11:45 by FoxTwo
For anyone who still doesn't know, here's what was written in the newspapers:
Foolish to advocate the learning of dialects
I REFER to yesterday’s article by Ms Jalelah Abu Baker (’One generation - that’s all it takes ‘for a language to die”). It mentioned a quote from Dr Ng Bee Chin, acting head of Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies: ‘Although Singaporeans are still multilingual, 40 years ago, we were even more multilingual. Young children are not speaking some of these languages at all any more.’
To keep a language alive, it has to be used regularly. Using one language more frequently means less time for other languages. Hence, the more languages a person learns, the greater the difficulties of retaining them at a high level of fluency.
There are linguistically gifted individuals who can handle multiple languages, but Singapore’s experience over 50 years of implementing the bilingual education policy has shown that most people find it extremely difficult to cope with two languages when they are as diverse as English and Mandarin.
This is why we have discouraged the use of dialects. It interferes with the learning of Mandarin and English. Singaporeans have to master English. It is our common working language and the language which connects us with the world.
We also emphasised the learning of Mandarin, to make it the mother tongue for all Chinese Singaporeans, regardless of their dialect groups. This is the common language of the 1.3 billion people in China. To engage China, overseas Chinese and foreigners are learning Mandarin and not the dialects of the different Chinese provinces.
We have achieved progress with our bilingual education in the past few decades. Many Singaporeans are now fluent in both English and Mandarin. It would be stupid for any Singapore agency or NTU to advocate the learning of dialects, which must be at the expense of English and Mandarin.
That was the reason the Government stopped all dialect programmes on radio and television after 1979. Not to give conflicting signals, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew also stopped making speeches in Hokkien, which he had become fluent in after frequent use since 1961.
Chee Hong Tat
Principal Private Secretary
to the Minister Mentor
I have highlighted 2 portions in bold italics, because I totally disagree with the statement. First of all, dialects do not "interfere" with learning other languages. Personal interests do. If you have no interest in Mandarin, you will NEVER learn it, even if you speak only ONE language. I will illustrate with a personal example.
Why? Because I didn't like it. If I don't like it, I don't want to learn it.
So, why do you think that English is a stumbling block for the majority of Singaporeans? In my experience, it's because it's too different from Mandarin. The majority of the people think in Chinese (dialects or Mandarin) and translate that into English. That's how Singlish was born. Seriously. In other countries, this would be called "Chinglish", or, Chinese-English.
When they encounter an unfamiliar word in English, they stop. They don't know how it's pronounced, much less what it means. This is the typical way a Chinese-language speaker thinks, because in Chinese, when you encounter an unfamiliar character, there is no way to know how it's pronounced.
In English, however, we have phonetics. If you know the basics of it, you can break a word up into its component vowels and consonants, and pronounce it. Conversely, if you hear a word being spoken but don't recognise it, you can actually spell it out from the way it's pronounced. This is how phonetics work.
But I digress. In my family, before I went to school, we spoke English and Teochew at home, and Malay and English at my grandparents' place. My mom could have spoken Mandarin to us, but she didn't. She thought it was important that we spoke Teochew since we're all "Teochew nang", albeit Peranakan Teochews.
I never learnt Mandarin till I was 7 years old, when it was taught in school. I was doing fine till Primary 6, where I had a very fierce and very strict male Chinese teacher. He made classes intimidating, and thus I lost all interest in it. I scraped by every exam eversince, getting a C6 (or borderline pass) till I was in JC. During the final year, I failed Chinese simply because I was getting left too far behind due to lack of interest in the earlier years, and no teachers ever since had been "outstanding" enough to make learning Mandarin fun.
Now, learning dialects is probably less destructive on Mandarin than on English, simply because written dialects are generally the same as written Mandarin. Seriously. In most common dialects found in Singapore, like Hokkien and Teochew, if you were to write what you said in Hokkien down on paper, someone else can pick this piece of paper up and read it out loud in Mandarin. The only difference is just in pronunciation. Sentence structures are essentially the same.
So, if you're pushing to learn Mandarin, what is the harm to learn a dialect while you're at it? It's just a pronunciation change.
I learnt Hokkien this way actually. Since Hokkien and Teochew are similar, all I needed to remember were the different ways (and tone inflexions) to pronounce a Teochew word, to convert it to Hokkien. For example, "sweet" as in "it tastes sweet" is pronounced as "tiam" in Teochew, but "tee" in Hokkien. Just a slight change. In most cases, Teochew and Hokkien words are pronounced the same way, with just a change of inflexions of certain words.
