China dog circus perpetuates animal cruelty

From ‘Amid furore, organisers pull circus out of Chinese New Year show’, 9 Dec 2017, article by Victor Loh, Today

A segment of a Chinese New Year show featuring dog performances has been withdrawn following a backlash online. The show, which was branded as the “Chinese New Year Dog Circus 2018”, was scheduled to take place at Resorts World Sentosa in February 2018 to welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year.

…Ticketing operator Sistic first promoted the China-based show on its Facebook page on Friday (Dec 8) morning. By Friday night, a petition to ban the show from performing in Singapore — started by animal advocate Summer Ong — was created.

The petition — addressed to the show’s promoter HE Productions, Sistic and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) — garnered 7,237 supporters by the time it was closed on Saturday (Dec 9) afternoon.

“To be even campaigning for this is baffling because Singapore prides herself as a progressive first world nation,” Ms Ong told TODAY.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see RWS and SISTIC promoting such animal performance and animal cruelty. And we are all unsure and very appalled why RWS and Sistic gave the green light to approve this China dog circus.

“Such venue operators should never accept these shows. Accepting such acts shows they support these performances. Promoting these unethical shows thus perpetuates animal cruelty.”

Describing the practice of using animals in circus as “archaic, cruel and unethical”, the petition cited the closure of the Ringling Brothers, an American travelling circus company famous for using elephants in its performances.

If only a petition like this was as effective in getting RWS Marine Life Park to stop their dolphin shows.  In 2012, Wen Wen the dolphin died en route to Singapore before she could perform for her ‘archaic, cruel and unethical’ human audience. Today, we continue to laugh and clap to the antics of aquatic beasts in glorified colosseums, blissfully unaware of the trauma inflicted when these creatures of the oceans are air-flown in specifically for our entertainment.

We may have given the poor China canines some respite through this protest, but we still tolerate owners who dye their chow chows to look like fucking pandas. So why recruit animals for public entertainment at all, caged-bird singing included? If dogs were not meant to do the conga or ride e-scooters, then neither should songbirds be held captive by uncles 24 hours a day. Such a practice is in fact celebrated as a ‘heartland icon’ when circus animals actually spend more time outside cages than our feathered sopranos. One activity is slammed for its barbarism, while another is hyped as a ‘uniquely Singaporean’ hobby.

In 1982, an animal lover complained that Ah Meng should not be made to ‘sit in wicker chair, sipping tea, nibbling a watermelon and politely tolerating the inane chatter of several humans’. Yes, why stop at circuses when animal shows are also guilty of grilling seals into clapping, tigers into begging and elephants into tiptoeing on a trainer’s head without crushing his face to pulp? We have sequel after sequel of Planet of the Apes reminding us of our arrogance and yet we persist in training a primate to stir a cup of tea.

The ultimate act of animal cruelty that’s somehow embedded as a cultural icon and national consciousness, immune to any protest whatsoever, is Spanish bullfighting, where the ‘ringmaster’ – the matador – is a sexualised alpha-male/hero who gets to sleep with Madonna in the ‘Take a Bow’ video. Unlike dogs in a circus, a charging bull doesn’t play dead, it literally dies at the end of the show, impaled in a manner less humane than in the hands of a slaughterhouse butcher.

 

 

 

 

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Singapore Pools offering online betting

From ‘Greater responsible gambling efforts needed if online betting is allowed’, 12 June 2016, ST Forum

(Woon Wee Min): In the light of laws passed to curb remote gambling, it is difficult to understand why the authorities are even considering granting Singapore Pools permission to offer online betting (“Singapore Pools still waiting for nod on online betting“; May 31).

If online betting is indeed going to be offered, more care must be taken to promote responsible gambling.

Systems and processes must be put in place to allow self-exclusion by vulnerable customers and impose auto-exclusion of minors.

…It behoves Singapore Pools and the authorities to do more to ensure that the availability of online betting, should it become reality, does not exacerbate the issue of problem gambling in Singapore.

