BCA is a statutory board of the MND

The Building and Construction Authority (Abbreviation: BCA; Chinese: 建设局) is a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development of the Singapore Government. It was established on 1 April 1999 through the merger of the Construction Industry Development Board and the Building Control Division of the former Public Works Department.

Why would construction demand projected increase if there is slower growth?

BCA expects private sector construction demand to moderate to $12-15 billion in 2013, in light of slower domestic economic growth and continued global economic uncertainties.

For 2014 and 2015, the average construction demand is projected to be $20–28 billion per annum.
http://www.bca.gov.sg/newsroom/others/pr16012013_CP.pdf

What is the government’s standard of “buildability” and “constructability”? What are the improvements in “standards”?

BCA said: “To set a benchmark for the rest of the industry to follow, the government will take the lead by requiring public sector projects to adopt buildability and constructability standards higher than the new minimum requirements.”
http://www.bca.gov.sg/newsroom/others/pr11032013_P.pdf

Why is the public not involved in deliberating these standards?

What criteria are being used in regards to quality, management, capability and innovations?

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) gave out 31 awards for construction excellence this year. Comprising 18 awards and 13 certificates of merit, this is the highest number in the 27-year history of the award.
http://www.bca.gov.sg/newsroom/others/pr24042013_CEA.pdf

Shouldn’t all HDB contractors be qualified for Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Award too?
If HDB contractors did not receive such awards, what does that mean?
Does that mean HDB flats built by these contractors are not good enough?
Is that why some HDB flats have ceiling leaking and piping problems as reported in the press from time to time?

What has BCA got to say for JEM mall ceiling collapse?

Three people were injured after part of the first-floor ceiling at the new JEM shopping mall in Jurong East collapsed.
http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/three-injured-after-first-floor-ceiling-jem-mall-collapses-20130918

How can the ceiling of a newly built shopping mall collapse?
This is almost unheard of in Singapore.
According to BCA’s own web page, it said, “We ensure high safety standards and promote quality excellence in the built environment.”
http://www.bca.gov.sg/AboutUs/about_bca.html

You call this “high safety standards” and “quality excellence” with ceiling of a shopping mall crashing down and hurting people?
Furthermore, we are not talking of a mall that is 100 years old.
It’s a newly constructed mall just launched this year.
What has BCA got to say about this?

If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation, you will be sued for defamation as asking question will cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the BCA as well as the manner in which the BCA conducts its affairs and/or business, giving rise to an imputation that the BCA is dishonest and/or unethical.

WDA is a statutory board of the MOM

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (Abbreviation: WDA; Chinese: 新加坡劳动力发展局) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Manpower of the Singapore Government.

What is productivity?
What are the statistics for the real 20th percentile and the median wage growth (excluding employer CPF contribution) for all Singaporean workers (full-time and part-time) for the last 5 and 10 years?
How is rise in living standard for Singaporeans defined?

"Over the past decade, Singapore’s economy grew by an average of 5% per annum. Singapore’s productivity growth over the same period averaged about 1% per annum, a rate on par with that of other developed countries. The broad majority of Singaporeans also enjoyed real wage growth and a rise in living standards." - Really?
http://www.mom.gov.sg/skills-training-and-development/productivity/Pages/what-is-productivity.aspx

Who were the people involved in the study?
Did it involve all industries?
What is the sample size?
Can the actual number of people and statistics' results be shown to the public?

An independent Longitudinal Study initiated by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) in 2012 found that individuals who achieved (SOAs) received higher wages compared to those without SOAs.
http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/singapore-employees-complete-wda-training-012700018.html

How is the $13 million being spent?
How many companies (of what size) have received the funding in which industries and how has low-wage Singaporeans benefited, as well as how many Singaporean workers? How many received a pay rise and by how much after completing the training?

To nudge more firms to help workers upgrade their skills to earn higher pay, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) yesterday launched a $13 million training fund for those in the oil, petrochemical, energy and chemical sectors.
http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20121108-382178.html

How many Singaporeans did sign up for the programme?
Can there be elaboration on the number of Singaporeans who are showing support towards this?

Retirees and housewives are spurning a government scheme to woo them to work as security guards.
Launched a year ago, the programme that targets the two groups to ease manpower shortage in the security sector has not taken off, revealed the Singapore Police Force and Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
Why? Is it because primarily that the pay per hour as computed from the media reports last August when the scheme was launched - was only about $4?
http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20130716-437563.html

Money is being spent to groom Singaporeans or foreigners?
Did WDA ensure jobs are going to Singaporeans?
How many of the 32,500 employment change (jobs created) in the last quarter went to Singaporeans, PRs and foreigners? (Note: the number of unemployed locals increased by 25,300 to 83,000 (non-seasonally adjusted) last quarter and the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Singaporeans increased to 4 per cent)
So, does this mean that most of the jobs created did not go to Singaporeans?

Singapore has experienced a huge influx of people, particularly in the past 10 years or so. Our population has surged from four million in 2000 to 5.3 million last year. As our citizen growth rate has remained relatively low, the proportion of PRs and foreigners has increased.
Why is it that despite the consistent rhetoric in the last two years or so that the influx of foreign workers and immigration will be curtailed - the population growth rate of foreigners and PRs increased from 2011 to 2012, according to the Department of Statistics?
http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/forum-letters/story/foreigner-influx-matter-too-many-too-fast-20130301


BY: Han Hui Hui and Leong Sze Hian

If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation, you will be sued for defamation as asking question will cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the WDA as well as the manner in which the WDA conducts its affairs and/or business, giving rise to an imputation that the WDA is dishonest and/or unethical.

NEA is a statutory board of the MEWR

National Environment Agency (Abbreviation: NEA; Chinese: 国家环境局; Malay: Agensi Sekitaran Kebangsaan) formed on 1 July 2002, is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in Singapore.
As a statutory board, it gives NEA greater administrative autonomy to be more nimble in the protection of the environment.

Singapore's electricity tariff is one of the most expensive in the world?
Why is price of electricity not decreasing when Singapore is heading towards Energy Efficiency, and economies of scale?

The Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) was launched in April 2010 with 49 founding partners.
The EENP is an industry outreach programme by NEA, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).
Since the launch of the EENP in 2010, the number of partners has increased from 49 to 95 companies as of end March 2011, with partners from sectors such as electronics, wafer fabrication, refinery/petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.
http://www.nea.gov.sg/cms/ar2011/safeguard-6.html

Haze plans?
What policy has been implemented to curb haze problems over the decades?
Is there any emergency plan to stop outdoor work?

http://www.nea.gov.sg/psi/
Singapore has been affected by severe smoke haze due to forest fires in the region periodically. This is due to the common practise of open burning to clear land for agricultural uses. It can be made worse by dry seasons, changes in wind direction and poor precipitation. Prevailing winds sometimes carry smoke haze produced by the forest fires over Singapore’s skies. This is especially so during the Southwest Monsoon Season.
http://app2.nea.gov.sg/anti-pollution-radiation-protection/air-pollution/haze#sthash.hIlJrCTk.dpuf


Centralised dishwashing in hawker centres?
What new technologies will be used?
Will Singaporeans be paying more or less for food in hawker centres?
How much is it going to cost and will the statistics be announced to the public?

