May 19, 2020

Are You Vaccinated? Australia makes the Choice for You

Tony Abbott
Tomas H. Lucero
2 min
Are You Vaccinated? Australia makes the Choice for You

Do you believe in having your children vaccinated? The question may be moot—Prime Minister Tony Abbott is making some changes in Australia, changes that could affect those who currently rely on welfare for assistance.

The Change is Coming

Change is in the air and will officially become effective in 2016. This new policy was announced on Sunday and specifically states that Australian families who are on welfare could see their benefits being cut by $11,000 if they refuse to have their children vaccinated.

As of now, parents who receive welfare assistance can choose to not have their children vaccinated by claiming a “conscientious objection” to child vaccine requirements. However, this will no longer be an option. Of course, if parents don’t want to have their children vaccinated, they can claim a medical or religious exemption; however, the religious group that the family belongs to has to have formally registered an objection to immunizations with the government.

Speaking with a healthcare official, Abbott made the following statement: “The choice made by families not to immunize their children is not supported by public policy or medical research nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of child care payments.”

Since 1999, the number of parents who have declined vaccines for their children has increased nearly tenfold; however, news of this new policy in Australia has recently prompted a petition. By Monday, more than 10,000 people had signed the petition.

Following Suit

In regards to the Disneyland measles outbreak that recently took place, lawmakers in California are considering making a similar rule. If this does happen, then California will be the third state to ban religious vaccine exemptions for school children, following the pattern of West Virginia and Mississippi.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.


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