2006 to hit 1,005,500 in June last year.

    It was the first time the population of foreigners here has crossed the one-million mark.

    The population of Singaporeans and permanent residents also rose, to about 3.58 million, up from 3.52 million in 2006.

    The figures were given in the Yearbook of Statistics 2008, released yesterday.

    Women outnumber men slightly - 1.80 million to 1.77 million.

    The statistics also showed a marginal increase in the number of births and marriages.

    The number of births last year went up by over 1,100 to 39,490.

    The number of marriages was up 260 from 2006.

    The 23,966 marriages registered were the highest number in five years.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Wanted: Public's ideas for a greener Singapore

    SINGAPORE is embarking on a 10-year journey to build a greener future - and the first steps start with you.

    Views from individuals, businesses and interests group are being sought in a ground-up approach to drafting government policy that will shape how Singaporeans live, work, play and commute for years to come.

    The goal - to create a 'liveable, lively home, with a vibrant economy', said Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan. He co-chairs a high-powered inter-ministry committee appointed by the Prime Minister in February to spearhead the green push.

    Over the next three months, the public can give feedback on topics like transport, housing and industry at a dedicated website.

    Public forums will also be held, and there will be consultations with volunteer groups, grassroots, and companies to involve as many people as possible.

    Suggestions on everything from improving public transport to boosting recycling in homes will be woven into the committee's report to be tabled at next year's Budget.

    Five ministers representing Environment, Transport, Trade and Industry, National Development and Finance came together yesterday to unveil this initiative, a sign of the far-reaching impact the committee's work will have.

    'Energy is our biggest concern right now', said Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, who co-chairs the committee.

    Rising fuel prices and an affluent growing population are putting immense strain on already limited resources, he explained.

    The hope - to find a Newater solution for the energy sector.

    Investing in home-grown R&D will help make clean energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran.

    But do not expect solutions to come quickly or without sacrifice, cautioned the ministers.

    Using raised road tolls as an example, Transport Minister Raymond Lim said that unrestrained driving was 'not possible' as it undermined the urban environment by creating pollution and gridlock.

    The benefits will come with time when the $40 billion being invested in new rail lines and road projects take shape.

    What will not be compromised is economic growth, said Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

    'We will balance the costs and benefits,' he added.

    To achieve that, solutions should be 'pragmatic and result- oriented' but at the same time 'bold'.

    The committee will tread carefully with top-down mandates.

    Other countries have gone ahead of the curve by legislating green policies but at great cost to the people and companies, said Mr Mah.

    Endorsing the ground-up approach being taken, Dr Amy Khor, chairman of Reach, the Government's feedback unit, said: 'This is especially important for such a topic which the ground may not find easy to relate to since some policies implemented in the immediate future may not directly benefit them now, but (will)ensure that future generations will continue to have a high quality living environment'.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    HSS3.3.6 Conflicts in Multi-ethnic societies

    Topic: Conflicts in Multi-Ethnic Societies

    Essential Question: Why do ethnic conflicts occur?
    • Review:
      • Lecture slides for Sri Lanka can be viewed (and downloaded) here.
      • How similar are the conflicts in Sri Lanka & Northern Ireland
        • History of repression
        • Administration and policies
        • Tensions between communities
        • Retaliation & Rights
        • Expressions of violence
        • Deadlocked, Deadlines and Deaths
    • Performances:
      • Hotel Rwanda
        • 'I am glad I stayed to watch Hotel Rwanda because...'
        • Share your reflections here in no more than 100 words.
        • Valid comments attract CA2.1 top-up marks.
        • Season closes on 27 Jul 08 (Sun) at 2359.
      • Bloody Sunday on triple period
        • Yes, you get to watch PARTS of Bloody Sunday on your triple period
      • Northern Ireland SBQ
    • Assessment:

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    HSS3.3.5 Conflict in Northern Ireland

    Topic: Conflicts in Multi-Ethnic Societies - Northern Ireland

    Essential Question: Why do ethnic conflicts occur?

