Tag Archives: zheng hu

Mai Luan Luan Gong Leh: Teo Soh Lung Say JI member is political exile

12 Oct

Today, Teo Siao Lang really make me confused. She say cannot anyhow arrest 2 JI member because they fled Singapore in 2001 before ISD went around rounding up the JI.

She okay or not? Two senior JI members, trained to be ninja kamakazi warriors in Afghanistan,  fighting for number one bad ass AQ terrorist organisation, can be pardoned because they managed to escape capture? Oh they VOLUNTARILY come back so we forgive and forget?

With this special logic, MSK is political exile twice over. How dare the ISD keep him in detention! Don’t you know he is Singapore’s Dalai Lama? Why stop there, Took Leng How, murdered Huang Na, escaped to Malaysia, chose to return home too.  He must be Singapore’s Thaksin Shinawatra?

I stand corrected. Last year I said every-mother-son agrees with terrorist being locked away. Apparently granny Teo disagress!! Can’t really blame her. She is still stuck in 1987.

 

From facebook.com/TeoSohLung

[…] MHA’s press release claims that both Abd Rahim and Husaini “were senior members of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist organisation. They had undergone terrorist training in Afghanistan with the Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation in 1999/2000. They had also been actively involved in reconnoitring several potential local and foreign targets in Singapore for the purpose of a terrorist attack. Both men had fled Singapore in Dec 2001 soon after the commencement of the security operation against the JI and took refuge overseas. While on the run, Husaini was involved in the plot led by Singapore JI leader Mas Selamat bin Kastari to hijack an airplane destined for Singapore and crash it into Changi Airport in Jan 2001, to retaliate against the disruption of the Singapore JI network.”

It is clear that if Abd Rahim and Husaini had not fled Singapore in Dec 2001, they would have been arrested and may still be in prison today. They fled and became political exiles but chose to return home after 10 years. Their arrests serves as a reminder to all political exiles that returning to Singapore may cost them their freedom no matter how long their exile is.

The allegation against Abd Rahim and Husaini is not that they are present JI members but that they were senior members of JI. The ISA is thus used as if it is a piece of criminal legislation where an offender can be prosecuted for offences committed decades past. The grave distinction however is that under the ISA, there is no charge and no trial.

As in the past, MHA’s press release and the press reported the arrests of Abd Rahim and Husaini as if the two were guilty of the serious crimes alleged against them. They “were two senior JI members” and went to Afghanistan for “terrorist training with the Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.”

 

 

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Splurging on National Day Parades

13 Sep

Gerald Giam asked a good question. How much was spent in the past national day parades.


Could the money have been better spent, yes, no, maybe. The elusive answer depends on whether Singapore can afford to spend the money and what was the opportunity cost. For example, how much should be spent on charity, helping fellow needy Singaporeans. So if $20.6 million was spent in 2010, money literally burnt away on fireworks and gaudy displays, how much of that should have been spent on approved charities or welfare programmes, or subsidies in conservancy fees. The list goes on and on.


I’m not saying that money spent on national day parades are a total waste of money, although it is cool and populist to do so. Really, it depends on how much was spent and on what. One misleading comment was by this blogger Singapore Notes who writes good stuff most of the time, but this time slipped slightly. All of us have our bad days I know.

Amidst the doldrums of worldwide financial meltdown in 2008, $14 million was still splurged (record high in that year), not a single cent was trimmed to entertain the VVIPs who were hosted to exclusive cocktail parties while the common folk make their way home in the over crowded trains and buses.

Firstly, the financial crisis hit the news in September with AIG’s troubles among those at the forefront. So money was squandered away before the 2008 global recession exploded. Secondly, it depends on what was spent regardless of recession or not. Spending on national day parades means money pumped by the govt into the economy – into production, transport, materials, advertisement and the entire supply chain. SMEs benefit. Big evil corporations benefit. National day parades are capital injections into local businesses and the economy is stimulated temporarily. Spending more money on national day parades especially during recessions are even more important. When the private sector holds back in such dark times, contracting the fragile economy even more, it is up to public sector spending to pump back confidence into the economy.


The real probes into national day parades and spending is whether the deals were transparent and without corruption. This is a point that Singapore Notes was nonetheless sharp to point out.

