Thursday, December 16, 2010

Singapore famous again, thanks to WikiLeaks

Kim Jong Il is but a flabby old chap who prances around the stadium seeking adulation

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew noted that the North Korean leadership has "no friends, not even Russia" and has not trusted China since the Chinese began cultivating ties with South Korea with an eye on attracting foreign investment.

Describing the North Koreans as "psychopathic types, with a 'flabby old chap' for a leader who prances around the stadium seeking adulation", Mr Lee said he had learnt from living through the Japanese Occupation that "people will obey authorities who can deny them food, clothing and medicine".

Mr Lee also said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's successor "may not have the gumption or the bile of his father or grandfather ... and may not be prepared to see people die like flies". China is calculating all these, said Mr Lee, who also expressed worry about the effect of North Korea on Iran.

Myanmar is too stupid to make use of their great natural resources

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said dealing with Myanmar's military regime was like "talking to dead people", according to a confidential US briefing on a 2007 conversation with US Ambassador Patricia Herbold and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Christensen.

In the latest leaked cable, "Lee expressed his scorn for the regime's leadership", adding that they had "mismanaged the country's great natural resources".

MM Lee said China had the most influence over Myanmar's leadership of any foreign country and that Beijing was worried the country would "blow up" and thus threaten Chinese investments there, according to the leaked cable.

Japan is that stupid big fat loser with bad leadership and lack of vision, and India is just half in half out

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh allegedly described Japan as "the big fat loser" in the context of improving ties between China and ASEAN.

He attributed the relative decline of Japan's stature in the region to Japan's "stupidity, bad leadership, and lack of vision."

He also allegedly did not spare India and was equally merciless towards them, describing his "stupid Indian friends" as "half in, half out of ASEAN"

Mahathir has been stoning his replacement

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Ex-Permanent Secretary Peter Ho stated that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been "throwing stones" at his replacement, Abdullah Badawi.

"As for... Najib Razak, he is an opportunist. Although he has not been critical of Singapore, he will not hesitate to go in that direction if it is expedient for him to do so." the report quoted him as saying.

Malaysia is racist, Thailand is corrupted and the rest from China to India and all the way to Russia are just hopeless

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Ex-Permanent Secretary Bilahari Kausikan allegedly quoted telling US Deputy Secretary of Defence for East Asia David Sedney in 2008 that, "the situation in neighbouring Malaysia is confused and dangerous", fuelled by a "distinct possibility of racial conflict" that could see ethnic Chinese "flee" Malaysia and "overwhelm" Singapore.

He supposedly also said: "A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia".

Mr Kausikan was also allegedly critical in his assessment of Singapore's other neighbour, Thailand reported the Australian press.

He had supposedly said that Thaksin Shinawatra was "corrupt" along with "everyone else, including the opposition".

He allegedly continued to add that Thaksin "made a mistake in pursuing a relationship with the crown prince by paying off the crown prince's gambling debts".

He supposedly also said that the crown prince was "very erratic, and easily subject to influence," and warned of continued instability in Thailand.

He had supposedly said that Burma's neighbours, including China and India, are "more concerned with stability than justice" and they feared the Burmese junta's demise could produce "an Asian reprise of the breakup of Yugoslavia".

Also that he would be "more comfortable with a nuclear-capable North Korea, than a nuclear-capable Iran".

The report also finally pointed out that he had apparently said that Russia's economy is "Third World", its health system a shambles and its demographic challenges almost insurmountable.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why statboard heads should be careful when they try to arrow 500 people

According to an allegedly leaked letter from someone at the lower end of the food-chain in MCYS, the spectacular sight of 500 MCYS staff lining along Thomson Road to pay their last respects to Mrs Lee Kuan Yew as her cortege passed by on its way to Mandai Crematorium, was nothing but an act directed from above.


Subject:Urgent: Passing of Mrs Lee Kuan Yew’s cortege along Thomson Road

From: Pamela TAN to MCYS-All

The cortege of Mrs Lee Kuan Yew will leave Sri Temasek at 4 pm and it will pass by Thomson Road on its way to the Mandai Crematorium.

As a mark of respect, we would like all staff in MCYS / SLF Building to line up along Thomson Road, opposite MCYS Building (cross the overhead bridge to the side of the Polo Club). Please leave the buildings by 3.45pm.

All staff should be in place by 4pm to await the passing of the cortege.

Staff should be solemn and bow your heads as a form of respect as the cortege passes by.

Staff wearing bright coloured clothes and who wish to pay their respects should cover up with a dark jacket / sombre colours.

Thank you and please be punctual.

Pamela Tan (Ms), Assistant Director / Human Resource Division,
Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports
| DID: (65) 6354 8163 | Fax: (65) 6354 8327 | Email: | Website:

But who is surprised?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is Singapore handcuffing down the path of Communism?

In the past, reporters or even tourists used to be handcuffed by the Chinese officials just by taking pictures in certain politically sensitive places in Tibet. Then Tibet opened its door wide to welcome the same tourists in the name of money. Communism given way to Capitalism?

But not so long ago, a senior photojournalist was handcuffed for taking pictures of the latest flash flood. No, there was nothing political about the flood, it was just freak. And the police had handcuffed him in the name of "self and public safety". Nobody knows how can the act of photography endanger oneself and others. Okay, self maybe, because he could have tripped. But the public? And in order to prevent this photojournalist from hurting himself, the kind-hearted police officer was forced to handcuff the photojournalist in public. Do we handcuff people to safe ground in a democratic society?

In the past, the Chinese government actively used the subversion of state power clause to imprison those who were critical of the government. Then China opened its door wide to the world to welcome investors and the World Wide Web. They still arrest when they feel fit, but things sure have improved. Evolution of Communism to provide more freedom for the people?

Very recently, an online critic was arrested by the police for his criticisms of Dr Vivian on the “I hate YOG” Facebook page. He has posted a comment that it was time to “burn” the minister in charge and called on the public to “rally together”. Besides questioning him on the comment, it is heard that the police has also questioned him about his involvement in the Facebook group, what was his problem with the YOG, and whether he has joined any political party. Out of context if you ask me, but we know anything can be questioned and everything can be accused of in an interrogation room. Democracy does not give people the right to say everything and anything, but does it then gives the police the right to handcuff anyone who says something they should not on the Internet?

So are we really living in a democratic soceity? Why is our Democracy looking more and more like Communism's twin brother? Do we really believe ourselves when we pledge to build a democratic society based on justice and equality? Did the police read the Dummy's guide to Democracy? So what exactly is Democracy? I mean the real thing.

"People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing."
- Walter H. Judd, American politician and statesman

"My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular."
- Adlai Stevenson, American politician

"The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open."
- Günter Wilhelm Gras, Nobel Prize-winning German author and playwright.

"Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people."
- Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

"Democracy means not "I am as good as you are," but "You are as good as I am." "
- Theodore Parker, American Transcendentalist and reforming minister of the Unitarian churc

"While democracy must have its organization and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty."
- Charles Evans Hughes, Republican politician from the State of New York

Still don't get it? Damn our country's education!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Perhaps some serial killers could help to change Singapore?

During the presidential campaign in 2008, one of Barack Obama's slogan was "Change we can believe in". After years of suffering under Communism-like governance, overcrowding of public transport and schools by influx of new immigrants, widening of gap between the rich and poor, and recent freak floods, Singaporeans are eager for a change. They too want a change they can believe in.

But when the governing party is not listening and the opposition parties are not helping, what can Singaporeans do to ensure the change does take place? Nothing. Perhaps we need some serial killers to send some wake-up call to the government. Serial killers who walk the talk, who will not be satisfied by ranting on blogs and forums where everybody listen but the people that are making policies...

Lorenzo Gilyard raped and murdered 13 women and girls from 1977 to 1993. Most, if not all of Gilyard's victims were prostitutes. All were found shoeless and dumped in secluded spots around Kansas City, Missouri. Most had cloth or paper towels stuffed into their mouths and ligature marks around their necks.

Quiet residential estate Kovan is sex hot spot

The police arrested 12 female Chinese nationals for vice-related offences in the rooms of Hotel 81 (Kovan) and Fragrance Hotel (Kovan).

According to the police, their investigations showed some of the suspects had made use of the Internet to advertise their sexual services.

This joint operation by the Criminal Investigation Department and Ang Mo Kio Police Division happened in the wake of residents in Kovan complaining to their Member of Parliament, Madam Cynthia Phua, about scantily clad women loitering near their homes.

Will a Singaporean version of Jack the Ripper help in reminding the authorities on the rising number of mainland Chinese prostitutes in Singapore? That too many work permits have been given away as freely as property fliers?

