Thursday, May 31, 2012

4 myths about national health insurance

NATIONAL health insurance (NHI) has been in the media limelight, with no less than Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh calling for reform, saying health insurance was one area Singapore 'didn't get it right'.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Looming weight on young shoulders

Friday, May 25, 2012

Empty, not forgotten

FOR nearly 80 years, Tanjong Pagar Railway Station echoed with the piercing sounds of trains pulling into the station or leaving for Malaysia.

NZ cracks down on smoking with 40% tax increase

WELLINGTON - There are smoke-free bars, smoke-free parks, even smoke-free college campuses. But a smoke-free country?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Saving old Yangon

BANGKOK - Mr Thant Myint U's mother would take breakfast to his grandfather in the big red brick building where he used to work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tough 'social choices' ahead

Disclaimer: My posting this article does not mean I agree with its content
IF IT wants to solve problems such as a low fertility rate and low wages, Singapore will have to make some difficult 'social choices', said Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing.

What makes someone S'porean?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What Singapore can learn from Europe

IT IS a sad reflection on human nature that when a region is faced with a crisis, it is often treated with disdain instead of sympathy. I recall that during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, some of our European and American friends were extremely unkind and predicted that Asia would suffer a lost decade.

iPad v a lump of clay

WASHINGTON - The sixth-graders are lighting up the room with their MacBook Airs, flipped open to Google, Wikipedia and YouTube, for a physics assignment. Their classroom is decked out with touch-screen whiteboards, tablets and powerful Wi-Fi connections able to handle a school full of children online at once.

The myth of Chinese meritocracy

POLITICAL scandals sometimes perform a valuable function in cleansing governments. They destroy the political careers of individuals of dubious character. More importantly, they can debunk political myths central to the legitimacy of some regimes.

Bhutan counting the cost of wealth

THIMPHU - They say you cannot buy happiness - and Bhutan is finding that out, the hard way.

Friday, May 18, 2012

COE system is broken, has no place in S'pore

After two decades, the Certificate of Entitlement system has proven to be a blunt tool that is nowhere near the ideal of economic distribution of limited resources. Neither has it discouraged vehicle population growth.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Genocide accused defiant as trial opens

THE HAGUE: Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic taunted Srebrenica survivors at the start of his trial for genocide yesterday, running his hand across his throat in a gesture of defiance to relatives of victims of the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Remembering May 13

Remembering May 13: Breaking his silence on a day of tumult

Students marching in the streets in May 1955, with a banner reading 'Victory Parade' in Chinese. They had camped out for a week at Chung Cheng High School and The Chinese High School - both of which had been temporarily closed since May 13 that year - in defiance of the colonial government. -- PHOTOS: ST FILE, LIM CHIN JOO, SEAH KWANG PENG

Mr Lim Chin Joo (seated at table, third from left) as a student leader meeting then Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock (with pipe in hand) over the students' camp-in in 1956. -- PHOTOS: ST FILE, LIM CHIN JOO, SEAH KWANG PENG

For years, retired lawyer Lim Chin Joo has been reluctant to go public on an important phase of his life - the time in the 1950s when he was involved in the Chinese middle school students' movement and was arrested for alleged pro-communist activities.

Some IP students taking O levels as private candidates

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Locations, not foreign policies, saved Venice and harmed Genoa

FORMER foreign minister George Yeo compared the histories of Venice and Genoa, and attributed the latter's earlier loss of independence to an unwise foreign policy of being involved in wars that were not motivated by economic advantage, unlike a cannier Venice ('Venice and Singapore: A study in parallels'; Wednesday).

Medicine is not an exact science

AS A doctor working in primary health care, I sympathise with employers who worry that allowing an honour system of sick leave would result in a runaway rate of absenteeism ('Honour system won't work, say bosses and HR experts'; May 1).

Baffled by award for teacher who went on trip while wife was dying

WEDNESDAY'S report ('Caring teachers win awards') about a teacher who received the Caring Teacher Award because he accompanied students to a competition abroad, even as his wife was dying of cancer, has left me baffled.

The heart of the immigration debate

THE population debate, like much public discussion on sensitive issues, risks being polarised into false dichotomies.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The heart of the immigration debate

THE population debate, like much public discussion on sensitive issues, risks being polarised into false dichotomies.

Crooked roads offer no clear endings

IN THE spring of 1997 in a small hotel in a small town in the middle of Sichuan province, I met Mr Zhao. He had a battered suitcase, tattered clothes and a desperate expression. Early on in our conversation, he asked me if I knew any officials who could help him land some road-building contracts.

No need for MC? No need to fear

ONE fear has dominated the ongoing debate on whether workers should be able to take sick leave without a medical certificate (MC): If taking sick leave becomes easier, more people will do it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Caring teachers win awards

WHEN Northland Secondary School teacher Allan Yeong was told that his cancer-stricken wife was dying, it was days before he was to accompany the school's Boys' Brigade pipe band to Jakarta for a regional competition.

Venice and Singapore: A study in parallels

SINGAPORE is geographically very small. The Swiss think they are small, but those who come to Singapore realise how big Switzerland really is by comparison. We have very little land, we do not have much air space, and even the seas are claimed by others. We are forced to plan and organise very carefully.

Bridge the foreign-local gap with NS

Monday, May 07, 2012

New artefacts for revamped Malay Heritage Centre

A traditional copper oven, a brass tray, and two medallions belonging to the late Yusof Ishak, the first president of Singapore, are among some of the new artefacts that will be on display, when the revamped Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) opens in September.

To leave China or not?

BEIJING: Most dissidents in China have to face a simple but potentially life-changing question at some point in their lives: Should I stay or should I go?

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Replica rage in China