Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

You don’t need to have state-of-the-art video equipment to make a great video. This video was made by a Japanese student as part of his final thesis project in 2010.

As you can see, this info-graphic video was created without the use of a video camera. This shows that there are many ways of creating multimedia content. What is really needed is a creative mind and some technical skills.

On top of Japan’s issues that have been highlighted in the video, they are now plagued with a potential nuclear meltdown. Apparently the situation is becoming increasingly critical; I don’t know what exactly will happen in the days to come, but I certainly hope that Japan does not suffer the fate of Chernobyl. In case you don’t know the severity of the Chernobyl accident, here’s a very graphic video which highlights the devastation which has plagued Chernobyl for the past 25 years.

Even today, it is still not safe to live in the affected areas around Chernobyl.

Whatever happens, I hope that Japan does not suffer the same fate as Chernobyl.



Christopher de Souza (Member of Parliament) and Lim Swee Say (Cabinet Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress) pose for a picture with the children of residents living in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.

Yesterday, the residents of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC celebrated the PAP Community Foundation’s 25th Anniversary and were treated to a carnival at the Senja-Cashew Community Centre. As I stood alongside with RazorTV’s journalist, Sara Ann K, and several other journalists from the local press, I found it relatively novel to cover this event side by side with the official press. I am but an ordinary citizen, a full-time student; I am neither a journalist nor a press photography.

This is but one of many instances whereby ordinary citizens of Singapore are finding themselves in a position to deliver print-worthy photographs, or even event coverages, which is made possible by the technological advances in today’s digital age. Cameras have become very affordable these days, and with the emergence of local forums and online web portals such as Hardwarezone and, it really isn’t difficult to get started on Citizen Journalism.

Many netizens are now turning to such unofficial portals to subscribe to an alternative view of local and current affairs, partly because it is a known yet unspoken fact that the press are usually inclined to favor certain political parties. Bearing this in mind, citizen journalists can actually wield considerable influence on the society, and this power should be used responsibly. In any case, I doubt that anyone can actually get away with spreading dissent with the local government here in Singapore. The arms of justice [ISD] are long and it’s reach is far; much further than what most of us can run from. What do you think?

If every person in Singapore were to donate $1 to a politician’s cause, he would be able to raise S$6 million a day.

If that politician was to utilize the Internet to raise funds, he could easily raise a considerable amount, from each willing donor who only had to donate a small sum of money. That was how Barack Obama raised US$1 million a day for the month of January in 2008. If Barack Obama targeted the rich to donate, he could secure larger sums of money from individual donors, but these funds might still pale in contrast when compared to the large community who donated small sums each. And so they say, little drops of water, makes a mighty ocean.

As the Internet is highly interactive and is able to reach out to a large audience, its potential seems limitless. Barack Obama realized this, and tapped the potential to his benefit, raising US$30 million within a month for his presidential campaign. While its potential seems limitless, it certainly is not a miracle worker.

To win the support of votes from the people, a politician cannot expect to conduct his entire campaign behind a webcam and expect the people to put their trust in him. A politician who has a sharp and sound mind knows that he has to ‘meet the people’ to allay their fears and to win their trust and support. The difference in his effectiveness is knowing when to utilize the Internet to amplify the efficiency of his campaign.

For the first time in Singapore’s history, political parties will be allowed to use Twitter and Facebook to promote for their campaigning. I wonder how this will change the face of local politics. What do you think?

Picture this.

Your neighbor leaves his front door open, and you help yourself to his fridge, resulting in getting arrested for trespassing and breaking-in in the process. Similarly, you can also be arrested if you tap onto your neighbor’s unrestricted wireless Internet access! If this news is shocking to you, you need to really take precautions and not freely access any unknown wireless connections.

In 2006, Garyl Tan Jia Luo (17 years old then) was charged for accessing his neighbor’s Internet connection. Who needs enemies when you got neighbors like this?

Perhaps we underestimate the severity of such harmless actions, but the law is in place for a good reason. In 2005, a 21 year old man illegally accessed several wireless networks to post bomb hoax on a local Internet forum, raising alarm and causing panic to the community. Needless to saw, the long arms of justice caught up with him, and he faces 180 years of jail time if convicted.

I’m certain that the above-mentioned man will repent on his actions, considering the long jail time that he has to serve. In your opinion, do you think that his sentencing is too severe, or would you give him a heavier punishment if you were the judge?


My Digital Life

Posted: July 10, 2010 in Current Affairs

(A Chinese Authority inspects milk powder in light of another unethical business practice. Image by Associated Free Press)

Are you aware that two Pioneer Junior College female students committed suicide within three weeks apart from each other? And that China is back in the headlines for seizing 76 tonnes of melamine-tainted milk powder? Have you heard about the European who recently lost a €500,000 bet in soccer? (He chose to go against Paul the Octopus’ prediction and lost half a million euros by betting on Germany, who lost to Spain.) Or how about Cecilia Cheung’s decision to have another child? Chances are you would be kept up-to-date on such news if you read the newspaper frequently. I don’t. So how do I keep myself updated on the news?

