"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, July 13, 2005

"If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; But if you really make them think, they'll hate you." - Don Marquis

Random playlist song: Bach - Italian Concerto BWV 971 - 03 (Gould)

***

The current public outcry over the NKF can't help but remind me of how, in Communist China, there will be a governmentally-sanctioned (or at least ignored) pogrom every now and then over some minor municipal issue - a cover-up of some rich person's running down of a peasant, one of an umpteen number of corruption cases, or Japanese businessmen having a 2-day orgy in a hotel.

Consider that the NKF:

- started off destitute and unremarkable ("in an unprepossessing Singapore General Hospital attic with just two beds and one metal tray in 1969") but has managed to make itself incredibly successful
- masterfully uses the local media to promote itself, including commissioning moralistic Channel 8 dramas
- uses defamation suits (almost never glimpsed in that industry) freely against critics to defend its reputation
- pays its staff way above industry rates
- has $262 million of reserves, enough to last 30 years, yet has no plans to use them
- makes those relying on its "welfare" and "charity" co-pay varying amounts due to its philosophy of not giving people a free lunch
- crowds out initiatives other than its own (With everyone donating to the NKF, donations to other charities are reduced, and it's expanding into cancer now)
- is (was) extremely secretive about accounting
- has little or no oversight from others
- elicits much grumbling and strong reactions, yet was until recently still supported by 2 out of 3 Singaporeans via donations
- justifies all this self-righteously with their "we know best so don't poke your nose in our business" attitude

Addendum:
- had a pristine, clean and pure image until people started investigating it, whereupon untold tales of iniquity suddenly came to light
- though selling goods at a profit, claimed it was a 'subsidy' since they were sold at below market rate

(Some interesting views in Mr Brown's comments box and another anecdote about the NKF's tight-fistedness)

***

A message from my No 1 fan [Ed: Not Sheena, that's my No 2 fan!]: She with formerly rebonded and dyed mid-back length hair which is now dyed black and soft straightened, is fond of black dominatrix-style pumps, and has a serious attitude problem, yet who disavows the title of ah lian (tamade to you too):

"The “Clip Gabriel’s Rebonded Hair” meme

Girls! Bring your biggest, brightest, most kawaii clips to Bloggers.SG 2005 on Saturday, and pin them on Gabriel, the only Editor on Tomorrow.sg with rebonded hair!

Guys! Bring your sister/girlfriend’s ugliest clips to poke into Gabriel’s eyes hair! (also a good chance to get rid of those ugly clips – “No dear, I don’t know where the ugly sweet Piyo Piyo clip is…”)

Everyone can have a bit of fun with Gabriel’s Rebonded Hair, so remember to bring your clips along! =D"

Someone: "WTF .. ermmmmmm......
some asexual fasincation with u ? some bloggers are strange.

no no, seriously, what in the world are they thinking.
man, it's almost like a sex ritual, without the sex.

i am just worried for u, u know stalkers these days
they are resourceful"

***

Feedback form:

"The school does not subsidise any of the students' society or clubs."

I have no idea what he is referring to.

***

Someone: today i was at your premier institution
i was told by one of the ogls that the sdu specifically matches the ratio in each orientation group to be exactly 50% guys and 50% girls
go figure. the games remind me of a lot of forced interaction
hand holding... sports activities.. so the girls will often "dress up" in a sporty manner
interesting theory

truly the premier institution of social engineering
TRULY

i sit by the bench where i got chased out of the co op at the last flash mob
and i see butts next to me
two ogs playing this game..
they stand on chairs
and shift one chair from back to front to move from one place to another
one point.. i see 7 butts next to me.. like.. WOAH.. come on man...nonsense!

***

Kreps:


"Academic" snobbery
Academic snobs are not intellectual snobs. These are not the people who read Rousseau and Kant and scoff at others for their ignorance. Academic snobs are people who are snobs because they come from good schools/have good results/are in university.
The existence of snobbery is not surprising. What I am surprised is the extent of it - that this academic snobbery not only separates the very smart from the rest but rather it distinguishes the Very Smart from the Smart, the Smart from the Quite Smart, from the Quite Smart from the Above Average and all the way down.
Untill the advent of blogs, I had no idea that a top JC student would scoff at a mid-rank JC student (wtf, the difference in cut-off pts could have been due to your CCA or affliation or some other shit) and that a mid-rank JC student would look down on a low rank JC student, or that it's such a big deal to go to university (of course it may be a big deal depending on one's circumstance but certainly not something to boast about and most certainly not a thing to put someone down with)

***

This is so characteristically Ma-laysian that it makes me laugh:

My kinda Starbucks

"Teh Tarik... It’s a symbol of National Independence. A liberation from polite English tea, drawing rooms, fine porcelain teasets and painstakingly punctilious and polished butlers. Merdeka! For we Malaysians have reclaimed the fundamental human right to slouch and burp over our sickly sweet brew.

But that’s the stall scene. Over the past few years, humble mamak eateries in many Malaysian towns have been totally tarted-up. Once erstwhile Restoran Bismillah’s or Mydeen’s have undergone makeovers into the Mamak Bistro, Canai ‘n Such and Steven’s Corner complete with comfy café-style chairs, shiny fake-marble tiles, 42-inch TV’s blaring 24 hours a day, pert pop tunes and crisp uniforms. And huge fans billowing mist – like holy Himalayan winds – complete the Shangri-La-like transformation into local versions of Starbucks.

Looking deeper, these upgraded purveyors of teh tarik represent our economic resistance against the Coca-Colonisation of our tastebuds and attitudes by foreign multi-nationals. In other words, why pay RM9 plus plus for an iced café latte and upmarket lepak at Starbucks when you can loaf in a similar ambience with a RM1.50 kopi ais?

It’s clear that the relaxed multi-racial, multi-class ambience of these eateries are a possible cornerstone for a new Bangsa Malaysia. Yet just 10 days ago in Parliament, some politicians made disturbing allegations.

Datuk Mohd. Said Yusof (BN-Jasin): . . . they use some kind of ganja. For the Malays, kas kas (poppy seeds) are addictive. Singapore has banned it . . . that’s why our people are crazy about mamak restaurants.  

Datuk Mat Yasir Ikhsan (BN-Sabak Bernam): . . . they have competed against bumiputera stalls and caused them to fold up. 

Mohd Said: Have they checked whether the 24 hour mamak shops are clean? But when it comes to OUR (my emphasis) shops, they search here and there."

Uhh.

***

Talk of brainstorming 'may offend epileptics

"The term "brainstorming" has become the latest target of political correctness, according to a charity... However, charities working with epilepsy say "brainstorming" is not offensive.

"We also contacted people with epilepsy in the community and the overwhelming response was that 'brainstorming' implies no offence to people with epilepsy, and that any implication that the word is offensive to people with the condition is taking political correctness too far."

People found it more offensive that the question was being asked of them, she said."


Hong Kong's cold war heats up

"A growing horde of people are getting hot under the collar over the Arctic air-conditioning they are exposed to every day in this "Pearl of the Orient."

In the space of one day, it is not uncommon to walk out of the soaring tropical heat into bitterly cold buses, office buildings and shopping malls where temperatures can plunge by as much as 15 degrees Celsius... One of the worst offenders was the city's tourism promotion office, which registered 19 degrees Celsius"
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