Singapore National Education Part 102 -- by mr brown
Weeks of 28 Sept 2004 to 2004 to 3rd Nov 2004
I have also learned lately:
1. That it is possible to own a USB Thumbdrive looks so Beng that when you insert it into your computer's USB port, it makes a puckering sound.
2. That you know you are a sad sad geek when your client asks you if you have a USB Thumbdrive to copy a large file for you, and your colleague laughs and says to the client, that knowing you, you probably have two USB Thumbdrives in two different sizes.
And you really do. A 128Mb one and a 256Mb one.
3. That your Arts centre can have an operating deficit of $31.6 million and you can still consider it good news because the $39.7 million Government subsidy puts you $8.1 million in the black. Whoopee.
4. That blah blah blah Singaporeans can expect better bonus and pay raises, oh, by the way SIA is retrenching 70 people and SATS is retrenching 108. Oh, wait, here's another SIA 130 people to let go.
5. That Singapore is set to become Asia's Rivet Hub and have a thriving rivet construction industry, with the number of households required to change the aluminum rivets of their windows to stainless steel ones.
Before you start complaining about why HDB-installed rivets should become your problem, you ingrate, remember that we are all very lucky to have a Government who, out of the goodwill of their hearts, has negotiated with contractors to offer 70 cents per rivet instead of $1.
So now, if you have a 3-room flat with 12 casement windows, you need only pay $134 instead of $192 to replace all the rivets.
What Government in the world will be kind-hearted enough to get you bulk rates for repairs they force you to undertake?
I cannot wait till one of these stainless steel rivet windows falls too, and we will be told to "upgrade" to titanium rivets. At a special HDB-negotiated rate, of course.
6. That the key to solving our blackout problems is, hold your breath now, another committee.
"9 members appointed to Energy System Review Committee
SINGAPORE : Mr Jock McKenzie, former President for Asia, Middle East and Africa at ChevronTexaco Corporation has been appointed Chairman of a high-level nine-member Energy System Review Committee.
Following the major blackout on June 29, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan informed Parliament that the Trade and Industry would set up the committee to take a fresh look at Singapore's electricity and gas systems, and make recommendations on improvements." -Yahoo News
I say just take the senior blackout culprits out to the back of the shed and break a leg for every power failure lasting less than 30 minutes. And two legs if more than 30 minutes. All this pussyfooting is just a waste of time. Forget the Energy System Review Committee. Have a Power Failure Hit Squad instead.
7. That a minister can shed tears over our Olympic hopefuls missing their chance at an Athens medal, but no one sheds a tear for the shameful treatment of our only Olympic Games medalist ever, Tan Howe Liang.
I suppose way back in 1960, Olympic medals were easier to win. That's why he has received nothing, not a single cent or official recognition, since his silver medal win. But nowadays, Olympic medals are worth a million dollars and a whole lot of media attention.
"...it is clear that Tan is not pleased with the treatment he has received since winning that silver in Rome. In July, at a function to honour past and present Olympians, Singapore's most successful Olympian chose not to turn up.
What is his problem?
Said the former weightlifter: "Problem? Problem is Singapore sport. After you represent your country, they chuck you to one side. Who will remember you? At least, I'm lucky. Some people still remember me... " -Howe Liang's weight of frustration, TODAY Sept 18 2004
8. That there were mixed reactions from charities when the Council on Governance of Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs) called for greater transparency and accountability from charities, like disclosing the salaries of their top three executives.
Said Action for Aids executive director Benedict Jacob-Thambiah: "It's fine to reveal our pay to the authorities, but why do we need to tell it to any Tom, Dick or Harry?"
Er, just my uneducated guess, but because charities get their money from Toms, Dicks and Harrys?
9. That if you plan to slip in the rain, make sure you do it somewhere outside the Singapore Island Country Club premises. You may encounter rich people who don't have time to help you as you lay dying there.
In fact, this member who fell should be ashamed of himself, bringing bad press and ill-repute to the esteemed club.
"Members ignored injured man
By Tracy Quek and Arti Mulchand
WINE and coffee trader Alan Wong slipped in the rain, fell and hit his head on the kerb on his way to the gymnasium.
The 50-year-old lay immobilised on the ground, in excruciating pain, for 20 minutes before help came.
But he had not fallen in some deserted alley last Tuesday afternoon. He was, in fact, in one of Singapore's oldest and most prestigious clubs, the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), where the well-heeled pay more than $100,000 to become members.
