1. VJC Since 1984
Other than George Orwell’s book, 1984 marked the beginning of VJC, making 2019 a particularly exciting year for VJC and all Victorians, be it alumni or current students. As we enter our 35th year, it is important that we reminisce about everything that we have achieved and continue to leave a victorious legacy behind.
2. Open House 2018 – VIESTA
In tandem with the festive year, we had our annual open house on 15th January. It was an event that all Victorians came together to play a part in and would not have been possible without everybody’s hard work and support.
3. Singapore’s Possible New Political Party
Opposition to the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has always come in the form of numerous political parties all vying for the spot as number one. Very soon, this may change. Seven opposition parties are planning to form a single coalition – with their leading position for this coalition being offered to none other than former PAP minister of parliament and presidential candidate, Tan Cheng Bock. It is notable that the Workers’ Party and Singapore People’s Party, which have achieved moderate success in previous years, have not opted to join this coalition. Is this the start of a change in Singapore’s political future – or will it soon fade into the background?
4. Singapore-Malaysia Dispute Regarding Water
Bilateral relations between Singapore and Malaysia have been in the limelight as they appear to be souring. However, as one of our neighbours, is that something we can afford? One of the contributing factors to this issue is regarding Malaysian Vessels being in our territorial waters. Malaysia has been kindly requested to vacate our waters and despite the assurance from their behalf, not much action has been taken to resolve the issue. It would however be in the favour of both countries for such a situation to be resolved immediately and without much tension.
5. National Service Fiasco – Will the system change?
About less than a month ago, Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang succumbed to fatal injuries acquired during his reservist in New Zealand, when a self-operating Howitzer was lowered and crushed him. This incident caused much uproar amongst Singaporeans, much of it over the safety of NS recruits during training or reservist. As a response, MINDEF has temporarily cancelled IPPT and will be, in the meantime, looking into ways to improve safety. This incident begs the question: are safety standards really that low in NS, or these case of NS-related accidents really only cases in isolation? Will the NS system really change its safety measures, or is temporary cancellation of IPPT mere damage control? Only time will tell.
6. Socio-economic Crisis in Venezuela – A New Era for Venezuela?
Amidst the long-standing economic and humanitarian crises in Venezuela, the Latin American country has found itself trapped in yet another political crisis. The country’s current president, Nicolas Maduro, holds a great amount of power in his hands, with the army on his side. However, he is severely unpopular for his poor management of the economy (evidently so) and the corrupt, unethical practices of his government (such as extrajudicial killings and violent crushing of protests). Amidst all of this chaos, a new figure of considerable clout and popular support has emerged; Juan Guaido, the President of the National Assembly, who declared himself the next President of Venezuela, earning himself formal recognition from the US and EU. Can this new president change Venezuela’s political and economic systems and put an end to its crises?
7. Malaysia’s Rights To Host World Para Swimming Competition Revoked
Malaysia seems to be taking after their American counterparts, as they recently banned Israeli athletes from participating in the World Paralympic Swimming Championships 2019 (WPSC) that they were hosting. The International Paralympic Committee’s response was swift, as they decisively revoked Malaysia’s right to host the WPSC, stating that “All World Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination”. This therefore begs the question, is punitive action justified? Moreover, how far can a country go before their actions are considered discriminatory?
8. Canada-China Relations Souring?
The genesis of this diplomatic crisis can be traced back to when Canada arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, to extradite her to the US on counts of bank fraud and obstructing justice. However, this obviously did not sit well with China, who implemented retaliatory actions to object to Canada’s arrest of Meng. Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian businessman Michael Spavor have been detained by Chinese authorities indefinitely. In the meantime, China has also sentenced a Canadian tourist to death and has forced the Canadian ambassador to China to leave his post. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, in a bid to de-escalate tensions, claims that not all of the aforementioned cases are matters concerning national security, inflaming many Canadians. With Trudeau’s popularity on the decline, could this China-Canada skirmish spell out the end for Trudeau’s tenure? Could this incident potentially also be pivotal in finally holding China accountable for its strongman politics?
9. Theresa May Survived But What’s Next For The UK?
With the apparent dislike for UK’s current prime minister Theresa May, some may question just how she survived the recent vote of no confidence in her government. In part, the chaos caused by a general election right before the deadline to implement Brexit may destabilise the UK even further. However, this puts Ms May in a precarious position; She has less than two months to renegotiate an acceptable deal and get it approved with the threat a vote of no confidence and a No-Deal Brexit hanging above her head. Her position, and Britain’s position for the future, remain uncertain.
10. France’s Yellow Vests – Can Macron Survive This?
On 17th November 2018, the Yellow Vest protests erupted in France, as a response to the Macron government’s proposed economic reforms, such as the increase in fuel and diesel taxes and corporate tax rebates. The yellow vest movement emerged to fight for economic justice, against a president whose popularity has been on the decline, with even the previous French president Francois Hollande calling him “president of the rich”. While initially peaceful, the protests soon turned violent, resulting in many severe injuries and few casualties as well. The protests have had a total of 12 “acts” in total, and is still ongoing even today. While the current administration is primarily concerned with revitalising the French economy and reducing their budget deficit, the common man is more concerned with how livelihoods would be affected as a result of tax hikes that seem to favour the rich. Can Macron survive this? Or will he suffer a Marie Antoinette moment?
11. The Beginning Of The End
The beginning of 2019 also marks the beginning of the last year of school for us JC2s. It’s been a remarkable year in JC and most importantly the past 11 years of schooling that we have gotten through to make it here today. Some of us might be excited to leave JC, while others might be saddened to leave their teachers and friends, and some others might be apprehensive of leaving a safe bubble to enter the real world i.e. college. However, what matters most is that we continue to work hard and strive for excellence in everything that we set out to do and never give up on our aspirations. Wishing everyone all the best for the year and good luck to all J2s for the A levels! Nil Sine Labore!