Sunday, 23 June 2013

News Headlines you suspect are being covered up

"Hundreds dead of Haze inhalation. More deaths expected."

"Crime on the rise! Perpetrators hard to identify as all were wearing N95 masks. Incorrectly!"

"Violence breaks out across island as shoppers fight for dwindling stocks of N95 masks."

"N95 masks shipment hijacked! Robbers demand $50m! SG Govt refused to negotiate. (WP said if they were in power, they would.)"

"Workers doing anti-dengue fogging in neighbourhood assaulted by residents. No suspects arrested as they were all wearing N95 masks"

"NEA reports more cases of smoking in non-smoking area. Smokers tell NEA to "Clear the haze before we put out our cigarettes"

"LTA reports more motorists installing illegal fog lights on their vehicles."

"SG Govt working on process to create "NEWAir". No success yet."

"More motorists committing traffic offences (like speeding, and running red lights) as cameras unable to take clear pictures of their licence plates in Haze."

Friday, 21 June 2013

Childish Singaporeans

While I don't agree with the idiotic Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Ensuring Bribes get to the Right People (or whatever his official title is), I can understand why he is irked by Singapore clamouring for effective action by Indonesia on the Haze. His constituents have long given up expecting their political leaders to do anything, so it is a vicious reality check for him to realise that in other countries you say what you'll do and then you do what you said you'll do.

So when he called Singaporeans "childish", he is saying in effect, "you expect me to do something just because I'm coordinating minister or some such political leader? You are naive! No other country works like your obsessive-compulsive, mentally-disordered little red dot! Grow up!"

And you see this when Singaporeans go overseas. "Why is it taking so long?" "Why can't they be more efficient?" "What? They close on Sundays? How to do business like that?"

So in a sense the Coordinating Minister for Bribes is correct: Singaporeans are "childish" if by childish, he means we are spoilt and naive. We are spoilt because we have come to expect instant gratification and response. We are naive because we think other places would be as efficient and effective.

And because we are so used to technological solutions (no water? NEWater!) we can't understand when technology is limited. "Seed the clouds and make it rain!" "Whaddaya mean there's no clouds!" "How can you tell if there's clouds when everything is grey and hazy?"

The size of Singapore is also limitation to Singaporean's perspective. Some comments include, "lets load up one of our C130 with water-bombs and put out the fire!"

When you see comments like that, you cringe and secretly think, yes, Singaporeans can be rather childish.

And who's fault is it? Why PAP of course! (That was a trick question. The answer is always, "PAP, of course". :-) )

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

With great power...

Spiderman's uncle told him: with great power, comes great responsibility. A car, a van, a lorry is a very powerful machine. When you have control of these machines, you should also have great responsibilities.

However in Singapore, the Road Safety Council tells you: with great personal risk, comes great personal responsibility. So it is risky to ride a bike in Singapore - be responsible.  It is risky to ride a motor-cycle - be responsible. For your own safety.

It is a very very sad indictment of our selfish nature, our self-centred society.

In Singapore, we also believe that with great power, comes great rewards... and a different set of rules.

Singaporeans love their cars because owning one is the one way where anyone can be "privileged" - have great power, but without the great responsibility.

They expect pedestrians to give way to them ("I pay road tax ok!"). And cyclists too.

And I know of cyclists who barrel down the pathway ringing their bells and scaring pedestrians. With great power comes great privilege! Get out of my way, you foot shufflers! And later maybe, they are bullied on the road by drivers. Get out of my way, you mincing peddlers!

I would like to see more "Spiderman" drivers (and cyclists!) in Singapore. Drivers who recognise that with great power comes great responsibility. There are drivers like that. They are patient. They "share" the road. They realise that one moment of impatience could cost another person their life, or cause them pain and suffering. And they understand that with great power, comes great responsibility.

So if you read this and some time later you slow down and share the road and you repeat to yourself, "With great power comes great responsibility", and maybe your kid asks you, "Daddy (or Mommy), why you never HORN that cyclist/pedestrian!" You can tell your kid, "'Cos I'm Spiderman!"

We can't all be Spiderman, but we can all act responsibly and handle that powerful machine within our control with great responsibility.