In 2012, it was announced that public cleaning will be integrated and managed by a new department under the National Environment Agency (NEA) – the Department of Public Cleanliness (DPC). This initiative hopes to improve cleanliness standards in the long run and allow greater integration of cleaning works for better service quality and efficiency. DPC will leverage on technology to achieve this.
http://app2.nea.gov.sg/docs/default-source/corporate/cos-2013/factsheet-on-department-of-public-cleanliness-(dpc)-factsheet-on-licensing-and-accreditation-of-the-cleaning-industry.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Is NEA being used as a political tool?
Drama spiced up Parliament proceedings on Tuesday when Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan accused members of the Workers' Party of lying over the issue of the cleaning of hawker centres in a constituency overseen by the opposition group.
Balakrishnan said Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh, chairman and vice-chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), respectively, made “false” and “untruthful” statements.
Balakrishnan said a group of hawkers had emailed a property manager of the town council to confirm the spring cleaning of the hawker centres. They were told to liaise with the National Environment Agency (NEA) as “spring cleaning is a practice set by NEA”.
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/vivian-balakrishnan--sylvia-lim-trade-barbs-over-hawker-cleaning-saga--133407793.html

Hazy?
Since NEA knows when the haze will come - then why did it take about 60 hours (from the time the PSI exceeded 300) to distribute the face masks to the retailers for sale to the public as well as the one million masks for free distribution to 200,000 needy families?
Why was there a shortage of masks in Singapore?

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in its daily media conference that the 24-hour PSI forecast for Wednesday (26 June) is expected to be in the moderate band of 51-100. The forecast for the PM2.5 level remain elevated in the unhealthy range, thus the health advisory will follow that of the "Unhealthy" band of PSI 101-200. This means that healthy people should still minimise prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical activity while those who suffer from chronic lung and heart problems should wear an N95 mask when outdoors.

Be prepared?
Can the NEA announce and prepare Singaporeans as to exactly what they should do and can expect from the NEA, if the haze returns?
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/nea--be-prepared-for-haze-to-return--132520202.html

BY: Han Hui Hui and Leong Sze Hian

If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation, you will be sued for defamation as asking question will cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the NEA as well as the manner in which the NEA conducts its affairs and/or business, giving rise to an imputation that the NEA is dishonest and/or unethical.

HPB is the statutory board of the MOH

The Health Promotion Board (Abbreviation: HPB; Chinese: 新加坡保健促进局; pinyin: Xīnjiāpō Bǎojiàn Cùjìn Jú) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Singapore. It was established in 2001 to act as the main driver for national health promotion and disease prevention programmes.

Healthcare: Some issues and questions?
Ministry of Health and other agencies
Where is the National emergency haze plan?
Why was there no emergency order during the June 2013 Haze period?

PSI value of 301-400 is in the Hazardous range and one must avoid all unnecessary outdoor activity.

Was there a lack of co-ordination between the different Ministries and agencies?
Was there a national haze emergency plan, given that the haze has been around for about two decades?

Every Ministry has own plan, after the event?
If so, why is it that after the PSI had hit 401, then only did apparently almost every Ministry started to announce their individual haze emergency plans?
Shouldn't there be just one co-ordinated national haze emergency plan?
http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/HPB051226

More can't afford supposedly lowest classes of healthcare?
Is the cost of healthcare increasing so much that more Singaporeans can't even pay for their medical bills in the lowest class C and B2 wards in the public hospitals? As evidenced by more money being injected into Medifund, and the need to establish more recently - Medifund Silver and Medifund Junior?

Healthcare funding?
Why are we transferring huge amounts almost every year to the Medifund Endowment funds and apparently only using the interest every year, instead of what most countries do - that is to fund healthcare as direct expenditure from the Budget?
Do such endowment fund transfers result in under-reporting of Budget surpluses, especially if we apply the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fiscal reporting standards?

With the latest injection of $600 million in FY2012, the Ministry of Health (MOH) was able to extend Medifund to non-residential ILTC services from 1 April 2012. MOH was also able to set aside another $10 million of interest income over the next five years, from 1 March 2013, in Medifund Junior to help more families with needy children below the age of 18 years to defray their healthcare costs. MOH will continue to strengthen the social safety net to make sure no needy Singapore Citizen is denied healthcare due to the inability to pay.
http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/pressRoom/pressRoomItemRelease/2013/Medifund-Reaches-More-Needy-And-Elderly-Patients.html

5th dengue death?
What are we doing to curb Dengue Fever? How effective have our efforts been, considering that we just had the fifth death - is this a historical high? Are we losing the fight against preventing fatalities from dengue?

http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/singapores-record-dengue-outbreak-claims-121800953.html
Dengue fever is a mosquito borne disease caused by dengue virus which is usually self-limiting in most cases.
However, in some people it can present with life threatening complications such Dengue Shock Syndrome and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever.
The most effective way of preventing dengue fever is by taking precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/dandc-article/492

Share of healthcare spending?
How much will Singaporeans have to pay in cash?
Shouldn't there be targets to achieve, such as a 10 per cent increase in the government's share per year, until it hits say 75 per cent by say 2017?

Otherwise, it may just be another pure rhetoric, with no measurable benchmarks.
The government will take on a greater share of national spending, from the current one-third to about 40 per cent and possibly even further, depending on various factors such as demographics, and the ability to manage healthcare costs and target the subsidies, Singapore's Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/review-of-healthcare-fina/602900.html

More revenue or less smoking?
The Health Promotion Board wants the public's views on what should be done to lower smoking rates in Singapore.
Has the never ending increase in tobacco taxes been very effective in bringing down smoking rates?
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/hpb-launches-public-consultation-exercis/694846.html

Medisave vs out-of-pocket expenses?
More money deducted from Medisave or out of pocket?
Is there any statistics on the share between the (allowable) use of Medisave and out-of-pocket expenses?
Since the government's share of total healthcare spending is only about a third, what about Medisave and out-of-pocket expenses?

Such statistics may give a better picture and understanding of how well our healthcare system is working, particularly for lower-income Singaporeans.
To ensure that this programme is assessable to all, the Ministry has engaged the support of more than 700 GP clinics and GP groups around Singapore to provide systematic, evidence-based chronic disease management programmes. To reduce the out-of-pocket cash payments for outpatient bills, you can use your family member's or your own Medisave (up to 10 accounts) of up to $400 per account per year. Each claim is subject to a deductible of $30 and 15% copayment.
http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/policies-and-issues/elderly_healthcare.html


BY: Han Hui Hui and Leong Sze Hian

If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation, you will be sued for defamation as asking question will cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the HPB as well as the manner in which the HPB conducts its affairs and/or business, giving rise to an imputation that the HPB is dishonest and/or unethical.

PUB is the statutory board of the MEWR

Water: Some issues and questions?
PUB is a statutory board under the MEWR
The Public Utilities Board (Abbreviation: PUB; Chinese: 公用事业局; Malay: Lembaga Kemudahan Awam) is a statutory board of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Price not decreasing?
Why is the price not decreasing when Singapore is heading towards self-sufficiency and economies of scale?

