Singapore National Education Part 87
Weeks of 17 June 2003 to 11 July 2003
I have also learned lately:
1. That some people were very upset with the new Phua Chu Kang SARS Rap and music video, because they think it belittles the seriousness of SARS and death, and worse, teaches little childrens to sing in bad Engrish.
Maybe we should have gone all the way and got Nelly to do that song. You know, have writhing, big breasted women in bikinis dancing:
"Nelly: It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes;
Girl: I am getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off."
2. That BG Yeo says "No" to five day work week for Civil Servants. But Civil Servants need not fret, they still have that one day in the year where they get to go home early (5 pm! A whole hour early once a year! How cool is that?) and have dinner with their family.
And they have all of Sunday and almost half of Saturday to Romance Singapore, Step Out Singapore, and Have More Sex to Make More Children Singapore.
3. That BG Yeo wants us to become the Seven-Eleven of Singapore. Open 24 hours everyday. Because the world economy does not sleep so neither should we.
That is exactly why our Public Transport system runs 24 hours. Oh, wait. It does not. But you late workers can always take taxis. They seem to show up a lot after midnight.
4. That Singaporeans living in the NE will be pleased to know that not only do they have the world's first driverless heavy rail system ("Singapore: We Must Always Be First"), they will be paying more than others for MRT rides, and they can expect "glitches" and other fun delays a few times a month because of the ultra sophisticated nature of this computer-driven MRT system.
It is a good thing we tested the system and kept putting off the opening, to test the system. It is because of this extensive testing you get to enjoy this almost glitch-free train system.
Oh, and residents of Buangkok, the train will not stop at your station because there is not enough of you living nearby. If you like, you are welcome to stand at the station platform and watch the trains whizz by. Oh wait, you can't. The station is locked and the entrances blocked.
Now wasn't all of the above worth all the wait and delays, dust and inconvenience?
5. That after the extensive learnings of the benefits of a driverless rail system as revealed by the LRT, we decided that we will do it again but this time, for a heavy rail system.
Why should the LRT have all the limelight?
6. That the next plan for the world's first driverless heavy rail line may well be the world's first passengerless trains. But we will need another 6 years, no wait, 7 years, no wait, 8 years, to test it to ensure that the trains will run without passengers.
The entire system will be run by computers. With the passengerless train system, passengers will not need to get on the trains to be transported to their destination. They just need to stand on the platform of their starting station, and the fully computer-run system will teleport them to the destination station, without them needing to step onto the trains at all.
But because of the complexity of the system, there will be some teething problems initially. Like your head appearing at Buangkok station, your liver appearing at Kovan station, and the rest of your body in various states of assembly, appearing at Potong Pasir station.
But that will only happen once every three weeks on average. So you needn't worry.
7. That as part of the Lowering of Expectations exercise done by SBS Transit for the new NorthEast line, in addition to announcing that there will be glitches and delays, and that the Buangkok station will remain closed to save money, the next few announcements may also include:
"You know that airconditioning feature we mentioned? Well, because of costs, we will be installing fans instead."
"Seats? What seats? If you can lean on a bum rest in an SBS bus, you can lean on a bum rest on an SBS train."
"Due to the complexity of the 500 computer systems running this line, sometimes, the trains may not stop at Hougang and Potong Pasir stations. We are still trying to find out why."
8. That my wife believes they should open the Buangkok station even though there is not enough demand at that estate at the moment. She believes that population growth follows the creation of an MRT station. Or in her own words, "Haven't the NE MRT guys ever played Simcity before?"
9. That there is actually a mechanical pencil from Uni "Aqua Touch". How do you borrow that from a friend?
"Can you let me have your Ah Quah Touch?"
10. That Mr TC Chow, Senior Director of projects and engineering of the LTA proclaims, "My computer hangs once every 2 weeks because I clicked on the mouse too fast. So you see, even the well proven Microsoft system have glitches."
So from this we understand that:
a. The computer is a good analogy for a public transport system.
b. Based on this assumption, we can have pilotless passenger aircraft now if only we are willing to put up with some glitches, like plane crashes once every 2 months.
c. That we must not click on our mouse too fast, or it will hang.
d. That the Microsoft system is well proven. At doing what, it was not made clear.
11. That Singapore was rated one of the most unfriendly cities in the world.
To that, I say, "#$%^&@* you! You foreigner think you all so @#$%^&* polite, issit?"
That said, as the papers also stated, Malaysia also languishing with us at the bottom of the table. So we feel better already.
"Residents in Kuala Lumpur, New York, Singapore and Amsterdam are the least likely to help strangers in need, which made theirs the least friendly cities in a survey of 23 countries." -Reuters
12. That some people feel that SIA should not go into the budget airline business, but leave it to the entrepreneurs.
"SIA should leave budget airline to the entrepreneurs
By Andy Ho" -ST
There can only be one possible local candidate entreprenuerial enough for this... NTUC. NTUC Fairplanes would be a great idea.
