Monday, November 7, 2011

More Research Required

Did you know that the MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC Lee Kuan Yew once wished someone had invented air-conditioned underwear? Describing it to the Asian Wall Street Journal in 1999, he said that it could be "a light polyester air-conditioned undergarment, enclosed around the neck, wrists and ankles, and battery-operated". True to form, the Straits Times ran it as a straight story on page one. A month later, it published a 1455-word feature article quoting local academics and engineers hot for the idea, complete with an illustration of how a "cold suit" might work.

Reuters has jumped on Sunday Times' story, about the revelation by the director of Singapore's National Neuroscience Institute, that her 88-year-old father has sensory peripheral neuropathy, a condition that impairs the conduction of sensation from his legs to his spinal cord. "This makes his walking unsteady, as many Singaporeans have already noticed," she wrote. The daughter added, "I think with medication and simple precaution, he can continue to be of service to his country and the world." In other words, no need to dock his pay. A Bangladeshi worker who lost one or two of his fingers in an industrial accident may no longer be deemed employable, but an MP who can't walk to the meet-the-people-sessions need not worry about the pink slip. That's another advantage of the GRC - you're hoping for a by-election maybe?

Coincidence or not, there seems to be no shortage of research work on robotic ambulatory studies in Singapore. From the polytechnics to NTU, the complex dynamics of a humanoid locomotion are already well covered. Apparently the technology is well within reach, compared to refrigerated Calvin Kleins.

The worrying part is not automatic control of the limbs, but the cognitive portion above the neck. We are told someone diagnosed with sensory peripheral neuropathy has full functionality of his brain. Which makes it puzzling for us lesser mortals to understand why he had to tell his daughter to "Let the readers know I have sensory peripheral neuropathy." Has communication with the common man broken down?

At a tree planting ceremony yesterday, he said the problem started when he was 86, a secret he kept for 2 whole years - maybe he thought it might disqualify him from the electoral sweepstakes. Many Singaporeans would have already noticed extra hands were on the spade,  from the sar kar (dialect expression for "the third hand") general, to steady the gardening effort for the photo op. Who's giving who a leg up?


  1. When the old man has to tell his daughter to tell the world about his medical problem; and when the daughter has to submit her draft to the father for approval before publication, what does that tell you ?

  2. Do you think Chiam would have been able to keep his stroke a secret, and despite a new team, went on to win a fresh term of GRC to add to his legacy, like MM LKY just did? Yeah...I don't think so.

  3. He really lives up to his nickname Kee Chiu with his ever ready hand.

  4. He seems more like the Imperial Eunuch all to eager to please the Emperor and hoping there will be some incentive reward in return for such enthusiastic showmanship ?

    Frankly, how can one skilfully operate a spade with another set of interfering hands. It's all for publicity to justify their MP allowances, I suppose.

  5. Just another way for his daughter Dr Lee to justify his paycheck, pension and personal secretaries to stay on the GRC ticket at taxpayer expense.

    Why waste time to build air-conditioned underwear just for him, when air-conditioned garden/park is within reach for the masses. Why waste time on one 88yr old man (a spade is spade) when 60yr old men are everywhere looking for dignified cleaning jobs to live for another 20yrs? Why waste time remember from whence we come from, when we couldn't wait to remove our ancestors/pioneers tombs. Why waste time educating young adelyn hoseybo to be respectful to her mother when she has means to easy money and independence - all in her name of growth. Why waste time re-installing bronze statures like stamford raffles or Sun Yat Sun when digital reflections will do? Why waste time having emotional attachment and roots for a country when all it cares is the future sight of 7-8-10m? residents in 2030 who's not even here yet. Why waste energy to decry the lack of happiness when we can't even "be present" to enjoy, see, touch and feel what we have in front of us? Why give anyone a leg up, when there's no handout. Does all the billion dollars cell research spent gave us any of these answers to the DNA and root soul of Singaporeans?

    Tell me, my millionaire Ministers. What do you stand for?

  6. So far what has been produced in Singapore's National Neuroscience Institute since the former director left? Evidence tells us the present director might as well go and stand at roadside selling charity flowers as she has mentioned in the past to contribute to this society. I don't know what to say!

  7. LKY should have the moral integrity to resign on health grounds and not burden the tax payer with his right to a salary as an MP. He is old and needs to simply let go. Must the tax payer meet the old man's exaggerated need to feel important stay occupied?

    He has made more than enough during his life time to retire and relax. People of his age make the best of their situation with friends, relatives and their grand kids. Why cant he do the same? His continued presence in parliament is an embarrasment to all concerned.

    The ruling party has lost crediblity on this issue.

  8. This old fart is everywhere showing his fark face and giving crap fortune telling stories. But AWOL from his real job as MP --- not even a smell of his fart at meet-the-people sessions, and during recent opening parliament sessions.

    But still collecting $15,000/mth MP allowance, and having free taxpayer-paid 1st Class SIA trip to US to collect some freaking medal. Plus staying at free 5-star Presidential suite courtesy of taxpayers again.

    Time for him to up the lorry man. He is way past his expiry date.

  9. "Time for him to up the lorry man. He is way past his expiry date."

    And it is also proclaimed that champagnes and saliva(for spitting) are prepared to celebrate the GREATest Day for Sin when it cometh.

    Many Singaporeans seem to wish for this day.

    Oh gods, why, why and why ???

  10. 'Up the lorry.'

    Man, You know not Sin.

    He will be loaded onto

    the finest gun carriage

    all the tv and radio

    channel will be showing

    all about him for at

    least a week and more.

    He hoards the limelight
    when living.

    He WILL hoard all the
    limelight when he dies.

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