Amid censorship he ‘didn’t expect to face in home country’, NUS prof quits for New Zealand

His parting shot: “In the next phase.., I am looking forward to locating…in a climate that is explicitly committed to social justice, democracy, voice, and academic freedom.”

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Prof Dutta was in the news earlier this month, after his invitation to Singaporean media professor Cherian George – who is based in Hong Kong – to give a talk at NUS was delayed due to administrative “oversight”.

The date of the lecture, titled Rethinking Censorship In An Age Of Authoritarian Resilience, was fixed for March 9. However, the NUS faculty of arts & social sciences received approval for the event only on the day itself.

In a blog post, Prof George wrote that “Prof Dutta asked for a rain check… due to the delay in securing approval, and there was no longer time to make travel arrangements and publicise the lecture even if approval was suddenly granted”.

“In my time as an academic, I have given talks on campuses in around 25 countries. This is the first time that an invitation to speak has been, in effect, voided,” Prof George wrote.

“It is the kind of hitch that I am mentally prepared for if I need to deal with universities in the People’s Republic of China. I wasn’t expecting it from my own country.”

More from: TODAY

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Pritam Singh: Let me explain why I oppose the parking fees for teachers

The government recently announced that season outdoor parking for teachers in schools will cost $75 a month during school terms, and $15 per month during the school holidays in June, November and December.
Here is what Pritam Singh had to say about the ‘policy change’.
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ST photo

Parking for Teachers
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Democratically elected governments make policy (read: political) decisions all the time. Policies can change because fundamental assumptions may shift over time, people’s views change, governing philosophies change, priorities shift and so forth. The decision to charge teachers for parking is one such example of a policy change.

Lee Kuan Yew’s once famously told Ngiam Tong Dow there was nothing wrong in making money, and indeed, there is nothing wrong in doing so. Parking in schools was not implemented in the past. Even though this could have been a prospect, it was not implemented. The reasons are unknown to me, but I hazard they were a combination of economic and philosophical, but ultimately, political ones.

Does the Government extract the full market price of parking from government grassroots leaders for community volunteerism? No. Has it completely abolished the pension scheme for civil servants? No. Because a decision has been made to draw the line somewhere.

Where do we draw the line? Do we draw it at the altar of economic logic?

Practically speaking, passion aside, indirect perks and incentives (and disincentives) have a powerful nudging effect on policy objectives.

But from my vantage point, some public sector professions and services – and I count teachers among them – must always be seen in an elected Government’s eye through a lens that recognises their direct and indirect contributions towards nation-building. It is a question of political philosophy and reasonable people can and will have different views. To that end however, I stand against charging parking fees for teachers who drive cars or motorcycles.

-Pritam Singh (WP)

Sim Wong Woo: Singaporeans not creative because they are not given freedom and face too many restrictions

According to him, Singaporeans are not creative because they are too stifled and are not given enough “freedom”, referring to how restrictive systems and regulations can feel here.

He called for more freedom from structures and for “open space”, free from meeting targets and expectations, which would allow Singaporeans to let their creative juices flow.

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Creative Technology’s chief executive Sim Wong Hoo. PHOTOS: CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY, ARIFFIN JAMAR

He was speaking in an interview with The New Paper, on his new Super X-Fi audio tech that claims to be more revolutionary than colour TV.

Pro-PAP-dictatorship foreign ‘experts’ lend voice at fake news Select Committee hearing

In another Uniquely Singapore show of dictatoship, the government had ‘no comment’ to a TODAY reporter’s question as to why foreigners were allowed to comment on local politics when the same was not premitted at Hong Lim Park.

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According to a state media reporter from TodayOnline who questioned the Select Committee why are foreigners allowed to give testimonies on domestic national security and foreign affairs, the various government ministries refused to answer and said “no comment”.

The Singapore government have previously banned foreigners from commenting on domestic policies, citing “foreign interference” as a threat to national security. Private event organisers have been previously been fined for inviting foreigners to speak, even it is only through Skype.

The Select Committee in Parliament today ironically became a victim of foreign influences from various countries including Philippines, Turkey, Ukraine and Germany.

Filipino Myla Pilao, Turkish national Gulizar Haciyakupoglu, Ukrainian Ruslan Deynychenko and two Germans were invited to speak in Singapore Parliament at the Select Committee public hearing. All the invited foreigners expressed strong support for greater censorship in Singapore, with the Ukrainian threatening that Singaporeans might “one day wake up to see people shooting each other with machine guns because TV told them to do so.”

