Construction workers not allowed in mall toilets

From ‘Mall apologies for barring construction workers, threatening $107 fine’, 9 June 2018, article by Noel Low, ST

A shopping mall owner has apologised for putting up a sign banning construction workers from its toilets and threatening them with a $107 fine for unauthorised use.

Facebook user Martha Tara Lee took a photo of the warning – taken at the new Marina One centre – and posted it online on Friday (June 8), saying she was “shocked”.

The sign read: “A penalty of $107.00 (incl. of GST) will be imposed for non-compliance and unauthorised use of toilets at level 1 and 2.”

…Ms Lee said she complained about the sign to the building’s management and added of the fine: “What percentage of their daily wage is this?”

Some Facebook users took the sign to be a form of discrimination, while other users pointed out that workers could tread concrete and dirt into the bathrooms

In 2016, Wisma shopping mall took their threat a step further by warning construction workers that they would be banned from working in the building entirely if they ever bring their mess into the toilet. Similarly in 1989, the Manhattan House management exercised its rights as a private property by barring construction workers and supervisors from entering the building, even for services like banking.

If mud from boots and pieces of cement in the sink bothers you, then we should also impose penalties on people who can’t aim with their buttholes when they shit, or those who throw fucking tissue paper in urinals. What about a squad of sweaty boys after football practice in the rain? Ask the cleaners if they would rather mop up footprints or a floating condom in a sea of diarrhoea. I suppose there’s a nicer way to let not just workers, but EVERYONE, know that toilets are public amenities and we should all play our part out of mutual consideration and respect.

It’s easy for us to cry ‘inequality’ and ‘discrimination’ when management gets tough on our guest workers, or if the authorities charge them for plucking leaves from the Botanic Gardens, yet it’s equally easy to be a hypocrite too. Someone who lauds the Good Samaritan qualities of a foreign worker, whether they’re rescuing kittens from drains or risking their lives to save dangling babies, who lambasts a shopping mall for discriminatory practices, who empathises with their shitty wages and how much money they send home, may very well take a stark NIMBY U-turn when it comes to worker dormitories being too close for comfort. 

It’s like saying ‘OK you’re doing good work for country and you deserve the same rights as any self-respecting citizen, but please, can you not hang around the neighbourhood at night? My kids come home around that time after evening tuition. Thank you’. Yes, even if the plush condo that you live in was once built with the sweat and, unfortunately sometimes, the literal BLOOD of a foreign worker. Or if you’re mulling their plight in your cushy bed while they’re out there, without even the luxury of a portable fan, napping in the void deck.

 

 

 

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Esplanade promoting bestiality with man on a chicken sketch

From ‘Esplanade to take down Vincent Leow artwork after kerfuffle’, 6 June 2018, article by Justin Ong Guang-Xi, Today

The Esplanade will be removing a sketch showing the back of a naked man on top of a chicken from its exhibition walls, after the artwork sparked an online furore.

In a statement by Esplanade’s chief executive officer-designate Yvonne Tham on Wednesday (June 6), the performing arts centre said it came to this decision following a discussion with Mr Vincent Leow, the artist featured in the exhibition BLANK at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

…Facebook Group Singaporeans Defending Marriage and Family accused the Esplanade in a Tuesday post of “promoting bestiality” by featuring the work in a public space. The group noted that the exhibition, which spans the school holidays, is located near a children’s art space and play area.

Several parents and passersby interviewed by TODAY on Tuesday also expressed concern. A 69-year-old retiree, who gave her name only as Madam Chan had said: “We don’t want to see our children being exposed to this. Their values will be shaken. They will find that there is a new norm appealing to people.”

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I believe there’s a long history of naked people sitting on animals.

Lady Godiva, for example, strode through town riding a horse.

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There are also stock images aplenty of man-gods straddling their noble steeds.

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Ancient folklore and mythology is chockfull of twisted human-beast carnal affairs. Men falling for and marrying demon snakes. Cow-head monsters seducing peasant women. Adolescents seeded by wolf-fairies in their sleep. Children borne out of forbidden pairings between mer-men and milk maidens. In the realm of sci-fi/fantasy we have mutant alien spawn, gods inseminating mortals, orcs gang-raping elves, Jaba the Hutt keeping Princess Leia as sex slave. It’s the bane and beauty of the human imagination. We have such an intimate kinship with creatures big and small that it’s inevitable we’ll develop attachments that go beyond domestication and consumption.

So the only reason why Singaporeans defending Marriage and Family would think nasty bestiality thoughts about a naked man on anything other than a horse, like a chicken, for example, is because it seems easier to penetrate a innocent bird. It also doesn’t help that a synonym for chicken is cock. Wonder what they would say if it wasn’t a clucking bird but a dragon or a dinosaur for example. After all, a donkey could have babies with a dragon, according to Shrek. So such inter-species consummations are fine but man-roosters are creations of the Devil?

