Tag Archives: crazies

Mai Sabo Leh: Kenneth Jeyaretnam spill the beans on M Ravi

18 Jul

It’s true that this buffoon man of pedigree political lineage sabo-ed M Ravi. While little brother, Philip Jeyaretnam, was beaming and adjusting his tie as he was being appointed to one of the most prestigious councils in this land, the older one with his tongue half-inch longer than necessary, cannot even help his friend by keeping his mental condition secret. This is how you payback the lawyer who is representing you for the IMF case.

M Ravi supporting KJ’s Reform Party during GE2011

Listen to his video…nice big long tongue with a lovely accent. Oh he must have endeared many women.

Despite the questionable antics of Law Society’s Wong Siew Hong to squirrel a letter written by M Ravi’s psychiatrist through the doors of justice, credit must be given to the judges who have asked for the matter to be heard in the chambers and away from public glare. Credit again to the judges for letting M Ravi continue his work as there has been no official application by either the Law Society nor the AGC to sanction M Ravi.

This much we are clear despite some quarters who are fond of spinning conspiracy theories in their free and not-so-free time, at least the judges were curiously excluded from any email chain that plotted this conspiracy. So potent were such suggestions that the self-proclaimed sane M Ravi was affected by it. “Speaking to TODAY, Mr Ravi insisted there was a “conspiracy” against him and that “they were just trying to block me from arguing the case”.”

Back to the case, the public wouldn’t have known about M Ravi’s recent condition nor the contents of the letter if Kenneth Jeyaretnam had not taken a photo of the psychiatrist letter and spread it on his twitter. If we look at Jeanette Chong Aruldoss’ account of the Hougang By-election trial, she had no clue what the Law Society representative was trying to do nor the contents of the letter.

Jeanette Chong Aruldoss:

While the AG was speaking, a lawyer representing the Law Society (whom I shall call “the LS lawyer”) entered the Court with a companion in tow. The LS lawyer wore the Court gown, thus indicating that he wanted to address the Court; his companion (whom I recognised to be an employee of the Law Society) was in long sleeved office shirt, no jacket. They stood conspicuously there at the side, between the AG and the Judge.

The LS lawyer held in his hand a transparent sheet protector containing a single piece of paper which looked like a letter. (I was expecting the LS lawyer to be holding on to some kind of court order document, but apparently not.) The AG stopped his presentation and said to the Judge something like he was agreeable “to yield” to the LS lawyer (i.e. let the LS lawyer address the Judge). But the Judge seemed to indicate to AG to finish his submission without interruption, so the AG continued speaking. As it was obviously awkward for the LS lawyer and his companion to remaining standing where they were, they then walked to sit down on available chairs. Soon, the Hearing ended and I left the Court. It was around 11am.

Mainstream newspapers like TODAY and Straits Times only reported about the contents of the letter because of KJ’s leak. They would have no details otherwise. And boy did they made every detail of that short letter known to all Singaporeans just to make sure they know that M Ravi has mental health issues.

KJ tweeted the photo sometime during lunch time on Monday but later removed it after realising that it was he who had broken doctor – patient confidentiality and not the doctor as many like Andrew Loh and Richard Wan believed. Why did KJ remove it?

The psychiatrist lettter

KJ’s original tweet showing the photo of the psychiatrist letter before he removed it.

ANDREW LOH/RICHARD WAN:

When asked about this, Mr Ravi said there were conditions on how the doctor could divulge information of his medical evaluation and to whom. The doctor could only do so after he had examined him and after Mr Ravi had seen the report. Also, the report was to be made known only to his law firm partner, Ms Violet Netto, and Mr Ravi’s younger sister. Neither was informed of Dr Fones’ diagnosis before the letter was sent to the Law Society on Monday.

Sidetrack: Isn’t it interesting how ex-TOC editor would pen a story jointly with an editor from the old Temasek Review considering how both were somewhat at loggerheads with each other. There are no permanent enemies, only permanent interests? hehe. But they still didn’t pick up the fact that KJ leaked it!

Sadly, only the subservient ST picked up this crucial information of KJ leaking M Ravi’s psychiatric letter out on the internet when it should have been a private matter between M Ravi, the psychiatrist and Law Society. Quoting ST, “Dr Fones’ letter was posted on Twitter by Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam. The online post was later removed, but by then, some websites had reposted it.”

With KJ taking the lead, TOC jumped on the bandwagon, and went on their own wild tangent and inaccurately reported that Law Society was applying for M Ravi to be struck off when there was no such move. At least they had decency to apologise…wonder if KJ had done the same to M Ravi?