Your guess is probably right – The Internet. The Internet allows the convergence of voice, video, data, and interactivity. It has also given birth, and plays host to many forms of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) such as email, web chat, newsgroups, and video conferencing.

Since my family does not subscribe to the newspaper subscription, I do not read the newspapers often because it is not readily available to me. I rely on the online sites that provide news coverage to keep myself updated. From local issues to international news, sports and even celebrity gossip, the Internet provides me with fodder to satisfy my hunger for news.

This has a high level of functionality, which attracts a large number of subscribers because most households in Singapore are connected to the Internet. In countries where an Internet connection is hard to come by, communication media will be unlikely to broadcast news using the Internet since it will not reach out to a large audience.

In this technology-driven era, CMCs have provided us with so many conveniences. Without CMC, we would not have our instant messengers and online gaming portals which has become so popular with the youths. If not for CMC, other forms of complementary technology would also not have been possible. Read: The iPhone might not be invented without the existence of CMC.

Are you reliant on CMC? And how long are you able to go without the usage of CMC? I for one, am greatly dependent on CMC and life would be a bore without it. What about you?


Yahoo! Singapore

(Twitter user, mooteh uploads a picture of Geylang Lorong 23 at approximately 9am)

Early this morning, heavy rains caused severe flooding in several areas. Many people who were on their way to work experienced the fury of the weather, which is the second instance within the month. Barely minutes into the floods, images were uploaded onto the popular social networking and micro-blogging site, Twitter. Twenty years ago, it would be nearly impossible to receive news within such short time. Taking today’s morning floods for example, it would traditionally take either half a day for such news to appear in the evening news, or a day to appear in tomorrow’s news papers; in contrast, with mobile access to the Internet, we are able to receive news on the go almost instantaneously.

This is a good illustration on how the media keeps up with the ever-changing times. In the past, both consumers and the media mainly relied on the newspaper as an avenue of receiving and sending information. Blessed with modern technological advances, we are increasingly reliant on new media mediums. Likewise, the mass media is dependent on consumers’ subscriptions which is the deciding factor on the choice of medium that the media delivers information through. If Twitter was not popular in the local context, Yahoo! News would probably not rely on it to broadcast news of the flood.

Citizen journalism is another application of media determinism, which is made possible by technology. If I wanted to find out the situation of the floods urgently, I would rely on Stomp as it offers current and updated news. While the newspaper would be more accurate in the coverage, I would have to wait for a day for it to appear in the next day’s papers.

I quote Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message”. The medium that we subscribe to changes the way we live and experience the world, as illustrated in our everyday ritual of obtaining news updates. Do you solely depend on the old-school habit of reading newspapers, or do you incorporate the use of new media to stay updated on current affairs?



Yahoo! News

“Words alone, is not enough. A picture paints a thousand words, BUT a video, (paints) a trillion words”

I agree with the above quote, as recently quoted by Pastor Kong Hee of the City Harvest Church (CHC). Now let’s watch a video that recently gained high viewership as a result of the scandal revolving around the church and Pastor Kong Hee. For those who are unaware, CHC is currently embroiled in a fund probe, where many of its members (including Pastor Kong Hee) are under investigation for the alleged misuse of church funds. This is a highly sensationalized story that adds to the number of exposed incidents which involve charity organizations misappropriating public funds, mainly due to the lack of legislation.

Pastor Kong Hee is an extremely eloquent and charismatic person who is able to garner support from his mass. The church is raising funds to relocate its premises; out of 26 plots of surveyed sites, 19 were unsuitable, and 6 other bids were unsuccessful. The Ministry of City Harvest Church eventually secured the site at Suntec Singapore International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The target amount to be raised is S$17,300,000 (which approximately translates to 50 units of four-room apartments at the much talked-about The Pinnacle@Duxton). The above-mentioned amount is but 5 out of a total of 13 ‘Arise & Build’ campaigns set to fund the S$310 million acquisition of a substantial stake in a consortium, which ultimate results in CHC being a co-owner of Suntec Singapore International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Now, from a low context, the Suntec Singapore International Exhibition and Convention Centre is an ideal location as it is centrally located with the ease of transport, and is big enough to accommodate CHC’s traffic. It may be costly, but the church was blessed as “God has done it for us, we have gotten our land”, as quoted by Pastor Kong Hee.

From a high context, this ambitious move seems to be an extravagance that has never been witnessed in Singapore before, and has raised the eyebrows of many. That S$310 million dollar will be funded through the Church’s reserves (reported at $103 million in a 2009 audit) and donations through fund-raising; most of its reserves come from its followers’ tithe. With the ongoing investigations on the alleged misuse of church funds, the word ‘honesty’ seem to have taken a step back in the eyes of the public.

I have to re-emphasize that I agree with Pastor Kong Hee: “Words alone, is not enough.” This video painted a trillion words. What words do you read?



Channel News Asia

Yahoo! News