Drunk man arrested for kicking a bus in Serangoon Road

From ‘Man who kicked bus at Serangoon Road arrested’, 31 March 2014, article in CNA

Police arrested a 51-year-old man on Saturday after he tried to stop a bus and kicked it when the bus driver could not let him board. The video of the incident went viral after being uploaded online. Bus operator SBS Transit said that on March 29 at about 6pm, a Service 65 bus heading towards Tampines had pulled out of a bus stop in front of an Indian temple along Serangoon Road when a man rushed across the road from the right.

The man stood in front of the bus, obstructed its path and demanded to be allowed on board, despite the fact that the bus was no longer at the bus stop. According to SBS Transit, the bus was in fact already on the second lane of the road.

When the man’s request was refused, he proceeded to hit and kick the bus exterior and damaged the left rear mirror and the front wiper of the bus. Meanwhile, the bus captain called the Operations Control Centre, which then contacted the police for assistance.

A passer-by also came forward to assist by advising the man to get back on the pavement. The SBS Transit spokesperson added that as a result of the incident, the trip had to be disrupted for the 45 passengers on board. The man was subsequently taken away by police to assist with investigations. (According to ST, they ‘understand that the man was drunk’)

The video is pure entertainment and uniquely Singaporean from start to finish, with action, comedy and drama all rolled in one. Here are some of the best bits, with dialogue unsurpassed by anything Jack Neo’s Singlish script generator can muster.

0.25: ‘Eh brudder, brudder, don’t open lerh, I scared lerh’

0.28: ‘L*nj*ao la!’

1.25: THIS gesture


1.39: Drunk:OPEN!

          Driver: CANNOT! (LOL)

1.45: ‘Wah, Spiderman huh’?

1.49: ‘He’s marbuk (drunk) ah? Marbuk already’.

1.55: Drunk man swings on a windscreen wiper.


2.11: An Indian man steps in and takes a shove calmly, with a van passing close by. Thankfully, this being Little India, only 1 other man gets involved, though there were many bystanders watching the scene unfold.


2.37: This holy man on the extreme left, presumably from the temple nearby.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 6.37.16 PM

2.53: Indian hero saves the guy from being knocked down by a passing car. Even helps him up.

2.57: ‘Sibei Siao eh’

3.04: ‘His leg kena, his leg kena.’

Hilarity aside, the bus driver did the right thing not to be intimidated and allow the nuisance in, and luckily the man wasn’t strong enough to smash the glass door in, as a Chinese national did last year. Incidentally, that also happened around Little India, which has already been identified as a ‘powder keg’ ready to explode. Here’s what could happen if you’re drunk and on a bus:

If you’re drunk anywhere near a bus stop, you could fall asleep on the bus bay, get run over and killed instantly. Or you could lose your balance and fall before a bus, like what happened to trigger the Little India Riot last year. That’s not including he numerous DUI accidents and deaths as a result of intoxication.  All this despite recent curbs in alcohol licensing and tax increases, from a country that has banned adultery sites and chewing gum. It looks like alcohol and all its consequences, the laughable and fatal ones, are here to stay.

It’s a shame that this incident took place just days before the roll out of the enhanced security measures from the Public Order (Additional Temporary Measures) Act. If it had occurred on April 1st (POATA implementation date), we’d have more to chuckle about, that being April Fools’ and all.


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Purple light army song promotes sexual violence against women

From AWARE Facebook page, 15 Nov 2013 and ‘Offensive verse of army song banned’, 16 Nov 2013, article by Jermyn Chow, ST

(AWARE) Ever wonder if speaking up about sexism really creates change? Here’s one case where it has! Earlier this year, AWARE learned of “Purple Light”, a marching song sung by many NSmen, which included the lines:

“Booking out, see my girlfriend
Saw her with another man
Kill the man, rape my girlfriend
With my rifle and my buddy and me.”

We were troubled that NSmen were bonding over misogynist lyrics about committing sexual violence against women. So we raised our concerns with MINDEF and SAF.

And now we have excellent news: MINDEF and SAF have confirmed that they took steps to investigate. They will “immediately halt” the singing of these lyrics, which they describe as “contrary to the values of [their] organisation”.

It’s really encouraging that MINDEF and SAF are prepared to listen to feedback, recognise this as an issue and take action on it. Thumbs up!

(ST)…Aware’s executive director Corinna Lim said in a statement yesterday that the group was alerted to the offensive lyrics by seven national servicemen during a workshop in July that was held as part of Aware’s ongoing campaign to stop violence against women.

Ms Lim said: “These misogynistic lyrics tolerate and normalise the violent sexual abuse of women, condoning gang- rape as a justified punishment for infidelity.”

She added: “Such lyrics may encourage young men at impressionable ages to objectify women, and contribute to an environment where violence against women is trivialised.”

If I had sung such a lyric during road marches or battalion runs I would have remembered it till now, but I don’t. I would also never think of participating in AWARE workshops to protest about army songs like these 7 NSmen did. In another version of the song, ‘rape’ is replaced by ‘beat’, which doesn’t make it any better by AWARE’s standards. Purple Light has devolved over the years, from a rousing ode to loyalty and patriotism to the extent of ‘burying yourself with your rifle and buddy when you die’, to one containing a tasteless, but more importantly, unfunny verse re-enacting some angry boy’s sick fantasy.

This is how the ‘clean’ version sounds like, with the violence and misogyny replaced by ‘broken heart, back to army’, where the recruit seeks solace in the Purple Light trinity that is ‘my rifle and my buddy and me’. No sir, nothing remotely kinky about that at all.

From the AWARE post, it seems that the Legion just wants SAF to stop singing those specific lyrics, but makes no mention of calling for the song’s BAN altogether, as interpreted by TRS. Maybe it’s time we standardise the song to the wimpy ‘broken heart’ version, but I doubt that anyone who continues to belt out the X-rated Purple Light would get any form of actual punishment beyond verbal abuse such as ‘KNNBCCB’ (next on the list of AWARE’s banned army words, perhaps?)

AWARE may nitpick on marketing bloopers like green eyeshadow for women and trophy boyfriend advertisements, but intruding into camp affairs like marching songs, swear-words or CB leaves is like a group of Girl Guides trying to infiltrate a Boys Only tree-house and telling them not to use ‘boobies’ as a secret password. We often use the phrase ‘fuck spider’ in camp but you don’t see the SPCA banging on our doors demanding to stop this gross bestiality. MOM are not taking NSmen to task for making their maids carry backpacks for them, and the Nature Society is not at all concerned about us messing with taxonomy when we name plants after female genitalia. For decades, NS has taken obscene liberties with sex equality, yet we haven’t become a nation of rapists and wife-beaters, as AWARE is terrified of us turning into after singing Purple Light while marching.

But it’s not just army songs that are too ‘rapey’ for their own good. What does AWARE think about Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines then, a massively popular song that’s not confined to army grounds but blasted out there on the airwaves for little children to hear. Oh the humanity!

