Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Your Bomb, Your Problem

Now that the elections are over, most of the ministers seem to be missing from action, comfortably ensconced in their private ivory towers, miles away from the hot and humid wet market where they were last spotted during the month of May. All the postulating about listening to the people doing a better job addressing their needs have vanished like the morning mist.

Our sentiments exactly,  Mr Yap
Mr Yap, 64, assistant manager of LHT Holdings who was building a new warehouse, discovered he had a bomb shell on his hands, literally. When workers tried to sell off what they thought to be scrap metal, the hardware dealer noticed the bronze tip was similar to the bullets he handled during national service (that's one reason why saving lives of babies can never be equal to undergoing NS training). It was a war relic, probably dating from the days of Syonan-to, when our future PM was doing translation work for the Japanese occupying forces, and endangering the lives of countless freedom fighters.

Surprise number two was when Yap called the police for help. The latter showed up and did the easy part, cordoning off the area, and covering the explosive with a red canvas sheet marked "dangerous". That's it. A flabbergasted LHT director told the press, "The police say this is private property, so we have to get a private bomb disposal company to do it, and they won't send in their own squad." The fact that the land was leased from statutory board JTC Corporation, and therefore not private property, cut no ice with the police. LHT even had to pay $600 for two Certis Cisco officers to guard the bomb overnight. The boys in blue probably wandered off to the nearest Starbucks to hassle black shirted netizens discussing politics over lattes.

At wit's end, Yap telephoned DPM and Home Affairs Mininster Teo Chee Hean's office. That's the same Teo who said "Singapore needs to maintain heightened security", now that Bashir has been sentenced. Teo never returned the call to Yap. Instead, he must have dialled up the Defence Minister (his former portfolio before the cabinet reshuffle), as Yap soon received a call from the SAF's bomb disposal unit.

Png of Explomo Technical Service said it would cost about $15,000 to cart away a bomb, hire a barge to transport it offshore to Pulau Senang and engaging security escorts to detonate it there. It must sound so expensive to the police, compared to spending $846 (GST inclusive) for the Temasek Sword presented to Shanmugam, a gift which should come in handy for the next round of promotions. "We always advise people not to touch the war relic," said Png, "Don't move it. Just call the police first." Er, was that the Singapore Police Force he meant?


  1. Aiyah, that's what happens when you get a legally-trained lawyer to interpret every laws and constitutionsin b/w. He will soon release a statement to say "Police force has custodial powers, not executive powers in public areas, not private areas. In other words, he can veto or block pple/belongings in specified areas, but he has no role to advance his own "policing" agenda beyond his territories' just like he dished out to our EP hopefuls.

    What to do. He didn't get his "home" affairs + "foreign" affairs promotion for nothing you know. Two affairs are too many up his allies already, so he has to defer to his Defence colleagues to help leh..

    The CLIF drama or Mas Selemat shows? Wayang only, to let some retired MP leave on "higher notes" because he can sing..legacy is a very important matter you know. Anyway, now we know. Singapore should totally give up on the idea of nuclear facility. With attitude like that, you won't have any brave warriors who can step up to be the heroes like Fukushima if anything bad were to happen. Case closed.

    'National policies and running the government are the responsibility of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This is so for all policies, whether they concern security and defence, immigration and population, or housing and social safety nets.'

  2. Tattler,

    You're really one of a kind.

    The day is not going to be sunny despite the sun if I don't see a post of yours.

    Keep up the sterling work of entertaining and enlightening us on how this little dot is run.

    Hilariously ominous.

  3. Yes, keep writing and keep informing ordinary singaporeans on how our country is run. Thank you.

  4. Unbelievable!

    To the 60% Singaporeans.

    Is this what you voted for?
    Happy now?

  5. What if the person in charge feign ignorance and just dumped the war relic at some rubbish dump or at Sungei Rd? This whole episode is simply hilarious and sounds like something that can happen only in Africa.

  6. Hi, Do wonder who is in charge of the country ie Singapore, now.

    Looks like nobody is in charge or cares what is happening in Singapore. Where is the co-driver, and did he slap the driver or he was also not bother.

