Singapore National Education Part 104 -- by mr brown
Weeks of 29 Nov 2004 to 6 Jan 2005
I have also learned lately:
1. That, continuing our winning streak in the global press freedom rankings, Singapore was ranked 135th out of 193 countries in a survey done by Freedom House based in Washington. Yet another international press freedom organisation that does not understand our "special circumstances". Like the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), this group is so going to get a ticking off from our minister.
But we beat Malaysia (rank 154) in this one, so it was not completely a washout.
2. That in the space of half an hour, your 13-month-old baby son can:
-have an "argument" with granddad
-refuse his dinner and insist on eating his sister's dinner from HER plate (no, not even her food on his plate will do)
-drop a poop job right next to the dining table where mom and dad are having their dinner
-and crawl to the kitchen to open a cupboard and drag some plates on the floor, breaking one plate at his feet.
And he still doesn't know how to walk or talk yet.
3. That Singaporeans are mature enough to have a casino, but not mature enough to veto a casino.
4. That nobody could beat the world's best female Quake player, Alana Reid, to win a Razer-sponsored $1000 prize at the 2004 Sitex show. Maybe if we set up another ultra-expensive Games School, like the new Sports School, to specialise in gaming (but must have at least three A-stars to apply), we can produce a breed of gamers good enough to give Miss Reid a more challenging game.
"...The world's best female Quake player Alana Reid took on 132 challengers - 128 of them men - and beat them all. No one was able to snatch the $1,000 bounty by taking her down in the shooting game.
Said the 23-year-old Canadian who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland: 'There were only two games out of the 132 I found quite challenging.'
The pathetic outcome prompted electronic gaming peripherals firm Razer, which sponsored Miss Reid's visit, to start a $15,000 fund to build a stronger pool of local gamers..." -Nov 30, 2004 Straits Times
5. That Sammyboy of Sammyboy forums has encountered what is probably the dumbest question he has ever seen in his forum:
Hi All, just curious, is there a gauge on how much should a 30 year old guy here earn in Singapore. I am almost 30 and i am just curious and want to know where i stay or should i change my job. So need your opinon. Thanks."
6. That China Aviation Oil has gone tits up with a staggering US$500 million debt from trading/gambling on oil derivatives. "Chinese Wisdom, International Expertise" indeed. So much for the Golden Boy Chairman written up by the local media.
Many investors who bought their shares before the suspension, or worse, bought the shares on contra, are now proud owners of a worthless piece of toilet paper.
And others can kick up a fuss over the evils of a casino while people gamble on companies that gamble in derivatives.
7. That Singapore is looking to attract loaded foreigners to be Permanent Residents here. No mention was made on the National Service their kids will have to do. But I am sure rich foreigners want their kids to go through the Uniquely Singapore military ritual that turns boys to men.
Which reminds me of an old joke: Why did Michael Jackson place a phone call to Boyz II Men?
He thought it was a delivery service.
"Singapore using residency bait to lure rich foreigners
Roslan Rahman - (AFP/File)
SINGAPORE (AFP) - Rich foreigners can gain immediate permanent residency in Singapore if they park five million Singapore dollars (three million dollars) in local financial institutions, under a new scheme unveiled by the city-state's central bank.
A Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) spokesman said Wednesday these foreigners must also have personal assets worth at least 20 million dollars to qualify but they will still go through routine immigration checks.
Spouses and children aged under 21 will also be able to become permanent residents, the spokesman said."-AFP
8. That Singapore does not need a casino, it has a stock market with China red chip stocks for punters to play with.
9. That as part of the efficient way the China Aviation Oil crisis has been dealt with so far (I am sure the authorities saw it ALL coming), the Chief Executive, Chen Jiulin, was allowed to return to China (in other words, he "CAO liao")
Update: Chen returned to Singapore on Singapore's "request" to "assist" in the investigations.
10. That you don't need a gun to rob a bank in Singapore, just a knife and a branch too cheap to station a full-time guard.
A Cisco-guardless POSB branch at West Coast Drive was robbed of $37,000 by a hooded man holding a female customer at knife point.
11. That you have been watching way too many Lord of the Rings Extended DVDs when you tell the taxi driver who is taking you to Sim Lim Square to go via Middle Earth, instead of Middle Road.
