Saturday, 31 October 2015

If only...

From a blog post:

Mr Masagos said the Malaysians worked out a standard operating procedure with alert levels, trigger points and actions on fire suppression. 
[Oh good. I hope this mean what I think it means. 
So if there are less than say... 2000 hotspots, Indonesia will try to take care of them. When there are more than 2000 fires or hotspots, Singapore and Malaysia will activate their Air Force Haze fighting contingent. When Indonesian Ministers or Vice Presidents say neighbours should be thankful for 11 months of fresh air, or that help from stupid neighbours are insulting, Operation Zero Dark Thirty will be activated.  
These sort of trigger points?]

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Inscrutable Indonesians

From a Facebook comment on a story headlined: "Indonesia may declare (Haze) a National Emergency":
After weeks of it being an international embarrassment, after many infantile, tactless, insensitive remarks by Indonesian leaders, after hundreds of thousands of Indonesians have been living with life-shortening air pollution, after millions of hectares of forests have been destroyed, after countless wildlife have been displaced, killed, injured, or otherwise affected, THEN Indonesia declares a NATIONAL Emergency? Not an International EMBARRASSMENT. Not a Environmental Disaster on a Global Scale? 
Man, those Indonesians are inscrutable! "Inscrutable" - meaning "cannot be screwed."

Monday, 26 October 2015

Johor plays the secession card

Threats are the tactics of the powerless.

As Yoda said, do or do not. There is no "try".

So the Johor prince has articulated Johor's perceived option to secede.

Lawyers say the Constitution is silent on secession.

Just as it was when Singapore left the Federation. It took passage of a bill in the Malaysian Parliament to allow Singapore to leave the Federation. Thus it is not the unilateral decision of Johor to simply secede.

I do not think it is possible without a war of secession, and I do not believe such a war is likely. It is to nobody's benefit for such a war.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Conversations: Crossover, not Crosstalk

"Ha!  As expected. All guilty."

"The City Harvest trial?"

"Yeah. What a waste of time!"

"Well, justice has to be seen to be served."

"It was an open and shut case. Everybody knows it's bullshit! Waste time. Waste money."

"Well, they still have to prove it in court."

"Maybe. But the whole story is so complicated and so unbelievable, you know something fishy is going on."

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Liveable Cities 2015

Monocle has put out their 2015 most liveable Cities list. Singapore is 13. Up from 15. (That's in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2014, we were #16.) 

[Monocle requires paid subscription to read, so the links are to 3rd party sites or blogs.]

Monday, 12 October 2015

Conversations over the weekend - All about the Haze

"So Indonesia has finally decided to admit that they need help to put out the fires."

"Ya. We all dem stupid."

"Huh? Why you say that? We put out the fires good for us, what! Then no haze!"

"Ya, that is what they want us to do for them. We dem stupid."

"But it is good that they finally agreed to accept our help, right?"

"Finally, your head ah! They 'finally' accept our help because NOW they want the fires to stop burning! They only burn the forest to clear the forest right? They clear the forest so that they can turn the forest into Palm Oil plantation right? So how to plant when the ground is still burning? Every year they start burning during the dry season. Then when the rains come, the fires go out. Then they plant their oil palms. But this year, is the Kanina effect or something --"

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Short takes: Tony Pua and his "mercenary prick" statement.

"Oh wow! Amos Yee has grown up! Oh sorry, 'grown older', but not 'grown up'."

Thursday, 8 October 2015

How CPF invests your money.

As far as most people are concerned, this is all they understand... or need to understand:

As far as most citizens are concerned, CPF = Govt.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A Conversation with an Angry ARO

At GE 2015, there were over 800 polling stations, each of which was headed by an Assistant Returning Officer (ARO).

The AROs were appointed on Aug 28, 2015. Here is the list of them.

SG2B speaks to an Angry ARO, who wish to remain anonymous so that he can be more colourful in his language. You have been warned.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The (Eventually) Old Man, with a cameo by the Sea (with apologies to the classic)

The young man looked all around.

In the village, the people were hungry. They had nothing to eat.

The young man had just caught some fish for his family. Maybe he could give some to the others in his village.


He didn't have enough for everyone.

He watched as young men stripped leaves off tree branches, turning them into make-believe swords, and fencing each other in mock sword fights.

Others made kites and were flying them.

But all were hungry if not starving.

"Follow me, if you want to eat! Bring your sticks and your kite strings!" said the young man.

And the young men (and some women) of the village followed him.

He brought them to the sea about an hour's walk away, taught them to turn their make-believe "swords"into fishing rods, and the kite strings into fishing lines to fish in the sea. By evening everyone had caught something to feed their families.

Now the young men (and some women) knew how to fish, and their family would have something to eat.

Now every day, they fished to feed their families.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Educating Singaporeans

Beware of what you wish for. Your wish may come true in the wrong way.

The PAP is the master of economic incentives and disincentives. And they often fail to consider the message they are sending.

So now they are further differentiating school fees for non-Singaporeans. This is not new.
Fee hikes for non-Singaporeans go back to 2009, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Government would sharpen the distinction between citizens and non-citizens, in a move to enhance the privileges of being a citizen.