Hong Kong protests combine with Mid-Autumn lantern celebrations

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Hong Kong activists merged tradition with anti-government protests with lantern celebrations marking the Mid-Autumn Festival Friday (Sep 13, or the 15th day of the 8th month on the Lunar Calendar) after a brief lull in sometimes violent demonstrations which have rocked the Chinese-ruled city since June.

Also, on SCMP: https://www.scmp.com/video/scmp-originals/3027212/tradition-merges-protests-hong-kongs-mid-autumn-festival

Earlier report by Reuters: https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSL3N26310B


Children with parents who have clan or church connections to continue to get priority in school registration

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung says S’pore should not forget ‘roots’ of Govt-aided schools


Minister Ong. Photo: TNP.

It has been a long-time controversy whether clan and church members should get priorit in P1 registration in schools, with some saying more spaces should be freed up for children living in the neighbourhood/vicinity.

Churches, and especially clan associations, have close ties with the ruling party and Government, and many cultural entities are seen as Government bootlickers that help PAP win votes.

In explaining why the Govt still allows such blatant discrimination and priority, Minister Ong says “Singapore should not forget the history and roots of government-aided schools”, referring to the former Chinese schools ordered shut/converted into English Government schools by none other than the late Lee Kuan Yew.

“Today, they continue to play the role of upholding the tradition and culture of the schools and the community that started them,” Ong added.

In the Primary 1 registration exercise, children whose parents have clan or church connections to a school can apply in Phase 2B, the fourth of seven phases.

More here: TNP


SG Govt gives excuse: parking spots and charging points for electric cars a ‘problem’ we don’t have a solution yet

The Environment Minister also lashes out that electric cars are about a ‘lifestyle’, and not the climate


‘Zero waste’: Saying one thing and doing another?

Responding to Elon Musk’s tweet seven months ago, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos remarked: “Just choosing a parking spot is already problematic.”

“And now you want to say who gets the charging point. We do not have the solution yet.”

Giving further excuse for not adopting or endorsing Musk’s electric cars solution to environmental denegration, Masagos accused the Tesla vehicles of being about a ‘lifestyle’, and not about climate.

Elon Musk had criticised Singapore for being slow to adopt electric vehicles and said in a January tweet the government “has been unwelcome“. 

“What Elon Musk wants to produce is a lifestyle,” Mr Masagos said on Wednesday when asked about the entrepreneur’s comments. “We are not interested in a lifestyle. We are interested in proper solutions that will address climate problems.”

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


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Read more on: ST


MOE auto-assigns lower-band scores for MTL-exempt students, parents petition

Why not make everyone, including foreigners, take one of the 3 official MTL languages, to ensure equality and ‘safeguard our mother tongues’?

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A group of parents have signed a ‘petition’ on Change.org to ask for a postponement or revision to the ‘PSLE scoring for MTL-exempt students’.

According to the petition, from 2021 onwards, pupils who have been granted exemption from Mother Tongue (MTL) will be allocated the lowest 3 Foundation level grades: Achievement Level (AL) 6 to 8. (AL1 is best.)

Previously, their MTL score was ‘calculated by assessing the performance of other students with similar scores for other subjects.’

Aggregate PSLE scores range from 4 to 32, the lower the better.

Calling this a ‘severe handicap’ as it will affect their overall grades by as much as 5 to 7 points, the petition stated students need to have less than 20 to qualify for the Express/G3 stream in Secondary School.

It said the MOE was being unfair by ‘approving all such exemptions, (but) now intending to penalise these students,’ ‘with no previous indication’.

“Students from Primary 1 to Primary 4 and their parents have been caught by surprise. If Primary 2, 3 and 4 students who have received exemption and/or taking Asian or Foreign Language decide to revert back to MTL they will have missed out on several years of the curriculum and will be seriously disadvantaged. So, for most of them it will be too late.”

It ended the statement saying that ‘such significant changes should be introduced properly, not dropped on students in the midst of their curriculum. If such a policy is to be introduced it should commence from 2023 at the earliest, so students and parents seeking exemption now have time to consider their options.’

It is unknown how many of these MTL-exempt students are foreigners, and how many are Singaporeans.

On streaming and the new system

The MOE recently said they are ‘doing away with streaming’ and replacing it with the G1, G2, G3 bands, in place of the previous Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) streams.

Chinese students seeking exemption from their own mother tongue?

In the Chinese language arena, there has long been debate over Mother Tongue education in schools, with one camp lamenting the state of Chinese language amongst students today, and chiding MOE’s efforts to downplay its importance from time to time, and another camp trying to avoid learning the language at all costs. There have been rumours of parents using excuses such as ‘dyslexia’ or other learning difficulties to let their children be exempt from the MTL.

The introduction of MTL (B) by Lee Hsien Loong has also been a subject of ridicule by mother tongue supporters, in the Chinese, Malay and Tamil language circles.



Did Soh Rui Yong break any rule of SNOC?

Opinion |


After the Internet broke the news of Soh Rui Yong, Singapore’s fastest marathoner, not being listed in the list of participants to represent Singapore in the upcoming SEA Games at the end of this year, focus centred on his “conduct”, that was the criterian for SNOC’s decision to remove him.