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you

Or God forbid, Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby’s Got Back.

That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung, wanna pull out your tough
‘Cause you notice that butt was stuffed

Why, we should also abolish the classic analogy, or rather ‘objectification’, of rifles as soldiers’ ‘wives’, since we do a lot of weapon ‘stripping’, chain them up in an armory once we’re done with them, ‘muzzle’ them and rest our cheeks against their butts. The frequent use of ‘Guniang’ as a taunt is also degrading to the women, depicting them as the ‘weaker’ sex. Or ban sexy SAF Drama and Dance performers after a victorious field exercise and have them replaced by Village People tribute bands instead, singing ‘Macho Macho Man’, with our rifles and our buddies and… well, you get my drift.

That is where, I wanna be

Ironically, there’s a Purple Light Walk held in the US which aims to raise awareness of domestic violence. Also, a Purple Light movie in the works, which I hope has none of that sexist, misogynistic content that made Ah Boys to Men such a disgrace to the SAF. One Ah Boy actor, Ridhwan Azman, made the news after slapping his girlfriend. Not sure if the ‘Purple Light’ verse was playing in his head then, like a Satanic rock song coaxing one into sacrificing a virgin at the altar. In fact, AWARE nominated Ah Boys to Men for the prestigious Alamak award for its unabashed sexist violence (with a 48% vote), instead of calling for its rating to be revised to R-21 or something. We should really have an award for AWARE’s complaints, called the ‘AWARE Insistently Yakking On Hombres’ award, or ‘AIYOH’ for short.

Maybe AWARE  should propose its own ‘You Go Girl!’ remix of  Purple Light, which would probably contain lyrics like:

Purple line, take to Sengkang
Lao Tiko, staring at me
Take my heels, stab his birdie
With my BFF and my Prada and MEEEE

Went shopping, got GSS
Saw my man, with another girl

Take my scissors, cut off his testes
With my BFF and my Prada and MEEEE

And we guys would just laugh it off, or cringe nervously, instead of complaining about graphic genital mutilation.

Postscript: Mindef later clarified that the song hasn’t been outright banned, but confirmed that the original version was indeed the ‘broken heart’ one. Despite the army having us ‘training to be soldier’ and ‘fight for our land’, there’s nothing a killing machine can do to confront his cheater girlfriend and her new guy except confide in his buddy and hug his rifle sobbing to sleep. I’d suggest removing the stanza altogether.

Gordon Ramsay hawker cook-off a publicity stunt

From ‘Hawker cook-off with Ramsay a publicity stunt’, 6 July 2013, Mailbag, ST Life

(Dr Michael Loh): Is the cook-off between foul-mouthed British chef Gordon Ramsay and Singapore’s so-called Top 3 favourite Hawker Heroes on Sunday (Gordon Ramsay Takes On Hawkers, Life!, July 4) an irresponsible publicity stunt?

The reasons given for this event, organised by SingTel, are wishy-washy. SingTel’s publicity materials say: “Recently, there’s been great concern regarding the decline of local hawker culture and whether Michelin-starred accreditation would encourage fresh blood to join the trade and preserve our beloved heritage.”

If you cut through the gibberish, anyone will know that this is just another publicity stunt for the telco. There is nothing wrong for companies, in the face of fierce competition, to clutch at straws to win customers. But, to have an expletive-spewing, abusive, megalomaniac – who is hardly a role model for our children – come to Singapore and take on our hawkers is, to me, a shameless act by SingTel.

I haven’t watched a single episode of Hell’s Kitchen, but just an uncensored swearing compilation alone would give you some idea of what a nasty, violent bastard Ramsay the TV personality is, cussing at women, spitting into food and short of bashing participants senseless with crockery. As entertainment, the boot camp-in-a-kitchen concept is a success, though the vulgarities tend to lack imagination after a while.  Fans believe that his volcanic personality and potty mouth is what makes the Gordon Ramsay brand, hence the mobbing at Maxwell hawker centre while he was chopping chicken at Maxwell’s Tian Tian (incidentally the same stall that fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdian promoted when he was here some years back).  Singaporeans gravitate to the rude ‘bad-boy’ celebrity chef the same way they idolise meanies Simon Cowell and Donald Trump on the Apprentice, though some of the hawkers interviewed had no idea who Ramsay was (‘Is he Singaporean?) or what, or who, Michelin is (Name of a KTV girl?).

Ramsay’s promo for the Hawker Heroes event was designed and scripted to irritate the most passionate hawker food lover, and nothing would please a Singaporean more than seeing a brash, haughty ang moh beaten at his own game. Yes, it’s a publicity stunt that banks on the clash of cultures – Obnoxious Western chef meets the heartland hawker – and I’m not sure how getting Ramsay to cook his own version of chicken rice, laksa or chili crab would help the hawker dilemma in any way whatsoever. If nothing is done to change the way we educate our kids or how they view employment, we will lose our heritage no matter how many top chefs we fly in to help boost it. You don’t get into the business to just to please the occasional celebrity visitor, but the people who keep you employed, Singaporeans themselves. In fact, Michelin maestros have been settling down rather nicely here since 2007 with their fancy brand extensions. If anything they’re inspiring fine dining as a profession rather than saving hawker cuisine from certain death. I, for one, wouldn’t eat at a ‘Michelin-starred’ char kuay teow stall because it’s patronising to tradition and utterly pretentious. What next, gold leaf on carrot cake?

But so what if it’s just shameless publicity? I didn’t even know this was Singtel sponsored until I read this letter. Singtel doesn’t need to sell its services anymore than the Army needs recruitment videos. This is, after all, the same telco that brought you the F1 and Singtel Grid girls. In fact, I’d rather a naughty celebrity chef fly in here to promote the country as a culinary destination, than them holding a energy-consuming, air-polluting monster night race. So far, reports of Ramsay’s behaviour have been described as ‘kind’ and somewhat humane and I doubt he’d throw a hissy fit at the chicken rice aunty and jeopardise his contract with Singtel and even reputation by giving her a heart attack. Interviewers would have to tread carefully when it comes to personal questions with the chef though, in case they get labelled as ‘old, ugly, lesbian pigs’ behind their backs.

As for whether children care enough about celebrity chefs to look up to them as role models I’m not sure. Ramsay’s popular TV shows sure as Hell don’t look appealing to the young and impressionable, though in the ‘F word’ he talks to his children about the harsh reality of where pork comes from. He even teaches them how to make Christmas Mint Chocolate Truffles in the clip below. Given his kitchen persona as a sadistic, arrogant bastard, Ramsay mentioning ‘honey’ and ‘chocolate’  in the same sentence is as creepy as a serial killer singing a nursery rhyme.

Postscript: Of the 3 dishes, Gordon won for chilli crab, which was the odd one out in the first place. Well, they had to give the man something.