Without preconceived notions about what depraved people do in barns when Farmer Joe isn’t looking, Vincent Leow’s art is, in essence, a man astride a slightly distraught looking rooster. A work that a child may find amusing, while a grown-ass adult with repressed sexual anxieties would find it utterly detrimental to the moral fibre and ‘norms’ of this society. Because clearly anyone who sees this profane image would be struck with the urge to trawl through Lim Chu Kang in the middle of the night looking for chicken butts to rape and leave a trail of semen-stained feathers all over the coop.

Poultry of the world thank you for your concern. Maybe you guys should change your FB name to Singaporeans Defending Chickens’ Virginity.

Rum Raisin ice cream banned after 10.30pm

From ‘Fairprice restricts sale of alcoholic ice cream’, 21 Apr 2018, article by Lydia Lam, ST

Supermarket chain FairPrice has restricted the sale of Udders ice cream with alcohol content that exceeds 0.5 per cent to comply with the Liquor Control Act. Ice cream that has more than 0.5 per cent alcohol cannot be sold between 10.30pm and 7am at its outlets.

This includes four of Udders’ flavours: Rum Rum Raisin (3.9 per cent alcohol), Tira-miss-u (3.8 per cent alcohol), Wineberries (3.5 per cent alcohol) and Orange Liqueur Dark Choc (2.7 per cent alcohol).

…Under the 2015 Liquor Control Act, “liquor” means a beverage containing more than 0.5 per cent ethanol by mass or volume; a mixture of ethanol and some other substance or liquid (including water) and containing more than 0.5 per cent ethanol by mass or volume; or any other substance prescribed by the regulations as liquor.

Yes, rum raisin ice-cream is technically a form of ‘liquor’ according to its legal definition. And yes, you possibly may get drunk on ice-cream. That’s if you melted 10 tubs of Udders into liquid and shoot it up your rectum as an enema in addition to eating it with a ladle.

Also according to the definition, any ‘mixture of ethanol’ containing more than 0.5% falls under the list of abusable substances. Which means in order to be consistent and fair to Udders, Fairprice should also remove Listerine mouthwash off the shelves after 10.30pm, especially since it contains more than 40 TIMES the alcohol limit.

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But, but – you say, people don’t DRINK MOUTHWASH!

Or do they?

There are in fact medical case reports of extreme intoxication following mouthwash abuse. So the answer is yes. People are more likely to get drunk on Listerine than an entire tub of alcoholic ice cream. More so if you restrict alcoholics from their nocturnal booze like what we’ve done here. In fact, regular non-drunkard users of mouthwash may get exposed to more alcohol through swallowing than people eating that occasional Tira-miss-U.

But still, thanks Fairprice for letting the world know that alcoholic ice-cream exists. One ice cream company’s udders must be swelling and getting all tingly with delight.

Busking as a form of begging

From ‘Do not allow busking as a day job’, 17 Apr 2018, ST Forum

(Susan Tan): I have noticed an increasing number of buskers in Singapore. I see some buskers at certain places every day and for most of the day, suggesting that this is their permanent day job.

This should not be allowed.

Busking should never evolve to become a form of begging or a person’s sole source of income. I am also concerned that foreign students are allowed to busk here (On song & coining it; April 15).

Foreign students are here to study and should have sufficient funds to finance their studies, without resorting to busking. Allowing them to do this would encourage more foreigners to come to our shores to earn an income via busking.

Busking is meant to create a vibrant art culture and interesting street life. We should aim to see more of our local talents performing publicly to gain confidence and exposure.

There are many talented people in Singapore and we should support them by giving them more opportunities to perform. Perhaps the National Arts Council could hold monthly events at major parks where local and foreign talents can freely perform.

This will help them gain exposure as well as engage the public in our goal to become a distinctive global city for the arts, and will bring the arts closer to where people live.

There are people out there earning their keep prostituting themselves or blocking passageways running surveys and even the Ministry of Manpower doesn’t get to decide what should or should not be allowed as a day job. The mindset that busking is a form of glorified begging can be traced back to the early eighties, when ‘underpass musicians’ were associated with ‘hippie-like’ groups. 

There was even a time during the nineties when busking was deemed such a nuisance that it was banned from 1994 to 1997, revived just in time for a STB endorsed Buskers’ festival. Not sure why it was banned outright though. Maybe troupes of sword swallowers and fire breathers and parang jugglers were rampant then and we didn’t want passers-by to get set aflame or turn up at the office with a dagger lodged in their back.

