Saturday, October 05, 2002
Tim needs to gain 10 xp at the School of Manpower, so his XP can go from 25 to 35. He can then level up and become a 3SG from his current rank of CPL :)
I, on the other hand, became a LCP, wef 1st Sept. Interestingly, my payslip says "Private", and my pay slip gives me $350 rank pay + $150 combat pay. Someone's screwed up again it seems. But the life of a clerk is not easy. It matters not.
Tim was being difficult, so I had to go dig up some info:
kimberly: their logic is twisted
"we're forcing you to do NS, so we will pay you less to show you you're being forced"
njytim: who said they employ such logic
kimberly: they do!
kimberly: wah lau waste 6 mins of my time looking for it for you
the things I do
njytim: you are a nice person.
kimberly: that won't work on me bruder :)
"NS is a duty to the country and not an employment. NSFs are therefore paid an allowance and not wages like salaried employees. "
The words of the dispatch rider Guan Hong and Joshua talked to come to mind: "You pay me peanuts, you get a monkey."
Well if they paid me my weight in gold (a not inconsiderable sum at that!) they'd still get a monkey.
Some of the following are risibly biased in their "Lee Kuan Yew is evil" vehemence, but mostly ring true, or bring up some good points.
Former president (Ed: Devan Nair) criticises suppression of dissent
Don't become yet another tool of Lee
This is very funny: "Lee is an evil plague whose legacy must be eradicated, not propped by fawning praise that does not even begin to understand what he has wrought". Though the article this letter was written in protest against was indeed rather silly, simple and sycophantic.
Singapore's Jeyaretnam fights for another day
Harry Lee's 'tolerant climate'
"I have the honour of being banned from Singapore since 1982. Not being a shopping addict or fanatic I miss nothing, actually; moreover, I have been given to understand that our shops in Malaysia are actually better and cheaper. And as for tall buildings, they have never interested me, after having seen some of them in different parts of the world." - LOL
Against the odds: one man's bid for democracy aka how Tang Liang Hong got screwed. I notice there's no mention of that sedan chair quote, which is quite telling. Here's something more balanced.
Ong Teng Cheong: Extended interview - Ever delicate, he.
Singapore authorities use libel laws to silence critics
Singapore facts stranger than fiction - Another view of the Jemaah Islamiah arrests
The following is from an article about the recent Jemaah Islamiah arrests. The writer's biases are evident - witness the long diversion on how democracy in Singapore is flawed - but it makes for somewhat insightful reading anyway ;)
Dragnet in Disneyland:
"The most interesting it gets here are the comings and goings - often to the defamation court - of Singapore's emasculated opposition, notably a clean-cut lad called Chee Soon Juan who shockingly thinks it reasonable to suggest that 43 years of uninterrupted power for Lee's People's Action Party (the world's fourth-longest tenure after the North Korean, Chinese and Cuban communists) might be enough.
Lee hates Chee. Indeed, if George W. Bush's speechwriters are short of insults to spray at evil-doers, they could hire people like Chua Lee Hoong [Ed: I hate her writing style. And it's not just because she's shamelessly so pro-PAP most of the time], a former "analyst" with Singapore's secret police, cum Straits Times columnist.
Chee's been called a liar, a fraud, a gangster and a loser. But in the cruellest cut of all for local xenophobes, Chua dubbed him a "Sarong Party Boy" seeking solace with sympathetic foreigners, just like Singapore's notorious Sarong Party Girls, the local temptresses who prowl for (willing) erstwhile foreign studs possessing the coveted "five Cs" - condo, car, cash, credit card and club membership.
A loser Chee certainly is. The PAP controls all but two of Singapore's 85 parliamentary seats and neither maverick seat is carried by Chee.
Still, that doesn't deter official obsessing about Chee, who gets the Lee family's goat by pointing out that its half-a-dozen-odd members run or chair some of Singapore's biggest public and private companies, its two leading government investment companies, founded its leading law firm while also running the central bank, the finance ministry, filling the positions of the senior minister and deputy prime minister and sitting on a number of corporate boards, local and foreign. (It's not nepotism, insists the government - it's just that the Lee family is very capable and there's not enough qualified Singaporeans to fill the posts. And Singapore insists it abides by world's best practices of corporate governance.)"