    • Review
      • What is the current situation in Sri Lanka?
      • Answer is found here.
    • Understanding goals:
      • Why did ethnic conflict occur in Northern Ireland?
        • History-Attitudes
          • Divided Loyalties
          • Lack of social interaction
            • education
            • residence
        • Acts of Discrimination-Interference
          • Unequal allocation of housing
          • Unequal employment opportunities
          • Lack of Voting rights
        • Troubles: Response-Retaliation
          • Civil right marches
          • IRA
        • Effects:
          • Political Violence
          • Economic decline
          • Social segragation
    • Performances:
    • Assessments
      • CA2.1 (Assignment 25%): "Who was responsible for the conflict in Sri Lanka" SBQ
      • to be completed by Week 5.
    Source A is reproduced here:

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    MWH4.3.4 End of USSR

    Topic: End of Communism in Eastern Europe & the USSR
    Essential Question: Why did communism collapse in 1991?

    Review of SEQ:
    (a) Why did Communist governments in Eastern Europe fall in 1989? [12]

    (b) The main reason for Gorbachev’s fall as leader of the Soviet Union was his policy of glasnost. How far do you agree with this judgement? Explain your answer. [13]

    Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Fun on Foot 2008

    When: 19 Jul 08 (Sat) 0745
    Where: Suntec City Fountain

    Team Sidney: Sidney/Yunhan/Dzafir/Hefu

    Team Bih Yau: Bih Yau/Vigneshwar/Quinn/Weixiang

    Team Ernie: Ernest Lim/Yutian/Yufan/Longbang

    Team Ryan: Ryan/Jieren/Emmanuel/Moonsoon

    Team Dilip: Dilip/Shvod/Ryson/Jaren

    if you would still like to take part, or if I have left you out, leave a message here.

    HSS3.3.4 Conflict in Sri Lanka

    Topic: Conflicts in Multi-Ethnic Societies - Sri Lanka
    Essential Question: Why do ethnic conflicts occur?

    • Understanding goals: Why did ethnic conflict occur in Sri Lanka?
      • Effects of History
        • Colonial Policies
        • Discrimination of Sinhalese
      • Acts of Discrimination-Retaliation against Tamils
        • Citizenship Rights
        • Official Language Act
        • University Admission Quota
        • Resettlement Policies
      • Response-Retaliation against Sinhalese
        • Demonstration
        • Resistance-Liberation: Tamil Tigers
      • Effects:
        • Political Violence
        • Foreign Intervention
        • Economic decline
        • Humanitarian crisis
    • Performances:
      • Travel advisory: Should you visit Sri Lanka?

    Saturday, July 05, 2008

    MWH3.3.3. Appeasement Policy

    Topic: War In Europe
    Essential Question: Why did war break out in Europe?
    • Review
      • How did Appeasement Policy contribute to the outbreak of WWII?
        • Treaty of Versailles too harsh
        • Self-determination is acceptable
        • Avoid war at all cost
        • Results: Selling out Czechoslovakia; trading Sudetenland
    • Understanding Goals
      • How did the Munich Agreement & the Invasion of Czechoslovakia affect the Soviet Union?
        • Seeking alliance with Britain?
        • Seeking alliance with Germany?
      • Why was the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact signed?
        • Benefits for Germany
        • Benefits for the Soviet Union
    • Performance of Understanding
      • Watch "The Nazis: A Warning from History"
      • What evidence is there to suggest that WW2 could have been avoided.

    MWH4.3.3 End of the USSR

    Topic: End of Communism in Eastern Europe & the USSR
    Essential Question: Why did communism collapse in 1991?

    • Review
      • Why did Gorbachev have to introduce reforms in the USSR?
      • What were the problems that the USSR faced in 1985?
        • economic struggles of eastern European satellites
        • preservation of Warsaw Pact
        • financial burden of arms race
        • effects of fighting proxy wars
        • social & economic problems of command economy
        • gerentocracy
      • How are Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) different from satellite states?
    • Understanding Goals:
      • How did the end of communism in Eastern Europe undermine the USSR?
        • Baltic nationalism & separatism
        • Soviet military crack-down
        • Anti-communists demand replacement of Communist Party
      • How did Perestroika bring about the collapse of the USSR?
        • closure of inefficient state firms = loss of jobs = increase in unemployment
        • shift to capitalist economy = market forces driven by profit = demand based on ability to pay = rise in prices = more financial burden on masses
        • privatization = poor production infrastructure + lack of know-how in managing market economy = decrease in supply = shortage of goods = catastroika
      • How did Glasnost bring about the collapse of the USSR?
        • relaxation of censorship to encourage contribution = renewal and review of Soviet history = criticism of Stalin, Khruschev and dictatorship of Communist Party
        • transparency to eliminate corruption = exposure of failings of party members and state companies = led lost of faith = open criticism of party eg. Chernobyl accident.
        • political openness to renew leadership = election to regional assembly = rise of Boris Yeltsin = challenges to Gorbachev and Communist Party
    • Performance:
      • Watch video: THE CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT. See photos of Chernobyl.
      • Attempt this SEQ. To be submitted on 9 Jul 08.
        (a) Why did Communist governments in Eastern Europe fall in 1989? [12]