If they can conquer supermarkets and provision shops, they can also conquer the friendly skies.
We have Comfort Taxis, now we can have Comfort Air. And the stewardesses can be Comfort Girls.
(The National Trades Union Congress, as the country's largest labour union, is an expert on the business of taxis, food courts, childcare, eldercare, pharmacies, supermarkets, driving schools, executive condominiums, insurance, and statistics, as well as death.)
13. That if SIA entered the budget airline business, it might have to do drastic things to ensure that costs are kept low.
Here are some ideas:
-Hire ugly air stewardesses
-Install vending machines on aircraft
-Screen movies with VCDs bought from JB (recent blockbusters shot in a cinema kind)
-Remove half the seats and install bum rests for the Very Economy Class (hey, it works on public buses, why not budget airlines?)
-Shorten the skirts of air stewardesses to save on material
I vote the last one.
14. That there was a "Miss Beautiful Legs 2003" competition held at Tiong Bahru Plaza recently. Prizes were slimming and spa vouchers.
But if you are Miss Beautiful Legs 2003, why would you need slimming and spa vouchers? They should give out these prizes to chicks with fat legs.
15. That you know it is time to buy a new mobile phone when all your un-tech-savvy friends have nice polyphonic ringtones on their mobiles and you have the dinky monophonic one on yours.
16. That Bill Gates also gets spam.
"Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren't so irritating." -Bill Gates in a WSJ.com editorial
Notice he does not complain about the offers to enlarge his penis or to get Viagra cheap.
17. That the SB 12, what could have been one of the toughest laws against spam, was killed in California. Leading the charge was not the powerful Penis Enlargement Lobby, or the Direct Marketing Association for Online Pornsites, but... Microsoft.
Spam is only evil if it does not come from them, I suppose.
18. That a score of Woodlands 0 - Home United 10 is not kelong. It is just sucky playing. Makes you wish you were a bookie right about now, doesn't it?
19. That OB Markers are not writing instruments you use to write on women's sanitary products.
20. That much as I love the music of Chinese boy group Tension (shut up about my music tastes, ok?), I will be returning their second album "Gotta Be Your Man" to the store, because it is a Copy-Protected CD a.k.a. Corrupted CD.
Not only did this Corrupted CD fail to play on my Mac, it also skipped and jumped on my Discman. On the 9th second of every track.
Until CD Manufacturers realise that Copy Protection only pisses legit customers off, their sales will continue to fall and die off.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to try and get my $20 back.
21. That if they need your land, it is worth $1. If they do not need your land, and you overstay, it is worth $1 gazillion dollars!!!! Bwahahahahahahaha (play pinky at tip of mouth).
22. That according to a Straits Times report, "at home, the NEL which started running on June 20, has been generally well received by computers".
Hey, at least somebody is happy. But I wonder, did they ask the computers residing at Buangkok?
"NEL hailed by world body as model for public transport " -ST July 5 2003
23. That you can have a recovery but less jobs, because the old jobs are gone. So it is nobody's bladdy fault but your own, if you do not upgrade yourself and equip yourself with skills to do new jobs. The Government cannot be expected to create these lost jobs for you! Get real.
"Put in a nutshell, the PAP is highlighting one thing: Jobs. Creating them, safeguarding them, and multiplying them are what it is putting at the forefront of its campaign." - Chua Lee Hoong, ST, Oct 2001, article entitled "What's this General Election all about?"
"Citizenship doesn't entitle you to a job." - Chua Lee Hoong, ST, Jun 2003
'Lifelong employment is a thing of the past.' - MP and Labour Chief Lim Boon Heng, ST, Jul 4, 2003
24. That according to the ST, PM Goh says that the Govt is now more open to employing gays now "but homosexual acts are still an offence and some things gays want are a no-go".
So let me see if I get this right. You can be gay, but it is against the law to, um, do it?
I guess we can also forget about a Gay Civil Servants contingent at the next National Day Parade too, huh?
25. That "gay people who declared their sexual orientation would be hired in 'certain positions in government'."
It was not clear what positions were allowed.
26. That in Time magazine, it states that "The change in policy, inspired at least in part by the desire not to exclude talented foreigners who are gay, is being implemented without fanfare, Goh says, to avoid raising the hackles of more-conservative Singaporeans."
In AsiaOne, it states that "The change in policy was being implemented without fanfare to avoid raising the hackles of more conservative Singaporeans, he said in the latest issue of Time magazine"
Wah, want to be gay in Singapore also must be foreign talent.
Copyright 2004 by Lee Kin Mun