We've gotten our new medics. Finally, I'm not the most 'xin jiao' of the lot. Interestingly enough, 3 of the 5 were from NJC, and one knows Tim, and another, though from ACJC is, like Andrew, surprisingly un-ACish, at least as far as their choice of language goes (but then Andrew does look a bit ACish, so.) Strangely enough, 2 of them know Yaodong - one from BMT and one from Secondary School, during which he apparently already displayed his tendencies. Maybe the voices have been there all his life. The new medics told me about the new SMM. Besides having gigantic toilets and snack dispensers (!), it has enough bunks so the clerks have to stay in. Oh well.
I've finally gotten to talk to Yisa. He was sitting in the CCO canteen one day and I smiled at him. It took him a while to puzzle out my identity, till he finally mouthed my name at me. Alas, he told me that, if not for my distinctive smile, he wouldn't have been able to recognise me. So much for me recognising him even with his shaven head (which he claims is a measure he resorted to to keep cool). The guy's a bloody PES C1L2 clerk at the Armour Training Centre (ATC), though he assures me (bah) that his life is not good. He told me that telling them thet you're gay gets you C1L2 only. Hmm. What a waste of hundreds of dollars. I hope he manages to con the SAF psychologist - who is very good at spotting fake-os like him - the next time. Intimidated by the testosterone and feeling sexually harassed my foot :) Learning of my tragic and cruel fate fo GP, he advised me to give up - he says he got a B4 and Aravind a C6.
We were in the gym during RT (and I was, among other things, trying out the 'Mystery Hike', 'Forest Walk' and 'Trail Blazer' on the treadmill since I'm excused running) and the preliminaries of the Women's Table Tennis matches between Singapore and Korea were on. For some reason, the women kept cursing/blessing the balls before serving them, and yelled unknown vulgarities/exclamations whenever they or their opponent scored. Must be an attempt to use magic charms.
On Thursday, during our CPR refresher lesson, I saw that the last nominee for the New Paper New Face Competition 2002 is a J1 in RJC. Somehow, I wasn't surprised when Geraldine told me she is in A03. Ahem. :) Of course, she has lot to say on her home to the most number of personality tests ever taken and displayed on a page. Oh sorry I got the link wrong. Here it is. Students are so precocious nowadays - there's at least one other 17 year old YJ student, and one 16 year old.
Our QM (storemen) branch now has a policy ost wonderous - don't report sick for a month and you get 2 days off. I want! Apparently too many of em had exhuasted their leave and off (Being in a battalion about to ORD when you've just been posted in is not a good thing - poor Kelvin had -1 days of leave before the new CSM came in, letting people with no leave left do fatigue work when the time came to clear off/leave).
Besides being kind to people with no off/leave left, the aforementioned new CSM (well, it's not confirmed yet, but I'd say the odds are higher than 1:1) - who many say looks like some Soccer player called 'Zidan' - has been most sparing in giving out confinements and extras - he even cancelled a few from the previous CSM. He also didn't give me and 3 others any punishment when our rifles were found to be dirty, and cancelled weekend RT for this week, and hopefully subsequent ones. However, he's very fierce, and strict about regimental stuff - he appears to be serious about making us wake up before 6:30 and to go for breakfast.
Going to clear mail (the Klez virus has been making my mailbox very full) after RT is good. The e-learning centre has free slots for a short period of time (I think I want to complain to the system administrator about people booking slots till they ORD) and after I get chased out I can go eat dinner and get more food since no one else will be coming to eat anymore. Win-win situations are fun. I just have to remember to bring my little piece of paper next time.