And even Law Society had the decency to clarify that the psychiatrist was actually appointed by M Ravi instead of the Law Society. And just to add, it was M Ravi’s associate, Violet Netto, that asked him to visit the psychiatrist on Saturday, two days before the trial, as he was under much stress.

TODAY ONLINE:

When contacted, a Law Society spokesperson confirmed that it received the letter from Dr Fones, who is a doctor “appointed by Mr M Ravi, and not the Law Society”.

The spokesperson said: “The Law Society informed the judge of the contents of the letter as it felt that it was in the public interest to do so, and as officers of the court. To be clear, there was no application whatsoever by the Law Society to in any way prevent Mr Ravi from appearing in court.”

The spokesperson said that the Law Society is “not in a position to comment on the contents of the letter, as this is a matter of a member’s confidential medical records”.

M Ravi has had a history of mental illness although that has not prevented him from specialising in death row inmates. He had reportedly been diagnosed since 2006 with bipolar disorder – which is punctuated by episodes of mania and depression – and was also suspended from practising for a year in 2006.

In 2008, he was charged – and subsequently fined – with disturbing a religious prayer session, using abusive language and causing mischief, and went into remand for three weeks at the Institute of Mental Health. After the incident, M Ravi was allowed by the court to practise under certain conditions, including that he has to see his psychiatrist periodically.

There is already a witness account of M Ravi disturbing prayers at the Sri Mariamman temple along South Bridge Rd on 15 July Sunday morning, one day after his visit to the psychiatrist and one day before his Hougang By-election trial. This was the same temple he created ruckus back in 2008.

In this swirl of leaked letter from the psychiatrist, conspiracy theories and accusations of madness, the pertinent questions remained: Why did KJ take a photo of the letter and posted it online? What motives did he have? To whom did the letter belong to? M Ravi? And did M Ravi let KJ take a photo knowing that he would upload it online?

I really hope M Ravi would take a break from work and make a full recovery soon. I am sure there are other pro-bono lawyers out there willing to represent Yong Vui Kong and others on death row. Singapore would be forever indebted to M Ravi if he indeed choose to go crazy practising law rather than take his medicine and rest. I hope his real friends, not those like KJ, can advise him honestly and not continue glorify him on pedestal so that he can be their poster boy.

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Additional readings here and here. It seems like most agree that M Ravi can indeed suddenly get unstable and that the doctor is merely doing his duty although cannot deny the fact that Law Society cannot get their act together. Interesting posts here, click to enlarge:

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Women’s Charter: Lamentations of a divorced man

12 Jul

A friend and reader of my blog urged me to publish his story. Let’s call him FA. FA recently settled his divorce after it was dragged out for 3 years. I was really reluctant initially because divorce is a matter that hardly has any ‘innocent’ party.

Went back to FA with the idea that if he wanted to share his story, cannot be that he is the good guy while the wife is the baddie…wanted him to think more and shared it in a way that can help improve the situation or at least ask some questions.

Btw, I don’t think it surprises anyone these day that the wife is the cheating partner not that the one who doesn’t cheat is an angel. Similarly, I am not saying FA is entirely righteous when I share his story here. So here it goes.

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I read with concern regarding the recent news article that the divorce rate in Singapore has increased. I am one of those who had contributed to this figure. I doubt the figure will decrease as social fabric and moral values gradually weakens through the years while both men and women treasure their financial independence and personal pride above preserving the unity of the family.

Many men had raised their concern over the unfair advantage provided to women under the Women’s Charter but it has fallen on deaf ears. Let me share my story and experience throughout my divorce processing.

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I never really reconciled why my ex-wife strayed when I held a stable job (about 5K monthly) and provided for almost everything material in the family even though I have to admit I sometimes keep long nights because of my job. I spent most weekends with the family and seldom go out with friends like I used to.

In 2009, I filed for divorce after discovering my partner of 13 years had committed adultery. I had forgiven her once for a same occurrence many years back when our children were really young. But it was too much for me to bear this time. I presented a private investigator’s report to the court as evidence of her infidelity coupled with SMSes between my ex-wife and her lovers (yes, she was having affair with more than 1 man)!!

She even promised marriage to 2 of her lovers. One is a divorcee and the other a married man. To my incredulity, one of the judge actually commented that my evidence was not strong as I did not catch them in the act. I wonder if having photo of them going into the man’s house and coming out while hugging and holding hands after the spending the night there is not good enough, what is?

Does the PI have to barge into the room while they are doing it? Doesn’t that make the PI guilty of house-breaking or trespassing? Anyway during the ordeal, my ex-wife created havoc for me using the power granted to her by Singapore laws. It didn’t help she had engaged a lawyer who promised her the sky and hoodwinked her into filing for various matters.

