There were several stories that we published that caught your attention in 2014. We countdown here the top 10 using an aggregate of the number of views, Facebook likes and shares. Some on the list may surprise you.$CUT$
Coming in at #10 is our response to PM Lee’s National Day Rally speech where he reinforced the PAP’s intent to continue the Minimum Sum Scheme. The SDP unequivocally called for the CPF savings to be returned. Not srprisingly, this article was one of the top draws of your attention.
We reported PM Lee’s attempt to dissuade Singaporeans from enrolling in universities and highlighted the disingenuity of the move by pointing out that the PAP continued to lure foreign undergraduate students to study here with generous financial assistance. This did not go down well with Singaporeans, of course, which was reflected in the article being one of the most read in 2014.
Taking the #8 spot is Dr Chee Soon Juan’s opinion piece A New Vision for Singapore published in The Wall Street Journal in November.
The PAP’s insistence on Singapore hosting the F1 grand prix despite the event causing much inconvenience to Singaporeans, losses to retailers and an increase in prostitution was a hot topic among Singaporeans.
Coming in at 5th spot is our post on the emphasis on exams in our education system. This was published on the day that the PSLE results for primary 6 students were announced. “What sort of education do we have that treats academic performance like a trophy sport: Glory in victory and agony in defeat?”
We highlighted the fact that we have been steadfast in our objection to the withholding of Singaporeans’ CPF savings after retirement, pointing to a piece which we published on our newspaper The New Democrat 15 years ago.
Singaporeans reacted positively to this post because it reinforced the SDP’s enduring commitment to speaking for the people even before the issue became a hot topic through the Internet.
Education, again, attracted much of our readers’ attention. Occupying 4th position on our Top 10 list was a write-up on the PAP’s philosophy towards the teaching profession and how teachers have become disillusioned with the system. PM Lee’s idea to throw money at the problem doesn’t seem to have had an effect.
Dr Chee Soon Juan’s reply to the Government’s response to his Wall Street Journal piece takes the #3 position. The Government had, through its Hong Kong Consulate-General Jacky Foo, pointed out that Singaporeans earning $1,000 could survive as well as own a flat. Yet, it accused Dr Chee of being out of touch with reality.
Holding the #2 spot is our story about how the PAP treats our elderly who have been suffering for decades without proper financial support. When the Internet exposes the neglect with photos of older Singaporeans cleaning toilets and clearing tables, the PAP does what they should have done a long time ago by introducing the Pionerr Generation Package.
But not before spending much public money through posters and TV commercials making itself look like Robin Hood. The crux of the matter is how the PAP uses instead of values the people and, apparently, from the popularity of this article, Singaporeans agree with the SDP.
Coming at the top of our countdown is our report on the shocking effects our education system inflicts on our children. Statistics show that nearly a quarter of our schoolchildren think of killing themselves as a result of exam pressure.
This was, by far, the top story that you read. With more than 76,000 page views, 4,200 FB Likes, comments and shares, and reaching nearly a quarter of a million people, this report obviously struck a chord with Singaporeans.
Which forces the question: Is the PAP idea of putting our students through the grinding exam machine so that it can identify top students for its scholarship programme the best way forward for Singapore? Or is our education system out-moded for a future more dependent on creative ideas than rote-learning?
We thank you for visiting our website and making 2014 another meaningful year for us. We remain committed to bringing you these reports and analyses, and becoming the competent, constructive and compassionate voice in Parliament that you want to see.
2015 here we come!