Speech: Speech by FCO Minister of Asia and the Pacific at the City of London Singapore Bicentennial Business Summit

first_imgWe are very much looking forward to the opportunities this will bring to expand and deepen our bilateral cooperation with Singapore, across a wide range of sectors.At the same time, we are also continuing to develop and strengthen our relationships right across South East Asia, and to build on our cooperation with ASEAN.That cooperation already ranges from scientific research to counter terrorism, and from climate change to economic reform.As we prepare to leave the EU, we look forward to strengthening these ties even further.I know that Her Majesty’s first Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Natalie Black, will be at the forefront of this work, together with our new UK Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, the latest addition to our network of diplomatic missions in every ASEAN country.In conclusion, Senior Minister, ours is a partnership of equals, rooted in a shared history and the trust and understanding that come with true friendship.Your bicentennial year is an opportunity to celebrate and strengthen those bonds of friendship.And it is an opportunity to build our Partnership for the Future – a partnership that makes the most of our mutual strengths – in education, in science and in technology – to position us as leaders in the economy of the 21st Century.It’s an exciting prospect, and one I look forward to pursuing with you. In the meantime, I offer my warmest congratulations, to all our Singaporean friends, on your anniversary. Senior Minister, Mr Tharman Shanmugartanam, Ministers, Lord Mayor, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.As Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, the Member of Parliament for the Cities of London and Westminster, and the son of parents who married in Singapore, it is a particular pleasure for me to be here and to reflect on the abiding relationship between our two nations in this, Singapore’s bicentennial year.We may be separated by 7000 miles, but we are close in so many ways: among them, our shared values and perspectives on many issues, our shared commitment to peace and prosperity, the rule of law, and free trade; our use of the English language, and our membership of the Commonwealth, whose seventieth anniversary we also celebrate this year.Crucially, we are also connected in many personal ways, as I am – through family, friends, or time spent living in each other’s country.In fact I am told that around 1 in 100 Singaporeans are in the UK at any one time, and I am pleased to say that 8,000 Singaporeans are studying at our excellent universities.Likewise, the 45,000 Brits in Singapore make up a substantial part of your expatriate population.These ties between our people not only mean we have a deeper understanding of each other’s culture and values; they also underpin and strengthen our close economic relationship.The UK’s total trade with Singapore is worth £15 billion – we export more to Singapore than to the whole of India.Our economic ties go far beyond trade. Our collaboration in science, technology and innovation is also prospering, and genuinely changing the world.Last year we launched a £10 million space programme, to build and fly a quantum key distribution test bed – I won’t try to pretend I fully understand the science but suffice to say it’s about using quantum mechanics in cutting-edge secure communications.We have established the world’s first FinTech Bridge, to help UK firms and investors access Asian markets and vice versa.We are also working together to deliver on the Commonwealth Cybersecurity declaration – the world’s largest inter-governmental cybersecurity agreement.Together, we are promoting international standards and boosting the capacity of Commonwealth countries to respond to cyber security incidents.Of course, in addition to our trading links and our collaboration in science and technology, the UK and Singapore remain close security partners as parties to the Five Power Defence Arrangements.I think you would agree that this impressive range of cooperation demonstrates a close and thriving bilateral relationship.However, we are not resting on our laurels. We know that we can and should do even more together.That is why, in January, our respective Foreign Ministers launched the Singapore-UK Partnership for the Future, an exciting new framework that will guide and stimulate our ongoing cooperation in four key areas: The Digital Economy Sustainable Business and Innovation Security and Defence Education, Culture and Youth.last_img read more