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– For SGD$1, she filed for maintenance claiming that I did not provide to the family financially but I was able to counter it with evidence. Luckily, I had been transferring monthly expenses to her via Internet banking. It proved that my contribution was 10 times of what she contributed monthly and that I had used 70% of my salary while she was only using 10%. Presented with evidence, she later withdrew her allegations but not before several affidavits had been exchanged costing me a few thousands in legal fee.

– For another SGD$1, she also applied for Personal Protection Order against me when she hurt herself while trying to slam the door at me (this was witnessed by my 2 children). She sought medical attention at the hospital but the doctor did not find any injury on her. Nevertheless, she proceeded with the allegations. Apparently, under the law, she still could proceed even if there was no injury detected by the doctor. She later withdrew the allegations but not before the exchange of several affidavits which again cost another few thousands of dollars.

For the sake of my 2 children, I continued to stay in the matrimonial flat so that I could stand a better chance in obtaining their care and control. During that period, she tried to agitate me by alienating my children from me through lies and deceit. And if they tried to get close to me, they will be punished when I’m not at home.

My ex-wife also started throwing away my personal belongings, clothing, medication, etc. There were times that I will return home to find that my ironed clothing had been thrown on the floor and all crumpled. There were also times when my already washed laundry was purposely thrown on the toilet floor and dirtied.

She did more than just these to agitate me and get me out of the house and away from my children. I refused to to engage her in such silly games hoping that my children will understand one day.

But, I blew my top once when she intentionally commented in the presence of the children that she having a time of her life by having sexual relationships with 2 men at the same time. I was depressed and angry during those dark days. In a fit of folly, I smashed the standing fan at the corner of the room.

The next thing I knew, the police were knocking on my door as my ex-wife had reported that there was family violence. I explained the whole incident to the police and they left after reporting the incident. Of course, in the following affidavits, she used this to argue that I am unsuitable to be a caregiver to the children due to my violent nature.

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I will follow up with the rest of FA’s story later. Btw, I think the low $1 to file various matters with Family Court is to protect those women who do not have money or savings after spending years as homemakers after marriage. Any experts on Women’s Charter out there? Is there a way to prevent abuse because we find modern women these days increasingly being almost as successful as men?

S’pore falling birth rate: Getting it on but to not much effect

11 Jul

Surely Singaporeans are getting more bedroom action. Circumstantial evidence seems to indicate so with our youths getting sexually liberated much earlier than their parents, the exciting night scene, the frequent overseas holiday with that special someone and even the rising transmission rate of STDs seem to say so. But why are our much-aroused factories not producing as many little ones as this govt so desires?

Singapore’s low TFR of 1.2 is a joke of sorts after spending $1.6billion annually on various packages to boost child-bearing and parenthood.  And  our most esteemed DPM Teo is probably right when he uttered, “Relying on government measures alone would not raise Singapore’s birth rate, as getting married and having children are personal decisions that reflect broader social values and attitudes.”

Chancing upon the fertility clinic

Last week, gallivanting around Marine Parade Central with my Minister of Home Affairs, happen to walk past the Chinese sinseh clinic at Blk 81 and it brought back memories of how we conceived our first child. Not the excitement of the actual act but the anticipation and disappointment in trying for a baby! We went for all sort of traditional and western treatments, tests, tonics, fertility clinic etc (spending all the money with nothing to show for!), nearly giving up on hope, before consulting this sinseh through the introduction of a friend and wham, bam, thank u sinseh! But all the troublesome in going for consultations and preparing the medicine and dealing with my moody emotional Minister…

Sometimes, I think it is an art to conceive, there are so many physiological factors in play not to mention how highly strung and stressed out young Singaporean couples are from their jobs, social life, hobbies, financial commitments etc. When we walk past the clinic, it was still fairly crowded with young couples seeking the holy grail.

Lending a helping hand to those who want but don’t get

Thus far, policies to boost child-bearing and parenthood have been aimed at improving the conditions in the post-natal environment, you know, Baby Bonuses, tax breaks, maternity leave, non-discrimination of preggers mothers, pro-family initiatives and the list goes on. Has the govt looked into specific actions to assist Singaporean couples who are trying for a baby?

Maybe MCYS can consider subsidizing fertility check-ups and tests, appointing certain doctors and sinsehs to research and treat those couples who are healthy but are somehow unsuccessful in having a little one? There should be more thought (or even publicity) spent on assisting those couples who are trying keenly but with no results.