Explosions detonated by two female suicide bombers killed at least 37 people and injured 33 on two packed Moscow metro trains in the morning rush hour in March 2010.

SMRT has a plan ...

When asked if she had read the comments and blogs, SMRT chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa said with a laugh: "I'd be a very depressed person if I read every comment about me."

She went on to clarify her comments. "I never said that I didn't recognise it's crowded ... I accept it's crowded. The point is, in comparison with others, we've yet to push people into the train," she said, referring to Japan and some parts of China.

What if a psychopath decided that enough is enough and he no longer desires squeezing into a tin of sardine to get to work and back to home everyday, and bombing everybody on the train should reduce the overcrowding? Will this speed things up in improving Singapore's public transport?

Or how about someone with borderline personality disorder who lost his 10-years position to a foreign worker, and finally broke down and decided to shoot everyone in the office? Will that force the government to think twice before bringing another 100,000 extra foreign workers into the country?

Or the nightmare of all parents when a depressed mother who could not get her kid into any primary school stormed into one elite primary school to shoot every kid down?

But then again, Singaporeans are too obedient and over-protected to groom a real serial killer. Perhaps a foreign talent serial killer then?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why are we paying our ministers obscenely high salaries again?

"Few countries have implemented our philosophy and practice of benchmarking and paying public officers salaries that are pegged to the market, but this system has worked for us. Competitive wages have helped us bring in and retain able men and women in Government and in the Public Service in Singapore. This policy has served us well. We must maintain this competitive advantage - a clean, effective and efficient Public Service. We need a team of good people to develop the vision, ideas and plans, as well as to see through the execution."

-- Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence

Auditor-General takes some ministries to task

In the findings by the Auditor-General's report for the financial year 2009-2010, there are countless lapses and weaknesses in the internal controls over the management of public funds in several ministries and Government agencies.

The Ministry of Finance was cited for the misuse of Government payouts meant for patients at six nursing homes.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had over 50 cases of overpayment of salaries, bonuses, over-time claims, medical and dental subsidies to mission staff, as well as double payment of medical expenses.

Security lapses were found in the Government accounting system - "NFS@Gov" - administered by the Accountant-General's Department. Over 640 end-user accounts were wrongly given access rights to an application designer tool. Some of the accounts allowed users to modify programs or records in the system.

There was an unauthorised testing of a computer system at the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority that saw two invoices generated with incorrect amounts.

Singapore Police Force did not collect $648,000 in revenue. Between 1997 and last year, town councils and statutory boards were not charged the $25 fee for enforcement of each warrant of arrest.

Donations of $34,907 went to the accounts of voluntary welfare organisations instead of three welfare homes.

Late refund of cash bail. As of Aug 31 last year, 46 cases amounting to $440,450 were outstanding for periods ranging from 41 days to 1,694 days (the guideline is up to 23 working days for refunds). Prior to that, 59 refunds, amounting to $571,500, were found to have been refunded 49 days to 340 days after the court cases had concluded.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Please pay $188 and help us evaluate the YOG Village

This has been reported on the Straits Times...

Free YOG Village stay for 200 boys

The ’stay and play programme’ , which spans two days and one night, gives organisers a chance to test the Village’s readiness to host the world’s best young athletes during the August 14-26 inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

Participants will tuck into the same buffet spread that will be served during the Games, spend a night in the rooms where the athletes will stay, and attend cultural and educational activities….

A $150 early-bird fee was charged for those who signed up before June 30, and $188 for those who signed up after.

Youth Olympic Village director Sheryl Lim said participants are required to pay fees to defray the costs of meals and services at the Village.

About 1,000 people have signed up for the programme.

I'll say the organiser is really doing very well in leveraging on Singapore resources, Singaporean parents in particularly.

The organiser knows they have to test the YOG Village’s readiness because just like all other International events and conferences, we must display only our very best. Regardless how far from reality the beautiful picture we have painted for our visitors really is.

So the organiser has to get their feedback before the real guests are here. Are the beds as comfortable as those found in hotels? Can the toilets be flushed? Are there enough bathrooms? And is the buffet spread good enough to invite Buffetlicious' Michelle Chai over for lunch?

And since this is the Youth Olympics Games, the best test candidates will be the local students! Till now, everything seems fair enough. But wait! Here's the bizarre part! In order to help the organiser test out the YOG Village’s readiness, the local students have to pay up to $188! Oh yeh, they have got to pay up so that they have a chance to help out! Though in the real world, we don't ask the interns to pay us to come work in our office.

The organiser may argue that somebody needs to foot the bill for the room, the buffet lunches and dinners, and not forgetting the exciting cultural and educational activities! But, really? Can't they grab some out of the S$387 million pool?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Revised Standard Operating Procedure for Handcuffing Public Taking Photographs

The people were in shock knowing that a newspaper photographer has been handcuffed by the police for taking photographs of flood on the road. In rage, the public questioned why the police arrested the photographer in question when he was simply doing his job.

According to a piece of unreliable information leaked from an unrelated personnel, the police has realised the damage this handcuffing incident has done on their little reputation, and decided to revamp the Standard Operating Procedure of handcuffing the public.

Revised Standard Operating Procedure for Handcuffing Public Taking Photographs (SOPHPTP)

In all scenarios, before handcuffing subject in question, approach and ask for identity:
  • If subject works for the press, grant permission to carry on, render help if necessary. Handcuffing a press journalist will guarantee negative press coverage for the police for a very long time.

  • If subject is a blogger, leave him/her alone. Handcuffing a blogger will guarantee negative comments on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and all over the internet almost immediately.

  • If subject is a Stomper, confiscate camera so that the photograph will not make it to Stomp.

  • If subject is taking photographs purely for own collection and album, not related to anyone in the press and has no idea what is social media, handcuff him/her on the ground of causing obstruction to the police officer in the discharge of his duties and causing danger to himself and others.

Photographer handcuffed

THE flood last Saturday morning not only dampened the mood of residents who woke up surrounded by rainwater but also that of photojournalist Shafie Goh.

The 57-year-old veteran Lianhe Wanbao photojournalist was snapping shots of the flood in the Bukit Timah area when he was told by a policeman to move away. Minutes later, he was handcuffed.

What happened before the handcuffs were used is a matter of dispute: Mr Goh said he was asked to go only once and was about to leave when the police handcuffed him. The police, however, said that they had repeatedly asked Mr Goh to leave before they resorted to using force.

Speaking to The Straits Times on Sunday, Mr Goh said he was standing on a manhole trying to get a picture of some partially submerged cars when he was told by an officer to leave.

A police statement released on Sunday, however, said that officers had repeatedly asked Mr Goh to move to a safe place as he was taking photographs in a dangerous position. But the man refused to comply and continued walking along the road divider, snapping pictures.

A spokesman said: 'As he was causing obstruction to the police officer in the discharge of his duties and causing danger to himself and others, the officers decided to restrain him and move him to safe grounds, but the man resisted and put up a struggle.' The officers then had to handcuff him.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What should be taught in the Safe Cycling Clinic for foreign workers


Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali were all flipping through and reading some papers at the meeting table. Ah Tan then walked up to the whiteboard and wrote the words "Safe cycling clinic for foreign workers in Singapore".

AH TAN: Okay guys, I've called for today's meeting to brainstorm on the syllabus for the Safe Cycling Clinic that we're planning for those foreign workers. Mr Teo needs this before the parliament meeting next week, so this is high priority.
AH LIM (rubbing his chin): Why only for foreign workers? I thought locals cycle also?
AH TAN: Yes, locals cycle too, but they don't cycle as if their grandfathers own the road!

All three men chuckled.

AH TAN: Anyway, last year, foreign workers made up one third of cyclist fatalities in Singapore, and we don't want to see them making up two third this year. So the North East CDC has suggested for this Safe Cycling Clinic. Let's work on it!

All three men folded their arms and leaned back on their chairs, all deep in thoughts. Suddenly Ah Lim opened his eyes and walked up to the whiteboard to write "Do not cycle next to the bus".

AH LIM: They should learn that here buses are kings. If all cars have to give way to the buses, don't expect the buses to give space to cyclists!

Both Ah Tan and Ali nodded in agreement. Then Ah Tan walked up to write "Do not cycle on the pedestrian crossing".

AH TAN: Pedestrian crossings are... for pedestrians. We've got enough cars knocking down pedestrians at pedestrian crossings. We don't need cyclists to help bring up the number. And this as well.

Ah Tan wrote "Do not cycle side by side" on the whiteboard.
AH LIM: Wah! They think everywhere East Coast Park ah!

Then Ali walked up and wrote "Do not cycle on the expressway" and both Ah Tan and Ah Lim shouted "Wow!".

