Sunday, 30 March 2008

Who's in, up and out?

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has made changes to his Cabinet, which sees new Ministers appointed for Law, Education, Manpower and six promotions.

I'm going to break it down to point form for all to understand.

Who's in?

- Mr Shanmugam, a Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC
New position: Law Minister, Second Home Affairs Minister

- Dr Ng Eng Hen
New Position: Education Minister

- Mr Gan Kim Yong
New Position: Acting Manpower Ministry and promoted to Senior Minister of State.

Who's out?
- Professor Jayakumar
With Shanmugam taking over as Law Minister, that makes Jayakumar out of the picture and is holding onto his current position; Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security. He will also continue to chair the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change.

- Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Same thing here, with Dr Ng taking over as head of Education Minstry, Tharman is out and will continue with Finance Minister.

- Dr Vivian Balakrishnan
Out as Second Minister for Information, Communications and The Arts, remain as Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister

Who's promoted?

- Mrs Lim Hwee Hua
Is promoted to Senior Minister of State, keeping her appointments in the Finance and Transport Ministries.

- Ms Grace Fu
Moves up to Senior Minister of State, receiving a new appointment in the Education Ministry, while serving her present appointment in the National Development Ministry.

- Mr Lui Tuck Yew
Promoted to Senior Minister of State and the Information, Communications and The Arts Ministry, or MICA, while continuing with his present appointment in the Education Ministry.

- Mr Heng Chee How
Appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office. He will assist Mr Lim Boon Heng, the Minister in charge of ageing issues, on re-employment of older workers and active ageing programmes.

-Mr Teo Ser Luck
Promoted to Senior Parliamentary Secretary as well as an appointment in the Transport Ministry, on top of his current appointment in Community Development, Youth and Sports.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Good to see this :)

It was great to see that Singapore's businesses and youngsters are taking part in this Earth Hour event. With these small little steps, people can eventually be made more aware of global warming.... of course, my lights were off between 8-9pm too :) We are saving our planet for our next generation.

Report from

S'poreans join global Earth Hour effort to spread climate change message

SINGAPORE : Singapore is playing its part in a global effort to curb climate change.

Businesses here have been switching off the lights in their buildings for an hour between 8pm and 9pm.

The event called Earth Hour was held for the first time in Sydney last year. 2.2 million people and more than 2,000 business people took part.

Singapore companies like CapitaLand are flicking the switch at nine of its buildings such as Capital Tower and Raffles City.

But the worldwide effort is not just for the big players.

In Punggol, youngsters got involved too. More than 300 students visited thousands of homes to urge residents to turn off their lights and join an Earth Hour event at Punggol Community Club.

"They are still not very clear about global warming. But when we go and talk to them about this and sell the idea to them, many are really willing to go forward and help," said one youth volunteer.

Other schools, colleges and businesses in Singapore have also signed up to turn off their lights. Other cities like Melbourne and Chicago are also part of the global effort.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

How long more are we going to wait?

Heard the news last night and saw this report today.

Mixed feelings was what I had.

What I heard from the news was that, this man whom had made a false report on spotting Mas Selamat is going to be jailed for 21 months.

He is the sole-bread winner in the family which comprises of a diabetic wife, eldest child is in a 'Home' and the other 2 younger ones are schooling.

Ng, pleaded guilty and had admitted to all his mistakes.

The deputy public prosecutor, Wendy Yap, said Ng has seriously jeopardised the search for Mas Selamat and had caused a waste of precious man hours that could have been better utilised.

Yes, Ng, had committed a mistake here. If Ng is penalised for his mistakes, then who is going to be penalised for Mas Selamat's escape? Who is held responsible?

When Ng pleaded for leniency because his family needs him, the Judge said that he had committed a grevious mistake.

May I ask, which is more grevious?

Ng, making a false report? or,

The failure to ensure Mas Selamat's detention and still not finding him after 26 days?

Yes, Ng was to be blame for making false report and especially so for causing inconveniences for Mr Hong Bok Leng... on the other hand, something more serious had already happened and there is still no traces of the escaped JL leader. Who is to be blame? So far I had not heard anyone being penalised for this.

'Singapore says no evidence Mas Selamat fled to Indonesia'...then show us where is he! If he had already fled or even dead, say so. Don't take Singpaoreans as fools and to have everyone feeling so uptight about the issue. Moreover, this issue had caused stricter security checks at the Woodlands custom. Not only had the massive jam caused a drop in business for the Malaysians, it may also affect Singaporeans indirectly.


If trucks of frozen poultry or vege, etc can only make their trip to Singapore suppliers once a day whereas in normal times they could be travelling twice or thrice, that will eventually cause a demand more than supply situation. Prices may jolly well increase due to the shortage. Will this happen?

I'm sure our Police force can do much more.

