Singapore National Education Part 15
I have also learned lately:
1. That we are still waiting to see Mariah Carey's left profile.
2. That, the latest in a series of rational forms of law enforcement that is designed to endear us to the HDB, you can't buy your HDB flat if you don't pay your parking fines. Did I hear somebody say "Sledgehammer"?
3. That to extend the scheme further, you can't buy a car/COE if you haven't paid your HDB parking fines.
4. That in future, it is possible that you won't be able to buy your HDB flat because you didn't pay your library book fines.
5. That in Singapore, the punishment does not need to fit the crime.
6. That, according to a reader (thanks Kelvin!), TCS has seen it fit to censor the word "Madonna" from the _rerun_ of the series "Allo! Allo!" on TV12, while leaving the word "boobies" intact, when the series was shown in its entirety before, _without_ this word censored! All hail the great wisdom of our local television station!
7. That, with no disrespect meant for former Rafflesians, it seems somewhat biased of the government and the media to keep placing Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls' School and Raffles JC on the pedestal, when there are other schools deserving of media attention as well. Front page Straits Times, no less. If only other schools got this kind of publicity at their old boys' dinners. Meanwhile, schools like "Sang Nila Utama Secondary School" get closed down.
8. That, in a bid to encourage cultural creativity and a _spontaneous_, lively arts scene, the Singapore government has kindly decided to allow busking, but buskers must audition, donate their takings to charity, not interact with their audiences and get an official license. This is to make it easier for citizens to express themselves creatively and remove the barriers to their audience. Plans are also underway to license singing in the bathroom.
9. That in order to busk in Singapore, you must have the skills of a master musician, a heart of gold and the soul of a bureaucrat to get your license to play for almost free at a street corner (selected Government-approved street corners only).
10. That it is supposedly more PR (and nicer on Tourist brochures) to call our controlled street performances "busking". "Hey we have controlled street performances in Singapore too!" does not roll off the tongue or sound as happening.
11. That it will not be long before we have a Committee for Controlled Creativity.
12. That one day, I will need to audition (if the Committee does not laugh, you fail), donate all my takings (including soft toys) to the Community Chest and the National Kidney Foundation (the only two charity organisations in Singapore, or so my mass media lets me believe) and get a license (or God forbid, bid for a license -- Certificate Of Expression) to write rantings like these on the Net. I will not surprised if there already is a law for this.
13. That, according to James Lye, Raffles Light helps you stay in control. Drinking dishwater has a similar effect, I am told.
14. That the best way to drive the coffee-making people (baristas) at Starbucks crazy is to order Kopi-Oh Kosong, Large, plis (Coffee black without sugarr, Grande, please)". I have done it before and it is great fun. Better if you can say it in Singlish.
15. That I now go to my local Kopi Tiam (Coffee cafe) and call the Ah Pek (Old Uncle) who makes my coffee "Barista". It makes him feel important.
16. That, in the light of our water shortage, Save Water, Bathe with a Friend!
17. That I hereby vote Bus Number 61 as the "Demon Bus from Hell", for having the longest darn route (it patriotically goes through almost every estate in its route), drivers that don't stop and the longest wait times. I am doing a poll. Please send all votes for the "Demon Bus from Hell" to me and I will collate the information. The winner of this poll will be announced in November.
18. That according to the credits at the end of TCS's Star Awards show, some clothes were sponsored by Donna _Karen_, allegedly the evil twin sister of Donna Karan. That figures.
19. That the "stars" in TCS's Star Awards show looked like they were dressed by AA Fashion (Chinatown branch).
20. That if the hairstylist who did most of the women's hair at the TCS Star Awards show is to be believed, the "in" look is to flush your head in a toilet bowl, apply lots of gel (we don't want to lose that body, do we?), attach strips of coloured feathers/fake hair and wear the hair as big as Belgium. It is known as the "Demon Girl" look. Apparently it worked because most of them looked like hell.
21. That some of the "stars" that won at the Star Awards, a show honouring _Chinese_ stars in _Chinese_ shows, had to do part of their thank-you speech in English, with bad western accents too.
22. That every year, no matter who wins what at the Star Awards, there will always be Zoe and Fann fans who protest that their favorite star should have won _every_ award.
23. That next year, we will have to vote on TCS's top _50_ stars instead of just a measly 20. And we will know the most popular 49 instead of just the top 10.
24. That in Malaysia, the authorities can lose the passports of your foreign workers but your foreign workers must sit in jail while they look for it.
25. That in order to make businesses use your less-efficient ports at home, you need to create bureaucratic chaos and massive truck jams at the Causeway to drive up the costs of using Singapore ports for freight forwarding. And people wonder why the Ringgit is so badly hit.
Copyright 2004 by Lee Kin Mun