Water conservation tax 30 to 45%?
Why is it that we still continue to levy a water conservation tax (implemented in 1991) of 30 per cent on consumers?

The water conservation tax was increased from 10 to 15 per cent decades ago during former finance minister Mr Richard Hu's tenure.
http://worldwaterconservation.com/Singapore.html

When was it raised further to 30 per cent (45 per cent for consumption above 40 m3)?
Is ours one of the highest water taxes in the world?

U-SAVE for water only?
The PUB's web site states that "Government Grant to help the low-income families, the Government has been providing grants in the form of U-SAVE vouchers to help offset their utility bills, including water expenses. In 2013, a household staying in one to three room flats received an annual U-SAVE voucher of $240 to $260 (or average about $20 to $22 per month), compared to the average water bill of less than $35 a month. This twin approach of conservation and targeted assistance ensures that all Singaporeans have access to affordable, high quality water for the long term."
The above statement may give the erroneous impression that the U-SAVE voucher is enough to pay for about 60 per cent ($21 divided by $35) of water bills, because the U-SAVE voucher is also meant to help pay for the electricity component in utility bills as well.

Singapore uses two separate systems to collect rainwater and used water. Rainwater is collected through a comprehensive network of drains, canals, rivers and storm water collection ponds before it is channelled to Singapore's 17 reservoirs for storage. This makes Singapore one of the few countries in the world to harvest urban storm water on a large scale for its water supply.
The newest reservoirs are Punggol and Serangoon Reservoirs which are our 16th and 17th reservoirs. By 2011, the water catchment area has increased from half to two-thirds of Singapore’s land surface with the completion of the Marina, Punggol and Serangoon reservoirs.
With all the major estuaries already dammed to create reservoirs, PUB aims to harness water from the remaining streams and rivulets near the shoreline using technology that can treat water of varying salinity. This will boost Singapore’s water catchment area to 90% by 2060.
http://www.pub.gov.sg/water/Pages/LocalCatchment.aspx

Due to sound watershed management, effective water treatment processes and continued investments in R&D, Singaporeans have been enjoying good quality water for the last four decades.
Singapore’s tap water is well within the World Health Organisation drinking water guidelines, and is suitable for drinking without any further filtration.
http://www.pub.gov.sg/water/Pages/default.aspx

Why is it that apparently, the detailed statistics regarding catchment and usage are not available to the public?
$1.03b profits last 5 years?

According to its annual report 2012, its Net income after Grant and after Contribution to GCF (Government Consolidated Fund) and Tax was $97.3 million, and retained earnings were $376.7 million.
Its total Net income after Grant and after Contribution to GCF (Government Consolidated Fund) and Tax was a whopping $1.03 billion, from FY 2007 to FY 2011.
http://www.pub.gov.sg/annualreport2012/images/PUB_AR12_web.pdf

Why is it that after the now infamous remarks when flash floods occurred in Orchard Road a few years ago - "once in 50 years" - flash floods seem to continue unabated as recently as June this year?
http://www.pub.gov.sg/managingflashfloods/Pages/recent.aspx
Singapore is divided into 3 watershed management catchments for effective drainage management and control. Each catchment is managed by a catchment management team responsible for planning and implementing control strategies to achieve effective drainage within the respective catchment areas.
http://www.pub.gov.sg/products/drainage/Pages/Drainage.aspx

Implications of NEWater?
Is the implementation of NEWater in any way connected to the increase in PUB bills?
How much are we paying to private companies for NEWater?

The first NEWater plants were opened in Bedok and Kranji in 2003, followed by Ulu Pandan plant in March 2007.
The largest NEWater plant at Changi with a capacity of 50mgd opened in May 2010. With this addition, coupled with the expansion of the existing plants, NEWater now meets 30% of Singapore’s total water demand.
http://www.pub.gov.sg/products/NEWater/Pages/default.aspx

Are we paying more after investing money on resources for recycling into NEWater?
Water is a precious resource and the next available sources of water (NEWater and desalinated water) are more expensive to produce than conventional sources of water (local catchment water and imported water). Hence, the price of water in Singapore is set to reflect its scarcity value – the cost of producing clean water from the next available source after all the rainwater collected had been used.
http://www.pub.gov.sg/general/Pages/WaterTariff.aspx

Is Singapore the worst environmental offender?
A NATIONAL University of Singapore (NUS) study which ranked Singapore as the worst environmental offender among 179 countries has drawn a sharp response from the Government, but its authors are standing by it.
Singapore's headlong rush into developing a modern megalopolis over the last 30 years had taken a terrible toll on its natural environment.
Singapore's rapid development in the last 30 years has seen it lose 90 per cent of its forest, 67 per cent of its birds, about 40 per cent of its mammals and 5 per cent of its amphibians and reptiles.
The negative rating is not the first Singapore has received in environmental studies.
http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20100514-216266.html


BY: Han Hui Hui and Leong Sze Hian

If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation, you will be sued for defamation as asking question will cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the PUB as well as the manner in which the PUB conducts its affairs and/or business, giving rise to an imputation that the PUB is dishonest and/or unethical.

CPF is the statutory board of the MOM

CPF: Some issues and questions?
The CPF Board is a statutory board under the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
In Singapore, the Central Provident Fund (Abbreviation: CPF; Chinese: 公积金, Pinyin: Gōngjījīn) is a compulsory comprehensive savings plan for working Singaporeans and permanent residents primarily to fund their retirement, healthcare, and housing needs.

Highest pension contribution rate in the world?
Working Singaporeans and their employers make monthly contributions of up to 36 per cent of their salary to the CPF and these contributions go into three accounts:
Ordinary Account - the savings can be used to buy a home, pay for CPF approved insurance schemes (CPF: Issues and questions?), investment and education.
Special Account - for old age and investment in SA (Special Account) approved financial products.
Medisave Account - the savings can be used for hospitalisation expenses and approved medical insurance schemes.

Many not aware of CPF usage for housing limits?
The maximum amount of CPF you can use is a percentage of the lower of the purchase price or the value of the property at the time of purchase, subject to the Valuation and Housing Withdrawal Limits (where applicable).
http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/my-cpf/buy-house/CPFHousing_Leaflet.htm

CPF education use limits?
Under the Education Scheme, you can use your CPF savings to pay for your children’s local tertiary education at the approved institutions. CPF savings cannot be used for overseas education. If you are planning to use your CPF savings for your children’s education, do note that there is a limit on the amount of CPF savings that can be used.
Another issue is why is it that CPF cannot be used for private universities including SIM?
http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/my-cpf/have-child/HC5.htm

The Medisave withdrawal limits are generally sufficient to pay the charges incurred by a patient staying in a Class B2/C ward in a restructured (public) hospital. However, should you or your dependants decide to stay in higher class wards or seek treatment from private hospitals, you or your dependants may have to pay part of the bill in cash.

