Category: Straits Times

No need to specify fixed periods to fly national flag

By Dhevarajan Devadas

I commend the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s announcement that the rules for displaying the national flag have been amended so people can fly it from now until September as a rallying symbol during the Covid-19 pandemic (Amended rules allow people to fly national flag from now till Sept 30, April 26).

However, I wonder if there is a need at all to specify fixed periods during which Singaporeans can display the national flag.

Many other countries allow their flags to be displayed in homes, businesses and vehicles throughout the year, as long as the proper protocols are observed.

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Debate on controversial issues should be led by S’poreans

By Dhevarajan Devadas

The changes announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding foreign participation in events held at the Speakers’ Corner are timely (“Foreign entities need permits at Speakers’ Corner“; last Saturday).

Discussion and debate on controversial social and political issues should be led primarily by Singaporeans.

After all, the consequences of any resulting decisions will be chiefly borne by us.

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Be inclusive in how we celebrate Paralympians

By Dhevarajan Devadas

The podium finishes of Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh at the Rio Paralympics are admirable achievements that have generated much applause and praise among Singaporeans (“S’pore on track for best showing at Paralympics” and “Paralympics: At last, Goh wins elusive medal“; both published yesterday).

Both athletes have aptly demonstrated that their disabilities are no barrier to achieving success in the global sporting arena.

Goh’s 17 years of perseverance that led to her bronze medal is an awe-inspiring feat that deserves no less recognition than Joseph Schooling’s journey to his Olympic gold medal.

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Build further on S’pore-US partnership

By Dhevarajan Devadas

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official visit to the United States is a good opportunity for us to reflect upon the mutually beneficial and trusted relationship that both nations have enjoyed for 50 years (“Singapore a solid-rock partner: Obama“; Wednesday).

Singapore and the United States have been close partners in areas such as defence, trade and research and development.

The presence of more than 3,700 US companies here and large inflows of foreign direct investment from the US are a testament to the confidence American business leaders have in the safe and stable environment offered by Singapore.

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Safeguard our cohesion amid a divided world

By Dhevarajan Devadas

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s call for unity and harmony among Singaporeans is a timely one (“Singaporeans must ‘stand united in face of terror threat’“; Monday).

The recent spate of terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East and the growth of extremism within our region are troubling reminders of the serious threats facing Singapore.

Lone-wolf attacks, which are unpredictable and hard to detect, mean that the chances of an attack occurring here are higher than ever before.

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Time for conversation on broader role of tuition

By Dhevarajan Devadas

I read of the growing trend of “super tutors” in Singapore with great concern (“Super tutors in demand/Each of them earns at least $1m a year“; Monday).

The exorbitant fees charged by such tutors effectively render these services inaccessible to students from low-income and lower-middle-income families who also require extra help in their studies. This disparity in support may undermine the principle of meritocracy.

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Much to gain from heightened Singapore-Aussie relations

By Dhevarajan Devadas

I welcome the new landmark cooperation agreement between Singapore and Australia as part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (“S’pore, Australia ink pact taking ties to new heights“; last Saturday).

Having taken part in Exercise Wallaby during my national service days, I have witnessed, first hand, the valuable experience our soldiers gain through large-scale exercises in the vast training grounds of Australia.

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Much Israel, Singapore can learn from each other

By Dhevarajan Devadas

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Israel not only reaffirms friendly bilateral ties, but also acknowledges the deep and longstanding relationship between our two nations (“PM takes stock of Singapore’s ties with Israel”; Tuesday).

As the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew recounted in his memoirs, Israel was the only country that responded to our request for assistance in building up our military.

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Preserve national security, social fabric

By Dhevarajan Devadas

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam’s speech on the threats posed by religiously inspired terrorism is both candid and timely (“Religion, terrorism and threats to S’pore, the region“; Wednesday).

The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the support it has attracted in the region, is a matter of grave concern for us, as well as our neighbours.

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New Edusave award sends right message

By Dhevarajan Devadas

I welcome the Government’s decision to extend eligibility for Edusave awards to polytechnic students (“Edusave awards for poly students too“; Jan 10).

The new Edusave Skills Award sends the right signal that the Government recognises the strong foundation of practical experience and technical expertise that a polytechnic education provides students.

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