Thursday, 23 April 2015

Busting the Chilli Myth

There's a Cantonese saying: Chilli so hot, it will make you fly. Probably a tongue in cheek reference to fanning around looking for water. ("Lak tho fei hei")

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Valley of Ya Kun

Understanding The Singapore Story 6

Hong Kong's pan-democratic lawmakers can learn from Lee Kuan Yew
- by Tony Kwok

SURPRISINGLY, our pan-democratic legislators in Hong Kong have been largely silent about the death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In the past, they often looked down on the Singapore political system, criticising its "fake elections", "lack of press freedom", "one-party rule" and "dictatorship". I believe they are wise not to comment on this occasion, as they would have been given a big slap on the face by the people of Singapore.

Whether the system of government is good should best be judged by the people of a country, not by outsiders or scholars. The fact that the people of Singapore flocked to queue for hours, in unbearable heat or intolerably heavy rain, just to pay their last respects to Mr Lee demonstrated public endorsement of the founder of the Republic and the political system he created.

I believe there are plenty of lessons Hong Kong's pan-democratic legislators can learn from Mr Lee.

Firstly, Mr Lee received his university education in the Western world, similar to many of our pro-democracy legislators. Certainly, Mr Lee outshone all of them in terms of academic achievement. He knew the Western system well, including its faults. So while Mr Lee chose to follow the common law system in Singapore, he was not keen to take the system on in its entirety. For example, the country adopted a system of fused professions, making no distinction between barristers and solicitors, thus reducing unnecessary legal costs. Mr Lee also did away with the funny wigs worn in court.

He must have noticed at the time of his study that British police forces had a serious corruption problem. Under him, Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau became a model for the rest of the world to follow. Hong Kong was able to learn from it the proper way to fight corruption. Mr Lee also limited a person's "right of silence", making the interview of suspects by law enforcement officers much more effective.

No doubt our pro-democracy legislators would have taken the entire Western system, values and culture, on board, believing that the Western system offers the only genuine kind of democracy. Should they not learn to distinguish what is good or bad for our unique environment, instead of blindly following others?

Secondly, in his 2013 book, One Man's View Of The World, Mr Lee had high praise for China's achievements and the ability of the Chinese leaders. He predicted that China would continue to prosper and become one of the two most powerful nations in the world. Indeed, in the past, he pushed for policy in Singapore to take advantage of China's economic prosperity. He wanted the Chinese language to be widely taught in Singapore schools. He was one of the first leaders to recognise China's potential and pushed for partnerships with it, including setting up an industrial park in Suzhou.

He greatly admired Hong Kong's competitive advantage of being the gateway to the mainland. Yet our pan-democratic legislators oppose every single move by the SAR government to build economic links with China.

Third, when he was conferred an honorary doctorate by Chinese University in 2000, he said in his speech that the only way Hong Kong should and could develop its political and electoral system was to follow the Chinese Constitution and the Basic Law. These were truly the words of a wise man 15 years ago. Had the Hong Kong pan-democratic camp taken his advice, there would not have been such a deadlock and Occupy Central would not have happened.

If Mr Lee were the chairman of the Democratic Party or Civic Party today, how would he have acted?

I am sure he would persuade his party to accept the currently proposed electoral reform package. He would have no problems with, say, a rule of getting the minimum 5 to 10 per cent vote required before seeking the endorsement of the nominating committee.

He would study the make-up of the nominating committee and come to the conclusion that many of the very decent representatives there need not follow the orders of Beijing. He would then use his persuasive powers and charisma to lobby their support. If he could demonstrate his genuine desire to serve the best interests of Hong Kong, he should have no problems securing the support of the majority of these groups.

At the same time, he would call for public support. If he is prepared to openly pledge his loyalty to Beijing, it is not inconceivable that Beijing would give him its blessing, even if he comes from the pro-democracy camp. In any event, if he had overwhelming public support, it would be difficult for the 1,200 decent members of the nominating committee to arbitrarily vote him out.

Those close to Mr Lee said he was not one for idealism. He was truly practical and not stubborn; he would change his mind if he was convinced it was in Singapore's best interests. I hope the pan-democratic camp can learn from his political wisdom.

It is absurd that the pan-democrats would vote down the reform proposal simply because it was not the most ideal one on offer; and, as a result, prefer the old system of letting the selection committee, instead of the people, elect the next Chief Executive.

The sad thing is that the Hong Kong pan-democratic camp does not have anyone with the brains or foresight anywhere close to that of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

The writer is former deputy commissioner of the Independent Commission against Corruption.

This article was first published in the South China Morning Post.

Back From the Grave 1 - The TNP News

April 11 2015 cover page

'LKY' responds to recent issue on Watson stores selling vibrators.

