Singapore National Education Part 18
I have also learned lately:
1. That for the two poor souls who got given HIV-tainted blood from the nation's blood bank supply, it was no one's fault that they were infected. It was not their fault, it was not the Government's fault, it was no one's fault. Not even an MRT switch was found to be at fault.
2. That we now know that there is a minimum 25-day window where HIV tainted blood can slip through the stringent and tight testing procedures (that the rest of the developed world is using, and if that is not a good benchmark, we don't know what is) that are used in the checking of donated blood.
We now know that our tests, no matter how thorough, are not as perfect as we were given to believe, and may need to be revised.
We now know because two people got HIV because of this. Thank you for telling us in so timely a manner.
3. That, much as I loathe to gloat and boast, _my_ HDB precinct was one of the four cleanest precincts of Singapore. I am waiting for the T-shirt to be available so that I can wear it proudly to the wet market. (Guess which one of the four! Clue: it's the one with the most stylo and metropolitan name!)
4. That there are actually families in Singapore that are fortunate enough _not_ to be able to receive the nation's most-watched (and only) TV stations due to antennae and signal problems. Lucky bums.
5. That the HDB lost a billion dollars last fiscal year and nobody there lost their jobs or heads.
6. That it is theoretically possible to transfer any profits made through the housing programme to the Land Office as "capital receipts" through land sales made by Land Office to HDB (internal transactions) at exorbitant prices. Not that I am suggesting that any such accounting magic/sleight of hand thing took place, of course. If they say they lost a billion bucks, they lost a billion bucks. Hey, whoam I to ask any questions?
7. That I now get my Straits Times in 8 sections or more (Saturday, 8th October edition had only TEN sections). I suppose it makes for easier toilet reading. And lining birdcages.
8. That when the ENV (Environment Ministry) slaps your restaurant (which shall remain unnamed) with a suspension for not keeping up hygiene standards, you put up a sign outside your closed restaurant that says "Closed for Renovations".
"Our Mouth Kitchen in Chinatown Point is not suspended for poor hygiene or any such thing, we are merely closed for renovations to serve you better."
O, that explains the clean premises and the lack of dirt, dust and contractors.
9. That when one of your retailers has the gall to sell your cooking oil below your recommended retail price, you halt all supplies to this retailer and haul it to court. This is known as the free market.
10. That when the biggest supermarket chain in Singapore, one of your biggest customers, strong-arms you into maintaining your recommended retail price, you are obliged to do whatever it takes to placate this customer, even if it means halting supplies to and suing another retailer for having the gall to sell below your recommended retail price.
Never mind if the "renegade" retailer is probably willing to make a lower profit margin to be competitive;
Never mind if the "renegade" retailer is probably getting your goods at a higher cost than your biggest customer, Mr Biggest Supermarket Chain in Singapore, who can afford to ask for the lowest cost prices;
Never mind that in some countries, like the United States, such practices are illegal.
11. That most of the female bosses and principals of beauty salons (those that do eyebrow tattoos, miracle skin cures and use lasers to fry your pimples off) and slimming centres are really ugly and fat.
12. That I heard some poor Aussie Engineer fell to his death in Changi Airport while servicing an Ansett aircraft under contract to SIA and there has been no whisper of news about it. I might have missed one of the 7pm News on 5.
13. That you can't soften butter by nuking it in the microwave, as my wife just found out. Hey, she was trying to make _me_ breakfast, okay? But it's still funny.
14. That you can't put the resultant butter oil back into the fridge to get butter again. Something about hydrogenisation or something like that.
15. That Malaysia is banning her academics from commenting on the haze. I guess the government is afraid that some bad news aboutthe haze might come out. That would ruin everything.
Doesn't matter if everyone dies from it, doesn't matter if people might think it's a cover up, just get those academics to shut the heck up. We need those tourists back, our hotels are empty. It's not like academics know squat about research or anything.
16. That what is considered political satire in other countries is sometimes called libel and slander in Singapore.
17. That in "G.I. Jane", the new movie with Demi Moore as the first Navy SEAL with some serious silicone, the following exchange:
Senator :"Are you pissed off?"
Jordan O'Neal: "Yes I'm pissed off."
was translated in the Chinese subtitles as:
Senator: "Have you urinated?"
Jordan O'Neal: "Yes, I've urinated."
I guess they really care about cultivating good personal hygiene and toilet habits in their trainees, those Navy SEAL folks.
18. That when you vote "correctly", you will be first in line for upgrading. Everyone who votes us in decisively will be in front of the queue, yessiree, everyone will be in front. Man, that would something to see, everyone voting "correctly" and being first together.
In Singapore, EVERYONE is a winner.
19. That if you vote right, upgrading will happen sooner. That if you vote right, upgrading will happen sooner. That if you vote right, upgrading will happen sooner.
Of course, barring any delay caused by a poor economy. Or didn't we mention that during the Elections? Must have slipped our minds.
20. That in the midst of the bad press NTUC Fairprice is getting, in the light of the ugly Lam Soon-Carrefour dispute, a lone voice rings out in the dark, shining a beacon of journalistic light on the great accomplishments of this Supermarket Chain, singing its many praises. Don't we all love Tan Sai Siong for reminding us that this is no mere supermarket co-operative but the feeder of our nation's children, of our nation's children's children and of our nation's very soul?
And you thought Fairprice was just good for cheap cooking oil and plentiful plastic bags for your trash bin, you Philistine you.
21. That when they say "Paying by Cash or Card?", they usually don't mean your NETS ATM Card.
22. That the recent episode of "Shiver" that had Andrew Seow as a poor chap pursued by an unknown wild animal was originally scripted to be about Andrew Seow as a poor chap pursued by a really lousy cameraman.
But that didn't sound too sexy, and also was not a good plot to explain why later on, the characters wore ill-fitting coloured contact lenses that you can buy from your neighbourhood optician (apparently this animal infected its prey or something).
"In next week's 'Shiver', Andrew Seow is a man pursued by a really incompetent cameraman! A really incompetent and _rabid_ cameraman!"
See, told you it didn't sound sexy.
23. That there is flower stall in my wet market selling really cheap flowers (I used to work at the same MacDonald's as the auntie who runs the stall, so I get special price). It is called "Ace of Vase". I kid you not.
(Non-believers may write/email me and ask for an address to check out this place.)
24. That recently, I read this really slick and expensive-looking annual report by a major company which really inspired me. (The company shall remain unnamed -- if you know which is it, email me with the guess and I will post you a mystery gift, which means I don't know what I will get as a prize till I go out and buy it. Employees of this company need not bother entering, for obvious reasons. Send in your entries by end November.)
In this really slick and expensive-looking annual report, the Chairman says of the Company Vision:
"Our vision is to develop... blah blah blah yada yada yada blah blah blah... the usual really boring, inane and tired stuff that people usually say about the Company Vision."
And the _Chief Executive Officer_ says:
"Our mission is to transform this vision into reality."
So lets see if I get this, your Company's Vision is to (fill in the blanks) and your Company's Mission is to fulfill the Vision. Wow.
Thank you for sharing that profound thought with us. I guess we know who is in charge here. But I really hope you don't plan to hang up just the Company Mission posters everywhere. It's really too profound all by itself.
25. That one day, I'd like to see a really honest Company Vision and Mission statement like:
"Our Company Vision is to make obscene amounts of money off our customers, with the minimum of effort, so that we can all retire early and buy bigger retirement homes than the one-room ones that we can afford now."
"And our Company Mission is to _see_ the Company Vision."
"Thank you and goodnight."
Copyright 2004 by Lee Kin Mun