Avoiding vengeance: Why teaching religion is the wrong thing to do

Yawning Bread

“Not if but when” says the poster. Indeed, an attack of some sort will happen in Singapore. But let’s not be ahistorical about it. Throughout history, highly aggrieved individuals have lashed out at society or authority with violence. Sometimes they act as loners, other times as part of an organised network. We’ve had bombs going off in Singapore within living memory — for example on 10 March 1965 at MacDonald House in which three persons died. We’ve had the Sepoy mutiny in 1915 in which over 100 people lost their lives, including 56 mutineers. 

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Tunnel floods and the erosion of performance legitimacy

Yawning Bread

In traditional Chinese political thinking, emperors have absolute powers, subject only to the will of gods. The political duty of subjects is to serve and to obey. The Mandate of Heaven, however, can be withdrawn at any time. Flood, famine, earthquake and pestilence are read as signs that Heaven is displeased with the regime and has revoked the emperor’s mandate.

As recently as 1976, millions of people in China had reason to believe that this divine signalling was in operation. On 28 July 1976, a massive earthquake struck the city of Tangshan, killing over 240,000 people, though nobody really knows what the actual figure was. Six weeks later, Mao Zedong, supreme ruler for 27 years, died.

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From the wreckage of a presidential ‘election’, racism rises like a disturbed ghost

Yawning Bread

Now that the People’s Action Party government has installed Halimah Yacob as the so-called president of Singapore, racism has gained a legitimacy we once thought was forever barred. That said, this presidential charade was not the first time the PAP dispensed with its founding principles. Racism was introduced into our electoral system in 1988 through the ugly invention called “Group Representation Constituencies”. In 2017 as in 1988, the PAP demonstrated that principles can be disposed like tissue paper when they need to fend off limits to their power.

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The Sumiko Phenomenon

Thought Moments

20170802_131531Photo courtesy of The Straits Times & NewspaperSG (National Library Board, Singapore)

This article is reproduced with courtesy of The Straits Times, 10 December, 2000 to share on this blog.

The Sumiko phenomenon, celebrated columnist.

Serene Goh examines the Sumiko Tan Pheomenon, the turn of the spotlight from newsmakers to the people who write the news – journalists.  Tan Dawn Wei contributed to this report.

Heroes.  Those necessary icons of our generation.  Move over Gandhi and Lennon.  In today’s Singapore, one name stands out above the rest:  Sumiko Tan.

We know her as the dulcet belle and deputy editor on The Straits Times’ Life! section.  A celebrity in her own right, here is a faithful following besotted with her fortnightly Sunday Plus diary entries on her life.

And it’s been so since July 3, 1994, with some 135 pieces on a plethora of topics: her career, her love life…

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Ex-Taiwanese representative to Singapore has ‘close’ ties with Lee Kuan Yew’s son – Taiwanese media


The former Taiwanese representative to Singapore Shi Ya Ping (史亞平) reportedly had ‘close’ ties with a son of Lee Kuan Yew, the Taiwanese media exposed yesterday.

Lee Kuan Yew is a former Prime Minister of Singapore and still wields tremendous influence behind the scenes though he is no longer a cabinet minister.

Lee has two sons – Lee Hsien Loong, the present Prime Minister of Singapore and Lee Hsien Yang, currently the CEO of a public-listed company in Singapore.

However, Shi rubbished the rumors immediately, claiming that she did not know both Lees.

In a public statement issued yesterday, Shi said:

“There is no such thing. Many rumors are without foundation or truth…..they not only cause distress to those involved, but also very rude to Lee Kuan Yew’s son. I have clarified repeatedly that when I would never transgress the boundaries in the course of my diplomatic work. I have…

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Pink Dot is boring

Tan Tarn How Too

I went to the inaugural Pink Dot in 2009. I even bought my first pink shirt just for it. But to be honest, I found it rather boring.

Late-afternoon notwithstanding, it was still hot and humid. There was no food or drink. There were too many people (I know, what was I expecting, the usual Hong Lim crowd of a 100?). Pam Oei, Neo Swee Lin, Lim Kay Siu and other artists provided entertainment, but the acoustics and the set-up made it hard to get into it. At the end when the organisers sheparded the 2,500 give or take people into the shape of a giant pink heart for the photo taken from somewhere up the Furama Hotel across the road, it was very sweet and also orderly in our Singapore way, but it still look a long time. I had doubts about its very (intentionally) depoliticised message. Except for…

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Has Suet Fern no shame?

Originally posted on onwardsingapore:
Two days ago, I attended an event by BoardAgender, an initiative supported by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO). The event seeks to promote the appointment of more women to boards and had a dialogue…

BREAKING: Monica Lewinski Comes Out Of NOWHERE With The Bombshell Scandal Of The Century

Maine Republic Email Alert

She claims Bill Clinton Failed his financial responsibility to their now 28-year-old son…

The intern with the blue dress who showed the world that Bill Clinton had the ability to look America dead in the eye and lie through his teeth is back in the spotlight with a bombshell that will turn the Clintons’ world upside down. In a lawsuit filed in the 14th district court, Monica Lewinski is suing Bill Clinton for breach of contract for not fulfilling his fiscal obligations…to their now 28-year-old son!

 If you remember, after the impeachment hearings, Monica Lewinski disappeared from public life for nearly five years. When she reappeared, it was on a very small scale and often she was depicted with her young nephew on family outings. Well, according to this new case, that child is actually the product of the affair between Lewinski and the former president, kept hidden with confidentiality…

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Proud to be Chinese

Interesting points to ponder on.

Paul Chong's Blog

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EVERYTHING is BIG in CHINA e.g. The Great Wall of China EVERYTHING is BIG in CHINA e.g. The Great Wall of China


With 1.3 billion Chinese in China, mathematically speaking one out of every five people is a Chinese in the world. It is said that wherever the ocean touches land, there the Chinese be. Wherever the Chinese is he survives, in fact more than survive, often making indelible contributions to the community where he lives. He could well be in isolation, but his resources know no bound . . . his initiatives no less . . . his resilience, diligence, dignity & pride second to none. The Chinese people are the most unique “natural resources” of the Chinese nation.


The Chinese as a race, I always contend, are the most assiduous in their economic pursuit, totally self-reliant, resourceful, diligent, resilient and smiling…

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A reporter’s notes on Mr Lee

Bertha Harian

If there was one man I was really terrified of, it was Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I thought it was because I was so much younger than the man, until I realized that people far older than I and who had met him far more often, felt the same. I guess it was the way he stared at you and that interrogative tone he used while talking to you. It seemed to me that he was always sucking in his breath when he had to answer any question from me as though he’s thinking “what am I supposed to do with this stupid young thing?!’’

But no, he never lost his cool with me. I think he saw me as a young journalist who could be “taught’’ or set on the right path, so to speak. He was not a man for small talk and that was part of the…

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