I learnt Cantonese at 4 years old because my next-door neighbour was a Cantonese, and her kid spoke Cantonese and English, and, she was my playmate. Notice that I learnt it because it was FUN to learn, and I was HAVING FUN while doing it. If there was a Cantonese phrase or word I didn't understand, she would explain it to me in English.
So instead of saying that it's "stupid" to advocate learning dialects, try making learning English and Mandarin fun first.
Or is it "stupid" to have fun in class?
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13:03 by FoxTwo
Now, recently, 2 ministers made public statements and actually prompted me to write something here on them. Now, let me just say, generally I have no problem with the government of Singapore. It's only on rare occasions like this that I feel I need to write about the people inside the government.
First off - Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew. He was commenting on the incident of how Yio Chu Kang MP Seng Han Thong was attacked by an irate constituent. An online poll showed that more people were sympathetic to the attacker, ie the unhappy constituent, than for the victim, in this case, MP Seng Han Thong. He noted that many comments were made and most were "unhelpful, a significant number were unkind, a small number were downright outrageous". Then he went on to say "...I do not think the community itself have done enough to rebut some of these unhelpful comments delivered by fellow netizens"
Only one thing comes to mind when I read that - he does not appear to accept that people DO have differing opinions from "the norm", or perhaps in this case, him. Yes of course, the poll showed that more people sympathised with the attacker rather than the victim, and I think he thinks it should be the other way round.
Next, we are not so free to flame forum trolls. If we did, our bosses will think we are not working, and give us more work to do. When we reach home after work, do you think the majority of people will sit down and face the computer? As many people I have worked with in the past have said - "you look at computer all day in office, go home still see more ah? Crazy ah?". Yup, you can discount this bunch of people. Once they go home, they don't even go online.
Another reason why we don't flame them back - like maybe perhaps they MIGHT have a good point?
Besides, any veteran "netizen" would have known not to feed the trolls. All they want is just attention. The more you "debunk" or "denounce" them, the bigger the flames get.
By not feeding the trolls we are already "self-regulating". We have already decided not to help increase the "damage".
Or perhaps Mr Lui considers "self regulation" as "defending a government official". Or perhaps Mr Lui never considered that people are more sympathetic to the attacker simply because the attacker actually deserved the sympathy? Or that the victim, actually had done something wrong (meaning the attacker might actually have a reason)?
I believe the term "self regulation" has been mis-used here. I hold the opinion that self-regulation means we don't do things that are against the law, be it written or unwritten. For example, we don't set up porn sites, we don't distribute pirated software. We don't set up a website to degrade religions or race. We don't libel or slander people on the net. It does not mean we surf forums and defend everything that mentions an MP and an angry online mob.
One last thing - doesn't the government already have people surfing the net to try to defend the government in online forums and such, already?? If not, perhaps it's time they do. If you leave this up to the netizens, they WILL speak their minds (and it's usually the truth) - and if they choose to sympathise with the attacker rather than the victim, that's just how the wind blows. You can't be upset because the majority of the people think the attacker deserves more sympathy than the victim!
Next, Nominated MP Loo Choon Yong and his comment on people not making enough babies even though we are on a 5-day work week.
I believe no one can provide a retort better than this guy here.
Basically, just because we're not making babies doesn't mean you need to overload us with work. What, has it become a "Fuck or Work, choose one" kind of deal now?
What I believe has missed his grasp completely, is that if we do succeed and produce more mouths to feed at home, it is only natural that we will need more $$$. To get more $$$, don't you think some of us will "work harder"? Doesn't this contribute to "productivity"?
Well at least those in the older generation like Mr Loo will think that way. The younger generation know that having multiple sources of income means LESS WORK, MORE MONEY (the basis of every Internet scam). They don't work hard more. They actually work less and get more money.
Perhaps it's time people wake up and realise that "working hard" doesn't always equate to higher productivity. Same as longer time spent in office doesn't mean higher productivity. People are now mobile, and can work anywhere, anytime. Technically we should not even need a 5-day work week anymore, nor even an "office"! When there's really work to be done, people WILL do it. When there's no work to be done (eg no clients), no point forcing them to sit in the office and surf the net.
Speaking of that, might as well cut off Internet. Historically speaking, Internet usage in the office has traditionally been the highest productivity killer than anything else. Facebook, anyone? So, should we work 7 days a week since Internet came to Singapore and productivity has fallen?
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09:29 by FoxTwo
But, how safe is Singapore, really?
