[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, January 18, 2008

[Neighbourhood Party at Charlton Park Estate]
1. It was nice of Mr and Mrs Tan to open their house at Surin Avenue for a neighbourhood party this evening organised by the local committee. About a hundred residents from Charlton Park Estate turned up, some meeting each other for the first time. The area comes under Mdm Cynthia Phua. Instead of a formal dialogue session, I went round from table to table, sometimes two tables joined together at a time, to chat about various things. There was a cool breeze blowing which made the evening rather pleasant.



2. Many of the residents who came had lived there from the time the estate was first built 40 years ago. Then it was about $40,000 per house, maybe less. Now each is worth much more. Nominally, the owners are now millionaires but they don't necessarily feel that way. A few told me that they intended to leave their houses to their children as an estate duty tax shelter. A number are retired school teachers.

3. We discussed issues big and small. One gentleman told me that his new Muslim neighbour complained about his burning of joss paper. Another about being summoned for parking a few minutes where the road had a while line. Means testing was a hot topic. Two residents asked about the recent multi-billion dollar investment by Temasek and GIC in international financial institutions. Some worried about how much the impact of recession in the US on us. Would there be lay-offs in Singapore again?

4. What I found heartwarming is the sense of a settled neighbourhood where residents looked out for one another. One resident commented that while the government had done well, there was room for improvement. I heartily agreed.









Do also read my posts on Beyond SG

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Yeo,

There are a few things which had been bugging me for sometime now.. and it is..
1.When would singaporeans have the chance to elect their own prime minister?
Yes we can elect the president but i see no point as decision making to the well being of our country lies in the power of the prime minister, and watsmore the government choose whom to stand as a presidential candidate(just take a look at the last presidential election)

2.How long more would the government remain in control of the media?
Our country is near the bottom of the ladder in the ranking of press freesdom.

3.The government keeps on suppressing the opposition party. When would there be a real election in singapore?

4.When would there be a 'real' freedom of speech in singapore? Yes we have Hong Lim Park to express our thoughts but come on we have to apply a permit for which is subjected to approval by the police (indirectly by the PAP), and watsmore there is a police station right behind Hong Lim Park. Someone says something which the PAP doesnt want to hear, and that guy gets arrested.

Look i love my country and would give my life to defend it.
But how long is the empire of one man gonna last? History taught us that no empire last forever. I was in Australia for a holiday and was asked where am i from? i replied 'Singapore' and the australian said ' oh the Lee Empire' i was so embrassed.
I'm 25 this year and a lot of people of my generation share the same thoughts.
I would not want to see my beloved country go into chaos like eg. wat happen to indonesia a few years ago.
The government should really make a move into progressment of a real democratic nation.
Let me put it simply, say a 13 year old boy/girl wants to go out with his friends to catch a movie but the parents doesnt agree and lock him/her in the house. one time.. two times..three times.. yes that individual might have no choice but to stay put in the house but eventually one day he will find a way to sneak out of the house.

Regards
The New Age

Saturday, January 19, 2008 10:46:00 pm

 
Blogger George Yeo said...

1. In the Westminster system, the Prime Minister is chosen by the political party with the majority in Parliament and not directly elected by the people. In this regard, Singapore is no different from the UK or Japan. In the US system, the President is directly elected through an electoral college. Each system has its own pro's and con's.

2. On media freedom, the issue is not so simple. In many countries, newspapers and TV stations are controlled by owners who are not accountable to members of the public. In some countries, the media itself is degraded by corruption. We don't have a perfect system but numerous surveys do show that Singaporeans in general trust what they read in the newspapers or receive on TV. Singaporeans also enjoy an unusual access to the
international media because many foreign media companies operate out of Singapore. There is also the Internet which many young people depend on for local and international news.

3. I don't think the Oppostion MPs in Parliament would agree that 'the government keeps on suppressing the opposition party' or that there is no 'real election'.

4. As for 'real freedom of speech', that's always relative. Having to register your name before you speak at Hong Lim Park is not a big curb on freedom. Being sensitive in matters bearing on race, language and religion is only prudent. As for defamatory remarks, every individual has a right to self-defence.

5. We are not doing badly given our circumstances, a small city-state with no resources located in a tough neighbourhood. I'll be happy to meet you and your friends for a discussion about Singapore's future. Let Ephraim know.

Sunday, January 20, 2008 10:52:00 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My apologies for the late reply, have been quite busy with work.
I appreciate your openess for a discussion but i'll need to check with my friends on their work schedule and i'll inform Ephraim.

oh.. and before i end, just 2 more things, do keep a look out on the US recession and the inflation, cost is rising but the pay remains the same.

In the meantime, have a splendid new year!

Cheers!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9:42:00 pm

 
Blogger Ephraim Loy said...

Feel free to email me at ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:22:00 pm

 

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