• Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    I arrived at the State Courts on Friday just in time to see journalists pouring out of the courtroom, following a Deputy Public Prosecutor into a media huddle. He was going through the conditions of Amos Yee’s bail, now transferred from police to court bail. His parents had not yet decided whether they were going to post bail this time.

    Friends who had been in the courtroom told me that Amos had been whisked out of his closed pre-trial conference in handcuffs. The whole thing had been so quick that he hadn’t even had a chance to look up and see that people he knew were there for moral support.

    The major events have since been reported in the media. Amos is spending the weekend in remand. No one has yet come forward to bail him out. The bail

    Read More »from COMMENT: What Amos Yee is going through is far bigger than just one boy
  • Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    After decades of waiting, Singapore finally has two Malay full ministers in Cabinet.

    The recent Cabinet reshuffle saw Masagos Zulkifli promoted to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office as well as Second Minister for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs. It’s a step forward for Malay representation in local politics, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s comment on his promotion deserves more scrutiny:

     

    “I am promoting Masagos Zulkifli to full Minister. He has performed well, both in his ministries and as an MP in Tampines. It is the first time we are having two Malay full ministers, which reflects the progress of the Malay community.”

     

    There’s quite a bit here to unpack. Firstly, why has it taken so long to have two Malay full ministers? And

    Read More »from Representation in politics: Whose progress is it?
  • Children in a classroom. AFP file photoChildren in a classroom. AFP file photo

    Do you want to be a successful student? If you’re a parent, do you want that for your children?

    There’s no running away from hard work. But becoming a successful student isn’t only about doing more. It’s also about saying the right things.

    Here’s why.

    By being intentional about the things you say to yourself and others, you’ll cultivate a success mindset. Only then will you find the intrinsic motivation to take consistent, productive action.

    And that’s what leads to success.

    So, to be a successful student, here are the 10 things to say every day:

    1. “My goal is progress, not perfection.”

    Nobody’s perfect. It’s impossible to get perfect grades, to have the perfect body, or to have the perfect social life. If your goal is perfection, you’ll eventually be disappointed and disillusioned.

    I’ve worked with students who are perfectionists. Several of them cut their wrists, suffer from eating disorders, or have suicidal thoughts.

    That’s scary, I know.

    Not all perfectionists have such serious

    Read More »from Want to be a successful student? Say these 10 things every day


  • Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    Lee Kuan Yew built a Singapore that was free and strong and rich, and none of us were allowed to forget it during the mourning period. Immediately following the state funeral, though, Singapore appears to have become weak and fragile and fearful – so much so that a kid with a webcam and two individuals with placards are deemed dangerous enough to be worth arrest and court charges, lest everything falls apart.

    Amos Yee (pic above) was charged last week for his YouTube video, while two individuals were arrested on Saturday for standing outside the Istana holding placards saying “You can’t silence the people” and “Injustice”. The state presumably read the former sign and simply thought, “Challenge accepted.”

    One could say that this is simply a

    Read More »from COMMENT: Freedom of speech in Singapore: a matter of security, or of trust?
  • >

    AHPETC office.AHPETC office.

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    Speculation over impending elections got another little boost recently when news broke that People’s Action Party (PAP) activists had distributed flyers at night to residents of Aljunied Group Representative Constituency (GRC), encouraging them to question the Worker’s Party (WP) on lapses in the management of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

    The flyers once again hammered on the point of accounting and corporate governance lapses in AHPETC – a new pet topic that the PAP will probably never tire of poking.

    Some think that this is a pretty low blow from the PAP, but negative campaigning is really just part of the cut and thrust of politics. It’s often a built-in component of political campaigning. Play up your

    Read More »from COMMENT: What we should ask about the PAP's flyer drop
  • Getting your children to do their homework – it’s a struggle, isn’t it?

    It seems like everything is more important to them than homework. Online gaming, social media, hanging out with friends, watching TV, playing sports… the list goes on.

    But it doesn’t have to be a daily struggle.

    In this article, I’ll explain seven ways to get your children to do their homework – no complaining from them, and no nagging from you.

    1. Make it clear that it’s their homework, not yours.

    Many parents seem to care more about their children’s homework than their children do. As such, the responsibility shifts from the children to the parents.

    But this shouldn’t be the case. After all, it’s your children’s homework, not yours.

    Help them to understand that their homework is their responsibility. Feel free to provide help or guidance, but you should never do the work for them.

    2. Don’t force them to do their homework.

    I can almost hear you saying, “But Daniel, if I don’t force my children to do their

    Read More »from 7 ways to get your children to do their homework (no nagging required!)
  • Commuters commute at lunch hour at Raffles Place in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)Commuters commute at lunch hour at Raffles Place in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

    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 concerns
    Read More »from COMMENT: Is the “Singapore Dream” an elusive one?
  • Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    It’s good for a country to look back on its history once in awhile. Good to stop and take stock of how far we’ve come, how much more we’ve got to go. It makes sense that we’re doing this on a massive scale during Singapore’s Jubilee year, but there’s one myth that really, really needs to be busted: the narrative of “fishing village to sparkling metropolis”.

    A recent BBC article framed Singapore’s growth as “swamp to skyscrapers” – a narrative most Singaporeans are familiar with by now. It’s a story we were told in schools, reinforced by numerous National Day Parades and referred to so regularly that it’s often left unquestioned.

    Yet it doesn’t take very long to find the flaws in the story. Colonised by the British in the early 1800s,

    Read More »from COMMENT: Singapore needs to look beyond the 'swamp to skyscrapers' narrative
  • Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    Before the Budget speech was delivered there was some speculation about a Jubilee Budget of angpows to sweeten the population before the inevitable election. I suppose one could say that Singaporeans are still getting “angpows” in various forms, but it’s thankfully a little more holistic than that.

    2015’s Budget has shown a willingness – albeit not a whole-hearted plunge – to move towards more redistributive policies. High income earners will have to pay more income tax, but low- and middle-income families will be receiving more support in the form of concessionary levies for foreign domestic workers, childcare subsidies, and the Silver Support Scheme that will help provide for low income earners who may not have substantial amounts of CPF

    Read More »from COMMENT: Budget 2015 provides safety net for those who need it most
  • Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    I wasn’t intending to follow the parliamentary goings-on, but they found me anyway, poking into my daily routine on Twitter and Facebook. People’s Action Party (PAP) Members of Parliament (MPs), one after another, struck by the urge to express the depth of disappointment, anger and betrayal they felt over the Workers’ Party’s management of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

    It was two days of back-and-forth. Judging by my social media feeds, I wasn’t the only person getting tired of all the accusations and – as Heng Swee Keat put it – wayang.

    There is plenty that WP should be open about. But so should all the other town councils. And who – apart from the mainstream media – has really forgotten about the whole Action

    Read More »from COMMENT: Municipal arguments shouldn't come at expense of bigger discussions

Pagination

(1,284 Stories)