Friday, October 24, 2014

More Fun Than A Barrel Of Monkeys

Quoting Section 268, Chapter 224 of the Penal Code, Senior Investigation Officer the killjoy just took the fun out of next year's celebration of our country's 50th anniversary:
A person is guilty of a public nuisance, who does any act, or is guilty of an illegal omission, which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public, or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right.

Specifically, the following activities are deemed annoying or cause annoyance:
A. shouting loudly
B. chanting slogans
C. waving flags
D. holding placards
E. blowing whistles loudly
F. beating drums

Naturally, the thousands at the yearly national day parade will just have to learn to pipe it down. No more inflated noise makers, or whirling clappers. Whistles and flags will have to be stowed securely in the goodie bags till you reach home, and the neighbours better not catch you blowing or waving said offensive articles within hearing or sighting range. Do it with curtains drawn and windows tightly shut. Or they might file a police report faster than you can say, "Well, I'd be a monkey's uncle!" The Kallang roar will be a no no. Shouting encouragement for J-Lo to wiggle her bodacious bum, definitely a chargeable offence. And please, please stow away that greeting sign when welcoming home another gold, silver or bronze medal winner at Changi airport.

But it's okay to tap a stick, an umbrella or a net on the ground, to tell the monkeys to go away. Just remember not to shout, chant, whistle, beat your own drums or wave a white flag of surrender. Don't waste time with the placards, the monkeys can't read. If they could, the laws would not be so inanely interpreted.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pricing Justice In Singapore

The following lines are from "America: Imagine the World Without Her", a 2014 American political documentary film by Dinesh D'Souza based on his book of the same name.
"I made a mistake and I'm not above the law. No one is.
But we don't want to live in a society where Lady Justice has one eye open and winks at her friends and casts an evil eye at her adversaries. Where will they stop?"

D'Souza critical examination of various accusations against the United States can easily be applied to the Little Red Dot.

Dr Susan Lim was taken to the cleaners because her inflated bills for an ailing Brunei royalty were seen by some circles as a dire threat to the medical tourism industry. Yet no one objected to litigator and member of parliament Alvin Yeo's over-invoicing that could torpedo the country's reputation as a neutral, efficient and reliable dispute resolution institution in Asia. The International Arbitration Centre was meant to help parties manage the financial and other practical aspects of arbitration, and facilitate the smooth progress of arbitration. Presumably without interference from third parties with vested interests.

An ugly reminder of lessons unlearnt is the $10,000 fine slapped on a doctor who administered a wrong drug and changed the documentation to cover up his malpractice. The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) initally had actually dismissed victim Michael Balensiefer's 2009 complaint about the botched liposuction which destroyed his career as a US Navy rescue swimmer. Whatever the US Navy pays the merchant marine for his day job, the loss of income has to be more than 10 grand, the kind of money Dr Kevin Teh Tze Chen might spend for a skiing holiday at the Swiss alps. Compare that to the potential $100,000 fine for a pet owner who neglects a trip to the vet. We now know, of course, justice has a different price tag when even animal activists can succumb to politicisation.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sleeping With The Enemy

Everybody's doing it, sleeping with the enemy. The end justifies the means, doesn't matter if the bad guys are communists or colonial Brits, dogs or pigs. The extract from Melanie Chew's interview with Goh Keng Swee demonstrates how far the "founding fathers" were prepared to go. Interviewer's questions are in bold and italics, Goh is speaking:

At that time, the Communists had captured our party. We did not ask for their support.

Did you join political life because you felt that it was the only hope for Singapore to be independent, and non Communist?
I don’t know.

And James Puthucheary?
James Puthucheary approached me and begged me to go along with the Communists. And I turned him down. He saw me very often.

So the working relationship between yourselves and the Communists was quite close.
Naturally! They captured our party. Don’t you understand that?

You were really bound hand and foot?
Not quite. That is saying too much. Being bound hand and foot means that they can tell you what to do. They could not tell us what to do. But certain things, we knew, if we tried to do it, we would meet with resistance from them.

And at that time, we calculated, the time would come when we would have to break with them. Now. in 1961, we were already two years in power. What I am referring to was the first step to break away from the Communist Party.

