Singapore National Education Part 26
I have also learned lately:
1. That Benedict Goh has won Turn-off of the Year for the third year in a row, despite strong, no, massive, competition from the likes of Philip Mah and Sonny Lim. Congratulations to Ben! The man is on his way into the Anals of Television History.
2. That Keppel Corp got a $300,000 fine for bribery charges of more than $8.53 million. And we regular folk can go to jail if we try to bribe the traffic warden auntie. There is justice in this country after all.
3. That recent incidents have proven that MRT trains can be disrupted (eg. derailment and doors falling off) without the help of chewing gum. Hence I move that we also ban human beings from operating and even using the train system. That will put a stop to these disruptions that are a blight on our country's track record.
4. That now we have fancy electronic signboards on our roads and highways that display information like traffic jams, weather reports and Christmas greetings. I suggest putting useful information that Singaporeans really care about, like 4D results, share prices and the best deals on cooking oil and toilet paper.
5. That the people at the LTA have been learning a thing or two from TCS about creating compelling trailers with a sense of expectancy. They have been putting up signs where roadworks are occurring, with info like "Road Widening: Coming Your Way", "Traffic Lights: Coming Your Way" and "Massive Truck: Coming Your Way".
I am sure we will all be very excited about all these exciting developments coming our way, as soon as we can drive through the #!%&$*%@ traffic jams caused by these #!%&$*%@ roadworks.
6. That TCS censored an integral part of the movie "Just Cause" (Sean Connery, Lawrence Fishburne), effectively deleting the bad guy's motive for doing his bad deeds. The censored version had the bad guy saying that long ago, Sean's wife got him in jail for a day. The original version revealed also that he was raped (by guys) while he was in there.
But that was unimportant information to the powers that be.
7. That there are rumours in the market that VCD movie pirates have managed to release an almost complete and crystal-clear VCD copy of the hit James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies" even before its international premiere.
They did it by pasting together scenes from the TV commercials for BMW, Ericsson handphones, Omega watches, Avis car rental, Heineken Beer, Singtel IDD and episodes of Showbuzz.
8. That I was wrong the first time I mentioned the losses we incurred in the winding up of Micropolis to be S$200 million (about US$120 million), in SNE 20 Point 22. I apologise for the error.
The figure is closer to S$560 million.
Once again, this has proven to me that it is possible, with our country's greatest human minds, to take over a company that posted a $600,000 profit and make it a company with a $560 million loss within just one year.
9. That a friend who watched the opening credits of Phua Chu Kang, with the scratchy black-and-white footage of the adult characters of the sitcom playing as children, had this to say about it:
"How did they manage to film Phua Chu Kang and his family as kids?"
10. That in The Peacemaker, starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, Clooney used a souped-up Mercedes to "fight" a couple of BMWs, destroying them in the skirmish. And in the 007 flick "Tomorrow Never Dies", Bond uses a souped-up BMW to trash a couple of bad guy Mercedes Benzes.
I hear that the new Triple Nine season (our very own local action cop drama) will feature some Beng (Lim Yu Beng as the Sergeant) in a yellow Honda CRX thrashing both a Merc and a BM.
11. That sometimes, the wife can say the darnedest things.
Famous Wife Sayings #452: "If you turn off the fridge, will the fridge magnets fall off?"
12. That some angry parents walked out of an Edusave Scholarship and Burseries Awards ceremony in a huff, without collecting the awards for their kids because of some logistical mix-up involving the correct times for the event and the lack of chairs. Some had to wait for as long as ONE HOUR for the ceremony to start. And all this just to get some FREE burseries.
I am flabbergasted, I mean, who do the organisers think they are? It's not like they are giving away money or anything.
13. That some ministries are learning to say "Sorry", like the Ministry of Education, who mixed up the Secondary One posting of some 3,278 students in the "Normal" stream, just before the start of the school year. We are just glad to note that it was not some technician's fault or interconnect switch that caused this error.
For this error and for the sake of goodwill, the Ministry of Education may be giving away a free day of school on a Sunday.