I was reading an article here, where some people decided to "test" how safe their city is. The test is simple - put an unlocked, unchained bicycle out on a street, and see how long before it gets stolen. In the article, they found that it is a fallacy that the bicycle will get stolen in seconds if left out in a "poor neighbourhood". Here's an excerpt from the article:
In the latest video posted, a bike lasted an hour without being stolen in the unsavory Constitucion neighborhood. But on the upscale shopping street of Santa Fe, a bike lasted a few short minutes before it was stolen.
Since Singapore is usually compared to an "upscale shopping street", does that mean a bicycle left out in the open here will get stolen within minutes?
Incidentally this reminds me of an incident I witnessed some time last year. I was walking home, past a railing where people chain their bicycles to (a common sight in HDB estates). It wasn't that late at night, probably about 10.30pm or so.
I saw 2 men of Indian ethnicity, loitering around a bicycle. One of them had this huge wire cutter thing which he had hidden under his sarong. He brought it out and proceeded to cut the 3 chains that were locking their target bicycle. His companion who wasn't the one cutting the chains (ie, the "lookout"), had looked around and seen me looking at them.
Instead of fleeing, they nonchalantly continued their act and released the chains from the bicycle. Then, the "lookout" got onto the bicycle and rode it off, quite cool. The guy with the cutters walked behind him.
Now I am not sure what this means. It looked like they were stealing the bicycle. Or, it could be that the bicycle really belonged to the "lookout" and he may have lost his keys to the chains. All 3 of them. Unlikely I know, but it is not impossible.
Anyway, does anybody want to put this to the test? :)Links to this post |
13:52 by FoxTwo
Today's rant is partly inspired by a plurk thread here by XinYun. She was talking about calculative people who whine about being shortchanged (or being asked to pay more) a couple of dollars. Yeah these people probably scored distinctions in maths back in school.
In the plurk thread, xinyun was complaining about people who whine about having to pay $2 more than they originally calculated. However I'm going to rant about a few other kinds of people.
First off - those "call me back" people. In Singapore, all 3 mobile phone providers offer post-paid plans which include free incoming calls all day (yes I believe it's unique only to Singapore, or at least, this region of the world). In other words, you pay NOTHING when people call you on the mobile phone. So, they get the cheapest plan available, which may offer nothing more than 50 to 100 minutes worth of "free" outgoing calls.
Now, what irritates me is not really that they call me and tell me to call them back. Well it does irk me a little though. Come on, everybody has free incoming calls. Why should I not enjoy the free incoming calls?
What really irritates me is that these people REFUSE to call out to vendors or support personnel when the shit really hit the fan and we need network/tech/whatever guys onsite NOW. All they do is send SMSes and then they complain about how slow the response to their SMSes are. These guys also refuse to let the company "pay" for the bills because that would mean that now they are supposed to be "available 24 hours a day".
Sorry to break it to you guys, but IT people are, by default, on call 24 hours a day. With or without company paying for the bills. Just because it doesn't happen very often in this company doesn't mean it will never happen, or that if things really get bad, that you won't be called back.
Then there are even those even more extreme people. They charge their phones (and PDAs and MP3 players et al) using company electricity. "Why should I charge at home when charging at company means it's free for me?"
These are also the same people that will complain that the plate of chicken rice costs $3.50 in the city because it's supposed to cost only $2.50 back in the heartlands. By the gods, it's only $1 difference! Whatever you do, don't invite these kind of people out to a group function or something. They will whine about the cost of the bill and will squabble about even the cents portion of the bill.
Which reminds me of a particular incident which happened pretty recently. Something needed to be done on a server offsite, and we didn't have the right parts. We called back to HQ and the guy that answered the call was one of these kiam ganas. When we told him that it was pretty urgent, please take a taxi down, he said no. He would need to submit an expense claim, and it would take a couple of weeks to be processed and reimbursed. Thus, he will take a bus instead because it's cheaper than MRT.
After much cajoling, we told him we will pay for his taxi fare and we'll submit an expense claim for it later, that he agreed to take a taxi down to deliver the item. When he did arrive, the first thing he asked for was the money for his taxi fare, before even handing us the item we needed to fix the problem!Links to this post |
22:25 by FoxTwo Channelnewsasia.com - Work-Life Balance, and I had a thought.
"Isn't it obvious?"
Ok I am not claiming to b a model employee, far from it. However I do have a personal policy - don't stay and do "overtime" when you don't need to. And when I do leave the office, I do not even think about work. Work can wait. Once I am out of the office, work is out of my mind.
As a result, people say they seldom see me "stressed out".
The trouble with many companies in Singapore is the "Chinese mentality". You cannot arrive late for work. If you're late too many times, management will take notice and perhaps issue you warning letters, or even send you for counseling. It's fine if you stay behind in the office past office hours - in fact they encourage it, to show that you are "hardworking" and "contributing" to the company. When someone goes home on time at 5.30pm (or 6pm, or whatever time), the manager notices. When it becomes a regular thing that this person goes home on time, the manager "counsels" the employee.