The idea of remote Singapore Pools gaming has been mooted for more than 10 years, with some punters suggesting that AXN machines allow betting, in addition to electronic scratch ticket machines which were launched in the heartlands in 2010. Queues at the Pools have become somewhat of a heartland icon, and while operators have argued that going online is part of cost-cutting and shortage of manpower, the sheer timing of this news, in the throes of Euro 2016 fever and the reported dismissal of RWS staff, suggests that this is more than just an act of convenience, but a shot in the arm of Singapore’s ailing gaming industry.

The only difference is that instead of siphoning off VIP high rollers from China, we’re attempting to recoup our losses from a struggling casino (oops, I mean INTEGRATED RESORT) by sucking money from our local gamblers instead. I have always questioned the rationale of having two casinos since the IRs were established 8 years ago. Now not only do we have to worry about the social cost of gambling addiction and family wreckage, but the additional cost of unemployment in the face of RWS axing staff. MBS may be better off, being regarded as more a tourist destination than a casino per se. Until of course, aliens decide to blow it to smithereens.

If Singapore Pools goes online, it  may well spell the end of queues, but without the proper safeguards while hiding behind this guise of ‘legal gaming’, it may make our gambling problems worse. Now you can spend $100 to lose money at our legalised/licensed gambling dens, or just lose money without stepping out of your house in front of a computer or from your phone while shitting in the toilet.

Thankfully, not all in Parliament agree that certain operators should be exempted from the remote gambling laws. In 2014, MP Christopher De Souza said:

On one hand, you have enforcement and punishment which rightly say remote gambling should be deterred. Yet, we are also saying there can be a medium through which remote gambling is legitimate

Denise ‘Walking Time Bomb’ Phua:

If, indeed, we so strongly believe remote gambling is harmful and does no good to either the people or nation, then are we legitimising the act of gambling and breeding its acceptance by legally providing for exempt licensed operators in (the Remote Gambling Bill)?”

So that was in 2014. In 2 years the context has changed. Exemption is not only to ‘create an ecosystem to minimise law and order concerns and social consequences (criminal syndicates)’, as S Iswaran said in the defence. Today, with RWS hitting the red, an Internet for restricted gaming will probably breed an ‘ecosystem’ for gamblers to get their fix at the click of a button, should they not wish to head to Sentosa or MBS and throw away $100.

Let us not pretend that the Pools and Singapore Turf Club are just entertainment outlets for uncles and aunties to while their time away. It’s practically a legal casino conglomerate stripped of its glitz and glamour serving as a source of government revenue (to a tune of 2.3 billion over 5 years), at the expense of our citizens. With the fall of RWS and Pools riding on a wishy-washy piece of legislation, threatening to turn Internet gaming as Singaporeans know it into a state-endorsed duopoly, preying on the whims and hopes of people who could barely cough out the $100 entrance fee trying their luck, so will more drown in it.

MBS like a space-age surfboard

From ‘The world’s ugliest hotels’, 3 Dec 2012, article in Relax, asiaone.

British newspaper The Telegraph has named the world’s top 20 ugliest hotels and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands (MBS) has found its way into the list. It ranked the 55-storey hotel at No. 5 and said that the views from the hotel’s observation deck may be awesome, but not the other way round when others look at it.

“It resembles some kind of space-age surfboard,” said the report.

There were five Asian hotel properties in the list, including North Korea’s 105-storey Ryugyong Hotel, which recently announced that it will open next year, more than 20 years after its exterior was completed.

Some readers found it hard to believe that the integrated resort – which has been widely hailed an architectural marvel – was in the list. Reacting to the list, one netizen a local online forum said he did not care much for the exterior of the buildings, as long as the hotel delivered good customer service and room interiors are nice.

MBS also happens to be the world’s most expensive surfboard, costing $7.3 billion to build, not to mention a megaproject plagued by delays. Other reviewers of the three-pillared design were less scathing; some referred to the Skypark as ‘Noah’s Ark’. Budget Travel ranked it among the 11 new hotel ‘wonders’, with its ‘cruise ship’ forever suspended in mid-air. Fengshui masters were divided on the design, some reminded of ‘a scholar’s hat‘, while others see death in its trio of ‘ancestral tablets’. Sci-fi fans would describe it as an alien starcraft nestled on top of three buildings, or a gangly tripod invader like a Star Wars Imperial Walker. The most interesting description in my opinion is that MBS resembles a wicket in CRICKET.