Yet, members who saw him simply passed him by, he said. It was the club's staff who eventually came to his rescue." -ST
10. That electricity tariffs are up again. Economy must be picking up.
I am appalled at these price rises. I will take my business somewhere else. Oh wait. There is no one else.
"Electricity tariffs to go up for fourth time this year
FROM next month, electricity tariffs will go up by an average of 1.1 per cent or 18 cents per kilowatt-hour.
SP Services said the increase, which will apply to home users and industries, is due to higher oil prices.
Current electricity rates are pegged to a fuel-oil price of US$26.56 ($44.97) a barrel. These would go up to US$27.94 a barrel for the fourth quarter, SP Services said in a statement.
Electricity rates are adjusted every three months and this is the fourth increase this year. The last hike in July was by 3.5 per cent." -ST
11. That no matter what you do, you will always lose the cap to your thumbdrive.
12. That when your wife asks you to do the smell test on your daughter's bum to check if she has poo-poo-ed, SNIFF, DON'T take a deep breath.
13. That no media competition does not mean the quality of the media will suffer.
Ya, in Singapore, we are used to competing with ourselves to continuously improve. Even our Government is like that one.
Singapore: We ownself compete ownself one.
14. That Competition Laws apply to everyone but the industries we have vested interest in. Oh, and us, the Government.
15. That when your computer kena problem or you cannot access the network, and you need I.T.'s help, you need to send them an email or a help ticket.
16. That you cannot wait for Apple to release the pink Britney Spears iPod with matching thong, and the complete Britney Spears discography. And the select button is shaped like her— never mind.
17. That no lah, there is no specific security threat to Singapore, those armed cops are just for show only.
Armed SOC cops will be patrolling Orchard Road and other public areas to project an even stronger police presence on the ground and to reassure the public and deter any potential terrorist attacks.
"Ok, are you boys ready? When I start speaking into the camera, you all start walking in step towards my camera man, ok? Look fierce and serious about fighting terrorism, ok? SGT Lim, don't smile and don't look at the camera, ok? Your eyes narrower a bit? Right! Annnnnd action!"
"Armed police patrols for all parts of Singapore from Monday
Monday November 1, 2:17 PM
SINGAPORE : Beginning Monday, there will be armed officers from the Police Special Operations Command patrolling commercial, entertainment and residential areas.
They will be armed with machine guns, similar to the ones used by troops who now patrol Changi Airport."
18. That the fact that the US Elections are just a day after they start the random armed cop patrols is mere coincidence.
Of course, there is no heightened alert, no specific threat. Just an election far far away.
19. That analysts are baffled by the surprise drop in joblessness this third quarter, from the expected 4.5% to the actual 3.4%, a three-year low.
Don't worry, there will be a Government claiming credit for it.
I have good news and bad news: The good news is, more of you will have jobs. The bad news is, you will be paid way less than what you were paid doing the same thing before, and your job will now be a contract thing.
"Analysts baffled as jobless rate falls to 3.4 per cent
Tuesday November 2, 2004
by Lee Ching Wern
SINGAPORE'S labour market took a surprisingly dramatic turn for the better in the third quarter, with the unemployment rate dropping by more than 1 percentage point to 3.4 per cent.
Analysts had expected the number, which reached a high of 5.5 per cent in the third quarter last year, to be between 4 per cent and 4.3 per cent.
They said the improved numbers could be a result of fewer retrenchments, the lowered expectations of job-seekers and the effect of the economic recovery kicking in."
20. That Singaporeans are following the US Elections with great interest. May as well, since most of us have as much opportunity to vote in the US Elections as we do the Singapore one.
Kerry for Aljunied GRC!
21. That a lot of people, in their focus on the swing states of Ohio and Florida, have forgotten the swing state of Cheng San.
22. That Singaporeans will be watching the US Elections closely and with bated breath, so that they can buy 4D from the final numbers.
23. That John Kerry calls MM Lee "my old friend Lee Kuan Yew". I heard they met in 'Nam.
"In early interviews, Mr Kerry was asked who he would turn to in foreign policy. He said in the New York Times: 'I would call my old friend, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew.'" -Kishore Mahbubani, ST
24. That according to Tomato75 of SPUG forums, Bush received an extra 7 Electoral Votes from the swing state of Australia, courtesy of PM John Howard.
25. That with US Elections heading for a repeat of 2000's deadlock, the US may wish to give up the Electoral College system and try our Singapore GRC system. Sure got clear winner one (give or take a few walkovers).
By Lee Kin Mun (Copyright 2004)