MCYS has a website called http://www.maybebaby.sg (but it should really be definitelybaby.sg) where they share general information on preparing for a baby, preconception tests, maximizing fertility etc…hmmm maybe they should put up direct links or a hotline where couples can book an appointment with doctors, sinsehs or even sex therapists from govt hospitals.

The only govt sponsored fertility aid I know of is the assisted reproduction treatment subsidy that co-funds half of IVF treatment at public hospitals, capped at $3,000 per fresh cycle and up to a maximum of three fresh cycles. Medisave can be used to pay for part of the treatment but the subsidy is only for women below the age of 40, as the success rate of IVF drops drastically with age.

Should govt do more in this area? How many people take up this subsidy annually? What is the proportion of Singapore couples visiting the doctors because of fertility problems? More studies should be done to see if it is worthwhile for the govt to invest money into fertility aid and research as young couples are increasingly less inclined to having babies and more stressed with everyday working life in sunny Singapore.

What a boring post, but just doing my bit I guess.

MOE Sexperts: Having the Expertise without the Sex?

5 Jul

I got a confession to make lah. Something that mummy wouldn’t be too happy if she reads about it (luckily she doesn’t even have a handphone :p). Like many of my readers (yes, you!), I too engaged in pre-marital sex despite mum telling me it was wrong (she didn’t even liked the fact I had a ‘steady’), despite my teachers advising against it and despite my own realization that if shit were to happen, I probably can’t clean up after myself. But, I have to admit, it did felt good, too good (who was I kiddin’ with my guilt trip).

The Ambivalent Teacher

I used to go out with this lass who was also a teacher long long time ago and boy was she hot or what. She was not only hot, she was very intelligent too. Like you could never get bored with her around, she was so well-read and her interests so wide-ranging that the conversation never stops with her. Despite being very knowledgeable, she was very tolerant of divergent views and never forced herself onto others (at least not in that way).

Get this, she was damn sexy as well, which is different from “I think she was sexy”. She was so confident of her sexuality that she would go out and get herself nice lingerie or outfits so that she could, you know, we could, you know…normally it would be the guy initiating but hey she was leading it (but it was always with the necessary precautions). I never met a girl like that, ever. Too bad, we broke up because we were always arguing and fighting, guess we were too much alike. Headstrong.

We still have mutual friends and they tell me she’s married and mother of two now, very good in teaching and a very responsible parent. I bumped into her once and her kids are angels, so much more well-behaved as compared to mine brats. And I would think she would make such a great sexuality programme teacher, (even when she was single and no longer a vergeen) because she was well-informed, street-smart, knew what are the the best practices and the risks if one doesn’t follow best practices.  And, she was tolerant of other sexual orientations but at the same time knew that this society is not yet ready to accept them in their full glory. Above all, despite of her non-abstinence, she was a person of good character and join the teaching service out of her good heart for her students.

MOE Sexuality Programme

Even as MOE clarifies on its Facebook that they are not looking for vergeens, the main criteria for selecting teachers to teach sex education must not only be goody-two-shoes angels. They must have a right mix of moral character and also street smart-ness so that they can impart not only what is in the textbook but also out there in the real world…a wild world. Of course, parents hold the first line of defense; and MOE or teachers shouldn’t be mindlessly blamed when things go south.

And even as we impart the mainstream values (a euphemism for ‘right values’), which is abstinence, what are the chances that our kids will stay as vergeens till the night of their marriage vows. I am not too optimistic of my own brats. I even struggle to think of a name among my close friends who remained chaste until they put on their ring (which means there was none!). And that was decade ago! With the omnipresence of the Internet and 3G phones now, what are the chances…

But it doesn’t mean that we should stop imparting kids mainstream values, at least when they are still relevant. As a parent, I think that is the right thing to do. Both pre-marital and extra-marital should be mildly frowned upon by the ‘mainstream’, look at our divorce rates! I was a heavy smoker and I used to smoke more than a pack a day, does that mean all the nagging asking me to quit smoking should stop? So I find it quite peculiar when bloggers and writers like Jen (jentrifiedcitizen.wordpress) and Kirsten write to criticize MOE’s approach to this topic. Fark sake’s, for once I think they did right and no one agrees with me? As long as they teach abstinence and protection, I don’t see how they cannot complement one another in this modern age.

We should take a liberal view on things when they are applicable to our society and not just a blind pursuit of liberalism. For eg, Pink Dot, tolerance and understanding of LGBT relationships and the repeal of 377A are just causes. But if we sit and think about it, is it a coincident that the anti-death penalty, anti-ISA, pro-human rights, absolute freedom of expression and assembly, anti-free market economy, more welfarism are also the same group of people? Hmmmm….

