The Flipside
  • In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about how to deal with the latest MDA licensing scheme for online news sites.

    If you haven't heard, the Media Development Authority of Singapore has come up with a poorly-formulated licensing scheme.

    They have demanded that "online news sites" put up a "performance bond" of $50,000 from June 1 and comply within 24 hours to remove content that is found to be in breach of MDA content standards.

    Although it has been clarified that blogs are exempted from licensing, this has caused a lot of unhappiness.

    A group of bloggers, collectively called Free My Internet, will be organising a protest and online blackout next Saturday, June 8, to protest against what they believe is a clampdown on online speech.

    And they want the withdrawal of the licensing scheme.

    But what if you are just a regular Internet user, who

    Read More »from COMMENT: How to deal with MDA’s licensing scheme
  • A woman poses to have her photograph taken in the graffiti and street art covered designated skate area on the South Bank in London on July 7, 2010. (AFP photo)A woman poses to have her photograph taken in the graffiti and street art covered designated skate area on the South Bank in London on July 7, 2010. (AFP photo)

    In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about how government-endorsed graffiti only makes the authorities look bad.

    In case you haven't heard, there will be a new programme come September to teach the public how to create graffiti art in public places approved by the authorities.

    This is very likely the government's attempt to make the public think that it can be cool, funky and forward-looking for endorsing street art. Technically, it's a project of the Singapore Street Festival, which is supported by the National Youth Council.

    This new programme was even announced to coincide with the court case where the Sticker Lady and her accomplice pleaded guilty to several counts of mischief for illegally spray painting and pasting stickers on public property.

    So the most important question then: what are the real effects of such

    Read More »from Will government-endorsed graffiti program work?
  • Sam Lo, 26, turns up in court on Tuesday. She faces 15 counts of mischief (Yahoo! photo)

    In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about how Sticker Lady's crime is more severe than Amy Cheong's social media faux pas.

    It's come as a great surprise that ex-NTUC assistant director Amy Cheong has been left off with a stern warning by the Singapore police.

    Apparently, her Facebook comments last October berating an ethnic minority group has been deemed not serious enough to warrant her arrest and no charges were filed against her.

    But what's more shocking to Singaporeans -- in particular, those residing on the Internet -- is that one day after this news broke, the Sticker Lady, a.k.a. Samantha Lo, was also charged in court for her role in creating cheeky art works using stickers and spray paint that the authorities deemed to be outright vandalism. She now faces a fine or jail term of up to two years if she is convicted of 15

    Read More »from ‘Sticker Lady’ vs Amy Cheong: Who got it worse?
  • In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about how Our Singapore Conversation has stopped talking to the people.

    For the uninitiated, we're officially at the halfway mark of Our Singapore Conversation (OSC), a year-long chit chat to get Singaporeans to open up and say what they feel.

    And for those who think like me, OSC has always appeared kind of redundant because I thought the Internet has all along allowed Singaporeans to wear their hearts on their sleeve.

    Anyways, the second phase is about to be rolled out in late March. It will zoom in on what makes Singaporeans feel like they belong here, and it's expected to take another six months to complete.

    But before we get ahead of ourselves, here's a recap of how swimmingly well the national conversation has proceeded so far.

    Insights galore

    After six gruelling months of getting participants

    Read More »from How is the National Conversation going?
  • In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about how to solve the woes of single undergrads.

    In a survey of some 400 local undergraduates recently, six in 10 revealed they were not in a relationship.

    Out of this group of singles, seven in 10 had no plans to actively get into one.

    So what dissuades them from settling down? Making money and having a career.

    But can we really blame the undergrads for being materialistic, myopic and carefree? Let's find out.

    Role of educators

    One main reason undergrads shun relationships now is because they don't get enough practice when they were growing up.

    While completing primary school all the way to junior college, students have consistently been discouraged from getting attached.

    How? One way is by exposing these impressionable students to gory images of sexually-transmitted diseases during health

    Read More »from Why are Singapore’s single undergrads not dating?
  • A Singapore military personnel takes photograph of a couple sitting in a light strike vehicle displayed along Orchard Road walkway which is part part of a show to commemorate 40 years of National Service in Singapore, 12 April 2007. (AFP photo)A Singapore military personnel takes photograph of a couple sitting in a light strike vehicle displayed along Orchard Road walkway which is part part of a show to commemorate 40 years of National Service in Singapore, 12 April 2007. (AFP photo)

    In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about the ill-conceived idea of a National Service tax.

