HOLEYBALONEY

Politics is ugly

Polling day is just round the corner and social media is ablaze with links, tweets, posts, notes and all sorts of activities. Whereas there are a certain number of supporters for the incumbency, the voices for the opposition has risen well above those.

PAP has done a great job over the past 40 over years. We have some great policies and programs that are comparable, if not better than most countries. We have safe streets and rudimentary racial tolerance. I don’t think anyone is discounting that. On the contrary, I believe everyone online acknowledges that we have made amazing progress over the years. I agree wholeheartedly that we would not have been able to achieve what we have achieved without such a parental type of government. But I believe things are changing. The world is changing and our government has to change with the times too. Our government is like a grouchy old grandmother, always using the fact that we would not be what we are without them as justification that we should always do as they say. And when we propose change, or question their actions, they whine that we are ungrateful brutes, and after all that they have done for us, this is how we repay them? When we show them new ideas, they shout burn the witch at the stakes! However, the sickening truth is that all these achievements have not been accomplished by the current batch of ministers, yet the arrogance that they portray disgusts me to the bone.

I am also appalled at the blatant threats and scare tactics that they deploy every time they are questioned about their actions. Are they really as naïve to think that if we have free speech, Singapore will turn into a riot? If they really do believe that, then I think they have failed in their attempts at building racial harmony (reason I said tolerance earlier). If we are all truly harmonious, there is no taking away that mutual respect for each other. If we are truly One Singapore, there is no need to constantly single out different races and making a point that we ‘try to accommodate all’.

I am also fed-up about their treating us like rabbits. Throwing upgrading carrots may have worked in previous elections, but I’m not sure it will be all that effective now. Upgrading has only made the flats more expensive, and more unaffordable for citizens. This is only beneficial to those who have more than one house, because remember, even if we sell our flats at a great price, we need to spend just as much to purchase a new resale flat. Higher standard of living thereafter? Maybe not.

Want to know why we are not making more babies? Maybe a closer look at why our inflation rate is higher than the salary increase. Need to spend more money on basic necessities, such as paying for the HDB loan, means less money to support a larger family.

I always give this example to those who do not believe that PAP just simply does not care about their people.

My grandfather passed away during the rally weeks in the last election 6 years ago. He has lived most of his life in Potong Pasir, and that was where we had the wake. During the day, at every couple of hours, rally trucks would pass by, alternating between PAP and then-SDA Chiam See Tong. We were extremely surprised when Mr Chiam turned up at the wake with only his wife and one other party member, paid his respects to my grandfather, and sat with the family to chit chat for almost 45 mins. During this time, his party member came over to my white gold collection point and contributed a sum on behalf. I was already grateful and appreciative of the gesture, regardless the amount. The real shocker was when Mr Chiam himself came over, took money out of his wallet and gave me the money. I was so touched that I was almost at a loss for words.

And then I waited. The PAP representative has always been extolling his care for the people in Potong Pasir, so I waited. And waited. Finally, many hours later, a PAP party member came by, with cash, saying that he ‘represents Mr Seetoh Yih Pin’. He just made sure I wrote the name down, and left. Is that genuine care and concern for the people? I don’t think so. Similarly, I doubt he was even sent by the rep.

The one thing I find the most hilarious, is that it was the rally period. If you were trying to win, shouldn’t you at least pretend to care more? It still makes me wonder if they really know what the people want. It’s not the abalone porridge nor the never-ending upgrading, it’s the very simple fact that what they do for us, is from their heart.

I really do not think that opposition voices are necessarily anti-PAP. I believe they just want to see some change, less complacency, more accountability and real care. If voting for the opposition is the only way to do it, so be it.

I think it’s very telling that civil servants are afraid to vote for the opposition, for fear of prosecution. I also think it’s ridiculous that civil servants are afraid to say anything about the elections, for fear of prosecution.

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Singapore – the Education Hub?

I have a few friends who are teachers, and every time we chat about their work, I am worried about our future. I don’t think Singapore’s education system encouraged learning as much as exam prepping. I’m not sure our education system prepares the kids for the real world, and those that excel academically and have never left Singapore could have a harder time adapting to the ‘real-world’. Maybe it’s the reason they join civil service?

A simple example is the NUS theatre studies students of the same graduating batch as me. I am not a major, yet in the three years of university life, I’ve very likely done as many shows as have all of them added together. And the stories I hear from the industry practitioners about their final year project and how inexperienced they were makes me glad I dropped the major and embarrassed for them at the same time. Majoring in TS indicates a certain interest in the industry so I do not understand the rationale of not wanting to immerse themselves in the field. These are the people who come out with a Bachelor’s in Theatre Studies and start to think they are better than others. Now the industry folks look at NUS TS students with distaste and absolutely no respect.