Stumped

Stumped

I wouldn’t be picky enough to describe MBS as an eyesore, but it does look awkward and appears to be more a smug demonstration of equilibrium in physics than anything remotely Buck Rogers or epic Gladiator. But here are some fun facts about a building that was once touted as a NATIONAL ICON: The headpiece that is the Skypark weighs 7000 tonnes, is longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall and you could even land 4 Jumbo Jets on it. MBS is also the site of a Japanese porno film shoot. If they had the chance they would even shoot a Godzilla movie here, except that Godzilla would be ‘hanging ten’ on our iconic ‘surfboard’ instead of bashing our Airforce down with it.

The brainchild of MBS himself Moshe Safdie drew inspiration not from War of the Worlds or the Bible, but rather from the Roman Cardo Maximus, which sounds like a muscle group involved in aerobic exercise, or the name of a potbellied centurion in the Asterix comic books. The same architect is currently heading the ‘Bishan Residential Development’ project, which from artist’s impression images looks like a clash of Greek island living and something you could build in a handheld 8-bit Tetris game.

Bishan of the Future

Santorini meets Tetris

The Esplanade has its critics as well, but the ‘Durian’ has somehow grown on us. MBS is likely to remain lost in its ‘ugly’ ambiguity, either mocked as an incomplete traffic project (broken flyover), an alien-ship berth or an apparatus used in a sport nobody here ever plays. Perhaps we’d be more forgiving if it weren’t housing a casino.

Wen Wen the dolphin dead, age 10

From ‘Dolphin at RWS dies en route to Singapore’, 22 Nov 2012, article in Today online.

Wen Wen, one of the 25 dolphins at Resorts World at Sentosa, died en route to Singapore today.

Marine Life Park has issued the following statement:

We are deeply saddened that Wen Wen, one of our 25 dolphins, died en route to Singapore today. Wen Wen, a male dolphin estimated to be ten years old, died suddenly less than an hour into landing during the three-hour flight. Two marine mammal veterinarians and eight marine mammal specialists accompanying and monitoring the 11 dolphins on the flight responded with emergency medical treatment.

…The Marine Life Park’s four veterinarians have a combined experience of successfully transporting more than 500 marine mammals. The same veterinary team, with a collective experience with marine mammals of over 70 years, as well as the team of marine mammal specialists on the flight, successfully completed our dolphins’ transport to Subic Bay and the recent transport of our 14 dolphins to Singapore.

A necropsy was performed this morning in the presence of AVA officers. Over the next few weeks, further laboratory tests will be conducted in Singapore and the United States to assess any contributing factors.

…Wen Wen was a sociable dolphin that survived a shark attack in the wild and had the scars of a shark bite on his torso. Wen Wen and his trainer had developed a strong bond during their four years together. He will be sorely missed.

Bottlenose dolphins like Wen Wen can live up to 40 years, but if you’re going to spend the rest of your years living the Flipper lifestyle entertaining kids you would want to end your misery early too. The Marine Life Park was quick to emphasise the amount of research and dedicated expert care into ensuring the well being of their stars, as well as hinting that Wen Wen would have been shark fodder if he had not been ‘saved’ from the atrocities of the wild. What the RWS spokespeople fail to mention is how Wen Wen and his Seaworld inmates got into this mess in the first place, or how heavily invested we are in this dolphin-napping operation to not back out now.