Take for instance the Outram MRT guy whom was shot. The police managed to track him down within 2 hours yet they cannot find Mas Selamat in 26 days! Yes, I know that this guy went through training, etc...but its 26 days already! Indonesia, being a bigger country than us, captured him and probably they must be thinking that they had made a mistake by sending him back to Singapore.

How long more are we going to wait?

Monday, 24 March 2008

Earth Hour

Participant in the upcoming 'Earth Hour' event.

The objective of this event is to 'Save the Planet'.

Date: 29th March 2008

Time: 8-9pm

Action: Turn off all your lights at home

I'm urging everyone to take part in it!!! And check out this blog:

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Why did I procrastinate?

This incident happened on a Monday evening after my Open House duty at HQ, Syed Alwi Road. It affected me for days and it also left me with regrets. In life, people come and go so do certain incidents, but there is just no way to forget them.

The time was about 15mins to 10pm as we made our way to a nearby coffee shop for some beverage after the Open House. There were 4 of us including myself. I remembered we were discussing about a durian trip which was organised by the Welfare. The place was not packed, only about 3 tables including ours were occupied. 30 mins later, it happened.

Due to our seating position, I was the only one that witnessed it. A man with white disheveled hair, over-sized chequed blue shirt and a pair of knee-length faded black bermudas, sat down. He called out to the coffee-shop lady who was standing just about a metre away from him. He was barely audible to me.

Very soon, the lady came back with a bun, a small one. When she placed the plate on the table, the man who was probably in his 60s, put his hand into his bermudas to search for some money. He took quite a while and finally he had his hands out with some coins in it. The lady then took whatever she needed and left the rest intact. The old man then put his hand back into the pocket.

At this point of time, I was not paying attention to the discussion. What came next, was something that I could never forget.

He brought the bun to his mouth and bite into the steaming hot bun. The look he had on his face when he ate the bun was..... I .... I can feel tears welling up in my eyes.

He did not eat it hungrily or quickly. Instead he enjoyed the small little bun, he ate it as though it was a delicacy. He took his time to chew and enjoy his meal, which could probably be his dinner after hours of begging on the streets. However I can tell that he had problem swallowing his food.

I quickly looked away when he took the second bite. I could no longer take it anymore. I knew that if I looked on, the tears which I was trying to control would definitely roll down my cheeks. I was at a loss for words, I... don't know what to say and even right now as I am writing about it, I had to fight back tears.

Then a thought came into my mind, maybe I should get him a hot tea or milk, or whatever for him to drink. But I had second thoughts about doing it. What will the old man think? Will he think that I am pitying him? Will he not want to accept it? I took out my purse, turned back to look at him, he was gone.

Why? Why did I not do what I think? Why did I have so many questions? Why did I procrastinate? I regretted not buying him the drink which I wanted to.

I could not stop thinking about him as I made my way home, I was silent throughout the journey. That night when I slept, I cried as his look came into my mind again. I felt so sorry for him and at the same time I hated myself for not doing something.

Is he married? His children had abandoned him? His wife? Or probably he is single? CPF? Savings? Work? Why?

Despite knowing that he is one of the many out there that is homeless, it affected me badly. How will you feel if this happens to be your grandparents?

Monday, 17 March 2008

Women, hmm... you got to attend this

Hi there, to all women that is reading my blog... make an effort if you can ( I would really very much love to but has got a company sales seminar on that day to organise, how suay!) to attend the public forum below:

In partnership with AWARE, Unifem Singapore and Society of Financial Service Professionals; to commomerate International Women's Day.

Discussion topic:

What is the current status of women’s rights in Asean. How much further does Asean have to go in the sphere of gender equality and human rights?

Listen to the views of both local and regional speakers on the questions above.

Date: 29th March 2008

Time: 3-5pm

Venue: URA Building, level 5th Function Hall

Read more about the organiser, maruah here.

Friday, 14 March 2008

A woman PM is unlikely, why?

Came across this article from

A woman PM? Not likely, says panel

SINGAPORE: Despite the modern and dynamic image of Singapore, the idea of a woman authority figure leading the country may still be unacceptable to Singaporeans.

- Why is it unacceptable? There is a difference between unacceptable and impossible. Is the writer saying that its impossible due to the political climate in Singapore?

For example, Nanyang Technological University Professorial Fellow Koh Tai Ann said — at a forum on Wednesday discussing whether Singapore was "ready for a Hillary Clinton" — the espousing of traditional Asian values has contributed to a patriarchal culture. Even women, said Prof Koh, might think of authority figures as male. "I think we are more likely to see a non-Chinese PM first than a woman PM."

-Yes, I agree that we will definitely see a non-chinese PM first instead of a woman PM. However that to me still does not explains why women PM is impossible or what the first paragraph had said, unacceptable.

Panellist and MediaCorp editorial director P N Balji felt that the political system in Singapore did not allow women to rise to the top. "The head of the household is still the man," he said. "In Singapore, everything is directed and dictated by politics, so if that's the situation politically, then I don't think (a woman PM) will happen."