Today, we have ordinary people becoming viral stars overnight after jaunting through trains and buses with their ukeleles. Uncles like Tampines MRT dancer Ronald Chua have become endearing role models for active ageing.

Yet, people like Susan Tan remain on this planet, people who would only stop and show their appreciation if the busker they meet in the bus interchange wears a tuxedo and plays a Schubert Opus on the violin. And then walk away without leaving a single cent.

Of course not all buskers are necessarily good entertainers nor contribute to this elusive ‘vibrancy’ that the country needs. For every street guitarist who can create acoustic magic by covering any song by Barbara Streisand, there are others cranking out screechy golden oldies in the middle of your lunch break at the hawker centre.

But like any form of public performance, if you don’t like what you see or hear you can jolly well walk away. You don’t stand on a high pedestal and lecture people on how they should live their lives. In fact, maybe the writer should literally try that for a change. Stand on a platform for hours like busker celebrity Roy Paramal. Yes there will be begging all right – not for spare change, but sweet mother of God’s mercy.

 

 

Human Rights Watch spreading deliberate falsehoods

From ‘PAP Policy Forum slams Human Rights Watch report, calls it a ‘deliberate falsehood’, 23 Mar 2018, article by Aqil Haziq Mahmud, CNA

The People’s Action Party Policy Forum (PPF) has slammed a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which described Singapore as a “repressive place” that imposed criminal penalties for peaceful speech.

The group, an arm of the People’s Action Party that engages Government leaders on policy issues, called the report as a “type of deliberate falsehood” in a written submission to the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods on Friday (Mar 23).

It said the report is “an example of how false and misleading impressions can be created by a selective presentation of facts, designed to promote an underlying agenda”, which is to change the society in Singapore.

…The ministry suggested that HRW had chosen not to come to Singapore to publicly defend its views because it knows that its report would not withstand scrutiny.

“HRW, by its conduct, has shown that it cannot be taken seriously as a commentator or interlocutor on issues relating to Singapore,” the ministry said.

If you actually read the HRW article titled ‘Kill the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys‘, you’ll realise than it’s more than just the defunct The Real Singapore or Amos Yee who are highlighted as poster children of Singapore’s ‘repressive’ regime. It also mentions the ‘Marxist conspiracy’, people ‘scandalising the judiciary’, Roy Ngerng, and artists having their possessions seized without warrant by the police, which the PPF decided to ignore in their fault-finding. The only item missing from the HRW critique is chewing gum.

Which means it’s cherry-picking on both sides. On one hand, a non-profit organisation intent on maintaining the image of Singapore as a ‘Disneyland with the Death Penalty’, and the other obsessive-compulsive in its pursuit to discredit anything that makes the government of the day look bad by sweepingly labelling it as a ‘deliberate falsehood’. In the old days, we used to refer to such allegations as ‘LIES’. But lies don’t get you public apologies or compensation. Lies is when Mommy caught you masturbating and you say that you were trying to pull a caterpillar out of your pants.

When even honest suspicions are bludgeoned to death in Parliament, when a private post commenting on the ‘pliability’ of our legal system forces you into exile, when the Police begin to do the heavy lifting for what’s fast becoming a dystopian Ministry of Truth, you start to wonder if the government’s crackdown on anything resembling an opinion is the modern equivalent of burning books in the proverbial bonfire.

If the ruling party could pull out all the stops to force an international paper to apologise or risk legal action for making suggestions of nepotism, they could jolly well do the same to the HRW. The report is a falsehood, the organisation is a falsehood. Hell, if a leader of country disses us, then that whole fucking country is one big fat falsehood too.

#simisaialsodeliberatefalsehood

Birds shitting in food at hawker centres

From ‘Growing bird population is worrying’, 15 March 2018, ST Forum

(Ng Boon Soon): The increase in the bird population in Singapore is causing too much inconvenience and creating health hazards. Judging from the frequent bird encounters at hawker centres, coffee shops and canteens, the bird population has increased substantially.

It is not possible to order food and leave it unattended on the table.

Recently, I visited a hawker centre in Farrer Road and was shocked to see two mynahs perched on the metal rail directly above a stall owner cooking noodles.

My immediate concern was of bird droppings mixing with the food.

Another encounter was at Serangoon Garden hawker centre. We had some difficulty getting a clean table because many tables and seats were stained with bird droppings. When we asked the cleaner to do something, he said he had already cleaned the same table and seat many times.

Recently, when I visited my daughter at her primary school, I saw bird droppings on the tables and benches as well.

I believe the cleaners have done their job but the situation is happening too often. I am worried about the health of the children.

Something needs to be done.

