Wake Up Your Idea
Monday, October 06, 2008
  Talk About Rubbish Journalism...
It has been a sad start to October with Mr J B Jeyaretnam passing away suddenly. Although most of the population are mourning the loss, it does seem that the elites of this 'promised land' are quietly smiling to themselves - not unlike the relief of having a painful thorn removed after several decades.

Whilst we have seen very poorly crafted condolence letters from senior officials of the government - and notably nothing from the MM, at least the President has been more forthcoming with his genuine sympathy.

Nevertheless, my beef is with the 'breaking news' that was posted on the online Straits Times portal on Tuesday morning (30/09/2008). I was simply appalled at the implicit and explicit descriptions given as well as the unnecessary negative information that seems to have been deliberately included. Reproduced below is the entire article as it appeared. Note the grammatical error in the last sentence and the extremely harsh tone of a report that is informing the death of someone well-known. And Mr JBJ's name is spelt wrongly to boot!

Of course, when I saw it I knew it would be replaced sooner or later and hence saved the snapshot quickly. Subsequently, by the evening, the report had taken a whole new look - albeit under the same heading and title picture of Mr JBJ. Let the following be a permanent record of the shameful report as it appeared on 30/09/2008 at 9:32am.

Click on each thumbnail to see the original image
or download and read the PDF version that was saved


Tuesday, September 23, 2008
  Li Changjiang Quits? How Irresponsible!
I woke up this morning to discover that a top official in China had resigned (with the approval of the cabinet, some more) in relation to the Milk Scandal. (Side Note: A scandal might be a misnomer since they have practically made it a habit to do anything it takes to cut costs and increase profits immaterial of who dies.)

Apparently, more officials down the food chain have also been sacked. What kind of behaviour is this? I thought China wanted to learn from Singapore? One of the pillars of our governance is to NOT resign/quit/get sacked regardless of how big the calamity and in the face of the obvious. No matter what happens, according to our doctrine top officials are not supposed to resign and are instead required to close ranks and start covering each others' backs(ides).

Here, China's Premier Wen Jiabao should have immediately sprung forward to voice his unilateral confidence in Li Jangchiang and should have stated that he would reject any offer of resignation from him. Then Mr Li should have quickly followed up the wayang with his undertaking that he would see the problem through and not 'quit on the country'.

This is the way Singapore would have done it and FINE the manufacturers involved to kingdom come instead. The logic is of course that a hundred-and-one other entrepreneurs will come forward to fill the void but who can replace the god-like officials.

I am shocked and disturbed that China has not learnt this basic tenet of the incorruptible Singapore government. How can it even imagine to follow our hugely successful sheep-herding of the masses if it fails to adopt the fundamental steps to being invincible?

Someone pass Premier Wen a copy of the Mas Selamat case study please...

"Aiyah, small problem you resign? Wasted!"

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Thursday, June 26, 2008
  Selamat Spotted at Mustafa Centre
There I was minding my own business at Mustafa Centre one night when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him. Staring defiantly at me, daring me to catch him, he just sat there. So, bound by my intrinsic patriotism, I went forward boldly and picked him up with gusto. There! I had Selamat in the palm of my hands, literally.

With 2 distinct flavours and a namesake that is fast becoming a legend in this hmble republic, watch out for the Selamat Wafer to become the next big thing. At least, unlike the Hello Kitty national catastrophe, here, we can tell the security guards and Police who try to stop us from bashing each other's head open over the wafers that we are actually 'fighting for the country'.

On closer inspection, the wafers are being brought in from Indonesia no less. I do wonder if 'Mr Good Gold' will be endorsing this product and whether he will claim royalties if the product were to pick up in sales. Anyway, do get your (Mas) Selamat fix when you're at Mustafa Centre the next time. At 80 cents, it is a small price to pay to have Selamat in your hands - and eat him, so to speak...

*click on image for actual size*
A Good Marketing Angle?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
  Earthquake in China = Fewer Bus Drivers for Singapore?
I woke up this morning to the depressing news that probably tens of thousands of 'mainlanders' were killed in an earthquake that hit Sichuan yesterday. What bothered me though was not the loss of life in an already-over-crowded world but the fact that all that potential Foreign Talent was going to waste. Imagine how many bus drivers, cleaners at NTUC , beer promoters et al have been lost to this catastrophe. The Horror and Tragedy of it all!

Not to mention, the number of existing FT in Singapore right now who will heartlessly leave their well-paying (compared to third-world wages, that is) cleaner/promoter/driver jobs to attend to their families back home. Who will keep the aisles of our affordable icon of grocery shopping - FairPrice, clean in the meanwhile? What a Dilemna!

