Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Teo Ser Luck, chastised Mr Roy Ngerng and Ms Han Hui Hui for frightening the children with special needs during the protest at Hong Lim Park on Saturday. He said: "The children are my utmost concern." His party mates wasted no time in piling it on, waxing eloquent about how special needs children need to be protected.
Much acrimony has emanated from the Return Our CPF protest at Hong Lim Park last Saturday. As complex and difficult as things are, let us focus on what we can all learn from the episode. First, Mr Roy Ngerng and Ms Han Hui Hui should offer an apology to the children and parents who were present at the event and were affected by the protest.
The SDP continued our visits to residents at the Marsiling estate in Sembawang GRC yesterday. We were there to listen to the problems they expressed and also to explain to them the solutions we had drawn up in our alternative policies. An elderly man who spoke in English and Mandarin said that the Lease Buy-Back Scheme was not helpful. His flat was fully paid up but he needed some income to live on. "The HDB asked me to buy a studio flat nearby which cost $150,000," he said. "But after I sell my present flat and pay CPF back the interest, I still have to top up my Medisave and retirement fund.
We all know how busy Chinese president Xi Jinping can be, so when he calls for a meeting, it must be top priority. For the richest Hong Kong tycoons, it is unusual to meet Xi in a group meeting, particularly to discuss politics rather than business. Last week, Xi greeted a delegation of senior figures from Hong Kong's business sector, including Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, whose relations with Beijing were believed to be at a turning point after his business empire apparently tried to offload assets in the world's No 2 economy and shift more focus to Europe.
There is nothing wrong in disagreeing with policies, issues or even ways of doing things. However, the way of discourse to share our different views must be constructive and carried out with decorum and respect for one another, and in a way where the safety and interests of the more vulnerable in our society are being protected. What happened in Hong Lim Park yesterday was unjustifiable by those who claimed to be carrying out a "peaceful protest".
The heckling was uncalled for. The waving of the Singapore flag was shameful and self-righteous. It does not in any way make their cause larger than the other. The ascribing of erroneous identities to a voluntary welfare organisation borders on hysteria and demonstrates a severe lack of comprehension of the realities.
On Saturday, September 20th, New Zealand held its 51st general election, in which the center-right National Party and its leader, Prime Minister John Key, made some modest gains. If this all sounds rather dull — a country of less than 5 million people having an election in which no power changes hands — that's fair enough. But it's worth paying attention, as New Zealand's parliament is better designed than just about any other developed country government.
Our post Perfect example of the government not listening has stirred the PAP nest, triggering a spirited defence of the F1 event by the party's supporters. The common refrain that runs through their rationalisation of the grand prix is that it would put Singapore on the global map, give us international recognition and bring us tourist dollars. And, besides, Singaporeans enjoy watching the sport.