I was in a few companies that have these kind of practices.
In a typical workday, you cannot be 100% occupied with work the full 8 hours of the day. It's impossible. The only way for you to be busy all 8 hours of the day, is to be overloaded with work. In one of my previous companies, the moment you have your web browser up, you're "skiving". They don't even bother to look at what's actually on the browser screen. For us IT folks, it's normally a forum somewhere with a solution to a problem we're facing.
In fact, this particular company went overboard in blocking websites. Blocking Youtube and Facebook I understand - those sites takes up network bandwidth for streaming media, and wastes time (Facebook). However, blocking blogs, forums, lifestyle, etc is too much. In fact I even wrote a post about this here - they even blocked blogs! Humour blogs to boot!
The managers are typical "cheena" types. You cannot be seen "reading newspapers". You cannot be seen "surfing the web". You must always be "busy". Otherwise, they'll start to question why the need for so many headcounts in the department if the headcounts are seen "not doing work".
Even when people go on MC (call in sick), the bosses still bug them by calling them about work, telling them they need to attend meetings etc when they come back etc. In fact, one of them was even called back to the office, and told "he cannot be sick because he has too many things to do" by the boss. Speaking of being sick, the company will penalise you if you use up more than 5 days of your 14 days entitlement of MCs, but no incentives if you don't use up any at all.
I have a friend who, due to unfortunate circumstances, fell sick and used up all 14 days of her MC. At year end, during appraisals, she was given a bad rating and hence, zero bonus. You can bet she was furious, and quit.
I had a job interview earlier this year. The interviewer told me that the organisation "frowns upon" people leaving the office at 6pm, hence it is "the norm" that people stay till 8pm or 9pm. If we are called back to work on weekends, tough luck. It's up to the individual manager's kind-heartedness to give you time-off. Even if time-off is given, we are not supposed to claim it immediately. In other words, if I was called back on Sunday to work, I cannot claim my time-off the following day. I must still turn up for work at the appointed time.
You can bet that I didn't take up the position offered in that company.
I am fortunate that the company I am in now is very pro work-life balance. In the current company, I do not dread going to work (although, like any lazy-assed human, I don't look forward to going to work too). However I know that if I'm at the office, nobody's eying me to catch me the moment I "slip up". In fact, just today, a colleague called me up to get some information, and she said she'd been "banned" from the office because she's sick. Her boss told her to stay out of the office till she got better, even if she doesn't have an MC. I'm sure her kids are happy because "mommy's home all day".
Now, the example above is good, but not because it shows the boss is nice. On a deeper level, the managers understand that a sick person is definitely not going to be performing well. Secondly the sick person will probably infect other people, and thus rendering more people sick and shutting down the department. Most of us are actually mobile - we're on laptops and blackberries. If there's work to be done, any Internet connection will work fine for us. We can easily enter the corporate network via VPN and do what is needed. For us IT folks, chances are we'd all have some form of Internet connection at home anyway.
The point is - once the management shows such understanding towards employees, employees will in turn reciprocrate. The employee is more likely to perform better as a result. In fact I have never heard any colleague complaining about coming to work. The only things we complain about are the stupid users, as usual :)
So yeah, companies in Singapore need to catch up. If the company treat the employees like slaves, expect a high turnover. If the company treat the employees well and with respect, hardly any of them will leave the organisation. In my previous company, I hear someone grumbling and saying they wish they could quit almost on a daily basis. Here, nothing like that happens. Nobody ever talks about quitting.
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19:57 by FoxTwo
On a weekday, or even on Friday nights and Saturday nights, try this. Around 10pm or so, try to get a cab.
Yeah, not a single available cab. Every one that passes you will be lit up in red, with the words "Hired" or "On call". Even those that are empty, zoom past you.
So, did the recent price hike "help" us consumers to get a cab?
The same thing is happening right now as it did before the price hike - near midnight, cabs suddenly disappear off the streets, and don't appear till about 12.30 or so. Is the current situation any different from previous?
Like I read in a funny email some time back - thanks, but no thanks, dear gahmen. Don't try to help us anymore ok? What's happening now is that we're paying more for the same thing that happened before the huge price hike.
Unless of course, the all-powerful gahmen can come up with a way to levy a fine on cabs and make sure they are available to us. Otherwise, more price increases just make us pay more for the same shitty cab-availability we've always been getting. If anything, make the fare a flat fare. Screw all the stupid surcharges. Just one uniform fare. That way the cabs won't have "special hours" to disappear off to.