Singapore Shiok ad makes Caucasian look like a schmuck

From ‘Singapore Shiok, or just silly?’, 28 April 2013, article by Nicholas Yong, Sunday Times

First, Singapore was marketed as uniquely itself as a tourist destination. Then, it became yours. Now, it is “shiok” too. The Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) latest marketing video on YouTube revolves around the Singlish expression – derived from the Malay word “syok”, which means nice – for extreme pleasure. Cold ice kacang on a hot day? Shiok. The adrenaline rush of sky-diving? Shiok! Being massaged at a posh spa? Shhh…iok.

…In the Singapore video, a Caucasian man struggling to pronounce “shiok” – defined helpfully on screen as “a Singaporean expression denoting extreme pleasure or the highest quality” – opens the clip. When he finally succeeds, his Singaporean friends applaud him…Branding expert Tim Clark, a Briton in his 60s, thinks “using the local language to help visitors to connect with a country is a good thing”.

…Professor Gemma Calvert, a British professor at NTU’s Institute for Asian Consumer Studies, agrees with Mr Clark that the video makes the featured foreigner struggling to pronounce “shiok” look “a bit of a shmuck“. She says: “The phrase isn’t particularly difficult to pronounce and therefore may come across as slightly patronising to outsiders. As a Caucasian myself, I admit I cringed to some extent at the representation portrayed by this particular individual.”

…Creative director Hanson Ho, in his 30s, of H55 studio also notes: “‘Shiok’ is sometimes expressed somewhat artificially in certain scenes, making it seem quite unnatural.” For instance, having a little boy whisper “shiok” at the sight of zoo animals at the Night Safari seemed to be stretching it a little.

…Lawyer Samantha Ong, 31, wonders if the video could have varied its local vocabulary a little. “There’s a serious overuse of the word ‘shiok’ that’s kind of cheesy and annoying,” she says of the yelled, purred and breathed incarnations in the video.

“Aren’t there other ‘uniquely Singapore’ words or ways to express pleasure, such as ‘sedap’ or ‘ho chiak’ (delicious in Malay and Hokkien)?”


By attempting to globalise the word and sell it to visitors, ‘Shiok’ has become as problematic as ‘Lah’: Both also ‘ANYHOW use one’. If a kid exclaimed to me that watching animals in a zoo is ‘shiok!’ I would instantly correct him that he should have used the more generic ‘Wahh’ instead. I may even tolerate the Americanised ‘Awesome’ or ‘Whoa!’. Other scenes where the use of shiok is exaggerated and unnatural include Singaporeans showing off their shopping haul, ‘shioking’ at a club, or marvelling at the LV island in MBS. A simple ‘Wow’ or ‘Niiice’ wouldn’t stick as well, but these poor examples of shiok are as misplaced as getting locals to yell ‘Yahoo’ or ‘Yippee’ while exhibiting ‘extreme pleasure’, though ‘yahoo’ is something I often say in my head with an imaginary fist-pump whenever I manage to board an MRT train during peak hour.

Singaporeans also tend to be bad teachers of their own beloved lingo. When UK boyband The Wanted popped by to perform, fans cheered when they said ‘Singaporean girls are SHIOK’. Totally wrong and even demeaning in today’s context, but the fans don’t care, and this mistake will be perpetuated to every celebrity the world over, who’ll pepper their concerts with forced Singlish like ‘You’re such a SHIOK audience, LAH’. Ugh.

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 8.12.39 AM

When singer Demi Lovato was in town, DJ Divian Nair decided to teach her how to use shiok (like ‘awesome’) as a warm-up during an interview, with the superstar obliging with ‘I’m feeling shiok right now’. Lucky Divian. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine says Singapore is ‘like, TOTALLY SHIOK’. Neither of these Caucasians has difficulty pronouncing the word, which is like replacing the C in Coke with Sh- (unless you want to be picky and insist that there should be a ‘-yee-ok’ sound). We seem to have an obsession with trying to get foreigners to speak Singlish with the same sadistic enthusiasm as teasing a kitten with a laser pointer. It may well be pride on our part to promote Singlish, but it does make a sporting goon out of non-Singaporeans when they mutilate it, be it shiok, lah or ‘Ho-Say’.

The worst abuse of shiok, however, comes from our Board of Censors. In 1999, when they found the use of ‘Shagged’ in the movie title Austin Powers:The Spy who Shagged Me objectionable, they proposed to replace the offensive word to the verb-form ‘SHIOKED’, as in The Spy who SHIOKED me, which would suggest to those unfamiliar with Singlish that shiok is a euphemism for the F-word. Thanks to our authorities, IMDB now thinks that shioked means ‘to be treated nicely’. If they had really pulled the title edit off, this ad, with the zoo kid whispering a potentially foul word into Daddy’s ear, wouldn’t exist. Max George from the Wanted would have said: ‘I’m here to Shiok some Singapore Girls’. To some cheers still.

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 10.20.59 AM

Yet, it’s not so simple defining when exactly shiok should be used. It’s like trying to teach someone when to use ‘lah’, ‘leh’ and ‘lor’. We have been known to use it in various contexts outside of food from which I believe it originally evolved (Humorist Paik Choo described ‘shiok’ mee rebus in a 1979 ST article). Enjoying rainy weather, lying on a hard cold floor on a blistering hot day or even sprawling out on a king-size bed in a hotel room may qualify as ‘shiok’ activities today. It’s often an interjection ejaculated reflexively, like the opposite of ‘Ouch’, and preceded by a period of anticipation or suffering, specific to a relatively quick, pleasurable stimulus. Nobody goes to a club and yells ‘SHIOK’ while dancing, nor experiences shiok-ness after staring at a fancy floating building for minutes. A massage after a long day? Shiok. A hot bath after a marathon? Lagi shiok! But saying ‘Singapore is SHIOK’? GET LOST LAH.

Foreign student, 13, arrested for MBS bomb threat

From ‘Boy arrested over threat to blow up MBS’, 1 Jan 2013, article in CNA

Police have arrested a 13-year-old boy who threatened to plant bombs in Marina Bay Sands. The boy had posted the threat on his Facebook page last Saturday. The boy cannot be named as he is a minor.

Police said the case is classified as a Breach of Prohibition Against False Threats of Terrorist Acts. If convicted, he could be fined up to S$100,000 and jailed up to 5 years.

Police investigations are ongoing.

What a way to start the New Year. The name of the culprit was withheld, but it’s likely to be a certain ‘Aditya Bhatia’, an Indian studying in the Global Indian International School according to his Facebook page (1 Jan 2013, ST). This is his ominous Facebook threat in its full uncensored glory.