James Puthucheary and Sandv Woodhull, who were not Communists, they were convinced of the power of the Communists. James Puthucheary tried to persuade me to stay on, and play along with the Communists.

He felt that this was the only chance? That the Communists had the power on the ground?
Yes.

You said that this was the first step. Can you explain the strategy' of how you broke with the Communists?
The strategy was the entry into Malaysia. When we entered Malaysia, internal security would be in the hands of the Malaysians. Internal security would not be in our hands.

In self-governing Singapore, internal security was in our hands, together with the British. We could not use internal security powers to lock the Communists up. We could not do it.

Do you understand that?

You would seem a stooge, a colonial puppet...
Yes. To the Chinese masses, that would be the interpretation. So the Communists knew that, in Malaysia, with Malaysians in charge of internal security, they would be finished. And we would escape from them. We would escape.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Abusing Animal Rights

This is worse than the rat infestation problem, you may never look at your Snoopy collectibles with the same affection again. It's one thing to hide behind the special needs children for a political agenda, it's quite another when an animal rights cause is hijacked for ulterior motives.

Of course, the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) is not dedicated to the welfare of canines only, it did contribute to feline proliferation in Chong Pang by ending the culling of cats in that estate. ACRES is now  setting its sights on promoting "a better bridge between the Government and civil society". Whether that means the founder is treating its new subjects of interest as dumb sheep or cattle is highly conjectural.

Institute of Policy Studies senior research fellow Gillian Koh was first to point out that "we sit up when a civic activist crosses over to the PAP." What made the talking heads really stand up was that Louis Ng broke protocol by making his own announcement about joining the People's Action Party as a bona fide card carrying member. And that he publicly fingered Tan Chuan-Jin as the recruiter. Tan was last seen at a television programme ("A Minute To Win It") with Gurmit Singh. Will the yellow booted contractor also turn to the dark side?

Ng supposedly founded ACRES with an $8,000 donation about a decade ago. That paltry sum could easily transform into a $16,000 a month windfall, what with the help of the GRC gravy train and all. And the heady ride could also end up with a million smackeroos per annum. It's not as far fetched as it may seem, Tan as good as confirmed the scripted move by saying, "We have many members and volunteers who come from different backgrounds, and that diversity is valuable as we see how best to help our community". Reptiles are probably also welcomed to join, since the ability to shed crocodile tears on call is highly valued by the political animals in charge.

To put to rest the doubting Thomases among us, veteran journalist PN Balji spelt it out in no uncertain terms: "I think for the next election, PAP will try to bring in people who have an affinity with the general public... The choice of Louis Ng may be a sign of that." Please don't take it out on your dog by kicking the poor mutt.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Air Still Stinks

The three hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading hit 113 at 3pm on Sunday. A better index of the deteriorating situation is the number of people suddenly developing dry coughs, no thanks to breathing in ash content of the free smoke from down south. Maybe it's time for the expensive messenger boy to hand carry another large white envelope to Indonesia. Preferably filled with cash incentive to do something about the forest fires. If the gutter politician can blow hundreds of millions on a kiddie version of the Olympics, he can surely cough up the money for our health's sake.

Whether he gets an invite to join the world leaders who are attending president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's   inauguration party on October 20th is another matter. Blowing $387 million is rather hard to forget, especially when the initial YOG budget was $104 million. And there's that miscellaneous charge of $79.8 million for "Other Costs" that has yet to be explained to the public.

If smoke continues to get into our eyes, year after year, it would be an utter waste of public funds for Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong to splurge more millions on his plans for developing the Jurong Lake District. Latter starts with physically combining existing Jurong Lake Park, Japanese and Chinese Gardens which, on their own,  are already three areas already too polluted for outdoor activities. Joining them as one big arena for sucking in bad air is definitely no improvement for our health. Better to build a large dome and aircondition it, like they did at Marina Bay Gardens. Just make sure there's sufficient natural light let in for the grass to grow. Even Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the pandas from PRC, have an airconditioned outdoor frolicking area of their own. Of course it's not going to happen, only foreigners get special deals.
just the thing for prolonged or strenuous outdoor activity