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Independence Day – A political interpretation

The objections to the Pinoys celebrating their Independence Day in a public area like Orchard Road have drawn out sympathetic responses from some Sinkies. Even the ST did not miss the negativity of the outcry and came out with an editorial calling for a curb on anti foreign rantings. Many Sinkies are still adamant that such a celebration should not be held in the streets of our city but in private or within the compound of an embassy.

An Independence Day is a political statement of a nation of people breaking free from the oppression of colonialism or an external power. Every country is proud of their Independence Day, and the Pinoys are no exception. Should we allow or support such a celebration in Orchard Road? We have many very open minded Sinkies who would not mind and may even ask what is the fuzz all about. And they would look at it unkindly to Sinkies who tried to make a big issue out of it and calling them narrow minded and old fashion backward patriots, out of touch with the reality of a new globalise world.

Are there any merits to those who objected to such a public celebration by a tribe of foreigners in the heart of our global city? Put it in another way, how would we view it if the Malaysians would to celebrate their Independence Day at the Padang and with speakers standing at the steps of City Hall shouting, ‘Merdeka, Merdeka!’ How would the Sinkies feel if the PRC Chinese or the India Indians would to do the same?

Or how would the Malaysians or our neighbouring countries feel if Sinkies would to celebrate our National Day in the heart of their cities and shouting ‘Merdeka, Merdeka?’ Politically speaking there is some sensitivity involved and some subtlety in the meaning of celebrating an Independence Day in a foreign country. Are they implying that they are now independence from us, the City that hosts them, that they could do anything they want here as free and independent residents?  Of course they don’t mean it.

What is the political message? Today we allowed the Pinoys to celebrate their Independence Day openly, would we also allow the other tribes to celebrate their Independence Day here as well? Are we being too uptight? Or should we be the generous host, the global citizens, opened minded, sophisticated anything goes as long as it is fun, and let everyone have a good time, to celebrate their Independence Day in our streets?

What do you think?

PS. Yesterday my pageview hit a new record of more than 12,200 in a single day. But somehow it did not translate to more kopi.

Be proud to be in the Internet Brigade (IB)

The temperature in cyberspace has been rising recently with the presence of more IB participants and activities. And this is likely to go on and increase in tempo as we approach the GE. What is unusual is that the IBs are pretty shy people, all hiding behind anonymity when they crashed through the blogs to attack their victims.

There are many reasons for the critics of govt policies to remain anonymous. Everyone knows the reasons and they are forgiven for wanting to remain in the dark. What about the IB? While the critics are likely to be of the same genre as those characters in the Water Margin classic, and fearing persecution, there is no such fear among the IBs. In fact they should be very proud to be associated with the ruling party, the govt, and doing the right thing, working for the good of the people. They should be like PAP members, wearing the PAP badge prominently on their chests, stand up and be recognised. Walk with heads held high in pride, not in shame.

Why is there a need to be anonymous, acting like cloak and dagger stuff? Are they not proud of what they are doing? Or are they doing something slimy, cannot see the light, something that they are ashamed of, too embarrassing and demeaning if found out by their parents or spouses or children, for being members of the IBs?

Cannot be right? They are on the right side, on the govt’s side, and they should be very proud of their deeds and who they are working for. The govt is not the gangster or the devil that it is a shame to be seen with. The govt is on the bright side, the critics are on the dark side.

The critics have all the good reasons to put on a veil. The IBs must have all the good reasons to stand on the rostrum to tell the world who they are, right? No, they are not doing the right thing? They are devious, sinister, vile, despicable, and that is why they fear being recognised and are ashamed of what they are doing? How can?

I would like to address this same question to the IBs and their patrons. Is it so shameful and disgusting to be IBs that it is necessary to hide under the veil of darkness? There are fears of the darkside, not the side of light. Be proud of what you are doing and what you are fighting and defending. No need to be shy, no need to be ashamed, no need to be ‘pai seh’. You may be given a National Day Award for a job well done. Transparency? What is that? Cheng hu is always good and tiok mah.

