Singapore National Education Part 103 -- by mr brown
Weeks of 3rd Nov 2004 to 29 Nov 2004
I have also learned lately:
1. That some Americans have learned painfully that you may kow peh kow bu about your current leadership, but the others will still vote him back.
We Singaporeans sympathise.
Hey, at least most of your country got to vote.
2. That just when you thought you have had enough naps over the weekend to cover the previous week's sleep deprivation, your baby son decides to wake up at 2.30am on Sunday night, and have a crying episode (waking up the toddler daughter as well), and can only be pacified with a Wiggles film festival until 4am.
On the week that the maid has returned to her home town on her biannual home leave.
3. That the trailer Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, features an evil Anakin becoming Darth Vader. So how does a young Vader look? Ah Beng spoilers on his black suit? Blue lights under the cowl? One glove instead of two?
4. That Dennis Lim Boon Chong asks the LTA in a ST forum letter if there are too many lots for the disabled.
Actually, there is a little known department that can help you get permission to park at those disabled lots, permanently. It's called the LTA Disabled Lots Allocation Department.
You go there, fill out some forms, and then they break your legs. Viola, you can now use the lots.
"Too Many Parking Lots for Disabled?
I would like to ask the Land Transport Authority:
• How many parking lots are reserved for the disabled.
• The number of disabled drivers.
I ask these questions because I see reserved lots in every carpark but in the years that these lots have been around, I have never seen a car parked in one of them.
Dennis Lim Chong Boon" -ST Forum
5. That if I hear my friend Tony correctly, Halo 2 has another character known as Master Chef. I hear he fights with a Rocket Launching Wok and a Plasma Rolling Pin.
6. That we sent 20 special operations command officers and 20 police officers to CALM a bunch of unhappy temple devotees.
If you sent 20 armed riot cops and 20 regular cops to see me, damn, I'd calm down too, man. In fact, I'll even whimper and roll over on cue.
"Police step in to calm temple devotees
A disagreement over the rituals to be conducted before the closure of the Sri Marathadi Muneeswara Temple in Changi led to a tense situation yesterday morning when JTC Corp moved in to repossess the land on which the unregistered temple has stood for 48 years...
As the devotees argued with the JTC Corp representatives, some 20 special operations command officers and another 20 police officers from the Bedok Police Station arrived to ensure the situation did not get out of hand. For about 20 minutes, traffic was diverted from Upper Changi Road.
Police spokeswoman Karen Chen said the police stepped in to mediate and facilitate a discussion between the parties.
"The matter was amicably resolved," she added." -TODAY
7. That NUS ranked 18th among the world's top 200 universities this year. That is why our Government and Armed Forces consistently sends their best scholars overseas, to give them a taste of the lower class universities overseas.
"NUS ranked 18th among world's top 200 universities
By Tay Tsen-Waye, TODAY
SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore (NUS) has been ranked 18th among the world's top 200 tertiary institutions, in the first such ranking exercise by an British authority on higher education.
The Times Higher World University Rankings place NUS above renowned names such as Columbia (ranked 19th), Cornell (23rd) and Pennsylvania (28th) in the United States; and the University College London (34th) in the United Kingdom.
Not to be left out, Nanyang Technological University came in a respectable 50th, ahead of Brown (60th) in the US; King's College, London (97th); and RMIT University (55th) in Australia." -TODAY
8. That we have Special Ops cops walking the streets with their MP5s, unmarked police cars patrolling the roads with video cameras to catch motorists, and CCTVs being installed in more public places in the name of fighting crime and terrorism.
I don't why but the words "Police State" came to mind. I'm probably imagining things.
9. That soon, President's Scholars will be sent to NUS, while the lower rung scholars will be forced to go to Cornell and Columbia. If they had studied harder, they would have won a place in the world's 18th best university. No choice, they now have to go overseas to these lesser universities. Boo hoo.
10. That schools will soon become Fort Knoxes, as part of the need to enhance security. And no, there is no immediate threat against schools. If there were, knowing Singapore, teachers would be armed with MP5s and wearing Kevlar.
