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Content from Sudhir T Vadaketh, a Singaporean
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Just received this:
The Workers’ Party Central Executive Committee has approved the formation of a Disciplinary Panel to look into the admissions made by MP Raeesah Khan in Parliament on 1 Nov 2021, arising from an earlier speech made by the MP in Parliament on 3 Aug 2021.

The Panel comprises Secretary-General Pritam Singh, Chair Sylvia Lim and Vice-Chair Faisal Manap. The Panel will report its findings and recommendations to the CEC after it completes its work.

The work of the Party’s Disciplinary Panel is separate from any decision the Committee of Privileges of Parliament may make.
"It appears as if the nature of work itself—the way we perform it—might never return to its pre-covid state. Many believe that a hybrid model of in-person and remote working is here to stay...The uneven adoption (and occasional unwinding) of hybrid work arrangements over the past sixty years suggests benefits for employers and employees, but also risks and potential downsides."

I'm the writer for this multi-phased research programme, conducted by Economist Impact and supported by Google Workspace, studying emerging models of work.

See here for the first piece that has just been published:

#futureofwork #HybridWork

personal note 1: there is something quite apt about a unit of The Economist Group hiring me to write about hybrid work. I have been working remotely since 2010, when I was still full-time at the company (at a unit called Economist Insights). My boss then, Laurel West, and the rest of the editorial team was based in HK, while I was in SG. The odd meeting aside, there was no real need for me to be physically in the office. (Thanks Laurel!) However, there were very few people anywhere working remotely then ("face time" is so important in SG). There was a running joke among my colleagues about me not being around at The Economist office in the PWC Building on Cross St. Some probably thought of me as a slacker; I prefer "pioneer". haha.

personal note 2: after a barren 2020, it was such a relief that freelance work for me resumed around Apr 2021 with a series of projects, this being the biggest. If and when the SG media startup gets off the ground, I'll probably miss working on these big global projects with diverse teams spread across the world. But it's something for us to try and emulate!
Make a donation to support Singapore's literary arts!

Singapore Unbound, “a New York City-based non-profit literary arts organization dedicated to freedom of expression and equal rights for all in Singapore and abroad", is launching a new literary journal.

I especially appreciate its focus on producing good reviews:

"Writing a review, however, requires time and skill. At Singapore Unbound, we regularly commission reviews from writers who have never published before, and we guide them carefully through the writing and editing process. Editing a review thus involves multiple drafts, revisions, and line edits. Although a review can take only ten minutes to read from start to finish, it has often taken months to appear in public.

The benefit of a properly edited review is its quality. A writer benefits from a healthy relationship with their editor, who helps to catch errors, improve insights, and tighten their writing. It takes time to build rapport with reviewers and to encourage the development of their personal voice. When I am not scanning through desk copies of books and deciding whom to send them to, I am writing to reviewers with suggestions and detailed line edits, negotiating deadlines, and lending a supportive ear for their queries. The process is continuous, with many hours invested every week."

See here also:
Remember the time in 2017 when Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang accused Lee Hsien Loong, their brother, of corruption and abuse of power?

You probably do.

And do you remember how the mainstream media (MSM) reported their allegations wholesale, without seeking comment from Singapore’s prime minister?

You probably don’t. That didn’t happen.

Whenever accusations are made by one party against another, it is the duty of journalists to seek a response from the other side.

We don’t always get one—in which case journalists will let their readers know, using language like “multiple requests went unanswered” or “so-and-so declined to comment”.

In that light, last Friday evening was further confirmation that Singapore’s MSM, rather than seeking the truth and serving the people of Singapore, will continue to act shamefully as the handmaidens of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).

By simply regurgitating accusations made by Raeesah Khan against The Workers' Party (WP) leadership, from an “interim report” clearly cobbled together in time to dominate the weekend’s news, editors there have flouted basic journalistic ethics and standards of human decency.

It matters little that these accusations were aired in a parliamentary committee. If everything uttered by a one-party-dominated parliament is to be taken as gospel, we’re royally screwed.

It also matters little whether these allegations are ultimately true or not. The other side deserves a right to comment on them.

I have now once again looked carefully at the headlines and framing of pieces from CNA, The Straits Times, and Today (links below).

They’re shocking: clickbaity, tabloidy pieces designed to drive eyeballs through the weekend, missing critical details from the report and the witnesses, and which have precipitated endless speculation based on just one side’s view, parsed through numerous other voices (see attached image, h/t Wake Up, Singapore and @sharanvkaur).

Yes, yes, many would contend, no surprise, all this was likely a deliberate ploy by the MSM. (“SPH Media Trust”? Your ability to feed Orwellian caricatures is boundless.)