Or there will be Senior Managers of MICE who didn’t know that DHL could pick up goods from Cambodia, and thinks that 1,000 handmade bags can by completed in 1 week by 10 people.

The ignorance of Singaporeans is so appalling that I get surprised everyday. Why complain about the insurgence of foreign labour when Singaporeans want the good life but not willing to put in effort? I have heard people complain about their job and when asked what type of job are they looking for? They want a high paying job with not much to do. This very attitude is what will be the downfall of Singapore!

In a way I think the values we as a whole country have been inculcated is the main culprit. Since the beginning there had been no focus on anything other than the university degree. Granted, that mentality and drive has brought us to where we are now in less than half a century, but it has also created generations of citizens who have all the wrong values.

Give a man a fish and he will be satisfied for a meal; Teach him how to fish and he will not be hungry forever.

All we have been doing is feeding our students fish after fish after fish. When will they ever learn to fish?

 

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‘No’ to Negativity!

Was reading my cousin’s blog today and her latest post really struck me. There are no shortage of such people around, those who constantly gather negative energy around them by whining and griping on everything that happens to them.

A waitress is slow in her service, gripe.

Someone makes them wait a while, gripe.

Somebody sends them on a wild goose chase, gripe.

Someone makes a comment about something, gripe.

The worst thing is not the griping and the whining, it’s really about the repetitiveness of the whole thing. How many times do you need to repeat this whine story to me? I’ve heard it once, offered you my sympathies & empathizes, so please move on already. Aren’t we supposed to be looking to the future, and not stuck in the past? What benefit does it make to your life by complaining & bitching about other people all the time?

I used to be able to listen to them when my other jobs were less stressful. Now that I am a thousand times more busy at work, these whining friends are seriously taking a toll on my energy levels. So much so I’ve started to stay away from them. I need to keep my enthusiasm & energy on the positive side all the time, to be able to go through the day bright and cheery. These negative aura & energy is too much for me, and it’s not something I like to handle anymore. And if I’m meeting up with these friends just to end up shutting my mind from these talk, I don’t see the need to meet up regularly anymore.

After all, we all want to surround ourselves with positive karma, not the opposite, isn’t it?

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Wisdom teeth extraction

It surprised me when I found out that it was rare, and not recommended, that all four wisdom teeth were taken out at the same time. A colleague of mine had a tooth with a badly cracked enamel extracted last Friday and while we were discussing his ordeal in great detail, I mentioned that the last time I had my teeth extracted was when I was 17, and I took them all out at one instance. Another friend responded to a Facebook question I put out regarding this, and commented that it’s likely because you need 2 weeks of sick leave for one tooth, and taking out 4 would be close to 8 weeks. (btw Gabriel: Sick leave doesn’t work like that.. ) But.. It wasn’t like that for me! I remember I had it extracted during school holidays, probably one of the longer ones, and other than the few dizzy and bleeding hours due to the general anesthesia I was under. Side note though, GA is no fun at all. I couldn’t close my mouth because my mind was awake my body was not, and was also unable to swallow my saliva, so the blood was flowing out mixed with the saliva (okay too much info).

I also remember I was given a hooked syringe for me to clean the 4 gaping holes at the back of my mouth after every meal. It really tested my ability to twist my wrist, especially trying to ensure I clean the top holes well to prevent infection. I also remember the strings used to sew up the holes were so thick and uncomfortable that I kept feeling at it with my tongue. Until one fine day, I felt something stuck in my ‘teeth’ and tried so hard to pull it out. And lo and behold, I had the shock of my life when I pulled out a 3cm thick black string. I had to hurriedly make sure I was not bleeding because I took out the threads.

My threads, if I remember right, took 2 sessions to remove. My gums were too swollen the first time round, and some thread were still stuck. And I remember waiting at National Dental Centre was more torturous than the operation itself. They didn’t have PSP, NDSL, iPhone and the like ten years ago..

This is probably the best remembered incident of my life, since I have such bad memory. Hah.

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And people want to know why S’poreans are not having kids

When there are people, and potential employers, who think like Mr Yeh Siang Hui.

[Straits Times Interactive]

Pregnancy no guarantee against job loss

I REFER to Ms Chin Hwee Chin’s Forum Online letter on Monday, ‘Provide better protection for pregnant women in workforce’.

Ms Chin did not say if she falls into a category of people expressly excluded from receiving maternity leave benefits by the Employment Act (Cap 91).