27 bottlenose dolphins were captured off the Solomon Islands, of which 25 survived captivity in the Phillippines waiting to be shipped to Singapore (2 died in Langkawi in 2010 following a bacterial infection). They were KIDNAPPED, not invited, adopted, rescued from Jaws nor born out of Dolphin World already equipped with hoop-jumping abilities. In 2009, Senator Jorge Ordorica of Mexico wrote a letter to then National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan to think twice about dolphin shows after a dozen died within 5 years of their transport to a Cancun water park. One died from transport-related stress, which is deemed a ‘common occurrence’ and looks very much like what Wen Wen succumbed to in this case. Mexico then proceeded to ban all dealings with cetaceans for entertainment purposes, while our authorities decided to go ahead with its gaudy, expensive oceanarium circus anyway, which the way I see it, was planned to preserve the allure of IRs in the event of loss of interest in the casinos.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had dolphins suffering or dying in captivity. In 2003, an endangered pink dolphin from Sentosa’s Dolphin Lagoon named Jumbo had to have 11 teeth EXTRACTED due to wear and tear, apparently from fighting with another male captive. Earlier in 2001, another pink dolphin Namtam died of acute gastritis. The same Namtam, along with another female named Pann, also had to deal with a tragic miscarriage barely a year earlier. When we first set up the Dolphin Lagoon in the late nineties, the AVA made a ‘clerical error’ in reporting the acquired animals as ‘bred in captivity’ when some were in fact caught from the wild. The SPCA in 2010 judged the size of  the dolphin enclosure at Underwater World to be that of a ‘swimming pool’, too small to accommodate the six dolphins, while the company insisted that it surpassed guidelines. That’s like saying Bedok Reservoir is comfortable enough for the Loch Ness monster.

All this for the sake of a wet and wild showcase that is as campy as training Kai Kai and Jia Jia to ride unicycles while holding paws. You can make one dolphin do more tricks with a football than the entire Lions squad, or get cosy with international superstars like Mariah Carey in 2000. The singer reportedly refused to get off her plane like a spoilt brat while demanding to frolic with the Sentosa darlings.

Mimi emancipated

So it’s not just ‘homesickness’ that dolphins have to deal with while keeping our kids entertained. They fight, they suffer strange diseases and they deliver stillborns. According to a Today writer and a fan of ‘The Cove’, more than half of all captured dolphins die within two years of captivity. But you could argue that animals die prematurely and horribly in captivity all the time, in the zoo, or a lab and that it’s easy to get riled up about dolphins because they’re ‘almost human’. This Wen Wen incident, like shark’s fin soup, will be divided between animal lovers and people accusing animal lovers of being hypocrites. Nobody goes to the aid of the guinea pig getting paralysed in a botched experiment, or the monkey forced to wear a tutu for a busking hobo. ACRES was deathly silent about the thousands of sheep flown here for ritual korban slaughter. Maybe sheep just aren’t smiley enough.

Putting aside arguments from a compassionate standpoint or how sentient dolphins really are compared to bunnies in a cage, or whether they’re really smiling or being ironic when they splash about to Katy Perry music, perhaps we should talk about ‘necessity’ instead. Do we need this so much that we’re willing to let some animals suffer for it? Is science worth drilling a monkey’s brain for? How about tourism dollars? Seeing a child with terminal illness or the disabled pet a dolphin on the nose? Will Mariah Carey ever set foot on our shores again without dolphins? What can I get out of Marine Life Park that I won’t out of National Geographic on cable? Is there anything less controversial that I can use to replace vulnerable cetaceans? A giant squid that predicts football results perhaps?

If we can achieve the drastic result of banning sharks’ fin from supermarkets and hotels, we can also put pressure on unnecessary ‘dolphinariums’ that really serve to bolster casino earnings and pander to megastar fantasy rather than to ‘educate’ the public or contribute to ‘conversation efforts’. If 100,000 petitioners won’t do the trick, hopefully one shocking, and jarringly for RWS – embarrassing, loss of life would sound the death knell of this aquatic circus-prison once and for all. As I would turn to our PM Lee and say, losing a Dolphin Park  is not the ‘be-all and end-all’ of the entertainment/tourist/marine industry. A backflip at this point of the project and slowly re-introducing the animals back into the wild may well be the respectable thing to do without compromising the rest of the less adorable marine attractions. The IRs are already contributing to human suffering, let’s not drag other mammals into our moral decline too.