Singapore: A piece of piece of shit

God knows what Singapore or MBS has done to incur the wrath of a destructive 13 year old, though you can’t exactly discount this rant as ‘mischief’ either, considering how kids these days could pick up bomb-building tips easily from Youtube. Maybe he thought the building was so ugly it had to be demolished. I doubt the US or Canadian immigration would accept him now that he’s getting a criminal record for terrorist behaviour, but I’m sure some Taliban scouts are interested. Spitting everywhere is a surefire way of getting caught, but Aditya Bomberman’s probably too preoccupied with angry thoughts of exploding things or too young to know what DNA is. Incidentally, on the same day this piece of news was reported, a crude bomb was uncovered in Delhi near the home of one of the suspects who brutally gang-raped a woman on a bus. For all we know Aditya (also from New Delhi according to FB) may have already been a amateur bomb-maker back home when other boys are spinning  tops or playing jump rope with the girls. Kids.

In 2010, another student posted his pyromaniac fantasy of ‘bombing all the top schools in Singapore’.  ‘John’ also made a public request to ‘learn terroism’. Totally unacceptable. Everyone knows that the first rule of being a terrorist is being able to SPELL terrorism correctly.

Other kids just wish for Playstations, dude.

That same year, another teen posted a checklist of things that he ‘wants’ to do, like being a hired killer and bombing a secondary school and police station. Whatever happened to cooler stuff like hacking into government websites or getting a motorcycle licence? Both boys got arrested for their posts for merely ‘wishing’ to carry out violent activities, not to mention plot big, big revenge like Aditya here. Maybe these guys are all friends on FB, with their own page called ‘We Da Bomb!’ or something. Such bloody fantasies of annihilating everything in their path is not restricted to little menaces to society though; In 2011, an upset job candidate threatened to bomb Parliament, the police force and a prison, earning himself 9 months in the slammer. He didn’t even have the balls of a 13 year old to make the threat under his own name.

People do secretly want to inflict dramatic violence on others or public property occasionally, but where do the police draw the line? Would you get charged only if you mention the specific word ‘bomb’? What if instead of ‘planting bombs’ all over MBS, I mention something physically impossible like say, summon a series of lightning strikes to rip the Skypark off the top of MBS like Zeus, or cast an infernal zombie curse on its inhabitants? How do the authorities distinguish between a legitimate security threat and the black magic ravings of a lunatic? What if Aditya had said: ‘GONNA STEAL A RIFLE FROM ARMY CAMP AND SHOOT EVERYONE IN ORCHARD ROAD’? How serious should one view such a threat? Is the SAF going to ever sound the alarm and deploy troops to barricade every single armory in Singapore to prevent a 13 year old from going on a shooting spree? What is he, Magneto Jr?


Vulgar RI teacher reported to Police and 2 Ministers

From ‘RI takes action against teacher’, 8 Dec 2012, article by May Chen, ST

RAFFLES Institution (RI) is taking disciplinary action against one of its teachers, Mr Adrian Chng, for using inappropriate language – even though he did not do so in his capacity as an RI teacher. The Straits Times reported on Thursday that Chew Jee Yang, 17, a Singapore Polytechnic student and member of the national youth softball team, had filed a police report against Mr Chng, the team manager, for his use of expletives in a WhatsApp group chat with three co-captains of the squad. Wang Zheng Rong, 18, also took issue with Mr Chng’s choice of words, although Chin Ken Min, 19, distanced himself from the complaints.

…Mr Chng, RI’s assistant head of the physical education and co-curricular activities department, is also the secretary-general of the Singapore Baseball and Softball Association. Mr Chng and the three players had been discussing preparations for an overseas tournament in Argentina last month in the WhatsApp conversation, which took place in September. In it, he used expletives such as “f***” no fewer than four times.

A complaint against Mr Chng was also later e-mailed to several parties – including Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong – by Chew and Wang’s mothers.

…AN EXCERPT of one of the exchanges Mr Chng had with his student-athletes.

The conversation was in response to the teacher, who was functioning as a team manager, chasing the boys for jersey and slacks sizes ahead of an overseas trip. He had lamented that time was “tight”.

  • Zheng Rong: Frankly speaking time can’t be tight time runs at a constant speed! HAHAH!
  • Teammate: Lol
  • Adrian Chng: U better make sure ur a** super tight if not de bat I’m gonna stuff in there is gonna fall out

Maybe it’s not Adrian Chng’s profanity that the MOTHERS of these teenagers are worried about, but that he could be a dangerous bat-wielding sodomiser who preys on innocent virgin boys. This is how the accused looks like according to the SBSA (Singapore Baseball and Softball Association) website. You can’t deny the respectability of a suit and tie.

By now, getting the police involved in teacher-student spats isn’t surprising anymore. It has been done for teachers who’re too stern, or those who ruin expensive haircuts before important examinations. What’s disturbing is these budding athletes have their mummies complaining to MINISTERS for abusive, sexually charged, language. When Chew and Wang enlist into the army, is Mummy going to complain to Ng Eng Hen for homophobic verbal abuse by drill sergeants as well? Or feedback to SAF that no one tucks them in to sleep at night?

Perhaps Chng as team manager was doing a favour and prepping the boys for a hard NS life, where threats of sodomy with random objects are used in place of ‘Good Morning Recruits!’. Or he was just doing what most sports team managers would do to discipline their charges, regardless of whether their day job was teaching in a prestigious school or preaching from a pulpit. I thought we’ve come to accept that angry, ‘macho’ profanity in the management of competitive sport is all part of team camaraderie, whether it’s boys’ softball, men’s rugby or in a bikini beach volleyball World Cup tournament. The only sports coach who doesn’t need to resort to potty-mouthing is the one in charge of seniors’ Gateball.

What is known is that Chng is apparently doing a good job with RI softball. Earlier this year, the RI team beat Hwa Chong for their fifth national school’s title in 6 years. God knows if a fiery personality and foul language were part of his coaching methodology, but it seems to work for RI. It was just unfortunate that Chng’s obscenities were documented in Whatsapp group chat this time round. If every testosterone-charged team coach or manager was caught F-bombing or mentally ass-raping his squad and summoned by the police or ministers because of distraught parents, what hope is there for youth sports in this country? What if Chng wasn’t from RI but from a ‘neighbourhood school’ instead? Would the boys and their mothers let him off then? Maybe these boys and their parents have been watching too much of Disney’s Angels in the Outfield.

Even if Chng were indeed using foul language on a student in the capacity of an educator, is a police report even necessary? In 2008, a CCA teacher reportedly cursed and sweared at his ex-student for not greeting him properly.  Private tutors have been known to lash out at hopeless students on Facebook.  But in most cases it’s often the teacher at the receiving end of a student’s fury. In a reversal of the case above, a distressed teacher called the police to report a Hokkien-vulgarity spewing pupil in 2008. Another RJC teacher had to respond to a vulgar Facebook post online about not being able to ‘fxxxing control the class’. Many petty obscenities hurled at unpopular teachers are often ignored, because students heaping scorn on a teacher is expected – it even bonds them with fellow students – but not the other way round, even if such ‘motivational’ expletives are the secret to a softball team’s success.

