Archive | May, 2012

Good thing that Singapore is losing its edge

31 May

The harrowing headline read “IS SINGAPORE LOSING ITS EDGE?” as readers shiver at the thought of Singapore being no longer relevant in the global economy. Wondered why the headline did not read “Singapore drops a notch in competitiveness rankings” which would equally accurate. Read the article here.

Instead of trying hard to be Sandman sprinkling sand into eyes of little children, I would say it is a good thing that we are losing a bit of competitiveness as Singapore tries to find its own national identity in this constant flux of people, goods and ideas. In fact, one of the reason we have dropped in the rankings is that we have tightened our immigration guidelines. I hope I wouldn’t be alone to say that we need to reduce the tide of immigration to allow Singaporeans to define for ourselves what we are and where we are heading.

We have enjoyed a fantastic economic run from 2005 to 2011, so successful that many upper middle class Singaporeans do not bat an eyelid to buy condominiums worth a million bucks and fork up hundred of thousands for their continental cars. I wonder where else in the world beside Europe where we have Mercedes, Audi and BMW topped the best selling car charts. And I would say we are almost unique in the world when it comes to property prices that have climbed up so rapidly when the rest of USA, Europe and China are facing economic headwinds.

Have we done well economically? Yes we have. Have we done just as well socially? Are we more happy as Singaporeans holding our Pink ICs or are we more worried if we would be able to be continually successful? Are we stressed out and insecure as individuals, as a society and as a country? We might have done well economically, but we might have also lost our way.

The ironic thing is that the PAP govt is paying the political price and would most likely continue to pay the price for bringing this uneven spread of economic wealth and the ensuing insecurity of living in a highly commodified and materialistic society plugged deeply into the global economy.

Of course, the quest for the national identity is an ever constant state of flux. But never has the Singapore spirit and identity been so diluted, where Singaporeans are pulling in different directions and the only things we seem to agree on are our dissatisfaction with the PAP, the high property prices and the overtaxed transport system. Oh wait, there’s another we can all agree on, the love for local food. Hahaha.

And on that optimistic note, I shall end my post.

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Song dedication to Desmond Choo

29 May

PAP’s Desmond Choo needs some cheering up after only improving a few percentage points from his last outing in 2011 despite pounding the ground, going door-to-door, finding funds and flashing his megawatt smile.

I dedicate to him…

Noah and the Whale – ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.’

L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.

What you don’t have now will come back again

You’ve got heart and your goin your own way

 

Absolutely love this song…have been finding a reason to share it. Haha.

Ref kena spit also call Police?

29 May

A referee was spat at by a player after he sent the player off for retaliation. The player even rush towards the referee and challenged the latter to a fight. Referee Ezra Aripin has filed a magistrate complaint and police will be following up. The referee said:

“I want to make sure that the culprit realised what he did and I want to send a strong message that we referees are not here to be abused like that. I am going all out to make sure that he will be dealt with by the authorities. I will make sure that he will be punished accordingly for his actions, and not just walk free after getting a ban by the FAS (Football Association of Singapore).”

From the circumstances, it seems that these acts of aggression are not uncommon in NFL games. It also seems that FAS discipline actions are not deterrent enough. I would suggest that the FAS publish the photos and full names of these errant players after they have been processed by the discipline committee. The footballing community should share and shame and tournament organisers should take FAS’ cue and ban these players for the similar time frame. I have thought of a fine on clubs but perhaps this could be too harsh on some on the not so wealthy clubs.

Hooliganism brings down the overall standard of the game. If it becomes serious, players might be even discourage to play. A stern approach is needed from the FAS and not police action to right this matter.

 

By Dilenjit Singh
The New Paper
Friday, May 25, 2012

One day after a National Football League (NFL) match was called off due to a referee allegedly turning up drunk, another game had to be abandoned after a player spat at an official and challenged him to a fight.

The New Paper reported yesterday that last Saturday’s NFL Division One match between Police SA and Eunos Crescent was called off due to referee T Aravinthan being reportedly too inebriated to perform his duties.