Without a detailed accounting, we are unable to tell if the procurement for top dollar items were approved along NParks procedures and similar standard operating guidelines.

Which companies won the tenders for supplying goods and services to the big birthday party that is getting boring year after year? The GLCs would usually win the tenders,  like SFI for providing food to “volunteers” and those conscripted to help out in the parades. I did NS and ICT enough to know that if it is SAF and food, it is SFI. However, these GLCs outsourced and subcontracted out the goods and services anyway, spreading the money around. So with the splurging or squandering of taxpayers money on national day celebrations worth it or not, is an argue until cows come home mental masturbation deadend.  The more pertinent concern is if the money was spent in a fair and transparent manner, and if it stimulated local businesses besides the GLCs.

All Eyes on the Judges: Death Penalty no longer Mandatory

9 Jul

Judges will finally be made to work harder, at least when it comes to the death penalty as it is applied in drug trafficking and homicide cases. The Singapore govt has seemingly out of the blue announced that mandatory death penalty in the two aforementioned mentioned offences would now be amended to allow judges’ discretion. Discretion in drug trafficking offences will apply to those only playing the role of a courier and if they cooperated with the CNB in a substantive way or proven to have mental disability. In homicide cases, it is proposed that the mandatory death penalty will apply only where there is an intention to kill.

Now why would the govt suddenly do so is still not quite clear as there was no real mainstream public pressure on them…in fact, most Singaporeans seem to agree with the death penalty although there is a small group of activists, like TOC, MARUAH, Kirsten Han, M Ravi, Andrew Loh etc, who have dedicated their time and effort to the anti-death penalty movement. Some, like me, are entertaining the thought that this govt has grown a conscious at least in terms of recognizing how we can over-punish criminals with harsh sentencing. Anyway, kudos to the minister for doing the right thing, who was btw a practicing lawyer himself.

Without saying that it is related, just two weeks ago, the Singapore govt signed a MoU with their Malaysian counterparts to foster closer cooperation in drug enforcement. And within an hour after the announcement of the proposed amendments, the Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore (ACLS) and the Law Society of Singapore issued statement hailing the proposed changes to how the mandatory death penalty is applied. So fast? It seems to indicate that they might have a hand in this.

“This is a historic moment for the criminal justice system in Singapore. The announcement represents a significant step in humanising the criminal law. The criminal Bar has laboured many years for such a change to the mandatory death penalty in order to give the courts more discretion. We are very happy that the Ministry of Law has heard our voice over the years and that our views matter. As criminal lawyers, we are proud to be a stakeholder in the administration of criminal justice,” wrote Mr Wendell Wong, Chairman, Criminal Practice Committee, Law Society of Singapore.

Whatever the forces that might have worked behind the scenes, this is a progressive and forward-looking development for the criminal justice in system. Now, all eyes will be on the judges as they shoulder a heavier responsibility in meting out equitable (not fair) and explainable sentences. Are our judges ready for such a duty when previously the duty to pass the death penalty have been burdened on the law books rather than judges’ discretion. Would it be fair to question the judges, who if given a choice, would act like any normal human being and be less inclined to shed blood and proclaim the death penalty?

Just as there are mistakes in mandatory death penalty, there will similarly be mistakes (perhaps even more) in judges’ discretion. No system is perfect. How tolerant are we of mistakes of a different nature?

Also, which way forward for the anti-death penalty movement in Singapore? After calling for the riddance of the mandatory in death penalty, would they now turn their attention to the complete abolishment of the death penalty?

Excerpt from TODAY.

First, the trafficker must have only played the role of courier, and must not have been involved in any other activity related to the supply or distribution of drugs.

Second, discretion will only apply if – having satisfied this first requirement – either the trafficker has cooperated with the Central Narcotics Bureau in a substantive way, or he has a mental disability which substantially impairs his appreciation of the gravity of the act.

The Government has proposed to change the law such that when these conditions are met, the courts will have the discretion either to sentence the trafficker to death, or alternatively to pass a sentence of life imprisonment with caning, said Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister.

