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.

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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.

 

 

 

Escobar eatery named after evil drug lord

From ‘CNB to keep very close watch on Escobar eatery named after Columbian drug lord’, 8 Feb 2018, article in CNA

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will be keeping a “very close watch” on a bar named after Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, following an angry complaint lodged last Friday (Feb 2) by the country’s embassy to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“CNB and the Singapore Police Force will be engaging the owner of the bar and will take the necessary action to uphold our strict anti-drug policy,” said a CNB spokesperson.

“It will also be keeping a very close watch on the bar and its patrons to ensure that no illegal drug activities take place there,” said the spokesperson, adding that the agency understood that the Colombian embassy and community, as well as some Singaporeans were upset about the matter.

In a three-page letter, the Colombian embassy expressed “serious concern” over the eatery in China Square Central, saying that it was paying tribute to the “worst criminal in the history of Colombia”.

The way that Pablo Escobar’s name and image are being used to promote the outlet runs counter to Singapore’s approach towards drugs and government efforts in preventive drug education, the CNB spokesperson added.

“The glamorisation of a drug kingpin and associated drug use is irresponsible and insensitive.”

CNB should also be keeping an eye on Mcdonalds’ because they name one of their breakfast staples a ‘HASH’ brown. They should also check out ACID bar at Peranakan place, and review a classical performance named ‘Poem of Ecstasy‘. Seriously, what exactly is CNB expecting? If I’m going to run an underground drug ring, the last thing I want to do is blow my cover by naming it after a crime lord, and choose something seemingly playful and innocuous like Gudetama cafe instead.

Some years back, people complained about a pub that called itself Aushwitz because it reminded everyone about the Holocaust. Yet nothing was done about a hotpot restaurant that honoured a brutal Chinese dictator responsible for 45 million deaths (House of Mao Hunan Hot Pot). Nor did we touch restaurants with suspiciously subversive communist elements, like Red Star Restaurant.

We disapprove of exhibitions that summon the sufferings of our forefathers under the yoke of colonialism, yet we celebrate the legacy of a man who was borne of that very same system, a man whose name graces a world-famous hotel that also is the birthplace of our very own Singapore Sling.

Would Christians complain if I opened a hipster cafe called ‘Satan’s Lair’?  Would the Russian embassy knock on my door if I open a gallery of Soviet kitsch? Would the police run checks on Hannibal restaurant to make sure they don’t store human corpses in their fridge?

 

 

Free desserts for returning trays

From ‘Give dessert voucher, free meal to encourage tray return’, 3 Feb 2018, ST Forum

(Dr Thomas Lee Hock Seng): The perennial problem of not cleaning after oneself in self-service hawker centres has stumped most civic-minded people.

So charging for trays is one example of a desperate hope to change the diehard habit of not bothering to clear one’s table after eating (Charging for trays can help change attitudes, by Miss Tan Lin Neo; Feb 1).

Singaporeans are familiar with the use of fines as disincentives to punish undesirable social habits.

We have earned our reputation as a “fine” city since the introduction of such measures a long time ago.

But we have failed most miserably with such measures.

Yet, there are still advocates who insist on using money as a disincentive to effect behavioural change.

I would suggest we reverse the equation: Use money as a reward or incentive for good social habits.

Instead of charging for the non-return of trays, give a voucher for a free meal or item, such as a dessert of one’s choice, for tray return. I suspect this would have more success.

Yes, it will be a success and there will be a surge of people returning trays. Just that these will be people who didn’t order a single thing from the hawker stalls because free ice kacang. Free diabetes too.

When it comes to rewards, some assholes will always try to take advantage of our intentions to make the world a better place. Take the Skillfutures fiasco for example.

So if you can’t beat Singaporeans into being kind and considerate, nor should one use shaming methods to ruin people’s lives, what made this writer reach the conclusion that giving rewards could make us better people? Do we want to issue National Day awards to Top Tray Returners as well?

We’ve been conditioned by enticements and penalties like lab rats since we were born. Don’t flush a toilet and you get slapped with a fine. Vote for the ruling party and you get GST vouchers. None of this made society any better for it. Courtesy is for free? Courtesy is for puiiii!

Here’s a better idea. Put sorry abandoned cat faces on trays. This is will make us return trays out of pure guilt.