Without a full picture of the relationship between Chng and his boys, one can’t tell if he was indeed abusing his authority or was just being his normal foul-mouthed self and was marked for some unknown reason. I’m guessing that it’s his ties with an elite school which may have inflamed any misgivings between the parties involved. In the meantime, if you’re in the business of playing a sport that uses anything with a handle, be it a softball bat or a croquet mallet, making nerdy jokes to your coach about ‘time-tightness’ may not be the smartest thing to do. If you’re a teacher suffering from Tourette’s syndrome, delete Whatsapp off your phone with immediate effect.

Sex Violence and Family Values NOT allowed for All Rating

From ‘S’pore film yanked from release over offensive racial remarks’, 9 Oct 2012, article by John Lui, ST

A LOCAL comedy that had originally been given an M18 film classification has had its release pulled by the Media Development Authority (MDA) over offensive racial remarks, just days before it is due to open in cinemas. Sex.Violence.FamilyValues, a compendium of three short films by first-time director Ken Kwek, was handed a Not Allowed For All Rating last evening, a rarely used classification. A film given such a rating is not allowed to be screened.

…Of the three shorts in Sex.Violence.FamilyValues, Porn Masala is the most controversial, revolving around the making of Singapore’s first “arthouse porno”. In a trailer released on the film’s website a few weeks ago, a boorish film director played by Adrian Pang and an Indian porn actor played by Vadi PVSS are seen trading racial insults, based on gross stereotypes.

…The MDA statement said: “An overwhelming majority of the panel members have expressed that the film should not be allowed for public exhibition in view of its overt racial references, which are demeaning and offensive to Indians.”

In the ‘dirty’ version of the movie trailer, Adrian Pang’s porn director makes reference to sex and alcohol in relation to  Vasantham actor Vadi PVSS’s race. This ‘unkindest cut of all’ comes fresh after Amy Cheong got sacked for posting remarks about Malay weddings on Facebook, except this time it’s another minority race bearing the insult. Lionel De Souza is probably drafting a police report against the cast and crew as we speak.

At this rate of heavy censures being handed out for any form of stereotyping, where you could fire an NTUC assistant director or pull someone’s movie off local cinemas, you wouldn’t expect anything less than sacking radio DJs for mocking Indian accents, dismissing ST writers referring to ‘often- drunk Sikh priests’, or closing down Breadtalk for selling bread named ‘Naan the Nay’. You might as well clamp down on Kumar’s comedy routine, or ban all Bollywood DnD theme parties. Now, even being ‘politically incorrect’ is hazardous to your mental health not to mention career. But as if losing your bread and butter isn’t enough, your former employers use blame-shifting phrases like ‘I DID what WE had to do’(Lim Swee Say), and then ask people to ‘spare a thought’ for you after what they did to you. That’s like pushing you off a cliff and then throwing a pillow down in the hope that it would somehow cushion your fall.

The ‘Not Allowed for All Rating’, or NAR, is slapped on films which MDA describes as follows according to their Film Classification Guidelines:

  • Themes that promote issues that denigrate any race or religion, or undermine national interest will not be allowed.
  • Themes that glorify undesirable fetishes or behaviour (e.g. paedophilia and bestiality) are not allowed.
  • Promotion or glamorisation of homosexual lifestyle.

Which puts Sex Violence in the same league as donkey porno. How did Sacha Baron Cohen’s films like Borat, Bruno and The Dictator get past the censors then? Did anyone miss the screaming Chinaman stereotype in films like the Hangover and Ted? Why wasn’t Mike Myers’ THE GURU banned? How about the discriminatory banter between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour trilogy? Did MDA ignore all these elements because these were blockbusters and Ken Kwek’s film is a small indie movie, or did they all assume that some races are better at taking potshots than the others?

But it’s not just Hollywood movies that have the potential to fall into NAR territory. Even our local productions are full of disguised ‘racism’, with Chinese being overrepresented in dramatic roles. In National Day videos, you’ll invariably have singing Indian prata men, and nobody said anything about Alaric Tay’s portrayal of a ‘Mat Rocker’ in the Noose. The only reason why nobody considers making the latter into a full-length feature is because MDA may NAR it too, on the grounds of ‘overt racial references’. Hence the I Not Stupid sequels. I suppose it’s better to have horrible English than being, you know, RACIST.

Moving along. Under ‘Language’, you have:

  • Language that denigrates religion or is religiously profane (e.g. Jesus F**king Christ).

Fair enough. Except that in Ted, I believe there was a scene where the exact same wording as above was used, but the middle profanity was muted out. In the 25th hour, a good few minutes were sliced off Edward Norton’s ‘fuck the world’ rampage against the various ethnicities in New York City (for a R21 rating). Isn’t the NAR rating in this case like decapitating a patient who has a stye in the eye, firing a bazooka into a mouse hole, or using a samurai sword to peel a banana? Did someone lose the censors’ chopper and decided it was easier to ban it altogether? How about delaying Sex Violence’s slated release to talk to the producers about possible re-shoots? You know, a CONVERSATION perhaps? Maybe there could be two versions of the movie, an internationally acclaimed one called Sex Violence Family Values, and an edited PG 13 one for the domestic market that is ‘community-friendly’ called, well, FAMILY VALUES. Instead of Porn Masala, you could replace it with an episode of Jacintha’s ‘Mum’s not Cooking’.

Whether Sex Violence is considered satirical art is irrelevant. As with all banned videos, thousands of curious Singaporeans will be googling Porn Masala as we speak (Don’t do it at work, you’ll get ACTUAL PORN as the top search hit instead), but it’s unlikely that we’ll see the original version on Youtube, what used to be a trusted treasure trove of stuff that MDA’s censor panel can’t deal with after a century of co-mingling with other races (Well THANKS A LOT Innocence of Muslims!). At the expense of being annoyingly cordial to each other where any suggestion of discrimination has to be repressed, we’ve sadly lost the ability to laugh at ourselves, which is the way most developed countries deal with the idiosyncrasies of their racial melting pots. Forget the National Conversation. I want our national Humour back.

Yet, ironically, some good may come out of this. If Ken Kwek continues the run on the international circuit and ride on the publicity of the ban, Sex Violence will garner more attention than Sex:The Annabel Chong Story. And nothing will put the MDA to shame more than this movie picking up festival awards, or better still a selection for the Oscars Foreign Film nominations. By then, the best thing that could happen to local film is not that MDA passes it UNCUT, but that it BANS it altogether, like a Chinese film about the Nanjing massacre or tainted milk powder, covering up for ‘fault lines’ that exist no matter how you preach otherwise.

Postscript: While the producers are appealing the ban, MDA responded that they left the decision to a Films Consultative Panel, which consists of ‘volunteers of various professions, age groups, religions and races’. Of 24 members, 20 gave a thumbs down to the release, while 4 opted for the strictest rating possible R21. There have also been complaints of the depiction of a schoolgirl in a CHIJ uniform in Porn Masala, which could have been a cynical reference to convent girls being branded as sluts in need of a ‘one night stand’.

