Wow, I have written a grand total of like 4 posts last year. Makes me wonder where and what I have spent the time on. On reflection, I realised that the lack of impetus to blog may also be a little related to some degree of disappointment with some of the people who I useed to have political and current affairs discussions. In general, the personal sentiment is that it will make no difference if these people have their way with their choice of government. It will be more of the same since they are themselves intolerant of those who would dare to contradict them.
Regardless, here’s some short takes on what I think about some recent events to get back into blogging.
“SMRT Ltd (Feedback)” vs
Well, I won’t comment on who has made a stronger case. But rather, it is pretty obvious that Xiaxuay isn’t going to come out on top at all. After all, all her past engagements were against people she has someone knowledge of, which thus allow her some leverage against them. But in the case of “SMRT Ltd (Feedback)“, just how does one fight someone with no real identity? We might not really know who Xiaxuay is, but there’s a picture of a pink piece of shit we can all put our boot to. But there is very little the general public knows about “SMRT Ltd (Feedback)”. What she is doing is like Polish cavalry charging with lances at Nazi Panzers. There can only be one outcome, and we are all waiting very patiently (and still waiting) for the Panzers to deliver the coup de grâce.
The rat problem in Bukit Batok
Well, I can agree that leftovers from stray dog feeding may have attracted the rodents in the first place. But that is not why an entire colony of several hundred rats flourished. Small amount of leftovers could not have sustained that kind of rat population. It is obvious that after being attracted to the area, the rats were later able to find an abundant food source which allowed them to “live long and prosper”.
Obviously, no one likes the prospect of that food source being identified. Residents will blame the town council and the MP for it, and in humiliation they will punish / fine the one who “created” that food source. Nevertheless, I suspect that residents have reported the problem for some time, but several smart alecks in different agencies and departments probably decided that it isn’t appropriate to utilize their budget to deal with, treated it as something outside their “jurisdiction” and just “pass the buck”. To put it in an analogy, it’s like a time bomb has been discovered but because no one is willing to defuse it, it is then passed around until it finally exploded in everyone faces. Sadly, even after that happened no one has the balls to own up and just say we messed up and we will do our best to clean it up. Instead, they find it more convenient to blame the stray dog feeders for the problem instead of finding a long term solution.
Meanwhile, rats are so common these days it’s not just a localised issue. Even so, it shouldn’t be a national issue, because crows and rodents are a big problem in every major city. To help solve this problem – leave no leftovers.
The proposed Sengkang West columbarium
Really, I am not interested if someone didn’t like it because of superstition or because it is going to affect the price of his flat, or that he is being short-changed (or conned) into “overpaying” for his unit because it was not what he thought a temple should be. In particular, whatever real life problems that a columbarium would bring, such as competition for car park spaces, road congestion etc also exists be it a church, or a school or even a shopping mall. Furthermore, temples with columbariums are not uncommon in Singapore. That is why in principle, I had originally objected to the complaints by some of these residents.
However, in spite of all that, some of the residents who are unhappy with it did made a valid point about the entity that was allowed to build the temple which will contain the columbarium. Regardless of what their original objection maybe, the question on why a plot of land meant for religious purposes was awarded to a commercial entity must be answered. Read about all that here.
While everything may indeed look legal or lawful, the matter is that what is legal or lawful does not necessarily mean it is right or good. Consider how AIM got then tender to all of the PAP town councils’ computer systems. How AIM got all that may perhaps be lawful, but there are very few who would consider that as right or good. So, this columbarium is yet another ticking time bomb and if not properly defused would definitely explode in the face of Sengkang West’s Member of Parliament and the ruling party. But of course, no one is betting on Sengkang West remaining as a SMC (Single Member Constituency) after the next boundary review by the elections department.
What is even more disappointing however, is that none of the alternative parties took this matter up and help the residents press for an acceptable answer on this matter.
【Addendum】 A friend pointed out that I was wrong in this assertion because at least the NSP did take up this matter.
It is not the first time some foreigner comes to Singapore, enjoy this country’s hospitality, and the education or job opportunities provided and then go on to make disparaging remarks about us. I am not going to go into a tirade against specific groups of foreigners or all foreigners because that would play into the hands of those who find every nitty-gritty thing to label anyone a xenophobe. Furthermore, in my office I had worked with a number of “Edz Ello’s” countrymen and there are a few I truly enjoyed working with. At the very least they are competent in what they do compared to another group who is acclaimed to be “experts” in Information Technology.
But I have said this before, and I will say it again – in no small part the main stream media (MSM) and perhaps a part of this country’s policies have brought this upon us. When our own
leaders lea-duhs berate us for not having “spurs stuck to our hide”, or that Singapore “cannot do without foreigners” and even “foreign talents provide good jobs to Singaporeans”, how can the least of the foreigners not even think highly of themselves and consider Singaporeans to be inferior? Worse of it all when foreigners acts bad ass, our lea-duhs then tell us to “reflect”, or to “have a big heart” without even so much a slap on the wrist against the offenders. That is then followed up by their supporters and followers which waste no time in labelling anyone a xenophobe or their comments as xenophobic.
Really, how can Singaporeans not be angry and view this as a form of a injustice and unfairness? And where else can we seek re-dress other than an outpour of condemnation in the alternative media because the angry voices are never allowed to be heard on the MSM? There will be those who will say Edz Ello is entitled to his freedom of speech. Likewise, afford us our freedom of speech to condemn him then.
If freedom of speech is indeed practised, then let those among us correct those who are too extreme without anyone labelling any unhappiness against foreigners as xenophobia.
Je ne suis pas Charlie
Freedom of Speech. No one should dictate what another can say blah blah blah…
The fact is, freedom of speech is an unachievable ideal. Perhaps achievable when when human beings behave reasonably, logically and rationally. But human beings aren’t always that. No matter how much we insist there should be ‘freedom of speech’, one fine day there’s still going to be some idiot who will punch another in the face for saying something offensive, or kill another for insulting his mother.
Some will say to self-censor means it’s a form of fear, and to be in fear and thus not be able to do something is thus a lost of freedom. Now let me put that in perspective. Fear, is irrational. Fear is not real. Danger is however, real and tangible. If someone puts a knife across my throat and ask me to stop saying something, I will stop. That is not because I fear, nor am I giving up my freedom. But rather, the danger of losing my life is real. Have I make myself clear? Really, if anyone wants to be the hero and continue saying whatever offends the other chap, even when he really has no right to be offended, and then lose his life for it – be my guest.
That said, let me emphasize: Killing IS NOT right. Killing IS NOT at all reasonable or rational either. But one can continue hiding behind that veil called ‘freedom of speech’, but beware that one might ultimately pay the price for not being responsible in considering how someone else might feel otherwise about the satires, or even racists jokes he might be cracking – not just to friends – but to the anyone out there in the world who can see it.
So go ahead and persist with the “freedom to insult” and “freedom to offend”. We will all condemn the killers, but I certainly won’t feel sorry for the chaps in Charlie Hebdo. To even call it satire would be an insult to newnation.sg or even Leslie Chew, who made the Demoncratic comics (even though I don’t really like his stuff).
And so, je ne suis pas Charlie (I am not Charlie).