  7. LOL..maybe Ministers now very "sian" - salaries gonna be cut, so not incentivized to work and perform now. Good lah, when you don't want an opposition candidate in your backyard, you end up with a old relic bomb instead..hehe

  8. Jaque Daniel6/22/2011 11:43 AM

    what if the bomb explodes?

  9. LHT needs to sue JTC for renting them the land with an unexploded bomb. if that bomb had exploded, people wld'v been killed and his business wld'v been badly affected.

    at the same time, it is good to know where we stand as citizens when we are in danger - the state will not help you. this despite having upped the defence budget earlier this year. one needs to ask, if one will not be protected in times of being "bombed", than what exactly is the point of doing NS or reservist or of even having an armed force?

    it would seem that despite having lost even more votes and a GRC, the PAP has yet to lose its belief that it is not accountable to taking care of this country's citizens, whether it is bombs or public DBSS flats.

    let the wayang continue! no need to all rush for tickets though (which are for foreigners), the show will be running for another 5 years...

  10. The Driver is tired and the co-driver is slumbering, so no better than the driver.

    If a member of the public have to dispose something dangerous WHICH ONE FOUND(DISCOVERED)that WILL KILL, MAIM
    PROPERTY, WHAT ELSE IS NOT THE DUTY OF A SINGAPOREAN??? Will everybody be required to
    hire the police to investigate if one finds a dead body or is robbed, injured and molested?????
    Are we Singaporeans living in a state with
    a government and laws???
    Is it not a blatant case of negligence of the Government to protect the People and Property under Its' care???
    Wow! We are living in a very dangerous state leh.


  11. Maybe is becos our Defence is busy with China Haixun-31 who recently & very hawkishly just dropped their anchor at our naval base. Plus also we are very busy dropping spit on our neighbour according to one reported here:

    If Woody is still around, he will probably say this is "peanut-bomb", because to put things in perspective, they got bigger fish to fly(fry?) lah when everybody else is showing their arm muscles on the straits seas. Makes you miss Lau Goh and his "wise words" dont you?

    Anyway, until their pay is cut, we the citizens shouldn't cut them any slack. Afterall, if the bomb did go off, DPM Teo might chide us for not "being alert" you know. We don't want a Mas Selamat repeat do we?

  12. That's why a lot of people has no respect for the police in sg. they can produce another 1000 episodes of CLIF and it will still be the same.

  13. In the same token, the small kaki police should really tell the PAP leaders to fuck off as it is not their duty to round up protesters if they are protesting peacefully and causing no harm to the public.

    After all they don't get extra pay or bonuses for doing so, as it is usually their bossses who carry the leaders' balls who will get the promotion. Really pity them, somemore money not enough have to claim people's lost and found monies as theirs.

  14. I don't understand. Why is it ok for our Police Force to outsource their security expertise to Explomo TS but is not ok for our Army boys to outsource his backpack carrying to his maid huh??

  15. Predict some heads will be rolling soon...shanmugam can wield his temasek sword for a good timely purpose. The divine has a way of gifting people the right gift sometimes.

  16. This is a mistake on the part of the police.

    They should have cordoned the area, set up the bomb blanket over the armament and then called the SAF bomb disposal unit. The SAF bomb disposal unit will usually conduct a controlled detonation of the bomb after examination.

    This type of incident is not uncommon and during national service my team dealt with these incidents. Very disappointed that this issue was dealt with so unprofessionally.

  17. You must understand that the Singapore Police are 'not' part of the widely publicized "Total Defence", so they need not bother, and like countless times before, it is easier for them to say, 'dunno we are not in charge', then their job is done! Why should they bother as finding a bomb is not a crime!!

    Thanks to our efficient leaders..

  18. Tattler,

    Your post today greatly saddened me to know how SG is truly run. My only consolation of sorts is, I am not one of the 60%.

    I'm quite certain even our "more corrupt" neighbours like M'sia, Indonesia, etc. would NOT charge their tenant anything to remove the bomb, much less $600 + $15,000... if a bomb were found in their country in the same situation.

    What's next? Pay to make a police report? Pay fireman to put out a fire? Instead of 999, it will be 1-900-9999-999 @ 50 cents a call?? Scary future.

    If not for the Net, most of us would still think SG is the best managed country in the entire universe!