AH TAN: Seriously? Cycle on the expressway?
ALI: Tan, I've seen cyclists on the AYE, KPE and BKE okay! These burgers must have thought they can cycle at 80km/hr!
AH LIM (berating): And these burgers deserved to be knocked down! Hello? When some idiot hog the road at 80km/hr, we already tailgate him like nobody's business. Now cyclist on expressway? They're just trying to be knocked down by cars! Oh! That also reminds me!

Ah Lim walked up and wrote "Do not cycle against the traffic".

AH TAN: Seriously? Against the traffic?
AH LIM: Stupid right? And this one!

Ah Lim continued to write "Do not beat the red lights".

All three men sighed and shook their heads.

AH TAN: You know, guys, sometimes I really wonder, is this how these guys cycle in their own countries? Then why are they still alive?
ALI: Because these behaviors are norm in their countries lah!
AH TAN: Well, then either these countries have no law, or their people have no brain.
AH LIM: Hey Tan, Boss said we're going to bring in at least 100,000 more foreign workers leh! Maybe we should do this Safe Cycling Clinic at their countries before we even let them into the country, if not very luan leh!

All three men looked at each other with mouths and eyes wide opened.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pole-dancing required to make YOG Opening Ceremony the "The Best Show on Earth in 2010"?

So former Sydney stripper is hired to choreograph part of the opening ceremony for the Youth Olympic Games huh? I suppose this means the organisers are serious in making the YOG opening ceremony the "The Best Show on Earth in 2010"? Or does that only simply means the YOG opening ceremony tickets are not selling? No matter, the officials definitely have a strong enough reason for doing that. Something that we the lesser mortals could never think of, hack! We'll never imagine putting exotic pole-dancing together with sports for the young!

Now the important question is... where are the dancers coming from? I'll think it is safe to assume that most of the Singaporean men would cross their fingers that the dancers were hand-picked from Hooters, or any other pubs in Clarke Quay, and that they won't be as Ah Lian looking as those Miss Universe Singapore contestants!

Pole-dancing Bobbi to open Youth Olympic Games in Singapore

A FORMER Sydney stripper has taken pole dancing out of Kings Cross and on to the world stage - having been chosen to choreograph part of the opening ceremony for the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore next month.

Bobbi, who owns Bobbi's Pole Studios, said she never imagined she could make an international career out of exotic dance.

The former stripper left home at 19 to work in a club in Japan. Now 22 years later, she teaches pole dancing to women from all walks of life, with two studios in Sydney, one in Perth and one each in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Bobbi said preparations had been underway for months for the opening ceremony of the World Youth Olympics in Singapore on August 14.

"It's a night of firsts," Bobbi said.

Twenty podiums and poles will be erected among the seating at the giant stadium, with the dancers performing 5m above the audience.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

People can board the train, it is whether they choose to


Ah Tan and Ah Lim walked in and joined Ms Saw at the pantry. She was having a cup of Starbucks while reading the newspapers.

AH LIM: Eh? Here got Starbucks meh?
MS SAW: Ah, I bought it at the mall on the way here.
AH LIM: Oh... but there is coffee in our pantry! You didn't know?
MS SAW: Er... Ah Lim, no offense, but these dark colored water aren't exactly coffee, you know?

Ah Lim stared at Ms Saw with eyes and mouth wide opened. He muttered half a "what" and stopped abruptly, then picked up his cup of pantry coffee and drink silently. Ms Saw continued to sip her Starbucks coffee.

AH TAN: So... what brings you here? I would have imagined you to be pretty busy these days with the recent security lapse incident.
AH LIM (interrupted): Yah! I thought you should be busy fixing your depot fence?

Ms Saw put down her coffee and stared at Ah Lim this time.

MS SAW: I know that was a serious security lapse in our depot, so I've already instructed my men to work on it ASAP. But this incident also reaffirms the importance of the public’s participation and support in reporting any suspicious sightings in our system. The public needs to do their work as well, you know?
AH LIM: Wah! You're the highest-grossing CEO that your company has ever employed and after receiving $1.67 million last year, you still need the public to do your job ah?

Ms Saw slammed her right palm on the table and stood up from her chair. Her face was as red as a tomato and her eyes as big as fishballs. Ah Tan immediately stood up and tapped her shoulder lightly.

AH TAN: Hey Saw, don't mind him. He has just lost lotsa money because of France, Italy and England.
AH LIM (stood up and bowed slightly to Ms Saw): Er... yah... sorry lah, didn't mean to be rude lah...

Ms Saw let out a sigh and sat down slowly.

MS SAW: I didn't get all those money for nothing you know? I have a whole transport company to take care of, I've gotta make sure my shareholders are happy with our profit, and I've got a whole country of commuters to please! It's not a very pleasant job you know?

Both men nodded in agreement obediently.

AH TAN: Anyway, is your company planning to procure any more new trains?
MS SAW: Erm... not that I heard of... why do you ask?
AH TAN: Er... because the trains are already overcapacity?
MS SAW: I don't understand.
AH LIM: He's meaning to say, the trains are already overcrowded!
MS SAW (made a "tsk" sound at Ah Lim): I can understand the word "overcapacity"! What I meant was, why do you guys, or even the whole country, have the impression that the trains are overcapacity?
AH LIM (eyes wide opened): You mean, you didn't know your trains are overcrowded?

Ms Saw shook her hand at Ah Lim, shook her head, and took a sip from her coffee before continuing.

MS SAW: Trains will be crowded during peak hours. The question is, how crowded? Have you ever seen seen the trains in Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai? That is what you call overcrowded. Our trains? They are not!
AH TAN: But from the pictures posted on the Internet and the letters submitted to forums, it appears that the people do feel that our trains are overcrowded. Maybe not as bad as Hong Kong, Taipei or Shanghai, but still overcrowded.
MS SAW: Look, Ah Tan, even at its most crowded, our train carries 1,400 passengers. This is not crush load! Our train is not carrying more passengers than the standing load it is designed to carry under normal circumstances! You don't find people sitting at the top of the train like India right? You don't find people squeezing themselves into the train through the windows like China right? Look, people can board the train, it is whether they choose to.

Ms Saw gave a "tell me I'm right" face to the men and took another sip from her coffee.

AH LIM (rubbing his chin): But then hor... seriously, have you ever taken your train before?
MS SAW (exclaiming in shock): Are you crazy? Then what's my Merz for?



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sinha Shekhar rents out his HDB flat and complains about high property tax

YPAP leader and new citizen from India Sinha Shekhar owns a private property and rents out his HDB resale flat, while complaining about the high property tax he is paying.

According to HDB, you are allowed to sublet your whole flat if you have occupied your:
  • Non-subsidised flat (flat purchased from the open market without a CPF housing grant) for at least 3 years, or

  • Subsidised flat (flat purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF housing grant) for at least 5 years

Which means to say that, even if Sinha Shekhar is rich enough to own a private property, it does not mean he can just rent out his whole flat. Well, unless of course, he has actually stayed in that flat for the required years.

While Ms Neo Saw Kian, the Executive Estates Officer from HDB, promised that HDB will look into the matters, a Facebook page has been set up by furious locals.

Do drop by the page We want HDB to COMPULSORILY ACQUIRE Sinha Shekhar's flat! to see the members number climbing up.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We need a safer way to transport foreign workers? Wait for another 2 years!

In August 2009, we heard the news of a foreign worker who fell off a lorry. It was quite a news at that time, partly because he was compensated $50k, but mostly because the people finally felt that enough was enough. We were dropping too many foreign workers off the road. Literally.

Foreign worker who fell off lorry gets $50k

A FOREIGN worker, who fell off the back of a lorry two years ago when it went over a road hump, will receive $50,000 in a settlement with his former employer.

Mr Mohd Showket Ali Abul Hossain Moral, 38, filed a claim against the company and the lorry driver in the civil courts after the fall. He needed two weeks' stay in hospital and more than a month of medical leave.

Yesterday, in a hearing in chambers, the parties agreed to settle.

The Bangladesh national, who flew here for the case, is expected to return to his country this weekend. He now oversees crop workers on a piece of farmland.

Mr Showket was a construction worker for Nature Landscapes, according to court documents detailing how the incident happened.

On July 27, 2007, he and a co-worker loaded trash bags of dead leaves onto the cargo deck of a lorry at a condominium in Bukit Timah.

The next afternoon, they were tasked to go with the driver to Changi to dump the leaves. While his co-worker sat with the driver in the cabin, Mr Showket clambered up the rear of the lorry and sat on the trash bags.

Midway through the journey, it began to pour, drenching Mr Showket, but worse was to follow. Near their destination, along Simei Rise, the lorry went over a hump, and Mr Showket fell off the cargo deck onto the road.

