Singapore National Education Part 96
Weeks of 11 Feb 2004 to 1 Mar 2004
I have also learned lately:
1. That 5000 chickens will be culled as part of a full-scale exercise to simulate a bird flu outbreak. The public is assured that only spent hens will be put into the garbage bags and gassed with carbon dioxide. Spent hens (Lao Kuay?) are aged about one and a half years old, have each produced about 270 eggs and can no longer lay eggs efficiently.
After spending a good part of your life making eggs for the country, and you thought you can retire to a nice old hen's home somewhere, you are rewarded for your contribution with death.
Work so hard, lay so many eggs for what.
2. That five agencies will be involved in the culling of 5000 chickens in Operation Fowl Play. The Agri-food and Veterinary Authority, Police, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Health Ministry, National Environment Agency will be working together to ensure that a real outbreak can be efficiently managed.
No word on whether the 400 Thailand Chicken Commandos will be asked to help. Interested chickens may sign up to be part of this exercise on www.birdflu.gov.sg.
3. That if this were America, there would be widespread protests from the Animal Rights lobby. And we would be forced to use rubber chickens for the exercise.
And even then, the rubber chickens would have to be put down with minimal cruelty.
4. That one PE teacher can take 30 rowdy, ill-disciplined primary school kids for a run around the neighbourhood but for an army officer to take 30 combat ready army men for a run, it takes a supervising officer, a conducting officer, a medic and a safety vehicle. (Thanks Triax!)
5. That a letter writer to TODAY lamented that if he had known that the Iras was going to retrench 6% of their workers as a result of the successful take up of e-filing, he would have boycotted online tax submissions, and filed his taxes manually to help save jobs.
Maybe we should all revert to farming, then all Singaporeans will have jobs and grow their own food.
Damn, if I had known that email would cost the jobs of postmen, I would have posted SNE out manually.
6. That Perth got neo-Nazi arsonists, Sydney got race riots, New York got Chinese delivery boy murdered. But Singapore, Singapore is a nice safe country where crime is low, racism is non-existent, and people do not kill themselves.
We only got falling windows problem.
7. That students at a primary school have to use an EZ-Link card to buy food at their canteen because the school has banned vendors from taking cash.
The scheme is a tie-up between the EZ-link people and POSB, and is positioned as a way to teach students how to manage their money. Parents put their kid's allowance into a POSBKids account that is linked to the EZ-link card, and the kids use the EZ-link card to buy food.
Who killed Cash and made EZ-link cards the new currency?
Kids nowadays are so lucky they have enforced technology to help them to learn how to manage their money. In the old days, my mother could only give me real cash to learn how to deal with saving and spending wisely.
"Mr Chow also said that Chowiz has approached tertiary institutions with the same proposal to go cashless but without success.
"Tertiary students are older and much harder to convince (of the value of the services), he said." -Streats
Ya lor, stupid tertiary students, passing up a great cashless opportunity like this.
8. That a few windows fall in the space of one week (instead of having the courtesy of spreading it out over a year) and suddenly, aluminium rivets are not safe anymore, and stainless steel rivets are declared the new standard.
Luckily not more people fall and die, or else we HDB residents will have to install titanium rivets strong enough to stop a tank falling through an HDB window.
9. That the fastest way to deflect any potential liability for falling windows and people dying from it, is to get the Government to change the law to make stainless steel rivets compulsory, and make HDB dwellers legally responsible for maintaining them and checking them.
God forbid we take some responsiblity for things.
10. That according to Manpower Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, there are enough jobs for Singaporeans.
100,000 unemployed Singaporeans will be glad to hear that.
11. That in future, to prevent further window falling incidents, and to relieve residents of the burden of maintaining windows (and risk falling afoul of the law), HDB will be building new flats with no windows at all.
Residents seeking a view can hang paintings of the outdoors or plasma tvs in these new Super Safe Flats. Outside air will be pumped into the flats via Super Safe suction fans for ventilation purposes.
Any resident who wishes to install windows, for very special needs, will need to get a permit from the HDB, who will consider applications on a case by case basis. Those granted Window Installation permits will need to sit for a Window Inspection and Maintenance Prepatory exam (or WIMP) to be certified WIMPs. This will ensure that people who enjoy this privilege do so in a responsible manner.
"We are confident that with these new measures, Singaporeans will no longer need to fear falling windows and maids, or hurting a hapless Banghra worker. Plus they will enjoy trouble-free home ownership without the hassle of window maintenance," said an HDB spokesman.
Your PC Windows crash, why should your real windows be any different?
12. That Singaporeans could well be on their way to becoming a nation of window experts.
This could be another potential Hub Singapore can lay claim to, the Window Maintenance Hub of Asia.
We may lag behind other countries in education and low costs, but who can deny the potential goldmine of jobs that such a national skill can bring?