TNP now understands that a day later, last Sunday, the Division Three match between Dare to Dream FC and Newton Heath at Kallang Practice Track was abandoned in the 38th minute after a player spat at referee Ezra Aripin.

Former S-League and national age-group player Ezra explained that things started to boil over when a Newton Heath player was brought down by his opponent.

Incensed by the challenge, he retaliated by kicking out and slapping his opponent. Ezra responded by showing the Newton Heath man the red card.

Said the 37-year-old, who has been officiating since 2007: “I could see from his face that he was angry with the red card.

“Then he started verbally abusing me, calling me stupid in Malay and swearing at me.

“That didn’t bother me because I was a player before and I know how passions can boil over.

“And, as a ref, you’re always going to be abused whether you’re right or wrong. It’s part and parcel of the game. If I couldn’t take it, I wouldn’t be refereeing.

Crossed the line

“But what the player did next crossed the line. He was about a metre away from me and spat right in my face.

“I stayed calm and wiped it off. Had it been 10 years ago during my playing days, I think I would have reacted very differently.”

Match inspector A Sivalingam then proceeded to call the officials and staff from both teams over and informed them of his decision to abandon the match.

Read the rest of the article here.

Desmond Choo: Better without PAP smear?

27 May

Since this Hougang by-election was only slightly over a year after GE 2011, one would not have expected the results to change much. After all, lives of Hougang residents, their sentiments and allegiances wouldn’t have shifted much after a year.

Initially, I had thought that PAP candidate Desmond Choo would manage to break the 40% barrier (but still lose) with former Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong caught with his pants gathered at his shins  and Desmond being such a darling with the aunties and mainstream media. Not forgetting that WP has been hit with a spate of resignations since the conclusion of GE 2011 and one of their party stalwarts breaking ranks by obtaining a nomination form for the Hougang by-election without party endorsement.

The winner: WP’s Png Eng Huat
Photo credit: The Sketchtimes

But how terribly wrong I was when it was announced that Png Eng Huat had won the Hougang seat by some 62% of the votes. I should have guessed as much since most Hougang voters (similarly) wouldn’t have known much about Yaw back in 2011 and they still gave him a resounding victory…one shouldn’t underestimate the street value of WP and Low Thia Khiang. It also showed that voters were satisfied with how WP dealt with Yaw despite not being able to give voters an explanation of what really transpired behind closed doors.

As the campaign worn on, it did strike me that Desmond improved from his previous outing in 2011 and he was making some connections with the voters. He was very hardworking, played his card right as the underdog and portrayed himself as a man at the humble service of residents, even though sometimes I felt that his delivery during rallies was a wee bit too dramatic for me.

His campaign message was consistent, which is give Hougang a fresh start with the PAP and note that LTK is already in parliament representing Aljunied GRC. But the decision to PAP smear Png with questions of his integrity and honesty perhaps undid the good work done by Desmond. It conveniently provided the WP rhetoric with a rallying cry and focal point. Goliath is trying to do David in and that ain’t plesant.

Don’t get me wrong, in the dark world of cloaks and daggers, smear can swing voters, just that it has to be prime grade wagyu beef smear and not such ineffectual pap smear. Especially in Hougang when voters have been strong WP supporters for 21 years. Or perhaps PAP understood that they were likely to lose so they would just throw in this smear gratis in any case.

But if PAP knew they were going to lose anyhow, they should have used this opportunity to improve PAP public image by fighting a clean fight and allowing Desmond to judge for himself the chances in Hougang. I won’t be surprised if Desmond does win back Hougang one day when perhaps the Opposition have made headway in other constituencies and/or WP fields a poor candidate.

As for Png, he doesn’t seem to stand out intellectually like Pritam or Chen Show Mao, his delivery of speeches is rather poor and his nasal voice with a bad habit of dragging out his second last and last words in a sentence can irritate. He doesn’t focus on specific issues like Yee Jenn Jong and Gerald Giam, and he seems contended to just go along the safe lines of Hougang as the last bastion of democracy – which is rhetorical and just fancy if you ask me. Lastly, I can’t seem to put a pulse on his background with the many companies he has opened and closed and the fact he is semi-retired at an age when most of us are slogging to still provide for our family.

