General Current Affairs

The next steps from a Knowledge-Based economy

Posted on June 17, 2009. Filed under: General Current Affairs, Grassroots, Social Media |

ST Front Page 170609

The Straits Times, Front Page, 17 June 09 

The local government is making yet another wise step to lead Singapore towards the next economy. The wireless@sg initiative made use of Singapore’s small physical size to enable wireless surfing at virtually all high traffic areas.

This infrastructure wonder is created in a concerted effort to enable the truly mobile and connected user.

In 2008, the PC penetration rate in Singapore households was about 80% and the Internet accessibility rate was about 76%. (LINK) This was a high number and it set the tone for the growth of social media and a growing netizen community.

Online discussions on local forums ranging from everyday matters to national issues are vibrant and interesting. Valuable points were brought up and that offered local authorities good feedback on ground issues.

Now, with the enhanced speeds of the Wireless@sg, and it is now even more enticing to make use of the infrastructure and get networked.

The scheme to help lower income families get wired up is also a commendable move. In today’s age, the online space cannot be ignored anymore and Singaporean need to catch up. Lower income families can make use of the infrastructure and the scheme to get online, to look for jobs or to engage in self training. Afterall, the net is filled with information and knowledge. Increasing their network via social media can also increase their exposure to ensure that nobody is left behind.

I think that this is a commendable move and it’s the right way to go, for the Singaporean model of the knowledge based economy.

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A progressive Party

Posted on March 2, 2009. Filed under: General Current Affairs |

Young PAP 

The Straits Times, 2 March 2009, Home B2

Since the nation’s independence in 1965, Singapore has been mostly managed by the ruling political party PAP. Over the years, there have been more talks within the citizens, particularly the youths and the younger generation for an opposition voice in the government.

The ruling party’s stand has been that with the unified government now, decisions can be made fast and swiftly. PAP MPs are organised into government parliamentary committees (GPCs), and act like opposition parties, giving alternative feedback to the cabinet in their select areas.

With this, the PAP tries to reduce the need for opposition parties in the government. Over the years, some of the comments and inputs that PAP MPs have made in parliament proves the success of the scheme.

I believe that one of the reason why the PAP remains uncontested is also because they have taken loads of proactive steps to stay ahead of the other political parties.

The commitment in grooming youths is an excellent example. The investment in training the next generation of politicians and the grooming of young leaders will eventually give them the head-start against the competitors.

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Back to basics for entry to Malaysia

Posted on July 16, 2008. Filed under: General Current Affairs |

Singapore’s largest circulating daily, The Straits Times, today reported that Malaysian authorities have reverted to the use of ‘white cards’ for entry into Malaysia.

Seven months ago, Malaysia announced that there was no need to fill up immigration entry cards when Singaporeans enter the country.

“A spokesman from the High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore did not elaborate on the reasons behind the decision, saying only that the cardless system was on a trial run and that the Malaysian government has decided that the white card is still needed.” quoted The Straits Times on 16 July 08, in an article titled Malaysia going back to white cards for visits

One would have thought that in today’s digital age, the filling up of such cards should have been rendered obsolete. Further, environment concerns creep in with the use of the cards.

But, like how other Singaporeans think and feel, this is probably a ‘no choice’ situation.

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