Blog Posts by Jeffrey Oon

  • Former journalist Cherian George, the academic whose tenure rejection by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) caused much backlash against the institution last year, accepted a position in Hong Kong last August. (Yahoo! file photo)Former journalist Cherian George, the academic whose tenure rejection by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) caused much backlash against the institution last year, accepted a position in Hong Kong last August. (Yahoo! file photo)

    Cherian George has had enough.

    After almost a year skirting around the issue, the former Nanyang Technology Univesity professor has  challenged his previous employer to lay bare the facts behind his denial of tenure in 2013 that forced him to seek employment abroad.

    George, who has been working at Hong Kong's Baptist University as an Associate Professor since last August, wrote on his blog late on Tuesday that he had no choice but to speak up after NTU President Bertil Andersson's latest comments to influential education website Times Higher Education.

    "I have moved on, but unfortunately the NTU president’s unprovoked smear left me no choice but to respond with the facts. I have done so and have nothing more to add," said George in an email to Yahoo Singapore on Wednesday.

    Andersson said in the interview via Times Higher Education that George's refusal of tenure  a position of full and continued employment with the university  was down to "academic" reasons and not "political".


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  • Say hello to a whole new way of flying

    Qatar Airways' new Business Class section is a traveller's dream.Qatar Airways' new Business Class section is a traveller's dream.

    The first thing that strikes you when you walk into Qatar Airways' Business Class section of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is the cabin’s high ceiling.
    The entire middle row of overhead baggage cabins has been removed, immediately giving the entire section a major facelift. Flying now feels less cramped and more spacious, and if you're especially tall, well, count your blessings.
    The second thing you'll notice is the soft mood lighting used within the cabin, which makes you feel like you’re at a spacious chill-out bar instead of a flight. Say goodbye to harsh white lighting in both Business and Economy Classes -- 20 specially tailored lighting scenes in the Dreamliner help your eyes and body clock adjust to crossing different time zones.
    After that, you begin to notice the smaller things -- the cosy lounge bar area where you can stretch your legs while reading a magazine, the shutterless remote-controlled tinted windows which dim at the touch of a button (my favourite) and the

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  • Singapore's 'Pioneer Generation' to benefit from special health-care package

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid special tribute to Singapore's "Pioneer Generation" on Sunday, outlining a special health-care package that will benefit up to to 450,000 first-generation of Singapore citizens.

    The package, details of which will be revealed on next Friday's Budget Day, will be for Singaporeans born in 1949 and earlier, and who received citizenship before 1987.

    Meant to help older Singaporeans cope with health-care costs, the package is expected to include increased subsidies for outpatient treatment and annual MediSave top-ups, as well as help with premiums for new national insurance scheme, MediShield Life.

    See pictures from the event in our slideshow:

    Addressing a crowd of about 1,000 of such pioneers at the Istana on Sunday morning, PM Lee said, "This is a special package for a special generation. No matter how we design the package, it can never fully reflect the contributions our pioneers have made to our nation. Nevertheless, I hope you will accept it as a

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  • Social MP3 experiment draws 1,000 to Sentosa

    Close to 1,000 people turned up for a social experiment at Resorts World Sentosa on Saturday evening.

    Organised by social collective The Hidden Good and supported by the Singapore Kindness Movement, the experiment involved random strangers turning up at a pre-determined public location and time, downloading an MP3 file and following the instructions delivered to their headphones via a narrator called “Ah Meng”.

    In the six-minute video above, mainly teens and young adults congregate at two RWS locations, the Waterfront and behind the Lake of Dreams, armed with their plugged-in smartphones. They then download an MP3 file and press play at the agreed time of 6pm.

    The result? Fun, crazy scenes and laughter as the participants mix with an unsuspecting public, who are trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

    The video, uploaded on Saturday evening, has since been viewed over 12,000 times, and has generally been positively received.

    The idea, which was started by prank collective

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  • Orchard Cineleisure slashing attack : Nine suspects arrested, two charged

    UPDATE 18/6, 8.50PM: Two men have been charged in court with rioting. According to local media, they are Mizra Abdul Azman, 23, and Muhammad Fahmi Razali, 20. The pair have been remanded at Central Police Division for further investigation.

    UPDATE 18/6, 946AM: Police have arrested nine suspects for the attack. They are aged between 20 and 22 years old, reported The Straits Times. Early investigations reveal at least two had been armed with weapons.

    UPDATE 17/6: 838AM (adding quotes from victim, details of attack):
    The NSF injured in Saturday night's attack has been identified as Wilson Siau. He is now reportedly in stable condition. He told Chinese daily Shin Min Daily News that the gang who attacked him had approached him as he was smoking and commented on his "arrogant" walking style. As he turned to walk away, the gang -- at least 10 of them -- attacked him with parangs for about a minute before fleeing in separate taxis. 