So, who’s in the FCP? My first impression was that this is a secret Oracle of know-it-alls who wear white hoods brandishing sceptres or a council of hologram Elders like those you see in the Superman movies, but they’re actually mortal human beings, according to details in the MDA website.

The Council of Elders says no to Porn Masala

Let’s look the kind of people you need to speak about morals and ethics on behalf of 5.3 million people. For starters, the CHAIRPERSON Vijay Chandran is INDIAN, and ironically belongs to a company called ELASTICITY Pte Ltd. Another striking feature is how a majority of these members hold high positions in society, directors, doctors, CEOs, lawyers and a couple of obligatory housemakers, entrepreneurs, artists and students. Would a panel vote objectively if the chair belongs to a race that is picked on in the movie? How representative is such a panel anyway, and why is it there’s not a single moral philosopher or sociologist in the team? Why on earth do you need a POLICEMAN on the panel (Steven Moorthi)? How ELSE would you expect a cop to vote on race issues?

It’s obvious by glancing at the composition of the panel that the FCP is not a one size fits all arbiter of moral values, whether it’s gratuitous sex and violence, religious, race or gay issues. The very presence of an Indian leading the team already suggests bias in decision-making. Sex Violence deserves a second opinion, and whatever the final outcome, I for one, will be begging to watch it.

Postscript 2: The film eventually got passed with cuts under a R(21) rating. Don’t rush to book your tics yet, though, you’d never know if the MDA may decide to pull the film again days before screening. Today, you may download the entire Porn Masala scene from Youtube. 

Principal stalking students on Facebook

From ‘Parent claims principal stalks ex-students on Facebook’, 16 June 2012, article in asiaone.com Edvantage

…Another principal has made the news with his Facebook exploits – namely  for posting comments on pictures of his ex-students that a parent claimed to be “sexy and seductive”. The parent added the principal had made these comments when he was Physical Education teacher and is now a principal of a secondary school in the North.

A parent only known as Nel voiced his concerns on local citizen journalism site, Stomp. He said, “We (Nel and his wife) were prowling through our teenage daughter’s Facebook when we saw her ex-PE teacher making the comment ‘Nice!’ on one of her profile photos!

“Feeling uneasy about such a comment, we went into his Facebook account and discovered that he has been stalking his secondary students on Facebook, visiting their photo albums repeatedly and posting comments like ‘Nice!’, ‘Cute!’, ‘Sweet!’, ‘Pretty!’ on their sexy and seductive photos!” The parent added that the principal had crossed a line by commenting on these pictures. He also drew references to senior education officials Lee Lip Hong and Chua Ren Cheng who were charged for sleeping with the underage prostitute.

He concluded by saying, “What kind of message is this educator sending to his pupils when these postings can be openly viewed by all? “

No sane figure of authority will risk his reputation flirting stupidly with young girls on Facebook, and this overprotective, self-confessed ‘prowling’ parent should ask himself if these postings were in fact the work of an imposter latching onto the principal’s real account, or some prankster creating a fake account just to sabotage a man’s career, rather than jumping the gun and accuse the head of a school of preying on young girls. Flirting principals aside, what about the problem of his attention-seeking camwhore daughter posing ‘sexily and seductively’ and thriving on cheap flattery from random strangers? Or perhaps he’s using his daughter’s  narcissism as bait to lure curious boys and suitors for him to lash out at and revenge-stalk later, whether or not they’re pimply classmates or grown men with a weakness for underaged prostitutes.

Still, as a worried parent, such fears are not totally unfounded. In 2010, a relief teacher who added a student to his Facebook contacts ended up making indecent proposals once he got her mobile phone number. Anyone with filthy intentions would opt for the more personal mobile phone approach rather than soliciting through Facebook for all to see. So if ‘Nel’ needs to know if his sexy daughter is being stalked for real, I’d suggest he probe her phone’s message list first, instead of telling the whole world there’s another pervert principal on the loose and tarnishing the profession. Other parents would run a sneaky background check on teachers with Facebook accounts, and raise alarm bells if they discover he’s somewhat of a ladies’ man who poses with random women in clubs in his free time. Yet nobody rummages through parents’ Facebook accounts to expose what bad parenting skills, dress sense or taste in music they have. We have a Faces of Haters already, maybe it’s time for a ‘Faces of Kamchiong Parents’.

As if pupils and teachers haven’t had enough of each other’s faces during schooltime, social media has somehow morphed into a after-hours badmouthing battleground for students to rally against bad teachers, teachers to rally against nuisance or difficult students, or parents to shame overbearing teachers on their kids’ behalf. All this puts our educators at a sorry disadvantage. Some parents would forgo Stomp or Facebook altogether and make a police report directly for cases of ‘verbal abuse’.  A teacher with a Facebook account used to be ‘cool’ at some point. Today, he’s a potential pedophile who’ll tell you how ‘nice’ you look when he’s actually thinking, and maybe doing, something else while viewing your deliberately jaw-dropping photo which alone could pass off as a CV for a lucrative career in amateur porn.

Some teachers, assuming their FB identities are genuine, turn out to be pretty immature cyberbullies themselves.  In 2009, one mocked the atrocious standards of grammar in her students’ assignments.  Some of a more sadistic nature bragged about the number of lines their student were made to write out of punishment, or resorted to insults like ‘My stupid student is such a goner’. In a reversal of the above incident, another posted an exchange between herself and a student over a mysterious smell, hinting at sexual harassment by the student in 2011 (What’s that smell? Your pxxxy!).

Yet, just as there should be a penalty for teachers acting like angry teenagers, the ones who don’t bitch about their students online or even own a Facebook account should be protected against busybody parents or being maliciously framed by anyone with a grudge, even if these pranksters were students themselves. Facebook has no place in a teacher-student relationship, just as it has no place between a subordinate and a boss.  Anyone caught defaming an educator through FB should be dealt with as it were a ruthless slap across the face, just as any disgruntled teacher expressing their violent slapping fantasies online deserves to be disciplined. The cost of ‘losing touch’ with your FB-savvy students by not communicating online is nothing compared to the ordeal of just ONE parent reporting you for harassment if you so much as ‘act cute’ online or if your FB profile is not Virgin Mary enough. Even a smiley face may be misconstrued as a sly invitation to strip live on cam, not to mention a ‘Niiiicceeee!’

Keyboard thug apologising to DPM Teo

From ‘JC student apologises to DPM for blog post’, 8 June 2012, article by Stacey Chia and Matthias Chew, ST

Junior college student Reuben Wang was so annoyed by what he heard from a VIP at a seminar that he blogged: ‘F*** you, sir.’ The VIP was Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, the key speaker at this year’s annual Pre-U Seminar attended by more than 500 students last week.