He lay there unconscious. His colleagues had no idea he had fallen off.

It was only when they got down from the lorry moments later, at the gate to their destination, that they saw him lying on the road.

Mr Showket was taken to Changi General Hospital in an ambulance. He had head, neck and back injuries, according to his statement of claim.

It then took the ministry nearly 18 months of consultation and study to discover the measures to enhance the safety of workers being transported in the open back carriages of lorries. So many months were needed for meetings after meetings of brainstorming, probably because some of the elites have no idea how lorries look like. After all, the only open-top vehicles they are familiar with are the Mercedes-Benz Roadsters and BMW Convertibles.

Anyway, finally the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Mr Teo Ser Luck, announced happily in the Parliament that revolutionary measures have been created to ensure safer rides for those who sit in the back of lorries.

And the two measures that the group took 18 months to come up with?

A worker cannot be seated any higher than 1.1m from the cargo deck. Those who breach this rule will be fined $200. A lorry cannot ferry more workers than allowed by the space on the cargo deck. Those who breach this rule will be fined $500 for the first offence.

Yes, it took them 18 months to figure out who to fine and how much.

Of course, as usual, the minister will tell you a long-term plan is in place as well. And it will be another three years for the full slate of measures — which include installing canopies and higher side railings on the back of lorries — to roll out, implemented in phases, slowly and steadily.

Fortunately, someone was not sleeping in the Parliament and asked a sensible question. Jurong MP Mdm Halimah Yacob asked, why three years.

And unfortunately the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Teo Ser Luck had a callous yet economically sensitive reason for why a three-year period is necessary.

Source: Parliament Debates Official Report

Mdm Halimah Yacob (Jurong): Sir, I thank the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the reply. I have a number of supplementary questions to ask.

My first question is that the Senior Parliamentary Secretary said that the safety and enforcement measures currently in force are effective. I would like to ask the Senior Parliamentary Secretary whether he is aware of an accident that occurred on 2nd August this year reported in the Straits Times which talks about a lorry carrying foreign workers which crashed and 16 people were hurt. That was barely two weeks ago.

Second, the Senior Parliamentary Secretary also referred to the existence of laws to prosecute those who jeopardise the life and safety of workers by carrying them on the back of lorries. How many convictions of such employers have there been in order to ensure the safety of these workers?

Third, I would like to ask the Senior Parliamentary Secretary why does it take three years to introduce these measures? Can it not be a much shorter period? Because we are talking about the lives and limbs of people who come and work in our country. I do not see many Singaporeans being carried in this way; in fact, hardly any. If Singaporeans are carried in this way, they would probably not want to work for the company. So, why do we need three years? What are the interim measures the Ministry has in mind to prevent the occurrence of the accident which happened only two weeks ago?

Mr Teo Ser Luck: Sir, I would like to assure the Member that safety is paramount. That is our main consideration, and that of the Workgroup. And that is the objective of the measures that they are recommending.

It is a very complex issue. We have to address not only safety concerns but also the concerns of the business sector and other stakeholders, and find a point of balance, given how these measures might potentially impact the different stakeholders.

Nevertheless, they have come up with both immediate measures and measures for the medium term, after three years, eg, the canopies, the side railings, as well as not to expose the workers above the height that will increase the risk of them falling off. We are enhancing the enforcement measures as well. So, with all these measures coming in, we hope that we can continue to enhance the safety of the workers, and we will continue to monitor the situation.

For some probably political reasons, Mr Teo's reasoning was not questioned further and so it was accepted that we could wait till 2012.

Fast-forward to 2010 now, less than one year later, we see another two accidents involving throwing workers off their lorries.

Three dead as lorry overturns on PIE

SINGAPORE - Three men were killed in a traffic accident after the lorry they were in overturned on the Pan-Island Expressway at the Thomson Road exit, towards Changi this morning.

Two men died on the spot while the third died in hospital.

Fourteen others who were in the same vehicle were also sent to the hospital.

Of the 14, eight have been discharged while the remaining six were warded for minor trauma injuries.

All 17 men are believed to be China nationals from Crec Construction. A representative from the company said most of the men are from Jiangsu province.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said they rushed five ambulances, a fire engine and a Red Rhino to the scene soon after receiving a call at around 7.39am.

The accident caused a massive rush-hour traffic jam on the PIE.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident. It is not known if the lorry was carrying more workers than what is allowed.

Truck with 35 hits tree

A 24-footer truck carrying 35 workers crashed into a tree along Jurong Port Road on Wednesday morning, a day after three Chinese nationals were killed when the lorry they were riding in skidded and overturned just off the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE).

Fourteen others were injured in Tuesday's horrific accident.

In the latest Jurong Port accident, there were no serious casualties, according to the company's boss Simon Subra.

Two of the 35 workers from Fining Engineers and Contractors were sent to the National University Hospital for head injuries and treated as outpatients. Another four escaped with scrapes and bruises and have since been discharged.

So what's next? About time for someone to come out and tell these foreign workers "Just bear with another 2 more years of accidents, and you will be safe!"!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Singapore can be in the next World Cup

In his 1998 National Day Rally speech, PM Goh was so inspired by the French victory in World Cup 1996 with a group of players led by Zinedine Zidane who is of Algerian extraction, said:

“Last year I told you Singapore would never have a chance in the World Cup, because the rules require all players to be citizens. But after watching the French victory, I have changed my mind. Maybe if we change our immigration criteria to bring in top football talent and make them citizens, then one day we too can get into the finals. In fact we intend to do just this, to bring in sports talent.”

Of course, by now in 2010, we all know that we did get a world championship, just that of a smaller ball called ping pong. Perhaps it is not as easy to attract Brazilians/French/Italians/Spanish/Argentinians soccer players into the country as it has been for the Chinese table tennis players. Perhaps we are not paying enough.

However not all hope is lost. It might actually be possible for Singapore to be participating in the next World Cup! And thanks to China again, for their great ideas!

In the World Cup 2010 held in South Africa this year, we have seen a match of Brazil vs North Korea. Hundreds of North Korean fans were in the stadium to cheer for their country, dressed in red and white, and waving their DPRK flags ever so proudly.

But hang on... since when are the North Koreans so filthy rich, and free? No they are not. And this explains all...

Chinese 'volunteer army' arrive to back North Korea
Source: Reuters Africa

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Hundreds of Chinese soccer fans, including artists and well known singers, have arrived in South Africa to lend their support to North Korea in their opening World Cup match against Brazil on Tuesday.

Dubbed the 'fans volunteer army' back home, many stayed in Pretoria overnight and will meet up with fellow Chinese supporters in Johannesburg to back isolated North Korea in their mouthwatering first game at Ellis Park (1830 GMT).

The North Korean sports ministry authorised a Chinese sports PR agency to sell tickets for the game as few North Koreans could afford the journey or receive visas to leave the country.

"When it comes to support in worldwide competitions, Chinese fans will stand for the Asia teams," Bi Fujian, one of the most popular television anchors in China, told Reuters TV before leaving for the trip.

"Not to mention that 60 years ago, China's military forces valiantly crossed the Yalu River to fight alongside the North Koreans against their enemies.

"Sixty years on, we cheer for their football team and hope they will go far."

I hope all the elites reading this post are still with me so far, because here comes my suggestion. The Lion team might still not be good enough for the next World Cup, hell they might not even be good enough for the next Asean games. But wait! The Lion fans can be in the next World Cup!

It might sound silly to send loads of Singaporeans to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil when the Lion team is not there, but the Lion fans can cheer for another country! Yes! They can pick one of the country's favorite ally, dressed up in their country colors, pretend to be their countrymen and cheer for them! I'm sure our allies do not mind more fans turning up to cheer for their teams! In that way, we are sending Singaporeans to the World Cup! Literally!

What we have are foreign talented hookers, not sex trafficking victims!


Mr Teo entered the room holding an opened notebook in his right hand. Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali stood up to greet him. Mr Teo signaled all to be seated.

AH TAN: Er... Sir, you're holding a... notebook?
MR TEO (grinning): Yes! From now on, I'll come into meetings with my notebook instead of the usual email printouts! We need to move together with time, you know? Even Khaw is meeting his people on Skype!

The three men nodded to show agreement and support.

MR TEO (turned his notebook to face the men): Gentlemen, the boorish America has done something terrible to us! They placed us on the Tier Two Watch List in their 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report! Alongside those third world countries like Bangladesh, China and India!
ALI: This is bad, man...
MR TEO (heatedly): This is not bad! This is outrageous!
AH TAN (reading from the notebook screen): There were no labour trafficking prosecutions or convictions during the reporting period. The Singapore Government showed an inadequate response to the sex trafficking problem in Singapore...
AH LIM: Oh... so it's because of sex trafficking?