By the way can we get a refund or something?
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18:23 by FoxTwo
Labels: SingaporeLinks to this post |
13:11 by FoxTwo
I was woken up today by a pretty interesting, if not irritating, telemarketer. Lord knows what she's selling, but she prattled on like a machinegun and I swear she never stopped to breathe.... not even once!
You know the type, I'm sure. They never asked if it's a "convenient time" to speak to you. They just ask for your name, then they introduce themselves (nobody ever bothers to remember their names 99% of the time anyway), then they launch into their sales pitch.
From what I can gather (remember, I got woken up by the call), they're peddling some home theatre system do-hickey, and it's supposed to be FREE. Yes, the word "Free" was thrown about very freely in the entire conversation. Remember, she didn't stop to breathe, so that's a lot of "free" words thrown inside.
Then, when she finished her scripted sales pitch, I could finally say "thanks but not interested". The next thing she said was "why? what is the reason? it's free!"
Why? Cuz I'm not interested!
So I asked her back "When you see a dress and then you don't like it, and even if it's free, would you take it?" she said "no". So I said "what's the reason?"
She said "Don't like lor"
My reply - "EXACTLY".
Good thing she gave up. Or else I'd have given her a runaround. After all I'm jobless and I have alot of time to play with people like that hahahah!
Note to all telemarketers out there - PAUSE once in a while. Don't launch into a sales pitch. TALK to the potential customer. Once you start launching into a sales pitch it turns people off almost immediately. As soon as you stop to breathe, the prospect will, 99% of the time, tell you "not interested". Some won't even wait for you to breathe. They'll cut you off mid-sentence.Links to this post | 5 comments in Blogger |
19:44 by FoxTwo
Simply Jean has posted the official findings from Straits Times regarding the escape of Mas Selamat, 2 months ago. At the time, there were jokes aplenty about the guards at the detention centre not having watched movies, of how prisoners escape from prisons.
Mas Selamat climbed onto the ledge located just below the ventilation window, pushed open the ventilation window and squeezed himself through it
So, one can see that there weren't any grilles at all on the toilet "ventilation window". After reading this part, I truly think they need more movie time :)
Then there's this part:
No one was actively monitoring the two CCTV cameras covering the outer and inner perimeter fences at the rear of the Family Visitation Block.
No one was monitoring?! I'd like that kind of job too.. to be paid to watch the monitors but actually not do the work I'm paid to do.
Why the heck install CCTVs anyway? Besides, nothing was mentioned about improving this part of the flaw. No recommendations to install motion-sensors or vibration sensors on the fences, for example.
In a re-enactment requested by the COI, a GC guard took 49 seconds to climb out of the ventilation window in the urinal cubicle, scale the fence, climb onto the roof of the enclosed staircase and walkway, and jump over the converged perimeter fences.
49 seconds by a combat-fit guard. Mas Selamat, who walks with a limp, probably took 2 minutes, if not more. Whatever the time frame, one thing is clear - the layout of the place sucks. If they had fences, weren't there guards on duty at guard towers? Do they even have guard towers? Perhaps they thought the place was a "Detention Centre" rather than a "prison" thus didn't post guards up at the fences. It goes to show - we view murderers and rapists as more dangerous than terrorists. We lock THOSE up in prisons with guard towers and where guards patrol the fences and the prison grounds.
There's nothing much to say about their "recommendations" except for the last one - to relocate the detention centre to Changi Prison. Should have done that a long time ago. Then, they can retrench some of the guards and tap onto the guards already working at Changi Prison :) Purely in the spirit of outsourcing, of course.Links to this post | 2 comments in Blogger |
16:20 by FoxTwo
Yes I know, old news.
For those that are clueless, catch up here.
Today I received an email from a company claiming to be Virtual Map's PR firm. The funny thing is, I wonder how they got my email address. I never published this particular email address anywhere. Or at least, not anywhere public. Just as a precaution, in case it was spam or fraud, I did a series of WHOIS and Traceroutes. Seemed legit.
This is an excerpt of the mail:
This is Melvin from 20twenty. We're Virtual Map's PR agency and we've been reading your posts regarding streetdirectory.com.
On behalf of the guys at VM, thanks for your interest in the website and how it's fairing(1).
We've been receiving a lot of comments about how the loss of the site has inconvenienced people, so we've decided to come back online with most of our features like the popular bus/mrt guides. Unfortunately, the maps will have to wait, but hopefully this will relief(2) your inconvenience somewhat.
