"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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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"The big thieves hang the little ones." - Czech Proverb


I was quite shocked to find out that on 22nd August, NUS broke 3 records:

1) Fastest Time NUS Students Take To Finish One Truck of Milo (350 litres of Milo finished in 29.59 mins)
2) Most Number of Paper Cranes Folded In 1 Hour by the NUS Community (9037 cranes folded in 1 hour)
3) Most Number of Paper Cranes folded in 5 Mins By An Individual. (Ms Eng Tze Hwee with a world record of 6 cranes in 5 mins)

The last would be enshrined in the Guinness Book of Records, but the first two would be listed in the Singapore Book of Records.

Other silly records listed in the Singapore Book of Records:

- First to ascent Denali ("In 1982, Wong Ting Sern was the first Singaporean to reach the peak of Denali (6125m), highest peak in North America")
- Longest Speech in Parliament ("On 20-21 November 1961, Dr Lee Siew Choh, leader of the Barisan Socialis, spoke for 7 1/2 hours during the debate on Singapore's proposed merger with Malaysia" - and this is significant next to Strom Thurmond's 24 hours and 18 minutes, how?)
- Longest Sausage Grilled in Singapore ("On 11 March 2006, Erich's Wuerstelstand grilled a sausage measuring 88.88 metre at the Kreta Ayer Square" - In a few years, the Liechtenstein Book of Records can have an entry for "Longest Sausage Grilled in Liechtenstein")
- Longest Tongue ("Nineteen year old student Matthew Kumar Danaras, has been crowned the Singaporean with the longest tongue." - Unless we want to start a Singaporean freak show, I don't see why this is so noteworthy. Interestingly enough, the longest tongue in Singapore (14.9cm) is longer than the longest tongue in the world [Annika Irmler, 70mm], but looks much shorter. They're robbing us of our record!)

Wth?! Are we trying to compete with Malaysia for book of mindless and meaningless records? It would seem so. What could be next in the Singapore Book of Records? Fastest Time NTU Students Take To Finish One Truck of Milo, Fastest Time Old Folks Homers Take To Finish One Truck of Milo, Fastest Time PAP Members Take To Finish One Truck of Milo, Fastest Time Block of Kiasu HDB Dwellers Take to Finish One Truck of Ovaltine - the list is endless!

What takes the cake, though, is the "People and Society" section with records like "Youngest Principal" [Someone: hey! youngest principal doesn't count! that school shouldn't be recognised!] and "First Post-independence Combat Engieners" (sic). And then there are the records that seem to specifically pander to Propaganda National Education, like "First Aircraft Hijack", , "Worst Bombing By Terrorists" (it killed less than 1/1000 the number of September 11th, but who cares? Maybe someone will be inspired to break this record), "Worst Riots" ("On 21 July 1964, riots between the Malays and Chinese occurred between Kallang and Geylang Serai... About 23 people lost their lives and 450 people were injured during the July riots." - hell, even in Malaysia they could do better - officially, 196 people died in the May 13 Incident) If they want, they can put these under "Singapore Fact File", but giving them a category of their own, making them "records" in their own right, simply boggles the mind (as well as makes crystal clear that our much talked-about National Crises were anything but and that the moral panic constantly engendered in the National Discourse is wholly unjustified); if they want to carry on they should at least add "highest payout in a defamation suit" (highest fine is already in there). I browsed through the Malaysian Book of Records before and it wasn't as ridiculous as this (in this respect, at least).

Maybe soon, the oldest person in Singapore will be older than the oldest person in Malaysia who is, in turn, older than the oldest person in the world.
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