I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I were earning 1.9 million a year in a cushy government job which I know for sure I am not going to get voted out of, I would hardly be tempted by offers from the private sector which may promise higher pay but longer hours, more stress and way less job security. And I would also think that if you are already earning that much per year, then a few additional hundred thousand dollars wouldn’t make much of a difference in making you stay, unless in deciding whether you are going to buy that extra Mercedes Benz for your daughter who’s barely got a driving license.
You know what would make a difference? Supplementing the income for over-worked and under-paid social workers, topping up the CPF for old folks who barely have enough to buy a new pair of clothes, giving kids who have drug-addict or alchoholic parents a few pennies for lunch money.
What’s that you say? No poverty in Singapore? Barely 100 metres away from where I live in my comfortable condominium, are the blocks of flats with one of the poorest families in Singapore. Even if they have enough to eat, they certainly don’t have enough to keep up with their mortgage payments. Their children grow up without education, or drop out and get a baby as birthday present. And the vicious cycle continues.
I’ve a feeling no one in the upper echelons of the government has actually spent a few minutes with social workers. It is a depressing exercise, to hear the stories the counselors and home-workers tell, to hear about the crushing poverty and accompanying dysfunctionality. About the students who don’t attend school because they don’t have recess money. About how they fall by the wayside, because they can’t make it in the fast-paced education system. About the student who is forced to work in KFC just to make sure her family can pay the rent, and then having a drug-addict mother who steals that money.
Before you tell me about how 1.2 million isn’t enough, and you are completely entitled to 2.2 million per year, please, I beg you, go talk to these social workers. Just a few minutes of your 1.9-million-a-year time.
A government-linked body has embarked on a review of the regulatory framework over the internet. While the focus of the review seems to be “what to regulate and how to regulate”, there is a sense from those currently being consulted that the aim of this exercise is not liberalisation.
So far, those being consulted appears to be the elite – the “experts”.
There is a need for ordinary bloggers – and filmmakers who intend to put video material on the internet – to get together and organise a submission to the relevant bodies, putting across the perspective of practitioners.
This call for a bloggers’ meeting should interest those who often discuss politics and society in their work.
Date, time and venue:
Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 7 – 9 pm
At the Substation, Classroom 2. Armenian Street
This first meeting is meant for brainstorming the key issues; then to organise into teams to draft various parts of the intended submission. The teams have one week (till the second meeting) to work on their respective parts.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 7 – 9 pm
At the Substation, Classroom 2. Armenian Street
The second meeting is for the various drafts to be brought together and stitched/reconciled into a joint submission.
What to expect:
- Participants should be open about their identity; you may not remain anonymous.
- You should already be operating a blog, or producing content that is meant for uploading (e.g. videos, writing regularly for someone else’s blog)
- We should be able to accommodate up to 20 – 25 persons; we do not need a large crowd as that would be unwieldy.
- The meeting, once begun, will be “closed door” i.e. not open to reporting. No journalists allowed.
- Please get something to eat before the meeting starts; bring your own drink.
Participants are requested to familiarise themselves with the legal and regulatory background beforehand. We do not intend to waste time at the meetings just recapitulating the background.
Suggested reading (do a websearch):
- Broadcasting Act
- Media Development Authority of Singapore Act
- Internet Code of Conduct
- Internet Class Licence Scheme
- Films Act
- Parliamentary Elections Act
- Election Advertising Regulations
- Penal Code, Sections 298, 298A, etc
- Penal Code, Sections 499, 505, etc
- Sedition Act
Please help spread the open call for this meeting.
There was once a time I used to keep up with all the political news in Singapore. I used to know whenever the government did this and that, and I used to blog about it too, many many moons ago, on a blog called Singabloodypore.
I left that blog a few months after I started sayoni, partly because of time constraints, and partly because I realised I didn’t want pleinelune to be associated with a blog which was popularly seen as ranting and raving at the Singapore government 100% of the time: don’t get me wrong. I think what Singabloodypore does in pushing the boundaries and being irreverent is good. But I joined that blog at a time when I was angry at many things, a lot more hot-blooded, a lot less mature than I am now, and prone to ranting. Sayoni made me grow up and change in many ways, and one of the results of that was that I learned the art of constructive and respectful criticism. Continue reading