ONG TENG CHEONG: THE PRESIDENT WHO DARED TO CHALLENGE THE PAP'S NONSENSE

Ong Teng Cheong was more than willing to use his powers for the good of people, demanding the access of information regarding Singapore's financial reserves after he became President in 1993. The PAP objected, saying that it would take 56 man-years to produce a dollar-and-cents value of the immovable assets thereby depriving Ong of his legitimate powers. Eventually, a negotiation was settled and even so, it took the accountant and auditor general 3 years to declare a list of all government its properties.

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SingPost is the Top Postal Agency in the World

Singapore Post (SingPost) is again the top postal agency in the world, according to a study by global management consulting company Accenture. It tops the list in the study "Achieving High Performance in the Postal Industry: Accenture Research and Insights 2013", which covered postal agencies in 24 countries.

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Botanic Gardens one step closer to UNESCO

The National Parks Board and the National Heritage Board yesterday jointly announced the submission of the Singapore Botanic Gardens for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The submission document contained details of the Gardens’ historical, economic and socio-cultural importance, and Singapore’s long-term commitment towards the Gardens’ protection should UNESCO choose to awarded it World Heritage status.

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The Right to be Right (Wing)

The gay community want a repeal of 377A saying that the law is not enforced, is not enough, it has to be discarded. What is next on the gay agenda if or when 377A is repealed is same-sex marriage, and thereafter adoption of children. Some say it is a slippery slope argument, others say it is a natural evolution of an englightened society where everyone has the right to get married and then have children, including gays. The conservatives in Singapore have largely remained silent on this, apart from a few churches. They might not remain silent for long if the anger in France is a barometer of increasing right wing pressure as a reaction to the gay lobby.

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Personal answers to national questions

So the Prime Minister fielded questions at an undergraduate forum yesterday. One question was from a foreign student who lamented on behalf of his Singapore friends that doing National Service was only delaying the start of their careers. Nice of him to speak for his friends, but weren’t they in the audience too? Too scared to speak up or were they setting up their foreign friend for a robust rebuttal? In any case, PM Lee was quite kind but firm in insisting that NS should stay.

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SINGAPORE AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE CALLS FOR OMBUDSMAN SYSTEM IN SINGAPORE

Tommy Koh, Singapore's ambassador-at-large, has said that he wants to see Singapore implement an ombudsman system. With an ombudsman system, individuals can have a process to have government decisions reviewed. An ombudsman is an independent reviewer who can take up complaints and review whether certain decisions were equitable.

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MediShield Life premiums to be at Medisave levels

Under a subsidy framework, premiums for the MediShield Life scheme will be kept to levels within that of annual contributions Singaporeans make to their Medisave accounts, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday, as he reiterated that the universal coverage for life plan will be affordable for all.

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Chinese New Year Celebration of Old Singapore

Some traditions survive the test of time. Others disappear due to certain circumstances. Lion dances, angpows, Mandarin oranges and auspicious couplets have always been the items commonly seen in Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore. More than 40 years ago, there was also another item deemed indispensable for the most important festival for the local Chinese. It was the firecracker.

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