Random Discourse – Is 2016 a bad year?

Everyone says 2016 is a bad year.

Why? The number of celebrity deaths, BREXIT, Trump.

Pretty strange, since deaths happen all the time and the effects of BREXIT and the Trump Presidency will not be felt until much later.

If anyone asked me what is bad about 2016, as a Singaporean I would say: Lee Hsien Loong fainting during the National Day Rally, Heng Swee Kiat suffering a stroke and the Terrex “incident”.

Not that I loved any of these “lea-duhs”. But as any good Christian should do, I should pray for them – not just for good health, but also for the guidance of the Lord be upon them, pagan believers or not. Why are these two incidents bad? Because there is yet a clear successor for the future of leadership within the government (unless you expect an Opposition party to come into power soon), and the succession appeared to be in disarray. If Singapore fails, all of us Singaporeans suffer. What is so hard to understand about that?

Why is the Terrex “incident” bad? The loss of those vehicles is really nothing much, unless sensitive electronic equipment is along with that shipment – such as signal sets. It however exposed a national identity issue – whereby I noticed that some folks, especially some from the older generation, put their ethnicity before their nationality first. Wisdom apparently does not come with age. That is about as worrisome as the loyalty of newly converted citizens of PRC origins. For those who haven’t already noticed, the “string of pearls” along the West Coast of Peninsula Malaya and the upcoming railroad across to Kuantan will diminish, if not completely neutralise Singapore’s strategic importance. That is perhaps why the Prime Minister pushed hard for TPP, even though I may not necessarily liked it myself.

In simpler terms, we are getting cut off. If history is any lesson, when part of the route along the Silk Road changed, it wiped out the ancient Kingdom of Loulan (楼兰古国). Nothing much but ruins stand in what was once a proud and powerful kingdom in the Taklamakan Desert today. Personally, I hope the Sinophiles in Singapore will be the first to suffer from China’s economic security positioning. If anyone were to ask me what I think about Sino-Singapore relations, my opinion is that it is NOT rosy. For those who think matters will simply be resolved if Singapore kowtows to China and bows to its demands, I don’t know to laugh at your naivete or be angry at your lack of a spine. I can only say you are NOT my countrymen and you are better off migrating back… “home”. Sorry about the frankness here!


And… here’s to Carrie Fisher.
May the Force be with you.

As for what is “good” about 2016? Well… “good” is a matter of perspective.

Russia bombing the anti-government forces in Syria is “good”, and it doesn’t reallt matter to me whether they are really bombing Daesh or just anti-Assad forces. To me, if that stop some of the refugees from the source, it’s actually a good thing. Way better than all that bombing by the West that seems to only strengthen Daesh and prolong the ongoing rebellion in Syria.

Amos Yee Anus Fish seeking asylum in the US is “good”. Good riddance to bad rubbish that is. May the good USA keep him so he can finally have his unfettered Freedom of Spit… erm… speech. Preferably, he can be allowed to try his religious views in Gitmo too. I’m sure the Al Qaeda and Daesh sympathizers in there will find his point of view refreshing and give him some neck-clutching encouragement.

Donald Trump winning the Presidency is “good”. He may not be President yet, but hopefully now opinion counter to those of fake-liberals will no longer be shouted down as bigotry, misogyny, hate, homophobia, Islamophobia and what not, so that the world can finally return to… at the very least… peaceably agree to disagree without some fxxks saying that no one should force their views on them and then arbitrarily make LAWS to make their views the only legal ones where those who disagree MUST accept. Of course, I can only hope Trump make rational and sensible decision… and not lead the world down the path of nuclear doom.

I can only wish for a better 2017, even though I can only see more gloom and doom ahead.

胡思乱想

【天龙八部】曾有人写过这说的就是篇“冤” 。有点篇幅的人物无有不冤的 , 而萧峰和木婉清是书里最冤的男女典范 。这我也相当同意 。

萧峰, 人品包含了一切正面的元素 : 诚信, 气魄, 大器, 磊落, 侠义, 责任,潇洒, 忠心 ,大度,谦虚, 听教,善恶分明, 赏善罚恶 。长辈能用来教孩子的几乎都能拿他来当示范, 偏偏落个没下场。。 空有一身傲视当代的功夫, 背后数十万众的丐帮, 少林寺困不住他, 聚贤庄留不下他, 十万大军如入无人之境, 抓个领军王爷容易过我上市场买只鸡, 却偏偏无招胜有招, 被人用嘴吧堵死, 天地君亲师无一容得下他…

有两个一样当代顶尖的弟弟, 一个大理皇储, 管天龙寺, 身边还有个嘴巴比指头快的王语嫣, 一个又是西夏驸马爷, 掌逍遥派, 领灵鹫宫,管三十六洞七十二岛,可偏偏都使不上一丝力拉他一把 。金庸该是要提醒我们能 : 太完美的人, 就别在我们的身边晃, 省得人心烦 …