Non-standard illnesses?
Also, if your illness, treatment or medicines are classified as non-standard - the costs may be very high and way beyond the Medisave eligibility and withdrawal limits, or Medishield cover.
http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/my-cpf/Healthcare/PvdHC3.htm

Ever increasing CPF Minimum Sum, MRA, etc?
From July 1 2013, CPF members who turn 55 between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014 will need to set aside a minimum sum of S$148,000 in their Retirement Account.
The minimum sum for those who turned 55 in 2012 was S$139,000.
http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/cpf-minimum-sum-raised-to-s-148-000-for-those-aged-55-and-above-144411548.html

You will need to set aside the CPF Minimum Sum (MS) in your Retirement Account (RA). If you have the full MS but have less than the Medisave Required Amount (MRA), you are required to make a top-up to your Medisave Account with part of the CPF balances from your OA and/or SA to meet the prevailing MRA ($38,500).
http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/my-cpf/reach-55/Reach55-1.htm

CPF Life?
You will be placed on CPF LIFE if you are a Singapore citizen or permanent resident born in 1958 or after, and have at least:
$40,000 in your Retirement Account (RA) when you reach 55 years old; or
$60,000 in your RA when you reach your drawdown age (DDA) of age 65
http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Gen-Info/CPF_LIFE/CPF_LIFE.htm

Since January 2013, the Medisave Required Amount (MRA) in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) was raised to S$38,500 from S$32,000 in 2012.
The MRA refers to the amount that must be set aside in the Medisave Account, after the CPF Minimum Sum requirement has been met.

How many have more than $177,500 in their CPF at 55?
In other words, for those who can meet the MS of $148,000, they must also meet the MRA of $38,500 - a total of $177,500 being held back in their CPF before they can withdraw the excess at age 55.



Low fixed pay-outs for the lower-income?
Some of our lower-income elderly have been questioning about the high minimum sums required in the different accounts. The low CPF Life annuity pay-outs for those with low RA balances which are not indexed for inflation may cause financial hardship, as the low pay-outs may not be enough for their basic survival needs. For such Singaporeans, why make CPF Life compulsory for them?

How many know the CPF usage risks of HDB bank loans?
Some young couples have also been asking questions about the restrictions on the use of CPF for their HDB flat (Valuation and Housing Withdrawal Limits) and children's tertiary tuition fees. (Note: New or resale HDB flats on HDB Concessionary loans (not bank loans) are not affected by these limits)

Workfare?
Some people in the working population have also been criticizing or have raised questions regarding CPF’s deduction policies, such as the high proportion of Workfare pay-outs that go to the CPF account instead of as cash. For the self-employed, the entire Workfare pay-outs goes to CPF, and thus does not help the disposable income cash flows of these older (age 35 and above) lower-income Singaporeans.

BY: Han Hui Hui and Leong Sze Hian

If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation, you will be sued for defamation as asking question will cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the CPF as well as the manner in which the CPF conducts its affairs and/or business, giving rise to an imputation that the CPF is dishonest and/or unethical.

HDB is the statutory board of the MND



Q: How do you feel when Leslie decided to apologise?

A: Actually when Leslie apologized, I was shocked but I understand why he does it.
Because since he apologized already, he can continue his cartoons and his cartoons actually educate a lot of Singaporeans that even the government take notice of it.
If the government doesn’t know about him or doesn’t appreciate his works or his works are lies he doesn’t have to be silenced through the AGC.
Like if let’s say I, initially they started to say that I’m fabricating lies.
But if I really am fabricating lies, then they could have stand up and talk about my case as well.
They don’t have to send the AGC as well as the biggest law firm against me.
These are all taxpayers’ money.
Why don’t we use all these taxpayers’ money to better benefit the Singaporeans out there?
Like we can build better house for them, they don’t have to live in a six by six.

Six by six is HDB's 35 square metres Studio Apartments (SA) designed to meet the needs of elderly residents.
http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10321p.nsf/w/BuyingNewFlatStudioApt

The Housing and Development Board (Abbreviation: HDB; Simplified Chinese: 建屋发展局; Malay: Lembaga Pembangunan dan Perumahan; Tamil: வீடமைப்பு வளர்ச்சிக் கழகம்) is the statutory board of the Ministry of National Development responsible for public housing in Singapore.

If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation:
-Our elderly will not be able to question the HDB about the small size of the flat or the facilities.
-Young couples will not be able to question the HDB about when their next BTO will be.
-Current HDB owners will not be able to criticize the HDB the features or raise questions regarding HDB’s flats.

If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation, you will be sued for defamation as asking question will cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the HDB as well as the manner in which the HDB conducts its affairs and/or business, giving rise to an imputation that the HDB is dishonest and/or unethical.

Singapore’s real 2013 National Day Message

Diminutive Han Hui Hui has just made a monkey out of our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with her 2013 National Day speech at the Hong Lim Park on 9th August.

Hui Hui’s speech should be Singapore’s National Day Message.

If the Straits Times are to claim that it is our national mouthpiece and that it delivers fair, unbiased and even reports then it must put Hui Hui’s speech on their front-page broadsheet tomorrow and verbatim. After all is this not the stuff that Yacoob Ibrahim wants Singaporeans to hear and read?

Little Hui Hui took on a Goliath – Allen & Gledhill representing the Council for Private Education (CPE), a statutory body under the Ministry of Education (MOE). Her lawyer, Singaporeans’ only (and best) Human Rights lawyer Mr M Ravi has done it again. Mr Ravi is arguing that the freedom of speech and expression, enshrined in article 14 of the Singapore Constitution, protects citizens from any defamation proceedings by the government and public bodies. The right to sue for defamation is reserved only for individuals and private entities, and not public bodies.

The CPE had threatened Hui Hui with defamation proceedings following two emails they received from her, which they regard as defamatory.

Hui Hui we salute you.

As I replay the video of her speech, I cannot help but think our Prime Minister is totally deaf to Singaporeans’ cries for help. Here I am talking about one of our most fundamental and basic constitutional rights – the right to free speech. Only last week we heard how Leslie Chew had to apologise.

Never mind about the Prime Minister’s goals “for all Singaporeans to enjoy the fruits of growth”. If we can’t even tell the Prime Minister that his fruits are rotten and not be sued, then we do not want his fruits.

Richard Lu

Source: http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/08/11/singapore%E2%80%99s-real-2013-national-day-message/

Mr Heng, how to trust Govt when your agency is going after S’poreans?

At the annual dinner of the Economic Society of Singapore held in Mandarin Orchard Hotel last week (6 Aug), Education Minister Heng Swee Keat gave a speech called “The Singapore Economy: Confronting Challenges Anew”.

In his speech, Mr Heng talked about trust between the government and the people.

He said, “The one key ingredient that holds everything together is trust. One of our OSC findings is that Singaporeans want to contribute towards building our common future. This is heartening.”

“The next step is how we strengthen trust and accountability between the Government and fellow Singaporeans, and how we promote mutual understanding among Singaporeans in an increasingly diverse Singapore.”

Mr Heng added, “There must be implicit mutual trust between the public and its leaders and government, and the inclination for the public to support each other as a community and make personal sacrifices for the mutual good.”

“The OSC is part of the process of building adaptive capacity, allowing Singaporeans to engage one another on issues close to our hearts, see how the perfect solution may not suit another, and learn to compromise so as to shape the Singapore they hope to see in the future. The OSC process is critical in building trust.”

