APG powerlifters show off surprising strength

Members of the public witnessed a display of grit and strength Saturday (24 Oct) with Team Singapore's powerlifters Kalai Vanen and Melvyn Yeo lifting up a storm at the 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG) Unified Powerlifting Challenge, held at Marina Square. Both Vanen and Yeo conducted powerlifting clinics for the public at the event, where members of the public joined Team Singapore athletes in competing to lift as much weight as possible in 20 minutes. The event was one of several community outreach

GE2015: Ravi Philemon says moving from blogging to politics “very easy”

Singapore People’s Party (SPP) candidate for Hong Kah North Single Member Constituency (SMC) Ravi Philemon intends to crowdfund his campaign promise of a $500,000 Hong Kah North Medical Assistance Fund. “I am an experienced fund-raiser so I know how to raise funds,” the social worker and blogger told Yahoo Singapore after an SPP rally Saturday (Sep 5) night. He was upbeat about the trend of activist bloggers standing for elections. “A blogger is still a Singaporean and he blogs about various issues because he feels passionate about them. There’s a thin line that divides social issues and political issues. So it’s very easy for bloggers to cross over to provide better opportunities, to provide another alternative for Singaporeans.”

From The Ground Up: How Workers’ Party’s Bernard Chen Worked To The Top

The Workers’ Party has unveiled grassroots organiser, political activist and recent Oxford graduate Bernard Chen as a candidate for the Sep 11 general elections in Singapore. In an interview conducted by Bryan Kwa in early July 2014, Bernard said he did not harbour intentions in being a Member of Parliament but that politics should be about selfless service and that the Singapore narrative should include the peoples’ history. Bernard Chen is a walking contradiction in terms. He has spent close to a decade as a political activist and speaks like a wise statesman even though he is still in his twenties. Moreover, he has just graduated from the University of Oxford despite failing his GCE ‘A’ levels.

LGBT folks are ‘One of Us’: alternative SG50 community project

Dr Khoo Hoon Eng, an associate professor at a local university and co-founder of SAFE Singapore, shared her story of how she accepted her two gay sons in a community project titled ‘One of Us’. “While I never doubted my love for my sons, I did have much to learn,” said Dr Khoo Hoon Eng, 64, a mother to two gay sons, in a Facebook post titled ‘My Two Young Men’ that has garnered 127 ‘likes’ and has been shared 93 times as of press time. The associate professor at a local university shared her story as part of new community project ‘One of Us’, which is supported by Project 50/100 that aims to provide an alternative lens to Singapore’s golden jubilee narrative.

Former RTC inmate recalls culture of “one-upmanship” among inmates

John (not his real name) entered Reformative Training Centre (RTC) in 1997 when he was 18. He was arrested for, and convicted of, robbery with hurt and consumption of drugs. A RTC houses young offenders between 14 to 21 years old, where they will not mix with adult convicts. Reformative training lasts between 18 to 30 months and results in a criminal record. This is the sentence teenager Amos Yee Pang Sang faced for charges of obscene imagery and offending words towards Christians. He was instead given a backdated jail term.

‘100 per cent creative control’ on new SG50 film: Royston Tan

Seven directors picked for an anthology film have total creative control over their mega SG50 project “7 Letters”, said the project’s lead filmmaker Royston Tan at a press conference for the launch of the film’s trailer Tuesday (Jun 16). “7 Letters” is directed by local filmmakers Boo Junfeng, Eric Khoo, K Rajagopal, Jack Neo, Tan Pin Pin, Royston Tan and Kelvin Tong. Billed as seven heartfelt “love letters” to Singapore, the film is fully funded the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), which is part of the Media Development Authority (MDA).

Stop stigmatising sexual minorities

Make no mistake; this is not about ideological standpoints. This is a public health issue; homophobia kills. A study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, found that LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual) individuals who lived in communities with high levels of anti-gay prejudice have a shorter life expectancy of 12 years on average, compared with their peers in the least prejudiced communities. The science is clear. It is imperative that we stop stigmatising sexual minorities and start upholding their rights. For all the moral grandstanding, surely we can agree that literally driving people to their death is unquestionably amoral.