-But women are also contributing more to the economy now and many are holding onto higher management positions. Why is it that a female PM is still impossible or even unacceptable despite knowing that women can do as well as men? What is wrong with our political arena? Was it our education system?

At the forum, organised by the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware), former Nominated Member of Parliament Braema Mathi credited Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) and Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim as an example of a woman who has taken on the challenge of entering politics.

"It's difficult to lead an opposition party in Singapore," she said, and for a woman to do so and also take on the duties of a NCMP was something that "didn't come too often for Singapore".

-Yes, I definitely take my hats off to Miss Sylvia Lim and agree that heading an opposition party is not easy and this is especially so in Singapore.

Other women politicians cited by participants include former Senior Minister of State for Education Aline Wong and Dr Seet Ai Mee, who became the first woman office holder in 1988 as the Minister of State for Community Development and Education.

Still, one audience member asked why it was that while women held leadership positions across many sectors in Singapore, politics appears to be one field where women have yet to find such acceptance — there has never been a woman Cabinet Minister and women make up just 19 per cent of the 94-member House.

Women appeared to be unwilling to come out and claim a place for themselves in politics, said writer and former Aware president Dana Lam, a panellist. "How many women are willing to go for it and take up the challenge … the will doesn't seem to be strong enough," she said.

Ms Mathi, however, argued that the issue of inspiring people to enter politics was a gender-neutral question and not a women-specific issue. To take part in politics, one had to join a political party or form one and it was equally challenging to motivate either sex to do so, she said.

The forum kicked off Aware's The ThinkBox series, where a dialogue session will be held every other month to discuss issues of gender equality and understanding.

-Which is why in my election speech for Youth Wing Executive Council, I hope to see more women coming forward to find out more about politics. This is our country, the place you want to have your family in, the place that you want to call home.

Therefore, come on and make things right if you think that they are currently wrong! Take the first step, be curious, take part, don't think that you cannot do much. You could be the one that is going to make the change!

And if our third world neighbours can have women leaders, why can't us?

Read this too: Are we ready for a Hillary Clinton in Singapore?

And the women who had made history in politics: International Women's Day Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

WP's founder


He made us 'dream of independence'

AFTER the late David Marshall was elected Singapore's chief minister in 1955, he wore a safari jacket to his first meeting with British governor John Nicoll - unacceptable wear for the occasion.

'Marshall insults the Queen,' trumpeted The Straits Times the next day.

Following in his footsteps, another minister wore sandals, and no socks, to the opening of the Legislative Assembly.

'So clothing became our anti-colonial protest,' recounted Professor Chan Heng Chee, a political scientist, author of a biography on Mr Marshall and currently Singapore's Ambassador to the United States.

While many criticised the burly lawyer-turned-politician for his 'histrionics', he felt that this was what the average man could grasp. 'He could mobilise them and inspire them to join his nationalist movement,' said Prof Chan of Mr Marshall, who led talks with London to bargain for Singapore's independence in the late 1950s.

President SR Nathan described him thus: 'Under colonial domination, he made us aware of who we were and made us dream of independence. He was a giant of a man, in that he sought to inspire in us a sense of hope, and what we needed to be.'

These descriptions of Mr Marshall came during a one-day symposium yesterday to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Mr Marshall, who died in 1995.

In his time, Mr Marshall had been at turns Singapore's most formidable criminal lawyer, its first chief minister, founder of the Workers' Party (WP), a respected diplomat, a Jewish community leader, and a passionate advocate of liberal democratic values.

Apart from his family, others present among the audience of 300 included his old political comrade Ameer Jumabhoy, a founding member of the WP, and lawyer and Jewish community leader Harry Elias.

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, an old political rival of Mr Marshall in the 1950s and 1960s, paid tribute to him as the man who 'kick-started political forces into overdrive going for near independence' in May 1956.

In a message read out at the symposium, Mr Lee also noted that Mr Marshall, who was ambassador to France from 1978 to 1993, helped Singapore build ties with France.

'The Government of Singapore is indebted to him for his contribution,' said Mr Lee.

Mr Marshall began his career as a lawyer and was legendary for helping to acquit over 100 people accused of murder.

Said Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong: 'He was undoubtedly the greatest criminal advocate that has ever graced the halls of justice in Singapore and Malaysia: a giant among pygmies at the criminal Bar, including the prosecutors.'

So successful was Mr Marshall that 'it must have led the Government to rethink seriously about the objectives of the criminal process', said CJ Chan.

The legal system was tightened in 1976, one change being that the accused must now allow himself to be cross-examined.

Added diplomat Tommy Koh: 'He was so brilliant that one persistent rumour is that the jury system was abolished because he was winning too many cases!'

And it was not just style but substance too, or 'solid knowledge' as Professor Koh put it. Mr Marshall would wake up at 2.30am on the mornings of his court cases to prepare for them, he noted.