Stop Transgender Teaching in Schools – a mother’s reason for a petition

first_imgBy Helen HoughtonI started the petition in response to the Ministry of Education’s recent inclusion of transgender identity as part of the Health and Sexuality Curriculum. As a registered teacher, parent and NZ tax payer I object to social constructionist gender identity teachings taking precedence over established biological fact. I object to being branded as transphobic, simply for exercising my right to question critically what I as a teacher am being coerced into teaching to impressionable minds. I should be able safely to voice my human rights as an individual without being judged as transphobic or discriminatory.Ironically, whilst accusing me of not accepting them and their world view, opponents of my position are attempting to stereotype and pigeon-hole me and my supporters. It has been claimed that I might be someone who has led a sheltered life and is consequently threatened by people who are different from me.  In fact, I currently have a number of roles in which I interact with and support a diverse range of people. I am a registered teacher, a psychology student, a parent, an advocate for women and a protector of children. As part of this advocacy, I work alongside a team of professionals who care for children who have suffered from extreme trauma. I also run a Charitable Trust, which supports women with parenting and educational programmes while empowering them to be the best version of themselves.My reasons for lodging the petition are to highlight the act of gross negligence that the Ministry of Education undertook by posting on Facebook their plans of ‘Inclusive Education’ for one minority group, leaving all other groups subservient to this biased view.The Ministry of Education published these intentions on the Te Kete Ipurangi site before consultation had taken place with the majority of teaching staff and principals.A significant number of the education body was not made aware of the new Learning lntentions in the Health Curriculum, nor have many teachers been supplied with a copy of the Sexuality Curriculum guidelines, numerous resources linking to ideas of how to teach inclusiveness for LGBTQIA as well as links to YouTube videos of transgender youth have been suggested for use in our classrooms. There has been no stipulated age-appropriateness of the resources provided by Rainbow Youth and InsideOUT meaning any teacher could use them at will, with any age group level. I believe this undermines the professionalism of the high standard of code of ethics we as teachers are expected to uphold, yet those making policy decisions have failed to display them.One of the headings within the Health Curriculum, on theTe Kete Irugangi site states; “Make LBTQAI content and themes visible across the curriculum then integrate LBTQAI” This allows no room for conscientious objectors to withdraw and therefore schools will not be safe and inclusive for all students. It should be noted that this is a requirement for all subjects to cover explicitly LBTQAI “content and themes”, therefore parental consent is assumed and does not have to be sought under National Educational Guidelines.Gender stereotypes that are taught are not what ordinary mums and dads assume them to be., as multiple genders are taught as biological facts, including that a child can be neither male nor female. This is the sexualisation of our children under the guise of inclusivity and diversity. Many of the intentions are not age appropriate. The learning intentions for each curriculum level are listed below:Level 1                                                                                   (5-7 Years old)                                                                                                                                                       A4: Describing different types of families(Mum’s new wife is picking me up from school today.)D1 & 2: Dealing with bullying and harassment and speaking out for others (Turning children into Language Police and Trans-activists)Level 2  (7-9 Years old)C2: Affirming diversity, questioning gender stereotypesD2: Identifying locally available health care services(How to get puberty blockers)B2: Questioning and discussing gender stereotypes in games and physical activitiesLevel 3  (9-11 Years old)D2: Exploring community events that celebrate and affirmdiversity (Having a nice family picnic at the Gay Pride Parade with its overt sexualisation)Level 4  (11-13 Years old)A4: Critiquing dominant messages about body image and body size,and affirming diversity. (Note: Affirming diversity, not simply understanding it.)D1: Critiquing gendered and sexualised media imagesThe prescribed curriculum teaching multiple genders undermines the human rights of individual teachers, many of whom hold different opinions about who should be discussing Gender Dysphoria with children.  For the majority of teachers, being directed to enforce these controversial beliefs when they don’t believe them will create a learning culture of mistrust, not only within the education body but impacting crucial relationships of trust between student, parent and teacher. The integrity and moral principles of every teacher are being attacked. Teachers also do not have a right to go against the family values of their students, all the while instilling confusion into children, who are hearing misleading educational content.  Research results illustrate the power of environmental influence on human development. Who can a child trust when the teacher is being forced to teach subject matter that is not age or developmentally appropriate? This in turn goes against our mission statement as schools, to provide a safe learning environment. It impacts on the rights of children to be children, instead of pawns in adult world debates.We are interfering with nature by inserting into the curriculum an ideology that is not scientifically sound. The suggested Learning Intentions are not teaching acceptance but encouraging new gender options.  This is no different from having an expectation for children, parents and society to conform to this social engineering. I don’t recall any time in the history of our education system that we have adopted classical conditioning as a teaching tool in our democratic country.SIGN THE PETITION https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_83774/petition-of-helen-houghton-stop-transgender-teaching-inlast_img read more

Police, Grove Hi-Tech secure wins in Turbo football

first_imgPOLICE and Kuru Kuru FC are into the semi-finals of this year’s Turbo knockout football tournament, following contrasting wins in the quarterfinals last evening.At the Ministry of Education ground on Carifesta Avenue there were many surprises in store for the spectators.The Police side, although they were the better team on the night, struggled to find the back of the net, due to some excellent goalkeeping.Raul Haynes 40th-minute goal for Police was the only one scored in the clash, but the game could have easily gone into extra time if the Kuru Kuru side had scored a penalty awarded to them.Nonetheless, the boys in blue move into the next round and can now relax until next week.On the other hand, the Grove Hi-Tech guys were conducting steady raids on the goal of their Georgetown opponents Pele FC.Domini Garrett was the chief in this regard, scoring first in the 7th minute before Denzil Crawford sent the Grove side 2-0 up.Garrett returned to add his second on the resumption in the 59th minute, nailing the coffin shut on a dismal performance by the Pele side.Matches continue tonight with Camptown FC against Silver Shattas and Pouderoyen against Mahaica Determinators.Matches commence at 18:30hrs.last_img read more