Archive for category Singapore

Singapore celebrates 50 years of statehood

Financial Times
August 9, 2015 5:35 am
Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong and Andrew Whiffin in London

Happy 50th birthday Singapore.

Whatever is said about the Lion City — its nanny state tendencies, a seeming obsession with finicky rules, the challenges it faces sustaining its position — its economic achievements of the past 50 years are substantial.

The death of Lee Kuan Yew in March this year gave an outlet for a raft of reviews of Singapore’s performance.

Here we present a few charts to put the city state in a global context.

Gross domestic product per capita has risen at a 10 per cent compound annual growth rate for the past five decades in one of the world’s best performances, according to economists at Morgan Stanley.
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Sand, Sensibility and Singapore Bashing

by Koon Yew Yin

Every few months or so, the subject of selling sand to Singapore flares up in the media.

When this happens in the websites, the discussion takes on a polemical turn – with ‘patriots’ proclaiming how disloyal it is to sell sand to our neighbor; how we are selling out our national interests; etc.

The latest report out in the media states that a private company employed by the operator of the Tanjung Agas Gas and Oil Logistic Park in Pahang is being investigated for smuggling sand into Singapore (see Read the rest of this entry »


Chameleon politics

— Tan Teck Huat
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 12, 2011

DEC 12 — If anyone wants to know the chameleon nature of the Najib government or perhaps even the prime minister, you just have to look at the government’s attitude towards Singapore.

On one hand, Najib talks about closer ties with Singapore and his upcoming retreat with Lee Hsien Loong, where some great announcement is going to be made about a joint announcement in Iskandar.

We are supposed to be good pals after years of difficult ties. But before anyone starts celebrating, there is Najib’s good friend, Senator Ezam Noor, warning undergraduates that the DAP is bent on turning Malaysia into Singapore!

Let there be no illusion about Ezam’s close connection to the establishment. A political maverick like Ezam can only be accepted back into the system and be appointed as a senator only with the blessings of the prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysians being ripped off (2) – with photos

By Mimi Chih

Thank you for putting my article online.

The reason I enclosed those photos was to drive home the point how much more expensive those same items are in Malaysia. If you go back to Sarawak, they are even more expensive. e.g. even after conversion to RM, it is still more expensive in Malaysia e.g. Yoplait yogurt is SGD7.05 while in KL it is at least RM22, Farmhouse milk is 2 litres for SGD4.85…in KL it is RM10 per litre. Did you see how much the US imported cereals are selling for in Malaysia?

As for simple foods, look at how cheap it is, especially when you are earning SGD. You can still get kopi si peng is still SGD90 cents.

That is the reason why my niece sent out her resumes so many times since last year. She finally got a job in Oct, 2011 as an auditor (2 years experience). Her salary is gross SGD2600. When she earned RM2850 at Ernst & Young, she would never eat at Starbuck, didn’t even dare to look at Farmhouse milk or SPAM luncheon meat, and definitely, would never indulge in Yoplait yogurt. She is now able to enjoy all of those and more and she can send home SGD300. Her parents had to subsidize her when she was in KL even though she lived frugally.
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Malaysians getting ripped off

by Mimi Chih

When Tunku Abdul Rahman decided to expel Singapore from the Federation of Malaya leading to the Independence of Singapore on August 9, 1965, the world did not expect this tiny island Republic with a population of 1.8 million then to stand tall as one of the original Four Asian Tigers, along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan 46 years later. Well, this Lion City has certainly ventured forth roaring all the way with a lion heart.

How does one measure the success of a country? To the people, it is reflected in their overall standard of living. Not every country is lucky enough to have a team of intelligent people whose passionate objectives drive them to make their country a better place to live – for everyone. Singapore is one such country. Today this island republic has one of the highest standard of living in South East Asia.

Which Malaysian could imagine that some 46 years after the split, Singapore’s exchange rate to the ringgit would hit a dizzying rate of RM2.41 (Nov 11, 2011)? August 1972 was the last time that the SGD (Singapore Dollar) was almost on par with the (RM) ringgit at SGD100:RM100.10. For an average wage earner in the Lion City making SGD2500 a month, going for a 10 days holiday to the US or Australia or Europe once a year is a relatively small matter.

What happened to Malaysia? In 1965 when Singapore was expelled, Malaysia had everything that the island republic glaringly lacked – ample land, a plethora of natural resources, an operating government, and 9.3 million people. Read the rest of this entry »


FDIs into Malaysia from Singapore to drop?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The outcome of the recent general election in Singapore could spell the end of many Malaysians landing good-paying jobs there and worse, put a dent on foreign direct investments (FDIs) in top notch projects here such as Iskandar Malaysia, an industry observer said.