        (b) The main reason for Gorbachev’s fall as leader of the Soviet Union was his policy of glasnost. How far do you agree with this judgement? Explain your answer. [13]

    Saturday, June 28, 2008

    MWH4.3.2 Soviet Union under Gorbachev

    Topic: End of Communism in Eastern Europe & the USSR
    Essential Question: Why did communism collapse in 1991?
    • Review
      • Was the end of communism inevitable?
        • War communism & New Economic Policy
        • Stalin's collectivisation & purges
        • Revolts in Eastern Europe: Berlin uprising, Hungarian Revolt, Prague Spring
      • How are Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) different from satellite states?
    • Understanding Goals:
      • Why did Gorbachev have to introduce reforms in the USSR?
      • What were the problems that the USSR faced in 1985?
        • economic struggles of eastern European satellites
        • preservation of Warsaw Pact
        • financial burden of arms race
        • effects of fighting proxy wars
        • social & economic problems of command economy
        • gerentocracy
    • Performance:
      • Watch video: FALL OF COMMUNISM
      • Explain how Perestroika & Glasnost was intended to help solve the problems that the USSR faced in 1985.
      • What were the unintended consequences?
      • Notes can be downloaded here.

    SEA4.3.2 Singapore's Road to Independence

    Dear 4G,

    You would have received an email invitation to collaborate on the document SEA.SINGAPORE.SEQ. This document contains all the previous SEQs on Singapore's road to independence.

    To prepare you for the SEQ test on this topic, go through the questions and come up with as many POINTS as you can. It is not necessary to know all 3 points before you attempt any questions. Attempt those that you know; your friends may be able to provide answers to those you don't and vice-versa.

    If you feel that there are additional answers not raised in someone else' contribution, you are free to add them as 4th or 5th points. Indicate your contributions by adding [your name] after every point you give.

    You can view the results of our collaboration here. Enjoy!

    MWH3.3.2 Appeasement on WW2

    Topic: War In Europe
    Essential Question: Why did war break out in Europe?

    • Review
      • How did German domestic policy prepare Germany for war
        • Political elimination created Nazi dictatorship
        • Economic policies created self-sufficiency
        • Social controls ensured thought control
      • How did Germany foreign policy make war more likely?
        • Rearmament: Conscription & Remilitarization
        • Reunion: Saar, Anschluss & Sudeten
        • Retreat: Berschtesgaden, Bad Godesburg & Munich
        • Results: Selling out Czechoslovakia; trading Sudetenland
    • Understanding Goals
      • How did Appeasement Policy contribute to the outbreak of WWII?
        • Treaty of Versailles too harsh
        • Self-determination is acceptable
        • Avoid war at all cost
      • How did the Munich Agreement & the Invasion of Czechoslovakia affect the Soviet Union?
        • Seeking alliance with Britain?
        • Seeking alliance with Germany?
      • Why was the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact signed?
        • Benefits for Germany
        • Benefits for the Soviet Union
    • Performance of Understanding
      • Watch "The Nazis: A Warning from History"
      • What evidence is there to suggest that WW2 could have been avoided.