It is true that OSC can help to build trust between the government and the people with more communication and engagement. But on the other hand, trust cannot be gained if government agencies continue to sue Singaporeans for defamation just because they use the “wrong language”. After all, the ordinary Singaporeans are not legally trained.

In fact, in the first case of its kind in Singapore, a 21-year-old Singaporean, Han Hui Hui, has applied to the High Court for a declaration that the Council for Private Education (CPE), a statutory body under the Ministry of Education (MOE), is not entitled to bring any defamation action against her (‘Blogger files High Court application challenging statutory board’s legitimacy to sue for defamation‘).

Her counsel, M Ravi, is arguing that the freedom of speech and expression, enshrined in Article 14 of the Singapore Constitution, protects citizens from any defamation proceedings by the government and public bodies. The right to sue for defamation is reserved for individuals and private entities, and does not extend to public bodies.

The CPE had threatened Ms Han with defamation proceedings by way of letter of demand through their lawyers, following 2 emails they received from Ms Han, which they regarded as defamatory.

Who dares to communicate with government agencies anymore since putting things the wrong way can invite a defamation lawsuit?

How to trust the government with lawyer’s letters flying around, Mr Heng?

Related: A netizen’s defamation battle with stat board CPE

Source: http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/08/11/mr-heng-how-to-trust-govt-when-your-agency-is-going-after-sporeans/

Han Hui Hui’s 2013 National Day Speech



Good afternoon everyone, my name is Han Hui Hui.
On 15th April this year, I received a letter of demand from Singapore’s biggest law firm, Allen and Gledhill.
It states that I’ve defamed the council for private education through my email.
I was only 21 years old and I was puzzled.

How can them, CPE, a statutory board, a government body threaten to sue me a Singaporean for defamation?
How is asking questions defamatory?
Where is our freedom of speech?
Is this what they call a fair and just society last night?

So I sent the letter of demand to more than ten law firms out there but they were afraid to take up this case.
That was when I know our courageous lawyer Mr M Ravi.
As a human rights lawyer, he explained that the freedom of speech, enshrined in article 14 of the Singapore constitution, protects Singaporeans from defamation proceedings by the government and public bodies.
The right to sue for defamation is reserved only for individuals and private entities, not public bodies.

On 19th April, I went to the high court to seek declaration that CPE being a government body does not have the rights to sue or threaten to sue Singaporeans for defamation.
I’m now seeking protection against this defamation suit via the constitution and the ordinary laws of the land.
This lawsuit is not for anyone but for everyone, for the entire Singapore population, for the sake of our freedom of speech.
I took up this case not because I’m against the government but because of the love for our country, the need to protect human rights, our constitutional rights, our freedom of speech, our basic citizens’ rights.

Who does the CPE reports to? The ministry of education.
Who does MOE reports to? The parliament.
Who pays them their salary? Us, we the taxpayers.
How can they use our money to sue us for defamation?

The attorney general’s chamber is now involved as well.
The fact that AGC, the government is being involved further shows that our stand that the CPE a government body under Ministry of education does not have the right to sue for defamation.
If public bodies funded by the public, can sue for defamation this will result in a stifling of criticisms, or genuine grievances, especially from those who do not have such an amount of resources.
How can they use their public fund to sue us?

We should not allow public bodies to use lawsuits to silence criticisms against them.
Why is the government going against our most creative cartoonist Mr Leslie Chew?
Did any of his work Demon-cratic caused violence or people to have inability to pay their bills or be forced to leave the country?
We need to build a stronger and more inclusive Singapore so can we have our freedom of speech to hear the voice of everyone?
So our constitutional rights must be upheld against being sued for defamation by public bodies.

Statutory board being a governmental body does not have the rights to sue or threaten to sue Singaporeans.
I can forget about this case, I can forget about this lawsuit, I don’t have to fight this lawsuit especially when they’re trying to negotiate with me now.
But I want to protect the rights of all other Singaporeans out there.
Should we fight for our constitutional rights and the future of Singaporeans?

How would we ever know even if they are in the wrong?
If we do not love Singapore, if we do not love our own country, would we be here today?
Singaporeans, it’s time for us to play our part for the sake of our future.
Thank you very much.

Happy national day and Selemat Hari Raya.

In Singapore, statutory board includes:

Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star)
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)
Board of Architects (BOA)
Building and Construction Authority (BCA)
Central Provident Fund Board (CPF)
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore (CRA)
Civil Service College (CSC)
Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS)
Council for Estate Agencies (CEA)
Council for Private Education (CPE)
Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)
Economic Development Board (EDB)
Energy Market Authority (EMA)
Health Promotion Board (HPB)
Health Sciences Authority (HSA)
Hindu Endowments Board (HEB)
Hotels Licensing Board (HLB)
Housing and Development Board (HDB)
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
Institute of Technical Education (ITE)
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)
International Enterprise Singapore (IE)
JTC Corporation (JTC)
Land Transport Authority (LTA)
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS)
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)
Media Development Authority (MDA)
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)
National Arts Council (NAC)
National Council of Social Service (NCSS)
National Environment Agency (NEA)
National Heritage Board (NHB)
National Library Board (NLB)
National Parks Board (NParks)
Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP)
People's Association (PA)
Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB)
Professional Engineers Board, Singapore (PEB)
Public Transport Council (PTC)
Public Utilities Board (PUB)
Republic Polytechnic (RP)
Science Centre Board (SCB)
Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC)
Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC)
Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE)
Singapore Dental Council (SDC)
Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB)
Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF)
Singapore Land Authority (SLA)
Singapore Medical Council (SMC)
Singapore Nursing Board (SNB)
Singapore Pharmacy Council (SPC)
Singapore Polytechnic (SP)
Singapore Sports Council (SSC)
Singapore Totalisator Board (Tote Board)
Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
SPRING Singapore (SPRING)
TCM Practitioners Board (TCMPB)
Temasek Polytechnic (TP)
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)

AGC to be joined as party in blogger’s case involving stat board

The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has indicated that it has “no objections to being joined as a party” in the case brought by blogger Ms Han Hui Hui involving a statutory board.

Ms Han is being sued by the Council of Private Education (CPE) for libel with regards to two emails Ms Han had sent to various parties alleging impropriety on the part of CPE corporate communications manager Andy Ong.

In April, Ms Han applied to the courts to declare that since the CPE is a public and statutory body, it cannot sue for libel. She also claimed her legal right to freedom of speech under Article 14 of the Constitution.

At the pre-trial conference on 8 May, the court’s senior assistant registrar instructed CPE’s lawyers, Allen and Gledhill (A&G), to enquire with the AGC if it wished to be joined in the proceedings.
The AGC replied to A&G on 16 May that it had no objection to this. However, the AGC said it did “not necessarily agree” with the CPE’s position on two points, namely:

- That the Government’s presence before the Court is necessary.

- That it would be “just and convenient” to determine the questions arising from the case, with the Government.

At the heart of the case is the question of whether a public body, such as the CPE which is a statutory board under the Ministry of Education, can sue an individual for libel or defamation.