But which rule did Soh break?

Did he take drugs before any race? Did he get an overdose of any medicine that would taint his professional athelicism?

Or..did he just offend the powers-that-be, that also happen to helm the now-obviously-not-politically-neutral organisation called the SNOC – which stands for Singapore National Olympic Council. Maybe the International Olympic Committee should come in to help, eh?

First, it was some petty issues over how Soh “poke holes” in his running t-shirt. But we all know that is not the reason, lah!

The reason was because the SNOC chose to side with Liew, another athlete, which Soh called out for not showing sportmanship at a recent competition. Liew denied the allegations despite corroboration amongst other athelets. SNOC conducted “internal investigations” thereafter that “proved” Liew innocent, and subsequently asked Soh to take down his blog post. Soh refused, and that is when he really got to the weak and unforgiving and intolerant nerves of the SNOC.

If such a thing were to happen in the United States, it would have been top news, and the Govt would need to apologise.

Much so when SNOC eventually – as reported in the news yesterday – decided to disqualify Soh, otherwise the best competitor – from representing Singapore in the upcoming Games.

Mass protests would be held if this happened in the United States. But we are Singapore.

SNOC, under Speaker of Parliament and PAP MP Tan Chuan-Jin, has discretion to decide that Soh had “misconducted” himself and went against “Code of Conduct”. What utter blesphemy!

We need a change of Government soon – or meritocracy would be shattered and the country would go down, for sure!

Already we are ranked near the bottom in FIFA’s ranking due to “political intereference in sports”. But with the PAP in charge, we never learn, and we never change.

We need to change them!


What riled the Govt was not the expletives, but that the pair attacked it for keeping racism: KJ

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Indeed, some ruling members of the country are a menace to society. (TNE comment)

In his latest blog post on The Rice Bowl Singapore (TRS), Reform Party head huncho and son of JBJ, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, thought it was “as though I was watching a rerun of the Amos Yee saga” as he watched the Government’s reaction to Subhas and Preeti Nair’s video unfold.

He also provided a link to the video, “since the Government has got its newly tamed houseboys Facebook and Google to take down or disable any links accessible to Singaporeans on their platform.”

He recounted how, in the case of Amos Yee, the Government had tried to make his prosecution about inciting religious hatred. But, he said, US immigration judge, Samuel Cole, who heard Amos’s asylum case, commented that in the 8-minute video, only 30 seconds were devoted to criticising Christians. The judge subsequently ruled that it was a “politically motivated prosecution done with the intention of silencing critics.”

Ken felt that what seems to have riled the PAP was not the expletives, but the fact that the pair attacked the Government in the video and “blame it for tolerating, even encouraging, racism.”

He pointed out that the original racism came from NETS, a partially Government-owned company, and state media broadcaster, Mediacorp, and this point got totally ignored while “those who point out racism are investigated by the police and may be prosecuted.”

He opined that if the PAP was serious about tackling racism in our society, they would have enacted an Equality Act like in the US or the UK.

“The PAP’s line on behalf of the majority is that there is no racism or unequal treatment in Singapore based on race and if you dare to suggest otherwise you will be prosecuted for inciting racial conflict which is seditious.”

He also hit out at how the country’s leaders can give racist remarks with impunity.

“LKY’s racist rants were never criticised but praised by his state media poodle as “hard truths to keep Singapore going.” His famous comments about whether it was possible to trust the Malays’ loyalty in time of war became institutionalised in the form of policies which excluded many Malays from doing NS or put them in policing roles.

However in the era of Greater China, and, following LKY’s example, the PAP’s relentless exaltation of the superiority of Chinese culture, it is worth standing the question of loyalty on its head. Could a Chinese Singaporean be relied upon to defend Singapore if it was China that invaded?”

He said there are discussions to be had when we talk about “brown face”.

He also provided some links to previous articles he has written on freedom of expression and electoral politics in Singapore.

Go to his article here: TRS

PAP gives rebuke less than 24 hours after Tan Cheng Bock’s press conference


Image: TODAY

Mr Heng had said that his ruling PAP “fundamentally disagrees” with PSP leader Dr Tan Cheng Bock‘s comments that the PAP has lost its way, adding that the next General Election (GE) will be a test for all parties to prove which has “better ideas and ability to deliver results”.

On Friday (26 Jul), Dr Tan that the ruling party has changed over the years, and that Singapore’s governance under the PAP has “gone astray”.

Heng Swee Keat also finds Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s remarks ‘contradictory’, he said the latter should not have said that there’s no transparency but at the same time attacked the fact that the issue of Oxley Road was raised in Parliament.

Mr Heng calls it “transparency” — “the fact that PM was prepared to have this issue debated in Parliament, clarified in Parliament, is a very important aspect of our governance,” he said.

These were said on the sidelines of a general rebuke on Saturday (27 Jul) of Dr Tan’s words at the media conference he held a day earlier prior to party launch.

Singaporeans are “fair-minded”, Heng said, adding that he is confident Singaporeans “will know who to place their trust in”.

Source: TODAYonline