To: Minister, Ministry of Birthpower

Dear sir,

I am writing from the grave as there is an issue that deeply moves me. Instead of making love to a proper man, women, I understand (from those Watson flyers folks burn to me during this current Qing Ming) are shedding their inhibitions over a battery operated stick. How can this be? It is highly wasteful and makes no economic sense.

Let me explain.

Already, our majority menfolk are working themselves to the bone, leaving precious little energy for whatever boning they are supposed to do, to ensure the survival of our species. What's the point of me having worked so hard, never finding time to even "baobao" my son Loon that he now laments that I was not touchy-feely enough?

I don't want our Singaporean men to be like me, lose that 'touchy-feely' instinct because of dedication to work or country.

And this mechanical device - a vibrator - will distance men even further from their womenfolk. What if these ladies find the device more satisfying, and then forever forgo intimacy with their significant other?

Already Swe Sey has confided in me that he often times shed tears because his wife has gone over to The Dark Side, that is, hiding herself in the storeroom doing the dastardly deed. 

Sir, I ask you, is this right? Should Swe Sey be asked to cry some more? Already he is such a sensitive sod. No. He needs peace of mind to function at the PMO.

Now, what shall we do?

Should we ban it outright as we did with the chewing gum? Is it as obnoxious as that? Will the women jam preloved vibrators in lift doors to stop them from closing? Will they hurl the sticks from HDB floors in moments of orgasmic abandonment? Will they litter park benches with it?

I think not.

Let's be practical and think how we can kill two birds with one stone, like in Operation Cold Store.

Let's call this Operation Turn-on.

What we can do is use this occasion to bring men and women together.

First, may I suggest we make it mandatory for Operationally Ready (ORD) men to carry a vibrator always. It will have a pager function set to vibration mode. Anytime their loved ones page them, they are allowed to respond like in Reservist Recall mode, report back immediately. 

Given the nature of the call, they have only 20-, 30-, and 40-minute windows to respond. As most women know, any interval after 40 mins is asking laundry in the sun not to dry up! We must encourage our men folk to respond as quickly as possible so their women remain in "the mood" and not decide to turn on the telly to catch the lastest K-drama. Or worse, retreat into the storeroom to rearrange stuff. We men know once they do that, any baby-making desire is as dead as dust on the floor. Or sucked out of life by the vacuum cleaner.

The vibration mode of the stick will serve as a kind of Palovian trigger to these men. Either they service their womenfolk quickly or stand to lose to a battery operated stick. How disgraceful is that? That cantretiregracefully Mahathir will laugh and say we Singaporeans "tak boleh" and offer to add Tongkat Ali to our water from Johor, Najib not withstanding.

Given time, our menfolk's reaction to the vibrator recall alert (VRA) will become reflexive. I am sure our womenfolk would love that! After that, I think our menfolk will be happier and more productive (after a 20-minute nap, that is). I have come to know satisfying a woman can be exhausting!

However, our womenfolk will be banned from buying such vibrators outright  for themselves. - Not even an electric toothbrush.

They will have to buy with their menfolk as Main Stick Owners or MSO (there's another acronym for you!) Their menfolk will guard it with their lives at all times, much like how they did with their M16 during NS. 

Once our menfolk respond with the paging stick, I believe their darlings will prefer the real thing. If not, the device can buy them time to "Majulah Singapura" or "marilah bersama-sama", haha. (See, I also have a sense of humor!)

And should such sticks spoil, they can bring to Singtel, Starhub, M1 or any 7-11 outlet to get it replaced. I am sure Watson will want to do their national-duty bit. And folks with Passion Card can get a further 10% discount. I like the 'passion' in the PA Card name. Check with Swe Sey (he is PA VP) how we can leverage upon this very suitable keyword in this Operation Turn-on. He might even have some idea on how to make it better.

Given our past bad PR from banning things, I'd advise that we do not ban this device outright. If we deploy it in this operational manner, I am sure every couple in Singapore will be very happy. Perhaps our Baby Bonuses will find renewed interest! 

To end, let me reiterate the seriousness of this situation: If our womenfolk find more pleasure in a vibrating stick, the future of Singapore will be at stake. Already, we have serious manpower problems in the service and maintenance trades. One day, we might not even have folks picking up used cardboard! 

And if our womenfolk should shun our men, who or what will they find solace in? Computer games? Work? Adult sex dolls? Other men? Oh my!

As usual, let's nip this problem in the bud so our menfolk can go back and nip theirs in the.... Never mind. Don't worry about me. I am happily reunited with my darling wife Chu. We are now finding time to do the things I had not given priority to. I urge our menfolk to do the same.

Note to Swe Sey: Please check the user demographics of this vibrating stick. If graduate women are using it more, we must act without delay. If majority are O-Level, then we place quota. Those with PSLE never mind; they are the ones got sense to get married and have kids! 

Yours truly,

Always thinking about Singapore, your mega-servant,


Note: All resemblances to actual persons or institutions are purely coincidental and fictitious. Do enjoy the humor for what it is. ;-)