Recently some my bunk mates seem to have gone crazy. The most drastic change has occured in Yong Siang, hitherto extremely quiet, soft spoken and demure, has suddenly become less reserved and more boisterous, singing songs to himself and generally talking more. Yesterday night, while 'doing work', he, Yiliang and Boon Huat took part in an orgy and started laying into each other, sprawling on the floor, drawing the curtains round themselves while noises of pleasure emerged from behind the shrouds, giggling and stamping each other with ink stamps until the letters of one fell out and theyhad to scour the floor for them. Must be pre-bookout stress.
Americans seem obsessed by 'closure'. I wonder why.
Seen in the forum: "An NSman's race and religion... are not relevant to where he is deployed" - Colonel Bernard Toh, Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Defence, 04/10/02. Right. I suppose I better not say that as far as I and most people know, can tell and observe there are no Malays (well, maybe one or two token ones) in Armour, the Commandos, the Air Force and the Navy.
[On why he doesn't want to be the MO's Personal Assistant] Xiong leh. He keeps talking about Jesus Christ.
At least I still had my mother's MOE laptop I thought, but Zapsurf (Mysingtel) was even slower than a 33.6 modem. A flash of inspiration struck, and I examined the back of the laptop and beheld a USB slot! Quickly, I hooked up my SCV modem and installed it, and for good measure I plugged my Optical Mouse in. And now I'm surfing at warp speed, and Blogger posting is no longer disabled.
Sometimes I'm so smart and ingenious I amaze even myself.
Sometimes I'm so sad I amaze even myself.
Friday, October 04, 2002
After going for the focus group at NTU, I was walking around Boon Lay and Jurong Point, which is much larger, livelier and, dare I say, funkier than Lot One. Among other things, I saw women selling Porn VCDs like "Asian Fever (wth?!) - a first, in my admittedly limited experience. However, as always, the porn VCDs were scattered messily on the table, while those a shade more legal were arranged nicely. Perhaps it's an unwritten code. Jurong Point also has 2 food courts - a Halal one and a non-Halal one. Gah. There was also "Hejab Iran", a shop selling Iranian women's clothing. The shop assistant was clad in a tudung, naturally.
My poncho has again undergone a miraculous transformation and been transmogrified into a groundsheet! I attribute this miracle to the power of Providence (a word that, oddly enough, I've only seen used in subtitles to Chinese Gongfu movies).
In one of my more introspective moods, a thought occured to me. Franklin Delano may have promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, but we've a TV in (almost) every bunk. Hah!
One night at about 9pm, 3 of us were in our bunk enjoying a peaceful night when suddenly I heard someone at the door saying, "Okay or not?". Turning in the direction of the lintel, I saw our Commanding Officer. Maybe this was his way of trying to get closer to the men. Hmm.
Just tonight, the rest decided, in a fit of enthusiasm, to tromp down to the Medical Centre to do work. However, from the start it became a computer game playing session for most. Oh well.
[On why they need so many clerks] The senior specs have the education level of a stone
42sar - Err.
viconia porn - People are on to Dark Elfs now? Does that count as bestiality?
Sherlock Holmes scgs - What connection could he have with the School With The Most Indecent Uniform In Singapore Bar None?
do girls surf porn? - This is Google, not Ask Jeeves.
chij top porn - CHIJ porn seems to be a popular query. Maybe it's got something to do with it being a popular franchise.
"benefits of conscription" - Over my dead body.
instant maggi market share in malaysia - All cooked with palm oil of course.
Straight Dope of the day:
Is it true about Catherine the Great and the horse?
Do Chinese lack sweat glands in their armpits? Why does spicy food make you sweat?
Thursday, October 03, 2002
Thoughts of a peaceful, bucolic weekend were shattered by a call I got on the MRT back after Weekend RT. I suppose I'd never get a social call from Tse Ming (who seemed back to his usual self). So off I trudged back to camp, laden with food bought for the other duty personnel. At least (as is expected), I get a day off, though I'm not supposed to tell even my bunk mates. Well they don't read this blog.
When I was at the gate of camp, I saw some of my School of Armour friends (Edwin Kek, Jianwen and Robin) I was booking in as they were booking out. Gah.
