Even blue-nosed matrons will empathise when an upset Ms Sue warded off the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP)'s relentless enthusiasm for a stroke-by-stroke account of the in-vehicle gymnastics with: "I can't remember. I don't want to remember." The DPP isn't the only one inordinately fixated with an immoderate or unwholesome interest on anatomical matters. Our so called journalists also had a field day with headlines like "Woman had 'high degree of contact' with at least four officers". And we thought the court hearing was about corruption, you know, bribery, kickback, or, in the Middle East, baksheesh.
With all the sensationalism in the front pages, it is easy to miss that poor manufacturing output is heralding a technical recession. Instead of the anticipated 1 percent expansion in industrial production, output slumped by 2.3 percent. This adds to the bad news of the 11 percent fall in exports in August, and the 2.9 percent drop in retail sales. Even the hallowed gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.7 percent in the April-June quarter.
It's one thing deflect from ill tidings - hence the series of salacious stories in the pipeline - it's another to make up for the numbers (spoiler alert: GDP bonus at stake!). But who would have thought they'll pick on the hawker center cleaning fees? The National Environment Agency (NEA) hiked the Holland Village Market and Food Centre monthly charges from $240 to $614. NEA claims the new rates are attributable to higher wages for cleaners - the same lowly paid workers who were denied the pay rise proposed by Lim Chong Yah - and training costs incurred by accredited contractors. The cleaning services of the 107 hawker centers and markets managed by the NEA are outsourced to NEA's contractors. Since our cleaning auntie probably won't be enjoying a near 3-fold jump in her pathetic takings, the cut is obviously going into the wrong pockets. Follow the money, and we may get to see what corruption is really like.