Singapore National Education Part 100 -- by mr brown
Weeks of 2 May 2004 to 15 July 2004
I have also learned lately:
1. That with Xbox Live, Microsoft's new online gaming service, you can select a gamertag or userID of your choice. Tempting choices include:
-leekuanyew (so your friends can boast that they just whooped Lee Kuan Yew's ass in Return to Castle Wolfenstein)
-wa_si_chow_angmoh (so that when play with Westerners online, they will be dissing themselves every time they call your name)
-hokkienexpletive_wa_eh_lao_bu (so that whoever calls your name online will be saying something rude about their mother)
-a_chao_ah_gua (so that when people lose to you, you have to say you have been beaten by a_chow_ah_gua
2. That military commanders need their Mercs and Audis to communicate their commanding presence to their troops.
If you need an easily identifable car to inform the troops their commander has arrived on site, wouldn't it be cheaper to paint a Land Rover pink and decorate it with Christmas lights?
And if that is not enough, put bunny ears on it.
"The position of Mindef... was that there were practical reasons for allotting high-end models to some officers... Military commanders, it said, need the cars to rush back to camp or anywhere else in an emergency, and to make their presence felt among their men.
It said: 'An easily identifiable car helps to communicate the commander's presence. The presence of the car informs the troops that their commander is now with them even as they carry out their training and operational duties.'" -ST 11 May 2004
3. That according to a Wall Street Journal article, Raffles Junior College is the Gateway to the Ivy League. For US$15 a month, the prestigious Singapore School sends droves to top US colleges.
The article mentions several elite students from this elite school going to the elite colleges in the US:
"...Ervin Yeo, 20, now a freshman at Yale studying ethics, politics and economics. 'When you hear all these success stories and hear about the students before you who go on to Princeton and Harvard, you feel you can be part of this,' says Mr. Yeo, who is the first in his immediate family to go to college.
The government is backing Mr. Yeo, whose mother works in a supermarket and father in an electronics shop. He was given a scholarship by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which also allowed him to defer mandatory two-year army service until he finishes college.
Mr. Yeo, who played rugby at Raffles and now does so at Yale, says the transition has been easy. 'You're used to being the cream of the crop in Singapore,' he says, 'and it's just the same thing at the Ivies.'"
So if a Singapore cream of the crop goes to the Ivies (I didn't even know that this was how you referred to the Ivy League schools, that is how uncream I am) and completes being the cream of the crop there, does he return to Singapore to be the Ruling Cream (or Head Cheese) over the rest of the crop?
How lucky for us crops to have such talented and humble cream to rule over us.
Here is a forum post by the above Mr Yeo, in reply to the article:
ervin 28th May 2004 11:44 PM
hey all. yes this is that ervin yeo from the article. i just thought i'd clarify some stuff. the quote was a gross misrepresentation of what i said and condensed an hour and a half long interview into two inane lines. i was responding to a question about how hard it as to make the transition and my reply was that at raffles, you come in and everyone's supposed to be oh-so-smart so you get a little intimidated. but soon enough you realise that they may be smart but outside the classroom they are just regular people. and i felt that it was the same way in the ivies. i did NOT mean to say that Singaporeans are the cream of the crop.
so it would be super if you dudes stopped slamming me. take a closer look at the article and read about my background. i am not your typical elitist prick. don't judge a person based on two lines you see in a sensationalized article. for those who care about facts and notjust quotable misquotes to pounce on, the wsj issued a retraction two days later admitting that a number of figures were wrong. and the reporter who wrote the article her job hanging in the balance right now. just so you know.
any problems, just write to me. i will be happy to respond.
4. That not long after Singapore's Great Western Blackout, in a bid to keep up with us, Kuala Lumpur had a power blackout too, on the 19th of April. Anything Singapore can do, like have a power failure, Malaysia also boleh.
While Singapore's blackout happened in the dead of night in an ulu part of the island, KL had theirs during the morning rush hour, right smack in the city centre.
Singapore will have to work harder if they want to beat KL at having disasters. Damn, they're good.
5. That government-linked building firm Synergy Construction has been wound up and is under investigation by CAD for "severe accounting irregularities". Synergy's majority shareholder is Jurong International, whose parent company is JTC Corporation.
Creditors are now angry because they extended generous credit terms to Synergy on the basis of the prestigious and reliable name of JTC. Synergy owes hundreds of creditors more than $40 million.
Hello, you think what? Government-linked company cannot pok-kai one ah?
You know the shit has hit the bulldozing machine when even Government-Linked construction companies are going under.
6. That the US came into Iraq to free their people from the oppression and torture of Saddam's regime, so that Iraqis can enjoy being oppressed and tortured by Americans instead.
Who's the Weapon of Mass Destruction now?
Oh, wait. They beheaded an American in retaliation. So the Americans are back to being the good guys now.
7. That the next time you meet your Division Commander at a Reservist exercise, make sure you ask him if he is enjoying the Audi your taxes are paying for.
Sure get long weekend one. Maybe even a field promotion.
