Singapore National Education Part 99 -- by mr brown
Weeks of 7 April 2004 to 2 May 2004
I have also learned lately:
1. That the worst time to get bad publicity over things like your $189 million in reserves, your controversial $5 million, um, tie-up with an insurance company for them cross-sell to your donors, and the revelation that only 52 cents out of every dollar raised in 2002 went towards your foundation's beneficiaries, is right before your big annual charity show.
2. That it is not a good idea to try to brush your teeth while shaving in order to save some time.
3. That one day, science will be able to come up with an explanation for the actual difference between a Permanent Resident and a Citizen of Singapore.
4. That it is called Fabric of the Nation, not Fabrication of the Nation.
5. That Singapore citizenship is so fantastic, that out of 290,000 eligible PR, only 7000 of them are willing to take up Singapore citizenship every year.
6. That at last count, 19 women and 2 men have claimed to have slept with Beckham in Singapore, 8 taxi drivers have claimed that they drove him to Geylang, and 2 teens have claimed to have sold him condoms at their branch of Seven-Eleven.
7. That for my next career, I would like to be a professional Charity Show stunt celebrity. I will be available for hire to all charity and quasi-charity organisations for doing donation-drawing stunts like walking on samurai swords, juggling durians, and having blow darts shot at my nether regions.
I will only take a 30 percent cut of the takings that happen during my segment. And a 10% admin fee.
I am currently in training (working on the durian juggling bit), and should have my diploma in Professional Charity Fund Raising soon. These days, charity work is not seen as a third tier career, ok?
8. That a huge part of Singapore gets a blackout and power failure at 11.30pm on the 13th of April and citizens were left fumbling in the dark, with hardly any news and no warnings on the radio and TV.
For one hour, there was a surreal experience of driving through a pitch black Choa Chu Kang estate, with no street lights and traffic lights, and Singapore drivers suddenly developed polite driving habits, slowing down at traffic junctions and giving way to other cars.
Better to be cautious and polite than dead from a car accident, I always say.
9. That taking a shower by candlelight is also a surreal experience. At least if you missed a spot, no one is going to notice in the dark.
10. That as Singaporeans tried to find out more about the blackout, many must have wondered whether the following potentially unsuccessful blackout warning strategies had been tried:
-using the EMAS electronic expressway signboards to warn motorists to drive carefully because there are no working lights or traffic signals, or EMAS signboards for that matter.
-posting signs in lifts to tell residents not to take the lift because there is no power and you could get stuck inside
-broadcasting warnings on TV so that the affected homes will know that they should not panic, and power will be restored soon.
11. That maybe if we don't mention it in the media too much, during the blackout and the morning after, people won't notice we had a major screw up at the power stations.
And if we do mention it, we should keep stressing that power was restored within the hour. And that our two people manning the hotlines were overwhelmed by 27,000 phone calls.
Wow, one hour so fast. I am sure it was a real consolation to the fellow who was driving around in circles in Choa Chu Kang estate trying to find his way out, while dodging cars at traffic junctions that had no traffic signals. Also a real consolation to the chap stuck in the lift the whole time, or the auntie who had to climb 20 freaking floors after coming home from the late shift.
12. That soon they will be telling us that just like the flooding, there is very little they can do about the power failures.
13. That when you decide call home at 12 midnight, after dragging your fat ass up 9 floors to your friend's flat, after giving him a lift, to make a call to your wife to check on her safety (because the damn mobile network is not working on account of the power failure), make sure you do not ask ambiguous questions like "Dear, do you have any power?"
Between pants of fatigue, it makes you sound like a very randy husband.
Fortunately, she did not answer, "No dear, not tonight. I no strength liao and I want to go back to sleep." Although she did think it.
14. That according to MP Lim Boon Heng, the Government is working to keep cost of living down.
That is a relief. After the increase of GST to 5%, increase in property tax, increase in wage cuts, increase in utilities, and increase in general joblessness, it is good to know we won't be seeing any increases soon.
it is good to know that the Government is helping us keep down whatever has not yet increased.
15. That i was going to say something about Gold Taps and charitable organisations, but I did not want to get sued with the money I donate every month.
16. That according to Singapore Power, the Nicoll Highway collapse interrupted the electricity supply to the Marina Centre area, affecting the Esplanade, Suntec City and Marina Square areas.
And according to them, power was restored about 20 minutes later. But of course.
According to people who were actually working at Suntec, however, this was "complete nonsense", because power took ages to restore.
Now now, I am sure that power was restored in record time, in typical Singapore super-efficient manner. It was all in your mind. Repeat after me, 20 minutes, 20 minutes...
17. That Singaporeans are quick to avoid Circle Line construction areas after the collapse. Roads like the usually jammed Paya Lebar (where Circle Line work is being done too) suddenly became ghost towns the morning after.
18. That whichever authority or reporter who wrote that traffic went back to normal within days after the Nicoll Collapse is either smoking something nasty or knows of a secret road into town that I am not aware of.
19. That at the local Ikea was the sign "FAKTUM - ALL PARTS".
Spare no part. Faktum all (allen key included).
20. That no political careers or Governments were hurt in the filming of the Collapse of the highway. Or the one at the construction site.
21. That a phone dealer at Lucky Plaza actually tried to sell my Angmoh colleague a mobile phone with an added "Handphone Tax" of $45.
What did the phone dealer think my friend was? An Angmoh?
22. That the definition of Tripartism is not "the Government and Employers ganging up to squeeze helpless employees". It is "a partnership of trust built up among workers, bosses and the Government".
23. That putting a Minister in the position of the country's head of Unions is not conflict of interest. It is ensuring win-win harmonious industrial relations.
24. That my kid is not a naughty rebellious sociopath that deserves a caning, but a misunderstood creative and intelligent child who just happens to be a bit boisterous.
25. That you can punish sociopaths in prison but you cannot discipline the sociopaths in school without losing your teaching job.
26. That many countries in the world dislike the US. I wonder why, their soldiers are sent in to liberate countries like Iraq, and after freeing their oppressed people, proceed to socialise with the locals by peeing on them and making them pose in sexual positions.
"Photos show jail abuse by US troops
April 30, 2004
A photo from TV shows an Iraqi prisoner with a hood over his head, standing on a box and with wires connected to his hands.
United States soldiers at a prison outside Baghdad have been accused of forcing Iraqi prisoners into acts of sexual humiliation and other abuses." -www.smh.com.au
By Lee Kin Mun (Copyright 2004)