Besides, Streetdirectory was "back" last week. I just didn't think it noteworthy enough to mention it in a blog entry, since it wasn't (and still isn't) functioning 100% yet. Notice the part I underlined in the excerpt above. They aren't ready for maps yet and they know it.
Seriously though, if maps aren't ready, then what is the whole point? It's like saying "Congratulations you just won a car! Sorry, no keys though. You have to wait for those".
Having a bus/mrt guide without seeing where to get on, get off, walk, is almost useless. Google's maps have always been ready. Even their "driving instructions" work. We're just missing the bus/mrt info that Streetdirectory.com used to provide, but we can make-do with Google Maps (and other alternatives) for now. Google Maps even has MRT stations printed on their maps, so one can actually see the nearest station and make a guess how to get to their location.
If you were to actually go to the website now, and tried to search for a location, you'd get a blank green box. That's all. Only when you switch over to "Satellite" view, will you get - surprise surprise! - Google's satellite images. Google. Think about it.
As an aside, I also get irritated by incorrect/bad English used in official correspondence. This time it probably isn't even the author's fault - it's just the human reliance on automated spell-checkers.
(1) It's FARING not FAIRING.
(2) RELIEVE instead of RELIEF
See? That is why I don't use a spellchecker at all in any of my documents. The words above were spelled correctly, just used incorrectly. People nowadays just rely too much on spell checks, that they don't really check grammar and punctuation on their own anymore. Seriously, it's the same for myself regarding Chinese. I find that I can type almost anything in Chinese as long as I know the hanyu pinyin for it. Thus I don't bother to remember how to write it by hand anymore. Is this a good or bad thing? Hmm that makes for an interesting blog entry...
Anyway, it's interesting to think that they've actually bothered to engage a PR firm to do "damage control", and they actually wrote email to people like me. Personally I'm not very well known, and my blog is, according to the statistics, visited by more Americans than Singaporeans. Well slightly more Americans, anyway. It's like 50% USA visitors, 49% Singaporean, 1% rest of the world (like Greenland and Iran for example).
I should applaud Virtual Maps for this initiative though. It's a fresh approach, unlike other companies who either try to spin the media into saying "it's not our fault".Links to this post | 4 comments in Blogger |
21:18 by FoxTwo install glass doors by 2012 on overhead stations.
So what will Singaporeans complain about now?
For starters, how about more fare hikes? Sure, the doors will be installed. Don't tell me they won't put aircons into all the overhead stations? Singaporeans will definitely complain that it will be hot, especially on very sunny days where the sun will shine very brightly into the enclosed, glass-sealed overhead stations.
Where do you think the money for installing the doors, putting in glass walls, and installing air conditioning in the overhead station is going to come from?
Secondly, Singaporeans will no longer have an excuse to be late for work. They can't use the "someone jumped onto the tracks again boss, so I'll be 3 hours late" and waltz in after lunch.
Third, mommies with little boys can no longer tell the little boy to pee on the tracks when the little kid has to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW.
Fourth, where will suicidal Singaporeans go now?Links to this post | 4 comments in Blogger |
15:01 by FoxTwo
Sorry about the quality of the pic, it's taken with digital zoom (inferior to optical zoom) on my handphone camera. Yeah sorry, my real digital camera, the Canon Digital Ixus 60, was more inaccessible than my phone, so I just snapped this pic with the phone camera.
It was raining yesterday. It was cold.
Still there was this bunch of people downstairs at the "garden".
Yup, they are the usual typical kiasu Singaporeans. They're crowding around a BBQ pit, and since they've already paid good money to reserve this pit 3 months in advance, they aren't gonna let a little thing like a thunderstorm get in the way of their family BBQ! No Way Jose!
For what it's worth, whatever they're BBQ-ing smelt nice. With the rain yesterday though, I bet it was a pretty soggy affair.Links to this post | 5 comments in Blogger |
16:59 by FoxTwo gone missing. Please, look at the pic below and if you see her, contact Rinaz immediately!
The missing girl is the one on the LEFT in the picture. So far there has been rumours that this girl might be in the west area. She's from Pioneer Secondary School.
Thanks for any leads or information! Please call Rinaz at 985 99746 if you do have information!
Addendum - THE GIRL IS FOUND SAFE AND SOUND!! Thanks to all who helped, and that was really quick too! Just a couple of hours :)
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13:56 by FoxTwo this article just now, and I thought it was very interesting. I never knew how "backward" Singapore's job market is still, comparatively. I remember reading something similar like this a long time back but it wasn't in this much detail.
I thought I'd comment on the 10 points brought up in the local context:
#1: Where were you born?