Reuben’s blog post went viral and he blogged again, unrepentant about his use of the expletive. But on Thursday, the St Andrew’s Junior College (SAJC) student had a change of heart, met Mr Teo at the Ministry of Home Affairs and apologised to him.

The JC1 student told The Straits Times later that he realised his post was ‘rash’ after reading his friends’ comments. Mr Teo said: ‘I am glad he has taken the time to reflect, and recognises that what he said, as well as the way he said it, were wrong.

…He accused Mr Teo of dodging difficult questions during the question-and-answer portion of the seminar on May 29, by turning the questions on students instead of answering them himself. They included questions on press freedom and a sense of belonging in Singapore.

Reuben wrote the profanity three times in his 700-word public post. Three days later, he wrote again to say he stood by his remarks, even as he conceded that his use of the swear word was in ‘bad taste’.

‘I  see people asking you questions but you tossed them right back, so I’m like F*** you..ooo-hoo-hoo!’

Just before Reuben had a sudden change of heart and decided to man up and apologise to TCH, someone wrote an article bashing his behavior as the sign of a cowardly, impertinent youth gone wild with no ‘respect for an elder person’, referring to the generation of kids who’re more vocal online than face to face as ‘a generation of keyboard thugs’. Fact is  ‘keyboard thugs’ have always existed, before even blogs or Facebook, and it’s not just irresponsible brats with no experience in the ‘ways of the world’ (unlike ‘elder statesmen’) who’re ‘hiding behind screens’ dishing out the dirt. Reuben doesn’t deserve to be given a name associated with certain gangsta rappers, and anyone who’s an advocate for Internet ‘hygiene’ should himself refrain from calling 17 year olds names as well.

Bone Thugs and Disharmony

If critics are so appalled by the utter disrespect displayed by an otherwise passionate 17 year old like Reuben, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise when they trawl random forums, where one will see anonymous ‘fuck you’s aimed at politicians in general, including the ELDEST politician ever, without even bothering to end it with a ‘SIR’. ‘Lack of respect’ and ‘Asian values’ are also used on plucky journalists who dare to interrupt elder politicians as well, as ‘Why My Vote Matters’ Today reporter Lee Ching Wern would attest in 2006, after calling the PAP ‘arrogant’ before the likes of LKY. ‘Asian values’ which tell you the right way to bow before seniors has no place in healthy political discourse, and even a politician on a ventilator with peripheral neuropathy approaching his 90th birthday shouldn’t deter challengers, as long as you pose your argument like a gentleman.  Of course it’s one’s choice if you decide to use ‘F-U’ is a stat sweetener (hence more attention) for what you write.  It’s probably unfair to generalise our youth as a bunch of gutless, ungrateful, vulgar cyber-whingers. If you equip a kopitiam uncle with the necessary skills, he’d probably slap TCH about with a couple of Hokkien vulgarities as well. And he may even be OLDER than our DPM too.

Before the rather harsh ‘thug’ connotation, bloggers like Reuben were  ‘keyboard warriors’. A derogative term meant to describe anyone whose online bark is worse than their bite, instead of the usual classic virtues of sacrifice, strength and honour associated with the ancient word ‘warrior’. Celebrity model blogger Xuesha used it against people calling her a bimbo for mispronouncing ‘Forbes’. A YOG Cheer contest winner used it against critics of JJ Lin’s ridiculous Oh Yeah Oh Yeah cheer. Before you know it, anyone with an honest OPINION is dubbed a keyboard warrior (which makes me the Braveheart of all keyboard warriors…You can take away my blog, but you can’t take away..MY KEYBOARD!!). It’s only in 2011 when the GE took hold that ‘keyboard warrior’ applied to people expressing their political views online without following up with ‘action’. Yet we know of people who talk  in public all the time with the same end result (NATO:No action Talk Only). Do we call them ‘microphone’ warriors then?

Once were warriors

Last year, the Cyber Wellness Student Ambassadors created a role unfortunately titled ‘Cyber WARRIORS’, where instead of launching online attacks on incompetent teachers as the role suggests, these volunteers are in fact countering ‘cyber-bullies’, who are a vicious subset of ‘keyboard warriors’ more aligned to the ‘thug’ family. To add to the confusion, we also have ‘trolls’ too. Thugs, warriors, bullies, trolls. I think we should rename the Internet  community ‘Middle Earth’, more specifically MORDOR. I guess we know who’s Gandalf the WHITE then.

This tired tactic of ‘questioning the questioner’, despite its intention to ‘provoke thought’ instead of spoon-feeding kids with answers, should be used sparingly, lest it be seen as an unlimited ‘Get out of Jail card ‘when one DOESN’T have the answer himself. DPMs can’t afford to say ‘I don’t know’ in front of the bright-eyed future of Singapore, and we can’t expect them to have the answers ALL the time.  As a public figure, in fact for any public speaker with subject expertise in my opinion, you need to at least show some mettle and set an example through wisdom and confidence. You need to inspire instead of being seen as a ‘good listener’. You need to hold the handles on your child’s training bike and give direction before letting it go. You want your audience to occasionally nod in unison instead of sitting slack-jawed and dumbfounded feeling like this ‘dialogue’ was an utter waste of time.  You need to deliver a ‘take-home message’ not ‘homework’. Otherwise it’s not so much Q n A but rather Q n Q. Or you can totally dominate your quizzers like the consumate lawyer-politician that is LKY.

Perhaps our history of political stifling and fear indoctrination have rendered our youths mute in the face of politicians, which explains our pent-up hostility online. LKY once complained why no Singaporean spoke up at a NTU student forum. Vivian Balakrishnan had a tough time engaging youths in 2008, with one attendee saying that ‘you can’t anyhow say what you want to a minister…in case the minister shoots a question back at you’. Asking the questioner questions back isn’t the only thing deterring aspiring youths from confronting ministers. Some would even pry into your private life and ask you to to weigh your priorities between a pHD and having a boyfriend. It’s also not surprising that some conspiracy theorists would see this a calculated ploy to boost TCH’s ratings after his own WP bullying. A rascal says ‘fuck you’ to him and he not only tolerates it but entertains a face-to-face apology cum getting-to-know-you session, which gives the impression of a leader who not only encourages the youth to ‘think for themselves’ but is magnanimous and obliging as well. The government’s PR unit must be wetting their beds in ecstasy.

Xiaxue taking revenge on Facebook bullies

From ‘Blogger Xiaxue fights back against Facebook abuse’, 25 May 2012, article by Grace Chua and Jessica Lim, ST

MEN who this week called popular blogger Xiaxue a ‘stupid bimbo’ and a ‘whore’ online are getting a taste of their own medicine. She is fighting back by posting their photos and information on her blog, in an attempt to show that they do not have much of a leg to stand on in the looks and intelligence department themselves.