12. That the Suntec City giant TV screen has an ad promoting the Christmas Festive Lucky Draw, which is highly appropriate because that is to commemorate the day when Baby Jesus was born, and the Three Wise Men came from afar, to see him in the manger, and participate in a Lucky Draw.
13. That group representation constituencies (GRCs) have ensured the representation of minorities in Parliament.
And making it harder for the Opposition to contest is just an unplanned bonus.
14. That Singapore wants the pink dollar, but not the pinks.
No Snowball '04 for you.
"Singapore police stop gay holiday party
Mon Dec 13, 8:17 PM ET
Police in Singapore have refused to grant a permit for a gay holiday circuit party because it is "against the moral values" of the country's population." -Yahoo News
15. That if the Ocean's Eleven franchise continues to be really successful, Ocean's Nineteen is going to be a really crowded movie.
Oh, if you want to know, Ocean's Twelve was a stinker. Go watch Blade Trinity instead. Better yet, catch Kung Fu Hustle. I watched it twice.
16. That happiness is killing a mosquito so fat from feeding on blood that it cannot fly away fast enough to be squashed by your finger. And it dies leaving a puddle (by mosquito standards) of blood.
Sadness is wondering if that blood was yours.
17. That the Government wanted all Singaporeans to enjoy the Snowball '04 party, and not just gays. Snowball should be for everyone.
"Snowball: Oral exchange of semen after mutual, simultaneous oral sex."- from GLINN's Gay Glossary
"We allowed it and we made it quite clear that it had to be a party which was not targeted at gays alone... As the party turned out, our sense of it was that it was beyond what we were prepared to accept." -China Daily
18. That some China firms rethink IPOs here, as the fallout from the China Aviation Oil (CAO) scandal hits investor confidence towards China listings.
Hang on, they rethink or we rethink?
19. That a cyclist in a group of 40 cyclists died after being pinned under a bus along Lim Chu Kang road.
Tastefully, the papers followed the report with cycling safety advice.
How about safety advice for drivers when dealing with cyclists?
"Cyclist gets pinned under wheel of bus
A GROUP of about 40 cyclists looked on in horror as one of their group was pinned under the right front wheel of a bus in Lim Chu Kang Road on Sunday morning...
-Wear a helmet and check brakes and tyres.
-Obey all traffic rules.
-Use hand signals when changing lanes.
-Have lights at night" -ST Dec 22 2004
20. That Singapore is not having a "Casino", we are having an "Integrated Resort".
21. That according to the Government, the casino is not a done deal and is not a foregone conclusion, BUT IF we were to have one, here are the proposed safeguards:
-Admission restricted to those aged 21 years and above.
-Singaporeans and PRs have to pay $100 entry fee per day, or $2,000 per year, to the government.
-No credit extended to Singaporeans and PRs, who must voluntarily specify loss limits.
-Individuals can exclude themselves, or family members, from casino.
-Operators cannot advertise gambling in the local mass media.
-They must provide treatment services, counselling and a helpline for addicts.
IF and only IF we have one lah. Not confirmed ah, ok?
"Public perception that the casino was a 'done deal' was 'wrong', he (Dr Vivian Balakrishnan) said. "When we make a decision, we do so after having seen all the hard facts" and after getting a sense of 'the pulse and sensitivities of the stakeholders.'" -TODAY
22. That the Government can propose a $100-per-day/$2000-per-year entry fee to the "not confirmed yet" casino, to be paid to THE GOVERNMENT, and call it a safeguard to protect Singaporeans.
Only in Singapore can a Government make money from protecting its own citizens. Another brilliant do-nothing-make-money scheme like the COE. I guess the House always wins.
23. That for once, Singapore has a hub to be proud of — we are now the region's Tsunami Disaster Relief Hub.
"Singapore offers to be UN regional disaster coordination hub
SINGAPORE : Singapore has offered to be the United Nations' regional tsunami disaster coordination centre, extending its offer of not just military bases and facilities but also office space, too ."
24. That although it sucks out milk, it is called a Breast Pump.
25. That PM Lee's team passed the tsunami test, says SM Goh. That's Singapore for you, everything also got exam.
By Lee Kin Mun (Copyright 2004)