Archive for August, 2014

Gates of Hell Open

Tourists visiting Singapore for the first time will be in for a treat this time of the year. The whole nation is in celebration mood and the atmosphere is electrifying. All over the island, they will be treated with myriad street performances on makeshift tentages. Performances are free and all are welcome to these events. For those more gung-ho, go for the prosperity auctions held in conjunction with these performances. Those more fortunate may be treated to free dinners too. Encounters with massive bonfires would be a bonus. In August, Singapore splurges on festive events like the National Day Parade graced by the Head of State and the whole cohort of parliamentary members. August is not the time to miss these great events. But be sure not to stick to the touristy areas only. Go to the heartlands to see the real stuff that tourists often miss. Read the rest of this entry »

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Am I a Bastard?

Sarah Dingle's Family

Sarah Dingle’s Family

“Without the right to the truth about our genetic origins, donor-conceived people will remain products of industry, not human beings.” (Sydney Morning Herald, 16th august 2014). Sarah Single, a 27 year old Sydney-sider of mixed parentage, was shocked to discover that she was conceived using a donor sperm. Her mother had resorted to artificial insemination as a result of paternal infertility. The revelation of her conception triggered her instinctive urge to trace her “real” roots. Ethics surrounding artificial insemination demands that donors are kept anonymous. Her quest for her genetic origins is in vain. It only deepens her frustration now that she knows that she may have several “siblings” from the same sperm donor.
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Weekend Shock: Maid Addiction

maidDo you know that…….

The Singapore government collects a whopping SGD$680 million a year in maids levy (for doing nothing)

As of December 2013, according to the Ministry of Manpower, there are 214,500 maids working in Singapore over a citizenship base of only 3.3 million citizens. A  monthly levy of SGD$265 is collected by the government for each maid. With acute maid addiction syndrome, Singapore will perish without maids.

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Medal without Honour: Money Sports

Commonwealth Games Medals

Commonwealth Games Medals

Does winning a gold medal at the Olympics or Commonwealth Games bring honour to a country? In these international sporting events, flags of participating countries fluttered proudly as sportsmen and women pit against the finest of the world for a piece of medallion. Gold, of course is the coveted prize, followed by the silvery metal, and lastly a bronze. Others walked away with disappointment and even despair. Years and years of grueling training are spent just for this moment to have your name stamped in time.

In the Commonwealth Games 2014 held recently at Glasgow, Australian table tennis veteran William Henzell slammed Singapore for fielding a professional team of Chinese players in the table tennis event. Singapore won 6 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals for the table tennis event. He highlighted that Singapore only had two “token” Singaporeans in their team – Clarence Chew and Isabelle Li – while the rest were Chinese-born. The insinuation is that Singapore paid for professional players from mainland China against the spirit of the sporting event. Does Henzell has a legitimate grouse or is he just sour grapes? Read the rest of this entry »

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Man above God

Shall man play God? Certainly not, if you think God exists! But man will try. The attraction of power and control is seducing and intoxicating. Even the Son of God was tempted with power during His moments of weakness. Put a man in power and he will never want to leave it. The patriarch of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew declared triumphantly during his heydays in politics: “Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up.” His arrogant pronunciation led to the following joke that went viral in the local scene.

At the entrance of Pearly Gate in Heaven, God was welcoming leaders of the world to His new abode. Ensconced on his throne, the dignitaries of the world were led to God for Him to welcome them. One by one they came. The ceremony progressed smoothly and with great fanfare – Hitler, Mao Tze Tung, George Bush and all the who’s who….. Without fail, God humbly rise from his throne to shake hands with each of the dignitaries as they bowed before Him. Then came Lee Kuan Yew. God froze, sat still and held on to his throne. His angels were perplexed and inquired why God did not rise to shake hands with Mr Lee. God whispered to his angels, “I’ve to cling on to my throne else Mr Lee might seize it!

