Friday, April 30, 2010

Reason For Outrage

Romanian Ambassador Aurelian Neagu must have been trying hard not to laugh when the Singapore MFA officials asked, not once, but three times, "whether the Romanian government would consider attending the private party of a karaoke lounge hostess in a karaoke lounge part of the official diplomatic functions of the head of a diplomatic mission". What better place to find out what really goes on in a country, where hair is let down and lips are loosened by the generous flow of alcohol! Does one really expect to read about the woes of a philandering telecoms CEO in the Straits Times? Mr Neagu probably had to maintain a straight face when he told the clowns that his government could not decide if Ionescu retained diplomatic immunity pending investigations in Romania.

Even Interpol has suspended its Red Notice of arrest for former Romanian Charges D'Affaires Silviu Ionescu because of disagreements between Singapore and Romania over his diplomatic immunity. Foreign Minister George Yeo had to eat humble pie and told parliament this is "part of Interpol's procedure that if there are differing views, they will pursue the matter further before reactivating the Red Arrest Notice".

And what's so nefarious about karaoke and karaoke lounges? Haven't we seen enough of PAP MPs hoarding the karaoke mikes at various clan dinners? Is the building of two gambling dens of inquity any better contribution to a wholesome society? If Ionescu had taken a ride on the world's highest train in Tibet, would he also have been asked if that was part of his official duty?

And while George Yeo goes on about underestimating the outrage of Singaporeans, he should not forget that the life support system for 30-year-old victim Tong Kok Wai was prematurely disconnected over the objection of his grieving kin so that the hospital can harvest his organs. Madam Yenni Young found herself having to make the most heart rending decision of her life on Christmas Day 2009; doctors at the National University Hospital had given her 48 hours to pull out the plug of her husband. Because he did not sign the Singapore Human Organ Transplants Act (HOTA) opt-out form. A clause in HOTA specifically allows the state to harvest human organs without the need of direct consent from the dead or his immediate family members. Outrageous!

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