    They apparently tried to call 2 disposal squads with no success before he called DPM Teo out of desperation. Not police, not SCDF, not the 3rd party, finally the SAF. Total 4 layers of middleman/redtape! So they better make it very clear to us who to call in case next time we find an unmanned bag left in MRT train how? Is not every time we got 48hrs for terrorist to decide whether to bomb or not.

    But maybe next time, is easier to send a twitter bomb joke to say you'll blow up JTC if they put Police don't put their shit together before they will seige on you.

  20. haha to anon 11:09, not africa, we're in the sin city - even better!
    the message our police force is trying to say here?
    next time if you find a bomb, either bo-chap walk away or make sure you have money to pay the bomb squad for removal leh.

  21. Is it not the duty of every country to protect their citizens and countries from harm?
    And it is not the duty of the police force to protect life and property?
    Does it also mean that anyone who found anything suspicious has to commercial agency to deal with it?
    Why should anyone bother then?

  22. We have to pressurise the inept police to give us an explanation. Spread the word. I just can't find the words to express my anger and indignation. The Mentally Inept Bastards (men in blue) are #@$%^&*^%@##@. I feel better already.

  23. Everyone seems to have limited role and responsibility in Singapore. First the elected president, now the police force...

  24. Shouldn't a medal of sort, be given to this "Karang Guni man", who actually did not "keng" or "koon" through his NS days, to actually recognise the "bronze tip was similar to the bullets he handled during national service", which might just be only the reason why no lives and properties were lost ?

  25. Lye Khuen Way6/22/2011 10:43 PM

    Was late in learning of this JOKE. Yes, my SPF can claim to be "ExtraOrdinary" , no question asked.
    Soon , we need will need to pay just to report a "crime", maybe advised to hire our own IO from AETOS/CISCO and maybe at a lower price your neighbourhood Secondary School's NPCC. No ?
    What a Great Country, sorry, it is only a City-State that I once hold dear.
    I hope the new Minister for Home Affairs, Ex-RADM Teo can shake up the "Home Team".
    Otherwise, we may also end up committing to pay for the SCDF if there is a FIRE in your vicinity !

  26. What's happening to the state?
    It is so scary to know that the
    people have to be responsible
    for reporting the discovery of
    ordnance piece.
    Will Singaporean be responsible
    to hire commercial police like
    Cisco, Aetos and private
    investigator to investigate if
    and when they lost any valuable
    or when they are harmed by
    criminals? How about if Singaporean
    discovers danger that are likely to
    harm life? Will they be responsible
    to neutralize or render them harmless
    at their own initiatives or paid for
    professional services themselves?
    Something is definitely seriously
    wrong in this tiny dot.

  27. Why are we still spending so much money on defence, when the Army need to be "persuaded" to come down to dispose an explosive??

  28. Truly a case of passing the buck, er, passing the bomb.........

  29. Instead of dealing with a real bomb, it looks like they prefer to play with the expensive toys they saw in the movie "Hurt Locker" - the robot and the suit.

  30. Very Consistent POPPIES:
    To their detriment...reaction very slow...ministerial pay review, TPL police case, Romanian escape, MAS Salemat, Flood panel, white foreigners' crime cases, etc

    Taxing Singaporeans and mistakes...reaction very fast...arrest, charge, fined, etc


    This is a sad and vast difference from the Singapore I knew growing up in the 60's, 70's and maybe some of the 80's.

    What the heck has happened to this land I call home.

  32. Tattler,
    "your bomb, your problem" attitude is the surest way to encourage different approach by those inclined to be civic minded...

    *pass the relic/bomb quietly to someone else, preferably a person or org. that you dislike very much or ideally,

    *donate to one oldfart as his personal souvenir, sort of relic begets another relic...

  33. It is an open observation that civil servants are usually trying to pass the buck to someone else although this is clearly a case of public safety which might have gone out of control.

    This policy of police telling you to get private explosive contractors is nothing new for those operating in the scrap metal industry. Some 15~20 years ago, I understand that if a scrap metal dealer unluckily found any bomb-like shells or objects in his stock yard, someone will be paid to 'dispose' them off at night. Whether it is thrown into the sea off Singapore or buried at some open state land, nobody knows or cares. That is how such problems are resolved but none the wiser for anyone.

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