Singapore National Education Part 10
I have also learned lately:
1. That a motorcycle takes up 70% of a car's road space, according to the Rocket Scientists at LTA.
2. That when a need to make motorcyclists pay more taxes arises (why should just the car owners get all the fun?), their tiny motorbikes are suddenly as big as a Subaru Viki, albeit a very thin one.
3. That the official reason for deeming a motorbike 70% of a car is because of additional space in front and behind it when it is moving; so by the same inference, a car is 70% of a lorry and a lorry is 70% of a 5-tonner and so on. That means that we will _all_ eventually pay more road taxes if this system is carried to its logical conclusion.
4. That a pedestrian is 70% of a bicycle.
5. That our taxes are going to a government agency that can tell us, after extensive scientific research, that a motorbike is 70% of a car.
6. That after making an Arts Degree relatively more expensive to pursue as compared to other Degrees like medicine and engineering, we are now told that we don't have enough Arts graduates and need to merge the Arts and Science faculties to attract more students.
7. That now, after years of being told by the authorities that Primary School streaming is The Right Thing, some experts are telling our government that we stream our kids way too early. All together now, can we say "Two is Enough?"
8. That teachers no longer need to say, "Keep Quiet!" in a noisy class because some of them can now say, "You have the right to remain silent..."
9. That the baby son of Singapore's favorite Kampung Boy-made-good may have to pay income tax in a few months time..
10. That the Parenting magazine that paid for exclusive rights to cover Fandi's new baby may actually suffer a backlash of boycotts as a result of this pocketbook journalism. Not that I am suggesting a boycott of the magazine, oh no, I would never advocate such an appropriate, er, um, appalling idea... no, no.
11. That people who think God does not have a sense of humour hasn't seen a kangaroo or a giraffe before.
12. That in the TCS series "Shiver", some badly-made chicken wings is a source of horror and warrants cliched music in a minor key. (cf. The Patong Doll episode with Lisa Ang and Mark Richmond -- be sure to check out the next few episodes with other actors in the TCS stable, like Lisa Ang and Mark Richmond!)
13. That the primary dramatic and horror devices in "Shiver" are the fish-eye lens and the bad acting.
14. That forcing shopowners to accept only a 30-year lease instead of the former 80-year lease on their shops is "helping" them with lower monthly leases and not a way of getting the properties back earlier.
15. That the new Citibank TV ads with the filthy rich twentysomethings speaking with thick accents of unknown origin and choosing currency for investment based on their dinner theme are supposed to be appalling, uh, appealing.
"We're harrving Frrench forr dinnerr toonahtt, so let's invest in the Frranc?
16. That according to this same ad, the lady in question would have told her handsome young banker (who is also a part-time model, Manhunt finalist and donates a kidney every year for a good cause) to invest in the Thai Baht if she is dining (people like her don't _eat_ dinner, they _dine_, you see), or she is "going", Thai.
17. That in another Citibank ad, when the male banker tells his male client (who said, "I like your style") "Style? I have no style, I'm a banker!", we are supposed to believe it, or believe the bank wants us to believe it.
18. That in the same Citibank ad, when the male banker tells his male client (who said, "I like your style") "Style? I have no style, I'm a banker!", the banker says so in a stylo accent of unknown origin.
19. That it is entirely possible that the banker studied in Ah Kow Primary School, Ah Beng Secondary School and Ah Seng Junior College but picked up his accent on a two-week vacation to Disneyland (_Tokyo_ Disneyland).
20. That there seems to be less National Flags up this year during National Day. And that, on a totally different note, Singaporeans will find other means of protest in a non-election year.
21. That a SMINT dispenser ("No Smint No Kiss") makes a fine and dandy parking coupon tabs trashcan.
22. That when you hit your political opponents too hard and too often, bankrupt most of them and drag their families into the fray, even people who don't agree with your political opponents will start to sympathise with _them_ instead.
23. That when you hit your political opponents too hard and too often, one day, there will be rich people who dislike your ways enough to pay $25,000 a day for the political opponent you are trying to bankrupt to have a expensive high-falutin' Queen's Counsel for his defence, either that or the opponent might decide that rather than go bankrupt paying the plaintiffs if he lost, he'd rather go bankrupt paying for an expensive lawyer.
24. That we are supposed to be impressed that the grand finale for the "A Nation Connects" National Day concert is a Rap item by the likes of Ix Shen and Li Nanxing, wearing Michael Jackson's castoffs.
25. That you make schools compete to be in the Straits Times Top 100 every year to the point where the schools and principals encourage students to drop subjects like Literature because it is harder to score and will drag down a school's rating, and then you wonder why less students want to do the Arts course in the university and why students are less creative?
Copyright 2004 by Lee Kin Mun