…………………………

‘JUSTICE CAN BE TEMPERED WITH MERCY’

In homicide cases, the Government also proposed that the mandatory death penalty will apply only where there is an intention to kill, said Law Minister K Shanmugam. The mandatory death penalty will, however, continue to apply to firearms offences to maintain a highly deterrent posture.

In making the changes today, the Government seeks to achieve and balance two broad objectives, said Mr Shanmugam. The first is to continue taking a strong stance on crime. The second is the refinement of our approach towards sentencing offenders.

“Our cardinal objectives remain the same,” he added. “Crime must be deterred and society must be protected against criminals. Criminals should receive their just desserts. But justice can be tempered with mercy and where appropriate, offenders should be given a second chance.”

Update: Please read here for MARUAH statement on the mandatory death penalty.

My meeting with Minister K Shanmugam Sc

20 Jun

Train blogger Gintai hitting it out with the big boys. But it seems like he was more prepared than the Minister. Patience is thin online. Strike One!

My meeting with Minister K Shanmugam Sc.

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.

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.

 

Image

 

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.

Image

 

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?

Image

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.

Hougang Bye-Election: The sideshow

17 May

This is perhaps one of the most boring local election in my memory. I can’t seem to think of anything much at stake although the printers for election materials should be smiling from ear to ear. WP will win this as Singaporeans continue to want a bit more opposition representation in parliament. WP will continue to milk the romanticism behind Hougang as the last bastion of opposition politics and the sacred kris that will slay PAP, if needed. But, PAP will improve their losing margin.

Both candidates are equally boring and I don’t see how they will add much to the plate that we already have. Png looks sincere certainly but I wonder how much edge he has over the current crop of WP MP and NMPs we have. Desmond is just pathetic with his constant plastic smile and assertions that he is his own man (he reminds me of a body builder, don’t ask me why). I rather see him coming out with all gloves off and hammer away at the Hammer, attacking them on policy and party matters. But he plays the nice guy and underdog, and oh, the ground issues guy, whatever that means…could also mean he has no idea about issues outside of Hougang?

What seems more interesting is actually the sideshow that is going on. A chance presents itself to observe Singaporeans participating in politics.

This is great (pics below), Singaporeans participating and getting creative at it. They are passionate in what they believe, and hopefully they have thought through who or what they are supporting and not just so because it is cool to support opposition. Rigour in thought and valiant in action, this bolds well for Singapore.

Courtesy of TOC FB

 

Courtesy of TOC FB

This is pretty antiquated (pic below). When I looked at it, I cringed, like we haven’t progressed from the immaturity of 80s and 90s. And even the dressing of this person is rather old skool compared to the youths proudly parading their wares. This guy is either very allergic to the sun or very shy.

For those who can pronounce but don’t read Malay, PAPA ANAK PARTY means father-son party. It was fashionable back when Junior Lee first became PM, but I think he has his merits although I won’t say he is completely without his father’s shadow. Anyway, it’s a moot point and let’s just look at the results, the policies, the communication process between state and citizens. Let’s also go easy on the anti-foreigner tirade and really looks at the fundamental issues affecting the economy and allocation of resources.

Courtesy of TOC FB

And I still hear BOOO boys (and girls) when Desmond was making his nomination speech. I still can’t pinpoint what’s wrong, we jeer at our opponents during football matches but somehow I think booing when someone is trying to make a speech can be rather distracting and disrespectful. Not that Desmond particularly deserves respect, but because we should respect civility.

Last and definitely not least, is Yam Ah Mee, the Returning Officer and Chief Exec of People’s Association. I am constantly baffled as to why Singaporeans are so enamoured by his robotic delivery and cute accent. Here is the fella who ran LTA from 2005-2010 when the transport system and policies continue to deteriorate from massive immigration and the strain on the system was apparent. He went through the motion for 5 years and did not have the adequate foresight to see trouble brewing on the horizons despite being paid a salary that was supposed to reward astronomical talent. He agreed with his political bosses and did not bother to rebut them. Perhaps he thought he should just listen to them since they are paid higher; this country has a bad habit of rich is right. No talent was apparent in his case. Now Yam is a revelation to Singaporeans whenever elections come and this frivolity makes me pity us.