Parents can read more about the programme here. For a funny take, read Mr Brown’s blog. And before I forget, if you vehemently oppose the sexuality programme, as a parent, you can opt your child out if it.

Btw, I just found the perfect picture to start talking about the difference between fertilization and fornication with my brats.

P.S. Mum, really sorry to disappoint you so many times when I was younger, it must have been the nicotine and alcohol (amongst others) screwing up the otherwise rational me.

Serious: Singapore is taking over Penang

3 Jul

In what is the most ingenious move from the PAP govt to solve over-crowding in Singapore, PM Lee Hsien Loong and his super-elite-thinking-out-of-the-cardboard scholars have hatched a plan to takeover Penang and possibly Malaysia, the land that is truly Asia, while Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea and the others are not very Asia.

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With Singapore bursting at her seams as more than 6 million people can be found on the little island any given day, and the opening of a Marina garden or shopping mall can cause massive human traffic jam, the S’pore govt has found creative ways to expand the country’s borders and Crossover to reach out to non-converts who still doubt the efficiency and effectiveness of Kong Hee PAP rule.

According to Malaysian super-exclusive-bumi-Malay-supreme-pizza newspaper Utusan, the Singapore PAP govt still secretly led by emeritus senior citizen ultraman Lee Kuan Yew (Kuan Yew in Singlish means to control you, so he like to control everything in S’pore), is going to remote control the collapse of the Malaysian ruling Barisan Nasional formed by many many political parties who cannot agree which race is the smartest in Malaysia.

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After BN collapse, it will be replaced by DAP, a party that has allegedly secretly taught rocket technology to the Iranians and is apparently super best friends with PAP because they are only an alphabet apart. According to Utusan, PAP has waited more than 48 years to achieve this dream and will prove to Singapore citizen although it is in ineffective in handling housing and transport, it can takeover a country 469 times bigger than itself.

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Just last month Utusan charged that 3 beautiful Singapore diplomats wearing yellow walking with tens of thousands of Malaysian might cause their govt to topple. Until now, there is no still no documentary proof of such a curious incident.

Meanwhile property prices in Penang is seeing a a massive boom due to the sheer number of Singaporeans buying property on the northern Malaysia island in anticipation of a successive PAP takeover.

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I sincerely believe Pastor Kong Hee is innocent

28 Jun

Some readers will be shock to hear that I believe Kong Hee Fatt Choy to be innocent…but I really do!! 😛

Reviewing the evidence and his actions, I have come to believe that this man may not have the mental capacity to commit grand theft amounting to at least $50mil. He is just a good Christian and Raffles boy completely and utterly misled by some horse that mysteriously “rode” into his life…

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Sun Ho and just some horse
Credit: Singaporedaily

1. Kong Hee appoints Edwin Tong as his defence counsel. Tong is not only a MP of the ruling party but also the deputy chairman of the GPC for Law and Home Affairs. I am sure Tong would keep to his client confidential clause when it really matters!

2. Kong Hee works his ass off in Singapore everyday and all around the world preaching asking people donate so that he can creatively move the money to his wife to explore the deeper meaning of life in Hollywood.

3. Kong Hee lets his wife live in a Hollywood Good Class Bungalow worth $28K rental a month while he suffers in a relatively smaller apartment in Singapore.

4. Kong Hee is devoid of family warmth for 5 years (2005-2010) while his wife and child and the wife’s special assistant live blissfully in Hollywood. My heart goes out to the poor man.

5. Kong Hee believed that Sun Ho was helping him spread Christianity when she showed her assets to the world.

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Peek A Boob

6. When the Kongs’ world came crashing down on Tue, Sun Ho wasn’t even charged for anything after all the church money that was channeled to her so that Wyclef Jean can make her drunk on China Wine. Kong Hee now faces a max penalty of life imprisonment.

7. Adored by the thousands, Kong Hee lets his congregation celebrate his birthday for him in the church and allow them to build a personality cult around him such that many were jealous of him and made numerous police reports about his financial frauds.

8. After failing spectacularly in Hollywood and throwing tens of millions of donations from churchgoers into the drain, Sun Ho returns to Singapore to find a cushy high-paying in CHC waiting for her.

See…I told you…Kong Hee is innocent like his fanatical supporters say he is while forming a ring of protection around him at Sub Courts like he was Frodo with the Fellowship of the Ring. Look at this poor chap with his tight skin, high cheek bones and smart Hugo Boss suits, he was just completely blindsided and misled by “some horse”. Really leh.

