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.