Indeed, said Prof Chan, Mr Marshall was responsible for mooting the idea of the Central Provident Fund, promoting multi-lingualism, and the granting of citizenship to 220,000 China-born Chinese.

He was even credited with starting the Meet-The-People sessions, which were later improved on by the People's Action Party.

But even giants have their weaknesses. Mr Marshall's was an 'inability to work with a team and to build an organisation', said Prof Chan.

Mr Marshall's tensions with both the Labour Front and, later on, the WP, were part of the reason why he eventually left both parties.

Former political detainee Michael Fernandez told The Straits Times that events such as the symposium are important in ensuring that different perspectives are lent to the telling of Singapore's history.

Indeed, academic Kishore Mahbubani said: 'The commemoration of David Marshall should not be a one-day event.

'We must decide how we can declare David Marshall as a hero in the long term. If we consciously celebrate our true national heroes, I am confident that the future of Singapore will burn very bright.'


Wednesday, 12 March 2008

MHA responds to WP's queries

MHA responds to queries on Committee of Inquiry's probe into Mas Selamat's escape

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs has responded to queries from the Workers' Party regarding the Committee of Inquiry's probe into Mas Selamat Kastari's escape from detention.

According to the ministry, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng has said that after the inquiry is completed, the public will get a full account of how Mas Selamat escaped and what has been done to tighten security to prevent a repeat of such incident.

In a statement to the media, the chairman of the Workers' Party, Sylvia Lim, had asked if the public would be given full information as the committee was convened under the Prisons Act.

She said under the Act, such inquiries are not open to the public and that no part of the proceedings may be released to anyone without the minister's written permission.


My last day at work

11th March, was my last day as a Recruiter with my previous company. I will be moving onto a new job, a Trainer, with another Financial Institution on 13th March.

I always had this problem whenever I tender my resignation; sad to leave but have to leave. This job was even tougher. My working colleagues as well as my lady boss were all good working partners.

However, this is life and its only normal for me to want to have greater exposure and better career advancements.

On my last day, which also happen to be Secretary, Megan's birthday, our lady boss brought us out for lunch at the 'Lion City Cafe' which is pretty near to my work place. Most of the other colleagues came along. Those who cannot make it, either sms or called me up to wish me luck and best wishes. Megan is the colleague whom I communicate the most with. She is very jovial and of course nice to work with. We talked, laughed and took care of each other.

When we returned back to office, I was greeted with surprise. Zynn and Megan bought me a bracelet from Perlini's. It was really thoughtful of them. An even greater surprise came from Karen. She bought me a slice of my favourite chocolate cake and a bouquet of pink roses! It was really very sweet of her to do that.

Mandy, my working partner as well as room-mate, also bought me a tube of hand lotion. When it was time to leave at 6pm, I bade farewell and I could not control but cried when I hug my lady boss.

Hereby, I wish H42 all the best; work hard, play hard and most importantly don't forget me!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

WP's Press Release

The Workers' Party made a press release on 11th March on the escape of Mas Selamat.

Workers' Party calls for full disclosure in Mas Selamat probe

The opposition Workers' Party on Tuesday urged the Government to keep the public fully informed of the committee of inquiry's (COI) probe into the escape of terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari, who has been on the run since Feb 27.

It said that as the inquiry is being carried out under the Prisons Act, which means that the Home Affairs Minister retains the discretion to release the committee's finds as he sees fit, this raises the question 'as to how much the public will eventually be told.'

Said the party chairman Sylvia Lim in a statement: 'In a matter of such high public interest as the escape of a high-risk terror suspect from a government-run facility, what assurances or checks are there that the public will be given full information?'

'Moreover, since Singaporeans have been marshalled to assist the authorities to hunt for Mas Selamat, the least the government could do is to keep us fully informed of the inquiry and its findings,' she added, noting the huge security forces involved in the island-wide manhunt, and the various inconveniences at checkpoints and other areas which Singaporeans have to put up with to facilitiate the massive operation.

Ms Lim, who is a Non-constituency MP, said many questions have been raised about how the escape could have taken place 'in a country which prides itself on safety and security.'

While it is not wrong for the government to convene the three-member inquiry, headed by retired judge Goh Joon Seng, under the Prisons Act, the opposition leader noted that such inquiries are not open to the public.

'The Committee will submit its report to the Minister, and no part of the proceedings may be released to anyone except with the Minister's written permission,' she said.

She suggested an alternative option: a COI appointed by the President under the Inquiries Act in the interest of public welfare or public interest.

'This regime will allow the inquiry to proceed in public as the President shall direct. If there is concern that release of certain sensitive information will jeopardise the national interest, the President may direct that certain information not be made public,' she said.

Separately, the Criminal Investigation Department is also looking into whether criminal wrong-doing was involved in the break-out of the leader of the Singapore Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terror network from the Whitley Road Detention Centre.

Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng has said that there was a 'physical breach' and 'security lapse' at the detention centre's compound, which has since been plugged.

The panel, which will also recommend changes to prevent similar break-outs, is expected to complete the review in a month. The other two committee members are retired police commissioner Tee Tua Ba and deputy secretary for security and corporate services Dr Choong May Ling.

In launching the COI on March 2, Mr Wong said he would decide on the part of the committee's findings that can be made public.

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said that the escape of Mas Selamat is a 'very severe lesson in complacency.'

The search for the fugitive entered the 13th day on Tuesday. More than 1,100 calls and emails on potential leads have been received by police so far.

Besides reporting sightings or discarded belongings on the fringes of forested areas, many Singaporeans have offered tips on how to nab the escaped detainee.


Sunday, 9 March 2008

A new Malaysia, when will it be our turn?

Malaysia's Barisan Nasional suffers the worst electoral defeat since 1969. The people of Malaysia had boldly made their voices heard through their votes.

5 major states in Malaysia had been won by opposition; Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor, Perak and Penang. The latest one to add to the list is KL.

This is definitely a defining moment for Malaysia. Read more about the Malaysia's election here.

But what does this means to Singapore?

The Malaysia's government like ours, had been in power for decades. When can we had this kind of over-whelming change in government?

And what had Singaporeans learned from our neighbours?

Will this election change Singaporeans' perception/ mindset? Will it have a positive impact for the opposition in Singapore? Has it awaken our people and make them see that they too can say 'NO' through their votes?

I sincerely hope that the winning opposition in Malaysia will and can manage their State well. So that Singaporeans can see for themselves; oppositions can also make decent and effective leaders. Hopefully, every Singaporean will consider their votes wisely the next time when they had the chance to and when one truly wants to see changes.

Lastly, I wonder how will our government think of this election and will they be congratulating the opposition for securing a big win?

PS: Some of our WP members visited Malaysia during their elections. Click here to find out more.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Alas! MM Lee respond...

Since Mas Selamat escape on 27th Feb, this is MM Lee's first response to the issue.

MM Lee says Mas Selamat's escape is a severe lesson on complacency

BAHRAIN: Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew does not believe Mas Selamat Kastari poses a threat if he remains at large in Singapore.

This is because it is not a planned escape and he does not have the resources to harm Singapore if he remains in the country.

But if he has escaped across the border, Mr Lee warned that Singaporeans would have to watch out for a return hit by Mas Selamat.

The minister mentor, who wrapped up his three-nation visit to the Middle East on Friday, was speaking to the Singapore media in Bahrain.

Mr Lee said Mas Selamat is a wily person who could persuade his custodians and Singapore has learnt an important lesson on complacency from the episode.

"I give him full marks for winning the confidence of his custodians – that he's completely docile, completely passive and he's going to remain in captivity. It is... stupid to believe we are infallible. We are not infallible. One mistake and we get a big explosive in your midst. So let's not take this lightly. I think it's a very severe lesson of complacency," said Mr Lee.

Since Mas Selamat's escape, police have received 950 calls and email messages about the case. Anyone with information on the fugitive should call the police at 999 or email them at


International Women's Day, 8th March - Part 4

10) Mother Teresa (August 1910 - September 1997)

She was a Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India in 1950.

For over forty years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.

By the 1970s she had become internationally famed as a humanitarian and advocate for the poorand helpless, due in part to a documentary, and book, Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work.

Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.

Her life-long devotion to the care of the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged was one of the highest examples of service to our humanity." The former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar said: "She is the United Nations. She is peace in the world."

11) Anson Chan (January 1940 - )

In December 2005, Chan participated in the protest march for democracy, against Donald Tsang's constitutional reform package and has since participated in subsequent marches for universal suffrage.

On September 11, 2007, Chan announced that she would run in the December 2007 by-election for the Hong Kong Island seat in the Legislative Council made vacant by the death of Ma Lik.

During the campaign, she was criticized by Alex Tsui, a former ICAC official who accused Chan of obtaining a 100% mortgage to purchase a flat in 1993 when she was chief secretary, suggesting an abuse of power. A City University commentator said the issue marked the start of a smear campaign against Chan, although Chan did not engage in smear-free politics either, accusing her rival Regina Ip of being a "fake democrat".

In the early hours of December 2, 2007, Chan was elected in the by-election with 175,874 votes, securing about 55% of the vote. Regina Ip, Chan's main rival, had 137,550 votes.

12) Sylvia Lim Swee Lian (March 1965 - )

How can I miss out this lady??? When she is the Chairman of the Workers' Party :)

She studied Law at the National University of Singapore after completing her pre-university education at National Junior College, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree. She obtained a Master of Laws degree from the University of London in 1989, and was called to the Singapore Bar in 1991.

During her undergraduate and postgraduate studies, she did volunteer work with the Spastic Children's Association, Salvation Army Home for the Aged and the University College Hospital (London). She thereafter did editorial work on a voluntary basis for the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme of the Law Society.

