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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

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By the way….

A by-the-way by-election

Those who are not in the habit of reading The Straits Times editorials should read it today. Ignore the lame headline: Weighing the case for a by-election. The bottomline is: ST thinks that a Punggol East by-election should be held soon. Of course, it was carefully couched: “So on balance, it is perhaps best not to delay holding a by-election in Punggol East. Constituents’ expectations outweigh other considerations.’’

(Gosh. ST didn’t believe its own poll of residents which showed most can’t be bothered….!)
In any case, I am glad that after much meandering and huffing and puffing and having to make to case for and against, it came down to making a decision. I was intrigued though at the final paragraphs.

As in Hougang, Punggol East’s constituents should decide how seriously they take the personal failures of their former representative, and how they judge those shortcomings against the record of his party’s work for them. The party’s standing led to a win in Hougang. It is up to voters in Punggol East to decide if the same logic should apply. They should be given a chance to do so.

By the way, the party it referred to in Hougang is the Workers’ Party. So Yaw Shin Leong’s case of infidelity was too small for residents to decide that WP should be thrown out of Hougang. ST is saying that in the case of Punggol East, constituents have to decide if the same logic should apply: That is, whether Michael Palmer’s case is too small to throw out the PAP.
Very nice touch!

IP college? Why?

Everybody’s a-twitter, tittering and in a tizzy over the case of River Valley High principal in a CPIB probe. So there’s a woman involved apparently. Shades of Ng Boon Gay! Anyway, since nobody is really confirming anything and much of what the media is saying is speculation from unknown sources, I am not touching it.

I am more interested in this story about a new JC that will open in 2017 for students from three new Integrated Programme (IP) schools: Catholic High School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School and Singapore Chinese Girls’ School. It’s in the ST.
The students will spend their first four years in their respective secondary schools. They will spend the final two years of their IP programme at the new JC, which will also accept students from non-IP secondary schools. So now we have 13 JCs, after Innova in Woodlands opened in 2005.

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It’s mighty odd. I thought the idea was for the IP kids to do their A levels in their old school, not move on to some other place. This means it’s no different from other JCs except that the three IP school students get a “free pass’’ so to speak, as others will have to rely on their O level results to get in – I presume. You mean three IP schools can’t do the last two years for the students? Why? Shouldn’t the students just sit for the O levels then and compete like everyone else for a place? MOE said more details will come and I hope it will not just be about how the new JC will have wonderful facilities and great teachers etc. We need an explanation of the rationale for this move.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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