The furore started when photos of her with two friends, taken without permission from their blogs, surfaced on the Facebook page of political website Temasek Review on Monday, Tuesday and yesterday, with an invitation to caption them. The photos of the three – Xiaxue and her friends Qiu Qiu and Sophie – were taken at a People’s Action Party (PAP) rally in Aljunied GRC during last May’s general election. In the photo, Xiaxue, 28, and Qiu Qiu, 24, have PAP logos on their faces.

…Commenters responded to the Temasek Review’s invitation readily: ‘Cheap b****,’ said one. ‘Pretty and sexy girls, which part of Geylang they work?’, said another. To get back at them, she trawled Facebook for their photos and information – and Facebook was obliging, because many of their profiles were public.

…’She added: ‘What kind of men would say this kind of thing? Singaporean men are such bullies. They think I’m a nobody – just a random girl they can bully.’ Among the men who featured in her gallery of ‘bullies’ were several who are married with children.

…One of the victims of Xiaxue’s revenge, swim coach Lim Soon Chwee, 34, told The Straits Times last night that his comment, ‘Pretty and sexy girls, which part of Geylang they work?’ was incomplete. ‘I didn’t mean that at all,’ he said, adding that he was actually trying to defend her.

…Another man who got one back from Xiaxue, Mr Hong Xing, a 35-year-old father of one, was less forgiving, because the photo Xiaxue held up for ridicule also featured his wife and child. The engineer admitted that he had insinuated that Xiaxue was an underage prostitute, but said he preferred women in more conservative clothes.

‘Look at what she is wearing. When she bends down, you can see her breasts,’ he said, adding that he has seen prostitutes in Geylang who dress this way. He added that he might not have posted the comment if he had known she would see it, but that she should not have posted photographs of his family online. He said: ‘My wife feels really bad. This is between Xiaxue and me. She shouldn’t have attacked my family.’

This girl has a reputation of not giving a fuck, and whatever one’s position on such merciless revenge, this incident has unveiled the social cost of ridicule if you happen to step on the toes of someone immensely popular, while allowing yourself to be exposed via Facebook. Of course Xiaxue isn’t a ‘nobody’, some have even revered her as ‘a slice of Singapore’. Xiaxue.blogspot.com has even been archived by the National Library Board, somewhat like the Declaration of Independence from the National Treasure movie. A million light years from now, aliens will be downloading and translating her blog out of a time capsule and wondering what the ‘KNN’s scattered all over her posts mean.

Celebrities will be targetted from whatever portal there is available for mudslinging, should trolls choose to show their face or hide behind a cloak of anonymity. Most stars would ignore the verbal hooliganism, but Xiaxue has answered, somewhat defiantly, the ‘What if celebrities bite back?’ question. The very convenience of commenting on a Facebook  page or website without the hassle of registering and thinking of passwords has made people forget their place in cyberspace, that the target of their insults, especially one with the classic hallmarks of a narcissism complex (like everyone else who posts stuff on Facebook), is bound to find out through not just her loyal fanbase but from her haters as well. It’s time to finally figure out those privacy settings instead of checking out ex-flame photos, guys.

One could argue one has every right to throw baseless insults at the expense of people you hardly know in the name of ‘entertainment’.  In real life it’s called gossip, and celebrities used to take the slimeballing as part and parcel of the job, while some comedians do it for a living.   When a site claiming to be a ‘socio-political’ blog like TR encourages such behaviour with a seemingly innocuous ‘caption contest’, it’s obvious that you’re not going to get anything remotely ‘political’, witty or smart. I’ve seen the pic myself and all I could think of is whether one of the girls was a spokesperson for Pepsi Cola instead of a PAP supporter from the way her face was painted. One of the victims featured in the ST article even tried to deflect attention away from his prostitute insults by talking about Xiaxue’s BOOBS. It’s like you just dumped cowdung on someone’s head and then saying that you smelled like shit before that anyway. Not clever at all, man.

The web is no longer the venting channel we were once so used to where you can get away with snide, anonymous remarks, curse any saint, god, politician or grandmother you want and leave no trail behind. You could get charged for concocting hoaxes of NS men getting killed (via another ‘Temasek’ clone site), threatened for relaying some juicy tidbits about the PM’s brother(Temasek Emeritus), or blasted for inserting LOLs in all the wrong places. Hell, it’s much easier these days to get into trouble name-calling than downloading hardcore bestiality porn. Xiaxue decided to save on lawyer fees and instead dished out a characteristically bitchy mode of punishment, the online equivalent of catching a molester, pulling down his trousers, strapping him in public and having his wife and kids recoil in horror instead of calling the police. Not a pretty sight, but somehow painfully, worryingly effective. Xiaxue playing the avenging vigilante-angel card is likely to start a anti-bullying meme among blogger celebrities with a similar reputation for attracting all sorts of ‘whore’ accusations, that you’re no longer ‘pwned’ if your occupation, hobbies, innocent pets, embarrassing Bejewelled scores and ugly photos get leaked onto a revenge post, but ‘Xiaxued’. All you need are tens of thousands of followers and have a face that at least some men will get an erection to.

But isn’t Xiaxue herself guilty of flogging strangers, you say? Isn’t her meanness and sharp tongue the secret to her success ? In a 2007 post, she had a field day flaming the ’7 most disgusting bloggers in Singapore’ , victims include the hapless Steven Lim (‘overhanging foreskin with smegma’),  Maia Lee (‘loserish’) and amateurs like Celeste Chen (‘attention whore’). In an attempt at satire she put herself in the list as well. So Xiaxue, of all people, in her ‘do onto others’ element, should expect to receive the same sort of treatment from those she chooses to be nasty to.  In 2005, someone was so offended by her he/she decided to hack her very bread and butter, her blog and e-mail accounts. Over New year in 2006, a netizen petitioned against her ‘racist’ post for a remark about foreign workers (banglas) molesting local girls at Orchard Road Xmas eve/New Year parties (Netizen petitons against blog, 29 Jan 2006, ST). Rival sex kitten blogger Dawn Yang slapped her with a lawyer’s letter for ‘defamatory remarks’ in 2008 (Xiaxue won’t say sorry to Dawn’, 23 July 2008, ST).

By putting random men in the spotlight and getting their families caught in ‘friendly fire’, Xiaxue seems undeterred from past experience and may be setting herself up for another round of hater retaliation. One of these guys may even file a police report for ‘harassment’, but I suppose that’s a risk she’s willing to take, just like these slap-happy morons who compared her to Miss XXX, underaged prostitute and asked for ‘prices’ while leaving their Facebook profiles open to scrutiny from not just Xiaxue herself, but their bosses and wives as well, like sticking an ang pow over your anus before a charging bull. People have mostly good things to say about her ‘heroics’, though.  AWARE treats her like some kind of Joan of Arc now, referring to her post as ‘EPIC’, just like nearly everyone else who read it. This incident also deserves a spot on Oprah because of how ‘You Go Girl-ish!’ it has all become.

Then I read that this woman is married and it makes me suddenly realise how woefully OLD I am. Ris Low, please don’t get any ideas, wherever you are.


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