Nevertheless, I wish Png all the best and hope that he indeed fulfills the high expectations of Hougang voters.

Photo credit to Blasphemous

In the spirit of Cooling Off Day

26 May

I spent the last few hours of Cooling Off Day for Hougang By-election trying to do just that. Cool off. So I went gallivanting in and around Mustapha Shopping Centre. And guessed what/who I picked up in a shopping cart. Singapore is a damn hard place to cool off lor. Wonder how these politicians do it man (except Tin Pei Ling lah, she also cannot resist FB). [or was it Denise He?]

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Photo credit: Christina Tan FHM Singapore and Roy Chuang Photography

A reply to Xiaxue: Re emphasis of the PAP high handedness?

25 May

I never really read Xiaxue’s blog primarily because the stuff she writes doesn’t interest me and to a lesser degree I think she craves for attention. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong to crave for attention (human nature mah), especially when she profits from hits on her blog. Just that sometimes I don’t know if she is trying to sell me something.

Did I also say she actually has the excellent qualities of a porn star only that she doesn’t strip (I am still ambivalent on her being naked, kiv)? Again, nothing wrong in that profession. Seeing how she can promote and poise herself, she would make a smashing porn star.

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So I guess everyone knows about her blog post after it hit Straits Times. Xiaxue actually starts off her blog post quite decently and correctly pointed out that we should be respectful of one’s political choices and not degenerate to hurtful insults. I won’t say politics would divide us because that is just the bogeyman PAP bring out from their big black nasty closet.  

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And Xiaxue doesn’t have to feel sorry for the smart and nice people that support opposition because real smart and nice people will include and tolerate those not so nice people in their fold. Really, please just keep your silly sorry, u are just being arrogant.

If smart and nice people only stick with their own kind then there will be no positive influence on this society. Please don’t forget, PAP supporters are not a homogeneous band of smart and nice people. PAP has its share of nasties, self-righteous (abundance) and not so nice people. Most importantly, smart and nice people who don’t bother to debate and explain policies and just shove it down people’s throat are….who? Self-righteous cabinet ministers? 😀

For the record, I am not a Opp or PAP supporter, I just hate how politicians (in general) and their supporters try to drag us citizens around by our noses. Just do the job I voted you in for and don’t f*ck around with me. While you are doing it, try to be nice and I will appreciate it and thank you immensely for it.

As Xiaxue goes on to slam her detractors (that is fine) and bring out their family photos, I began to think to myself, is this the style of PAP high-handedness? Not only do they like to lord over at the ballot box and cast aspersions on opposition candidates, they like to destroy one’s entire universe while they are at it. If you don’t vote for them after they have dangled the carrot, they will put you at the very last of national upgrading programmes!!

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Xiaxue’s disclaimer and her claim to higher moral ground

It’s fair game on on the internet. If you wanna slam someone, better know how to protect yourself and lie low. If you gonna slam the zheng hu, better know where to run and when to hide. They would say let a hundred flowers blossom but you never know when you have crossed the line.

So there is no right or wrong in what Xiaxue has done, no matter how distasteful bringing out other people’s family photos is; it’s just the rules of this game we play online. But what she has lost is a chance to show benevolence and has instead re-emphasis PAP high-handedness (through her actions as a supporter) during this crucial time of by-election when they are trying to win over votes of pro-WP Hougang voters.

GOOD JOB XIAXUE! PAP WOULD BE PROUD OF U! 

 

postscript: Some people slam say this piece is anti-pap and/or pro-opp…hmmm…I am just saying if XX is a pap supporter then she is doing them no favours.

A Salute to PRC teacher Zhang Lili

24 May

A salute to Zhang Lili, a China province teacher, who risked her own life and sacrificed her two legs when she pushed two school children away from an oncoming bus. She should be held up as the prime example of human bravery! I don’t even dare to say I would do the same. 