13. That better avoid eating chicken because of bird flu, lah, better avoid eating chicken because of bird flu, lah, better avoid eating chicken because of bird flu, lah -- wait, got free chicken rice, quick go and line up! Twice!
14. That ministers can benchmark their salaries against the most highly paid private sector earners in the land, but pilots cannot benchmark their salaries against those of their international counterparts.
Maybe pilots can benchmark themselves to the highest paid local bus drivers. Both also in transport industry what.
"In his 5-page letter, the new man heading the pilots' union, Captain Mok Hin Choon, says the pilots know things are more competitive now and they support a more flexible wage structure.
So the union will not benchmark their proposed salaries against those of the most highly paid international pilots." -CNA
15. That some local girl complained to the press about the cops keeping her China boyfriend custody overnight in the lockup because he did not have his identification papers on him, and even denied him a phone call from his own mobile phone.
The truth was that the cops picked up the dude drunk and passed out in a public place, and even had to clean up after him when he threw up in the middle of the night.
Want to complain to the press also must wait until boyfriend is sober first mah.
16. That according to a Forum letter writer, the Singapore Government should let the old Communists back because democracy has won.
Yes, I agree. We'll show them evil communists the true power of democracy Singapore-style! Like the lucky eight Singaporeans who got to vote the last time we had elections. Okay, I am exaggerating. The lucky NINE Singaporeans.
But our walkovers are free and fair. And we get a national holiday too! Surely that counts as democracy too!
That Singapore has the infrastructure of democracy, but not the spirit. Discuss.
"Democracy has won - let communists return to see that" –ST Forum 24th Feb 2004
Other highlights of the letter:
"Democracy has come a long way in Singapore."
"we have had nearly 40 years of free and fair elections resulting in clean, accountable and efficient governments. "
"The democratic system is well-entrenched and trusted by all Singaporeans. "
"Singaporeans have also become highly educated and well-informed."
"Singaporeans know that democracy is the best form of government and that, politically, it is the only way forward for us."
"...experience, first-hand, how successful democracy has made Singapore and how much we believe in it. "
"...freedom and choice will always triumph over oppression and dictatorship."
17. That Singaporeans who are not poor enough will be paying higher hospital bills when means testing is introduced. But they are assured that they can still opt for C Class wards, except that they will be paying more than what they are paying now.
So remember, try to make sure you make lots of money, or make very little. In-betweens get jack.
18. That now, SATs and Chinese are not needed for University admission. I guess losing all those good students to other countries was beginning to hurt.
19. That now school rankings will not be made public to curb unhealthy competition. Perhaps we can now go back to educating our children, rather than meeting A-Star quotas.
And maybe schools can go back to being schools instead of Fortune 500 companies.
20. That you are not the last independent union left in Singapore who has not joined NTUC. You are the union that is out of touch with Singapore's economic situation because you never joined NTUC.
"Singapore's economy was under intense pressure to lower costs and improve its competitiveness. Changi Airport and SIA were dealing with the wrenching changes in the aviation industry.
Singapore's future as a hub was at stake - not just in air, but also in sea, telecoms and businesses in general - because Changi's connectivity helped to make Singapore a hub for everything else.
But the pilots, being out of the country half the time and not being part of the National Trades Union Congress, did not seem to get this." -ST 27 Feb
21. That at the Pilots-Meet-the-SM session, everybody had a placard of their name in front of them. SM Lee's placard just said "Senior Minister".
He whose name cannot be spoken. In Hebrew, it would be SNRMNSTR.
22. That when it comes to your personal life and plans (and how much you sold your HDB flat for), the Government knows more than you do about yourself.
"Capt Goh was 'The instigator'
Captain Ryan Goh was singled out by Senior Minister Lee as the 'instigator' of last November's move to oust the Alpa-S leadership. Did other pilots know that the Malaysian citizen had also made plans to move to Perth? Capt Goh later defended his actions." -ST 27 Feb 2004
23. That SIA Flight Operations Division had better start updating their resumes.
"The discussion also turned to the rostering of pilots which appeared to cause much grief among those present.
Who was in charge, SM Lee demanded to know, his voicing rising a little.
Flight operations division, came the reply.
'If all this is true, then the flight operations must be blind or stupid!' said SM Lee." -ST 27 Feb 2004
Today's mrbrown poll: Is SIA Flight Operations:
c. About to get their heads kicked in?
24. That the headlines read "SIA Pilots pledge to start afresh" and not "Pilots kena hauled in for tekan session by SM".
Not that I am suggesting that there was any tekan session or anything. Please don't sue me, ok?
25. That there are people going around asking how many ministers does it take to talk to one pilot union.
One Senior Minister, one Manpower Minister, one Transport Minister, and one Minister of State-cum-NTUC Chief-cum-SIA Director.
Why? The SIA management themselves not free, issit?
Copyright 2004 by Lee Kin Mun