The three men looked at each other in silent. Mr Teo turned the notebook back to face him then closed it.

MR TEO (sternly): Yes. I was puzzled when I read the report for the first time, I mean... how can Singapore be even be suspected of trafficking? Then like you, Lim, I realised that they are making the accusation because of sex trafficking. They are blaming us that women from China, the Philippines and Thailand had been tricked into coming to Singapore with promises of legitimate employment and coerced into the sex trade.
AH LIM: Oh... so the US officials have been to Geylang?

Mr Teo slammed his right palm on the table hard and stood up, while staring at Ah Lim irately.

MR TEO (berating): That is not the point! The point is, who are they to accuse us? Who are they to rank us so low? Singapore is always number one! This is an insult to us! And in the first place, can the US rank itself in Tier One when it is well known that the US has been unable to stem a flood of illegal workers, many of whom are trafficked by organised criminal gangs? They have not been able to cope adequately with this problem and that is among the reasons why immigration is such a hot political issue in the US! Maybe they should examine its own record more carefully before presuming to pronounce on other countries!

The three men nodded in agreement anxiously and waited for Mr Teo to calm down.

MR TEO: I tell you, this is more of a political ritual than an objective study. The whole report is a joke!
AH TAN: Actually I too think that the report is incorrect. If a woman entered Singapore legally but was abused, we will classify her as an immigration offender, nothing to do with sex trafficking.
MR TEO: Exactly!
AH LIM: Mmm... so the US officials have not been to Geylang...

All turned to look at Ah Lim stunningly.

ALI: Ah Lim, really, what has the report got to do with Geylang?
AH LIM: You see... first of all, those women from China, the Philippines and Thailand did not enter the country illegally. We give them work permits and invited them to come into the country as foreign talents! Yes we're giving away work permits freely, but that is not considered trafficking right?
MR TEO (rubbing his chin): You can say that...

Ah Lim grinned with satisfaction at Mr Teo's agreement with him. He then cleared his throat and continued.

AH LIM: Yes, we have more prostitutes than we used to have, but this is unavoidable right? As the population grows, these so-called low class jobs are shunned by the locals, so we have to bring in more foreign prostitutes! And then, these women are not abused what! Just take a stroll down the alleys in Geylang and you can see how happy they look! Just by sleeping with the generous Singaporean men, they earn so much more than what they make in their countries! They love us okay! Where got abuse?
ALI: Er... Ah Lim, you seems to know a lot about those women at Geylang...

Ah Lim froze in his seat and suddenly, blood rushed to his face.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Creation Church pastor makes fun of Taoist rituals

New Creation Church pastor Mark Ng, who heads the church's Chinese ministry, joked about Chinese rituals and compared praying to Taoist deities to 'seeking protection from secret society gangsters'.

"You know, the police, they like to worship which idol? Guan-Gong! You know, the beard one and the face very red red one and the Guan-do very big big one? The police force Hong Kong worship, then everytime they go out har to catch the thief or robbers they always pray first. But do you know that the gangsters, the secret societies, they also pray to the same Guan-Gong!"

Church pastor apologises

THE Internal Security Department (ISD) has looked into an incident involving the New Creation Church over a 2008 sermon being circulated online that mocks Taoist beliefs.

The 10-minute audio clip was posted on YouTube last Friday. In it, a church pastor, Mr Mark Ng, can be heard joking with the congregation about Chinese rituals; in one instance, he compared praying to Taoist deities to 'seeking protection from secret society gangsters'.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said yesterday in a response to queries from The Straits Times that the church had, on its own accord, contacted YouTube to remove the clip. It has also apologised.

'We are aware of the case. ISD has looked into it and taken up the matter with the New Creation Church.'

In a six-paragraph letter posted on its website on Sunday, New Creation said that Mr Ng, who heads the church's Chinese ministry, did not intend for his comments to be disrespectful to other faiths.

It added that earlier this year, the church had reviewed its archive of sermons and had stopped reproducing that particular sermon and other insensitive content that had been previously sold in the church bookstore.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

School tracks down a student just to ask her to remove her vulgar tweet

Just when you thought those old-fashioned discipline masters in your schools have no idea what is Twitter...

School tracks down student's vulgar tweet, tells her to remove it

SINGAPORE - Unhappy with her school's dress code, she whipped out her mobile phone, logged into her Twitter account, and tweeted a furious message, containing a vulgarity, criticising her school.

A few weeks later, the 20-something student got a call from her school. They had tracked her down and told her to remove the vulgar tweet.

MediaCorp is not naming the school at her request.

The student said she was shocked and impressed they actually bothered to track her down. Her Twitter account does not have her full name, so she thinks the school may have scrolled through previous tweets where she had talked about the course she was taking. And uncovered her identity.

Social media specialist Paul Charles, chief operating officer of Lewis PR, said a school going to such lengths to locate a student is saying: "We're not prepared to accept such criticism on social media".

Just like Paul Charles, I'm impressed and amazed by the length the school actually went to track down a teenager's tweets.

Apparently, though Twitter is not banned in Singapore (though I'm very sure the gahmen is very envious of China's Great Firewall, and very tempted), one does not have the freedom of just tweeting anything and everything. Now we know that besides the gahmen and statboards, you can't bad-mouth schools in this country as well.

So you might ask, if we're not allowed to rant even on the Internet, where else is safe? No, not the Speakers' Corner, you silly! Did you count the number of CCTVs installed there? These are the safe places where no elites, MPs and school discipline masters will step their precious foot on...
  • Adults (40s and above): non-airconditioned kopitiams

  • Adults (below 40s): clubs

  • Teenagers: fastfood restaurants

See! You do can use vulgarities after all! And with the vast number of kopitiams, clubs and fastfood restaurants in the country, who dare say there is no freedom of speech in Singapore! As long as you don't do it on the Social Media!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We believe you have someone in your country who belongs to us


Ah Tan and Ah Lim found George having coffee and frowning on a piece of paper as they walked into the pantry. Both walked over to join the lonely George.

AH LIM: Wah George, what bad news are you reading early in the morning?
GEORGE (looked up and stared blankly at both men): Oh Lim! Tan! You guys here for coffee break already?
AH TAN: Yap, had a morning conf call and had to skip breakfast, so decided to have an early coffee break. What are you reading anyway?
GEORGE: Oh, I'm drafting a letter.

George smiled and nodded, then got back to his reading.

GEORGE (mumbling to himself): Dear Sir, we believe you have someone in your country who belongs to us...
AH LIM: You writing to Romania again to ask for that hit-and-run driver ah?

George stopped reading abruptly, looked up and frowned at Ah Lim.

GEORGE: No, I'm not writing to Romania again.
AH LIM (stared at George in shock): Har? So we're going to let that Romanian guy go? Got people dead leh!
AH TAN (interrupted): Lim! Aiyo, didn't you read the newspapers? That guy is already in the custody of Romanian authorities and they'll look into the case!
AH LIM (frowning): Sure or not? They're all Romanians leh! Scali the judge and that ex-diplomat kawan kawan then how?
GEORGE: Lim, don't worry. We'll keep track of the progress.

George smiled and got back to his reading again.

GEORGE (mumbling to himself): Dear Sir, we believe you have someone in your country who belongs to us...
AH LIM: Oh I know! You're writing to Malaysia to ask them for that Selamat guy!

George stopped reading abruptly again, looked up and stared at Ah Lim, amazed.

GEORGE: No, I'm not writing to Malaysia... and why will we want to have that Selamat back?
AH LIM (stared at George in shock): Har? You don't want him back meh? After all the effort we took to locate him?!
GEORGE: Precisely! What if after we've got him back, we lose him again?
AH TAN: That's true, Lim. We used to lose him and had to bother Indonesia to return him to us, then now it's Malaysia. If we don't own him, then we won't have the danger of losing him again right?
AH LIM (scratching his head): That sounds kind of right...
GEORGE (patting Lim on his shoulder): Lim, don't worry. We'll keep track of him.

George sat up, adjusted his glasses and got back to his reading again.

GEORGE (mumbling to himself): Dear Sir, we believe you have someone in your country who belongs to us...
AH LIM: Oh I get it already lah! This time my guess sure correct one! You're writing to Hong Kong to ask them for that Briton guy who drew all that graffiti on the MRT train with another Swiss guy!

George stopped reading abruptly again. This time, he put down the paper and sighed.

GEORGE: Lim, no! I'm writing to China to ask them for that table tennis woman who came here to play for us but now resigned and gone back to China!