最冤的是, 自刎后, 大家也就嘻嘻哈哈的散了 。。 结婚的结婚, 出家的出家, 即位的即位, 要饭的要饭 。 忽然就天下太平了 。也不如其他 “高人”, 过几本书后又以 “前辈高人, 天下英雄” 被人提起 。还真死得 “轻如鸿毛“ 了…

木婉清, 美, 香, 冷, 俊,纯, 真, 善。英姿飒爽的木婉清出场时更带足了商业元素, 绝不逊于黄蓉, :黑色面纱, 黑色斗篷, 黑马, 迷一般的身份, 功夫了得, 对敌人不手软, 不拖泥带水, 干净利落。 对有恩的陌生人生死与共毫不迟疑 , 对许下诺言义无反故, 要嘛嫁给看过她容颜的段誉, 要嘛杀了段誉 。。

她的名字, 段誉是这么形容的: “水木清華,婉兮清揚” 。多么脱俗, 一点不比王语嫣的“语笑嫣然,和蔼可亲” 逊 。其实初版的王语嫣原名是王玉燕, 后来才改的,很俗,真比木婉清逊了九十里, 也点出木婉清基因更好,幽谷客秦红棉比王夫人李青蘿清雅多了 )。她的容貌也轻易入围金庸笔下十大:“段誉见她下颏尖尖,脸色白腻,一如其背,光滑晶莹,连半粒小麻子也没有,一张樱桃小口灵巧端正,嘴唇甚薄,两排细细的牙齿便如碎玉一般,不由得心中一动:“她… 她实是个绝色美女啊!” 『天龙』1到7 卷明摆着木婉清是女一 。可第七卷后就被贬成女冤一 。

她和段誉也不只是”韩流式娃娃恋“的简单俊男美女配, 而是七天里生死相托互相信任又彼此艰苦付诸实现对陌生人的承诺。 段誉也还真是心上有她, 不是见异思迁。 当初遇王语嫣时他已是 ”无奈她是妹妹“ 。没有负心, 更重要的是, 见到王语嫣一名心思都是系着慕容复时, 他第一时间想到的, 大约是 :“ 清妹原本此刻也该是这般想着我吧 , 她现在却在想谁了呢 ??” 小小一段, 点破了段誉对她是有真感情, 没变心, 也不是被木婉清逼着而委屈求全的… 唏嘘啊 !

多么美的一篇,却偏偏被那是又不是亲兄妹的亲兄妹关系给阉了, 被乱七八糟的上一代来个谎言连环套… 第一个见到自己容颜的偏偏是哥哥,你到要她还怎么杀他嫁他啊? 天下十兆人,明明 胡椒撒面粉似的,可偏偏他们父母玩到了一起, 自己却被他们玩残了… 这个套, 连死都解不了… 比萧峰还冤…

Random Discourse – Je Suis Dominique

These comments from a grief-stricken mother are so very heart wrenching to read. Let me quote:


Screenshot of Facebook Post

Dom, in these past 3+ years, I have been worn-down, beaten and defeated by the very government I taught you to trust; worn-down, beaten and defeated by the very system I counseled you to have faith in; worn-down, beaten and defeated by the very people I advised you to respect and honor.

Dom, forgive me. I taught you wrong.

The above was triggered by a recent court ruling. Private Dominique Sarron Lee’s mother, Felicia Seah, has sued the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), and his platoon commander as well as the chief safety officer of the exercise, alleging negligence on their part.

According to this article on the Straits’ Times, the defendants then applied to strike out the claim on the grounds that “there is no reasonable cause of action and that the suit is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process”, according to a provision in the Government Proceedings Act. The defendants argued that they are indemnified from being sued for negligence for deaths and injuries if the acts are certified to be attributable to service.

Judicial Commissioner Kannan Ramesh accepted that the arguments applied to this case and ruled against Mdm Seah.

As if that is not bad enough for the family, the court also ordered Mdm Seah to pay legal costs, amounting to some $22,000 to the defendants.

When I read that, it is almost as if Mdm Seah was stabbed twice. At the second stabbing, someone has even applied salt to the weapon (see picture) and then twisted it before pulling it out again.

According to this press release, the Committees of Inquiry concluded that the Training Safety Regulations (TSR) were breached. It is written in the press release that the Chief Military Prosecutor will determine if these personnel should be subject to a General Court Martial (GCM), to establish their degree of culpability and if found guilty, mete out the appropriate punishment. Police investigations are also on-going to determine whether to prosecute the personnel involved in Civil Court.