In 1991 she joined the Singapore Police Force as a Police Inspector where she served for 3 years; she was active in investigation work (including supervision) at the Central Police Division HQ and thereafter was staff officer to the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department.

In 1994 she returned to practise law in the private sector, with M/s Lim & Lim. From 1994 to 1998, she handle both civil and crimimal cases in the the High Court, Subordinate Courts and Juvenile Court.

Sylvia joined Temasek Polytechnic in 1998 as a lecturer, and she is also the manager of Continuing Education and Training at the Polytechnic's Business School. Her main areas of teaching and research are in civil and criminal procedure, criminal justice and private security. During her time at Temasek Polytechnic, Lim has contributed to the volume on Criminal Procedure for Halsbury's Laws of Singapore (2003), a legal practitioners' reference series, and has also collected and published primary research on private security in Singapore.

In March 2006, Temasek Polytechnic modified its policy so that Lim did not need to resign from her lecturer position before she ran in the upcoming general election.

On 27 April 2006, nomination day for the general election 2006, Lim led a team of 5 Workers' Party members to contest the Aljunied GRC in a straight fight between the People's Action Party team lead by Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo of the People's Action Party (PAP) and the Workers' Party team, in her maiden electoral battle.

Sylvia's GRC team garnered 43.9% of the vote in the hotly contested GRC on May 6, 2006. As the best-performing opposition loser in the election, the Workers' Party decided to accept her nomination as a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP).

Friday, 7 March 2008

International Women's Day, 8th March - Part 3

7) Hillary Rodham Clinton (October 1947 - )

She is the junior United States Senator from New York, and a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election. She is married to Bill Clinton—the 42nd President of the United States—and was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001.

A native of Illinois, Hillary Rodham attracted national attention in 1969 when she delivered an address as the first student to speak at commencement exercises for Wellesley College.

She began her career as a lawyer after graduating from Yale Law School in 1973, moving to Arkansas and marrying Bill Clinton in 1975, following her career as a Congressional legal counsel; she was named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979 and was listed as one of the one hundred most influential lawyers in America in 1988 and 1991.

As First Lady of the United States, she took a prominent position in policy matters. Her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan, failed to gain approval by the U.S. Congress in 1994, but in 1997 she helped establish the State Children's Health Insurance Program and the Adoption and Safe Families Act.

She became the only First Lady to be subpoenaed, testifying before a federal grand jury as a consequence of the Whitewater controversy in 1996. She was never charged with any wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during her husband's administration. The state of her marriage to Bill Clinton was the subject of considerable public discussion following the Lewinsky scandal in 1998.

After moving to New York, Clinton was elected as senator for New York State in 2000; this was the first time an American First Lady ran for public office and she is the first female senator from that state.

In the Senate, she initially supported the George W. Bush administration on some foreign policy issues, which included voting for the Iraq War Resolution. She has subsequently opposed the administration on its conduct of the Iraq War and has opposed it on most domestic issues.

She was re-elected by a wide margin in 2006. Clinton is the first woman in U.S. history to win a presidential party primary, and as the 2008 race takes place, she is in a contest with Senator Barack Obama for the nomination of the Democratic Party.

8) Benazir Bhutto (June 1953 - December 2007)

She was a Pakistani politician who chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a centre-left political party in Pakistan. Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state, having twice been Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988–1990; 1993–1996).

Bhutto was the eldest child of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a Pakistani of Sindhi descent (Arain) and Shia Muslim by faith, and Begum Nusrat Bhutto, a Pakistani of Iranian-Kurdish descent, similarly Shia Muslim by faith. Her paternal grandfather was Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, who came to Larkana District in Sindh before the partition from his native town of Bhatto Kalan, which was situated in the Indian state of Haryana.

Bhutto was sworn in for the first time in 1988 at the age of 35, but was removed from office 20 months later under the order of then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan on grounds of alleged corruption. In 1993 Bhutto was re-elected but was again removed in 1996 on similar charges, this time by President Farooq Leghari. Bhutto went into self-imposed exile in Dubai in 1998.

Bhutto returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after reaching an understanding with President Pervez Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn.

She was assassinated on December 27, 2007, after departing a PPP rally in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 where she was a leading opposition candidate.

9) Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (June 1945 - )

She is a pro-democracy activist and leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, and a noted prisoner of conscience and advocate of nonviolent resistance. Aung San Suu Kyi was the third child in her family.

Suu Kyi won the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992 she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru peace prize by the Government of India for her peaceful and non-violent struggle under a military dictatorship.

According to the results of the 1990 general election, Suu Kyi earned the right to be Prime Minister, as leader of the winning National League for Democracy party, but her detention by the military junta prevented her from assuming that role.

