Latest TODAY column: Our new 'national bird'
THESE days, I am driving with a much lighter foot. With petrol prices crossing the $2-per-litre mark, I find it very hard to justify accelerating just so that I can glare at the guy who just cut my lane. I have to say my newfound calm is very good for my heart and blood pressure.
I think the traffic police should consider seriously amending their anti-speeding campaign to "Speeding Kills, and It Also Costs You a Lot of Money". I am sure it would resonate even more with the cost-conscious Singapore driver.
Our new 'national bird'
These days, I am driving with a much lighter foot. With petrol prices crossing the $2 per litre mark, I find it very hard to justify accelerating just so that I can glare at the guy who just cut my lane. I have to say my newfound calm is very good for my heart and blood pressure.
I think the Traffic Police should seriously consider amending their anti-speeding campaign to "Speeding Kills, and It Also Costs You a Lot of Money". I am sure it would resonate even more with the cost-conscious Singapore driver.
I have to say, life in the slow lane has its advantages. Because petrol is so expensive now, I now drive at a leisurely pace everywhere, even on the expressway. The left lane is now my friend.
I see a lot more scenery now. Roadside trees are appreciated in all their beauty, instead of being a blur in my peripheral vision. You cannot do that when trying to find a way to beat the next traffic light. It also means you do not tend to speed and get caught for speeding.
Getting caught for speeding now just doesn't make sense. You just spent a whole load of money burning expensive fuel, and you still have to pay a fine.
I can imagine previously angry and impatient drivers shouting from their cars, "Cut my lane like that, never die before issit! You're lucky petrol is so expensive, you PUNK! I'll get you next time, when the barrel goes below US$60!"
I am looking forward to the day I can buy more fuel-efficient cars like hybrid-electric cars at a deeper subsidy than now. I feel sorry for new car owners who ran out to buy the biggest, baddest SUV they could find, inspired by the low COEs. It must be painful to top up petrol with the kind of mileage these behemoths get. 7km to a litre, ouch.
I wonder if fuel efficiency was one of the criteria for the selection of the F-15 Strike Eagle as our next fighter. Sure we want deadly weapons that own the sky, but we also want to do it with less fuel.
I hope the F-15s are not fuel guzzlers, it's not like they can fly over to JB to get cheaper top-ups, what with the three-quarter tank rule and the other little thing called “air space sovereignty”.
I wonder, with fuel prices being this high now, will pilots need permission from their Squadron Executive Officer (SXO) to fly a little faster.
"SXO, this is Eagle 1, permission to engage in high speed pursuit. Please advise, over."
"Eagle 1, this is SXO, cannot lah. Today the oil price hit US$70 per barrel. Chase enemy plane gradually."
Our local broadsheet stated that the F-15 is "designed to knock enemy planes out of the sky”. I suppose that is a good reason to buy it. I wouldn't want them to buy a fighter jet that is designed to just fly around randomly and taunt enemy planes out of the sky with bad language. (I heard rumours there was a cheaper variant on sale called the F-15 Swear Eagle).
I wonder if Mindef used Singaporean car buyer methods when evaluating the F-15 purchase?
"So ah, this fighter, got cup holders or not?" (opens and closes the fighter door a few times)
"Ok, I see the F-15 in front got aircon, but behind got aircon or not? Wait the rear pilot feel warm how?"
"Does your fighter come with sports rims, window tinting and immobiliser or not? Wait got people steal the fighter in the car park leh."
With the common practice of technology transfer, I am looking forward to Singapore variants of the F-15. Our future F-15 (SG) will boast a few Singaporean enhancements.
For instance, what fighter in Singapore is complete without an ERP IU unit? You don't want to fly past Orchard Road and be fined for not having a CashCard. Our F-15 IU units will come with an aerodynamic CashCard cover (in stylish silver colour), so that thieves will not know whether a CashCard is in there.
Pilots will have a heads-up display that provides up-to-the-minute battle information and timely 4D results.
The undercarriage of our F-15s will glow with a blue neon light. As you all know, science has proven that lighting your undercarriage with blue neon light helps your car go faster. It should also help fighter jets. With the right stickers, our jets will go even faster. I recommend speed-enhancing pictures of lightning bolts, and stickers with words like "Turbo" and "DOHC".
Of course, the cockpits of our F-15s will have their rivets replaced with stronger aluminum ones. By the end of September, if possible.
Our F-15s will fly just as well with 92 Octane petrol, instead of the more expensive 98 and Premium kinds.
Our F-15s will have no crevices that collect stagnant water, where mosquitos are likely to breed.
And finally, our F-15s will have extra seats built-in, like an MPV, bringing new meaning to the word Multipurpose. This is so that wives and children can also accompany their NSMen pilot husbands and fathers for their In-Camp Training (ICT). Kids can fly with the their daddy for one day and see, oh daddy is flying a plane. He's doing an important role so daddy can't get home.
We will become the F-15 hub of the region, I tell you.
I am sure we have done our due diligence and made the right choice of fighters. We do not want any white elephants. Wait people call 999 and the police have to investigate.
mr brown is the accidental author of a popular website that has been documenting the dysfunctional side of Singapore life since 1997. He used to have an F-15 model plane that he painted orange because he ran out of silver paint.