Beyond the Emotive

Beyond the Emotive

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“Fake News Law” – Some Thoughts Before The Second Reading

On Tuesday, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation (POFMA) Bill goes to Parliament for Second Reading, a culmination of a month-long lively debate. Some observations before we enter the final stretch: ENGAGEMENT Ministers, and in particular Law Minister K Shanmugam, have gone out of their way to engage and respond to local critics. I…

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May Day Op-Ed: The PAP and The NTUC

In his maiden speech as DPM, Mr Heng Swee Keat spoke about the close relationship between the PAP and the NTUC, and how this helped Singapore weather many storms in ‘the early years’. THE PAST The PAP and the NTUC were close because of a shared and fraught history. The PAP split in 1961 when…

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Op Ed : Fake News Laws in Singapore

I have been wondering why there has been little traction with the objections towards the fake news laws. One criticism is that letting Ministers have the first say in take-down orders puts too much power in their hands. Apart from most Singaporeans being more interested in material values and bread and butter issues, one reason…

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Cutting service industry foreign worker quotas

I see that the Government is getting flak from all quarters for announcing that foreign workers quota for services sector will be cut. Businesses are upset as they feel they cannot employ Singaporeans for these jobs. The people are upset as they feel they don’t want these jobs in the first place, and demand that…

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Submission to Select Committee on Online Deliberate Falsehoods

Fake news exists on a spectrum. Although there would be egregious cases of obviously fake news – for example, claiming that there is a fire when there was none – most instances of fake news lie on a spectrum between news that is falsifiable, and news that is hyperpartisan but not falsifiable. In some of…

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Budget 2018: More thoughts

In the post Budget 2018 discussion, I feel there are some wong arguments, but also opinions based on value judgements where there isn’t a clear right or wrong. First, there are the usual snake oil sellers who tell you that we can spend more money without raising revenue, or insisting we should draw on our…

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Speaking at The France China Foundation, Paris 30/1/2018

A few days ago I wrote on the cultural gaps I encountered at Davos; on my way back to Singapore, I stopped by Paris and spoke at the The France China Foundation about the cultural gaps in doing business in China. I am a freestyle speaker at such talks, and don’t have a script to…

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My Thoughts on Davos 2018

So I have finally left the ‘Magic Mountain’ and am back in Zurich. The start of the World Economic Forum of Davos 2018 was chaotic, after the heaviest snowstorms in decades. Trains broke down and people started taking to the roads, leading to huge jams going into what is essentially a little village. I however…

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CHANGES TO THE POLITICAL SYSTEM – PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS 2016 January

The one thing that stood out in yesterday’s Presidential Address was the remarks about possible changes to Singapore’s political system. As I have argued before, whilst the PAP still has its 2/3 majority, it needs to implement constitutional changes to safeguard the future of Singapore, and ensure we avoid the degeneration that Western political systems…

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An Act of War

President Hollande has finally called the Paris attacks what they really are – an act of war. It is inane to characterise these and similar attacks as mere acts of terror or the acts of religious extremists. ISIS has grown into a state that both operates within a physical, geographical domain in the Middle East,…

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