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The SDP folks spotted contractors installing new CCTVs at Hong Lim Park, home of Speakers' Corner, Singapore's last bastion of free speech and sanctuary for legal demonstrations.
The contractors said they were installing the CCTVs for the police.
Before you declare this farcical, I am sure that it is to ensure we can enjoy our freedom of speech at Hong Lim Park safely.
You can read more at the SDP site.
If you were reading the CNA report on the Goodyear departure earlier, you will realise that the headline changed from "Ho Ching to remain Temasek CEO" to "Temasek and Charles Goodyear agree not to proceed with CEO appointment"
I don't usually do this but this is for mom.
My mother wants to rent this flat out. It is a 3-room HDB in Upper Aljunied Lane. It has two bedrooms, kitchen and living room (the little spare room from upgrading is locked). It is a nice neighbourhood, near amenities and Aljunied MRT.
If you are interested, send an email to me at mrbrown (at) mrbrown.com or DM me on Twitter @mrbrown.
The place is suitable for singles and small families (less than four people).
No agents please.
The sweat and the tears that go into just the parade part of National Day Parade 2009. A little peak at the rehearsals that happened at a local level, before they even marched on Floating Platform.
The National Day song music video you didn't get to see!
Yes! "What Do You See" was not the only NDP song written for the 2009 NDP, you know!
Performed by mrbrown and the band, Electrician! Shot in France, Holland, London and a prata shop in Singapore!
International locations! Elaborate sets! Real Teh Si!
What was it like at the first combined rehearsal of NDP 2009, when all the contingents and performers came together for the first time? And what was it like to rehearse without all the real hosts and VIPs?
Newsflash: There is swearing in the army. This just in, NS boys are also trained to kill people.
"As a mother, I find it hard to imagine that after years of sheltered school life where students are taught values, to be gentlemanly and polite and respect their elders, these boys have to do NS run by officers who do not blink an eye when they curse their mother, sister, girlfriend and the whole female population by way of conversation. My boys were shocked to realise that NS is a rite of passage where they will be officially subjected to bullying, shouting and cursing - nothing gentlemanly at all. If this is a light-hearted look at life of NS boys during basic military training, I fear to know what my boys will face in their real-life situation when they enlist. Please, someone, assure me this is not so."
Quick! Revoke that breast-baring scholar's scholarship or we will lose the pure and holy applicants! Naked people don't deserve an education! At the very least demote her from A*Star scholar to D*Star scholar, dammit!
Today Online: An inevitable precedent?
"I was surprised and shocked that Eng Kai Er, the A*Star scholarship holder who was convicted and fined in court for public nudity, has been allowed to keep her study grant. I think this reflects badly on A*Star as an institution which is retaining a scholar who has committed a highly gross and disturbing act in full public view. ... A few junior college students whom I am currently mentoring have said that they are re-considering their intentions to apply for A*Star scholarships for fear that they would be associated with an institution which seemingly tolerates and accepts deviant behaviour among its elite scholars."
We [heart] Lionel.
Today Online: LUP shows the Govt is magnanimous, Letter from Lionel De Souza:
The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in the two Opposition-held wards of Potong Pasir and Hougang speaks volumes of the PAP's magnanimity and impartiality to the electorates who voted against them in past General Elections. ... But to the minority whose hobby is to gripe and blame, they should reflect upon what the Government has done and continues to do for them. I am sure that the majority of Singaporeans are politically mature enough to see the good that the Government has done. Thus, I am confident that the majority of Singaporeans will know who to cast their votes for in the next General Election.
Russian IT company called Merlion reveals that Singaporeans still worship the Merlion to this day:
When Merlion saw an enemy, its eyes would lit up with red fire and burn the foe to ashes. Never ever has Merlion missed the danger. And one day, when the country was menaced by a terrible storm, the majestic creature came out of the sea and saved humans from inevitable peril, and the country - from inevitable destruction. People of Singapore still worship Merlion. To commemorate their savior, they have built the 37 meters high stone sculpture of the lion-fish.
I went to to see the crowds at Singtel's launch of the Apple iPhone 3GS and it was quite a carnival atmosphere.
I finally got a chance to play with the 3GS for a while and I must say, I am impressed. Speed of both the 3G and the set itself was fast and responsive. The camera was decent though I wished it were at least 5 megapixel. Hey, better than the previous iPhone cameras for sure.
Video recording, copy-paste and sms forwarding were all nicely implemented (finally!)
Here's a look at the queue at Comcentre tonight. You may wanna pop over on Saturday and Sunday to get your own 3GS.
I'll be popping by the Singtel Comcentre at Exeter Road to check out the iPhone 3GS and plans tonight. The launch lasts till Sunday.
I am told there are new iFlexi plans that might be relevant to me and that people who show up dressed up as a hardcore iPhone fan may be allowed to jump the queue.
I am going down to at least play with the iPhone 3GS itself and see what deals Singtel are throwing in (I heard got free mobile tv channels thrown in leh). And to check out the crowds too.
16GB or 32GB? Black or White? Decisions, decisions...
I know, I know. The 3GS got video, copy-and-paste and MMS later than everyone else. But I can still lust, right?
Remember the 16-inch Dahon Curve SL bicycle I rode on so many of my trips? Well you can get one for S$1599 instead of the usual S$1850 if you can answer a simple question related to the bike and my travels at Speedmatrix or its dealers (like Song Seng Chan, my fave bike shop at Joo Chiat). The offer price lasts till the end of the Great Singapore Sale so hurry.
This is one of my favourite folding bikes ridden overseas so far. It's light, has a 9-speed Shimano Capreo system and folds up really small.
And no, I get nothing for this mention. Just thought I'd share this cool promotion with you and because I love this bike.
I am sorry if the conspiracy theorist in me kicks in when I read that Nominated Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong did not get a second term.