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The Masquerade

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

The man who makes people laugh – Robin Williams died today at age of 63. The cause of death is reported as “suicide”. Robin had a successful career over 40 years. He is funny, outwardly at least. He has to, it is his job to be funny, appear funny and make people laugh. People loved the affable man. The mainstream media and social media is abuzz with his sudden departure. Mainstream media splashed the pictures of Robin on their front pages. Media coverage detailing stories of his humorous appearances in the past and also about his intimate life was extesnive. This celebrated man’s death  evokes so much attention. Fans all over the world flooded social media Facebook and Tweeter with tributes, condolences and expression of deep sadness. Even Obama pays his tribute! Truly, a celebrated legend has moved on. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is He The One?

Putin's Matrix-Style Moves

Putin’s Matrix-Style Moves

So far, the score for the Ukraine WWIII final stands at  2:0 (What Next? Mr President), in Russia’s favour, the West (USA/EU) trailing behind. Putin had hitherto been playing defensive. Every aggressive blow from the West is matched with a gravity-defying stunt executed with precision by master Putin. The West watched with bewilderment as Putin gingerly dodges blow after blow with Matrix-style evasive moves.

Is he THE ONE?

Is he THE ONE?

They are exasperated and at a lost for new ideas. Every move is craftily matched by Putin.  In the Situation Room, the tension is mounting as the Agents, a group of man in dark glasses and dark suits fumes over these failed attempts. The best of the best tricks have been deployed – Hollywood-style media bombarded Putin – “In Russia, Crime Without Punishment” (Time, 24 July 2014) ; riots linked to US covet private army Blackwater, blatant behind the scene political manoeuvring; IMF “financial incentives”; MH17 mysterious downing; Sanction 1; Sanction 2. Military drills with NATO and prowling the Back Sea with US missile cruiser have not worked either. It is just not getting anywhere. It’s time to invoke the powers of the prophet Oracle. Perhaps she might know the answer  to this baffling battle. Putin simply did not succumb,  is he The OneRead the rest of this entry »

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Animal Farm Redux

Hunched old lady collecting cardboards for a living  (source: spuddings.net)

Hunched old lady collecting cardboards for a living
(source: spuddings.net)

Do you know which city in the world has the coveted title “Fine City“. There is no contender, none other than Singapore. The reason being that this tiny city-state is ruled by an assortment of fines and “thou shall not” regulations. You get fined for about anything. On 9th August 2014, Singapore celebrated her 49th year of independence. The nation is heading for its Jubilee next year. It should be a time of liberation and celebrations. Instead, many Singapore citizens are not in the mood for celebrations. Especially for the older generation who has seen the through the tough years of Singapore’s independence and phenomenal growth. The feeling is one of melancholy, nostalgia and regret. Many have migrated. The Singapore dream seems to have evaporated away. Huddled in the ubiquitous void decks of the high-rise apartment buildings, hunched old folks perform mundane chores to earn a few dollars. The luckier ones sip tea and play chess quietly as they reminisced over the good old days they have had. It is the sunset years for the heroes of past. As their eyes grow dim, all they could hear are the echos resonating in their ears:   “All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others” (Animal Farm by George Orwell, 1945). Read the rest of this entry »

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Weekend Humour: Maid’s Army

 Special Singapore National Day Edition

Majulah Singapura

Majulah Singapura

Maids-Army

A maid carrying a soldier’s haversack on way to camp

Singapore’s army supported by brigade of maids

Bang Bang – you die – it’s only a computer game

The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General (LG) Ng Chee Meng, proudly said that Singapore’s third generation military is at an “advanced stage”. He boasted that they now have the technology to bring “lethal firepower at a very short time to hit moving targets – one shot, one kill.”

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The Chinese are coming

There had been a lot of China bashing coming from the west. Just three decades ago, China was still struggling to free herself from the years of Communist rule and ideology. Through sweat and toil, she has transformed into the world’s foremost economic power. She feeds the world with cheap goods and buys American treasury bonds to satisfy Americans’ insatiable appetite for consumerism. With renewed confidence, the tide is turning in Chinese favour. She is making her sovereign wealth to use. Now China is buying up everything everywhere with both private and public funds. The Chinese forays into foreign resource industry and farmlands reflect the government’s responsible and prudent policies. No other country in the world has such a gigantic population of 1.4 billion people to feed and house. These foreign investments benefit both China and the investee countries. Unfortunately, it is also creating a negative backlash. Read the rest of this entry »

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