MBS becoming Singapore’s national icon

From’ Do we really want a casino as our icon?’ 20 April 2011, Voices, Today

(Tong Jee Cheng): IT is disappointing that the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort is fast becoming an iconic representation of Singapore. We see it in the background in local television dramas, we see it in tourist leaflets. It seems to appear often as backdrops in the various advertising media.

The first I heard of such sentiment was at a talk held at the National Museum – the speaker, whose name I cannot recall, was a local historical researcher. And in another local newspaper, a retired architect and urban theorist echoed this sentiment and said he would rather that the Botanic Gardens be the iconic landmark for Singapore.

Which other country in the world has a casino as its most famous icon?

I don’t think any country has a park as its icon either. Besides, the Botanical Gardens isn’t exactly postcard-pretty or instantly recognizable from the inside. Whether natural or man-made, one of the main criteria of a national icon, other than its uniqueness, scale, history and architecture, is that it must be well adored, even revered to myth-like proportions, by its people and not just manufactured for tourists. The MBS not only fails in that most basic aspect, but also lacks any kind of meaningful history, regardless of its function as a casino or a spiritual temple housing homeless orphans. There’s nothing teeming or rich about it, no stories to tell other than appalling service standards, and serves to draw only a certain kind of tourist; the rich ones.

Perhaps our Singaporean identity is simply this; that we have nothing special to commemorate as a nation or decorate our bills with besides the faces of dead presidents, we have no national costume, no national dish, we don’t have a decent tagline in our tourism posters, and we can’t decide on what monument to officiate as a national treasure without proceeding to tear it down to make way for something glitzier. We seem to have forgotten why we’re called ‘The Lion City’, and other than a spouting lion-fish to remind us, it seems that as a country we’ve developed a collective amnesia of what’s worth conserving, epitomising the Dubai-esque ‘futurepolis’ and every archaeologist’s nightmare in sci-fi lore. Some may argue that we’re just too small a nation to have many candidates to choose from, but even 8.5 sq mile island nation Nauru has an icon in the form of a champion boxer named DJ Maaki, not to mention what’s inside 0.2 square miles of Vatican City.

Not that we haven’t tried looking for one. Singapore’s elusive icon could have been a person, a plant, or even an orang utan, as suggested from a past list of potential national icons as follows:

Animals:  Ah Meng (Why Ah Meng is a national icon, 24 June 2006, Today), Sunbird (This sunbird fits image, 31 May 1986, ST)

Flowers: Vanda Miss Joachim

Statues: Merlion

Buildings: National Stadium, National Library at Stamford, Raffles Hotel, Changi Airport, Esplanade, Zoo, Parliament House

Language: Singlish (Beng is cool, Singlish a Signal, 20 March 2006, Today)

People: MM Lee

Sadly there’s nothing that triggers swelling pride from the slim pickings above, with traditional icons like the Merlion being exploited as part of a hotel installation, and the Raffles Hotel’s Singapore Sling being compared to cough syrup. If we idolise politicians we risk being branded as the North Korea of South East Asia, and advocates of Singlish will realise that we share bits and pieces of it with our Malaysian neighbours. Even if the MBS were granted the dubious honour of being representative of the Singaporean identity, history tells us that it’ll go the way of the National Stadium or Vanda Miss Joachim sooner or later. Ultimately, whats the point of a national icon even if we had one, when our people itself, a mishmash of migrants with their hearts and roots elsewhere, are unlikely to stay long enough, develop a community around it, and tell stories about it to their children in the end? But for now, the question Singaporeans should ask themselves is this; 100 years from now, what’s the one thing we want to see still exist, to grace the pages of National Geographic, appear on the History Channel, to be the first item on every tourist’s itinerary, or printed on our 50 dollar notes? Looking at the list above, my bets are on the Merlion, kitschy today but the icon most likely to really go the distance while megaliths like the MBS  fade forgotten into the shade of an inevitable ever- ascending skyline.

