EPL signee Ben Davis’ NS deferment rejected by MINDEF

From ‘MINDEF rejects Fulham signee Ben Davis’ application for NS deferment’,  15 July 2018, article by Nigel Chin, CNA

Singaporean footballer Benjamin Davis’ application to defer his national service (NS) enlistment was rejected by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).

In a statement on Sunday (Jul 15), MINDEF confirmed that Davis’ application was not approved as he “does not meet the criteria for long-term deferment from Full-time NS”.

“As all male Singaporeans liable for Full-time NS put aside personal pursuits to dutifully enlist and serve their NS, it would not be fair to approve applications for deferment for individuals to pursue their own careers and development.

“Very few applications have been approved over the years and based on criteria which are made known to the public. In sports, deferments are granted only to those who represent Singapore in international competitions like the Olympic Games and are potential medal winners for Singapore. In the last 15 years, only three have met this criteria,” MINDEF said.

Amid calls by sports fans for Singapore to emulate the success of small nations like World Cup Finals-qualifying Iceland, MINDEF has decided that letting one Joseph Schooling do whatever the fuck he wants is more than enough, hence putting another local talent’s dreams in cold storage because of NS obligations. Is it any wonder that our FIFA ranking (163) is even lower than our already sucky World Press Freedom position (151)?

Swimmers tend to get their lucky break, and if you think that this is because of the Olympics prestige, then how does one explain the two months’ deferment granted to Stanley Aw to participate as a gamer in the WORLD CYBER GAMES? Can I ask for deferment to train for the Asia-Pacific Yo-yo championships? Do I have to become a fugitive and NS defaulter for life if I happen to be a piano prodigy?

But note the other criterion, that you need to be deemed a ‘potential medal winner’ before you stand a chance at deferment. Personal growth and passion is useless unless you show results, a state-endorsed materialism that undermines everything that the Government has preached about people taking risks and living their dreams, failure in PSLE notwithstanding. So you want to be a Dancer? In the words of my former RSM,  ‘Fuck you understand’.

One wonders if Ben would get a repreive if it weren’t FULHAM but a more prestigious, Peter Lim owned megaclub. Or if his father had been, say, a former Minister of Defence. Until the powers that be put away that perennial periscope stuck to its eyeballs and review its deferment selection process from a lens wider than its ironclad arse, we can only watch as our homegrown talent fade away into the green, learning how to stick CB leaves into their helmets or stabbing people with bayonets instead of excelling in a once-in-a-lifetime arena of champions. Fast forward some years later and you’ll see them featured in a op-ed, with a trophy in the bag, telling some disgusted journo, with tears in their eyes, about how they had to abandon their country of birth and childhood friends, just to be where they are now.

Advertisements

MPs paying $1 a day for HDB parking

From ‘Govt should walk the walk on clean wage policy’, 30 June 2018, ST Forum

(Sean Lim Wei Xin): The revelation of MPs enjoying underpriced parking fees has raised eyebrows as, ironically, it goes against the clean-wage policy preached by the Government itself (Elected MPs pay $365 a year for HDB parking; June 26).

The rationale that MPs “do not park overnight or full day at their constituencies” and at Parliament House does not justify the subsidised parking fees. Teachers also do not park overnight in schools, but they will be paying market rate parking fees soon (Parking fees for teachers to kick in from August; March 27).

Singaporeans usually pay $1.20 per hour at public carparks but MPs pay $365 for an annual permit. This boils down to about $1 for a day’s worth of parking at their constituencies or Parliament House.

Based on simple calculations, it appears that this fee is underpriced as $1 a day amounts to only 50 minutes of parking at a public carpark.

[…]The problem is not about whether free or subsidised parking is justified for anyone.

The issue of the “hidden perks” that teachers and soldiers gained through free parking should not have even been brought up in the first place as it is not significantly detrimental to Singapore’s economy.

But as it was raised and a can of worms has been opened, all eyes will be on the Government to reconcile the issue.

In 1985, Senior Perm Sec Lee Yiok Seng came ‘clean’ with the perks that MPs received: Free HDB parking, free telephone service and civil servants’ medical benefits. He also proudly declared that Singapore then had the ‘poorest MPs’ in the world in terms of perks.  Fast forward 30 years later and they’re among the highest paid, but somehow paying less for parking than nearly everyone else.

Perks used to an ugly reality that we’ve come to accept. Kings don’t pay taxes. Celebrities skip queues at clubs. Teachers used to park for free. Grassroots leaders get priority queues for Primary 1 registration. Your neighbour’s mother-in-law gets discounted fish from the wet market.