In Orchard Road, one can hear the loud chirping of birds and see their droppings on the pavement. It is sad to see such an ugly sight in Singapore’s iconic shopping belt.

The Government needs to start a working group to resolve this persistent problem.

Yes, evil hovering mynah birds are a threat to national security, more so than disinformation, deliberate falsehoods and fake news. But it’s not just bird poop that’s causing everyone distress, it’s the way they sound in the morning, especially the call of the Asian koel. Not only are our children exposed to the risk of accidentally eating birdshit or getting infected by pandemic bird disease, they get distracted from their schoolwork because these tiny flying bastards make too much noise.

You want proof?

If we don’t set up a Committee of Avian Management to Safeguard Public Health, this is the scenario we’ll be facing, one that no SG secure or anti-terrorist drill can save humanity from.

Yes, students will be chased out of schools, their scalps and eyes pecked at by beaks sharp as machetes. Do you want to see this happening to our tourists in Orchard Road, their hair soaked white with shit and their eyeballs plucked out of their sockets as easily as these flying demons pulling worms out of the ground? Zombies in trains are nothing compared to this calamity.

Maybe this is an elite mastermind at work, someone who has deployed an army of birdie minions to hawker centres to poison us lower social economic status (SES) folk. Or maybe all this rampant shitting is their way of avenging the culling of their chicken brethren by AVA.  Let’s get rid of them all then. The crows, the pigeons, the koels, the two mynahs staring at us eating at hawker centres, even the fucking peacocks in Labrador Park. Let us have our walks in peace, without having to worry about shampooing our heads with Dettol thereafter or listen to their terrible twittering that sends chills down our spines, their chirpy conspiring to end the human race once and for all, to bring back the age of the dinosaurs from which they all descended from.

How about this, AVA? Installing a scarecrow in public areas if you don’t want to call in pest control. I know the perfect effigy, one with the face that will send a thousand crows scattering into the sun.

Sylvia Lim’s dishonest ‘test balloon’ remark on GST hike

From ‘Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat asks is Sylvia Lim will withdraw ‘test balloon’ allegation on GST hike timing’, 2 March 2018, article in CNA

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat issued a statement on Friday (Mar 2), asking if Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim was ready to apologise to the House and withdraw her allegation that the Government had floated “test balloons” about raising the goods and services tax (GST).

In Parliament on Thursday, Ms Lim said that the Government had floated “test balloons” before the Budget announcement, then possibly “backed down” on an immediate GST hike due to the negative public reaction.

She said: “We do note that in the run-up to the Budget discussion there were some test balloons being floated out about the fact that the Government needs to raise revenue. And immediately the public seized on the fact that DPM Tharman and perhaps other leaders had earlier said that the Government has enough money for the decade. So the public pointed out that ‘hey, you know, is this a contradiction?’

“And I rather suspect myself that the Government is stuck with that announcement, otherwise, you know, if their announcement had not been made, perhaps we would be debating a GST hike today.”

This sparked a testy exchange in Parliament with Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who called Ms Lim’s comments “baseless suggestions” that were “hypocritical and dishonest”.

 

According to the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act,

There shall be freedom of speech and debate and proceedings in Parliament, and such freedom of speech and debate and proceedings shall not be liable to be impeached or questioned in any court, commission of inquiry, committee of inquiry, tribunal or any other place whatsoever out of Parliament.

Yes, even in a setting where freedom of speech is codified in law, you can’t bring out ‘suspicions’, ‘honest beliefs’ or even a ‘personal opinion’ without raising the red flag of FAKE NEWS. Poor Sylvia can choose to take back her words like fellow WP colleague Leon Perera, or take the long road like JBJ back in 1982 when he was threatened with possible breach of ‘Parliamentary Privilege‘. Likewise one has no qualms about accusing an Opposition member for being a liar or hypocrite because Parliamentary Privilege that’s why.

These leaders in the House serve as a sad role model for senior management in public service when it comes to dealing with feedback. Don’t complain unless you have substance to back you up. If not, you’re fucking Fake News. It reflects MP Louis Ng’s comment about public officers refraining from speaking up out of fear of retaliation. Turns out that Louis himself floated a test balloon that was promptly burst by Ong Ye Kung’s rebuke that this ‘does not do justice’ to the public service.

Why not let Sylvia’s supposedly off-the-cuff comment serve as a learning point and chance for clarification for the PAP, instead of an opportunity to flex some time-wasting verbal muscle and vindicate everyone’s opinion of the PAP as an uptight, arrogant party who won’t stand for a little intellectual tickle from their political opponents, only to be soothed by the orgasm of hearing someone like Sylvia saying ‘I’m sorry my lord’, like a bawling baby calmed by cooing and sweet nothings.

I say let’s just get on with it, people.