If the Prefects don't catch you for being late, the CCTVs will.
"Guards and TV cameras for all schools
Measures to beef up security against terrorism after government review
By Goh Chin Lian
EVERY school in Singapore will be patrolled by security guards and fitted with up to 12 closed-circuit TV cameras over the next few months, as part of enhanced security measures announced yesterday.
The new measures will be implemented at all of the nation's 351 schools, from primary level to junior college, after a government security review to beef up the country's schools against terrorism.
Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the Government will foot the $4 million bill for the cameras and spend between $15 million and $20 million a year to maintain unarmed security guard patrols.
Speaking at a dialogue on national security with around 400 young Singaporeans at the National Junior College yesterday, Mr Tharman stressed that the measures were necessary, even though there was no immediate threat against schools."
11. That you know elections are around the corner when they start running the stories about ministers and how wonderful they are, and how blah blah blah the right man at the right time.
"Mr Goh: Right man at the right time
By Richard Lim
WHEN Mr Goh Chok Tong was put up as a People's Action Party candidate in the 1976 General Election, in the newly created ward of Marine Parade, he found to his horror that he was not provided with any resources.
There was no branch office to speak of, and the party did not send over a team of activists to help him mount the campaign.
'Don't worry. Just put up a table and a chair there and then go and fight the election,' was what Dr Goh Keng Swee told him when he spoke about his situation to the then deputy prime minister and vice-chairman of the party." - ST Nov 9, 2004
12. That you know your friend has played too much Halo 2 when he looks down from the fourth floor of Funan and thinks that he can make it to the first floor by jumping down.
Tones, you are now officially banned from standing near the barriers of high floors.
13. That you know you are getting old for Halo 2 when you start getting tired and nauseous after only a few rounds of it, and one of your online Friends is a boy from Bedok North Secondary School. And he is kicking your arse so hard, there isn't any feeling in your virtual backside anymore.
14. That a 42-year-old kampong mosque in Sembawang qualifies as heritage but a 48-year-old Hindu temple in Changi is not.
"Kampong mosque in Sembawang may be preserved: DPM Tan
SINGAPORE : As Muslims all over the world celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri on Sunday, in Singapore, those at a 42-year-old mosque in Sembawang had another reason for celebration.
The mosque, which was to make way for redevelopment, may be preserved as part of Singapore's national heritage.
Deputy Prime Minister Tony revealed this during his annual Hari Raya visit to the mosque." -CNA Sunday November 14
15. That the Ribena Berries may not know this yet, but they are actually frolicking and drinking the juice of their deceased blackcurrant brothers.
16. That former beauty queen and Wheel of Fortune celebrity, Eunice Olsen, has been selected to be a Nominated MP (NMP).
Wait, wait, I know what her platform will be... WORLD PEACE!
Ya, ya, ya. I know she was selected for her brains, welfare work and yadda yadda yadda. But I couldn't help myself.
17. That we the Government will weigh the public's opinion, and listen to all views on the casino issue. Because we believe in being consultative. Thank you all for sharing your feedback, that was fun. And now back to our original idea of building the casino anyway.
"Singapore a matured society and ready for a casino: Dr Vivian
...The government will begin talks with potential investors over the next few weeks.
It will first view their concept plans before requesting for proposals.
But the government says the proposals must achieve sufficient economic benefits, otherwise it is still quite happy to walk away." -CNA, Tuesday November 16
18. That Singapore's unemployment rate for this year is likely to end at 4 per cent or slightly below that, the lowest figure since 1999.
Whoop dee doo. 1999, folks. Lowest figure, folks. Get used to that number 4, because I have a funny feeling we're gonna have a new goal post for unemployment soon. Forget close to full employment, start thinking "manageable numbers". If you can't manage, well, tough. Migrate lah.
"'No developed economy in the world has managed to solve fully its structurally unemployed problem and that's a fact. But we will do our very best to mitigate the problem to reduce it to manageable numbers,' promised Dr Ng."