For instance, she may be in an executive position and thus is not an employee by definition under the Act – even if she may be an employee by her company’s definition. She was correct that the Act provides that maternity benefits are payable even if the pregnant employee is retrenched in the last three months of pregnancy.

However, she was five, and not six, months pregnant when her letter was written, and thus, she was not in the last three months of her pregnancy.

Accordingly, nothing in the Act, or in law, prevents her employer from retrenching her. Her letter gives the impression that there is a blanket prohibition on the dismissal of any pregnant employee per se. This is not so. A pregnant employee may be dismissed at any time as long as there is sufficient cause legally. In her letter, she did not shed any light on whether her employer may have terminated her services on justifiable grounds, such as misconduct or poor performance on her part.

In all, her employer acted within the law. The Government’s encouragement of couples to procreate should not be misinterpreted as an implied licence to do so at an employer’s expense.

Birth rates were much higher three or four decades ago than now, yet couples willingly procreated and raised children in the absence of the comprehensive set of incentives in place today. Ms Chin – and other like-minded pregnant women in employment – fails to understand the damage and loss caused to an employer (especially small and medium-sized enterprises) by having to maintain on its payroll an employee who, throughout her maternity leave, saddles her colleagues with heavier workloads, does not contribute to the company’s revenue and causes loss to the company by continuing to draw pay.

In the light of the counter-balancing needs and interests of employers, the law more than adequately protects pregnant employees, and thus needs no review.

Yeh Siang Hui

Apparently this is not his first attempt at blasting the Maternity leave issue. The original letter on ST Forum is gone, but simplyjean has a copy, aptly titled “Like that how to have kids“…

Beware what you say about him though, he’s a lawyer… Maybe EQ & social intelligence is inversely related to the ability to study.

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Why Malaysia is still economically behind

The mentality and the focus of Malaysian politicians are all wrong. They are way too focused on minor things such as sodomy, Muslim rights, privileges, fights over tiny islands etc. So much so that they are missing the issue at hand. They are losing out to many other countries, in terms of economic viability. Politics and social economics are all intrimental to the country’s success (or failure). Investors will not pour money into the country if the streets are dangerous, if the cost is much higher than the profit, or if the right people are not being attracted into the country.

In Malaysia’s case, I feel that it is not that people don’t want to go there. It’s the frustrating issue of the government favouring the Malay Muslims way too much, treating the other races like the appendix, they’re there, but totally unneccessary, and extreme pain when antagonised.

What they do not see, or refuse to see, is that Chinese & Indian elites are leaving the country. They are going elsewhere in the world and achieving great heights. If kept at home and properly nurtured, these people can bring so much benefit to Malaysia.

And so many decades into it’s independence, Malaysian politicians are still making stupid racist remarks, such as that made by Mr Ahmad Ismail. Even the DPM’s apology will not help to alleviate the anger it causes amongst ethnic Chinese in Malaysia.

These politicians are way too blinded by their own wealth and privileged status to see the real problem at home.

Very unfortunate.

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What does China gain from Olympics?

I don’t think very much. Yes. In terms of making a stand on the world stage, and showing all of us that YES, China can do it, I think much has been accomplished in Beijing 2008. However, if we look at the long term benefits to China and it’s people as a whole, I doubt it helped much.

The tens of billions of dollars could have and should have (in my opinion) be used to aid the large number of less privileged citizens of China. There are so many things that can be done with the money that will provide longer run benefits to the people of China, in turn helping them to compete in the world stage. To finish the cycle, these Chinese people will be able to push China’s economy to even greater skies.

I’m not sure what China wants to get out of hosting this Olympics. It’s a highly acclaimed world sporting event, yes. It will propel China’s visibility to the skies, yes. It will provide millions of jobs, yes. It will push Beijing’s GDP, yes. But for how long? And by how much?

We look at history, what has Olympics brought for past host countries? Not much progress, but a lot of wastage. Look at Athens. Less than 4 years after they hosted the Summer Olymics in 2004, and almost all their Olympic facilities are “abandoned, derelict, covered in graffiti and rubbish”. It’s painful to look at these photos and think back on how glorious the 2004 Olympics was.

Of course, however, we cannot discount the pros that hosting the Olympics has brought to Beijing (and only Beijing). The transport systems have very much improved, the environment immensely upgraded, better public facilities, and of course, the biggest benefit, the skills that the Chinese people have learned.

The effects of the games is yet to be over, and I’m eagerly & anxiously waiting to see how it all unfolds. Crossing my fingers too.