Didn't you read the memo on the new train ad?

On the platform...

Staff A: Hey, what's that drawing on the train?
Staff B: Is that some new ad?
Staff A: Did you read any memo?
Staff B: Was there a memo?
Staff A: Damn! Think it's time to clear my emails!

At the depot...

Staff C: Hey, is that a hole?
Staff D: Must be wear and tear.
Staff C: Do you think we should report it?
Staff D: Nah, someone must have already reported it. Must be waiting for the vendor to come and repair.
Staff C: Yah, those vendors are usually quite slow. So what's for lunch today?

And finally when it was all over the newspapers...

Mr Choy: The public must have seen it right? But we didn't receive any report! Come'on! The public should have more initiative!

And so folks, in future, please report any and all weird things to SMRT. If not, they won't know.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Train blast, derailment kills at least 65 in Singapore

Bomb derailed a MRT train on a busy Monday morning in Singapore, triggering a crash onto Paya Lebar station platform that killed at least 65 people and injured 200 more, officials said.

Yes, this sounds horrific and also yes, I lied. I must apologise for making you believe this horrible lie for a moment, but it is a disaster that could have happened. On May 17 to be precise.

By now most of you must have heard of the famous duo, the Swiss and the British, who have cut through the fence of the SMRT Changi depot (opposite the Singapore Expo) and spray-painted graffiti on one side of a train. That happened on May 16. For the next two days, the train was business as usual with its new graffiti till someone reported the mischief.

One month later now, the news of this redecorated train is reported extensively over major newspapers, with headlines like: Swiss national charged for vandalising SMRT train, Briton may have left for HK, Swiss man charged with vandalising train released on bail. Apparently these two foreigners are at fault. But are they the only one at fault? What happened to the headline "What happened to our security?"? We have heard enough about these two guys. Isn't it about time that we hear from SMRT?

  • Why is it so easy to sneak into a SMRT depot?
    The duo is believed to have cut through the fences topped with barbed wire. Is that all there is to stop trespassers into the SMRT depot? I am not expecting the SMRT to install touch-and-be-electrocuted kind of fences (though sometimes it does feel that way, our gahmen is still not as bad as the Nazis). Nor am I expecting SMRT to have the kind of budget to install pressure sensitive floors and security laser beams. But shouldn't there be more barriers before they reach the SMRT trains, like some gates with locks?

  • Where were the security guards?
    I do like to assume that SMRT did employ some security guards to look after those empty trains. So where were they when the duo took their own sweet time to redecorate the train? If the duos are stupid enough to be doing graffiti in a country where vandalism is punishable by caning, just like rapists, I do not think that they are smart enough to monitor the security guards' work shift for months before planning their "attack". So what were the security guards doing then? Having coffee breaks? Sleeping on their jobs? Or were they busy making rounds at other areas of the depot because only two poor security guards were left to petrol the whole depot after restructuring to cut cost?

  • Why didn't any SMRT employee notice the graffiti?
    The drivers were not aware because they are not required to check the trains before driving them out of the depot, and their role and responsibility is just to drive from station A to station Z? All staff on the platforms were not aware because they are not required to check the trains coming into their stations, and their role and responsibility is just to keep an eye on suspicious terrorist-look-alikes and to ensure that passengers stand behind the yellow line? All staff in the station controls did not see the graffiti because their security monitors are in black and white?

And why are we not seeing these questions raised on any of the newspapers? No matter how good looking the Swiss guy is, sooner or later the readers will get sick of his photograph (which by the way looks oddly well-taken unlike the usual criminal photos because that photograph comes from his Facebook profile, thanks to Mr Wang's observation). So when are the newspapers going to interview the spokesperson for SMRT on the security gap?

Oh, no, I'm not going to question why didn't the public notice or report the graffiti until two days later. They might have mistaken that as SMRT's Marketing gimmicks, just like how SingPost vandalised their own postboxes to promote YOG.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Young PAP with its highly successful Facebook fan page of less than 3,400 fans

In his interview with the Chinese newspapers, Young PAP Chairman, Comrade Teo Ser Luck made an interesting comment about how Young PAP has managed to network with the people using their Facebook page, and how successful they are, regardless of the traffic. Yes, apparently the fan page traffic is not important to them.

大选临近蓄势待发 政党及论政网站争夺网友“眼球”
Source: Lianhe Zaobao

张思乐指出,他并不以加入的人数多寡来衡量行青团Facebook 的成效,成功与否的关键在于网站上提出的课题是否能掀起讨论,而这些讨论又是否具有建设性。他对于行青团的Facebook 至今所取得的成绩感到满意,觉得支持者之间的互动性很强,也经常看到一些具建设性的看法,而行青团也会把这些意见向上传达给决策者参考。

Translation in English, thanks to a friend of mine:

"Teo Ser Luck pointed out that it is not the number of fans for the Young PAP Facebook fan page that is used to measure the effectiveness of the page. The success of the Young PAP Facebook fan page is measured by whether the topics posted on the page have arouse discussions, and whether these discussions are constructive. He is very satisfied with the successful result of the Young PAP Facebook fan page, and feels that there is much interaction between the supporters, and he sees some constructive comments, which the Young PAP will convey to the policies makers."

While in social media, we learned that it is all about statistics, so much so that you can even add Google Analytics to your Facebook fan page to track your traffic, like how you track the traffic to your websites. We thought that it is important to measure our fan page conversion rate, to know our ROI in order to understand how effective our strategy is and where we should make improvements.

This is the very first time that I know of somebody who is satisfied with a Facebook fan page "liked" by less than 3,400 fans and thinks that this is just the amount of interaction that is necessary. But hey, even Subway Singapore has eight thousands over fans!

Mr Teo also feels that there is much interaction between the supporters, and he sees some constructive comments. With that in mind, I took a look at the latest discussions on the page and some of the comments...

Post: Comrade Yi Shyan Lee (Chai Chee): "The National Wages Council’s recent announcement made the same call: there is a pressing need to raise productivity to ensure that wage gains are sustainable. In this respect, wage increase should lag productivity gains in the long term."

Sinha Shekhar: Is productivity related to education? Don' think so. But it makes a good research topic.

CK Tom: What population sample are you looking at? Does this include your maid?

Annie How: obviously Russell Teo, the de facto roti-prata man here, who is an expert in twisting his words & misleading ppl, can really speak many tongues, including 'gay' as a language...No wunder robox & him can click!!!

Sinha Shekhar:
Am sorry I can't comment on the companies misusing the immigration policy. But the thing is that "We are talking about thousands and thousands of people coming to Singapore. There are black sheeps in every industry. They may misuse the trust bestowed upon them by the government. As a citizen, its our duty to inform the authorities about such misdeeds. I always believed in "Top dollars for top dogs". If not we may not get the right person forthe right job. For Singaore so much is at stake.

Nilesh Sahita: Sinha - are you saying that as a taxpayers we are paying million dollars to our beloved ministers and is it my job to monitor and report misuses? Are you telling that immigration department should not have comprehensive surveillance / audit department for this?

Hmm... not sure if these are the constructive comments that will channel all the way up.

Anyway, the number of "like"s and quality of discussion on the page aside, I suppose the fans for the Young PAP Facebook fan page has a more crucial question in their minds: Will this fan page be closed? As record has proven that once the going gets tough, the not-so-tough gets closed.

YP to close 2 Facebook pages

THE youth wing of the People's Action Party (PAP) is consolidating its online presence in a bid for better control over its new media message.

The move by Young PAP (YP) comes two months after a spate of high-profile spats between YP members and netizens.

Tomorrow, two of its Facebook pages - YP Network and YP Community - will be closed. Only the main Young PAP Facebook page will remain up.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

All kinds of valid reasons for all kinds of major audit lapses


Mr Teo and the Audit Officer entered the room, both with stern and straight faces. Ah Tan, Lui and Chinnam stood up to greet the two men. Mr Teo just nodded and signaled them to be seated.

MR TEO: Guys, the Officer here has already completed his analysis on the audit findings, and I must assure you that I'm very unhappy with what he has found out.

Lui and Chinnam suddenly felt a drip of cold sweat flowing down their spine.

MR TEO: You may disclose the findings to them.

The Audit Officer took a few pieces of papers out from his thick document file and cleared his throat before addressing the men.

OFFICER: The committee is gravely concerned with a large number of lapses that reflect poorly on the overall internal controls of your department.

The Audit Officer made a dramatic pause to glance at the bloodless faces of Lui and Chinnam.

OFFICER (continued to read from the papers): We found laxity in procurement and contract management, lack of rigour in scrutiny by the approving authorities and too light a touch in ministry-statutory board dealings.

