Nope, not about MP Penny Low caught by TV cameras looking at her mobile phone while singing Majulah Singapura at the National Day Parade! Instead, I feel sorry for her for the way ubiquitous cameras keep invading her private space, even if she’s an MP — or especially if she is an MP and condemned to be on best behaviour, 24/7!
Nope, I don’t begrudge our government ministers their pay, whether it’s $1 million or $10 million. And definitely not our President his $4 million annual salary, because among his many onerous duties is one that I regard as necessary but oh so painful on the mind and spirit that no amount of moolah can compensate for: signing the execution orders for those felons sentenced to death.
What gets me angry is when I hear about town councils promoting recycling habits among their residents and mindlessly destroying the very eco-system that supports the dirt poor among us: the waste paper, cartons, and other bric-a-brac give the few $ which they depend on to survive a little better beyond public assistance and/or ad hoc charity!
What gets me really angry is when I hear (on 93.8FM some time ago) and read about attempts today to raise multi-million $ to buy dinosaur fossils (see article reproduced below), no matter how rare and in what good condition they may be, for our museums.
Let those who want such “trophies” to be in our museums pay for it out of their own pockets, not tap those with the money but which could be put to better use helping the living right in Singapore.
I’ve a plea for Tony Tan, Tan Jee Say, Tan Cheng Bock and Tan Kin Lian, our four presidential hopefuls: whichever of you wins the race, please stop championing all the brand name charities! Concentrate instead on those — like the old tramp — without the voice or the patron to bring their needs to the public eye. Your nod in their direction will ensure that this marginalised sliver among Singaporeans will eat better and live better for the next six years!
Purchase of 3 dinosaurs at risk as donations fall short of target
Less than $2m of immediate $8m needed raised as new deadline looms
By Tan Dawn Wei, News Editor
The deadline set by its sellers has come and gone, but the money to buy three dinosaurs for Singapore’s upcoming natural history museum is still not in the bag.
Since it embarked on an intense race to raise $12 million for the fossils from Wyoming in the United States a month ago, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research has managed to collect only $1.89 million through several donors and public donations through its online portal.
It has since negotiated an extension of the deadline – originally July 31 – with its American sellers and now has one to two months to raise the rest of the money.
The immediate task is to collect $8 million first to secure the three dinosaurs. The remaining $4 million, to be used for transport and to mount the exhibits, can be raised later.
Naturally and understandably NS men who had already completed their training cycle would be disappointed that they won’t be eligible for the National Service Recognition Award (NSRA) announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally.
The NSRA is a monetary award of between $9,000 and $10,500 for each Singaporean NSman, with commanders getting more. And it’s only for full time and operationally-ready NSmen in service from August 29, the day it was announced by Prime Minister Lee. It won’t be retroactive.
“We are also part of the Singaporean nation… We must be treated equally. We have contributed in the past,” said one Singaporean, according to a clip I saw on Channel News Asia last night.
And naturally and understandably too, the Government would defend its decision not to make the award retroactive.
Prohibitive costs apart (imagine how many $9,000 would have to be given out to all the cohorts that have completed their obligations since 1965!), Minister of State for Defence, Associate Professor Koo Tsai Kee, pointed out:
“Government policy has never been retroactive… many generations who have served NS, like many of us… recognise that we have already benefited from previous policies and this policy is for NSmen going forward.”
Yet I wonder why the recognition can’t be extended to those NS men who died while in training or on peace keeping missions? There can’t have been too many in number?
Sure, for each death, the NS deceased would have enjoyed a funeral with full military honours.
But how nice for their still grieving parents or other immediate family members, if after all these years, the Government should give them a little something more than symbolic to help ease their permanent loss and pain!