Singapore National Education Part 101 -- by mr brown
Weeks of 15 July 2004 to 28 Sept 2004
I have also learned lately:
1. That the economy is good enough to restore ministers' salaries, but not good enough to restore our CPF.
2. That we kick up a fuss over a brand like FCUK, but we can have NTUC.
3. That as the August 12th date of handover of power from PM Goh to DPM Lee Hsien Loong looms, the question on every Singaporeans lips must be... "August 12th is holiday or not?"
4. That judging from the way China got mad at us, you'd think that we were a breakaway province too.
5. That China is tulan (incensed) with Singapore because DPM Lee Hsien Loong made a "private and unofficial visit" visit to Taiwan. As a result, so far:
-China's central bank chief, Zhou Xiaochuan, canceled a trip to Singapore to attend a central bankers' gathering here.
-Secondly, the lower-level mainland banking delegation that did come, snubbed a dinner hosted by Lee, who is also the head of Singapore's central bank and the finance minister.
-Thirdly, authorities in Shanghai reportedly stopped a Singapore company from holding a trade fair in China's commercial capital.
-And fourthly, more than 120 mainland officials called off plans to study there.
Now there is talk of recalling their ambassador as well.
I think the final slap on the wrist from China, should this escalate to the highest levels, would be the recalling of the China hookers, er, friendly Chinese female tourists, who are bringing a touch to Geylang to the heartlands of Singapore.
6. That there is no news if PM Goh, after stepping down as Prime Minister, will become another Senior Minister. Or whether the Senior Minister post held by SM Lee is supposed to be a Highlander one ("There can only be ONE!").
Some forumers have other theories.
"If GCT becomes a SM, LKY will upgrade to more advanced titles such as "High Overlord", "Elder Minister" or "Sovereign Father". He certainly won't share a title with one of his minions." -Laksa_boy
High Overlord... someone has been playing way too many computer games, man.
(Update: SM Lee's new title is Minister Mentor. Power, man. And PM Goh is now SM Goh.)
7. That it is hard to rally your own people around the incoming PM when you have China doing everything it can to express its diplomatic displeasure at his Taiwan visit. Maybe we need to talk about how we conquered SARS together as a nation, a year ago.
8. That there is a new agency created to deal with transnational terrorism, and it reports directly to the Prime Minister. It's cool name is National Security Coordination Secretariat or NSCS.
So if they make it into an Xbox game, you could be playing “National Security Coordination Secretariat 3: Kickin' Terror's Butt”. When you complete playing level 18, you will level up to Permanent Secretary and enjoy extra power points and a Superscale salary.
9. That inviting members of the public to the handover ceremony on Aug 12 is somehow involving all Singaporeans in the process.
So we had no choice on the matter never mind, we can still "shape the country" by coming to the party. Wah, just attend only can consider great involvement. Who dowan?
"ST JULY 26, 2004
Handover: Invitation to public a signal
By Sue-Ann Chia
HOLDING the Aug 12 handover ceremony at the Istana and inviting the public reflects the thinking of the next generation of leaders in wanting to involve Singaporeans in shaping the country, two ministers said yesterday.
'The signal is that all Singaporeans are involved in this process of remaking and restructuring Singapore so that we can be better prepared to face the challenges ahead,' said Information, Communications and the Arts Minister Lee Boon Yang.
'It is the second time since our independence as a sovereign nation that we see this transition, this passing of the baton. And to have Singaporeans from all walks of life be present, to be part of the ceremony makes it even more meaningful.'
Community Development and Sports Minister Yaacob Ibrahim described it as a 'new beginning' in Singapore's history.
'It's a good idea. This is the new prime minister; he wants to involve all Singaporeans and the signal is very powerful,' he said."
10. That more than a year after SARS, we are still trying to milk that sucker.
"The one who got away
In April last year, SARS spread across public hospitals and sparked fears that the virus might spread uncontrolled. In a new book, A Defining Moment: How Singapore Beat Sars, Chua Mui Hoong interviewed ministers and hospital staff to ask: Could the outbreak have been contained faster?" -ST
11. That my friend's China colleagues are fascinated by the display of Singapore flags during the National Day period, but they did not understand why some blocks of flats had alternating columns of flags (one column with flags, one column without, repeated).
To which my friend replied, "those without the flags are flats rented to you PRCs lor!"