None of the news reporting this case gave me any information on whether any of the negligent persons was at the very minimum even reprimanded, if not punished in a GCM. Posting them to another position is not punishment. And what was the outcome of the police investigations? I would have accepted that the suit is so-called “frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process” if I had known that some of those have already been punished, somewhat.

Unfortunately, I cannot help but feel outraged at this court ruling thanks to the really deplorable standards of journalism in Singapore. Then again, maybe it’s not an issue with the standards, but rather the ever lower ranking Singapore gets in the Press Freedom Index every year (153 out of 180 in 2015). Those reporting on such matters simply did not dare to dig too deep.

Perhaps because the death of Pte. Dominique Lee has happened more in 2012, the Internet reaction was far more muted compared to that of the school boy who plunged to death after police investigations into an alleged outrage of modesty case. It was of no surprise to me why we Singaporean males have very little pride in NS. Compare our indifference to the well being of our conscripts, and the public reaction in Taiwan over the deaths of one of theirs.

No, I am not suggesting anyone break the laws here. But there has not even been a protest or a vigil held at Hong Lim Park.

I guess some of us would have simply shrug and said, “Too bad.” But this could have been anyone’s son, or brother. Or even someone’s husband or father doing his in-camp training. This could even have been me.

So I guess, I wouldn’t be audacious to say: Je Suis Dominique.

Frankly, I cannot imagine what it would have been like for my mother if it was me. I know she would be devastated, but I can only imagine how she could have managed to live on.

~ * ~

Have you ever wondered?
Why must we serve?
Because we love our land
And we want it to be free,
to be free, yeah

This is part of the lyrics of a song we often sang during route marches and jogs when we were conscripts. There was a time I believed what I was singing and I deeply believed this is my country, my way of life and I should defend it with my life. I have not wavered from my belief many years since, even when I certainly isn’t cut to be a soldier.

Now, I’m not so sure anymore.

Was those years worth it, for what Singapore has become?

Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens…

【Warning】 This post contains some spoilers. Proceed no further if you have not watch the movie.


Be warned! Spoilers lead to the Dark Side

I share a friend’s opinion that if you take too long to to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then it is your own fault to come across spoilers. Otherwise, there will be other spoilers that will come your way sooner or later.

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Last reminder that this page contains spoilers! Leave now!!!

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Anyway, back to the movie. I was disappointed when I was told that Disney has thrown out the entire Star Wars expanded universe. On hindsight, it is a good move because it puts an end to all the speculations, and the unrealistic expectations of the fans. When no one knows the storyline, they will not have too much expectations on it and thus there also won’t be as much criticism about the deviations from the novels. It also isn’t far fetched to say that even if one had not watched any of the prequels, one can still watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens and enjoy it.

However, for those who have read the novels, they will be able to see traces of the now defunct Star War expanded universe in the movie. For e.g. A scion of the Skywalker family turning to the dark side, the death of a main character, the destruction of the Republic capital planet, and a star and planet destroying weapon all reminds me of Jacen Solo, the death of Chewbacca, the Yuuzhan Vong capture of Coruscant, and the Sun Crusher from the Star Wars expanded universe. In fact, even the use of the name Ben would reminds me of the novels of the expanded universe. Perhaps, the script writers were paying a tribute to the expanded universe in a subtle way to appease the old fans. (And no, Chewbacca didn’t die in this movie like he did in the novel “Vector Prime”.)

There are however parts of the movie that one would consider ridiculous. For e.g. the Resistance trusting defector First Order Stormtrooper Finn without even minimal background check, and then acting on his information without asking for the details. Perhaps it was to reinforce the impression of Han Solo as a person who often shot from the hip, and to add some humorous moments to the movie, but in a desperate situation whereby complete destruction is imminent this in my opinion is utterly ridiculous even when we considered that the Resistance didn’t have much time to think it over. Also, exiting light speed at what would consider point-blank range into a planet and not smack right into it clearly defies physics. Either way, a movie is a movie and there’s no need to slavishly attach to certain facts.

For those who would expect a Master Chief like character from Halo, Captain Phasma would be a complete disappointment. I actually end up considering her nothing more than moving decoration, and perhaps a character that is added as an afterthought such that whatever crazy stunt Finn and Han Solo’s was going to pull on Starkiller Base would work. However, if that is the case she wouldn’t be needed either since Rey appears to have an aptitude for technology and it would enforce our impression of her attachment to the Force. Hopefully Captain Phasma will play a greater role in the next two episodes instead of being just a shiny looking stormtrooper.

General Hux doesn’t appear to be much either, except to give some less than inspirational Nuremberg Rally style speech to the troops before the firing of the First Order’s secret weapon, which did very little other than to remind me that the First Order is very much modelled after Nazi Germany.