Saturday, I had to send a guy who cut his hand with a saw first to Tengah, then to NUH. Because the vehicle sent to pick us was on another detail, we had to wait from 8:30 to 11:00 for it, and I only reached camp at 11:40pm, to find the rubbish not thrown (my job but they're supposed to help me deal with it if I'm not around), a big mess from dinner on the table and the 2 other duty personnel and a specialist reading Sammyboy forums on the computer - Commercial sex in Japan - Fulfill yr sexual fantasies. Gah.
And on Sunday, I found that, with the recently completed extension of the medical centre, I have even more tiles to mop for my area cleaning. Whee.
Supposedly, with great power comes great responsibility. However, in organisations where rank is paramount, the ability of underlings to question doubtful flaunting of the authority is impeded. Witness the time Sergeant Koh, in BMT, made my whole platoon crawl across the field because guard duty personnel didn't come down when called. I suppose that's why we have a chain of command.
Yaodong has probably pushed it too far. I'm told that, while I wasn't around, he came to see the Doctor one day complaining of stress, poor appetite and insomnia, but only the sarcastic one who's good at flushing out skivers was around. What passed between them is unknown (well, not unknown if you have access to records) but he came out crying and was referred to the Institute of Mental Health. He's now at Alexandra.
Ethan, the reviled RJ medic one year my senior, reads the Economist too - I was pleasantly surprised to see it on the Duty Medic's table one day, and when I looked up I saw him (actually yhis is the first time I've ever seen him. Ahem). Hmm.
Although we've no Malays in our camp, racial balance is still maintained in a way, by means of... Pseudo-Malays! These people have Chinese or Indian names, and aren't Muslim, but somehow, they look Malay. Whoever said there was no racial tolerance in the SAF?
Yogen Fruz, that apparent attempt to capitalise on Haagen Dazs' appeal by setting up a chain with a similar name, seems to be in the doldrums. I was at Great World City and the branch there has diversified. They now sell, among other things, muah chee, canned drinks, hand scoop low-medium class ice cream (the Green Tea flavour, 2.4 times the plainer flavours' price, wasn't very good) and Madeleine's Portugese Egg tarts.
There was this trailer on Channel 8 which used the "Across The Stars" theme from Attack of the Clones as the background music. I bet they didn't pay royalties. Sue sue sue!
Some Islamic Orphanage was having a flag day on Saturday. I didn't have small change, so I gave the girl (a Chinese schoolgirl mind you) $1. I hope I didn't just help fund Jemaah Islamiyah or Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) activities. So much for accusations of racism. *Cough* And that's more than I can say for one Islamic groups in Ma-laysia with nothing to do (don't they all) some years back, which kicked up a storm about some Christian charity, proclaiming that Muslims shouldn't donate to it, whereupon the charity had to reassure the worried masses (ahem) that they also funded Islamic causes. I always thought charity was a non-partisan affair. Aside: Did they really give out real flags last time? Must've made a boatload of losses, what with flags being expensive.
The obsession most countries have with "Defence" is rather disturbing. Perhaps they are all paranoid about being conquered (Ahem - The lessons we learned from the Japanese Occupation...) but I trust most countries err on the side of, shall we say, caution. It's mind boggling to calculate what the peace dividend could be. Perhaps the most telling piece of evidence - Why does everyone call their War Ministries the Ministry Of Defence? At least Saddam's honest in naming his. It's probably just the boyish fantasies of all those men projected onto a big scale. "When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country." - Elayne Boosler
I went to check it up. They have soup for the souls of (among the more ridiculous):
- Christian Women
- Golfers (2nd helping)
- Pet Lovers
- Dog & Cat Lovers
- Prisoners (I can get one...)
- Surviving + Unsinkable soul (what's the diff?)
- Dentists (???)
- Sports fans (!!!)
- College Students
- Expectant mothers
- Garderners (!@#$%^&*())
- Teenagers: Tough Stuff (isn't this what the original 4 or 5 books for teenagers were about?)