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Racist Pussy protested in front of Singapore High Commission in KL

26 Jun

This gemuk uncle protested in front of Singapore High Commission in KL yesterday to demand for an apology from Singapore govt and ask that 3 female diplomats be withdrawn from KL. The trio were accused of interfering in local politics after they were spotted attending or observing the Bersih 3.0 rally from the sidelines in April 2012. How were 3 Chinese ladies spotted in a sea of yellow shirts? Maybe because they weren’t wearing yellow shirts? Or they were being shadowed by M’sian spies?

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Gemuk Pak Cik protesting at Singapore High Comm in KL

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Last Friday, Singapore High Commissioner Ong Keng Yong was summoned to the Malaysian Foreign Ministry where he was told by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman that diplomats must be mindful and that the involvement of the three at the rally was inappropriate.

Is the M’sian Minister also saying M’sian diplomats do not observe our local elections and keep track of Bersih activities in Singapore?? Looks like M’sia hasn’t got rid of their dirty habit of whipping Spore when their elections draw near. Maybe they will accuse Anwar Ibrahim’s chio daughter, Nurul Izzah, of lesbianism and bring out a stained tilam (or mattress) again. HAHAHA!

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Nurul Izzah getting married

Gemuk Uncle is a toad that is scared of his wife

The gemuk uncle that led the protest is none other than Ibrahim Ali, a M’sian MP and leader of Perkasa. Perkasa is a Malay race supremacist group and its leader Ibrahim Ali is often criticised as a racist even by UMNO members such as Khairy Jamaluddin.

During 2012 Chinese New Year, he gave out ang paos to Chinese in white envelopes after claiming that he has ran out of red packets. White envelopes are used by Chinese when giving condolences during a death in the family.

In the run up to Bersih 2.0, he warned Chinese to stock up, stay at home and not to attend as there might be some unexplained incidents, insinuating that there might be racially motivated attacks. Ibrahim promised to bring 15,000 Perkasa supporters to Bersih but did not turn up in the end saying that he was feeling unwell and that his wife did not give him permissi to go! What a PUSSY!

In April 2011, he said men have affairs because their wives neglected them. Sexist ba3t8rd. In May 2011, he threaten to wage holy war against the Christians after some religious tensions in M’sia.

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Gemuk Uncle has no balls

From the above, we can already see that Gemuk Uncle has no balls. He is so fat because he is full of hot air and shit. Just last week, in Jakarta, about 50 Indonesians hurled stones and pieces of wood at the Malaysia Hall building, damaging parts of it and injuring a security guard. They had also protested outside the Malaysian embassy, about 5km away, where they burned the Malaysian flag and threw eggs into the compound. The group was protesting Malaysia’s decision to recognise two traditional north Sumatran musical items – the Tor-tor dance and the Gordang Sambilan musical ensemble – as part of the national heritage.

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Demonstration against M’sia in Jakarta

And did the toad and his fellow dimwits turn up at the Indonesian Embassy in KL to protest? No! They wouldn’t. Because they know tit-for-tat, the Indons will probably burn down the M’sian Embassy in Jakarta before they even burn the Indon flag in KL. So why pick on tiny Spore? We easy to makan is it? Or because we majority eat barbie one? And you are telling Singaporeans to invest in Iskandar Development and JB…ZZZzzzzz…

Everyday human beings and citizens on both ends of the Causeway adore one another. We have relatives criss-crossing and our tourist/retail industries are closely tied. All is fine and rosy except when they need us whipping boys to unite the far-right Malays or some cranky decision-makers woke up on the wrong side and decide to have a go at us. Let us reap mutual benefits from improving cross-straits ties and not degenerate down this road of childish bickering.

When will citizen journalism website STOMP clean up its shit?

25 Jun

Mr Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of SPH’s English and Malay Newspapers Division, has sent a letter to Mr Tan Ek Kia, the interim chief executive of rail operator SMRT, to apologise for a fake photograph that was published on SPH’s citizen journalism, STOMP. The citizen journalist, STOMPER “wasabi”, alleged that there was a serious safety breach when the train was moving with its door open for at least one stop when she was travelling from Lakeside to City Hall MRT station.

It has now been revealed that the photo was lifted off Twitter and “wasabi” was never on the train and the entire story was fabricated despite making its way to a SPH website, a company that prides itself for responsible reporting.

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STOMPER “wasabi” is STOMP content producer!

What is more shocking is that “wasabi” is no citizen journalist but employed by STOMP as a content producer (more like content fabricator)!! Now we really wonder how much of the content on STOMP is produced/fabricated by their own staff? Why doesn’t STOMP inform its readers that the contributor was a staff and tries to make it seem as if all their content are submitted by members of the public? And if they are employed by STOMP/SPH why are they not subjected to the rigours of fact-checking and journalistic ethics? This stinks of mis-representation.

