Archive | January, 2009

Not My Bloggers Association Singapore

23 Jan

After reading about the formation of official (unofficial), protem (pretend) Association of Bloggers (Singapore), I was not sure whether to laugh or cry. Needless to say, I was not part of the invitee list to this esteemed association of the best-of-the-best by invitation-only grouping.

An unfashionable blog such as mine would be a disgrace to the association that strives to “educate bloggers and improve the quality of blogs” and to “show everyone that the new media is also a reliable source of information”. I have no argument with that as my blog is neither reputable nor reliable. But surely the super sexy and noted fluff blogger Holly Jean deserves to be in? Of course not!! She may blog about the same crap as the association members but she is too gorgeous for this grouping of toads.

According to their decrepit and near-fossilized president (I should say OUR blog president), this formation will “engage the Government in discussions on its policies and help shape Singapore, making it a better place to live and work.”

Question: where was she when the fellowship of 13, led by a gay Gandalf, responded to the AIMS consultative paper? Where was she when the geeks of our fair land did the same?

Answer: she was busy promoting air shows and conducting photography contests.

Being an equal opportunist basher, I shall shift attention to the Vice President (Membership) of the association, Mr Darryl Kang or more widely known as DK.

“VP of Membership”, now that’s a lofty title. Such an office requires an impartial individual who is wiling to reach across the pond and embrace bloggers of all types. Aren’t you all glad to know that he has busied himself with searching for other like minded bloggers?

If the association is filled with like-minded individuals then there is really no need for his other lofty goal of “dispute resolution” as he put it in his blog. I also feel all warm and cosy inside knowing that the dispute mediator is a scorned former founder of ping.sg who was complaining about being left out of the “in-group”, didn’t receive ping award, stirred up a big fuss, left in a huff and puff and decided to form his own little own group. “Take that Ping.sg!” It’s all nicely catalogued here.

On a serious end note: its troubling that these days representative associations form like fly by night operations with little credibility nor accountability. These bloggers that claim to represent the whole are nothing more than sponsor- and ad- chasing fame-whores that seek to exploit the mass to amass some cash.

Sing-guilt and Two Less Transient Workers to Count

13 Jan

‘White Guilt’ is a term used to describe the collective guilt felt by white people for acts of slavery and racism (past and present) meted upon their black or minority brethren. As a result, ‘white guilt’ drives white folk into acts of charity and campaign championing out of guilt and pity. Paradoxically, their superficial acts of charity reinforce societal segregation (master-slave relationship) and redraw the line in the sand.

 

To draw an example, a socialite might attend a gala dinner in benefit of impoverished black youths but run for the hills when passed a group of black youths in an alley. To put it crudely, “I apologise for the suffering of your people, here is some money, but please don’t come to my neighbourhood”.

 

Our own Singaporean-styled ‘white-guilt’ (sing-guilt) is in itself a sight to behold. We pride ourselves for our multiculturalism. A shining example of racial and religious tolerance. We claim to care for the less affluent and champion for the rights of the transient workers on whose backs our city was built and continues to be built, cleaned and serviced.

 

But when it comes to crunch time, we adopt a ‘Singaporeans First Policy’ and ‘Not My BackYard’ mentality. Think the numerous anti-Foreign Talent whine-posts on TOC, populous political manifestos, and the uproar over the Serangoon Gardens worker dormitory.

 

Sing-guilt leads some to assert loudly and proudly that “Transient Workers Count Too”, but subsequent actions betray the underlying thought “but I wish there were less of them to count”.

 

My attention was drawn to yesterday’s news of two local activists arrested for staging a protest in support of two Myanmar nationals that have been effectively booted out of Singapore (through non-renewals of their visas) for their participation in protest activities.

 

The legality of the arrests and non-renewal of the workers’ visas is arbitrary and I suspect, of fleeting interest to the majority of the population. Yet it warranted an official reply from MHA and MOM. To put some perspective, the last group of persons to be arrested for their sing-guilt activities was 5 SDP members in Oct 2007. Their pro-democracy petition to the Myanmese embassy garnered 1,200 signatories. Now compare that to the 40,000 signatories in Singapore for a petition to end animal cruelty. Imagine that. We are 40 times more likely to campaign for animal rights than human rights.

  

As far as i am concerned (to do a spin on a classic phrase): The unemployment of two is a tragedy while the unemployment of thousands is a statistic. If that doesnt disturb you i dont know what will.

 

So before you wag your self-righteous finger at me, remember that in the end, the same people that cry injustice and pen down their names in remembrance with one hand, will sign away the rights of thousands of their countrymen with the other hand.

 

* Dedicated to the self-righteous colleague who was kind enough draw my attention to the article and my unsympathetic heart