Alex Salmon

Singapore's general election on September 11 returned the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), led by Lee Hsien Loong, to office with 69.9% of the vote and 83 out of 89 elected seats. This is an increase of almost 10% on their vote in 2011.

This result, which went against the predictions, was a huge setback to the opposition parties. Only the Worker’s Party (WP) was able to hold onto one Single Member Constituency (SMC) seat, Hougang, and one five-seat General Representative Constituency (GRC), Aljnunied. Even in Aljunied the WP only just held on with 50.1% of the vote.

The Inconvenient Genocide: Who Remembers the Armenians?
Geoffrey Robertson QC, Vintage Books,
Sydney, 294 pages, 2014

On the eve of Nazi Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland, Adolf Hitler urged his generals “to kill without mercy men, women and children of the Polish race or language”.

“Only in such a way will we win [what] we need,” Hitler said. “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians.”

The Nazi leader was referring to the genocide carried out by the Ottoman Turkish empire in 1915 against the Armenian people within its borders.

A crowd of up to 80 people rallied on the steps of Western Australian parliament house on February 25 to demand justice for the family of Miss Dhu.

Dhu was a 22-year-old Aboriginal woman who died in police custody on August 4 last year. She was imprisoned in Port Hedland for non-payment of fines.

Aboriginal activists rallied on the steps of parliament house in Perth on November 12 to protest against the Western Australian government’s plan to close 150 remote Aboriginal communities. The rally also condemned the federal government’s plan to cut funding to 180 remote indigenous communities in Western Australia.

READ MORE: COLIN BARNETT 'HELL-BENT' ON DESTROYING COMMUNITIES

The Wolf of Wall Street
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler
Showing at selected cinemas

“There is no nobility in poverty. I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor and I chose rich every time. At least as a rich man, when I have to face my problems, I show up in the back of a limo wearing a $2000 suit and a $40,000 gold plated watch! ... I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich! Be aggressive, be ferocious, be telephone fucking terrorists!”

About 7000 people rallied at Cottesloe Beach in Perth on February 1 to protest against the shark culling policy of the Western Australian Liberal government.

This “catch and kill” policy requires the Western Australian Department of Fisheries to maintain baited drum lines 1.4 kilometres off the coast.  Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt granted an exemption for this under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act because it is in the “national interest” of protecting public safety and tourism.

About 4000 people gathered at Cottesloe Beach on January 4 to protest against the Western Australian Liberal government's plan to cull sharks. This policy would have Perth’s beaches lined with drum lines and baited hooks a kilometre out from the coast and shark fishermen instructed to kill any tiger, great white or bull sharks spotted in the designated zones.

In The Shadow of Gallipoli: The Hidden History of Australia in World War 1
By Robert Bollard
New South Publishing, 2013
223 pages (PB), $32.99

Every year, around ANZAC day on April 25, hordes of Australian tourists and backpackers descend on the shore of Gallipoli in Turkey to commemorate the first battle in which Australians took part in World War I in 1915.

ANZAC day has experienced a resurgence in popularity over recent years. Governments have helped by promoting nationalistic myths about how the unsuccessful campaign was “where Australia was born”.

Refugee rights activists from around Australia will converge on the Yongah Hill detention centre near Northam on April 26-28. Yongah Hill is near Northam, about an hour and a half from Perth.

Protesters will be highlighting the fact that thousands of refugees locked in detention centres around Australia are being denied their basic human rights. The decisions to reopen detention centres at Nauru and Manus Island have made this situation worse.

Searching for Sugarman
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
Starring Rodriguez, Malik Bendjelloul
Music by Rodriguez
Now showing at selected cinemas

Director Mike Malik Bendjelloul’s film Searching for Sugarman, which has been nominated for best documentary film at this year’s Oscars and the British Film and Television Awards, traces the efforts of two South African fans to find out what happened to the mysterious Mexican-American folksinger known as Rodriguez.

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