January 25th, 2006

krazy koati

Building bridges between the stars

There are increasing rumors of an election to be called in Singapore soon. One isn't necessary until June 2007, but ever since Lee Hsien Loong took over the prime minister position from Goh Chok Tong in mid-2004 it's been expected he would call early elections. There are also rumors the upcoming budget will include a variety of tax breaks and public works projects, the sorts of things that people always like getting. And the Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has mentioned that despite his age, ``I eat less than I should, or I stop eating when I want to eat more; I exercise every day; I work hard every day and I sleep well every night.'' He pointed to his head, and said, ``I think it's still functioning, although I'm not as active as before; but enough to fight an election.''

The Registrar of Elections has also updated its record of voter information, and until the end of the month people can look themselves up and correct errors. This would seem to indicate an imminent election, although in the past the time between updating the registry and calling the election has been as big as 20 months. So far only 41,412 people have checked; also, 565 people overseas have registered to vote, 163 of them in Shanghai. There's also a scheduled report from the Electoral Boundaries Review Commission; the release of that report is usually rather closer to the dissolving of parliament and setting of a new election.

There's also been a series of statements by the ruling People's Action Party explaining why the manifesto issued recently by the opposition Worker's Party is awful, a ``time bomb'' set to destroy Singapore if enacted. This has lead to the reminding of people that Singapore has opposition parties. In the 2001 elections the People's Action Party -- which has had a majority in parliament since Singapore gained self-rule -- won about 75 percent of the popular vote and 82 of the 84 seats in parliament. The other opposition parties have stayed out of the Worker's Party versus People's Action Party debate.

Trivia: The average 70 kg human body contains about one milligram of nickel. Source: Molecules at an Exhibition, John Emsley.

Currently Reading: Venus Revealed, David Henry Grinspoon.