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More links here and here and here

3 Simple Things PAP can do to secure a Hougang Victory

24 May

Amidst their super busy schedules, seeing VVIPs like PM Lee, DPM Teo and so many bigwig high earning ministers campaigning for Desmond Choo in Hougang makes my heart ache. One small SMC like Hougang also become so many people tai jee (problem). So to help PAP, I give 3 suggestions to help them win Hougang. If they confirm, guarantee plus sumpah do these 3 things and still don’t win, I will stop blogging, stop saying anything anti-PAP for one month. Sumpah. 😛

Singapore say no more to childish smear campaigns

But before I give them the 3 suggestions, a word should be said about this brand of immature and ‘ping pong’ politics that Singapore seemingly ‘enjoy’. This type of I say you lack integrity then you say I anyhow smear you then is really no integrity ‘ping pong’ politics. It happened in 2006 with James Gomez minority candidate papers, it happened again to Vincent Wijeysingha when his gay sexuality was questioned, it happened again and again to Hougang Town Council when their accounts were questioned by Lim Hwee Hua and now it has happened to Png and his use of the word “ballot”.

So instead on focusing on bread and butter issues, policy debate and the quality of each individual candidate in their respective wards, elections have become a tabloid show with barbs traded and the whole event getting gossipy like aunties quarreling in the market. At least there was some substance in Yaw Shin Leong‘s pokings arounds. But this ballot thing?? Seriously?? Are we fighting over a word?? Better say WP Main Webmaster Koh Choong Yong (ran in Sengkang West SMC during GE 2011) never get selected to run in Hougang when his Deputy Webmaster Png Eng Huat was selected!

Yes, some part of the public do want to know these details, but should they become the focal point of the whole election process? Until now I still don’t see any real quality in Png Eng Huat or Desmond Choo (party colour aside), except that the former is a horrible public speaker and the latter speaks like an evangelist pastor (nothing wrong in that occupation please). What a letdown this By-Election, luckily it was not held in Chai Chee, otherwise it would really be a Chai Chee By election (credit Mr Brown)!

So back to the main topic…3 simple things PAP can do to win Hougang

1) Promise and deliver a wet market and hawker centre in Hougang SMC after MND/HDB/SLA demolished the old market at Hougang Ave 3 and now developers build a condominium over it. PAP, please don’t have the cheek to say you want to lobby for a wet market when you demolished in the first place. Just build it ok.

Demolished wet market at Hougang Ave 7

Another picture of the demolished market

2) Promise that the boundaries of Hougang SMC would stay intact for at least the next 3 general elections and if not forever the PAP is in power. A classic example of boundary shifting is the ward now called Ang Mo Kio-Hougang in the Ang Mo Kio GRC. It is bordered by Hougang Ave 2, Hougang Ave 8 and Hougang 4. The voters of this ward has voted in Cheng San GRC (1997), Aljunied GRC (2006) and AMK GRC (2011). Next elections maybe they vote in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC. Btw, just down the road along Hougang Ave 4 is really Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC liao. No joke. 

Boundaries of Hougang SMC

3) Promise Glenda Han as the next PAP candidate for Hougang SMC so that more Singapreans would be interested to listen to parliamentary debate. In fact, if WP had fielded her this time, I think it would an easy win for them. 😀

sweet and demure and of ‘independent’ mind?

Two days ago at Hougang Rally, hehehe, smile so nice…can share the joke?

serious when giving speech, but still sibeh attractive

Traffic Cops: Pulling the rabbit out of the hat

23 May

I didn’t know our traffic cops have a special talent that enables them to part-time as magician. No wonder we see less of them little white ants on expressway as goods vehicles speed down dangerously in the middle lane while drivers in powerful and/or souped up cars tear down the roads and tailgate dangerously. Or cops might be practicing their disappearing magic act in some ulu carpark?

Every night, even after 10pm, I would hear loud screeching exhaust from cars and bikes, it seems like they are not even enforcing like they used to. Are taxpayers paying them just to stand on top of overhead bridges and do the pussy enforcing with camera in hand? If you ask me, our road etiquette are worse than ever before with dangerous driving habits and bad tempers often flaring. Very territorial, like dogs fighting over bitches. And the traffic cops are not stamping their authority to halt this trend.