- Baseball fans
I kid you not.
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
To show that I am not a brutal, heartless warmonger looking upon the impending war with Iraq as a source of entertainment, betting fun, weapons technology research, excuse to slack in front of CNN, and all out pleasing coversational topic, (in fact, I'm a very nice warmonger), here's an excerpt from a particularly moving Newsweek article.
"Last week President Bush�s speech at the United Nations almost guaranteed that my country, America, will soon be engaged in a battle with Iraq, my ancestral homeland. Military analysts on the evening news are already speaking of bombarding Baghdad first for a �strategic edge.� Never mind that the densely populated city is home to 5 million people (about 100 of whom I am related to), or that my cousin Zaniab or her baby or my uncle Hassan are far more likely to be taken out than Saddam himself. To be an Iraqi-American right now means to be on edge, to cry a lot, not to sleep at night."
I wish I had it in me to summon up more than this vestigial, bare flicker of compassion.
Sesame Street is adding to its cast a muppet who is HIV-positive.
In September 2002 it added to its cast of muppets a female character who is HIV-positive. Segments including this new muppet will air only in South Africa (where the show is called Takalani Sesame -- takalani means "be happy" in the Tshivenda language), but it is possible that eventually this character will appear in shows broadcast to the other eight nations that air Sesame Street.
The South African character has been named Kami and will be a female mustard-colored furry Muppet who likes nature, telling stories and collecting stuff. Kami is a "monster Muppet" like Grover or Elmo, the least human-like of the Sesame cast, said Joel Schneider, vice president of Sesame Workshop. The muppet will associate freely with the show's other characters as a way to fight stereotypes about people with the virus, said Yvonne Kgame of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
"We know that she'll be lively, alert, friendly, outgoing, and HIV-positive," said Schneider, who in July 2002 announced the character to delegates attending the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona. "It's about instilling positive attitudes toward people who are HIV-infected," Kgame said.
Hell, I'm all about education and I certainly remember how Sesame Street has provided layered, surprisingly rich education to children for decades, unlike today's modern crop of soulless, mercantilist, stuffed-toy-pushing Nickelodeon crap, but this is ridiculous....
Sunday, September 29, 2002
And frankly speaking, the phrase Second World is hardly ever used. How many people have ever seen it?
Since Singapore and Malaysia have both been terrorist targets of late (if you believe the ISDs of our respective nations), what do people think of this essay?
***: (ever wonder what the hell the Second World is?)
kimberly: doncha know?
1st world - capitalist bloc
2nd world - communist bloc
3rd world - rest
***: not really
2nd world is a term that i've almost never seen used in the literature
and no one really knows the etymological origin
Second World also second world
During the Cold War, the Communist nations of the world.
Second-World (sknd-w�rld) adj.
Source: The American Heritage� Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright � 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
To : firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject : Obscene Facial Pictures
Xephyris: lol, your site's been blocked by the local website filtering software for porn. LOL
Ooo - subversive article written by Devan Nair.
"I told all this to Kuan Yew. Nothing I said sank in. He fretted about a potential critical percentage drop in PAP votes across all the constituencies that could eventually bring the PAP government down, and he wouldn't stand for it. Only later did I realise that this was the moment that started his formidable brain box ticking away furiously at the fecund gerrymandering schemes he was to introduce later to ensure that all opposition parties would be put in a Gordion bind that would make it impossible for them to ever achieve control of parliament, unless an Alexander came along. Such a possibility appears impossible now, unless it takes the awesome shape of shattering geo-political circumstances already building up around Singapore.
Immediately, however, Kuan Yew's attention was concentrated on how he would deal with J.B Jeyaretnam in parliament. I was quite alarmed at some of the things he told me at that lunch. "Look," he said, "Jeyaretnam cant win the infighting. I'll tell you why. WE are in charge. Every government ministry and department is under our control. And in the infighting, he will go down for the count every time." And I will never forget his last words. "I will make him crawl on his bended knees, and beg for mercy.""