The Economist finds CPF wanting

Singapore’s new moves to help the less well-off show its pension fund policy had to change – it was no longer inadequate. So says The Economist in one of its rare articles on the city-state. The commentary follows Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech. [Read more...]

Lee Kuan Yew Chair at Calcutta University? Mamata wants it

Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee

Will there be a Lee Kuan Yew Chair at Calcutta University? I am delighted.

Mamata Banerjee herself wants it. The West Bengal chief minister said so after a meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

It’s only fitting that Singapore is the first country she chose to visit since coming to power in 2011, ending 34 years of communist rule in West Bengal. [Read more...]

Impishly, PM Lee…

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was almost playful in the way he broke the news. He explained why the government held back some of the money people saved for retirement – and then made an. announcement which had the audience cheering as if they had just heard a punch line.

The news was online almost as soon as he said it. “Lease buyback scheme extended to four-room HDB flats,” said the headline on Today online. The Straits Times website had words to the same effect. The headlines gave the news, but couldn’t convey the playfulness with which the prime minister bantered with the audience. [Read more...]

OB markers and sacred cows in the Straits Times

The phrase “OB marker” cannot be found in the Oxford Online Dictionary. Nor can it be found in, which updates much faster and just added new words such amazeballs and douchebaggery to its list.

Wikipedia says:

An OB marker, short for ‘out of bounds marker’ is a term used in Singapore to denote what topics are permissible for public discussion. The full form of the word is rarely used.

The term is adopted from golf, where an out of bounds marker denotes the area beyond which playing is not allowed… The term “OB markers” was first used in 1991 by the then-Minister for Information and the Arts George Yeo to describe the boundaries of acceptable political discourse.

[Read more...]

President’s Scholars: Their schools and choices

Looking at the list of President’s Scholars announced today, it was good to see one of the five will be reading global affairs and another, either political science or psychology. Not everyone is opting for the hard sciences. In fact, going by the list of recent President’s Scholars, the majority prefer the soft sciences. Here’s the list of President’s Scholars since 2002. [Read more...]