14. That one Usenet reader, Orion Assante, suggested the following celebrities for Gurmit Singh to interview in his new and very original David-Letterman-style talkshow, "Tonight with Gurmit":
a. Benedict Goh. (Ask: "Are you deliberately acting like a Crash Test Dummy? If so, you ought to win an Academy Award.")
b. Zoe Tay. ("Shouldn't you quit by now? Isn't it better to retire at the top rather than suffer the indignity of seeing your crown go to some upstart whom TCS obviously loves more than you?")
c. The guy from Metromedia who organizes Manhunt. ("Why?")
d. Loretta "Big Hair" Alabons. ("Don't you feel shy about embarrassing yourself on TV?")
e. Barry Whitbread. ("Why hasn't FAS fired you by now?")
f. Zarina Abdullah. ("So... can I put you under pressure, or will you crack up like you usually do?")
g. Ong Keng Sen. ("Why are your plays so angst? Don't you think there is more to artistic expression than angst?")
h. Any "Lucky 7" winner in the Pyramid Game. ("Do you really use all the McDonald's vouchers? If so, don't you think eating all that oil is bad for you? Don't you heed MOH's warnings to live healthy?")
i. Wong Lilin, Edmund Chen, Ziozio Lim or any of those who left TCS. ("What's the REAL story...")
j. The organizers of the Debutante Ball ("Is it really necessary to have a debutante ball where only the children of the rich are allowed to participate? Do we really need a class distinction along European lines in Singapore?")
15. That next year, the Debutante Ball will try to shed its elitist image and colonial heritage. They will do this by inviting only Ah Bengs and Ah Lians to participate, and all guests will dance to music by Ace of Base, and it will be held at Fire Disco.
16. That next year, the Debutante Ball will try to shed its European image by inviting only those who stay in residential estates with distinctly Singaporean street names, like Nassim Road and Bukit Timah.
People who live in places like Purmei View (formerly Bukit Purmei) will not qualify.
17. That on "AM Singapore" on 31st December 1997, Tuesday, Daphne gave half of Singapore's workforce a mild heart attack when she announced that the time was 7am, when it was actually 6.50am. She was promptly corrected by Ping the News Lady, who also asked Daphne if she is totally awake yet. Ouch.
18. That Wong Lilin in the serial "Rising Expectations" was spotted trying hard not to laugh (she tried to pass it off as crying) in a moving scene involving her screen mother in a wheelchair with a contorted facial expression.
19. That reading the series sypnosis of TCS8 drama serials from 8 Days magazine out loud to a group of friends can be hilarious, especially if you have no social life and nothing better to do than to read the series sypnosis of TCS8 drama serials from 8 Days magazine out loud to a group of friends.
20. That cars leaving Johor Bahru were checked for staples, in anticipation of the law that carries a fine of RM$15,000 or up to 2 years jail for foreigners who buy more than 2kg of staples. Singaporeans interviewed said that they would have to get the refills for their staplers somewhere else.
21. That you know the New Year has arrived when they show the Miss Asia-Pacific Awards Show (aka Ah Lian Awards of Hong Kong), the Korean Supermodel contest and Hossan Leong (TCS's latest sex symbol along the lines of James Lye) singing and dancing on TV.
22. That Singaporeans this holiday season took time off to go to Tuas to look at the Second Link to Malaysia through metal fences, days before it is officially open. And they say that Singaporeans don't have a life.
23. That the ultra-rich are now buying jet-fighters from former Eastern Bloc countries for fun. Prices start at US$20,000 (S$33,800). At these prices, I think Singaporeans should forget about that secondhand 1.6-litre Japanese car and go for that Russian MiG. It's probably cheaper and you don't have to pay ERP, RPS, COE and ALS.
And if someone cuts into your lane, instead of horning him and showing your middle finger, you can just gun him down and show your middle finger.
24. That car dealers Starsauto advertised a "best buy in town" deal, a 1.6-litre Daewoo Nubira for $49,001. So you trek down to the showroom and they tell you that you can get the car for this price if the COE for the mid-sized category falls to $1. At which point you are hoping that the sky falls to their collective heads.
Like I always say, if it sounds too good to be true, then it is probably timeshare.
25. That the Starsauto marketing manager was quoted as saying that customers "are still free to bid what they want. The $49,001 just represents the minimum possible price." Obviously, this marketing scheme was designed for people with the minimum possible IQ.
Copyright 2004 by Lee Kin Mun