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    MWH3.3.1 German Foreign Policy

    Topic: War in Europe
    • Admin
      • Checking of Holiday assignments ie. MWH SEQ(s) + HSS SEQ(s) [Check criteria here]
      • Checking of Notes for MWH3.1
    • MWH SA1 Review
      • SBQ Areas for improvement
        • Use of contextual knowledge
        • text as information vs. source as action
    • Understanding Goals:
      • Why did war break out in Europe?
      • How did Nazi domestic policies influenced Germany's foreign policy in Europe?
    • Performances:
      • Explain how Nazi policies in Germany from 1933 to 1934 contributed to Germany's aggressive foreign policy in Europe from 1934-1939.
      • Find 2 friends to form a trio. Select one of 3 policies (political, economic or social) and answer the following guiding question:
        • What was the nature of Nazi political policy? How did such a policy make Germany aggressive?
        • What were the characteristics of Nazi economic policy? How did such a policy prepare Germany for war?
        • What were the aspects of Nazi social policy? How did these policies made Germany expansionist?
      • You can download worksheets for this unit here.
    • On-going Assessment:
      • Here are two possible causes of WWII. Germany's foreign policy & Britain's Appeasement Policy. Which do you think was a more critical cause of the outbreak of WWII? Explain your answer. (13)

    Sunday, June 22, 2008

    India to take up border violations with China

    But both sides choose to downplay the incidents as bilateral trade continues to rise
    By P. Jayaram, India Correspondent

    NEW DELHI - TENSION is brewing along the disputed border between India and China, particularly around northern Sikkim.

    New Delhi, which has so far downplayed reports of 'incursions' by the Chinese troops, said on Thursday that the issue was serious.

    Junior Defence Minister M M Pallam Raju said the government would take it up with Beijing at the highest level but added that he hoped it would not develop into a major row.

    'The issue of incursions will be raised at the next meeting (between the two armies) and also discussed at the appropriate highest level,' he told reporters.

    'If there is an issue, as two responsible neighbours, we will sort it out.'

    But he asserted that India will not 'yield an inch' of territory and will 'stand its ground'.

    China has also sought to downplay the reported border violations, with a minister saying that too much should not be read into the incidents.

    Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Wu Dawei cited the 'long history of border skirmishes' between the two countries, adding that the 4,000-km India-China border is a 'sensitive issue', according to Indian newspaper reports from Beijing.

    The Indian Army said it had recorded 140 cases of 'intrusion' by the Chinese last year. This year alone, 70 such incidents have been reported in and around northern Sikkim in a region called the 'Finger area'.

    'It is unfortunate. Sikkim is a settled matter as far as India is concerned,' Mr Raju said.

    'I guess that is China's way of putting pressure to resolve the boundary dispute with us. We are going about it with the border talks to arrive at a consensus. It's their style and we have our own style.'

    A leading magazine, India Today, reported that a major incident was averted last month after senior officers of an Indian border post intervened.

    It said Chinese troops chased, abused and threatened to shoot Indian intelligence personnel, who were verifying claims of Chinese intrusions along the Indo-Tibetan border.

    As the two countries have agreed not to open fire to stop intrusions into each other's territory, the Indian Army is now blocking Chinese soldiers by forming 'human chains', along the Indo-Tibetan border, The Times of India reported.

    'We are literally forming human chains to stop the Chinese from crossing over. If they come in groups of 20, we assemble 50 men and form a human chain,' it quoted a senior army officer as saying.

    'They can't after all push us and cross the border.'

    India and China fought a brief war in 1962 but since then the India-China border has been relatively peaceful, particularly after both countries signed a treaty for peace and tranquillity in 1993 and agreed to reduce their troop levels along the border.

    The bilateral border dispute has dragged on despite 11 rounds of talks to resolve it. India says China occupies 38,000 sq km of its territory, while Beijing claims the whole of the north-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which spreads over 90,000 sq km.

    But the two countries have not allowed this issue to stand in the way of improving relations in other spheres.

    Bilateral trade has been booming and is set to touch US$60 billion (S$82.2 billion) by 2010, having crossed the US$20 billion target they had set for 2008 in 2006.

    They signed a defence cooperation agreement in 2006 and have also been holding joint military exercises and sending their officers to each other's military institutions for training.

    In 2006, China agreed to reopen the strategic Nathu La pass in Sikkim to border trade, thereby accepting the Himalayan state, a former kingdom which was merged into India in 1975, as part of India.

    But of late, China has appeared to be uncomfortable with India's growing strategic ties with the United States, cemented through a series of joint exercises, including the huge five-nation naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal, last year.