I don’t wanna say that Ma Chi would have been caught speeding by the cops before he killed the taxi driver and his passenger, but I am pretty sure this ain’t the first time he was speeding in the city area with that red horse of his. He must have done 120km/h before deciding to do 180km/h.

Pulling the rabbit out of bag

It was reported on 15th May that speeding violations were up by 10% in 2011. This was a routine question posed in the parliament to DPM Teo.

 

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But as the online anger wages on against Ma Chi and his irresponsible act, we find the traffic police pulling their rabbit out of the hat. VIOLA! On 17th May, it was reported that speeding violations drop in the first quarter of 2012! And that cops are RELENTLESS in anti-speeding operations! I really do wonder if the cops volunteered this information to the press or did someone higher up instructed that they do this and get the press to cover it.

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This volunteering of information is even more amazing (it maddens me actually) when the public can see that cops have been slow in sharing critical information with the public. Looking at their website, the latest annual statistics there are dated 2010. We are in May 2012 and they don’t even have the 2011 annual statistics ready on their website. Yet, when Ma Chi crashed his car, they can pull out the statistics for 1st Q 2012 almost immediately!! Indeed, foreign talent can make us more productive!!    

And the saddest part somewhat is that none of our politicians care to bring out these bread and butter issues during the GE 2011 and ByE 2012.  Rather than smearing one another, what is needed is serious debate and discussions of concrete steps as to how we can make this country better; share more information, and with information then more knowledge creation and possibly solutions to our problems. And yet, it seems we prefer to talk about airy stuff like ‘slap the driver’, ‘i am my own man’, ‘ncmp ballot’ and other equally frivolous stuff. How immature.

A discrepancy or interpretation of data? 

On the police website, it was reported that there were 56,183 speeding summons issued in 2007. But data published over last weekend in the Straits Times (again cops were very eager to share information), it was reported that there were 158,800 speeding violations detected in 2007. So where did the difference of 100,000 go??

One explanation is that although there are 158,800 cases of speeding detected, only 56,183 summons were issued and the rest were given warnings. But, if 2/3 of the detected cases are let off as warning then I really wonder what is the point of enforcement? Was Ma Chi among those 2/3? How many warnings can a driver have before being issued a summon?

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And I won’t be entirely surprised if the cops come back and tell us that there has been a mistake in the compiling of statistics as we have already seen it with CNB wrongly computing their drug abuse statistics for years and HSA making mistakes in their DNA testing.

Rushing somewhere?

18 May

One by one all our politicians come out to express condolences and offer their help to the deceased taxi driver that had tragically died after being side whacked by a Ferrari driven by a uber-rich PRC. This is good by the way, don’t get me wrong, the family need all the help they can get.

Just that there are many of such incidents out there I wonder if politicians are going to do this personally long term or sub-contract it out to someone else? Expressing condolences to every single tragic traffic accident death can take up a certain amount of time? Which one do u send condolences and which one you don’t? 😛

Alright, I am being an ass. We all know why they all appear suddenly. Lap it up. Hehe.

This was an equally tragic accident where a drunk Indian foreign labourer was recently sentenced for crashing his lorry into the sidewalk and killed another Indian labourer who was just there (yeah life’s tough huh). He wasn’t even driving, he was walking or sitting at the sidewalk. Didn’t see anyone much express their condolences for this chap. Didn’t see any Singaporeans condemn this vehemently like the Ferrari incident.

I also managed to find some statistics wrt to speeding.  In 2006, 45,096 summonses were issued for speeding as compared to 56,183 summonses in 2007 (read here). In 2011, there were 225,550 speeding violations – a 10 per cent increase from the year before, according to the Traffic Police (read here). The increase is just mind blowing, a more than four fold increase in 5 years. My goodness, I am sure Singaporeans were not rushing home to make babies and that’s a fact.

So if u love this country, drive safely and make more babies. We need everyone of you cuz’ they ain’t making producing much more of us.

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