There’s also much in the movie that is unexplained. Who is Rey? A part of her recollections seems to suggest that she was once a Jedi Padawan, perhaps in Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi Order. How does she suddenly know how to utilise the Force or certain Force skills without formal training? For e.g. Jedi Mind Tricks appears to be something that needs some practice and not some idea that suddenly come to mind to someone who for her entire life has thought of the Force and the Jedi as some kind of myths. Then again, that’s probably meant as a kind of bait to keep the interests of the fans going for the next installment of this trilogy.

Even so, I enjoyed the movie. Though at the same time I am also sad to see one of the main characters die. It was rather painful to watch that scene, and the way this episode ended almost make it certain that there’s no way for his return other than in the form of Force Apparations. Though how that is going to happen for a non-force user would be hard to explain. Fortunately, in the Star Wars expanded universe someone has pointed out that there is often a reason for bad feelings

I’ll leave it at this, since I believe I have already given too much away.

Random Discourse – GE 2015, the Aftermath…

On the night 11-9-2015 and the morning 12-9-2015, there were two very common comments among my friends “I don’t understand.” and “What the hell is going on?”

If those Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Google Hangout messages were voices, I could imagine myself sitting in a control room trying to make sense of the voices screaming out in shock and disbelief.

Yes, I don’t understand either.

I mean, I expected a bloodbath for the independent candidates, the Reform Party, the People’s Power Party, Singaporeans First, the Singapore Democratic Alliance and even the National Solidarity Party. I don’t really expect big gains for the Workers’ Party and I had hoped for the Singapore Democratic Party to finally return to Parliament after so many years. I was even hopeful that the Singapore People’s Party may recapture Potong Pasir.

But I really cannot understand the “resounding slap” that was given to SPP, SDP, and WP. I am really angered by this. Why are we punishing the people who did not cause the current predicament, and are actually trying to help?! These parties have put up pretty credible and qualified candidates. I wondered how these people would have felt and thought after the post mortem analysis of the election results. What, is the message are we sending? Would their reaction be to “take off their sandals and shake the dust off their feet”, and never to return?

If so, then we are headed into a future that may perhaps be even more unbearable than we can imagine. One may say then it shows they have no fighting spirit, that they have no heart for Singapore. But a mid-30 percent vote is no affirmation or encouragement for people to come forth and serve or the present alternative ideas. It is like throw a bucket of cold water at someone who is full of enthusiasm, or sticking one’s own warm cheeks to the cold butt of a corpse.

Yes, just what the hell is going on?

In particular, Potong Pasir. It was like someone ripped my heart out. Punggol East simply gave me the impression that there are two standards of measure for hard work. The disparity between the affirmation given to Tin Pei Ling and Lee Lilian made me feel that way. So, no one should complain about the double standards and hypocrisy of the PAP, because Singaporeans apparently practised that themselves!

There are many speculations: New citizens voters, carrots like the PG card, people getting fooled by all that attack on AHPETC, or even speculations about people “doing their last bit” for the deceased Lee Kuan Yew. Or perhaps, they believed that the voters of Aljunied and Hougang should be the only ones to continue to shoulder the burden of democracy. I won’t speculate, because it really doesn’t matter. The die is cast, we’ll have to accept what comes.

When the result for Aljunied GRC is finally announced and that WP has managed to keep it hanging by a thread, the alcohol took over and I fell asleep slumped on my computer chair. It was a fitful sleep, and I woke up with a bad hangover, feeling like a part of me has died. Something angry and dark has awaken.

Singapore, to me, is no longer the same again. Henceforth, the recital of the pledge rings hollow. All that call for unity is bullshit. While in the past though I felt the National Anthem could not inspire like Israel’s Haktiva, at least I can be proud of it. Now, there is no pride either.

The Singaporean Singapore has died. Long live the New Singaporean.

For those who voted for the opposition and saw it getting trounced, it is time to ponder how we are to go from here. If you want to quit and leave, then go. There is nothing to stop you from pursuing your happiness elsewhere. Or would you prefer to volunteer for the opposition, and fight till the very end?

Before I end, I would like to add, as a friend has rightly pointed out, “The only surprise is when the complainers say one thing and do another. No conviction in their words. These are the Singaporeans I currently abhor.”

For those of you in this group, only you know who you are. I do not wish you ill, nor will I say you have lost the right to complain. But I’ll prefer not to hear you whine, because I will be ready to rub it in any time. Don’t be a pussy. If the 3 in 10 did not whine and just suck it up, then you have the least of reasons to. Just STFU… before I slap you.

Feign innocence and protest all you want, but there is a 7 in 10 chance my anger has found its target. If you unfortunately happen to be the 3 in 10, well… you know, I know, heaven know. Let us just swallow back our own sorrows in private.

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