Educate on, not criminalise, smoking in homes

[Commentary]

smoking,in,car.PNGWe have laws against not flushing the toilet, against males having sex with each other, and very soon, against smoking in your very own homes.

Now, we all know all these are bad (yes, some think same-sex intercourse is ‘bad’), but we also know there is no way for PAP to 100% enforce all these rules. So why are they there?

It breeds total disrespect for the rule of law, to have laws “for show” and not enforced.

SO it doesn’t matter if you support the gay cause or not, because it is a legal and justice issue.

And back to smoking in homes and causing your neighbour to inhale second-hand smoke, and not flushing the toilet and causing discomfort and inconvenience to the next user – these are things that come with education, not laws. Not everything also law, law, law. Even Christianity also says teach, educate, influence, not just law, law, law.

It doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight, Christian or otherwise; the law is a bad law, in the legal sense, and does no justice to any of us.

Albert Tay

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Stefanie Sun: Repealing 377A is not akin to “promoting LGBT”, archaic and needs scrutiny

In a rare display of attention towards social justice, Singapore pop icon Stefanie Sun – who once remarked at a charity fund-raiser that “there is nothing to complain about in Singapore” – had strong words for the administration of justice in Singapore.

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Looks like the ball is grower bigger.

Not recognising privacy as basic right, the reason why the abolition of 377A does not get Supreme Court nod, like it did in India

Thinking about the recent smoking ban in your own homes? This may be the answer.

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SMU law professor, Eugene Tan

Weighing in on the 377A issue, Eugene Tan analysed why the Supreme Court in Singapore did not give the repealing of 377A a nod in the last 3 legal challenges brought against the law.

TODAY pointed out that there had been three past challenges against Section 377A – in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The last case was built on the argument that Article 12 of the Singapore Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. However, the Court of Appeal upheld the law criminalising gay sex, noting that Article 12 touched only on the issues of religion, race, place of birth and descent, and not gender, sex and sexual orientation.

Singapore Management University (SMU) law academic Eugene Tan opined that privacy as a fundamental right played a huge role in the Indian court ruling. Singapore currently does not recognise privacy as a fundamental right. “One way of challenging the constitutionality of Section 377A is to persuade the court that privacy should be recognised in Singapore as a fundamental liberty,” he added.

More here on: TODAY

 

SDP: Reduce GST from 7% to 3%

And abolish GST for basic necessities, says the SDP.

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Screencap from SDP’s video.

Among a number of SDP’s proposals with regards to the high cost of living in Singapore at the party’s recent PAP vs SDP event, are these:

  1. Reduce GST from 7% to 3%, and exempt GST from basic necessities like rice, oil, medicine.
  2. Lower utilities rates (PUB actually made a profit of $1billion over the last 13 years) and public transport fares.
  3. Introduce minimum wage (people spending more also injects back to the economy).
  4. Singaporeans First policy (less reliance on cheap foreign labour).

Apart from cost of living, SDP also took on VERS and HIP2, asserting that the PAP is making things difficult for neighbours with its percentage-agreement to en-bloc policies; it also touched on pegging ministerial salaries to the lowest 20% wage earners’ income.

 

 

377A more a legal than a moral issue

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I would differ from both the LGBTQ activists and the Christian proponents of the law to say that 377A is essentially more of a legal issue, than a social or moral one. (since the law is not even in practice and on paper only)

PAP painting the whole issue in societal values and moral issues light, is just trying to siphon public opinion away from other pertinent issues, and to divide civil society and social and moral unity in seeking more justice for citizens as a whole.

Yes, 377A is not a light issue, whether for the LGBTQ community, or the religious intelligentsia. But a real debate and a real solution and conclusion cannot take place anyway, in a totalitarian state like ours. Worse – we risk falling into the PAP’s trap of pulling us into their “self-made” issue and help it win some votes from both the liberal and conservative camps just by virtue of us fighting.

The PAP is already not neutral or – in Sham’s words, “in the middle” – when it introduced laws against the “promotion of the homosexual lifestyle”, banning all references of homosexuality “in positive light” in the mainstream media. LGBT activists and friends who wish LGBT well, should be targetting such laws instead that breed non-understanding and conflict and non-acceptance.

It is also not neutral once it removed the review of 377A from the recent Constitutional review of the Penal Code, where a committee was set up specifically to look into which laws to change to suit reality and practicality in the administration of justice better. By removing 377A from the review, the PAP govt has already taken a stance to retain the law. Pushing it to “let the people decide” is irresponsible at best, and hypocritical at worst.

As for the Christian and Muslim communities who are concerned with erosion of moral and societal values, I opine that they have far more pertinent issues to tend to in Singapore – like the running of casinos, the addictions of the youths of all religions, the protection of minors in schools (both from opposite-sex and same-sex parties), the erosion of “good” values in return for “materialistic” and “individualistic” ones as promoted by the PAP’s “meritocratic/elitist” system, the ever-widening rich-poor gap, the lack of social welfare and more equal and equitable distribution of resources in society, etc.

All in all, retaining 377A does not make sense because the law is not even put to practice. But keeping the law is just symbolic in nature and we know who benefits the most from such conservative positioning.

Don’t win the battle (377A) and lose the war (bigger-picture social justice). You won’t win the battle any way – the PAP will be the winner.

Albert Tay

NTUC chief Ng Chee Meng: no need to label ‘blue-collar’, ‘white collar’

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ST photo

Labelling workers “blue-collar” or “white-collar” does not make sense because technological disruption affects workers across the board, said labour chief Ng Chee Meng.

Mr Ng, who took charge of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on May 22, noted that it has traditionally aimed to represent rank-and-file workers, who used to make up the vast majority of workers in Singapore.

But today’s workforce is almost evenly split between the rank-and-file and professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), he said in an hour-long interview with The Straits Times this week to mark his first 100 days as NTUC’s secretary-general.

Moreover, the spread of the gig economy has made working life more precarious for PMETs, he added.

“They may not receive medical benefits or CPF (Central Provident Fund) contributions, so when these workers reach middle age, they may well feel the pinch – they may not have the necessary money to pay for a house through CPF and so on,” he said.

“I’m not talking about low-wage workers only. There are computer programmers that are in this situation, either by choice or because more and more companies are putting such employment terms on the market.”

Senior PMETs, who are older than 40, are feeling anxious about their future too, Mr Ng said.

“They know that if they get retrenched it will be increasingly difficult to get back into the market.”

More here: TNP

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The New Paper, Sep 6, 2018.