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Messages - MariaSharpie

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FREE Hokkaido Fresh Oysters at Peace Japanese Cuisine Daily till 30 June 2018. T&C applies.

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After news of Malaysia’s newly-elected government announced a 10% ministerial salaries pay cut, Singapore Ministers are now under tremendous pressure from the public to trim off chunk off their million dollar paycheck. According to the Malaysian government, the move is an austerity measure to reduce burden on public expenditures, even though the savings may not be substantial.

The Malaysian Prime Minister draws about S$92,400 a year while a Minister draws about S$60,000 a year. The savings is estimated to be only S$110,000 a year.

............Singapore’s political salaries is a textbook case study of a legalised corruption, where a corrupted majority ruling party re-write legislation to give themselves a massive pay raise.
According to government propaganda, the million-dollar salaries is required to deter corruption and attract “political talents”. The policy however ended up with several military generals becoming Ministers, and system-wide incompetence. Singapore Ministers eventually become obsessed with the money, disinterested in governance and completely subservient to the Prime Minister.

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to satisfy your lecherous urges ????

Synonymous with the company, its founder and group chief executive Olivia Lum, who is also executive chairman, has over the years built a steady record and propelled the firm to global prominence, with operations and projects spanning the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Despite her stellar record, observers have raised questions over whether corporate governance and risk management practices had been adequate.

Assoc Prof Loh, who is director of the NUS Business School's Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations, pointed out that Hyflux's risk management committee met only once in the 2017 financial year.


Then there is also the issue of whether Hyflux's board of directors had asked the right questions and challenged corporate decisions in the face of a dominant figure like Ms Lum, who has "strong ideas and a strong mind", said Assoc Prof Mak.
He noted that in companies helmed by founders, there was the chance that the founders would either fail to listen to the views of their directors or do not have the "right kind of directors" serving on their boards, because they want to push their ideas through.

Hyflux's eight-member board includes two former employees. Non-executive independent director Christopher Murugasu was Hyflux's senior vice-president for corporate services and Mr Gary Kee, a non-executive non-independent director, was its executive director overseeing areas such as corporate finance and information technology.

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SINGAPORE: A seven-year-old boy sustained serious injuries on Thursday (May 24) after he was trapped under a bus following an accident along Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they were alerted to the incident at around 9.10am. SCDF used lifting equipment to rescue the boy from under the bus before taking him to the National University Hospital (NUH).

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SINGAPORE: Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment firm Go-Jek said on Thursday (May 24) it will enter Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines in the next few months, investing US$500 million in its international push.

The move will start with ride-hailing services before expanding to other sectors, Go-Jek said in a press release.

"People in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines don't feel that they're getting enough (choice) when it comes to ride-hailing," CEO Nadiem Makarim said.

The firm said it will work with regulators and other stakeholders to prepare for the new operations.

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Not getting much love from Starbucks nor Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf these days because your behind got glued to a seat poring over one fat stack of lecture notes for too long (usually accompanied by the mere purchase of a single drink)? Hey we know you ain't feeling so great with them constant judgmental glares from others over your shoulders, and then subsequently being "invited" to vacate your stronghold erected however discreetly in a corner. Employing that possibly stale but rather true empathetic rejoinder: we were students once - been there, done that. Not to mention even the most basic ice blended mocha isn't exactly wallet friendly. Seeking equally conducive, yet far cheaper (or should we say completely free) revision havens in the public domain? Glad you asked, because we have once again assembled a fresh set of recommendations just for you, the truly conscientious one, to properly do your thing sans the din, distracting chatter and uncomfortable stares. Oh, you are most welcome.

The Centrepoint, Levels 2 and 3

For some odd reason crowds remain indifferent to The Centrepoint embedded in the Orchard shopping belt despite its $50 million, 16 month extensive overhaul which concluded in late 2016. Truth be told, personal surveys revealed the following: in the afternoons and shortly after 8.30pm in the evenings, overall footfall within this mall was terribly dismal to say the least. In fact, sometimes things got so quiet one could hear a pin drop. Well, what doesn't work for retail surely works for the student. Get parked in one of those uber comfy chairs or curved couches showcased in the photos above, and knock yourself out.