It is apparent that STOMP would approve and publish just about any story that is sensational without any fact checking from its own content producers.

So would the public ever be aware if STOMP decides to slip in a fabricated story, stir it up online and it gets reported in mainstream newspapers as a legitimate story? They are after all all owned by one company!

Such journalistic standards and practices are deplorable and can be easily abused. For the media to act as effective arm of civil society, the media giant that SPH is should be broken up as it controls a definite majority of the entire spectrum (offline and online) of news production in Singapore. Such monopolistic characteristics are prone to spectacular failures in addition to being poor in representing the diversity of society’s views. Besides STOMP, SPH also has a stake in popular portals like Hardwarezone and Asiaone.

Liar, liar pants on fire

STOMPER “wasabi” aka Ms Samantha Francis, would join a long line of rouge journalists who fabricated stories to get ahead in the game. She is not the first and neither will she be the last. There should be mechanism to prevent and deter this in any respectable system. Currently a student at NTU, English Language and Literature, Samantha is due to graduate this year and I hope this would be a rude wake-up call to her as she joins the workforce.

It takes ten lies to cover-up the first lie. To perpetuate her lie that she was at Lakeside MRT station around 10:15pm on a Tuesday night, Samantha even had the cheek to turn up at the station with SMRT staff to verify her story. She gave a description of what she wore and her ez-link card both of which drew a blank with SMRT CCTV and ez-link systems. OMG! How lame…

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Samantha Francis in a dress telling her version of the story

Obviously, she is not very apt at lying or she might be serial liar, albeit a very losuy one. STOMP should get better and smarter content fabricators if they want to stay ahead of the competition!! Haha!!

In this instance, fortunately, the story was verifiable as there were details, time, location and an organisation (i.e. SMRT) which had its own interests to make things right. Imagine if some “citizen journalist” was to submit some unverifiable story like two man fighting at somewhere in Toa Payoh and one spoke with an heavy India Indian accent, get their friends to punch it up while another filmed it.

Ironically, Samantha wrote an article titled “10 ways to become a public nuisance” back in Feb for local entertainment website Fever Avenue, never thinking that she will be the 11th.

Beware of the sensational in anti-xenophobia

22 Jun

With anti-foreigner feelings rising in Singapore, like even kuai lan MRT Aunty also just assume anyone nasty is from China, it is good that bloggers are coming together to speak against xenophobia. A Youtube chat show started by local bloggers will start with the topic of xenophobia.

One of the bloggers, former TOC interim editor, Ravi Philemon, would be one of those on the talk show. In the ST article, he was quoted, “There are websites that seem to be driving these ultra-nationalist, anti-foreigner sentiments, and when you see something like that, you get worried.”

Indeed, sensational reporting by websites such as Temasek Times, although entertaining, would undoubtedly fray sentiments. The sentiments maybe anti-foreigner, racism, belittling another religion, anti-gay or feminazis and pro-gay fanatics. Xenophobia is just one facet of a general intolerance we have for people who are different from us.

But sensational reporting is such an essential part of driving readership and traffic to a website. It is barrier and hassle-free and seems to be the norm in cyber space. In fact, even TOC, when it was under Mr Philemon in 2011 was criticized by academic Cherian George for sensationalizing the Seng Han Thong MRT comments. As a result of their reporting, there was a little storm in the teacup where there was not only debate re Seng’s comments but also racial barbs being traded. Indeed, irresponsible reporting can be that spark that starts the fire be it racism, religion, foreigner or sexual orientation.

And about 15 days after the Seng incident, another incident, TOC FB wrote that the Catholic Pope had denounced gay marriages (one wouldn’t expect the Pope to agree with gay marriages would he?) and this invited commentators calling the Pope a bastard, a dog, a Nazi etc. Many people do not read the fine print or the entire article and thus headlines and reporting are important when shaping the ensuing debate.

If one read the Pope’s speech in its entirety, he did not denounce gay marriage outright but he did lay forth his view that the family based on a union of a man and woman is the fundamental cell of every society. Well, it was fair enough to say that he was diplomatic in arguing his views and mobilizing his flock.

Also note that building a more tolerant society also entails some form of restriction on our freedom of expression and this is accentuated by how diverse Singapore is with different races, nationalities, religions and sexual orientations. If everyone would to say or write out the first thing on our minds, it is likely that we will get into more cat fights. So while many bloggers urge for restrain and understanding those different from us; are we, as a cyber community, also willing to give up some our freedom to rant and complain??

