Thursday, December 10, 2009
Mixed reactions to PM's proposal of one-day cool-off before Polling Day
01 December 2009 1908 hrs (SST)
SINGAPORE: Reactions to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's proposal that there be a one-day 'cooling-off' before the electorate goes to the polls to cast their vote have been mixed.
Leaders of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) said the move will help better manage the election process, but the opposition Workers' Party (WP) said otherwise.
Under current election rules, political parties are not allowed to campaign on Polling Day itself. With the proposal, except for party political broadcasts and news reports, there will be no more mass rallies, door-to-door visits and even display of party symbols on the eve of Polling Day.
But the minimum period between Nomination Day and Polling Day will be extended from nine to ten days so as to keep to the number of minimum campaigning days under current election rules.
Prime Minister Lee said the additional 'cooling-off' day would give voters time to reflect rationally on issues, after the emotional high of election campaigning. Reacting to the proposal, Lim Boon Heng, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and PAP chairman, said: "Choosing your representative in Parliament is a serious matter. So I think it is a good idea to allow people to reflect what has been said during the campaign period and then to make a considered decision on how they would vote on Polling Day. "
A 24-hour reflection shouldn't make people forget about the essentials of the campaign. It will make a difference when emotions are stirred up too high for whatever reasons. It is not something new that we have thought up. It is something which has been adopted in some countries too."
Eugene Tan, Assistant Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University, said: "The hope is that the swing voters would be less likely to cast swing votes and the fence sitters will have an additional day to make their choices. The aspiration is that the choices will be because of the ability to reflect, to think, will be for the better, for the country."
But the Workers' Party said the extra 'cooling-off' day favours the PAP.
Sylvia Lim, Non-Constituency MP and Workers' Party chairman, said: "You have to remember that the eve of Polling Day is a very critical period for the voters and in Singapore's context, you can say there is a bar on political parties campaigning on this cooling-off day, but you must remember that the role of the PAP as a political party and its role as the government is often blurred. "We may have situations where civil servants could come out to clarify certain government policies and even announce policy reviews for that matter. So practically, I think it is difficult to ensure that the cooling-off period serves its purpose."
In an e-mail response to MediaCorp, Hougang MP Low Thia Khiang felt the idea is a sign of the PAP distrusting voters' judgement.
Teo Ser Luck, chairman of Young PAP, said: "Mr Low could be reading too deep into such an action. I think cooling-off could be good, whether for the opposition or the main party to consolidate and take a breather and to review their positioning.
"I don't believe it would have that great an impact on anyone. It would give people some time to consider but, as I say, some of them would have decided before the nine days of campaigning begin.
"And a lot of Singaporeans would almost look at the whole GE as uneventful, as their life would go on as per normal. But for another segment of the society, it would impact. But I wouldn't look at it as the majority."
Singapore's next General Election is not due till February 2012 but with Prime Minister Lee's 'cooling-off' proposal, it signals that preparations are picking up steam for the next polls. - CNA/ir
Also see: http://www.temasekreview.com/2009/12/09/ypap-p65-blogger-supports-cooling-off-day-and-chides-netizens-for-spraying-venom-at-every-govt-move/
Friday, November 6, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
|Oct 22, 2009|
Markets outcome after Jan
|HDB to decide on sale to Sheng Siong but will not take over markets|
|By Jessica Lim|
THE fate of stallholders at five wet markets slated for sale will be known after January next year, when the Housing Board (HDB) reaches a decision on whether to let the purchases go ahead.
Sheng Siong - the interested buyer - has told HDB it is prepared to continue renting out the wet market stalls to the existing holders.
It is no longer proceeding with its original plan to convert them to Sheng Siong air-conditioned markets.
Sheng Siong wants to buy a sixth market, but the application for that sale has not yet been submitted.
It is understood that the paperwork and due diligence for the sale of the five will take several months to be completed.
Negotiations on the terms and conditions of tenancy will also need to be discussed when and if the sale is completed, said a spokesman for HDB, which held meetings with Sheng Siong representatives earlier this month to discuss the use of the wet markets after the sale.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
"CHILDREN who dump their elderly parents in hospitals or nursing homes could be taken to task and forced to help pay for their parents' care.
The Government will study how best to use the Maintenance of Parents Act to get such children to do their filial duty, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last night during his National Day Rally speech in Mandarin."
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Northwest CDC mayor says PA, WDA decide on staff pay, bonuses
By Satish Cheney, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 14 March 2009 2049 hrs
SINGAPORE: An online outcry has broken out over rumours that two staff from
the Northwest Community Development Council (CDC) received bonuses of eight
months last year, including the 13th month bonus.
When asked about the matter at an event for needy families on Saturday,
Northwest CDC's mayor, Dr Teo Ho Pin, said bonuses and salaries of CDC staff
are decided by the People's Association (PA) and, in the case of officers,
the Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
He explained that this is because all CDC staff are seconded from the PA and
"I want to clarify that the mayors do not decide on the salaries, the
increments, the bonuses of all our staff at the CDC. ...
"The mayors are political appointment holders. We chair the CDC to spearhead
the CDC, to build a social safety net and help the people. That is our job.
If you ask me, I do not know the salaries; I do not know the bonuses of all
my staff," Dr Teo said.
The mayor added that a lot depends on staff performance when it comes to
"Of course, the staff performance will be like a bell curve. Some would be
top performers, some would be very poor performers. The bulk - maybe average
performers. This is quite normal in every organisation.
"In the private sector, it's the same thing. The top performer of the
company will normally get better bonuses as compared to the poor
performers," said Dr Teo.
Friday, March 20, 2009
ATTACK ON MP SENG HAN THONG
Ex-cabby confined to IMH
A FORMER cabby who allegedly torched a Member of Parliament will continue to be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).
Based on medical reports from an IMH doctor that Ong Kah Chua was of unsound mind and unfit to enter a plea, the court yesterday ordered the 70-year-old to be confined at the institute.
District Judge Jasbendar Kaur said the court would report Ong's case to the Minister of Home Affairs, who will then decide how long the accused will continue to be confined.
The minister will base his judgment on continuing reports from doctors.
Ong had allegedly set the MP for Yio Chu Kang, Mr Seng Han Thong, aflame during a community event earlier this year. Mr Seng, 59, suffered 15 per cent burns over his body, and had to be warded in hospital for almost a month as well as undergo several skin grafts.
Ong was also accused of setting Chu Sheng Temple chairman Aw Chui Seng, 69, on fire at the same event.
In court yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Lee applied for the accused to be remanded in a mental hospital pending the minister's order after having earlier submitted a report from IMH's Dr Jerome Goh.
The doctor had diagnosed Ong as suffering from 'delusional disorder of a persecutory type' - in short, he feels that everyone is out to get him.
In court, Ong, who had his hands cuffed behind his back, asked - through a Mandarin interpreter - why he could not plead guilty.
The court explained that it was because of what was stated in the medical report. He then retorted that there was no basis for the report.