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PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will cut the salaries of its Cabinet ministers by 10 per cent, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced on Wednesday (May 23).

Dr Mahathir was speaking to media on Wednesday (May 23), after chairing the first Cabinet meeting at Putrajaya. He said the Cabinet also discussed ways to reduce the government's debt which is in excess of RM1 trillion (US$250 billion).

Dr Mahathir added that some projects committed to by the old government may be dropped. Regarding the Singapore-KL high-speed rail link, Dr Mahathir said the government will decide “very soon” on whether to continue with the project.



Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s latest Facebook post has prompted yet another round of calls for him to ‘do a Mahathir’ and lead the opposition to victory at the next General Election.

Yesterday, Dr Tan posted a photo of himself seated at a busy food centre. Titling the post “LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE,” Dr Tan wrote: “Last weekend l was at Blk 726 West Coast Market and Food Centre. I was having breakfast with friends and sharing our views on current issues. There, I also enjoyed meeting and speaking to the many other people who were there at the Centre . Some of them were surprised to see me. The food centre was packed and doing well.”

The title of Dr Tan’s latest social media post is notable and many appear to have drawn links between Dr Tan’s post and what Malaysia’s Dr Mahathir Mohamad did during the watershed 2018 Malaysian General Election – Dr Mahathir listened to the people and led the opposition coalition against his former party to victory.

The 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad not only soundly defeated the incumbent at the polls but he also ushered in Malaysia’s first transition of power since independence. Interestingly, it was Dr Mahathir himself who helped establish the ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition in power and served as Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

During the last General Election earlier this month, Dr Mahathir stepped out of retirement and left the ruling party to lead the opposition. Breaking the BN’s six-decade long monopoly, Dr Mahathir beat his one-time protégé Najib Razak and became the world’s oldest head of government.

Dr Tan congratulated Dr Mahathir for his historic win on Facebook after the Election. He wrote, in part: “You have shown that age has not prevented you from doing what u believe is right.”

Dr Mahathir’s win prompted many Singaporeans to draw parallels between the 92-year-old and Dr Tan. At 78, Dr Tan is 14 years junior to Mahathir. Much like Mahathir, Dr Tan was also with the ruling party previously and served as People’s Action Party ([email protected]) parliamentarian for 26 years, between 1980 and 2006. He was also elected into the [email protected]’s Central Executive Committee in 1987 and remained a member until 1996.

Dr Tan’s latest post has renewed calls for him to unite the opposition to take on the ruling party at the next Election:


Any lingering doubts that socio-economic inequality is – or will be – a problem in Singapore were probably laid to rest in the past week, when President Halimah Yacob, Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made inequality and social mobility key themes in their speeches in parliament. In comparison, neither “inequality” nor “social mobility” featured in former President Tony Tan’s three addresses to parliament in 2011, 2014, and 2016, and social mobility in the context of Singapore has only been referenced in two of Mr. Lee’s 14 National Day Rally speeches, in 2005 and 2017 (inequality was mentioned in two other speeches, in 2008 and in 2013, in the Malaysian and global context). This year, that Mr. Ong’s speech centred on inequality also points to a belief that education is the site for intervention.

In the past year too, a study on social capital and class divide published by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and the widely reviewed “This is What Inequality Looks Like” by sociology professor Teo You Yenn have advanced the public discourse on inequality.

Yet the speeches of Mr. Ong and Mr. Lee (in fact, the IPS study too) were scant on substantive policy solutions. Part of this stems from the way the government talks about inequality, either by hedging (the “there may be some inequality in Singapore, but we have not fared that badly…” approach) or by lacking precision with measures of inequality. Another part of the problem are the principles which undergird the government’s approach to social policies – that of self-reliance, familial support, and “many helping hands”, which were characterised most recently in 2015 by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam as a “trampoline” – which as a result of our general prosperity have rarely been challenged. Finally, and relatedly on these perceived sacred cows, an apprehension towards policy experimentation.