PS. By hiding behind anonymity, are the IBs admitting that what they are doing is wrong, unacceptable, unethical and dishonourable?

Kopi Level - Yellow


What is happening to this ten tribe country?

We are quickly turning into a country of ten tribes. And we are so proud of it. This will materialize in 2030 or earlier when we invite enough foreigners to boost our population to 6.9m. By then it is not inconceivable that we may have 10 official languages with the new tribes demanding for recognition of their languages and cultures. We may have ten different TV channels to cater for the interests and needs of the ten tribes as well. Good for the economy and the media industry and there will be more celebrities to mingle with and ogle.

As we are preparing to walk down this road of being a global city with people from all over the world calling this fabulous city their home, it is important to change the mindset of the Sinkies to be more open and receptive of foreigners and their way of life. The barrage of attacks in the internet against the Pinoys wanting to celebrate their Independence Day is very unbecoming and cannot be tolerated. How can Sinkies be so anti foreigners?

According to Mathew Mathews, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Public Policy Studies, the Sinkie attackers thought the Pinoys were taking over their space, their favourite and pride, Orchard Road, by celebrating their Independence Day right in front of Ngee Ann City. But the foreigners are already everywhere! Sociologist Paulin Straughan from NUS was quoted in the media to say, ‘there is no justification for such behavior, and that it is worrying.’

Indeed there is no justification for such xenophobic behavior. Indeed it is worrying. How are we going to achieve 6.9m if the foreigners find that they are not welcomed and refused to come? How are we going to make our ten tribe nation a reality if the people cannot tahan foreigners celebrating their national or independence days here? We should be encouraging them to do so and we can have 10 national days to celebrate the whole year round. Very good for tourism and very good for the economy for sure.

And don’t forget about water festivals and whatever farmer’s festivals to add on to our colourful cultural fabric.  Singapore will really be a fun place for the foreigners and also for the Sinkies, if they are opened minded enough to share their little island with them. We must be magnanimous, think global, think that we are having a world city and not a little village in Southeast Asia. We must aspire to be international citizens, starting by being a ten tribe nation first. Once we get used to be like ten tribes and feeling comfortable with it, the next change will be easier. And we can have all the best talents and richest people living among us. Just watching them and serving them will be a pleasure.

PS. Matilah Singapura will be very happy with this article as I am sharing his views of what this island should become. It would be a pity that the Pinoys cancel their Independence Day celebration in Orchard Road. We should have more national day celebrations by all the tribes that have become our citizens. They can invite our ministers as VIP guests to their functions. We will be really a city of celebrations, a fun city.

Do we need more nationalism or internationalism? Or why want to think small and be nationalists when we can think big and become internationalists? What do you think?

Deadly consequences of reckless immigration

I may be the least qualified to talk about this chilling possibility but I do hope it would prompt the experts to open up and discuss it to educate the masses and the policy makers of the unusually high risk the people are being exposed to a deadly plague or biological epidemic. We are all familiar with the obsession of the Australians in guarding their island continent from an invasion of foreign microbes, organisms, bacteria or viruses that could destroy lives and the ecology of their continent. If there is a world wide epidemic that threatens the existence of the human race, Australia is likely to be the last bastion where some humans and living things could survive.

Japan is another country that is fairly secured from such threats but through their stringent immigration policy. Immigration is not like some simpleminded folks chose to believe in, all about economic growth. There is national security involved, not the political or military kind, but biological and chemical invasion. The world is still threatened by many deadly diseases, SARS, bird flu, MERS, ebola, TB and many others that the medical professionals would know best. And the earth is infested with uncountable microbes, organisms, bacteria, viruses and with many new ones being formed every second through mutation or cross breeding. The water, soil, air and mud on the land are filled with all kinds of organisms specific to a location.

Japan is safe in the sense that it does not freely encourage a free flow of immigrants to its islands. It is quite homogenous and those entering Japan are few and with lower risk of being carriers of deadly diseases. Their jam packed trains are clean and hygienic from this standpoint as the people are mainly Japanese and have lesser risk of introducing new diseases.

