Straits Times began with call for free press

The Straits Times has undergone a complete transformation in its 170-year history. I was reminded of that when the newspaper came out with a new look today.

Introducing the redesigned newspaper, the editor Warren Fernandez began the front-page main story with the words, “Good morning to you, kind reader!”

He was quoting the first line of the first editorial which appeared in the Straits Times 170 years ago. But he  did not refer any further to that editorial, which was a passionate defence of freedom of the press.

The Straits Times, July 15, 1845
The Straits Times, July 15, 1845

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Amos Yee: The boy who got into trouble because of the internet

Amos Yee reminded me of a scene from The Sound of Music, where the nuns sing, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

Unsuitable for the nun’s life, Maria, played by Julie Andrews, found happiness with the rich Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). Amos’s life has taken a grimmer turn. Only 16 years old, he has been found guilty of uploading an obscene image depicting Lee Kuan Yew with Margaret Thatcher, who admired him, and making remarks intended to hurt the feelings of Christians.

However, the prosecution has sought counselling and probation for the boy, not a jail sentence or a fine, because he is young.

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Even the heavens wept for Lee Kuan Yew

lky remembered

Even the heavens wept, with the rain coming down on Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral. That couldn’t prevent people from pouring out on the streets to pay their respects to the departed leader.  “Lee Kuan Yew! Lew Kuan Yew!” the crowd chanted in thunderous ovation to the founder of the nation. Vindication or nostalgia, it had to be one or the other that surged forth in this vast outpouring of affection.Continue Reading

LKY and FDI

Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew

Singaporeans mourning the death of Lee Kuan Yew should not pay any attention to a few Western commentators carping about him. He was admired at home and abroad. World leaders have been paying their respects to him. And if there is any doubt about how attractive Singapore is, consider this.  In no rich country does foreign direct investment (FDI) make up a bigger share of the economy than in Singapore, if we leave aside Hong Kong and Luxembourg.Continue Reading