And what do we make out of all these special individuals getting VIP treatment? That life is unfair. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. We deal with it. After all, we have laws to draw the line between privilege and corruption. Human relations without entitlements, favours or reciprocation, material or intangible, is a communist haven where all your contributions and takings are tracked in real time and unearned extras are returned to the state for nation building.

Enter Ong Ye Kung and his call for everyone to ‘uphold the value of self-discipline’ when it comes to keeping your wage clean and void of any fiscal activity that would get the AGO’s panties in a knot. Yes, that includes you MPs. If a resident offers you bakchang during a Meet the People’s session, it is your moral duty to maintain your self-discipline and reject it outright, saying that you’re already getting parking at a ridiculous bargain and under no circumstances should you receive gifts or favours that would undermine the Govt’s internal system of checks and balances. In fact, if you really want to walk the talk, you should give up your car altogether and move with us towards a car-lite nation.

If the Govt has decided to play the petty penny-pincher, then they must be prepared for us, the electorate, to respond in kind. As a wise man once said: If you want nice chicken wings, you must be prepared to queue.

10363768_10152255855639403_197201856475206137_n_zps80697673

 

 

 

 

 

Air con shirts make our army soft

From’ Air-con shirts won’t toughen our soldiers’, 22 June 2018, ST Forum

(Dr Michael Loh Toon Seng):  I applaud the Singapore Armed Forces’ efforts to minimise heat-related injuries during training (SAF can improve heat injury prevention: Panel, and Army combat soldiers get new uniforms that cool faster; both published on June 21).

The uniform introduced recently is designed to absorb perspiration and dry quickly. It also provides better air circulation, making our soldiers feel more comfortable and endure longer in a combat environment.

But isn’t the whole point of national service about readying our boys for a state of preparedness in as real an environment as possible?

NS should be a time when our enlisted soldiers train in realistic combat localities and learn to overcome the elements and endure whatever comes with it, rain or shine.

During the Vietnam War, American soldiers succumbed largely due to the lack of experience sweating it out in the tropics. If the troops had trained in the South-east Asian region, perhaps history would have turned out differently.

NS is not a fun-filled summer camp, and if we continue to mollycoddle our young sons and grandsons with “air-con” shirts and knee and elbow pads (these are now issued to NS men) we can never hope to transform them from boys to men; from boys to wimps is the more likely result, and the fate of the Americans in Vietnam may befall us.

Better training methodology could be the solution, and not necessarily more comfortable clothes because in the hot humid jungle, no clothing of any kind, no matter how high-tech, can make one comfortable.

Image result for hybrid army uniform saf

Yes, why waste tax payers money on fancy uniforms at all. If you want to breed REAL soldiers, our army should emulate these warriors below. Clothes only cause grazed nipples and no decent man would want that in the way of battle. Elbow and knee pads? Fuck that too! Give me a cape and a trumpet damn it!

Image result for 300

Use of handphones in camps? A disgrace!

Having a helper carry your load and a mother to wash your dirty uniforms? An online butler service for your fullpacks? Appalling!

Running on a treadmill in a GYM instead of the track? Useless! Wait, you mean the track is synthetic and you run in T-shirt and shorts! No pull ups during IPPT? Medicine balls instead of logs and boulders? WIMPS YOU ALL!

A lighter helmet? iPads for war games? Indoor shooting range? Brown rice for lunch? You mean our boys are not hardened with unsavoury gruel to steel their stomachs for trench warfare? What is this world coming to? You want to give our soldiers napkins and oxygenated water with their combat rations too? Why not just get our boys to sit on their lazy arses and have them experience 2 years of virtual reality NS from the comfort of home?

No wonder our troops are asked to do unmanly stuff like manage crowds at MRT stations during a breakdown, and our chief of armies are assigned to run public transport. We do not have the necessary lust for blood or an iota of heroic mettle in us. Dr Michael Loh, surely you are one of the last remaining diehard warriors left. If duty ever calls, I trust that you would be the first to sacrifice your life for Singapore, with cotton underpants or none. Your fullpack is probably the only one in Singapore where you have CB leaves in place of a toilet roll and a twig instead of a toothbrush.

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.

 

 

 

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.”

Image result for vincent leow bestiality esplanade

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

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

Image result for lady godiva

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

Image result for naked man on horse

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 6.54.30 AM

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.