Say what? You're kidding right? It's such a common question here, and it's asked in the APPLICATION FORM you fill in before the interview - right under "Place Of Birth".
#2: What is your native language?
Hmm so they can't even ask our ethnic background eh? Cool.
#3: Are you married?
#4: Do you have children?
#5: Do you plan to get pregnant?
All the above are meant not to discriminate against the applicant if they are married or have a family. In Singapore, I believe many employers would consider these are "critical" questions. I hate to say it, but my own boss refuses to hire women just because "they're too much trouble to worth it".
#6: How old are you?
Again, this one's right there on the application form, right under "Age" column.
#7: Do you observe Yom Kippur?
In local context, it'd be asking the applicant if he/she observes Christmas, or Ramadan, etc. Very few employers I know ask this, but I never knew it should be illegal...
#8: Do you have a disability or chronic illness?
Ok this one got me too.... I believe this is also listed on some company's application form too, ie you must declare yourself fit and healthy BEFORE the interview....
#9: Are you in the National Guard?
In Singapore's context, it's asking the guy "Are you still doing Reservist?". I don't see many employers in Singapore asking this, but mainly cos it's a pointless question - 90% of the time the answer will be "YES" heheheh!
#10: Do you smoke or use alcohol?
I agree - this question should be illegal. As long as I get work done you shouldn't care how I live my life.
All in all, if these 10 questions were to be outlawed in Singapore, I bet employers would run out of questions to ask, and I guess it *would* level the playing field for candidates. In an ideal world, these questions would never even need to be asked. In Singapore.... *chuckle* I don't see it happening in my lifetime...
14:29 by FoxTwo
I don't really give a hoot if my friends are straight or gay. It's just their sexual orientation and it has no bearing on me, as long as those who are homosexual understand that I am HETERO-sexual and leave me out of their relationships. That applies to both the male and female variety of homosexuals, popularly called "gays" and "lesbians" by the masses respectively.
But this petition to repeal the law against homosexuals, somehow I do not agree with it in principle. While homosexual people have feelings too, making it legal is not the way to go. Here's an analogy. If you are a drug user and you're hooked on heroin, and you know a few hundred other people who are the same as you, would you get a petition going and try to get heroin legalised?
I'm not going to quote religious texts. I know many of those who are opposed to this (like I am) saying being homosexual is satanic etc. I'm usually logical, and believe more in science than in religion. In this case, a species has a male and female component, and they both need to be attracted to each other to achieve one thing - produce offsprings, "new versions" of themselves. It's part of the evolutionary process.
I believe homosexuality also may exist in the animal kingdom too... and I regard those as "defective genes". Animals that are homosexuals will not produce offsprings, and their line will die out due to natural selection. This is how nature keeps a balance - those "weaker" ones will fail and die off.
Now along comes the human. S/he's homosexual, and s/he wants to mate with the same sex. I say, let 'em go do each other. They'll die out eventually, and this time, LEGALLY (but it's actually a bit of a waste - some lesbians are really beautiful... too bad they only like other women, ah well!). While they're at it, it'd be a good idea to make some money along the way - open up gay porn sites and charge memberships :)
As for me, I'm not signing the petition to repeal it. I'm betting it'll fail anyway, and the law stays.
09:46 by FoxTwo Channelnewsasia.com
First things first. If you are "sowing your wild oats" and your partner(s) are 17 or 18 yrs old (Polytechnic/JC age), DON'T PAY for it! :)
Heh I'm just kidding. But indeed, this new amendment does sound weird, at least to me. The intentions are good, of course, but now what it means is:
1. If you pay for sex with someone that's 17 yrs old (for example), it's ILLEGAL.
2. If you DON'T pay for sex with the same said someone, it's LEGAL.
Hey man, the same someone is still the same age, 17.....
09:46 by FoxTwo
Later on the same evening, news finally broke that 200 cops went on a manhunt for this guy, and finally tracked him down via his mobile phone in Orchard Cineleisure. No details were given by the media.
However the blogosphere was abuzz with details. It is said that his girlfriend broke up with him in April this year (her blog has been deleted as of this writing. Poofed, vanished). Not only that, she left him for a GIRL (butch). Man he must be feeling like hell, to be dumped by a girl, FOR a girl.
He only has just one more month before he completes his full-time service. Just ONE more month. Now, I don't know how it is now, but back in my day, when you have 1 more month to go, you don't get *any* sort of duties. Everyone will know you already have "switched off" and they don't really plan you into any sort of duty rosters.
