Muah Chee, Peanut, and Coffee

I’ve been posting quite a bit of photos of Pinky & Horlicks (‘cos she’s always with Pinky) but there hasn’t been much updates on the other rabbits. Was transferring all the photos i took from my hp to my pc when i saw a couple of cute photos of the others too. Here they are.

MC cleaning his face while Peanut tries to hide. Camera shy.

Peanut and her best friend, Coffee.

Coffee looks good now that his fur’s longer.

Coffee bending down for a pat after you tell him, “pat pat!”.

MC trying to poop.

MC, “Oi, cannot come out if u keep staring lah.”

Birthday Festival 2006

Wow… it’s been 1 year since this blog was born. Once again, it’s UptownGal’s birthday festival week. Last year was a sad case… was forced to work on my birthday. So to make up for it, i took 3 days off this year! 😛

The celebrations started last Thursday and the main highlight of UTG Birthday Festival 2006 was the trip to Sentosa. Not much to talk about… who doesn’t know Sentosa right? So let’s just let the photos do the talking. If you look close enough, u’ll find me somewhere in one of the photos…hehe…

The open concept toilet at Rasa Sentosa. (There’re louvered doors to close it up.)

The view from my hotel room balcony.

Siloso Beach

Mr. Turtle when he’s not shooting “Finding Nemo”. (He said he got tired of looking for that kid.)

Nemo.. still hiding…

The Giant Japanese Spider Crab that inspired my dinner.

Some sharks give birth to eggs! Click here to read more!

A really big eagle ray! (Found its name at the underwater world website!)

Jaws, after retirement… (white-tip reef shark)

My dinner – the claw of a *get this* 2.4KG crab!! BTW, the address of the stall is Blk 232 AMK Ave 3 – Mellben Seafood or something like that…

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Oops… sorry, forgot to upload this video i took of the jellyfish at Underwater World, as well as this video of the pink dolphin… all photos & videos taken using my nifty Nokia 6280. Muahahah…

家 – Home

Couldn’t decide to post the English or Chinese version of this song online… in the end, i found a bilingual version of the song… but for the English portion of the song, only the chorus is sung. The lyrics are below…

HOME (National Day 1998) sung by Kit Chan

Whenever I am feeling low

I look around me and I know

There’s a place that will stay within me

Wherever I may choose to go

I will always recall the city

Know every street and shore

Sail down the river which brings us life

Winding through my Singapore

Chorus:

This is Home, truly

Where I know I must be

Where my dreams wait for me

Where that river always flows

This is home, surely

As my senses tell me

This is where I won’t be alone

For this is where I know it’s home

When there are troubles to go through

We’ll find a way to start anew

There is comfort in the knowledge

That homes about its people too

So we’ll build our dreams together

Just like we’ve done before

Just like the river which brings us life

There’ll always be Singapore

Chorus(repeat 2X)

This is Home, truly

Where I know I must be

Where my dreams wait for me

Where that river always flows

This is home, surely

As my senses tell me

This is where I won’t be alone

For this is where I know it’s home

(For this is where I know, I’m HOME)

每一次我感到徬徨
不自禁就会回头望
我知道心中有个地方
一定会有一盏灯

照亮每一颗黑暗的心房
指引未来方向
沿着生命河流向前航
就能登陆理想

我的家收藏
我的欢喜悲伤
只要点燃希望
梦就会自由飞翔

我的家给我
一双坚定翅膀
我的梦不论在何方
一生的爱唯有家(世世代代温暖的家)

再也不会感到徬徨
不会再失意回头望
我要用心中一点烛光
燃放千万户辉煌

要让繁华的城市更灿烂
世界和平共享
全凭生命河流来导航
一起登陆理想

My Lion City

Sunday April 23, 2006 The Star

 

‘Stupid’ remarks stir up hornet’s nest

 

By SEAH CHIANG NEE

 

SINGAPOREANS are affluent, educated, but are they really survival smart?

 

In a world of harsher living, this question that never dies has again

grabbed the public focus here with a general election less than two weeks

away.

 

At the core of the debate: Without natural resources, the Singaporean

increasingly has to depend on his own guile, not only a good education, to

survive; has he got it?

 

It’s not a new debate. In the past decade, the Education Ministry has

changed the education system to teach independent thinking and

entrepreneurship to correct some fundamental defects in the average

worker.