    A violent attack on a full-time National Serviceman (NSF) just

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  • So you know the sage office advice never to date colleagues in the same office?

    Well, apparently that doesn't hold true for Singapore workers any longer.

    A new survey has revealed that 8 in 10 Singapore office workers gave the "thumbs up" to office romances.

    Given that office staff spend most of their waking hours in the office, employment firm Singapore recently conducted a survey to find out if the workplace is a viable option for singles to find love.

    A new surveys says 8 in 10 S'poreans find it okay to date a fellow colleague (Graphic from

    Here are the results: 8 in 10 office staff surveyed agreed it was easier to find a partner within the workplace and felt that office romance should be allowed between single co-workers.

    32% of them admitted to dating a co-worker at least once in their career while 13% admitted to dating co-workers at least twice.

    But here's the catch: 75% of office staff surveyed admitted to keeping office romance under wraps.

    Only 17% felt comfortable enough to be opened about the office romance with their direct superiors from the

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  • NSP urges PM Lee, President to call for National Referendum

    The National Solidarity Party have written letters to PM Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan, urging them to call for a National Referendum on the population White Paper.

    The letters, copies of which were sent to Yahoo! Singapore on Saturday morning, highlighted that there is significant opposition to the amended motion of the White Paper which was adopted by Parliament on Friday by a vote fo 77 to 13, with one abstention.

    The letter to PM Lee noted that despite Parliament's adoption, the majority of votes do not "reflect the views of Singaporeans because the PAP Members of Parliament clearly voted along party lines".

    "The future of this country is something that all Singaporeans have a stake in. It is only right that they should have a say in it as well. For this reason, we call on the Government to hold a National Referendum on the White Paper," it concluded.

    A letter to President Tony Tan also urged the same.

    "In announcing your intention to run in the last Presidential

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  • The ugly Singaporean parent: pushy, unreasonable, self-entitled


    You've heard of the ugly Singaporean. Now meet its cousin -- the ugly Singaporean parent.

    Demanding, unreasonable and self-righteous, this new breed of parents have an overbearing sense of entitlement.

    They expect nothing less than the best triple A-care for their child in school, and woe befall any teacher that doesn't match up.

    Often displaying a warped sense of what is wrong and right, these pushy parents come down hard on any educator who dares mess with their kid, even if the latter is wrong. 

    "Haircut mum" has thrown the spotlight on both the kinds of demands placed upon educators and the sky-high expectations of parents.

    To recap, Serene Ong filed a police complaint after a Unity Primary school teacher re-trimmed her boy's S$60 haircut despite several warnings by the school to keep his hair tidy. 

    "There is absolute no right or wrong in this matter," said Madam Ong, after her son's case was highlighted by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat at an education seminar recently.

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  • A bronze medal, but at what cost for Singapore?

    Singapore's Feng Tianwei celebrates with her bronze medal. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

    It’s taken six days for the
    Olympics to come alive for Singapore and I almost wished it hadn’t.

    Because instead of uniting a nation as sports often does, Feng Tianwei’s bronze medal win has done the exact opposite.

    Singapore’s first individual medal in 52 years has divided the nation and re-ignited the vicious, ugly debate surrounding imported foreign talent. In fact, it’s brought it into ever-sharper focus.

    The most replied comment to her win on Yahoo! is “No matter how successful in whatever Games Singapore has won is useless. I am sorry to say this. It is not won by a true Singaporeans. No ill feelings to the participants. It is just that you are not a true Singaporean.”

    Among the over 200 comments on Yahoo! Singapore’s Facebook wall that poured in immediately after her win on Wednesday, Elle Toh writes, “Honestly, I cannot bring myself to feel proud for a foreigner to win a medal for us, although they carry our Singapore flag. But I thank Feng Tianwei nonetheless for

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  • Another sign Singapore is bursting at the seams?


    In yet another worrying sign that Singapore is fraying at the edges, an elderly retiree was left with a fractured eye socket after a parking scuffle at Serangoon Gardens turned ugly.

    Retired businessman Goh Poh Ket, 65, claimed he was punched and assaulted by a man and his two sons after he parked his car outside their home along Jalan Chulek, reported The Straits Times.

    What began as a shouting match between all four ended up in Goh being viciously hit by a remote control, a plastic bottle and a sock filled with a hard substance, no less.

    Madam Lee, a resident and housewife in her 50s, told the paper, "Their sons even said, 'old man still want to fight with us,' and I told them to make sure they don't grow old."

    All four men in the ugly brawl have since been arrested by police.

    Frustration, anger, rage, incivility -- increasingly, these are the ugly emotions bubbling forth, online and offline, as an increasingly fractious Singapore copes with its burgeoning 5.1 million population.

    Read More »from Another sign Singapore is bursting at the seams?


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