PERISCOPE December 2022 SUMMARY

Written by: Lye Jae Vir (22-I1), Nur Khairunnisa (22-I1), Tan Ken Shin (22-A2), Hao Rui (22-A4), Ignatius Lee (22-O5)

Designed by: Alexia Teo (22-U1)


Welcome back to another edition of our monthly summary of the happenings around the world! From China’s successful satellite launch to changes in adoption laws, we have various interesting news summaries in store for you! Read on to find out more!

Global

Britain’s Prime Minister 

Surely, you have come across the internet joke of a lettuce outlasting Liz Truss’s term as prime minister. Nonetheless, how much do you really know about the issues that she brought to the United Kingdom (UK), as well as what is to come? 

To start off, Liz Truss was appointed as prime minister by Queen Elizabeth II, after winning the elections marginally. Truss planned to boost the economy through various initiatives as well as cutting taxes.

After Kwasi Kwarteng, Truss’ finance minister, announced the biggest tax cut in the UK in half a decade, it was revealed that she had not consulted the Bank of England before proceeding. She had just put the UK into a greater fiscal deficit. 

She then proceeded to fire Kwarteng, stating that he had ‘serious misconduct’. Less than a week later, she delivered her famous ‘I’m a fighter, not a quitter’ speech. 

She announced her resignation the following day. 

As of now, Rishi Sunak, the UK’s first Asian prime minister, has been formally appointed by King Charles III. He has great responsibility ahead of him, especially the looming economic crisis. 

Who knows? Maybe Rishi Sunak is the answer to the UK’s instability. 

Bayonetta 3 Helena Taylor news

The highly-anticipated video game Bayonetta 3 has become embroiled in controversy after Hellena Taylor, the star voice actor of Bayonetta in the first two games, says she was offered just $4K to reprise her role in the upcoming instalment, which she called on fans to boycott.

On October 15th, Taylor posted a video on Twitter, a renowned social media platform, which detailed her experience with Nintendo and PlatinumGames, the lead game-developing companies of Bayonetta 3. She revealed that they offered to only pay her a measly $4K for her role in the game, and that Taylor’s appeal for a higher pay was rejected. Taylor also called on fans to boycott the release of the game.

This has made the issue of employee exploitation by large corporations even more prominent, and has encouraged many workers and voice actors to speak out about their experience with being underpaid, and convinced the masses to fight for higher wages. 

In response, PlatinumGames responded by showing legal documentation regarding Taylor’s actual pay, $15K,  which was much higher than the amount Taylor stated. Unfortunately, it was eventually discovered that Taylor’s statement was indeed false, which was also admitted by Taylor herself later on.

This sparked rightful outrage against Taylor on the Internet, with many accusing her of making speaking out against unfair treatment of workers a lot harder for the masses due to the distrust of victims. 

Despite PlatinumGames still offering Taylor a one-time cameo in the game, Taylor declined, and stated that she was going to move on from her voice acting career. As a result, PlatinumGames has now hired a new voice actor for Bayonetta, Jennifer Hale. 

Regional

20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

At the close of October, the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party concluded. This was set against the backdrop of the removal of the two-term limit put in place by Deng; a check on power to prevent a return to the chaos during the Cultural Revolution under Mao’s dictatorship. With Xi Jin Ping set to take up an unprecedented third term, the Congress saw a greater centralisation of power in the upper echelons of the Chinese government. The Chinese Politburo Standing Committee, the very core of government, has seen Xi’s loyalists fill up its seats, replacing many potential rivals.

On top of that, the Congress saw constitutional amendments that placed Xi and his ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ at the core of the party. Yet, with rising opposition to his zero-covid policy and a faltering economy, it remains unknown whether these actions will ensure Xi’s political supremacy. Till the next 21st National Congress. 

Local

MAS Proposed Measures on Trade of Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency, also known as Digital Payment Token (DPT), is a digital, encrypted, and decentralised medium of exchange. It is a vital part of the development of Web 3.0, and has been made increasingly well-known to the public as technology giants are rushing into the market. The high profits in trading cryptocurrencies have attracted a huge volume of investors.

The local government has been very concerned with the trade of cryptocurrencies. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) referred to trading of cryptocurrencies reiteratively as ‘highly risky and not suitable for the general public’. After issuing guidelines to limit cryptocurrency trading service providers from promoting their services to the public in January, MAS wants to further tighten its regulation on the retail of cryptocurrencies to protect the public. It published two consultation papers this month regarding regulatory measures to reduce the risk of consumer harm from the trading of cryptocurrencies. One noticeable measure proposed is that retail investors may have to go through a risk awareness assessment before they are allowed to trade. The use of credit cards in the trades will also be disallowed in the trades once the proposed measures are put into force.

Sustainability Action Package

Officials in developing countries will be able to tap on Singapore’s experience in areas such as water resources management and food security through a series of courses she is introducing to address sustainability and climate change issues.

The courses in the newly introduced Sustainability Action Package will come under the broader Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP), which celebrates its 30th anniversary in October 2022.  Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that, “The package aims to help countries decarbonise and will include key areas of sustainability. By working collectively, we strengthen our ability to deal with the immense shared challenges of the future. And none of us can address these successfully alone.” At an MFA event, Dr Balakrishnan also mentioned that Singapore will also sponsor longer-term advisory projects in Southeast Asia, to deepen capabilities on sustainability in the region.

The SCP has been an important platform to enhance capacity-building and exchange development experiences over the last three decades. Globally, more than 150,000 government officials from 180 countries have attended workshops or courses under the programme set up in 1992 to bring together Singapore’s technical assistance efforts. About 88,000 are from ASEAN member states.

Bibliography

Baptista, E., & Yew, L. T. (2022, October 22). China’s XI further cements power as party congress closes. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinas-communist-party-congress-closes-cementing-xis-status-core-2022-10-22/

Davidson, H., Graham-Harrison, E., & Yu, V. (2022, October 23). In Mao’s footsteps: Xi Jinping puts himself at core of China’s government. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/23/xi-follows-maos-footsteps-puts-himself-at-core-of-chinas-government

Kit, T. S. (2022, October 26). Retail investors to take risk test before cryptocurrency trading as part of proposed rules by Mas. CNA. Retrieved from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/cryptocurrency-trading-rules-retail-investors-risk-awareness-test-monetary-authority-singapore-stablecoins-3025996

Mas proposes measures to reduce risks to consumers from cryptocurrency trading and enhance standards of stablecoin-related activities. Monetary Authority of Singapore. (2022, October 26). Retrieved from https://www.mas.gov.sg/news/media-releases/2022/mas-proposes-measures-to-reduce-risks-to-consumers-from-cryptocurrency-trading-and-enhance-standards-of-stablecoin-related-activities

Author: The Origin*

With great power comes great responsibility.

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