Full report by: STR

Police arrest 47-year-old woman for suicide, and 46-year-old friend for obstructing police duties

Is it high time to review our laws on suicide?

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It is reported in the mainstream media today that a 49-year-old Madam Janthi saw her neighbour, a 47-year-old woman, in tears on the sofa of her 2-room flat. Together with a friend of the neighbour and her two daughters, she helped the neighbour from a 5th-storey window ledge of a HDB block.

After an hour-long persuading ordeal, they managed to pull the bleeding neighbour to safety.

This occured on Tuesday evening at Block 371, Jurong East Street 32.

The New Paper reported that the 47-year-old was arrested in relation to the case. Her 46-year-old friend was also arrested for ‘obstructing police officers from carrying out their duties. She had allegedly resisted the officers’ attempts to take the woman away.

Attempting suicide is illegal in Singapore; it is punishable with a year’s jail, or fine, although it is rarely enforced.

Shanmugam had earlier responded to Leon Perera’s question on whether suicide legislation deters suicide, that the law was to ‘make clear that people should not take their own lives’.

Singapore is among a short list of countries that criminalises suicide.

 

 

Janil Puthucheary raises China’s example of ‘information dominance’ in rhetoric on fake news

This as Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said those who cannot resort to physical warfare against our nation would go for fake news
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Photo from the internet.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday, that foreign actors who want to attack Singapore but cannot do so using military means, would resort to using ‘fake news’ as a way to attack us. It was during the first day of hearings by a Parliamentary Select Committee on ‘deliberate online falsehoods’.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Meanwhile, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary cited Dr Raska’s earlier research where he emphasised the growing importance of social media in military campaigns, by identifying existing fault lines and creating new ones.

Dr Raska said: “(Social media) can create new fault lines, amplifying tensions or issues that have not been previously thought of as important, and can be rapidly disseminated or diffused and suddenly become very, very, important.”

In his written submission, Dr Raska said cyber warfare has increasingly been recognised as a fundamental strategy for warfare by countries.

He cited the example of China’s People’s Liberation Army, which has moved to focus on “information dominance” since 2015, with the aim of fighting and winning localised information wars.

In comparison, Singapore’s security paradigm has not really changed and would need to further adapt to changes, he said.

He said the centre of gravity for future conflicts will be the perceptions of the population and the decision-making cycles of the leadership.

Source: TNP

WP chooses not to respond to idiot PAP MPs’ barking

Despite being silent during the debate in Parliament, Minister Indranee Rajah and Minister Chee Hong Tat followed up on the parliament session calling MP Sylvia Lim “dishonourable”. State media reporters were however disappointed that the WP MP and the opposition party has chosen not to respond to the Ministers’ defamatory remarks.

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(States Times Review) Like walking past a gate of ferocious barking guard dogs, opposition party WP has chosen to ignore the comments of Minister Indranee Rajah and Minister Chee Hong Tat, telling state media reporters that they would not entertain them with a response.

The two PAP Ministers joined the foray after two Parliament sessions where Law Minister K Shanmugam, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Culture Minister Grace Fu made disparaging remarks on WP MP Sylvia Lim when she presented her opposition to the GST increase.

Minister Grace Fu sought the Attorney-General’s advice and issued a threat last Monday, demanding that the opposition MP “apologise by Thursday or else”. The opposition MP then were made to repeat three times that she is not apologising or retracting her statements, infuriating Minister Grace Fu. The Leader of the House is now contemplating to set up a Select Committee to prosecute the opposition MP, who may face a 2 year’ jail and a fine up to S$50,000.

Despite being silent during the debate in Parliament, Minister Indranee Rajah and Minister Chee Hong Tat followed up on the parliament session calling MP Sylvia Lim “dishonourable”. State media reporters were however disappointed that the WP MP and the opposition party has chosen not to respond to the Ministers’ defamatory remarks.

Many Singaporeans have rallied behind MP Sylvia Lim saying that she should not apologise for questioning the government, and that the purpose of Parliament is exactly to question government policies. Political observers commented that the Ministers are being belligerent and arrogant, with former PAP MP Dr Tan Cheng Bock singling out Law Minister K Shanmugam. Ground sentiments have also been one-sided, with few agreeing with the ruling party Ministers.

Nonetheless, the opposition MP could face a potential repercussion for her non-compliance under a parliament privileges act passed down from the 1962 British colonial government.

-STR