All in all, it’s good that Mr Philemon and his friends are coming out to denounce xenophobia …but don’t forget it is so easy to slip back into populist sensational reporting just as it is now trendy to go into anti-xenophobia.

SPH and MediaCorp: An uphill task to be representative

8 Jun

Mainstream media and especially traditional print media have been getting quite a fair bit of flak recently. Detractors termed them “government mouthpiece”, while those more hard-hitting would say “government stooge”. Straits Times’ Chief Editor, Warren Fernandez, did the paper no favours when he recently decided that one way to fund the supply of newspapers to 1000 underprivileged families was to auction off a donated Volkswagen car. Sounds good until everyone pointed out to him and say, hey u print tens if not hundreds of thousands of copies everyday so what’s the big deal about helping out folks with free subscriptions?! Others were more devious when they accused him spreading government propaganda! Hahaha!

ST is like a 30 years old car, in fact, it is older than that. It needs a renewal and an overhaul. Its market strategy as a nation-building tool faces strong headwind as it continues to lose young readers to online news both local and foreign. Imagine a young Singaporean not reading local news at all, he could read all the USA dailies, participate in their cyberspace discussion and pretend to be living in California while influencing his friends to vote for Obama this November. Or a youth only reading Temasek Times and Tremeritus. Wonder how would they turn out?

Not that ST, TNP or TODAY is inaccurate, but because of the variety of views that Singaporeans now have, SPH and Mediacorp with its (government) baggage can no longer claim to be representative of the majority of the views out there. Hence, we have a situation where online news and opinions are flourishing because there is no offline newspaper to represent these views. Traditional print media in Singapore can only be so diverse (not much) due to its symbiotic relationship with the government, its ownership, and history. In fact, ironically, mainstream media can be argued to divide Singaporeans with its (narrow) views and epistemology as it pursue its goal of nation-building.

Recently, newly minted MP for Hougang, Mr Png Eng Huat, took a swipe at My Paper and Zaobao for reporting that he had closed 8 companies insinuating that he was a dishonest businessman. Several weeks after the elections, Mr Png disclosed that out of these 8 companies, 4 were registered during the course his work at NTUC where he was made director of these companies. Another company had no links to him. He made good restitution to the remaining 3 companies that he closed.

I couldn’t help but to wonder why he would not disclose these during the campaign period when he had adequate time to do so? He did not trust mainstream media with this information or he did not want to argue down this path with mainstream media as Workers’ Party do not have links to a traditional print newspapers that could echo his views? But on the other hand, the mainstream media does have its fare share of fans like Melanie Ong despite all the brickbats it gets online.

Anti-ISA event That We May Dream Again

Honestly, not that many Singaporeans care about the ISA. Like me, Singaporeans are mostly concerned with bread and butter issues like housing, transport and education. So I was quite surprised when ST actually carried the news that the event has been postponed from 19th May to 2nd June due to the Hougang By-Election. I thought this was the most fantastic publicity that the event could get no matter how active it was online. ST is after all has a higher readership as compared to TOC, Publichouse and Teo Soh Lung’s FB.

And I was equally surprised when ST gave a decent sized article covering the event on its 3rd June edition. Of course, it is not as comprehensive as this or this, but hey the crowd at any condo launch and at an esplanade concert was definitely more larger than the event. And this would go a long way in bringing awareness to the the Marxist Conspiracy and the efforts of the various groups. Much more people read the ST than attend the event.

But as they say, you can’t please everyone. Prominent local blogger Andrew Loh of Publichouse.sg argued that it was wrong of ST to use Marxist Conspiracy without quotation marks (“marxist conspiracy”) as those arrested were never charged in court. He was also unhappy with use of the word ‘suspected’ rather than ‘alleged’. Finding bones in eggs? I personally thought that the article was quite balanced as one could easily read and understand there are differences between the govt and the former detainees and activists. Considering how pro-govt ST can be, I think the coverage was actually pretty decent. Anyway, shall leave it to the readers to judge.

Credit: Martyn See

So there, the verdict is out. No matter what ST does or reports, it is increasingly not being seen as a representative of citizens as we become more diverse (and divisive?). Maybe some ex-journalists with the dough should come out and start a more left-leaning (not leftist) socialist newspaper. Or maybe some local tycoon would sponsor such a meaningful project. It would go a long way in helping build social capital and kick start the process of meaningful public debate. And if that day comes, I hope the govt would approve the license. But if this would to happen, it might also mean that alternative online views would lose some of their appeal.

postscript: I was quite surprised when TNP gave a huge space to report how Mr Brown lost and found her daughter, Faith. No offense to Mr Brown, many people lose their kids (normal and special) everyday for a few hours. But then again, it’s TNP.