19. That we are not mature enough to handle political discourse, free speech and satellite tv, but we are mature enough to handle casinos.
"The fundamental question is: Are we ready as a society to let people make choices of their own, to take responsibility for their actions and face the consequences? If we are indeed ready, then we can consider taking more risk, in a sense, with new and innovative radical plans." -ST
20. That we have to be mature and listen to the Government when they say a casino is good for us.
Ok, daddy, whatever you say, daddy.
21. That it is morally wrong for Singaporeans to be gambling away their money in overseas casinos. They should be losing money in their own country instead. It is not just patriotic, it is their bounden duty.
22. That the number of Singapore deaths from Aids is alarming and people need to be informed, but we have to do it without mentioning sex and condoms, because it is not polite to discuss sex in public in Singapore.
Sure, let's just continue to let people die, lest we offend our society's Asian values. It did not seem to be a problem in other Asian countries like Thailand and Cambodia, but hey, maybe these are not Truly Asia countries.
I am sure there is some roundabout way we can use to educated people about Aids without talking about sex. It's not like Aids is some kind of sexually transmitted disease or something, so I am sure we can find a polite way of bringing it up.
And I guess we can rule out a "Use a Condom" rap.
"No 'in your face' drive to fight Aids here
By Tracy Quek
Public campaigns promoting condom use might have been successful in Thailand and Cambodia, but in Singapore, any Aids campaign will not be as 'in-your-face'.
Senior Minister of State for Health Balaji Sadasivan pointed out the need to recognise that there were conservative people here, and an in-your-face approach was not necessarily the best way to educate people.
Asked if Singapore would launch a public campaign promoting sexual abstinence and condom use, he stopped short of ruling it out.
But he said that unlike Sars, which struck Singapore last year and killed more than 800 people worldwide, Aids involves talking about people's sexual behaviour.
'It's not like Sars, where we can go about educating people using a very direct approach,' he said.
'Sexual behaviour is a private thing, it's something people don't want to talk about, it's not discussed in polite society.'" -ST
23. That we should not have been given our 147th place (out of 167 countries) in the 2004 press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), because our circumstances are special.
Maybe RSF should have a special circumstances category next year: the Press Freedom Index for Countries with Nation-Building Media. We sure come first one.
"Minister ticks off media group for S'pore's low ranking
SINGAPORE - The Government on Wednesday slammed a media watchdog for ranking Singapore in the same league as North Korea and Myanmar in press freedom, saying outsiders shouldn't equate freedom with criticising the government....
Information Minister Lee Boon Yang said the index imposes a standard that fails to take into account 'special circumstances' in Singapore, where he said journalists contribute to the nation's development and are not necessarily adversarial...
Dr Lee said Singapore's media 'has to be sensitive to our national interests'." -AP
24. That the first prize for a Creative contest is a special edition collection of ten Creative Zen Micros (their iPod Mini killer), in all ten colours, and autographed by... CEO Sim Wong Hoo.
In the words of my wise wife: he think he U2 ah?
25. That your psychic friends will ask if you have booked your tickets to that exorbitantly overpriced live Sesame Street show yet, exactly when you are sitting in front of a colleague's PC, trying to book three $48 mid-priced (!) tickets for said show, before your wife nags you to death.
Struggling Arts groups should forget about doing their theatre and dying from starvation. They should just put on a purple dinosaur costume, and dance to pre-recorded music for 70 minutes (plus interval). They will be rich beyond their wildest dreams, and only need to work twice a year.
Nobody will pay $65 to watch Shakespeare or some vagina's monologue, but put on a red Elmo suit and they will buy $65 tickets for the whole family plus maid.
26. That you know your wife is pushing analogies too far when she watches Shrek 2 and declares, "So if Princess Fiona's father is actually a frog, that means she is part frog and his sperm is made up of real tadpoles."
By Lee Kin Mun (Copyright 2004)