Mega-trend like a knife used to cut fruits

From ‘Casinos built based on need to create jobs’, 15 Apr 2011, article by Maria Siow, Today online and ‘S’pore open selectively to international talent:SM’, 15 April 2011, article by Grace Ng, ST

Six years after the decision was made to build casinos in Singapore, the issue remains on the minds of several ministers, with Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong being the latest to weigh in.

…”From the moral standpoint, the Government and most people in Singapore are against gaming,” said Mr Goh.

But in the end, the choice was made based on the need to create jobs, the difficulty in relying on manufacturing and a few key industries in generating growth and the lack of natural tourist attractions, he said.

The subject of casinos surfaced on Monday, when Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and People’s Action Party chairman Lim Boon Heng brought it up during an unveiling of the party’s General Election candidates, as an example of how there is no “groupthink” within the party, struggling to hold back tears as he did so.

Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo brought up casinos again in an interview with Yahoo! Singapore on Wednesday, when he emphasised the need to make difficult decisions to keep Singapore competitive, while acknowledging its pitfalls.

“I mean, I still feel guilty about the problem which gambling causes to particular families but very often public policy are a trust of evils, you can’t have it all ways,” he said.

…Mr Goh highlighted the rise of new media such as Facebook and blogs – a mega trend…but he cautioned that the tool could be used for good or evil. Likening it to a knife that can be used to cut fruits or kill people, Mr Goh said: ‘New media can sometimes suffer from the danger of being used by a small number of people…who are hiding beyond anonymity (to) spread misinformation, distort news and so on. But we have to live with it.

Dont cry for me, Singapura

Politicians coming out expressing their personal feelings to the point of melodramatic weeping, and admitting that gambling is morally questionable, yet coming to the consensus that IRs are a necessary evil for the greater good, does make one wonder what goes on in those boardrooms and who were the key players putting their foot down, lording over the wishy washy emotional types, and pushing this idea through despite all the objections. The problem with the IR situation is that there is no single person to blame. If a SARS epidemic spins out of control once more, all eyes will be on the Health Minister. If you have a gambling epidemic, we don’t have a Minister of Gaming and Recreation to  wag an accusing finger  at going ‘I told you so’. Instead we have this foggy ‘trust of evils’ in the air, like a earthquake cloud looming over us which we can’t do anything about (pardon the tsunami analogy). Except that if we were to be swept away in a ten-storey-high wave of gambling addiction, there will be no fund-raising celebrity cheer songs led by Jackie Chan, or the responsible people taken to task for making a bad decision. Instead we’ll be swirling in a miasma of finger-pointing and shrugging masked as rhetoric,  drenched with the tears of ministers bawling because no one ever listened to them.

SM Goh himself once admitted that he was ‘against gambling’ but not ‘anti-gambling’, (Credibility at stake:SM Goh, 21 April 2005, Today, see below) which is like saying you’re against murder but still allow it to happen because we can’t stop people from dying,  because that is what exactly happens when gambling addicts hurl themselves off buildings.  It’s mentioned in the same article that the casino proposal was accepted as he didn’t want others to think of us ‘incapable of making rational decisions’, or how we were ‘lacking boldness’ i.e. ‘kiasi’, at the expense of thousands of curious people leading otherwise normal healthy lives. It’s like a schoolboy pressured by bullies to take a piss in a swimming pool in exchange of not being hammered daily, inconveniencing other users because it seemed ‘rational’ to him and a small price to pay for not to be pushed about like a wuss at the time. Further on SM mentions how having a casino would give Singapore an edge over the likes of Dubai, but fails to realise that these Muslim countries are still vibrant and successful today IN SPITE of lack of casinos. AND alcohol. How much of this casino business is really ‘rational’ anyway, considering that the industry strives solely, ironically, on human impulsiveness?