Many good people work in the MSM. Some have told me that their outfits treat the PAP and the WP fairly. Really? Do you really understand the values of your editors, including the numerous bureaucrats parachuted in by the government, as well as the values of your organisations? And, perhaps more importantly, do those values even matter to you?

Meanwhile, the great and the good of Singapore’s government are ever ready to criticise Western media outfits for their apparent biases, sometimes quite legitimately, in my view.

Yet it is a crying shame that they can never find the gumption to do so when our local ones feed up this sycophantic drivel that undermines public discourse, and that is to the detriment of a thinking society.


- With the Lee family feud, I’ve told numerous alternative media editors/writers this: it is wrong to simply repeat the allegations by Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang without also including a response from Lee Hsien Loong. You must show LHL the same respect you would anybody accused of anything.

- For an example of how journalists should be requesting for comment, and including those in their articles, please see ”Report calls for Brazil’s Bolsonaro to face charges over pandemic response”, 21 October 2021, Financial Times, which reached out to Bolsonaro’s office before publishing a piece on a damning Brazilian senate committee assessment. (Link and screenshot below.)

- At a personal level, if everything Raeesah says about the WP leadership is true—a big if—it will change my view of the party altogether; and, depending on what transpires after and what sorts of changes are made, may convince me that the party does not deserve to represent Singaporeans.
- CNA, Singapore’s equivalent of Russia Today, was probably the cheekiest in the way it gives the reader the illusion of fairness and integrity. It published its piece at 12.21am, just over an hour after the Committee of Privilege released its report. At the end of its piece, it says “CNA has sought comment from the Workers' Party on the Committee of Privileges' report.”

Here is my question to CNA: between 11.20pm on a Friday night, and 12.21am on Saturday morning, when exactly did you give the WP the chance to comment?
Winter is here

Singapore has only two seasons, I sometimes tell my foreign friends: rain and more rain.

Yet in truth there are a few, including dry spells in Feb that may be due to El Niño, global warming, or the old uncle who sticks chillies and onions in the fertile Malayan soil.

The one dependable, millenia-old season that buoys sailers in Changi and drowns public servants in Terengganu is related to the north-east monsoon, the opposite of the south-west monsoon that drenches India every summer.

Living in Pasir Ris, at the far northeast of Singapore, has made us more aware of its howling winds and frightening storms.

Last week I saw a white couple walking along the beach, swaying in the wind, the guy in a suit and the girl a long dress, more appropriately dressed than those of us in running gear.

Cold, siah.

So this is the season to indulge in dishes that warm you. A great one we had recently is a seafood pao fan 海鲜泡饭, a Teochew dish that is a sort of brothy porridge. (Or is it porridgy broth?)

Fan means rice and Pao submerge. Serene told me that she used a recipe from, but “didn't use lobster though and added the soaking liquid from the mushroom and ikan billis as well”. I especially loved the fried bits of rice, a welcome textural change.

Winter is here. Keep warm.

#PasirRisPark #PasirRisPassion #PasirRis #Seafoodpaofan #Singaporefoods #Singapore

p.s. just sharing recipes. no idea who are; jokers, for all I know.
I took my Covid booster yesterday, ahead of a planned trip to India to see my 93-year old nani. I decided to get a Moderna, making me a "PPM", or "PPCM", if one includes my Covid infection in September in the US. I had been feeling quite smug about these multiple layers of protection, until I met a friend, visiting from overseas, who is a SSPPJM.

As I waited, I decided to check global vaccination rates. Fewer than 5bn people have gotten at least a single dose (i.e. 60 odd percent of all humans, presumably mostly adults); and under 500m have gotten their booster. It reminded me of how lucky we are in rich parts of the world to be able to throw around these vaccine acronyms.

Even as we hope for some return to normalcy, there is still much work to be done globally to improve vaccine equity and to counter misinformation about vaccines. I can still plan to visit my nani; many other grandkids will never get a chance.

Finally, I chuckled when I saw this Ministry of Health poster illustrating some suggested post-vaccination exercises. I told my long-suffering wife that I am not about to replace my cycles, runs and swims with more housework.

Ling, doctor-turned-conservationist, said that the panel is targeted at caregivers and homemakers who cannot afford to skip any housework, and who may avoid the vaccine (or any other treatment) if they think it might cripple them for days.

I chuckled when I saw the poster; others would have breathed a sigh of relief.

#perspective #privilege #Getyourshot #CovidBooster #Singapore

p.s. I wasn't sure if I should take a booster, having been infected four months ago. A few things convinced me to: Omicron, practicality (Singapore will soon impose restrictions for those without a booster) and, well, the fact that we have more than enough shots in this city.