"I see such media coverage as growing awareness that we are not the same old dull cultural desert but rapidly gaining international mindshare as an exciting, vibrant and creative city."
- Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister For Information, Communications And The Arts, referring to the Smithsonian magazine article "Singapore Swing" (subtitled, "Peaceful and prosperous, Southeast Asia's famously uptight nation has let its hair down")
So the Singapore police banned the Singapore Complaints Choir's foreign members from singing complaints alongside Singaporeans, and they had to perform in private at the Old Parliament House debating chamber (how deliciously ironic). Well here is the unedited video of their performance via atomipommi (watch for the edited version at www.complaintschoir.org) and the lyrics (via chillycraps.com) for you to sing along!
We get fined for almost anything
Drivers won't give chance when you want to change lane
The indoors are cold, the outdoors are hot;
And the humid air, it wrecks my hair
Those answering machines always make you hold
Only to hang up on you
When a pregnant lady gets on the train
Everyone pretends to be asleep
I'm stuck with my parents till I'm 35
Cause I can't apply for HDB
We don't recycle any plastic bags
But we purify our pee
What's wrong with Singapore?
Losing always makes me feel so sore
Cause if you're not the best
Then you're just one of the rest
My oh my Singapore
What exactly are we voting for?
What's not expressly permitted
When I'm hungry at the food court, I see
People chope seats with their tissue paper
To the auntie staying upstairs:
Your laundry's dripping on my bed sheets
Please don't squat on the toilet seats
And don't clip your nails on MRT
Stray cats get into noisy affairs
At night my neighbor makes weird animal sounds
People put on fake accents to sound posh
And queue up 3 hours for donuts
Will I ever live till eighty five
to collect CPF?
Singaporeans too kiasu! (so scared to lose)
Singaporeans too kiasi! (so scared to die)
Singaporeans too kiabor! (scared of their wives)
Maybe we’re just too stressed out! (even the kids)
Old National Library was replaced by an ugly tunnel
Singaporean men can’t take independent women
People blow their nose into the swimming pool (and pee too)
And fall asleep on my shoulder in the train
Singapore’s national bird is the crane (the one with yellow steel girders)
Real estate agents’ leaflets clogging up my mailbox (en bloc, en bloc, en bloc, en bloc)
Why can’t we be buried when we die?
No one wants to climb Bukit Timah with me
There are not enough public holidays
My neighbor sings KTV all night
Wedding dinners never start on time
My hair is always cut shorter than I want
Channel 5 commercials are way too long
Why do men turn bald?
At first it was to speak more mandarin
Then it was to speak proper English
What’s wrong with my powderful Singlish?
People sit down during rock concerts
We have to pay for tap water at restaurants
ERP gantries are everywhere
But I can still see traffic jams on the road
All the bus stops have tilted benches
Cannot access playboy.com
For Sale: ORBEA Vento with Campy parts
I'm selling the above road bike for a friend as it's collecting dust in his kitchen.
It was bought by him a year ago on the delusion of training for the 2007 Tour de France. Unfortunately, 2007 came and went, but he was never quite there, probably due to his high training schedule of riding the bike once every 2 months. So he's gone back to more extreme sports, like fishing..."
Update from The Necessary Stage:
"URGENT Saturday 26th - We've just gotten news about our license application for THE COMPLAINTS CHOIR PROJECT (performances at various public spaces today). While we were given a license, this is a conditional one - no foreigners (i.e. a handful of the participants, the artists themselves and our conductor) are allowed to perform with the Choir. This is across the board and not only applicable for Speaker's Corner (which has a regulation that states that non-Singaporeans aren't allowed to perform there)."
So looks like the Gahmen really dowan foreigners to even bloody SING complaints about Singapore in Singapore then.
Ya, wait the Singaporeans hear such seditious songs they will be influenced and take to the streets. We must protect our citizens from such foreign influence and their evil songs.
Heard this news about the Singapore Complaints Choir (seen here in a Channel NewsAsia report). Dunno if it is true or not:
Just heard from a friend that the police showed up at the last rehearsal of the Singapore Complaints Choir, part of the Fringe Festival. They've banned foreigners from singing in the choir -- this includes the director, who had flown from Finland! The police have also canceled the Speakers Corner performance of the complaints choir, and it looks like without the director (and the conductor, who is Malaysian), the entire show has in effect been shut down.
If true, maybe the foreign singers of this choir were deemed to be "meddling in domestic politics with a foreign agenda".
Eh, you think you are singing it means you can come here and meddle-meddle our politics ah? Cannot unnerstand? Gahmen dun care you say it, write it, or sing it one.
Two See What Shows this week! We review The Great Debaters, Eastern Promises, and Charlie Wilson’s War at seewhatshow.com!
Interesting bit about a 6-month folding bicycle trial in March 2008, from the Transport Minister's speech today. It's a good start but they need to think beyond just recreation and getting around the neighbourhood. People can and do cycle to work too, you know:
"Cyclists are another group that we will facilitate. There is a growing interest in cycling, with more people cycling for recreation, or to get around the neighbourhood.
We invited some of them to our land transport review focus group discussions to see how we could better cater to their needs. Some cyclists asked for more bicycle stands around our bus and MRT stations. Others made the point that some foldable bicycles were not much bigger than prams, so why not allow them onboard our trains and buses?
Responding to this, LTA together with the public transport operators will launch a six-month trial from March 2008 to allow cyclists to carry their foldable bicycles on board trains and buses. LTA will also work with NParks and other agencies to leverage on the park connectors to enable cyclists to get to public transport interchanges more easily. Bicycle parking facilities at the MRT stations and bus interchanges in housing estates will be improved.