8. That the Bukit Panjang LRT broke down yet again, for four hours, two weeks after re-opening from a 5-month, $350,000 bug-fixing exercise. If the LRT were a horse, they'd shoot it.
The SMRT was going welcome its 60 millionth passenger on the LRT this month with a $500 set of five limited edition ez-link cards, to show its appreciation to commuters for using the line through the "challenging times in the earlier years".
I guess now it will be given to show its appreciation to commuters for using the line through the "challenging times in the earlier years and also er, now".
If it breaks down anymore, it will need a psychiatrist.
"Bt Panjang LRT breaks down - yet again" -May 13 2004
8. That soon, flats in Bukit Panjang will be advertised with "Nowhere near the LRT" as a selling point.
9. That Singapore will now have an answer to people who compare us to Mussolini's Italy, where the trains ran on time. We can now say, "No, they don't. Look at our Bukit Panjang LRT!"
Mussolini may have done many brutal and tyrannical things; he may have destroyed human freedom in Italy; he may have murdered and tortured citizens whose only crime was to oppose Mussolini; but 'one had to admit' one thing about the Dictator: he 'made the trains run on time.'
"This is really true: in the touristy parts of town, it's actually hard to find a place to stick your visual field where you won't see either a wastebasket, a sign telling you not to do something, or both. The trains run on time, and so, I gather, do the canings. Just enjoy the show, keep your voice down, buy all the shit you want, and be on your way." -This Modern World (http://www.thismodernworld.com/singapore.html)
10. That my neighbourhood now has huge sign boards welcoming me to Aljunied Town, "Our Home Our Town" etc. I think they have placed the signs in the wrong place. Aljunied is at least 5km away from Lorong Ah Soo or Simei.
11. That after all the flak I got for calling the Western part of Singapore ulu and power-failure-ridden, Bukit Panjang LRT came through for me again. Thanks, LRT!
12. That when I made fun of my Western-Singapore-dwelling friend, "Bob", about the breakdown of his estate's LRT, he completely denied its existence. "LRT? We don't have LRT. We have LRT stations."
I suppose, given its reputation, the LRT may as well not be there.
13. That the LRT runs emergency shuttle buses better than they run Light Rail trains.
After the LRT breakdown, the SMRT sent in 16 buses to shuttle passengers instead and restored a loop service for eight out of the line's 14 stations.
14. That if American Idol participants who make it past the audition shout, "Woohoo! I am going to Hollywood!" upon coming out of the judges' room, what will Singapore Idols shout?
"Woohoo! I am going to Mediacorp!"?
"Woohoo! I am going to Caldecott Hill!"?
"Woohoo! I am going to Ang Mo Kio!"?
15. That if American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest, says "Seacrest out!", does Singapore Idol host, Gurmit Singh, say "Singh out!"?
16. That after people start questioning expensive cars used by senior government officials you should run an article on a Minister with a small car.
There is a name for this kind of car article: Sar Car.
"Why this big shot drives a small car
It's trusty, economical and easy to park, says Minister of State Chan Soo Sen
By Tracy Quek
WHEN Minister of State Chan Soo Sen drives up in his 1,000cc Nissan March, he sometimes gets shooed away when he tries to park at the lot reserved for him as guest of honour." -ST
May 16, 2004
17. That on account of the improving economy, the NWC has recommended moderate pay increases and bonuses.
So civil servants and MPs can look forward to some nice moneys. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is still trying to feel the 7.5% growth that was trumpeted.
Oh wait, I feel the 7.5% growth now... let me pull it out of my ass.
18. That according to Reuters, Singapore's PM is known as Goh Chok. All hail our Prime Minister, PM Tong.
Stupid Angmohs. Cannot even get Asian names right.
"Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) looks on as his Singapore counterpart Goh Chok slips on the doorstep at Downing Street in London, May 11, 2004. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty"
19. That Expressions chain of beauty salons is advertising how they can help women achieve "Hairless Perfection".
That's something to try with your woman tonight. Tell her that she is a picture of "Hairless Perfection".
20. That North Korea has condemned the United States on human rights.
"More countries joined the international community during the last few days in condemning the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers and urging the punishment of the perpetrators.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday described the United States as "the world's worst human rights violator and a graveyard of human rights for its violation of international law and the Islamic ethics and culture."
It said the United States should settle all its human rights issues before acting as the "world judge of human rights."
You tell them, Great Leader Kim Jong Il (or better known as Lil' Kim).
21. That there are new big-assed lighted signboards proclaiming Aljunied GRC as "Our Town Our Home". And put up with "Our Money".
22. That you know you have sunk to a new low when you have to ask some media friends for help in getting tickets to the sold-out live Barney show for you and your kids.
23. That you know Diane Kruger's Helen of Troy is the most beautiful woman in ancient Troy and Greece because she was the only blonde of the era.
24. That if you are willing to put in some effort, and do a little diving, you may be the proud owner of a new (slightly wet) Hyundai car.
