Recently, two unrelated events happen at the same time. The first was about a man named Mr Tan in his forties commiting suicide by jumping off onto the mass rapid transit tracks. The man in forties was a working class man. He was jobless and had a family to feed. He left behind nothing now except his wife and his kids. The second was about a young and bright student named Wee Shu Min who wrote an emotive, insensitive and snobbish response to Derek Wee who was lamenting about the state of affairs in Singapore. For her remarks, she was criticised by various bloggers (Aaron, Ben, Elia, Kitana, Wee Kiat and of course, everyone from Sammyboy Forums). Her background as the daughter of a member of parliament and a student from the top junior college (RJC) have further ignited the flames. In any case, if everyone take a step back, the whole fiasco is just about the misadventures of a young spolit brat.
The Prime Minister’s National Day Message is usually a prelude–or what we might call an executive summary–of the later Rally Speech. The former outlines the main points to be discussed in the latter. In addition, the Prime Minister’s Office presumably composes the rally speech in consultation with the various ministries and after collating their feedback and suggestions. This means that we can also expect the rally speech to introduce or foreshadow new policies that are to be implemented in the not too distant future. (In this respect, The PM’s rally speech bears resemblance to the State of the Union in the United States.)
An entry by a Singapore Economist entitled “Blogger and Politics” has caught my attention today. Two days back, Joe Lieberman, an incumbent three-term senator from the state of Connecticut and also a vice-presidential candidate hopeful, lost the Democratic primary to a political novice, Ned Lamont. The US blogosphere or the netroots movement was cited as one of the main factors for Lieberman (see this article from Time magazine). Coupled with the Connecticut democrats’ unhappiness with Lieberman’s pro-Iraq war stance and closeness to George W Bush, Led Namont was able to pull off a surprise victory in this primary.