Our reckless immigration policy for economic growth brings in millions of foreigners from the far flung nooks and corners of the earth, from little 3rd and 4th World villagers. And these people bring along the microbes, bacteria and organisms that are new to our clinically clean citizens with no immunity or defences against them. And the probability of them passing on to the citizens is so high given the ratio of 1 foreigner to 1 citizen or higher, and the close proximity when they are jam packed in the trains, exchanging their breaths daily many times a day.

Our super clean and unprotected children are also highly exposed to these organisms and diseases carried by the foreigners without anyone raising any alarm or care a hoot if they are infected and the diseases spread wildly. The very same school buses that ferried our innocent, hygenic and angelic children to schools every morning are the same buses that fetched the foreign workers all over the islands at night. And they did not disinfect the buses before picking up the children. Get the picture?

But who cares as long as it is not my children that are going to be infected, like NIMBY is ok. The elite would only wake up if they know that their children and themselves are just as vulnerable to such diseases as their children are exposed to other children in schools and they themselves are exposed to the train commuters in the office or food courts or common space and leisure areas.

The whole island is highly exposed to deadly diseases because of our reckless economic policy of allowing millions and millions of people into this little place. And we can be history just as fast as the immigrants come in and leave after their sojourns here. We keep changing them like tissue papers and waiting for that one batch that is unclean to do the damage.

Immigration is not just economics. There is a big health risk involved. Would the health experts like to discuss this subject openly to create awareness? Have they been talking or have their mouths been zipped? This is a deadly chilling tale that is waiting to happen, waiting to be told, waiting to wipe the population of this city to oblivion.

Kopi Level - Green

The South Korean ferry tragedy

This is a tragedy that is uncalled for. The death toll is likely to be higher than MH370, mostly beautiful and lovable little children, the darlings of their parents. Many could have survived if they were told to evacuate than to sit tight and wait to be rescued.

Many in the MOE here, including Heng Swee Kiat and the school principals, must be thanking their lucky stars that this did not hit our school children on their frivolous overseas trips all over the world. Should a mishap like this ever happened, no amount of sorry, regrets and remorse would be enough to bring back the children alive.

Time for MOE to stop this nonsense of sending little children in long trips overseas for the so called rich experience. The children are highly susceptible to accidents. Even the adults too will be victims as not many are prepared or have the presence of mind to deal with such emergencies. The Korean tragedy could be greatly minimised if the adults know what they were doing.

Every trip overseas, every long journey by cars, coaches, by ships or planes can turn into a tragedy. Accidents and the unplanned events will happen. It is best that MOE stops such trips and let the parents plan it themselves if they think it is so highly desired, and they assumed the full responsibility for the safety of their children. School principals and teachers should not be made to shoulder such heavy responsibility for something good to have but really not worth the risk and not worth the experience.

We have been lucky. The closest mishap was in the Philippines when a typhoon hit and a few of our undergraduates were there, and lucky enough to tell their tales. When the children are older, young adults, with better survival skills and the ability to look after themselves, the risk are lower.

Those primary school children and lower secondary school children are very vulnerable and best to be safe than sorry. When nothing happens, it is damn fun, damn great to talk about, an ego booster for those involved and the schools. So what?

Kopi Level - Green


The Sinkie mindset – No Choice!

FIFA World Cup Subscription: Singaporeans Taken For A Ride
Senior Minister of State (Communications and Information) Lawrence Wong had claimed that the Singapore government has “no say in” the subscription prices for the FIFA World Cup “Because Singapore is a small market and has a high demand for World Cup matches, FIFA will consider the country’s purchasing power and act accordingly“.

The above is posted by Roy Ngerng in his blog The Heart Truth. The reason why Sinkies have no choice but to pay exorbitant subscription fees just to watch the World Cup is the same reason why Sinkies have no choice about what to do with their CPF, that the Medishield Life is compulsory, and many other things, is simply that they have been trained to accept No Choice as an answer. And the reasoning given by FIFA to charge Sinkies higher rate is the same kind of reasoning the govt has been telling the Sinkies, it resonates very well in the minds of the leaders. So they happily accepted this as No Choice, and who is paying? Who is paying?

