Singapore National Education Part 90
Weeks of 3 September 2003 to 3 October 2003
I have also learned lately:
1. That according to Labour chief Lim Boon Heng:
a. The 6-percent CPF cut will "most likely" be from the employers' side.
b. He hopes it will come as soon as possible to "minimize the pain".
You know when you have hemorrhoids and the doctor has to check to see how much bad it is, and he puts on a rubber glove and then he sticks his hand up your rectum?
Ask him to pull his hand out faster to "minimize the pain".
2. That after PM Goh mentions DPM Lee's image issue in his National Day Rally, we begin to see the papers devote entire pages about his approachable and easy-going personality. Two whole years early.
"Who says he is not approachable?" -ST 24 August 2003
3. That those of you using the free MyStarHub service should be aware that it is no longer free but fee, effective 1 September 2003. There will be toll charges of $0.02 per minute incurred on top of your fixed line bill when you surf.
For more info, go here.
What an interesting URL. "Surf4free" and "toll charges" in the same line.
So now Surf For Free means no monthly subscription charges. Riiiight.
4. That along with CPF cuts, in the coming years, it is possble that Singaporeans will see their sons serving a longer term of National Service (maybe four years instead of two and a half years) and their daughters serving as well. This is because of the declining birth rates.
The good news just keeps on rolling in.
5. That NSF Second Sergeant Hu En Huai of 7SIB died after collapsing during "combat survival training session" in Tekong. Both Mindef and the police will be conducting separate investigations on his death.
In some circles, "combat survival training session" is also informally known as Prisoner of War (POW) Training.
6. That the papers report that Singaporeans support the CPF cuts and accept it as "bitter but necessary medicine" and that "We don't like it but we have to do it".
I do not know which Singaporeans they spoke to but the ones I spoke to used mainly Hokkien words that refered to your mother, to describe their feelings about the CPF cuts.
7. That you may not be able to withdraw your CPF at the new higher minimum retirement age if there is less the new higher minimum amount. Just like your car, your HDB flat and your $1 piece of private land, your CPF never really belongs to you.
8. That the easiest way to get your CPF (and Medisave) money back may well be giving up citizenship and migrating.
9. That most of us are too poor to be unaffected by CPF cuts, and too rich to be considered welfare cases.
10. That a condo project in Bishan is named Rafflesia, in honour of prestigious school Raffles Institution located near it.
Rafflesia is also the name of a flower. This flower has the dubious honour of being a huge flower (up to a metre across), with no roots because it is parasitic (it grabs its nutrients from plants which it attaches itself to), and has the scent of rotting meat.
I am not making this up.
So you can be proud when you tell your friends that you are staying in a condo named after a big, smelly, parasitic flower.
11. That it is very hard to get rid of the SWAT theme song out of your head once you start humming it.
12. That people will sell anything on eBay. Including this guy:
"One new Bennett virginity sale ladies come get. Bennett is a successful business owner at only 22 years old. But he lacks the one thing left that will make him a man. He needs you ladies to make him a man. His virginity is up for grabs, no strings attached.
You are bidding for one night entertainment with Bennett.
Good luck and happy bidding."
I hear bidding reached US$14,900 before it got nixed because "the seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale." I wonder why it is no longer available.
This is an auction you do not want the auction winner to declare in your Ebay Feedback page “Quick Delivery”. But we will never know, right?
And please do not ask me what I was searching for on eBay when I found this.
13. That I feel so proud that as a Singaporean I earn more than a US or Australian worker. Singapore Number One!
14. That "Retuning the CPF" probably sounds better than "Cutting the CPF" or "Not Restoring the CPF to 40% as We Promised".
15. That if cutting the CPF does not save jobs, there is always the global economy, 9/11 and SARS to blame.
16. That the CPF was high to protect the people. Now the CPF is cut to protect the people. Whatever you say lor.
17. That "we haven't raised the prices in 6 years" is a good reason to raise the price of entry into public swimming pools by 50 whole cents, and by $1 in July next year. A 50% increase followed by a 100% increase. In a recession year. With the highest unemployment we have ever faced. After a CPF cut.
P.S. Since this was written, the SSC has announced that the swimming pool fees will not be raised after all, in the light of the current economic situation. So all you guys who can only afford to peek at other men in public swimming pool toilets (while the richer ones can do so in expensive gym toilets) can breath easy again.
18. That Royston Tan's 15 will be released in Singapore with five minutes of cuts deemed inappropriate for gentle local minds. Welcome to Singapore, swinging and alive with a bustling and liberal Arts scene.
Oh, by the way, an Arts radio station just got canned too. Arts Hub, my ass.
19. That Microsoft has deployed Akamai's Linux-based servers to protect its Microsoft.com Web site and reduce the site's vulnerability to viruses, worms and denial of service attacks.
What's the matter, Microsoft? Windows not good enough for you?
20. That the next time people tell your MPs or Opposition MPs they feel dismay and betrayal, we will report that the people feel inconvenienced but supportive.
21. That Singaporeans still trust the Government despite the CPF Cut, sorry, the CPF Retune.
Yes, we trust you to raise the GST despite the current crunch the people are going through, we trust you to allow SBS to close MRT stations as they like, we trust you to pretend we are supportive of measures like this.
22. That it was wrong for the Jurong Police Station to buy expensive Plasma TVs for their waiting areas.
It would have been more prudent to buy them for the officers' rest area. What the public cannot see, they cannot complain about. Like that also I must teach you.
23. That nowadays, still-overpriced movie DVDs make you watch trailers of other movies first before reaching the DVD's main menu. Just like producing CDs that do not work on your PCs (like those from Universal Music), it is sure to endear these companies to their paying customers.
One such DVD company is Buena Vista (a Disney company). If you play a movie like “The Sixth Sense” in your DVD player, instead of taking you to the DVD's main menu or the feature presentation, you are forced to watch a series of trailers for other Buena Vista releases, as well as advertising for their website. On most players you won’t be able to skip this “presentation” and you will be forced to watch the entire reel, which can run up to several minutes.
Wow, if they throw in the screaming kids, handphones ringing and the guy who has to explain everything to his girlfriend loudly, we will complete the entire movie going experience.
Look, when trailers become compulsory material, it is no longer a DVD extra. It is a frickin' annoyance that will hurt sales.
24. That companies should look into adopting the Government's creative approach to cuts and call their wage cuts, "Retuning Salaries". And retrenchments can be called "Retuning the Workforce".
25. That a Wisconsin 40-year-old man may well be the stupidest criminal of the year, after he allegedly stole a US$2500 GPS tracking device used to monitor criminals on probation.
By Lee Kin Mun (Copyright 2004)