There is also the issue of whether it is fair for public bodies to use public funds for this, while individuals may not have such resources.

In her submissions to the Court, Ms Han said, “Because the actions and policies of public bodies have such high impact and stakes, it is unacceptable that they can silence criticism through fear in the form of litigation.

“My constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression protects the ordinary citizen against such potential abuse, and because public bodies have more than enough means to defend themselves and their reputations in the first place, my constitutional right should be upheld against being sued for defamation by any public body.”

There are more than 60 statutory boards in Singapore – which provides public service from housing to healthcare to education and the Arts - and the Court’s ruling will have impact on criticisms of these public bodies, and the rights to free expression of members of the public. If public bodies, funded by the public, can sue for defamation or libel, it might lead to a stifling of criticisms, or genuine grievances, especially from those who do not have such an amount of resources. In short, public bodies can use the threat of lawsuits to silence criticisms.

In the United Kingdom this year, both the Appeals Court and the UK government affirmed that “organs of government – both central and local – cannot sue for defamation.”

In a 1993 ruling, Lord Keith of Kinkel said, "It is of the highest public importance that a democratically elected governmental body, or indeed any governmental body, should be open to uninhibited public criticism."

M Ravi, lawyer for Ms Han, said, “The fact that the government is intervening in this matter shows that the matter has a sufficient public interest. This reinforces our position that the CPE, being a public body, cannot bring an action for defamation.”

The pre-trial conference will take place on 29th May whereby the AGC will inform the Court that it wishes to be joined as a party in the case.

Source: http://publichouse.sg/categories/topstory/item/881-agc-to-be-joined-as-party-in-blogger%E2%80%99s-case-involving-stat-board

Blogger files High Court application challenging statutory board’s legitimacy to sue for defamation

Landmark case to protect Singaporeans from defamation lawsuits by public bodies

In the first case of its kind in Singapore, 21-year-old local blogger Han Hui Hui has applied to the High Court for a declaration that the Council for Private Education (CPE), a statutory body under the Ministry of Education (MOE), is not entitled to bring any defamation action against her.

Her counsel, human rights lawyer M Ravi, is arguing that the freedom of speech and expression, enshrined in article 14 of the Singapore Constitution, protects citizens from any defamation proceedings by the government and public bodies. The right to sue for defamation is reserved only for individuals and private entities, and not public bodies.

The CPE had threatened Ms Han with defamation proceedings by way of letter of demand through their lawyers, Allen and Gledhill, following two emails they received from Ms Han, which they regard as defamatory. Ms Han now seeks protection against this threat via the constitution and the ordinary laws of the land.

According to Ms Han’s affidavit, made in 2010, she enrolled in a private education institute in Singapore. She chose the school primarily because of its low tuition fee. On the first day of school, she realised she was the only Singaporean and was shocked to see students smoking in the school premises. After attending the school for awhile, she felt that the school was not providing competent education. Lecturers were disinterested and the learning culture was substandard. In 2011, she tried to tell the school’s management but she was not taken seriously.

Feeling disappointed, she started to pen her thoughts and opinions on her blog.

On 15 March 2013, she published a blog post suggesting that measures should be taken to prevent foreigners from getting their qualifications through private education institutes that are unethical. Her posting went viral on the Net.

On 4 April 2013, a reporter from The New Paper (TNP) who had been corresponding with Ms Han over the blog post, emailed her to say that he had spoken with Mr Andy Ong from CPE. The reporter was under the impression Ms Han was from Kaplan and was having a dispute resolution with them. Ms Han, in her affidavit, said she was puzzled where the reporter got the idea as it was untrue that she studied in Kaplan.

On 5 April 2013, Ms Han emailed Mr Ong of CPE to seek clarification. When CPE did not reply, she said that she sent two follow-up emails on 8th and 11th April. It was these emails that CPE took issue with. Ms Han admitted that the language she used was “somewhat clumsily worded”.

On 15 April 2013, Ms Han received a letter of demand from CPE, claiming that she had defamed them.

Government and public bodies cannot sue for defamation

Ms Han then sought help and was advised to consult human rights and constitutional lawyer M Ravi. Mr Ravi looked at the case and felt that CPE, as a public body, does not have the right to sue individuals for defamation.

Ms Han was advised that although the CPE is a “body corporate” capable of suing and being sued, it is nevertheless a body that is arguably of sufficiently “public character” because:

The CPE is accountable to the Minister and to Parliament through annual reports.
The CPE has specific duties and powers established by law which, in the exercise of them, have great impact on a significant proportion of the public at large.
The CPE is carrying out a core function of the Ministry of Education which is to regulate educational establishments and a particular industry linked with the Ministry’s area of responsibility.
The CPE does not act independently of the government and is directed in its key functions and duties by the Minister.
The CPE receives money from the government provided by parliament and the Minister’s permission must be sought when appointing and removing the chief executive of the council.
The employees of the CPE are deemed as public servants as far as the Penal Code is concerned.
The CPE and its officers and employees enjoy certain state protections like the immunity from personal liability and preservation of secrecy.

Hence, it is argued that CPE is a public body and should be treated like one.
Indeed, CPE’s own website reads:

"Established under the Private Education Act, the Council for Private Education (CPE) is a statutory board sanctioned with the legislative power to regulate the private education sector. In addition to its role as the sectoral regulator of private education institutions (PEIs), the Council facilitates capability development efforts to uplift standards in the local private education industry."

The nature of public bodies is such that, inter alia, they can affect many people, overwhelm myriad disparate alternative voices, and conceal their actions behind official privileges of secrecy and immunity from personal liability. As such, the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression is indispensable as a means for a member of the public who is susceptible to being affected by the actions of public bodies, to both raise concerns and defend oneself against any adverse actions or policies such bodies might undertake.

Ms Han wrote in her filings, “Sometimes, it is even the case that I might have to call such a body out and accuse it of things I cannot prove, precisely because the power of such bodies might not render it possible for me to acquire enough information about it. The lack of freedom of speech and expression in this instance might very well allow public bodies to get away with misdoings.”

In a Canadian case, Justice Corbett wrote as follows:

“It is in the very nature of a democratic government itself that precludes government from responding to criticism by means of defamation action… Governments are accountable to the people through the ballot box, and to judges in courts of law. When a government is criticized, its recource is in the public domain, not the court… Litigation is a form of force, and the government must not silence its critics by force.” (Halton Hills v Kerouac [2006] OJ No 1473 (SCJ))

That is, “its recourse is in the public domain” meaning that the Government can counter a criticism overwhelmingly simply by issuing a press statement that will be published in the headlines of the newspapers, or simply release records publicly which will put any suspicions to rest.

Ms Han added, “Because the actions and policies of public bodies have such high impact and stakes, it is unacceptable that they can silence criticism through fear in the form of litigation.”

“My constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression protects the ordinary citizen against such potential abuse, and because public bodies have more than enough means to defend themselves and their reputations in the first place, my constitutional right should be upheld against being sued for defamation by any public body.”

