Blog Posts by Shah Salimat
- Shah Salimat is the editor-in-chief of culture news website Popspoken. He tweets at @firdianshah1. The views herein are not representative of his personal and professional affiliations.The recently-announced Budget introduced a slew of measures targeted at strengthening safety nets for the lower- and middle-income groups, empowering businesses to continue restructuring efforts and gain independence from manpower issues. It also sought to encourage lifelong learning through financing continuous training.Yet, nonchalance among some Singaporeans was worrying. Have we stopped keeping track of our government's finances? Why was there a lack of curiosity to analyse the Budget -- was it caused by the lack of additional cash "hongbaos"?Had Singaporeans become apathetic to how its government spends? Marred by the chase to stay afloat in the world's most expensive city, some Singaporeans -- going by the comments online -- balked at the lack of support given to ease current-day concernsRead More »from COMMENT: Is the “Singapore Dream” an elusive one?
- Shah Salimat | Yahoo Newsroom – Mon, Sep 29, 2014
Shah Salimat is the editor-in-chief of Singapore entertainment, lifestyle and issues website Popspoken. He tweets at @firdianshah1. The views expressed are his own.Read More »from COMMENT: Various accounts of CPF protest ‘heckling’ tell a different story
Just recently, I found a Web article about an artist whose "invisible art" sold millions. The words were prefaced by a photo of artgoers looking at blank walls, trying to find the "art" that was presented by the artist.
I shared it on my Facebook news feed, incredulous that such a gimmick made the artist a fortune. I then saw another friend sharing the same article. A comment under that post highlighted how the writers of the article came from a satire radio show that was fabricating articles and passing them off as news.
I got trolled, big time.
For some reason, I got the same feeling when I saw a video released by The Online Citizen showing a different view of the heckling that happened between Return Our CPF protesters Roy Ngerng and Han Hui Hui, as well as participants from an event held by the Young Men's Christian
- Shah Salimat | SingaporeScene – Tue, Jun 24, 2014
Shah Salimat is the editor-in-chief of Popspoken, an entertainment and lifestyle newsblog. He tweets at @shahsalimat. All views presented herein are his own and do not reflect his personal and professional affiliations.Read More »from COMMENT: Facing LGBT opposition from religious right, should Pink Dot fight for more?
On May 16, 2009, the idea of a peaceful gathering to celebrate the freedom to love regardless of sexual orientation was executed. More than 1,000 people (or Today’s more conservative estimate of 500) formed the signs ‘Love’ and ‘4All’ as they formed a giant pink dot at the heart of Hong Lim Park.
Fast-forward to the sixth Pink Dot event to be held this coming Saturday, 28 June. The event now has celebrity ambassadors, a slickly-produced video and a concert featuring performances by musicians and other talents. Heavyweight companies have come onboard to lend their support and a bazaar gathers community groups in support of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs).
But when the pink dot disperses and the crowd steps out of Hong Lim Park, how much has changed in
COMMENT: Look closer to find constructive politics among stereotyped atypical, disgruntled protestersBy Shah Salimat | SingaporeScene – Sun, Jun 8, 2014
Shah Salimat is the editor-in-chief of culture website Popspoken. The views herein do not reflect the views of the professional affiliations he is associated with. He tweets at @shahsalimat.Read More »from COMMENT: Look closer to find constructive politics among stereotyped atypical, disgruntled protesters
Sometimes, the placards tell the story.
Although most placards seen at the “Return Our CPF” protest organised by activist Han Hui Hui were skewed towards claiming back Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies that were perceived to be in the hands of the government, some still draw conclusions to the same old topic.
One placard referred to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife Ho Ching as “Ho Jinx”, alleging that the People’s Action Party (PAP) is responsible for withholding CPF monies from the people “to feed Ho Jinx’s gambling addiction”.
Then, there are posters alluding to terms coined in the past. One is the oft-told “Pay And Pay” alternative explanation of the PAP, which probably is a taxi driver pet favourite. Another claims that the $5,000 blogger Roy Ngerng offered as damages in PM Lee’s suit is not
- Shah Salimat – Sun, Apr 20, 2014
Here's why citizen journalism in Singapore has worked so well: it combines two of our favourite past-times.Read More »from COMMENT: Smarter citizen journalism without STOMP?
One is the art of complaining, perfected to a science of passive-aggressive mutterings under one's breath and disapproving glances with folded arms. Another is our love of taking photos, even at the expense of social space and privacy.
A cursory glance through STOMP's user-generated Singapore Seen column reveals the sort of tantrum-throwing, voyeuristic "journalism" that will make UK's The Daily Mail blush: uncle watches porn on his mobile phone in a bus, couple dances on the train as irate passengers look on, China nationals let their son run around Changi Food Centre naked.
It is a far cry from the citizen journalism around the world that is making user-generated content a big asset to newsrooms.
Shah Salimat is the editor-in-chief of Popspoken, an entertainment, lifestyle and issues newsblog in Singapore. He tweets at @shahsalimat.