Perhaps the experience of our aged uncles and aunties can now be put to even better use and they can double up their tissue-selling/cleaning table day-jobs with second jobs involving these 'abandoned' duties. Maybe, just maybe, we can also solve the national problem of the increase in the cost-of-living for the poor at the same time by giving them these extra jobs at extremely menial pay. Wow, a silver lining!

I understand that many readers might be perturbed by my apparent lack of empathy to the plight of the people struck by this natural disaster, and to them I say - I am being patriotic and simply thinking like how my government/political party (not sure if there is a difference) would...

Still Hope: Enough Potential Bus Drivers Alive And Well

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Saturday, April 26, 2008
  When Cost Goes Up, Wages Don't Need To?
When I read the headline "Raising Wages To Address Costs Not The Right Solution" on CNA, I thought to myself, how else are we going to solve the problem? Intrigued to find out, I read the report - of which the first 3 paragraphs are reproduced below. After reading the report, I was left perplexed as I did not notice a solution being offered. I read it again and eventually realised that the heading and the article were mismatched. The article was talking about some inconsequential law that, unsurprisingly, will benefit employers, corporations and the like.

As the circled portions highlight, as far as the title goes, the question is framed (again) in the first paragraph and the answer in the third paragraph is simply 'Suck It Up' - ie. "..have a realistic expectation of wages...". Amazing how the solution can be purported to be living with it rather than expect an increase in salary.

Funny how such 'wisdom' on having "realistic expectations of wages" does not apply when it comes to the million dollar salaries of the highest public officials in the land eh?


Thursday, April 24, 2008
  What To Do, It Has Happened...
We have a silly-looking icon which can't decide if it's a fish or a mammal. We also have a national flower with a salutation as its middle name. In addition, we aspire to be the biggest in everything we build or do - suspiciously as though obsessed with overcompensating for the lack of actual land size or population might. But what I love most about Singapore is our prodigal son [NOT Fandi Ahmad] and his wise words of wisdom.

In May 2006, he uttered the immortal words "...I'm going to spend all my time thinking what's the right way to fix them..." with regard to the opposition during an election rally. Shockingly, he still got re-elected.

Barely 2 years later, he's back with an irresistible reply to a national disaster where a 'dangerous terrorist' escaped, with a cool "...what to do, it has happened." The embarrassing incident was followed by an equally-embarrassing inquiry report worthy of only an 'O' Level pass at best, with amateurish statements from the PM (aforementioned prodigal son-of-a-...) and the Minister responsible for the fiasco that can only be described as insulting to the average sensible citizen.

Nevertheless, I have complete faith in the truest-of-the-true current 'face of Singapore' to provide timeless classics like 'Mee Siam Mai Hum'. I simply can't wait for the next pearl of insight to spew forth from his post-cancerous mouth.

I wonder if decades down the road, we will look back and say that it was this unrelated alleged terrorist - albeit indirectly - who sowed the seeds of impending doom for the ruling 'elite'. Will I be telling my children that a certain Mas Selamat changed the history of Singapore in February 2008?

New Illustrated SOP For Detention Guards

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008
  Steve Irwin, Nick Petroulias & Singapore = SCAM
What Do Steve Irwin, Nick Petroulias & Singapore Have In Common? Apparently an elaborate scam involving millions of dollars. I chanced upon this on a tomorrow.sg post and the latest report on Reuters that was referenced does not specify the 'Singapore-based company' by name. However, digging a bit, I discovered that this issue has been floating around since late last year and the Irwin's are in fact involved in a scam to avoid paying taxes - either knowingly or unknowingly.

Nick Petroulias is apparently a disgraced former Assistant Commissioner of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) who was involved in some shady underhand work to give 'rebates' to some firms that he had a financial interest in between 1997 & 1998 and for which he was arrested in 2000. A trial is presently ongoing and he has been found guilty on some charges already.

The interesting thing to note is, in this current case involving 'Mr Crikey' and gang, the suspicious company based in Singapore is HQZ Argentum - supposedly an investment bank at 'Whitehouse' building located at Maxwell Road. The number given is 67228316 and, when called (I did), re-routes to a telephone operator in New Zealand where an automated service informs that the number no longer exists. Perhaps someone should see if the office is still there at 32 Maxwell Road #03-07 S(069115).

I wonder why a fraudulent establishment and/or scheme would choose (squeaky clean) Singapore as a base for operations? How did it manage to escape prosecution (or detection, at least) by our authorities? Oh wait, they let Mas Selamat go right? Oh wait wait, it's our fault for being complacent and expecting such extremely high standards of our not-so-exceptionally-paid government. And I am sure the fact that revenue from the taxation of the millions being passed through the republic goes to our national coffers have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Where's A Stingray When You Need One

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