Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ONE WAY TO KEEP ELECTIONS "CIVIL": Had a very nice lunch today with Terry Nardin, the head of the political science department at the National University of Singapore. He and his wife have been here since 2006 after holding teaching positions for a long while at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (which is very similar to UMass Boston, where I have taught). I enjoyed having him explain some of the subtleties and blunt realities of the election process here in Singapore, with its powerful one-party dominance.
Speaking of elections, perhaps as we were dining, the Singapore Elections Department--invoking the concept of civility--announced that a police permit will be needed if someone wants to use the "Speakers' Corner" at Hong Lim Park during the upcoming General Election period. This temporarily overturns an understanding that the corner is an "unrestricted area for public speaking and demonstrations," according to a report in www.channelnewsasia.com. The report offers this quote from the department:
"Elections is a sensitive period when tensions can run high. In order to manage the heightened law and order risks and ensure that the election rally permit regime is not bypassed during Ge, we have decided to revoke the status of the Speaker's Corner as an unrestricted area for public speaking and demonstrations under the Public Order Act (POA) during the campaigning period."

For more information, listeners and readers are instructed to send an email to the police.
I found an informal calendar of events for the Speakers' Corner on the web.
Singapore's Speakers' Corner is patterned after London's famous one in Hyde Park. Not sure what restrictions are ever placed on that one.

WELCOME TO THE UP-AND-DOWN WORLD OF CRANE-COUNTING: I tentatively file another update of the Singapore Crane Index Limited Economic Indicator based on real-time information from the Tanjong Pagar container terminal. The report, which began with the Feb. 16 blog entry, seemed simple at first. But now, CRANE counting is beginning to make my CRANIUM hurt. I sure hope this doesn't invalidate my weeks of painstaking observations, but the shipping world pulled a bit of a fast one on me. Just when I thought I had the information well in hand, I sense there's much more to crane counting than meets the eye. The issue surfaced today when two tugs tried to sneak a barge of containers over to the OCEAN SIDE of a waiting container ship. (See photo above, with helpful circle and arrows.) The container ship next to it could use ITS OWN CRANES to haul some of these massive containers on board, bypassing the much larger land-based cranes of the terminal. Do shipboard cranes carry the same observational weight as pier-based cranes? Must mull it.

Date: March 15
Time: 8:25 a.m. (Singapore time)
Cranes Up (bad): 9
Cranes Down (good): 19
CRANES MISSING (unknown degree of goodness/badness): 0

No comments:

Post a Comment