She is frequently called Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Daw is not part of her name, but an honorific similar to madam for older, revered women, literally meaning "aunt". Strictly speaking, she has only the one name, though it is acceptable to refer to her as "Ms. Suu Kyi" or Dr. Suu Kyi, since those syllables serve to distinguish her from her father, General Aung San.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991

Thursday, 6 March 2008

International Women's Day, 8th March - Part 2

4) Margaret Hilda Thatcher (October 1925 -)

She is a former British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990.

She is the first and to date only woman to hold either post. She is also the oldest living British Prime Minister.

Born in Grantham in Lincolnshire, England, she went on to read Chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford. She was selected as Conservative candidate for Finchley in 1958 and took her seat in the House of Commons the following year.

Upon the election of Edward Heath in 1970, Thatcher was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Science.

In 1974, she backed Sir Keith Joseph for the Conservative party leader, but after falling short he dropped out of the race. Thatcher entered herself and became leader of the Conservative party in 1975.

Among other things, she defiantly opposed the Soviet Union, and her tough-talking rhetoric gained her the nickname the "Iron Lady".[1] As the Conservative party maintained leads in most polls, Thatcher went on to become Britain's Prime Minister in the 1979 General Election.

Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister was the longest since that of Lord Salisbury and was the longest continuous period in office since the tenure of Lord Liverpool who was Prime Minister in the early 19th century.

She was also the first woman to lead a major political party in the UK, and the first of only three women to have held any of the four great offices of state.

She currently has a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitles her to sit in the House of Lords. During her tenure as Prime Minister she was said to need just four hours' sleep a night.

5) Indira Gandhi (November 1917 - October 1984)
She was the Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was India's first and to date only female Prime Minister.

Born in the politically influential Nehru dynasty, she grew up in an intensely political atmosphere. Her grandfather, Motilal Nehru, was a prominent Indian nationalist leader.

Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru was a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Independent India. Returning to India from Oxford in 1941, she became involved in the Indian Independence movement.

In the 1950s, she served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as India's first Prime Minister. After her father's death in 1964, she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha by the President of India and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

The then Congress Party President K. Kamaraj was instrumental in making Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister after the sudden demise of Shastri. Gandhi soon showed an ability to win elections and outmaneuver opponents through populism. She introduced more left-wing economic policies and promoted agricultural productivity.

A crushing victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan was followed by a period of instability that led her to impose a state of emergency in 1975; she paid for the authoritarian excesses of the period with three years in opposition.

Returned to office in 1980, she became increasingly involved in an escalating conflict with separatists in Punjab that eventually led to her assassination by her own bodyguards in 1984.

6) Princess Diana (July 1961 - August 1997)

This lady is no doubt the most inspirational women of all, at least to me she was.

She was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. Their sons, Princes William and Henry (Harry), are second and third in line to the thrones of the United Kingdom and fifteen other Commonwealth Realms.

In the late 1980s, the marriage of Diana and Charles fell apart, an event at first suppressed, then sensationalised, by the world media.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were separated on 9 December 1992, by which time her relations with some of the Royal Family, excepting the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, were difficult.

While she blamed Camilla Parker-Bowles for her marital troubles, as early as October 1993, Diana was writing to a friend that she believed her husband was now in love with Tiggy Legge-Bourke and wanted to marry her. On 3 December 1993, Diana announced her withdrawal from public life.

In April 1987, the Princess of Wales was one of the first high-profile celebrities to be photographed touching a person infected with HIV at the 'chain of hope' organization.

Her contribution to changing the public opinion of AIDS sufferers was summarised in December 2001 by Bill Clinton at the 'Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on AIDS':

“In 1987, when so many still believed that AIDS could be contracted through casual contact, Princess Diana sat on the sickbed of a man with AIDS and held his hand. She showed the world that people with AIDS deserve no isolation, but compassion and kindness. It helped change world's opinion, and gave hope to people with AIDS."

—Bill Clinton

On 31 August 1997, Diana died after a high speed car accident in the Pont d'Alma road tunnel in Paris along with Dodi Al-Fayed and the acting security manager of the Hôtel Ritz Paris, Henri Paul, who was instructed to drive the hired Mercedes-Benz through Paris secretly eluding the paparazzi.

Her funeral which was held on 6th Sep 1997 was broadcast and watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

International Women's Day, 8th March - Part 1

This post is to commemorate all the great women in politics over the years. These women made a difference and left their mark in history. They had created hope and inspired a lot back then.

1) Bella Abzug (July 1920 - March 1998)

She was a well-known American political figure and a leader of the women’s movement. She famously said, “This woman’s place is in the House — the House of Representatives,” in her successful 1970 campaign to join that body.

In 1970, Bella Abzug was elected to the U.S. Congress from New York. In Congress, she was especially noted for her work for the Equal Rights Amendment, national day care centers, ending sex discrimination, and working mothers' priorities.

Bella Abzug also worked against American involvement in the Vietnam War and against the Selective Service System. She challenged the seniority system, ending up as chair of the House subcommittee on government information and individual rights.