Just one hour into the VIP preview for Art Stage Singapore last Wednesday, all nine works from Singapore painter Ruben Pang were sold for some $50,000 by Chan Hampe Galleries.
Shortly after, Pang was holding his champagne glass with a look of relief on his face.
The annual art fair has proven its salt in profiling local artists here. Recently back for its fourth instalment from January 16 to 19 at Marina Bay Sands, Art Stage brings together more than 110 regional and international galleries to showcase select artworks for buyers and the public.
Art Stage's Southeast Asia focus has attracted buyers keen on exploring the emerging art scene in this region, with its strong cultural heritage. The Southeast Asia platform is an example of a curated exhibit of key works from artists in this particular region.
After launching an Indonesian-based platform spaceRead More »from Growing demand for works by Singapore artists
‘I Hugged The Berlin Patient’: Singapore cancer survivor’s frantic search for first person cured of HIVBy Shah Salimat | SingaporeScene – Mon, Dec 16, 2013
Television creative Edgar Tang didn't intend to do a documentary about the first man to be cured of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). He flew to the city where the man previously lived, for an entirely different purpose.
"I was so intrigued that he wasn't widely reported, so I decided to go to Berlin and feel his city to write a fictional feature about him. I said to (co-director) Dzul (Sungit), "If nothing happens, we'll have a holiday together". Dzul Sungit replied, "Why not I bring a camera down?""
That journey to find that man, 47-year-old Timothy Ray Brown, led Tang to produce his first documentary called "I Hugged The Berlin Patient" -- a reflective exploration spanning three continents, retracing the medical marvel's life through his favourite city Berlin, the doctor who cured him, and his friends.
"I Hugged The Berlin Patient" recounts Edgar's organic yet manic search for Brown, termed "The Berlin Patient" in reference to the city Brown resided in while he worked as a GermanRead More »from ‘I Hugged The Berlin Patient’: Singapore cancer survivor’s frantic search for first person cured of HIV
- Shah Salimat | SingaporeScene – Tue, Nov 19, 2013Over a decade since Muslim girls were suspended for wearing their hijabs (headscarves) to school, Singapore has yet to definitely and conclusively wrap up the hijab issue. (Getty Image)
Over a decade since Muslim girls were suspended for wearing their hijabs (headscarves) to school, Singapore has yet to definitely and conclusively wrap up the hijab issue.
Despite the many voices that called for dialogue then, the issue was laid to rest until a recent forum when a polytechnic lecturer asked why nurses were not allowed to wear the traditional Muslim headscarf at work revived the debate.
The collective voice from the Muslim community now seems to be stronger. A decade is a long time for dissatisfaction to boil over.
Beneath some of the hurtful words and comments around the issue lies a deep sense of frustration with the status quo.
While the recent campaign to legalise wearing the hijab in any job -- including nurses and uniformed personnel -- has been specific and forthcoming, the government's message of "tolerance" and continuous dialogue has been vague at most.
Such remarks are unhealthy for an electorate that just wants the haze to clear on an issue that seems fairlyRead More »from COMMENT: Should the “hijab” be such a complex issue?
- Shah Salimat | SingaporeScene – Wed, Aug 28, 2013
Shah Salimat is the editor-in-chief of Popspoken, an entertainment and lifestyle newsblog with a tinge of spice, covering everything Singaporean and international, from India's gang-rape problem to Baey Yam Keng's selfies.
The phrase "gay lifestyle" gets thrown around a lot.
Its often-negative usage in the lexicon of the religious right has been so pervasive that media monitoring organisation GLAAD has stepped in, calling the term offensive as it is used to suggest that the orientation of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people (LGBTs) "is a choice and therefore can and should be "cured"".
A recent survey conducted as part of the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) concluded that Singapore society generally does not accept gay lifestyles and same-sex marriage. The bulk of disapproval came from older and less-educated Singaporeans.
62 per cent of Singaporeans with no formal education rejected the idea of gay lifestyles, while only 26 per cent and 29 per cent of polytechnicRead More »from COMMENT: Why the term ‘gay lifestyle’ offends and is hurtful
- Shah Salimat | SingaporeScene – Sat, Jun 29, 2013
Singapore Democratic Party politican Vincent Wijeysingha officially came out as a gay man on his Facebook page on Friday.
This makes him Singapore's first openly gay politician.
The 43-year-old social work lecturer's Facebook post also mentioned the Facebook page Fabrications About The PAP -- he told Yahoo! Singapore that "the reference was tongue-in-cheek".
Wijeysingha wrote, "Just in case Fabrications About The PAP is wondering, yes, I am going to Pink Dot tomorrow. And yes, I am gay."
Pink Dot is a non-profit movement to celebrate the freedom to love regardless of sexual orientation. It is attended by lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders, together with straight allies. It will take place for the fifth time on Saturday (29 June) evening.
Wijeysingha also wrote that "I don't have a gay agenda", referring to an incident in the 2011 general elections when Member of Parliament Vivian Balakrishnan accused him of pursuing the "gay agenda" in politics.
Reactions on social media have beenRead More »from Politician Vincent Wijeysingha comes out as gay man on Facebook