Various resources:

Instant demands have cost at Beijing Games

Games over, but new start for China

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盲從

護主並沒有錯
但是盲目地護主
無論他說甚麼做甚麼都是對的
這 就是錯誤的
這 就是盲從

可是如果有勇敢的人提出來
會有一窩蜂的人把他推倒踩在地上蹂躪
然後過不久又會有人來
板上很歡迎和板主和團員不一樣的看法
不是自打嘴巴嗎?

舉例
前幾天有人提出代排和插隊的情形
剛好提到一個在板上大家都認識的人
那個人(好像叫萬萬)親口說出她找人代排這回事
可是板上很多很多人還是一味認為代排沒有錯
因為是一個換一個 人數並沒有增加
我搞不懂
我搞不懂代排這個動作甚麼時候合理化了
我搞不懂大家為甚麼沒有辦法看清楚
即使是朋友 做錯事情就是要出來指責她
如果錯了就乾脆地道歉
而不是拼命把錯誤合理化

再來因為青峰的部落格上面的一篇如今已加密的文章
鬧出了不少事端
有人在青峰板上的文章噓文
提出說部落格是公開的東西
要在上面說甚麼都得注意

雖然那個F大噓文是有點誇張
但是其中的內容還是非常中肯的
可是不巧的是他踫到了蘇打粉
他們一看到有人噓他們的神的文章的時候
眼睛立刻被蒙上了
只看到噓文 其他都變得模糊了

我看到有人請這位F大尊重自己的時候
對不起 我笑了
只要不是說青峰有多偉大有多貼心有多好的人
就不尊重自己?
那麼我應該是最不尊重自己的人了
因為很抱歉我心目中的吳青峰常常做出
我覺得他不應該做的事情
他沒有多好 也不過是個人
我可以了解明白他做事背後的原因
但是並不代表我永遠贊同他所做的每件事
所以不好意思 我很不尊重我自己
我應該反省嗎?

我真得很想對那些喜歡青峰的人說
真的喜歡他就不要一味地護他捧他
因為這樣對他來說並沒有任何的好處
反而是害了他
大家都愛好聽的話
大家都需要別人的認同
可是如果大家無條件地接受認同他做的所有事
只會讓他變本加厲
玩得更瘋狂更沒有後顧之憂
而這是不對的

或許你會說 那裏是蘇打綠的板
他們要護主他們要捧他是他們的自由
但是這個是成就自大好高騖遠又不會顧慮別人的藝人的罪魁禍首

也許因為我是認識他們在先
他們的歌變成小小的歌迷在后
所以我和別人的想法有點出入吧

還有最後我想對那些認為部落格是私人的地方的人
很抱歉 我不知道你活在甚麼年代
但是現在的世界
即使你把你部落格的文章刪掉
我還是有辦法把它給找回來的
而且只需要google cache
輕而易舉根本不會困難

現在這種科技發達的年代
只要你的東西是放上網絡的
就已經失去了私密的權利
網絡上是沒有所謂私人的東西
你在部落格的言語代表你
就已經失去了私密的權利
網絡上是沒有所謂私人的東西
你在部落格的言語代表你
我如果覺得你的部落格說的話
對我造成誹謗
我是可以告你的
它就和你親口對我說
起著一樣的作用

所以請你放棄部落格是私人的東西的迷思
張開眼睛看清楚這個新世界吧
不要活在chalk & dust的時代了

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Service Matters

Really. Service makes a whole lot of difference to the overall atmosphere of a meal. The food doesn’t have to be top grade, but service is what makes it a cut above everyone else.

So it happens that the worst kind of service was rendered to me last Saturday, after the Mayday concert. We all trooped down to the usual Mayday supper place at Tiong Bahru area. We have been here many times and the lady boss is quite familiar with our faces and have seen us around even when Mayday isn’t here. However, as it is after the concert, the entire area was packed to the brim with Mayday fans and a few tables of unsuspecting customers.

Now, we are regulars, and we know that we would have to wait a long while for our dishes to be served etc. Mayday IS obviously more important than us small fries. XD… However, what we did NOT realise was that our orders could be cancelled even when we explicitly said that we still wanted that one dish that had yet to arrive!

Now, the situation was this. My table had about 7pax.. So I ordered 4 dishes. 2 veg + 2 meat dishes. One of my friends does not eat meat, therefore the 2 veg dishes became really important. The first veg dish was really fast (cos Mayday eats the same thing) that was okay. But it was 30mins and one reminder to the lady boss later, that the 2 meat dishes arrived. Another 20mins passed and still no sign of the final veg dish. So we checked in with this china server.

First she said cos this final dish (Fried Golden Mushrooms) is a bit harder to cook and would take a while. So I protested. We’ve been waiting for almost an hour and half. How long more does it need to be cooked!? The rest initially wanted to cancel the order but because one of us doesn’t eat meat, I told her to continue to serve us that particular dish. So never mind, I asked her to ask them to hurry up.