12. That my friend who signed up for a part-time Masters course in NUS only to find out that his core modules were going to be held on weekday mornings from 9am to 12pm. My friend works during those hours, like most human beings.
Which prompted him to ask the school's admin, "So when you say this is a part-time course, is it me part-time or the lecturer part-time?"
Personally I think the guy who did the scheduling was probably part-time.
13. That you know that there is not enough university competition when an institution like the NUS can offer a part-time MBA degree course at a time slot that is only suitable for non-working adults. Why? The professor don't like to work nights, issit?
In the end, my friend was asked to take another course more suited for his working hours. Imagine that, your academic future depends on whether the lecturer feels like teaching after office hours or not.
14. That if a colleague asks you if you are homophobic, there are probably better ways of saying "no" than "Of course not, I work with homos all the time".
15. That Aljunied GRC is now back to big-assed banner time, this time with big-assed banners plastered with a big-assed image of one of the MPs' faces, wishing the nation a Happy National Day. Every other banner on my street has a big-assed picture of MP Dr Ong Seh Hong PBM.
Don't know whether it is Singapore's birthday or his birthday.
16. That the way the banners are being displayed in Aljunied GRC, you would think there was an election around the corner.
Maybe that's why the Workers' Party has been visiting and giving out calendars too.
17. That Singapore National Education (the official one, not this one) is now centrally coordinated by an agency called "Nexus" (formerly known as Central National Education Office). I suppose the last thing you want is to type "Singapore National Education" in Google and see mr brown's site with his version of National Education. At least now if you type "Nexus National Education", you will see the Nexus site, and not www.mrbrown.com
But why not National-Education-polis?
18. That there is no law yet against parents who take their kids to the doctor's and insist on letting their little monsters wear those squeak shoes, that squeak at every step, and drive other sick people, who have the flu and migraines, crazy.
19. That it is easy for your father to mistake your mom's remark that your youngest brother is "going to the Pyrenees", for "going to the Penis".
Those French people very dirty-minded one, hor?
20. That you have too many devices when you consistently try to dock your Palm Tungsten T2 on your iPod dock and your iPod on your Palm dock. And try to charge your Nokia with your SonyEricsson charger.
21. That you have too many devices when you have to go through a mental checklist everyday before you go to work.
"Handphone, check. Palm, check. iPod, check. Canon A75 digital camera, check. 256Mb Flashdrive, check. 128MB Flashdrive, check. Secondary Handphone for work, check. Wallet and keys, check. Pants about to fall over from the weight, check."
22. That you can offer 3000 $1 airfares, and still not expect overwhelming web traffic.
We are talking about Singaporeans here. The same ones who line up and fight for McDonald's Hello Kitty toys. Of course you are going to get 4.5 million hits in 10 hours.
"Tiger's $1 fare offer causes Web gridlock
Grumbles galore as overwhelming response to Tiger Airways' promotion overloads online system, frustrating many who could not enter website... The problem was caused by an unusually high traffic volume, said the airline's chief executive, Mr Patrick Gan, in a telephone interview last night.
He said: 'We had projected a certain level of demand based on discussions with our partners, several of whom have had many years of experience running airlines, but in the end, the demand proved too overwhelming.
'We had 4.5 million hits between 9am and 7pm. Nobody could have expected that.'" -ST 1 Sept 2004
Maybe they should have spoken to partners who have many years of experience running sites that give stuff away for free and have high traffic. Like porn sites.
23. That when you get your wife a pink iPod Mini, expect her to buy new CDs to fill her iPod with. Expect her to buy them all at one go.
24. That it is your responsibility to ensure that you knock off work fast enough, or else your wife who is waiting at the shopping mall for you, will buy even more things.
"You quick lah. I already bought CDs!"
Sorry, I have to go now. I need to save my wife from herself.
25. That when you are hospitalised for suspected Dengue fever, the last thing you want to see are mosquitoes in a hospital. My friend killed three mosquitoes in one afternoon spent at Changi Hospital. He kept them as evidence to show the nurses.
Oh, and the other thing we learned from that hospital visit was what "CRIB" means.
No, it is not "Crotch Requires Intense Bathing", or "Chinese Red Itchy Backside", or "Clean Red and Inflamed Balls".
It is "Complete Rest in Bed".
By Lee Kin Mun (Copyright 2004)