Chinnam made a sudden strong gasp which was clearly audible in the graveyard quiet room.

MR TEO (interrupted sternly): Guys, I'm very concerned. These lapses taken together reflect poorly on the overall internal controls of your department. Officer, please continue.
OFFICER: The committee noted that you had entered into a two-year contract valued at $933,312 to outsource some of your enforcement functions. But before the start of the contract, it was already discovered that some of the functions could not be outsourced due to legal reasons. But still, your department did not seek a reduction in the contract price for the reduced scope of work.
CHINNAM (interrupted): I can explain that!

All men at the table turned to look at Chinnam.

CHINNAM: Yes, the scope of work has been reduced, but since the vendor had committed to deploy the same level of manpower for the reduced work scope, we decided not to reduce the price but to redeploy the surplus manpower instead. I mean, since we've already budgeted for it right?
LUI (whispering to himself): And if we don't spend our budget, it will be reduced next year...
MR TEO (turned to Lui): Did you say something?
LUI (shocked): No Sir, sorry...

Ah Tan kicked Lui slightly under the table. He then gave Lui a nobody-talks-about-fight-club look. Lui returned a oops-sorry look.

MR TEO: So where were the surplus manpower deployed to then?
CHINNAM (fidgeting in his seat): Er... they helped out in the office... for admin stuff like to deliver internal mails, photocopying and... printing out and documenting all the policies and... tidying up the storeroom...

MR TEO shook his head and signalled the Audit Officer to continue.

OFFICER: We also found undue delay in refunding $6.06 million in radio and television licence fees, the committee noted that at the time of the audit in November 2008, the department was still processing refunds called for back in 2005.
CHINNAM (interrupted): Wait wait! This has been resolved!

All men at the table turned to look at Chinnam again.

CHINNAM: Since last October, two automated processes have been put in place to increase the efficiency of refunds and we have since completed making the refunds! So this issue should be closed!
OFFICER: But you took one whole year to put in place the automated processes and which means in total you took four years to refund the fees!
LUI (whispering to himself): Four years okay what...

Mr Teo turned to look at Lui, who then stared back blankly. Ah Tan kicked Lui slightly under the table. He then gave Lui another nobody-talks-about-fight-club look. Lui returned a oops-sorry look once again.

MR TEO: Chinnam, why did it take so long to implement the automated processes?
CHINNAM (fidgeting in his seat): Sir, the refund process is very complicated. Very complicated. It is not as easy as it sounds. It is a very complicated process to refund the right amount of money to the right people. This is essential to ensure that we do not make a single mistake, because this concerns money. So we had to employ a very sophisticated IT company to have their very sophisticated engineers work on a very sophisticated database. Very sophisticated. Mr Teo, I assure you, the database is a state-of-art and we should not have this refund problem moving forward.

Mr Teo nodded silently.

OFFICER: We also found under-collection of broadcasting licence fees amounting to $0.84 million. This occurred after your department did not apply the normal non-concessionary rate for two broadcasting licences even after the concessionary period had ended.

Mr Teo looked at Chinnam and waited for an answer.

CHINNAM: Er... we have since instituted a procedure to track and ensure compliance with licence conditions.
MR TEO: And you are confident that this procedure works?
CHINNAM (nodding): Don't worry, Sir, we have another checkpoint procedure to ensure that this procedure works, and another procedure to review the checkpoint procedure periodically, and one last procedure to internally audit the review procedure.

AH TAN (whispering to himself): And I'm already feeling giddy from the swirl created by all your procedures...



Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hitler will watch World Cup matches at one of the 16 CCs

Hitler: Boycott Starhub and Singtel Overpriced World Cup Package
Video by Cloudywind

Seriously? Just because the World Cup is once in every four years, they think that we will just pay the price obediently thinking that it's a "once in a while" expense?

Singtel, Starhub face revolt

SINGAPORE Telecommunications and StarHub, Singapore's two cable-TV providers, face a protest from more than 20,000 soccer fans after raising fees to watch next month's World Cup sevenfold to the highest in Asia, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

The increase from the previous tournament four years ago, announced May 7, prompted local resident John Chua to rally disaffected fans on a Facebook page, including Kelvin Chan, who plans a public demonstration next month.

Some viewers will instead tune in to free-to-air broadcasts of the games from neighbouring countries, Mr Chua said. 'It's a clear case of exploitation pricing,' he said in an e-mail. 'They have no concern for the public even under this economy crisis and think that we will pay regardless.'

Monday, May 17, 2010

No reason for an increase in crime due to IRs? Really?

No matter how strongly most Singaporeans feel that the IRs would attract undesirable people and increase crime rate, our dear Law Minister Mr Shanmugam saw no reason for an increase in crime because of the IRs.

Really, Mr Minister? Seriously?

Someone please pass him a copy of today's newspapers.

  • RWS cashier jailed for theft

    A FORMER cashier of Resorts World Sentosa was jailed for two months on Monday for theft of $10,000 at the casino.

  • Man arrested for 'sabotage'

    A MAN has been arrested in connection with a power blackout at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino last Wednesday.

    He is believed to be a disgruntled engineer employed by a subcontractor of the integrated resort (IR), which was plagued by a series of blackouts over the course of a week following its opening on April 27.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hitler's closed doors meeting on weightage of Mother Tongue in PSLE

Hitler: Weightage of the Mother Tongue in PSLE will not be lowered
Video by Cloudywind

Warning: The audio is in one particular mother tongue and the subtitles in another mother tongue. Not safe for bananas.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Criticise the government some more? We'll cut your funding!


Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali were having their morning break at the pantry when Lui joined them.

AH TAN: Hey Lui, long time no see! What were you busy with?
LUI (grunting): Ah... you have no idea how fed up I was!
AH LIM: Orh... busy with the Singapore Arts Festival har?
LUI (shaking his head): No, no... that I have left it to my men.
AH TAN: Hmm... you don't have to screen those performances before the public gets to see it?
LUI: Nah, as long as there's no gay content and naked body, they can show anything to the public. It's not as if I understand any of those performance anyway!
ALI (chuckled): Hahaha... yah man! Especially those contemporary dance! Totally no idea what are they trying to portray! Aku data wu!

All men laughed and sipped their coffee and tea.

LUI: Ali, these contemporary dances and theaters are good, you know? Though nobody understands them and some pretend to do so, these Ang Mohs are harmless. Whereas our own local theaters, these are the people we should be worried about!
AH LIM: Why leh?
LUI: These local theaters... they thought they can say anything and show anything behind closed doors, but they forgot that we've got ears everywhere! Ha!
AH LIM: What did they do?
LUI: Have you heard of this local theatre company called Wild Rice?
ALI: I only know nasi lemak and nasi goreng!

Ah Lim laughed and punched Ali lightly on his left arm.

AH TAN: Yah, I know them. In fact, I've attended a couple of their performances, like their local version of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, damn funny!

Lui gave Ah Tan a hard stare. Like a laser ray that will burn through stones.

AH TAN (shocked): What?
LUI (frowning): How dare you find them funny!
AH TAN (frowning too): Why not?
LUI (raising his voice): These are the ungrateful clowns that put up performances that promoted alternative lifestyles, were critical of government policies and satirised political leaders!
ALI: Apa ini?

Lui turned and gave Ali a hard stare this time.

LUI: It means they have gay content in their shows!
AH LIM (softly to Ah Tan): So the Sleeping Beauty was a man?
AH TAN (softly back to Ah Lim): No lah!
LUI: Not all their shows, but most of their shows!
AH LIM: Oh... hehe... paiseh!
LUI: And they make fun of and criticise our policies, some daring one even joke about our bosses! Can you imagine that? Making fun of our Big Boss?
ALL MEN (together): Wow!
LUI (berating): They even organise a biennial festival showcasing local scripts that take on political issues in a cheeky way! How dare them!

Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali sipped their coffee and tea in silence.

ALI: But brudder, you can't put all of these people in jail for making fun of the government right? Our prison not so big, yeh?
LUI (shaking his head and giggling): No, no, no... I've got a better idea to punish them!

Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali waited for Lui to stop his evil giggle before continuing.

AH TAN: So what's your great idea of punishment?
LUI: These art people need money to do their little plays right?
AH TAN: And then?
LUI: So I'll cut their funding! I'll cut their annual grant! Let's see how are they going to perform without money! Hahaha...

Quietly, Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali watched Lui laughed.

AH LIM (whispering to Ah Tan): I think he's the perfect role as the evil queen of Snow White...



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Just another Cinderella story

Long long time ago, just when Cinderella was taking a nap in the kitchen, she thought she heard her stepsisters' foot steps. Immediately she picked up the broom and pretended to sweep.

