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]