Lo and behold, the next minute she came back and promptly informed us that our order has been cancelled. It was a totally WTF moment there I tell you guys. It took me so much will power not to stand up and scream fuck-you stupid bitch at her. I made a big show of calming down and asked her if I could swop that with some other veg dish, anything that was easy to cook.

She said we’ll still have to wait. And the reason? (Here comes the classic part) They were busy cooking crabs. I totally blew it. I told her (still nicely) that fine, we’ll forget about that order and give me the bill. Her whole attitude was so nonchalant and couldn’t-be-bothered, as if we are not customers. After she walked off I was so pissed I went to another friend’s table to complain..

And I found out that she told them that there was no more Golden Mushroom! I was totally going WTF at that point in time man. I think I raised my voice so much that the others said that Mayday kept looking over to our side trying to see what was wrong.

Really, I don’t give a damn. If it wasn’t because THEY were there, it wouldn’t have been so chaotic and messy! My friend wouldn’t have gone hungry and had to eat only ONE DISH! I wouldn’t be so pissed… Them and their stupid never-ending crabs.

If I had known they were looking at us, I’d turn around and stare at them… Maybe even scold them for being such assholes. I was irrational with anger then.

Then when the lady boss came over to collect the bill from my friend’s table, we complained to her.. But making sure we did not scold HER, but ensured that she understand how unhappy and upset we were.

I hope that China woman gets a good scolding and bucks up the next time.

And because of this, I dropped $22 at the roadside eating place. DAMNIT.

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一路走來

都快10年了。我和X JAPAN相逢恨晚,他們1997年解散、hide在1998年去世,而我認識他們卻是1999年的事。

記得剛開始的時候是因為Forever Love是X-1999動畫的主題曲。而我,愛上漫畫愛上X。我愛上Forever Love的柔美旋律,愛上toshi特別的聲線,愛上yoshiki柔情中帶有點瘋
狂的鋼琴。我愛上了X。在聽不懂歌詞的狀況下,愛上了X。

開始時他們的形象有點讓我不知所措。穿女裝、長頭髮、化濃妝… 這個是甚麼跟甚麼啊?我甚至懷疑我是不是搞錯了?像這個樣子的樂團可以作出像Forever Love那樣子的
歌??我開始懷疑我的眼睛和耳朵。

于是我向朋友借來X Clips那張VCD。我非得要親眼看到他們在我眼前以這種形象這種樣子來唱Forever Love。結果,Clips當中,最讓我著迷的是Silent Jealousy。那個鼓的速度是我17年來(2000年那時候17歲啦)從來沒有見識過的。那種速度、那種鼓點、眼神里那種驕傲的瘋狂,我著迷不已。

于是我像發了瘋一樣,拼命搜集他們的資料。2000年的時候,科技還沒有那么發達,網絡速度只有56kbps,也沒有wikipedia,也沒有google。那時候只能在奇摩搜尋里面慢慢找慢慢找。

越是收集﹐越愛他們。yoshiki的執著﹑熱情﹐對自己要走的道路完全沒有懷疑。記得他們剛出道時﹐根本沒有唱片公司要簽他們。結果yoshiki便自己設立一間唱片製作公司﹐自己發行他們的單曲。結果大賣﹐引起各大唱片行的注意﹐才紛紛向他們招手。

這種精神、這種態度、這種理念,現在的人哪有?現在什么都要端在盤子上給他的所謂音樂人,有誰有這種理念,又那么相信自己的能力?

后來漸漸開始存錢收集cd,才發現他們的歌真的多元化,就如同yoshiki曾經說過,X的歌是以感官的方面來做題材的。也難怪有像orgasm、standing sex、i’ll kill you 之類的
歌。XD

接下來的事我想和所有其他板友一樣,我就此愛上了他們。我追溯這他們的歷史,直到看到hide意外去世的新聞時,整個人頓時陷入谷底。我記得那時候的感覺完全就是“此生
永遠沒有機會看到他們現場表演了啊!”殘念。

結果機會來了,也還有特權可以免費入場,或者是領記者證,但是經濟使然只好忍痛。以目前經濟狀況,可能連酒店都沒有辦法付,更何況是從新加坡到東京的機票。沒辦法,
在日子越來越逼近的時候,看到會去看演唱會的朋友興奮不已的樣子,整個心是揪痛的。沒辦法,只好假裝安慰自己說沒有hide不算真正的X。

今晚的演唱會我沒有辦法多說,因為再說我心會很痛。

總而言之,

WE ARE X!

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