Also, referring to the relevant part of the judgement in a Derbyshire case in UK, under Common Law:

“Since it was of the highest public importance that a democratically elected governmental body should be open to uninhibited public criticism, and since the threat of civil actions for defamation would place an undesirable fetter on the freedom to express such criticism, it would be contrary to the public interest for institutions of central or local government to have any right at common law to maintain an action for damages for defamation; and that, accordingly, the plaintiff (i.e, the Govt institution) was not entitled to bring an action for libel against the defendants, and its statement of claim would be struck out.”

“If the council were to succeed in this appeal, any governmental body with corporate status could bring libel proceedings against a newspaper or individual citizen alleged to have defamed its governing reputation. Such bodies would be able to wield the very sharp sword of libel proceedings to deter or suppress public criticism and information about what they do as the people’s representatives and public servants. They could do so using public funds and knowing that an ordinary individual citizen could not afford access to justice to defend his freedom of political expression against such a claim… The freedom to express criticism of a governmental body can be more easily stifled by a series of civil actions… The mere issue of a writ tends to have a gagging effect.”

Ms Han concluded in her filings, “Such a ruling would therefore gravely diminish public accountability through fear of defamation and runs contrary to the constitutional guarantees under article 14 of the constitution. Currently, I am being threatened with legal proceedings as a result of my purported defamatory words.”

“According to the letter of demand, I have been asked to comply with certain demands not limited to a full and unqualified apology and undertaking in terms of the attached draft by 12pm on Monday, 22 Apr 2013. By this letter of demand, my rights are violated and before I decide whether to apologise to the defendants, I wish to seek the determination of my constitutional right as a citizen whether government in the capacity of a statutory board, namely the CPE, can sue for defamation.”

Ms Han, therefore, wanted the High Court to:

1.Declare that the Council for Private Education (CPE) being a public body does not have a right to sue or threaten to sue for defamation under common law and/or under Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore;
2.Restrain the Defendants (CPE) from commencing any defamation proceedings against the Plaintiff (Ms Han) on account of the above.

Ms Han’s application was filed on 19 April 2013. A date to appear in the High Court will be obtained later.

This is a landmark case involving the Singapore constitution, which is of interest to all Singaporeans especially bloggers and netizens. Basically, it asks the question: can public bodies in Singapore sue anyone for defamation?

Plainly put, if the CPE can sue for defamation, then hypothetically speaking the traffic police can also sue any member of the public for defamation if he/she writes to complain that a traffic mobile police officer was not doing his duty and the traffic police is incompetent.

Source: http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/04/22/blogger-files-high-court-application-challenging-govt-stat-boards-legitimacy-to-sue-for-defamation/

S'pore blogger takes stat board to court after letter of demand

A former private school student is taking the Council of Private Education (CPE) to court after she received a letter earlier this week, demanding her to stop sending the alleged defamatory emails and also provide an apology to those whom these emails have been sent to.

Han Hui Hui, 21, a blogger and former student of local private school Shelton College, has been sent a letter of demand by representing lawyers of CPE, asking her to stop sending out two emails to members of the media, according to a copy of the legal documents sent to Yahoo! Singapore on Friday.

However, Han has hit back by engaging human rights lawyer, M Ravi, whose legal challenge on Friday posits that as CPE is a public and statutory body, it cannot sue for libel. Han's legal challenge also argues that she is entitled to her right to freedom of speech under the constitution.

Han's two emails in question earlier this month were directed at CPE corporate communications manager Andy Ong, claiming he had lied to media reporters about her. Both emails were also sent to several members of the local media.

In one email, she wrote, "Reporters have named you as the person who represented Council for Private Education in Singapore who lied to them."

In another, she wrote, "Reporters said that you've represented CPE and made statements that are untrue."

According to CPE's letter of demand, the emails were defamatory because they "have lowered the CPE in the esteem of right thinking members of society". The CPE is asking for a written apology and for her to send it to CPE's "solicitors", Andy Ong, as well as other media whom the emails have been copied to.

Before Han sent emails directed to Andy Ong, she stated in her affidavit that she had written a blog post on 15 March 2013 mentioning that local private schools are "unethical" and in her post, she said that they are giving out “examination questions and answers for students to memorise and regurgitate during the actual examination” and shared similar posts on her Facebook account as well.

After the post went viral, she also stated that a TNP (The New Paper) reporter approached Han through email with queries and Han had the impression that the reporter thought that she was “from Kaplan and had a dispute resolution", which she regards as untrue and reacted by sending out the emails to Andy Ong, copying it to other media.

Source: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/s-pore-blogger-takes-stat-board-to-court-after-being-sued-for-defamatory-emails--012349169.html

Blogger seeks ruling that stat board can't sue for defamation

A BLOGGER has applied to the High Court for a declaration to say that a statutory board does not have the right to sue for defamation because it is a public body.

Ms Han Hui Hui, 21, had received a letter of demand from lawyers representing the Council for Private Education (CPE) - the statutory board in question - concerning alleged defamatory statements she published in e-mail messages sent to various media organisations.

The letter from Allen & Gledhill, dated April 15, wanted Ms Han to, among other things, stop further publication of the e-mail messages, send a "full and unqualified" apology to all parties copied in her original e-mail messages by next Monday, and publish the apology on her blog and Facebook.

The alleged defamatory material was left out from documents sent to the media yesterday by the office of her lawyer, Mr M. Ravi.

Ms Han said in her affidavit that she had enrolled in a private education institute in 2010 which did not provide "competent education".

According to the Private Education Act, the CPE is a "body corporate" capable of suing and being sued.

But Ms Han argues that the statutory board under the Education Ministry is a government body and of "sufficiently public character" to be considered a public body.

When contacted, the CPE said it was inappropriate to comment on the matter at this juncture.

Source: http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/slw/index.php/headlines/23749-blogger-seeks-ruling-that-stat-board-cant-sue-for-defamation?utm_source=web+subscription&utm_medium=web

Blogger to fight for free speech rights in court

In the first case of its kind in Singapore, 21-year-old local blogger, Han Hui Hui, applies to the High Court for a declaration that the Council for Private Education (CPE), a statutory body, is not entitled to bring any defamation action against her. Her counsel, human rights lawyer M Ravi, is arguing that the freedom of speech and expression, enshrined in article 14 of the Singapore Constitution, protects citizens from any defamation proceedings by the government and public bodies.

The right to sue for defamation is reserved only for individuals and private entities.

The CPE had threatened Han with defamation proceedings by way of letter of demand through their lawyers, following two emails they received from the latter which they regarded as defamatory.

Han now seeks protection against this threat via the constitution and the ordinary laws of the land.

Source: http://publichouse.sg/categories/topstory/item/871-blogger-to-fight-for-free-speech-rights-in-court

Singapore Government statutory board threatens to sue citizen for defamation.