Some say that it was because of his involvement in the AWARE saga. Others say he pissed off some religious groups with his support of repealing 377A. Some other folk even suggested that he may have spoken too much and asked too many uncomfortable questions.
Personally I feel it could it be his lack of hair.
Dude, look at Eunice Olsen! She is gorgeous, intelligent, AND has long tresses! No wonder she had two terms as NMP and you didn't get reselected lah!
Must be the Gahmen see the shine on your head as very glaring and a possible danger to others in parliament! Wait other MPs get blinded by your pate and cannot make any speeches or ask hard questions, then you know!
Anyway, thanks for two-and-a-half years of intelligent debate in parliament. You were the best MP we never had.
Update: This is a clearer version with subtitles, courtesy of reader "Browned".
When you want the total Singapore experience, I suppose you have to come to Singapore.
Funny as heck.
(Anyone can do fansubs for the video and translate?)
In the middle of the week, the wife suddenly said to me, "I want to eat at Fish & Co".
Why, I said.
"You haven't taken me out on a dinner date for a long time."
Can't argue with that, I suppose.
As the weekend approached, the wife asked again, "Are you free on Saturday?"
I told her I couldn't make it because I was out on a shoot till late. She had a worried look on her face when I told her that.
"Sunday, then. We have dinner on Sunday."
"How about the kids?" I asked. We usually go to my mother-in-law's on Sundays.
"Oh, my brother will pick them up on Sunday and take them to my mom's. We can go on our date then."
So Sunday came and it was a flurry of activity. I had a few hours of sleep the night before due to the Saturday shoot, and we were on duty in church on Sunday itself, so we had wake up at 6.30am. By the time we were done at church, it was 2pm.
We grabbed a quick lunch and I crashed for the afternoon, completely zonked out.
At 5pm, the wife woke me up. Time to go, says she.
Another 5 minutes of sleep please, I asked, thinking of how I could convince her to postpone our dinner date so I could sleep some more.
But it did not look like I was going to get out of this one. The wife even put on a fancy outfit, a brown dress.
I said goodbye to the kids and told them to enjoy their visit to grandma's. I wondered why the kids look particularly dressed up for their Sunday grandma visit but thought, maybe I was just imagining it.
As we drove to Novena, I told the wife I wanted to buy a Polly Pocket for Joy because I already bought a Bumblebee Transformer for Isaac and it would be World War 3 in the house if I just gave a present to one kid. She was totally fine with us going to Toys R Us.
"Why do you wanna go to Novena anyway?" I said. It was not a mall we usually go to. "Isn't there a Fish & Co somewhere nearer our place?"
"I heard the Fish & Co there is nicer," she replied, "And besides, I want to shop at the Espirit there."
I drove into the awful carpark at Novena Square, famous for its narrow Ramps of Destruction (you can see the many scratches on the pillars, remnants of vehicles that did not survive the ramp unscathed), and started looking for a parking lot. As I was about to reverse into a lot I found, my wife declared, "Hey, how about parking over there!"
I looked at the lot she pointed at and said, "Aiyah I already have this lot, why shift?" and proceeded to park.
When we got out of the car, my wife stopped me again, and said, "I need a pen! Help me find one in the glove compartment, ok?"
Muttering to myself, I dug a pen out for her, wondering why she would need a pen at a mall.
We made our way to Toys R Us and I picked up a Polly Pocket for Joy and the wife patiently listened to me while I extolled the virtues of the Transformers Animated series toys compared to the less-than-superior Transformers movie toys.
Then I followed her to Espirit and told her to shop for her thing first while I checked out the gaming shop in the basement.
She looked a little concerned and agreed reluctantly.
A few minutes later, as I took the escalator down, she called me and said, "I'm done."
"What? So fast?"
"Ya, they had no new season stuff, so I will come back another day," she explained.
That was a fast shopping trip for her. I shrugged my shoulders and we went to Fish & Co for our dinner date.
As we approached the restaurant, I spotted a close friend inside, and my sleep-deprived brain went, "What a coincidence, they are having dinner at the same place as my wife and me!"
Then I spotted another friend and another, and then I saw my kids, the maid, and a long table of people I know...
Then a cupcake with a candle on it was whipped out, and the whole lot of them starting singing, "Happy birthday to you..."
I was in shock for quite a few seconds. It still hadn't sunk in that I've been had.
And to top it off, the lot of them came something brown. Even my kids were in brown. I just did not notice it enough.
Apparently, they had been planning this for a week, plotting with my wife. Even my maid was in on it, because she knew the kids were going to the restaurant and not my mom-in-law's.
My friend Dave also got a mini-muffin cake because this was his birthday month too. He blew the candle with Isaac.
The plan was not without its share of hiccups. They had to do it a week early because they did not want to clash with any potential family celebrations planned.
They had planned to do it on Saturday until I told the wife I could not make it due to work. That meant a mad scramble to shift it to Sunday.
Then the wife had to distract me because one of the guys drove up to the same car park level as we did, hence her suggestion to change lots and the pen request.
Then the wife had to keep me occupied until everyone had arrived at the restaurant which explained her sudden change of mind at Espirit.
The only other time this many people showed up wearing brown was the City Hall Flash Mob incident when people gathered to protest the suspension of my newspaper column.
I jokingly told my friends, you all better be careful, wait kena plainclothes police take down your names.
In the 40 birthdays I've had, this is my first surprise party. And I was utterly and completely taken by surprise.
I should have suspected my wife was up to something when she let me browse in a toy store for so long. And even listened to my views on toys.
A man is blessed to have friends and family who care enough to go through all this trouble to celebrate his 40th birthday.
Thank you for this. You guys put the Care in the Care Cell.
I need to wipe this tear off my eye now.