Bella Abzug ran for the Senate in 1976, losing to Daniel P. Moynihan, and in 1977 was defeated in a primary bid for the office of mayor of New York City. In 1978 she again ran for Congress, in a special election.

In 1977-1978 Bella Abzug served as co-chair of the National Advisory Committee on Women. She was fired by President Jimmy Carter, who had originally appointed her, when the committee openly criticized Carter's budget for cutting women's programs.

In 1990, she co-founded the women's environmental & development organization to m obilize women's participation in international conferences, particularly those run by the United Nations.

2) Emmeline Pankhurst (July 1858 - June 1928)

In 1889 Emmeline founded the Women's Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections.

In October 1903 she helped found the more militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) - an organisation that gained much notoriety for its militant activities and whose members were the first to be christened 'suffragettes'.

Emmeline's daughters Christabel and Sylvia were both active in the cause. British politicians, press and public were astonished by the demonstrations, window smashing, arson and hunger strikes of the suffragettes. Like many suffragettes, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions over the next few years and went on hunger strike herself, resulting in violent force-feeding.

In 1913 in response to the wave of hunger strikes, the government passed what became known as the 'Cat and Mouse' Act. Hunger striking prisoners were released until they grew strong again, and then re-arrested.

This period of militancy was ended abruptly on the outbreak of war in 1914, when Emmeline turned her energies to supporting the war effort. In 1918 the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to women over 30. Emmeline died on 14 June 1928, shortly after women were granted equal voting rights with men (at 21).

3) Eleanor Roosevelt (October 1884 - November 1962)

She was an American political leader who used her influence as an active First Lady from 1933 to 1945 to promote the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as taking a prominent role as an advocate for civil rights.

After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author and speaker for the New Deal coalition. She was a suffragist who worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women.

In the 1940s, she was one of the co-founders of Freedom House and supported the formation of the United Nations. Eleanor Roosevelt founded the UN Association of the United States in 1943 to advance support for the formation of the UN.

She was a delegate to the UN General Assembly from 1945 and 1952, a job for which she was appointed by President Harry S. Truman and confirmed by the United States Senate. During her time at the United Nations she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

President Truman called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

This is really embarrassing ...

Jakarta: He won't be deported to S'pore

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - FUGITIVE terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari would not be deported to Singapore if he is arrested in Indonesia, according to a Foreign Ministry official here.

He said that Singapore would have to wait 'a long time' until an extradition treaty was ratified by the two countries to gain custody of Mas Selamat, according to front-page reports in the Indo Pos daily and the Sinar Harapan evening newspaper on Saturday.

Both dailies quoted the Foreign Ministry's director of political, security and territorial treaties, Mr Arif Havas Oegroseno, as saying that, based on international law, the only legal way for Mas Selamat to be deported is through an extradition treaty.

'Since the extradition treaty has yet to be ratified, Kastari cannot be returned to Singapore if he were arrested again in Indonesia,' he said.

He also said that the issue of terrorism-related crimes came under the extradition treaty between Indonesia and Singapore.

The treaty, which has not been ratified, has been held up by a Defence Cooperation Agreement.
Mas Selamat fled Singapore in December 2001 and was subsequently arrested twice in Indonesia - in 2003 and 2006 - for violating the country's immigration laws.

He was deported to Singapore in February 2006 despite the fact that there was no extradition treaty between the two countries.

At the time of his deportation, Indonesia's national police deputy spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam said Mas Selamat was escorted to Singapore by Indonesia's elite anti-terror police.

'He violated immigration laws and he is on the Singapore police's wanted list, and therefore we helped to hand him over,' he had said.


Saturday, 1 March 2008

Tourism industry attracting job seekers.

I am involved in the on-going career fair at Suntec City from 28th Feb to 2nd Mar.

I cannot help but notice that a lot of people are attracted to the tourism industry; be it jobs or furthering their studies.

Report from CNA: Tourism Industry players join hands to attract job seekers at Career 2008

Due to the upcoming IR and Formula 1, the tourism industry had all of a sudden become a hot spot to be in.

During the show, I happened to meet a friend who is also exhibiting for a private institution offering tourism courses. According to him, the used to be popular courses like IT and Business courses had dropped tremendously and now the in thing is tourism courses. In fact, a lot of students had opted for a transfer from their present course to tourism courses.

Don't you think that there is going to be a supply more than demand issue here? Was my question to the friend. He agrees with me thoroughly but of course when promoting courses as such they cannot be suggesting anything negative.

Another issue is... is IR going to employ all fresh grads? How can it be? Common sense will tell you that. Of course there will be a big chuck or at least a handful coming from overseas, that is yes, overseas talent.

They cannot be using a bunch of fresh employees with no prior experiences in this aspect to run the casino.

Hence, I felt that students when choosing for a course, should not just head for something that is popular or is going to be popular. Think of the consequences, think of your chances.
Thank you for visiting