WRITERS NAME:
Aaron Lee
Cal Chengying

REF: ALTC/CAICY/1013000399

15 April 2013
Han Hui Hui

DIRECT TEL +65 68907852/7151
DIRECT FAX +65 6302 3243/3288
DIRECT EMAIL
aaron.lee@allenandgledhill.com
cai.chengying@allenandgledhill.com

BY REGISTERED POST AND BY EMAIL

Dear Sir
DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS AGAINST THE COUNCIL FOR PRIVATE EDUCATION (THE CPE)

1. We act for the CPE.

2. It has come to our client’s attention that you have published defamatory statements against our client which are wholly untrue and unsubstantiated, by way of, inter alia, the following emails:

(a) An email dated 8 April 2013 (timed at 11:29AM) sent to "CPE Contact" and Mr Andy Ong of CPE ("Mr Ong"), copying cavez@yahoo.com; reacheah@gmail.com; theonlinecitizen@gmail.com; chew1976@gmail.com; temasek_review@hotmail.com; publichouse.sg@gmail.com; contact@lianainfilms.com; singaporedaily@gmail.com; reachus@yahoo-inc.com; 938live@mediacorp.com.sg; kjeyaretnam@gmail.com; iloveted@tedxsingapore.sg; stomp@stomp.com.sg; circs@sph.com.sg; sphcorp@sph.com.sg and admin@therealsingapore.com (the "First Email"); and

(b) An email dated 11 April 2013 (timed at 12:07AM) sent to "CPE Contact" and Mr Ong,copying cavez@yahoo.com; reacheah@gmail.com; theonlinecitizen@gmail.com; chew1976@gmail.com; temasek_review@hotmail.com; publichouse.sg@gmail.com; contact@lianainfilms.com; singaporedaily@gmail.com; reachus@yahoo-inc.com; 938live@mediacorp.com.sg; kjeyaretnam@gmail.com; iloveted@tedxsingapore.sg; stomp@stomp.com.sg; circs@sph.com.sg; sphcorp@sph.com.sg; kinlian@gmail.com; wennyangela@yahoo.com (the "Second Email").

(collectively, the "Emails")

3. The defamatory contents of the Emails include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) The First Email was copied to several parties, including media sources, and states as follows:


(b) The Second Email was also copied to several parties, including media sources, and states as follows:


4. The allegations in the Emails are highly defamatory and constitute a grave slander and/or libel on the CPE. The implications and meanings that can be drawn from the said allegations are clear. The allegations were made to cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the CPE as well as the manner in which the CPE conducts its affairs and/or business. The allegations also give rise to an imputation that the CPE is dishonest and/or unethical.

5. The contents of the Statements tend to and in fact, have lowered the CPE in the esteem of right-thinking members of society and are as such, defamatory in nature.

6. In the premises, our client demands that you comply with the following:

(a) Immediately cease and desist from any further publication of the Emails;

(b) Send to us, as our client’s solicitors, a full and unqualified apology and undertaking in terms of the attached draft by 12pm on Monday, 22 April 2013;

(c) Send the said apology and undertaking to "CPE Contact" and Mr Ong in an email, copying the parties which were also copied in the Emails by 12pm on Monday, 22 April 2013; and

(d) Cause the said apology and undertaking to be published on your, website http://huihui247.blogspot.sg/ and on your Facebook account on http://www.facebook.com (without adding any security settings) for at least 14 days from the date we receive the said apology and undertaking.

7. TAKE NOTICE that unless our client receives your favourable reply in writing by 5pm on Wednesday, 17 April 2013, our client will take the necessary steps to protect its rights and interests, including but not limited to commencing legal proceedings without further reference to you.

8. In the meantime, all our client’s rights are expressly reserved.

Yours faithfully
Allen & Gledhill LLP

CRM: 2013/04/016502: Statement

To: cpe_contact@cpe.gov.sg; andy_ong@cpe.gov.sg
CC: cavez@yahoo.com; reacheah@gmail.com; theonlinecitizen@gmail.com; chew1976@gmail.com; temasek_review@hotmail.com; publichouse.sg@gmail.com; contact@lianainfilms.com; singaporedaily@gmail.com; reachus@yahoo-inc.com; 938live@mediacorp.com.sg; kjeyaretnam@gmail.com; iloveted@tedxsingapore.sg; stomp@stomp.com.sg; circs@sph.com.sg; sphcorp@sph.com.sg; kinlian@gmail.com; wennyangela@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: CRM: 2013/04/016502: Statement
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 00:07:13 +0800

Hi Andy Ong,

Reporters said that you’ve represented CPE and made statements that are untrue, could you clarify the following:
1.       Was I ever a student of Kaplan?
2.       Did I ever go into a lawsuit with Kaplan?
3.       Did Kaplan and I have a dispute resolution?

Regards,
Hui Hui


To: cpe_contact@cpe.gov.sg; andy_ong@cpe.gov.sg
CC: cavez@yahoo.com; reacheah@gmail.com; theonlinecitizen@gmail.com; chew1976@gmail.com; temasek_review@hotmail.com; publichouse.sg@gmail.com; contact@lianainfilms.com; singaporedaily@gmail.com; reachus@yahoo-inc.com; 938live@mediacorp.com.sg; kjeyaretnam@gmail.com; iloveted@tedxsingapore.sg; stomp@stomp.com.sg; circs@sph.com.sg; sphcorp@sph.com.sg; admin@therealsingapore.com
Subject: RE: CRM: 2013/04/016502: Statement
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 11:29:39 +0800

Hi Andy Ong,

Reporters have named you as the person who represented Council for Private Education in Singapore who lied to them.
Out of all the lies you have said to the reporters, three of them caught my attention.

1.       Was I ever a student of Kaplan?
2.       Did I ever go into a lawsuit with Kaplan?
3.       Did Kaplan and I have a dispute resolution?

Please clarify.
Thanks.

Regards,
Hui Hui


To: cpe_contact@cpe.gov.sg
CC: cavez@yahoo.com; reacheah@gmail.com; theonlinecitizen@gmail.com; chew1976@gmail.com; temasek_review@hotmail.com; publichouse.sg@gmail.com; contact@lianainfilms.com; singaporedaily@gmail.com; reachus@yahoo-inc.com; 938live@mediacorp.com.sg; kjeyaretnam@gmail.com; iloveted@tedxsingapore.sg; stomp@stomp.com.sg; circs@sph.com.sg; sphcorp@sph.com.sg
Subject: RE: CRM: 2013/04/016502: Statement
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 21:28:04 +0800

Hi Ms Suryati Salim,

Out of all the lies he have said to the reporters, three of them caught my attention.
1.       Was I ever a student of Kaplan?
2.       Did I ever go into a lawsuit with Kaplan?
3.       Did Kaplan and I have a dispute resolution?
Please clarify.
Thanks.

Regards,
Hui Hui


From: CPE_CONTACT@cpe.gov.sg
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 18:02:18 +0800
Subject: CRM: 2013/04/016502: Statement


Dear Ms Hui Hui

We refer to your telephone queries on the communication between our officer, Mr Andy Ong and The New Paper reporter.  We would like to put on record that at no point did Mr Ong mention to the reporter that your postings on the blog were lies.

Thank you.

Regards


Ms Suryati Salim
Assistant Manager, Student Services Centre • Tel: +65 6592 2108 • Fax: +65 6337 1584
Council for Private Education • 1 Orchard Road (YMCA International House), #01-01, Singapore 238824 • http://www.cpe.gov.sg
Integrity • Care • Professionalism • Excellence