When the ruling party in your effectively one-party state country sees its succession plan go up in smoke, you don't wait until the regular Saturday slot to send out your newsletter weekly wrap. Here we go with this week's #wethecitizens: wethecitizens.ghost.io/not-according-…
One thing I didn't add about Lawrence Wong was that he was the minister who talked about "culture wars" when asked about MOE's policy re: transgender students. That's one black mark against his name, although I'm not sure how many (esp. older) Singaporeans would make a note.
With HSK out of the running for the premiership, people are now going to be reading tea leaves and placing (real/figurative) bets on who’s up.

I argued in #wethecitizens that this isn’t the most important question for Singapore.
But that’s not to say this development isn’t a big deal for Singapore politics. @tcllee1972 points out in this thread how this is a significant departure from the previous leadership transitions:
If the party that claims to be Singapore’s best and brightest is sliding (or already arrived) at mediocrity, this is bad news for Singaporeans.

If the party is not cohesive, and fraying with factional struggles, this is bad news for Singaporeans (at least in the short-term) too.
Our current political landscape is such that all our eggs are in the PAP basket. Opposition parties and civil society have been so repressed and suppressed that, despite efforts and promising growth, there are still few alternative institutions to the PAP machinery.
This, to me, is the problem. It's not about *who* is going to succeed; it's about what this sputtering transition tells us about the dominant party. While it's not the job of SGeans to prop up the PAP, in the short-term we're not well-prepared to deal w/ them becoming damn rabak
What I fear is that, while this struggle is ongoing, and no matter who emerges on top, we might see continued/more tightening of space and clampdowns on dissent. The PAP is not known for respecting civil liberties and space for expression. A very insecure PAP... well.
With the PAP fraying, what we need is the ability to build up alternatives, both in terms of viable political parties and civil society organisations. But with the PAP fraying yet determined to maintain its grip, the space to do this might shrink further. This is what worries me.

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More from @kixes

8 Apr
Heng Swee Keat no longer in the running to be Singapore’s next prime minister. He says the result his team got in East Coast GRC in the last general election is not the reason why he chose to step aside.

Sure thing, buddy channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore…
What’s not mentioned here is that LHL *could* have stuck to the schedule of stepping down in 2022; some have argued that his pledge to remain (made in the middle of the GE2020 campaign) was a response to lacklustre public enthusiasm for Heng and the 4G.
After all, LHL had already allowed the 4G to oversee the #Covid19 situation, which is why we kept seeing Lawrence Wong at those briefings. If there was confidence in the 4G, LHL could have stepped down at 70 as promised. straitstimes.com/politics/4g-le…
Read 7 tweets
7 Apr
Hey @Forbes, please don't let people who don't know anything about Singapore write about Singapore.

During the "circuit breaker" lockdown, psychological treatment wasn't even included in the list of essential services: straitstimes.com/singapore/ment…
Psychology services were re-categorised later in the month, after outcry: channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore…
Written like someone who read some government press releases and websites, and nothing else
Read 4 tweets
14 Mar
‘I feel weirded out by trans people but am too scared to say so publicly in case I get cancelled cos the woke movement has created such a climate of fear” says person who just got her article published in a major local media outlet todayonline.com/gen-y-speaks/g…
The author raises the example of JK Rowling as an example of why she's now afraid to admit that she still has questions and discomfort about transitioning and openly transgender people.
But the the Rowling tweet she highlights is *not* an example of someone who sincerely wants to learn. Rowling was glibly taking a position that trans women aren't women. This is very different from "I'm not well-versed in this issue and would like to know more."
Read 10 tweets
13 Mar
@hamishmckenzie I’d like to respond as someone who has had a good experience w/ @SubstackInc and recommended it to others. I’m doing this publicly instead of via email ‘cos I want to be part of a wider conversation on this.

First: Substack should be transparent about who your Pro writers are.
@hamishmckenzie @SubstackInc Last year, I was a recipient of a Substack grant. This was made public: blog.substack.com/p/substacks-gr… I don’t see how the Substack Pro programme should be treated differently.

This transparency is important ‘cos it shows us who and what @SubstackInc thinks is worth investing in. Image
@hamishmckenzie @SubstackInc I came to hear of this issue after @sadydoyle pointed out that @SubstackInc paid significant advances to transphobic men, which helped them use Substack as a stage upon which to continue spreading these harmful views. I’d like Substack to confirm if these men are on Pro.
Read 10 tweets
26 Jan
Today: A protest by Singaporeans against transphobia in the education system.
They've issued a statement and are using the hashtag #FixSchoolsNotStudents
Within minutes security officers have shown up saying that photos can't be taken and asking them to leave. 2 protesters have left but 3 remain. #FixSchoolsNotStudents
Read 28 tweets
24 Sep 20
I'd like to share the story of Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, a young Nigerian footballer.

In 2007, at the age of 21, Tochi was hanged in #Singapore.
Tochi was arrested in Changi Airport in #Singapore on 27 November 2004. He was 18 years old.

He was later charged with importing not less than 727.02g of heroin. His case largely revolved around whether he could rebut the presumption clauses within the Misuse of Drugs Act.
What are these presumption clauses? First: if you have more than 2g of heroin, Section 17 of #Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act (here: sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/MDA1973#pr…) presumes that you are trafficking the drugs.
Read 23 tweets

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