    Bishan GRC PAP MP Hri Kumar Nair has proposed that all permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners pay a National Service tax as part of their nation-building duties.

    My first impression of such a move is that it's a bad idea. Dwelling on it some more -- for about five minutes -- convinces me that it's an even worse idea.

    Here's why.

    1. Cost of 'unresolved tensions'

    First and foremost, there are some things in life that you simply cannot put a price on. For example, unresolved sexual frustration.

    Boys in NS typically feel their virginity getting stronger and stronger with each passing day. For two years.

    That is because nothing puts a girl off more than an NS boy with a bad crew cut and uneven tan. And who looks really desperate.

    What is the cost

    Read More »from Why you cannot put a price on National Service
  • Pre-school children tour the Garden by the Bay during an excursion in Singapore on July 25, 2012. (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)Pre-school children tour the Garden by the Bay during an excursion in Singapore on July 25, 2012. (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)

    In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about Singaporeans' reluctance to have more children.

    As our representatives are in parliament this week thrashing things out about where to take Singapore's population in the near future, the real reasons why young Singaporeans are reluctant to have children has largely been overlooked and under articulated.

    Policymakers and talking heads on TV have been having their say. Until now.

    So here goes.

    Stifling education

    One very good reason why young Singaporean adults are shunning passing on their DNA is because they don't subscribe to torture: they don't want to bring something into this world so that they can undergo the Singapore system of education.

    Imagine telling your flesh-and-blood that his or her worth is dependent on his or her PSLE and 'O' Levels grades.

    Not only that, you have to put him or

    Read More »from Why Singaporeans don’t want kids
  • In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about why the PAP lost Punggol East SMC by-election.

    The People's Action Party candidate at the Punggol East SMC by-election has suffered a shock defeat at the hands of the Workers' Party's Lee Li Lian.

    Nobody thought that this would happen to Dr Koh Poh Koon, a colorectal surgeon with so many credentials and too much ministerial calibre.

    Which is why -- as hindsight is always 20/20 -- it is easy to look back and point out these three reasons why Dr Koh Poh Koon lost.

    1) Too corny

    First and foremost, nobody appreciates corny political pick-up lines. What is this deal about Dr Koh being touted as the "Son of Punggol"? How does one even try to fuse biology with geography?

    I used to stay in Ang Mo Kio. And now I stay in Sengkang. What does that make me? Geographically promiscuous?

    Ok, yes, I know, I

    Read More »from Three reasons why Dr Koh Poh Koon lost Punggol East
  • STOMP fooled by fake story

    STOMP
    STOMP

    In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about the dangers of passing off fake news as real.

    In the strangest twist to this by-election season yet, Singapore Press Holdings-owned online portal STOMP briefly presented a fake news piece as the real deal.

    The context? A popular photo making the rounds on Facebook showing a woman who had fainted at the North Vista Secondary School nomination centre on 16 Jan this year was dressed up to become a parody piece by New Nation, Singapore's version of The Onion, a U.S. website featuring satirical articles on international, national and local news.

    To be fair, The Onion has duped many people, including a Chinese paper and an Iranian news agency, with its fake news articles.

    In the case of New Nation, of which yours truly is an editor, its piece titled "Woman faints to unite Singapore" was written in

    Read More »from STOMP fooled by fake story
  • A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt and parental permission is advised. In this post, he recaps the news you might have missed in 2012.

    All year long, we have been bombarded with sex scandals every other month.

    And news readers are getting sex scandal fatigue.

    But not that it would deter anyone who is waiting for the trial of ex-Singapore Civil Defence Force Chief, Peter Lim, to start in 2013.

    However, did you know that it was the Chinese tabloid Lianhe Wanbao that first broke this news at the beginning of 2012 of the high-profile arrests of this very senior officer under the Prevention of Corruption Act?

    If you didn't, don't fret.

    Here is a list of other news you might have missed in 2012 when you were distracted by sex, sex and more sex.

    Trolling Facebook pages

    One of the most noteworthy trends in the past 12 months has been the starting of anonymous and politically incorrect Facebook pages,

    Read More »from Did you miss these stories in 2012?

Pagination

(33 Stories)