Courtesy of Yahoo FB

P.S. Regrettably, Dr Chee could not contest in this bye-election. I can only imagine the fun we would have if Dr Chee (in) Bye Election.  🙂

Of cleaning windows and the Internet Code of Conduct

3 May

Is it just me or can the others also see the laughable (but not in a funny way) similarities in which we choose to tackle the problems of domestic helpers falling from high-rise apartments and this business of an Code of Conduct (COC)? 

 

A week ago at Woodlands St 81, an Indonesian maid fell to her death from the 9th floor apparently while cleaning windows. A stool and cleaning materials were believed to have been found next to the window that the 25-year-old fell from. This is the 8th fatal casualty we have had this year from maids falling out of high-rise apartments. Last year, 4 maids died this way.

 

 

Responding to media queies, the honourable Minister of State Halimah Yacob tells employers to not let their maids clean the outside of windows! And she is not the only one, somehow in a funny way, she finds an an ally in civil society. The very next day, The Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), calls for a total ban on maids cleaning the outside of windows. The scholarly civil servants would next come around to say, to prevent maids from falling, those who do not install windows grilles and deposit their keys with us will not be allowed to employ domestic helpers! LOL! 

 

 

There are many ways to prevent maids from falling out including improving window design such that they would be easy to clean without having to lean out too much. Smaller window panes or window panes that pivot in the middle of the window frame such that they look like revolving doors. It would be nice if HDB as the biggest builders could start with more maid-friendly windows. Correct tools should also be provided, such as sponges with long handles or L-shaped handles.

 

And besides correct training, agencies, embassies and MOM should print big posters that inform maids in their native language, no matter what they do they should never be in a situation where their torso-and-up region is out of the window. Even better start a TV ad campiagn, or you mean we can spend all that money for people in New York but not these helpers in Singapore helping us churn our economy along?  If helpers can’t do their cleaning adequately just inform their employers, I am sure no sound employer would want someone else’s daughter and mother to fall out of a high-rise building. 

 

 

So prone we are to just use the biggest knife we can find in the kitchen to chop a piece of garlic. We look for these amazing solutions that seem to end the mother of all problems and snuff out anything productive along the way. Like giving a chemo treatment to a flu patient where he would really surely indeed die as his good cells were all wiped out. 

 

Perhaps this is how Minister Yaacob Ibrahim and his similar group-think civil servants come along in their rolling ivory towers to tell us users of internet to come up with a code of conduct or COC that would make his time in office easier?? So that he does not to have deal with the inconveniences of some sensitive topics or some information that should be out in the public domain but has been stifled by the government? Or maybe he should just ban internet in Singapore or dictate that one person can only use one computer so that the authorities can monitor us.  

 

 

Productive debate and social conditioning is naturally chaotic and disruptive, but good will come out of it in due course. People will mature and learn. Good arguments will become bad and bad arguments might one day become applicable. We have laws and punishment to deter wrongdoings. Most of all, we are supposed to have the proper upbringing of one of the world’s wealthiest nations and most advanced education system…no? So please, the COC is COCK.   

 

Almost every other day, I wonder why we pay so much for these super talented, super high flying ministers and civil servants when the solutions they come up with sounds like what I would do after six cans of cheap beer and two shots of thai whiskey. Look, I have no qualm paying you a high salary if you are that much different from the rest of us…but thus far doesn’t look like it. 

10 reasons why PM should not be on FB

24 Apr

1. Why is he can play FB when I am paying him a fricking high salary??
2. I am not a wee interested in what he had for dinner or if he cuddled his wife in front of the telly.
3. He finally reveals that “mee siam mai hum” is a house special at the Istanan.
4. If he ain’t sharing anything substantial on FB, he is there to “kop” our ideas!
5. PM is not really on FB, he has a bunch of overpaid servants to do that for him.
6. He could lower the wages of these servants if hiring of foreigners was allowed!
7. It would be less fun if PM would stop saying sorry in person and start doing it on FB.
8. It could be embarrassing if he could never gather more ‘likes’ than Nicole Seah.
9. It pains me to see that Singaporeans think that they are making a connection to their PM just because they ‘liked’ and commented on his page.

And the top reason why PM shouldn’t be on FB…

10. His photos are invariably ruined by bodyguards trying to look mean when they actually look damn cock!!

38K Likes and counting up to Nicole Seah's 106K