"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I'm not fainting yet. Soon, maybe. I shall see how my shopping trip tomorrow turns out, and whether my carbon arc lamp prototype works first before fainting.

***

Guest editorial:

if u've been watching channel 8, u'd have noticed the insidious high amount of propoganda creeping into our tv programs.. many channel 8 drama serials are now sponsored by organisations like nkf and ntuc, particularly the former. As we all know, organisations sponsor shows so they can shamelessly plug their products during commercials but in the case of these 2 organisation, there havent been any commercials (obvoiusly!) but then of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch, so obvoiusly there's a catch behind the sponsorship.

previously, shows sponsored by nkf were crafted to tug at the heartstrings of singaporeans, with the shows focusing on the plight and misery of the patients. aha! but nkf either getting smarter, or realising that singaporeans are getting desensitised to that approach.

in the latest channel 8 9pm drama serial Timeless Gift (sponsored by nkf no less), the take home msg was cleverly hidden till the last episode when it was subtly put across. the show, in a nutshell was "A family is turned topsy-turvy when a son dies, leaving behind no will, a considerable fortune and an illegitimate son" (more can be found here http://ch8.mediacorptv.com/shows/drama/view/488/1/.html) Little mention was made of kidney patients except for the fact that one of the characters (not even a major character!) had kidney failure and needed dialysis but even that, the focus on that character was the fact that his sons had abandoned him after taking off with their father's money. ahh.. nothing about kidney patients you say... wait till the last episode!

well the story goes on yada yada yada... and in the last episode, the gist of it is that the patriach of the family find out that one of his sons had attempted to forge his will obvoiusly to award all assets to himself.. so what he does is, he writes his will, divides his assets into equal share for everyone in the family, and make it known to all. ahh... forgiving father eh? even giving a share of his assets to that
scheming son but that's where the catch is! that son's share would be donated to charity in his name.

only one character u say, so it may not be propoganda but it gets better! his other children decide to donate their share of the assets to charity too.. *gasP* ooh and it gets saucier.. they decide to make wills, willing their assets, if any, to charity in event of their death... so far so good but of course, to drill the message even
deeper into the minds of singapore, the matriach of the family just had to donate part of her assets so charity as well..

so here we have it. the ideal, model singaporean family with everyone willing their assets to charity! and notice.. in this case they were clever enough to use the term CHARITY, and not nkf, so as not to make it obvoius that it was merely a shameless call for more $! i have to admit though, it was really good, the way they waited till the last episode to strike, so subtly, yet so impactful.

even in NON sponsored drama serial (with the exception of foreign ones of course). characters in these shows would talk about government policies but being informative and propoganda is a totally different thing altogether. being neutral about the policies and not taking a stand would hve been informative to the public but taking a positive stand,eventually (and all the time???).. that's propoganda. and that's exactly what characters in the shows would do..

it is becoming increasingly difficult to not notice the efforts of the government's social engineering. well, for poor sods like me without cable, the merger of mediaworks(which never had much propoganda anyway .. conspiracy???) and mediacorp only spells one thing.. more indoctrination!

democracy....??? hmmm.....

***

Interesting observation on mercenaries:

"I'd just like to add that the argument that foreign mercernaries are less loyal and less motivated is not borne out by empirical evidence. When the Tuileries Palace was being besieged during the August insurrection which led to the end of the experiment with constit monarchy in France, the *only* loyal troops were the Swiss Guards, most of whom lost their lives trying to defend the (empty) palace. The royal bodyguard and the Gardes Francaises, all French, either ran away or defected to the revolutionaries. Similarly while Machiavelli campaigned for the Italian princes to use Italian troops rather than foreign mercernaries, when he finally did persuade them and Italian troops were used, they proved both less disciplined and less competent.

This is largely because most soldiers (well good ones at least) are not motivated by patriotism. They derive satisfaction not from serving some abstract nation but from exercising their professional skills as soldiers. In this sense they would not be so different from dentists, or lawyers."

***

More variations on 409 scams (re-formatted for ease of reading):

"Dear Friend,

As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday.

My name is Peter Water, a merchant in Dubai, in the U.A.E.I have been diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer which was discovered very late, due to my laxity in carrying for my health. It has defiled all forms of medicine, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.

I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focus on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world.

I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my
life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that God ! has called me, I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my immediate and extended family members and as well as a few close friends. I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul and so, I have decided to give arms to charity organizations and give succour and confort to the less priviledged in our societies, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth.

So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in the U.A.E, Algeria and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this my self anymore. I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organization and to the less priviledged in Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do
not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I have left for them.

The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of eight million dollars($8m) that I have with a Security Company in Europe for safe keeping. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and disburse it to some charity organizations and to the less priviledged.

Please send me a mail to indicate if you will assist me in this disbursement. I have set aside 20% for you for your time and patience. You can e-mail me at my private e-mail address: waterfamilys@netscape.net for easy communication While I await to hear from you, may God be with you and your entire family.

Remain blessed,
Peter Water"

***

Me: want to hear castrati?
Someone: eh? have you undergone some change i should know about?
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