Instances of hedging and the lack of precision can be gleaned in these latest speeches delivered in parliament. The prime minister spoke about how Raffles Institution (RI) has become less diverse – presumably in terms of the demographic and socio-economic backgrounds of its students – noting that: “Just over half the students live in public housing, 53 per cent, and all the students get along confidently and comfortably”. Notwithstanding the observation that “public housing” is a broad category which does not necessarily speak to the actual distribution of students (since they could be living in bigger apartments) as well as the proposal for the Ministry of Education to work with top schools like RI so that they “never become self-perpetuating, closed circles”, the 53 per cent still compares poorly to the approximately 80 per cent of Singaporeans who live in public housing. Remember the brouhaha in 2008, for instance, when it was revealed that just 47 per cent of public service scholars lived in public housing. More critically, the systemic reasons causing these disproportions remains unexamined.

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I have read Teo You Yenn’s coverage about inequality and feel a need to air some observations:

a.) What she observed about “falling through the cracks” is no different from what MPs have been raising in Parliament

Everyone from Amrin Amin to Zainal Sapari (A to Z in case you didn’t notice) had been speaking and finding ways to address this for the longest time (here’s an article from Zainal in 2013 ). The challenge is not about raising the issue. The issue is up there for all to study. The challenge is in seeking ways to close the said gap.

Her suggestions are uncomfortable. Teo talks about “universal basic income” (basically it means free money monthly for citizens) and quotes “success stories” such as those countries in Scandinavia. However, that is misleading. Had the reader been attentive to recent developments, he would have recalled that just a few weeks ago Finland itself had terminated its experiment on universal basic income because it did not work. (See Finland’s Universal Basic Income experiment falls flat | Coffee House )

Folks enjoy generous welfare and benefits but that is simply because their countries implement very high taxes – both income and sales taxes.

b.) It isn't as if Singapore hasn’t been doing anything at all to tackle the income inequality issue

In honesty, many programs have been spearheaded by community leaders, MPs and VWOs for example:

Community VWO programes: There are a myriad of funds, programs, schemes and initiatives to get people to volunteer, give or to lobby organisations for funding and to distribute funds and aid. Through these, the communities organised themselves and in so doing, better understood the texture of problems that each individual family unit faced.

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SINGAPORE – Singaporeans and Permanent Residents can apply for tickets to two previews and the National Day Parade (NDP) – which will feature the largest number of participants and military tattoo display for a parade to be held at the floating platform – from Wednesday (May 23) to June 3.

In a press release on Tuesday, the NDP's executive committee said that the event will be held at the Marina Bay floating platform under the theme "We are Singapore".
inRead invented by Teads

A crowd favourite, the Combined Schools choir will be returning in this year's event after a five-year hiatus.

The parade will also showcase enhanced aerial displays by the Republic of Singapore Air Force and, for the first time, aerial jumps by naval combat divers.

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A MAN driving a Singapore-registered car was caught on surveillance camera stealing a potted plant near Century Garden in Johor Baru.

Quoting Singapore’s Lianhe Wan­bao, Sin Chew Daily reported that a Facebook user posted a video showing the incident in the wee hours of Thursday.

The 40-second video showed the man arriving at a road shoulder and opening the passenger door of his car after alighting.

He was seen looking around before quickly putting the pot inside his car and speeding off.

The video was widely circulated on social media after it was shared, and received mixed reactions.

Many teased the man and called him the “plant thief”, while some joked that he did it because “plants in Malaysia were fancier”.

Some also questioned his nationality despite driving a Singapore-registered car.

> The daily also reported that seven senior citizens have been rounded up for suspected illegal horse-betting in a raid in Singapore on Friday night.

One of them even argued with the police officer for arresting an old man like him.

“I am already 70-something, just a step away from the coffin. Why arrest me?” he cried while being taken away.

Another old man also made a scene when he was arrested. He denied committing any offence and warned journalists there not to take his picture.

During the raid around King George’s Avenue targeting vice activity, nine men aged 60 and above were questioned.

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