"Ship carrying 4000 Hyundai is sunk
A ship carrying 4,000 South Korean cars sank after colliding with an oil tanker just south of Singapore, port officials said today.
The collision between car carrier MV Hyundai No. 105 and the tanker MT Kaminesan, carrying 279,949 tons of crude oil, occurred just before midnight on Saturday, the Maritime and Ports Authority of Singapore said." -Ireland Online
25. That the version of the movie The Punisher shown in Malaysia is more politically correct.
As astutely observed by The Associate at Balderdash:
Just returned from watching The Punisher. Now, although I expected the movie to be eviscerated by the censors, I was unprepared for the sheer editing carnage that I beheld - at least half the conversations had abrupt pauses/skips, the coup the grace delivered by the Punisher to the last level boss at the end was cut, etc etc. Interestingly enough, at least two lines were cut for what seems to be sociopolitical reasons:
Witchdoctor: "Vaya con Dios, Castle. Go with God."
Punisher: "God's going to sit this one out" (censored and deleted line)
Punisher in a soliloquy towards the end: "In certain extreme situations the law is inadequate. (Censored and delete line: "In order to shame its inadequacy, it is necessary to act outside the law.")
And below is the Ministry of Information and Arts final insult to the viewers' intelligence.
*SPOILER ALERT* (although frankly anyone with half a brain should be able to guess every nuance of the plot and ending before even stepping into the cinema)
At the end, Frank Castle, the Punisher, is standing on a bridge staring into the distance, having completed a soliloquy on his ongoing quest to continue taking out the scum of the earth. Screen fades.
Before the credits roll, a caption appears, in a horribly cheapo looking font.
"Later, Frank Castle was arrested and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole."
The sentence was repeated below in Malay.
26. That a nursing mom was asked to leave the Esplanade premises because what she was doing, breast-feeding her kid, was deemed offensive to other members of the public.
I think the real reason was that the Esplanade, like our cinemas, do not allow patrons to bring in outside food.
27. That Singaporeans are encouraged to be Bi.
Bicultural, I mean.
"Passage to China
What's all this to-do about creating a 'bicultural elite'? Do we really need them? And what can they do which bilingual Singaporeans cannot, anyway?" -The Straits Times, June 26 2004
"SAP schools haven't failed, they've bred bicultural talent
What could be done to enhance the grooming effort is to add more Chinese history and culture studies components to the syllabus" -The Straits Times, June 26 2004
28. That Singapore may be aiming to be the blackout Hub of Asia, or Blackoutpolis.
Our record so far:
April 13 2004, where 80,000 households were affected, one and half hours.
June 29 2004, where 300,000 households were affected, two hours.
July 2 2004, where 11 Pasir Ris blocks were affected, 30 minutes.
July 4 2004, where 10 Hougang blocks were affected, 50 minutes.
"11 blocks of flats at Pasir Ris were hit by a 30-minute power failure on Friday. The latest blackout was relatively minor compared to Tuesday's power failure that hit 300,000 homes around Singapore." -CNA
"There has been another power outage, this time in Hougang, affecting 10 blocks of HDB flats at Hougang Avenues 4 and 8.
It happened at about 11.40am, and electricity supply was restored progressively from 12.15pm to 12.30pm.
SP PowerGrid says the interruption was due to a cable damaged by a contractor at Hougang Avenue 8." - CNA, July 4 2004, Sunday
29. That a sociologist has discovered that Singaporeans are class conscious.
I am shocked. Who would've guessed? You mean we have poor people in Singapore?
"A survey commissioned by a Singapore sociologist has found citizens here are class-conscious and it shows in how they interact with others...
In this overtly meritocratic society, it found, the poorer you are, the more likely you are to believe that successful Singaporeans look down on the less successful.
An overwhelming 60 per cent of the lower class agreed that the haves look down on the have-nots. Attitudes moderate as one rises up the socio-economic ladder: 50 per cent for the working class, 41 per cent for the middle class and 44 per cent for the upper class.
The sociologist, Associate Professor Tan Ern Ser of the National University of Singapore, studied 2,250 Singaporeans aged 15 to 64." -ST
30. That a website publisher has apologised and paid damages to the National Kidney Foundation for his rant against them.
I am sure the public is now even fonder of the NKF for their steadfast and robust legal defence of their reputation. This kind of corporate legal firepower is sure to endear more donors to the NKF.
"Erroneous article: Website editor apologises to NKF
A PROMINENT authority on Internet issues has apologised to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) for false and "malicious" allegations posted on his website in April.
Dr Seamus Phan, a professional speaker, author, consultant, analyst and editor, has placed a formal half-page apology in this issue of Today, as well as quarter-page apologies in two broadsheet newspapers. He has paid the NKF damages and legal fees of an undisclosed amount.
Dr Phan, 40, had published the article by a contributor on his website at www.seamusphan.com" -CNA July 8, 2004
31. That I propose to start a new charity to help those sued by a charity. I plan to call it "National Kena-sued Fund".
Kidding only hah. Joke, joke. Please don't sue me (whimper).
By Lee Kin Mun (Copyright 2004)