STEPSISTER #1: Hey Cinderella, we're going to the palace ball tonight, so good for you, you don't have to cook dinner!
CINDERELLA: What? Since when is the palace opened to the public?
STEPSISTER #2 (shoved a pamphet onto Cinderella face and chuckled): Yo, baby sister, haven't you heard? The king feels that the palace is too big and there is not enough people in it, so he has decided to open up the gates for everyone and anyone!
CINDERELLA: Whether rich or poor?
STEPSISTER #2: Whether with a degree or illiterate, whether you come from an honorable family or a criminal one!
CINDERELLA (eyes beaming): Cool!
STEPSISTER #1: Hey Cinderella, you're not thinking of going right?
CINDERELLA (gasped): Why not? You girls are going right?
STEPSISTER #1: Yah, we're going of course. But you can't go! Look at the kind of rubbish you're wearing! The people in the palace only respect people that dress well, regardless of how they themselves wear shorts and slippers at time!
STEPSISTER #2: Unless you're an Ang Mor. Then you can wear just about anything and the royal family will still welcome you with arms wide opened.
STEPSISTER #1: But too bad you're not! Ha!

With that insult, the stepsisters walked out of the kitchen laughing. Cinderella looked down at the old and dirty dress that she was wearing and sighed. Just at that moment, a strong light embraced the whole kitchen and with a "thud", one old lady appeared in front of her.

CINDERELLA (shocked): Oui aunty, where are you from? This is private property!
FAIRY GODMOTHER (grinning): Relac lah! I'm here to help you. I heard you want to go to the palace ball?
CINDERELLA (eyes wide opened): Of course! You can help me? Really?
FAIRY GODMOTHER (chuckled): Of course dear! I can get you into the palace on any pass you want! Social pass, student pass, work permit, you name it and you'll get it! At the right price of course!
CINDERELLA (lifts left eye brow): At the right price?
FAIRY GODMOTHER: Hey girl, I've got to earn a living too yah? It's just a little commission, but for the way into a better life!
CINDERELLA: Oh well... okay, whatever... but I don't have a degree and I don't even have any skill!
FAIRY GODMOTHER (chuckled): Don't worry dear, the guards don't check for these stuff these days, all are free to enter! I just needa give you a nice piece of dress and we can get going!

And so the fairy godmother dressed Cinderella up and shoved her to the palace. Indeed, the guards did not ask even one question and let her in. The palace was not as huge as Cinderella had imagined and the whole ballroom was crowded with people, some were from the palace itself, but even more were outsiders like her.

Cinderella walked around and saw Stepsister #1 leaning against a pillar. She was tagging any man that walked by and shouting "Cheap! Cheap! We don't have to go Geylang! Joo Chiat, Lavender, Kovan also can!"

Cinderella then caught Stepsister #2 at another corner. She was providing massage service to some rich dukes and Cinderella thought she heard her stepsister whispered "I also offer special service" to one of them.

Cinderella was so engrossed looking around the palace that she tripped on one of the outsider's dress and fell. When she tried to get back on her feet, she realised that she had twisted her ankle. It was then it happened. While Cinderella was sitting there with her twisted ankle, a duke walked past and threw a coin onto the ground in front of her. Then another lady did the same. Cinderella was stunned but thrilled.

CINDERELLA (to herself): So it is true that you can earn easy money in the palace!

And so Cinderella continued to sit on the ground to collect money thrown to her. To attract more people, she even tried to sing some oldies. Then he appeared.

PRINCE CHARMING (bending down to hold Cinderella's hand): Babe, you're beautiful! A pity that you're handicapped.
CINDERELLA: No, no! Actually I'm not!
PRINCE CHARMING (eyes blinking): Huh? You're not?
CINDERELLA (struggling to stand up): No, no! See! I can stand!
PRINCE CHARMING: Ohh... oh well, then it's good! Do you want to dance?
CINDERELLA (nodding eagerly): Yes, yes! Of course!
PRINCE CHARMING: Can you bear me some children?
CINDERELLA (still nodding eagerly): Yes, yes! Of course!
PRINCE CHARMING: Can you bear me a dozen of kids and stay at home to look after them?
CINDERELLA (still nodding eagerly): Yes, yes! Of course!
PRINCE CHARMING: Great! Let's get married then!

And so Prince Charming married Cinderella and both of them lived happily ever after, okay, at least while he had the money

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Did Singapore just imported more hookers?

All these in a day's news...

32 massage parlours busted

A SERIES of police raids in March netted 32 unlicensed massage parlours in Bedok, Tampines and Marine Parade - and ended with 25 operators being summoned to court.

During March 15 to 29, officers also arrested 60 female Chinese nationals for various offences, including working illegally in the massage parlours. Some of the women were said to be involved in vice activities and offered sexual services for a fee.

The cat-and-mouse game of vice crackdowns

SINGAPORE - A more intense spotlight has fallen on vice activities here in recent months.

There have been no less than 10 raids on different days reported in Today and The Straits Times, in operations carried out between January and April by law enforcement agencies. These include landmark anti-vice operations online.

In contrast, there was just one raid reported on during the same period last year.

Even as the crackdowns have taken on a higher profile this year, the number of foreign women nabbed for vice has been climbing since 2006, when 4,310 were arrested. In 2008, the figure was 5,047 and last year, it was 7,614.

Following the clean-up of Joo Chiat, the women have sprung up in other areas such as Lavender and, closer to the heartlands, Kovan.

In the past, wives only had to make sure that their husbands stay away from certain areas in Geylang, Joo Chiat, Orchard and sometimes Changi. These days, a wife has to think again when her husband said he has some business to attend to in heartlands like Bedok, Tampines, Marine Parade, Lavender, Kovan, Woodlands and Bukit Batok.

How did we manage to attract so many of such foreign talents into our land? Are we giving out social passes/work permits/student passes too eagerly? Are these the new immigrants that our government has wanted us to integrate with (well, I'm sure the men did a great job integrating well with them)?

In business, where there is demand, there is supply. With so many of them showing up around here, demand is definitely at all time high like the HDB prices. Besides local customers, we could definitely expect patrons from the foreign workers quarters as well. Oh yes, so we are back to the same old question again. Did we imported too many lonely foreign workers?

And by the way, when is the police going to check out those hanging around the tables in the two IRs? Don't forget that they have free admission so nothing is stopping them from going there everyday, unlike the locals who are deterred by the one hundred dollars.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The truth behind why MOE is reducing weightage of mother tongue in PSLE

Recently, the Education Ministry said reducing the weightage for Mother Tongue in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) can help students whose scores border between the normal and express stream. Most importantly, this can help when streaming students to secondary schools, allowing those stronger in mother tongues, but weaker in other subjects, to go into streams that are more suitable for them, like the normal stream. On the other hand, those who are strong in other subjects, but could not even complete a sentence in their mother tongue, they can go into streams that are more suitable for them as well, like the express stream.

One may wonder, why the sudden change, and who are the students that will truly benefit in this decision that will inevitably lower the standard of our younger generation's mother tongue, especially Chinese, yet again?

Well, just like what Agent Mulder will say, the truth is out there.

The following article was published on LianHe ZaoBao on 22nd January, 1999:








And thanks to a friend, this is the English translation:

Three students from Anglo-Chinese were interviewed when MOE first introduced Chinese B classes in 2001. All of them come from English-speaking families with almost no contact with Chinese and almost all their reading materials are in English.

Jonathan Ng Yuan En (黄元恩) who is in Sec Three expressed that he wishes that Chinese can be taught in a more interesting manner. To him, English is interesting because text books do not matter, and instead they have debates and words games etc. to make learning English lively and relaxing. Whereas the Chinese lessons are too stern. It is as if everybody just got serious and stern during Chinese lessons.

He also feels that Chinese can never be as important as English. It is just a subject and it does not matter as long as he can communicate with others in Mandarin. But English is different. He needs to be efficient in English because it helps in other subjects like Maths and Science.

Jonathan Ng's father Ng Eng Hen (黄永宏) is glad that Chinese B classes will allow his son to concentrate in other subjects. He laments that even when his son was spending 30-40% of his time in Chinese alone, he was not making any progress in his result at all. With the new scheme, he can now spend his time more efficiently on subjects he can understand better.

And for those who have spotted and find this Mr Ng Eng Hen sounding kind of familiar and ringing some bells in your head, oh yes, Bingo. His current job now is Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence.

Yes, I did notice that his youngest girl should already be 16 years old by now, so is he not kind of late in implementing this weightage reduction at PSLE? Well, for a clue, turn around and look at other younger ministers in the cabinet and make a guess whether their kids speak Mandarin and write Chinese. I'm sure you do your colleagues some little favors at times right?