Roy Ngerng pointed to many other countries that are similar in population and income level and are paying so much lesser than Sinkies. Why? No Choice or why they got Choice?

Sinkies are brought up to think that there is No Choice when the govt said so. And the govt has been so use to No Choice as the only choice and when confronted by FIFA, it makes perfect sense. They used the same logic, sing the same song, and believe the same clever reasoning. You can’t blame Lawrence Wong for it. He could not see anything wrong with it. In fact the logic of FIFA is perfect and absolutely logical and reasonable to our elite who have been using such logical logic on the Sinkies.

Sinkies got choice to pay lower COEs or public housing prices or rentals of HDB shops and food courts? If we can live with so many no choices, what is the difference in the FIFA no choice fee?

PS. Because of our purchasing power, or because we got money, it is very affordable.

A sense of contentment and betrayal

Singapore is not a first world city for nothing. We have a well designed and planned city, expensively laid tiles, and a very clean and safe environment for the children and womenfolk to while their time away. Every time I see the mothers and children of foreign origins walking our streets, our parks, our beaches, our shopping malls or eating places, and to see them feeling so comfortable, so at ease and so pleasing, it gives me a sense of pride and contentment. It is a very good feeling.

We are sharing our well planned and safe city to people from all over the world when safety, cleanliness and well organized streets are something they could not imagine back home, when going out or having an outing with their families and children could be a life threatening thing, be abused, be harassed, be robbed, or be bombed. Here they have complete peace of mind with a thing to worry about.

We are an affluent people and very charitable, and welcome foreigners to share our good fortune. But this feeling turns to anger when news of how the foreigners are abusing our hospitality, our trust and goodwill in allowing them here. It is unacceptable and downright disgusting to think that the foreigners are cheating on our people, getting our citizens sacked from jobs so that they can replace them with their own kind. It is utterly unforgiveable to think that they are using unfair and deceptive means to discriminate against our citizens and disadvantaging our innocent citizens who trust that the system is fair and equitable. It is sickening to see how our honest citizens, brought up in a no nonsense system and society, and being cheated by dishonest foreigners without knowing it and thinking that they are less able than the foreigners, and thus deserved to be replaced by the foreigners.

And it is contemptuous that these things are happening to our citizens and continue to happen and nothing is being done, or very little is being done, to stop the exploitation of our citizens by unfair means by foreigners.

How could our people be so generous and so hospital to foreigners only to end up like fools and be victims to their devious scheming and cheating ways? At the very least we should expect our kindness to be reciprocated by kindness and some kind of appreciation and gratefulness. Instead the foreigners are treating our citizens with disgust and contempt.

Why should the citizens allow this to end up this way? We have been betrayed by the very people we showed kindness to. And some of these people are not only ungrateful but thinking that they have the right to kick our ass. And some of our jokers actually said that it is true, that we should be grateful to the foreigners who are here to help us.

The sense of anger and misgiving over foreigners will grow and get worse. The bashing of the Pinoys wanting to hold their National Day celebration is only the tip of a growing discontentment against foreigners. The huge presence of foreigners has eroded their novelty and the natural graciousness of a people that have been very welcoming to foreigners is crumbling. The familiarity and the abuses by foreigners and their rudeness, their competition for everything the citizens needed will no longer be tolerated. It just went over the edge.

But many asses still thing that there is nothing wrong with having more foreigners here and wanting more to come. And they are surprise that the Sinkies are reacting negatively and aggressively. Until these asses wake up from their slumber in the comfort of their private space, they will want to continue to shaft the foreigners down the throat of he citizens and even up their asses and would not relent despite the open display of hostility by the citizens that has never happened before.

Keep them coming, the elite will say. They will remain the deaf frogs and will continue to ignore the angry signs appearing. The masses are stupid and cannot see how good the influx of foreigners is, and their feelings are inconsequential to the bigger scheme of things.

Kopi Level - Green