The cyclists also shared their ‘war stories’ and asked us to help improve safety on our roads. Following a pilot in Changi, LTA will put up signs to alert motorists to the presence of cyclists along frequently used cycling routes such as those in West Coast and Thomson from March 08. LTA and the Traffic Police have also started a trial to allow cycling on pedestrian footways in Tampines.
But at the end of the day, it is also an issue of mutual accommodation – for the motorists to look out for cyclists on the road; and for cyclists to have a care for pedestrians."
"from the annual report, passenger trips have increased 11% from 2002 - 389.7m to 434.9m. However, car kilometres operated dropped from 81.4m to 77.1m. SMRTC has been aggressively cutting costs by cramming as much as people into each train and reducing frequencies since 2004, to maximise shareholder value."
One Less Car has screenshots of the relevant tables with that data.
If the analysis is correct, then the formula seems to be:
More passengers + less frequency = more money to be made = pissed off passengers (who will be ignored).
The photo above shows passengers unable to squeeze into the packed train, on a SUNDAY afternoon, supposedly Off-peak. I only managed to get into the third train, after waiting 6 minutes between trains. All because I wanted to get to City Hall from Dhoby Ghaut. One miserable station.
A cool little bicycle commercial by the London transportation authorities, the kind I doubt we will ever see in Singapore.
Because the authorities will tell you, "Singapore is too hot to ride."
Hey, you make the roads safe for cyclists, and the cyclists will take care of their own hygiene.
And in case you are wondering, the song is Straight Lines by Dawn Landes. Love the song.
The sound is atrocious. From where we're sitting, it sounds like only his monitor speakers are on.
"The sound system does seem adequate. I can't hear what he's singing," said the wife.
"You can't hear what he's singing most of the time anyway," I said.
The audience just cheered and sang along in recognition as he starts a song about his mom. I cheer too.
"Dear, what song is this ah?" I ask the wife after cheering like I know the song liddat.
We're more familiar with his older hits lah. We're old school Jay fans.
Drama, comedy and action! All in one episode of See What Show!
We review at Michael Clayton, The Heartbreak Kid, and Death Sentence at seewhatshow.com!
Will Smith in his own 28 Weeks Later!
My new co-host, Ling, joins me in this review of I Am Legend, Walking Tall: Lone Justice, and tv series The Unit at seewhatshow.com!
The wife and I and a few friends had a fun morning last Saturday, riding with a bunch of Dahon foldie owners (see Flickr set). Our group rode from East Coast Park to Changi Point and back, 34km in all.
Inspired, I wanted to explore the rest of the Eastern park connector network. So a few nights after that Saturday ride, I decided to trace the route solo.
I started at 9.30pm and rode till 12.30am. 1 hour of riding from my Katong office to East Coast Park near Parkway, to Changi Point via the Coastal Park Connector, 22km.
Then 30 minutes to grab a drink and a little bite from Changi Village hawker centre.
Then another 90 minutes riding from Changi Village to Pasir Ris to Tampines to Bedok Reservoir Park then home, 23km.
I was determined to try doing the whole loop via the park connectors as far as I could. The only bit I did not complete was the Bedok Reservoir to East Coast Park stretch, about 8km, but then my final road-based ride home from Bedok Reservoir was almost that far.
Conclusion? The East Coast Park to Changi Point bit was sublime. Just don't do it alone at night, like I did. It can get a little creepy being the only person for long dark stretches. Also the strong headwinds can be challenging.
The rest of the network was patchy. Loyang was ok, I could even speed on that bit, but the Tampines and Bedok Reservoir stretches sucked.
The bits I hated in the latter part of my ride? There were roads to cross, poor and fading signage, freaking speed bumps that jolted my rear blinky off a few times (and almost made me a eunuch), and an odd gravel path next to Bedok Reservoir that you should avoid.
At the Tampines Park Connector, there were stairs where you had to get off your bike and carry your bike or push it up a steep slope thoughtfully provided next to the stairs.
At another point, within the Bedok Park Connector, there was a short downhill slope so steep, I had to brake all the way down it.
The bridge across the Tampines expressway, found along the Tampines Park Connector, looks impressive, but you have to push your bike all the way across. They could have made it a little wider, and made the turns gentler for bikes. Noooo, it had to be 90-degree turns up the slope path of the bridge.
It is not an easy loop for novices to try. Not because of the distance, but because it is easy to get lost, especially if you wish to do it all via the bike path.
When I got back on the road for my final leg home, I felt so relieved. The convoluted park connectors in the latter part of my night ride frustrated me and I hated doing only 15kmh and reaching dead ends.
Will I do it again? Sure. I liked the East Coast to Changi to Loyang bits. And it's a fairly safe way to see all the Eastern parks with the wife at a leisurely pace. But for commuting, I'd stick to the roads, thank you very much.
A good effort, this Eastern Park Connector Network, but hardly the cartoony seamless line you see on the National Parks website.
We have a new co-host, Ling!
And together, Ling and I review The Golden Compass, The Warlords, and 3 Needles DVD at seewhatshow.com!
A full DVD episode. Got Hongkong movie, American series, and a American football movie.
We review Flashpoint, Desperate Housewives Season 3 DVD, Friday Night Lights at seewhatshow.com!
Who needs a Macbook Air when your old Macbook is just as slim?
You may wish to download the higher-res mp4 file from wtfshow.com.
I got to play with the HP HDX "Dragon" 20-inch laptop. It's not able to fit into a manila envelope but it had other benefits.
You may wish to download the higher-res mp4 file from wtfshow.com.