So how did he get arrowed to guard duty? I suspect he must have "volunteered" for it, by "buying" the duty off another guy. So, it appears he might have planned this, so, pleading insanity in court probably won't work. Also, it is said that he jumped a back fence and there was a vehicle to pick him up. Smacks of "pre-meditation" to me. Sounds like he knew he was going to ORD soon, and doing guard duty was the last chance he'll ever get to obtain a weapon and live ammo.
Then he shows up in Orchard Cineleisure, a known haunt of his ex-gf. With a SAR21 rifle and ammo? Doesn't take a genius to work out what he wanted. Many people just think he wanted to "scare" the ex-gf and her current beau. A colleague was saying, if he wanted to kill the girl, he could just have used a knife. True. But, I'm thinking he didn't go through all this trouble and risk being charged for a "scare tactic". I think he was planning to SNIPE the butch, not the ex-gf. I don't think he wanted to be up close and personal when he goes through with the deed.
The SAR-21 he stole from camp has a built-in scope on it. Yeah, not a very powerful one, perhaps 2x or so, but in Orchard Cineleisure, it's enough. Also, 5 rounds ammunition really won't be enough for a auto-burst anyway, but probably just nice for sniping. Since it's an ASSAULT rifle.... it'll do quite some damage if he put it into burst mode. Innocent bystanders who happened to be near his "kill zone" will be hurt and/or killed.
I'm just glad the cops managed to get him before anything happened.
If he does get convicted (HAH! Who am I kidding? This is SINGAPORE. He'll get deep fried and hung out to dry), he'll get jail time and a few strokes of rotan. He is at least lucky to be caught NOT brandishing the weapon, or else it's automatically a death penalty.
14:52 by FoxTwo
What am I talking about? These *#^%^$# MRT suicides.
Yeah, one happened on 7 Aug 2007 at Tampines. I knew it happened cuz I was on the subway. When I exited, I saw the signs flashing "Service Disruption between Tampines and Pasir Ris". Instinct told me it was another jumper. When trains are faulty, they don't shut down stations or stop services to any station for it. They just pull the faulty train off the tracks and run a new one on it.
So, the only way to jam up a line and deny services to a station is for someone to physically jump onto the tracks and die. Then, he'll get the cops, the medics and everyone else to mill about the station, all pointing at his mangled body.
Which brings me to another point - these suicidal idiots are totally inconsiderate and utter morons. If they wanna die, sure, go ahead and kill yourself. Just don't kill yourself and cause a jam for thousands of other people! Trust me, if I knew you were gonna kill yourself, I woulda helped you. Gimme a bat or something, I'll whack you silly. And, I'll make sure you die ON THE PLATFORM, off the damn tracks, so I can continue to get to where I was going.
Strangely enough though, the media hasn't actually reported on this incident yet. It's been 3 days. Perhaps they realised that suddenly ever since the first suicide jumper, there has been 3 more cases of copycat suicides. SMRT refuses to put up barriers, citing "too expensive" as the reason.
Too expensive to prevent loss of income due to closure of the lines for a couple of hours huh? I wonder who's the big boss at SMRT, and did anyone ever show him the cost of these suicides? Well, I'm no financial analyst, but I'm thinking it might actually be cheaper to just put the barriers up.
Or, like a colleague suggested - re-train the drivers to slow to a damn crawl BEFORE entering overhead stations. So slow that any jumpers only get a broken leg or some minor injuries if the trains were to hit them, instead of killing them. So slow that even if some guy jumps out in front of the train at the last minute, hitting the brakes won't kill the jumper. THEN, maybe the jumpers will decide to go jump off Westin after all, where they should have gone in the first place! Yes, DENY the jumpers access to this mode of execution, and they'll look elsewhere. Spare the rest of us who value our lives the inconvenience of being late cos of a jammed track.
Also, if the jumpers aren't dead, the cops can fine the hell out of them for attempted suicide. "No suicides - fine $50,000" signs should be put up all over. Heck, make it known if they are successful (ie they actually managed to kill themselves), the fines will be imposed on their FAMILIES.
Oh yeah, btw, the guy that jumped on 7 Aug was a 48 yr old Chinese male. Makes you wonder huh? Why no females ever jumped? Why always middle aged?
I'm guessing a simple answer - loansharks.
15:59 by FoxTwo
You know, I haven't really been looking at my site statistics until lately. Guess what I found?
- Majority of my visitors are Singaporeans
- They come via Yahoo Search
- They are ALL looking for "Tammy" and "NYP video"
- The only reason why they even arrive here is because I wrote about it LAST YEAR!
- Sorry no links to the video here. I don't even have it, although I have seen it.
- Believe me, it's nothing special.
Come on guys... Tammy's last year's news. Why are you guys still hung up on that? Move along, nothing to see here....
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