    Beijing sent a note on the issue to New Delhi, conveying its displeasure over the exercise in which Australia, Japan and Singapore were the other participants. Experts said the exercise represented a strategic shift, driven in large part by the fear of a rising China.

    Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee travelled to Beijing to iron out the differences, but his scheduled meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao was cancelled by the Chinese at the last minute in a move widely seen here as a 'snub'.

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    SEA4.3.1 SA1 Review


    1. completed the 2 SEQs a. & b. you did not do during SA1. If you haven't, pls be prepared to stay on Monday remedial to complete them.
    SA1 SEQ Review
    1. Bring SA1 SEA question paper
    2. Match your responses to suggested answers
    3. Identify missing components: [P][E][E][L]
    4. Re-performance of SEQ Link
    SA1 SBQ Review
    1. Review of contextual knowledge: Events leading to Separation
    • Why was Singapore expelled from Malaysia in 1965?
      • Cumulative Factors
        • Malaysia Day
        • Common market issues
      • Contributary Factors
        • UMNO's loss in the 1963 Singapore Elections
        • PAP's foray into the 1964 Federal Elections
        • Race Riots in Singapore
      • Critical Factors
        • Formation of Malaysian Solidarity Convention
        • Exchanges in the Dewan Rakyat & foreign press
        • role of ultras in UMNO

    HSS4.3.1 Venice

    1. completed the 2 SEQs a. & b. you did not do during SA1. If you haven't, pls be prepared to stay on Monday remedial to complete them.
    2. completed notes for Challenge & Change: Venice
    SA1 SEQ Review
    1. Bring SA1 HSS question paper, script & suggested answers
    2. Match your responses to suggested answers
    3. Identify missing components: [P][E][E][L]
    4. Re-performance of SEQ Link
    Challenge & Change: Venice
    1. Outline the organisation of the chapter
    2. Identify constituents (reasons or results) & complements of a potential SEQ on Venice
    3. Attempt the following SEQ:
    • How far was the exemplary political system a cause for the rise of Venice? Explain your answer. [12]
    • Was the incompetency of the leaders more damaging to Venice than its complacency? Explain your answer. [13]

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008

    Tea and tourism trade hit as trouble brews in Darjeeling

    June 18, 2008
    Tea and tourism trade hit as trouble brews in Darjeeling
    KOLKATA - PROTESTERS shut down India's famous Darjeeling hills yesterday, threatening its tea and tourism industries, as the Gorkha community pressed its demand for autonomy with an indefinite strike.

    The Gorkhas, who are ethnic Nepalis, are demanding that a separate state of 'Gorkhaland' be carved out of the eastern state of West Bengal to protect their culture and heritage.

    The strike has badly hit the tourism and tea industries, the two mainstays of the local economy, and a tea industry official warned that exports of premium Darjeeling tea could fall by 20 to 25 per cent this year.

    Protesters called off the strike for a few days last week and forced tourists to leave Darjeeling. Yesterday, they shut down hotels again and asked local residents to stock up on food.

    'We have asked people to have enough stocks for at least 45 days as we will continue to agitate, irrespective of the hardship,' said protest leader Bimal Gurung, head of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Gorkha People's Liberation Front).

    The region's vast tea gardens ship highly prized and fragrant brews around the world, churning out about 10 million kg a year.

    Although tea workers were exempted from the strike, the lack of transport and fear of violence were hitting the industry, said Mr Rajiv Lochan, secretary of the Siliguri Tea Traders' Association.

    Tourists were also avoiding the Darjeeling hills, with hundreds of cancellations reported by tour operators since last week.

    The ruling communist government in West Bengal has ruled out a separate 'Gorkhaland' state but has offered to talk to the protest leaders.

    This was rejected by the protest leaders. 'We want to talk to New Delhi, not with the local government,' Mr Gurung said.

    The communist government has threatened to take serious action if the strike is not lifted.

    Experts say the central and state governments are unlikely to give in to the Gorkhas' demand, and warn that the agitation could intensify and be long-drawn-out as emotions are running high.

    At least 1,200 people died in the first Gorkhaland campaign in the 1980s, but protests ended a few years later after Gorkha leaders accepted limited autonomy.

    This time around, Gorkha leaders insist their campaign will be peaceful.