Provectus managing principal Sreedhara Naidu said the election, which saw the People’s Action Party (PAP) lose 40 per cent of the votes, meant that Malaysia’s dependence on Singapore’s FDIs could also see a slight fall within the next three to four years as the island republic looks more inward in terms of investments.

He suggested that the government create more skilled jobs as Singapore immigration rules may be tightened, making it difficult for Malaysians to land jobs there.

“FDIs into Iskandar Malaysia and job opportunities for Malaysians, particularly in Johor, could be affected by last week’s Singapore general election outcome as the Singapore cabinet addresses key election issues that lost them 40 per cent of popular votes.

“With only 60 per cent of voters happy with PAP, the leadership will pull out all stops to quickly remedy immigration, housing, urban poverty, health services and education issues.

“They may choose to tighten skilled and semi-skilled foreign worker intake, which will affect Malaysians’ skill pool with Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia to diploma education that have traditionally looked to Singapore as an attractive destination (for employment),” Naidu said. Read the rest of this entry »


GE: “We hear all your voices”, says PM Lee

By Chitra Rajaram | Posted: 08 May 2011 0401 hrs

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says the voters have decided and he is “humbled” that they voted the PAP government back to power.

Speaking at a post-victory news conference after the General Election results were announced on Sunday, Mr Lee said voters had given the PAP a strong mandate but he is aware of the concerns and issues voters had put across.

“We hear all your voices,” said Mr Lee.

The PAP government was returned to power with a majority of 81 seats including five uncontested seats. The strong showing is a relief for Mr Lee, who was seeking his second mandate as Prime Minister.

Although it was a sweeping win in terms of seats, the PAP’s share of the popular vote slipped to 60.14 percent from 66.6 percent at the last election in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »

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S’pore’s political awakening likely to impact Johor

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | May 6, 11 5:32pm

With more than half a million Malaysians working in Singapore, the apparent political shift in the Singapore election campaign is set to shake Malaysia’s political landscape, especially in the southern state of Johor – deemed to be Umno last bastion in the peninsula.

In this polls, described by many as the toughest battle faced by ruling party People’s Action Party (PAP) since 1960s, the opposition campaign had gained impressive momentum, reflected by the attendance of animated crowds numbering in the tens of thousands at their mega-rallies over the past few days.

It has not only rung the PAP’s alarm bell but also received wide coverage from both the international and Malaysian media.

“No question, Singapore’s political opening will shape all those who are here to see politics differently, whether they are from Malaysia or Indonesia,” said Bridget Welsh, an associate professor in political science at the Singapore Management University. Read the rest of this entry »

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Singapore’s democratic opening

Bridget Welsh | May 6, 11 1:54pm


Singapore’s 2011 general election campaign has been historic, and signals a major transformation in the country’s political landscape. The intensity and tone of this campaign has been unprecedented as the ruling PAP’s (People’s Action Party) record has come under attack.

Given the impressive management of the 2008 global financial crisis and record GDP growth of 14.5% in 2010, this election should have given Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) a strong mandate and seen as a celebration of Singapore’s success.

Instead, from the first day of the campaign when thousands thronged Hougang Stadium to attend an opposition rally organised by the Worker’s Party, the PAP has been on the defensive.

A few days ago, the Singaporean premier, in a brave and unprecedented display of humility, apologised for the mistakes of ministers and failings of his government – repeatedly. This move represented an acknowledgment that all is not right in Singapore and that the concerns of many Singaporeans are not been adequately addressed.

In fact, the mood on the ground in Singapore has been one of angst, sometimes anger, as this general election campaign has stirred a revolutionary outpouring of open criticism towards the PAP. Read the rest of this entry »


Singapore’s Lee Retains Power With Smallest Margin Since 1965

Bloomberg Businessweek
By Shamim Adam and Weiyi Lim
May 07, 2011, 4:08 PM EDT

May 8 (Bloomberg) — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s People’s Action Party retained power with the smallest margin of popular votes since independence amid a record turnout that tripled the number of opposition members in parliament.

The party that has ruled Singapore for more than five decades won 81 out of 87 parliamentary seats and 60.1 percent of the popular vote in yesterday’s polls, according to the Elections Department. A record 2 million ballots were counted.

The run-up to the election brought out tens of thousands of Singaporeans to rallies in support of the PAP and the opposition parties, which resonated with citizens complaining about the rising cost of living and competition with foreigners for jobs and housing. The result adds pressure on Lee, 59, to reach out to the growing number of Singaporeans who have questioned government policies.

“The political landscape has changed forever,” Suzaina Kadir, a senior lecturer at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. “There’s serious questioning of the PAP’s continued dominance. Now the work begins for the opposition.” Read the rest of this entry »

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