Surely, if we had all these reservations on casinos, why build not just one, but TWO of them?  Why surface this ‘Hmm maybe IRs weren’t such a good idea’ only now? It’s like a military general pushing a button to drop an atomic bomb, holding it down afraid to let go, and thinking ‘Hmm, maybe we shouldn’t have designed it to kill people, maybe just maim them a bit’. How many families do our decision-makers want to see destroyed before they concede that a ‘difficult decision’ is, quite simply, a ‘horrendous mistake’?100, 1000?  If it happens to one of their relatives or loved ones, perhaps? The international community may have some thoughts about our ‘timid’ reputation, but they don’t care about how we deal with victims of gambling addiction.  Some things, in my opinion, are worth being ‘kiasi’ about, and SM Goh must have had a very broad definition of ‘Remaking Singapore’ if it means destroying some Singaporeans in the process.

As for the Facebook analogy, perhaps SM Goh was putting a layman spin on it when he says a knife ‘can cut fruit and also kill people’, but I believe the word he was looking for was ‘double-edged sword’. He of all people should also realise by now how candid status updates can be taken the wrong way. I think most Singaporeans would get the drift, without the need to resort to heartland hawker centre fruit stall imagery. Here’s another analogy for you, SM; To make the omelette that is Singapore, you have to ‘break some EGGS’. When it comes to gambling debts, maybe some LEGS too.

Flower dome looks like a shipwreck

From ‘游客吓一跳 滨海南花穹乍看像沉船’, 13 April 2011, article in omy.sg (SM Daily)

…读者李小姐告诉《新明日报》,她日前全家到滨海堤坝游玩,从海面上望向滨海湾方向,结果看到一个很像“沉船”的物件。李小姐后来得知,那其实是国家公园局滨海南花园项目冷室之一的“花穹”(Flower Dome)。

…李小姐表示,若从新加坡摩天观景轮的方向望去,就能看到花穹的整体设计,非常美观,就像一波波的浪潮,但从滨海堤坝望去,由于建筑互相遮挡,看起来就像一艘“沉没一半的船”。“花穹傍水而建,形状看起来却像‘沉船’,未免有些不吉利。”

…风水师慧戒说:“水为财,花穹傍水而立,寓为’近(进)财’,是很好的象征。李小姐觉得看起来像’沉船’,我倒觉得更似一条冒出水面的鲸鱼,有’抓水’的寓意,更有’收揽财气’之感。”

Google translated, the above becomes:

Miss Lee told readers, “Shin Min Daily News,” she has the whole family to play Marina Barrage, Marina Bay from the sea, look to the direction of the results to see a lot like “wreck” of the object. Miss Li was later informed that it is the National Park Service Marina South Gardens project, one of the cold room “Flower Dome” (Flower Dome).

Miss Lee said, from the direction of the Singapore Flyer looked, you can see the dome of the overall design of the flower, very beautiful, like the waves of the wave, but looked Marina Barrage, the building block each other, see it is like a “half of the ship sinking.” Flower Dome Bangshui built, the shape looks like a ‘wreck’ was somewhat unlucky.”

Hui feng shui master ring, said: “Water for the money, spend Bangshui standing dome, and combine for the ‘near (Import) Treasury’, is a good symbol. Miss Lee that looks like a ‘wreck’, I would feel more like a emitting surface of the whales, but the ‘catch water’ meaning, more ‘close embrace financial gas’ feeling. “

An unintentional tribute to the Japanese tsunami

This is an extreme example of ‘half glass empty’ people seeing disaster where there isn’t everywhere they go, whether it’s in design of the Flower Dome, or a chicken dish on the business class flight menu. The flip side of feng shui is how such catastrophic imagery is exploited by mere amateurs to portend unnecessary doom when the ancient art/science itself was probably developed at a time when modern ships as we know it hadn’t even existed, meaning that such calls for inauspicious design is simply people corrupting elegant geometry or animal imagery with finale scenes from a Titanic movie, like how people would see a skull and crossbones on a sand dune on Mars, or look at a skyscraper and complain about how it almost looks like a train run aground and erect without even whipping out a compass to check the direction it’s facing.   Still, looking at the ‘shipwreck’ design of the Flower dome and the lotus bloom of the Art Science Musuem, regardless of feng shui or ‘financial gas’, one does wonder if the MBS people hadn’t gotten the two attractions mixed up instead.