 

The average Singaporean is good at academic studies and works hard, but

falls short on individual initiative and streetwise qualities, relying too

much on the government for help.

 

Revisiting the debate is controversial Taiwan lawmaker Li Ao, who recently

ranked Singaporeans rather lower in natural intelligence to the people in

Taiwan and Hong Kong.

 

“Taiwanese are scoundrels, but lovable, Hong Kong people are craftier,

(Chinese mainlanders are unfathomable) and Singaporeans are stupider,” he

said, adding that it is partially due to genetics. The original migrants

who came here from China were of “poor stock”.

 

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew once told Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping that

the ethnic Chinese in Singapore were descendants of illiterate coolies and

farmers from southern Fujian.

 

This had made them less able than the people of Hong Kong or Taiwan, whose

ancestors were mainly businessman or technocrats.

 

Singaporeans could function well only as a group, not as individuals, Li

told a Chinese newspaper. They would never be non-conformist or stand out

above the crowd.

 

“If you ask me, other than Lee Kuan Yew, his son Hsien Loong, politicians

aside, I can only think of a cute girl, (pop star) Stephanie Sun, there

aren’t many other outstanding people. The impression that I get (of normal

Singaporeans) is stupid”.

 

Singapore’s system, Li said, stemmed from the ancient Chinese political

philosophy of legalism, which emphasised on the rule of law.

“Singaporeans do not break rules, but they also do not stand out,” he said

in Mandarin.

 

He said Lee Kuan Yew had wanted to build a British-style democracy but

because the people were not up to scratch, they only knew how to toe the

line.

 

His report card on Singapore has shaken up the people at a time when

election fever is rising, indirectly touching on a campaign issue ?

government control on society.

 

Predictably, Singaporeans have reacted angrily to the terms “stupid” and

“poor genes”, dismissing them as a popularity stunt that takes no account

of their successful, modern achievements. This “genetic weakness” doesn’t

aptly describe today’s diverse, more mature and worldly-wise generation.

 

But some critics say there is some truth in what Li said, but insist that

the fault lies not in genes, but in years of political and social

conditioning by a top-down government.

 

One writer however, said: “A better word to describe the Singaporean is

naïve, which comes about because of a paternalistic and rather efficient

government. Everything is so structured and laid-out that the people do

not need to fight for a living, blunting their ability to compete. They’re

lulled into thinking the outside world also behave like Singapore.”

 

Businessmen from Taiwan and Hong Kong are more alert to opportunities, as

well as cheats, compared to even the capable Singaporeans, whose

preoccupation is getting a high salary.

 

They know where to take the short cuts when faced with a problem;

Singaporeans will just sit and wait for better days.

 

Under the Lee Kuan Yew leadership, the collective good comes before the

individual, so the republic’s success is a “collective creation”, Li added.

The individual is often lost on his own.

 

It has led some critics to ask whether the Singaporean has an original

viewpoint of his own beyond what the government says.

 

“I won’t say we are stupid. We are just not daring and street-smart,”

commented a Singaporean studying abroad. In his university, other Asian

students would walk up to the microphone and talk about some cause, not

“,0] ); //–> the Singaporeans, he said.

 

Li Ao is not alone in his views. Singaporean columnist Wong Lung Hsiang

said it reflected what he heard in China that “Taiwanese are shameless,

Hong Kongers are heartless, Singaporeans are ignorant”.

 

In Greater China, law-abiding Singaporeans have long been seen as gullible

..

 

In a commentary in November last year, Wong advised Singaporeans to

treasure their own system at home, “but when you are away, you should know

how to adapt to others”.

 

What Chinese Singaporeans have inherited from their grandparents is

peasant culture, explained “peasant judge” online.

 

“Peasants don’t care for much else except a bowl of rice on the table, a

roof over their heads, and the chance to go out to the rice fields to do

the daily back-breaking chores day in day out.”

 

Politics, too, is affected. Almost everyone goes to the polls with his

rice-bowl in mind.

 

It occupies the citizen’s mind a lot more than his counterparts in other

countries, who are more passionate about issues like justice and equality.

 

“Just imagine, well-informed Singaporeans advocating a one-party rule,

saying it is good for the future. If this is not stupidity, what is?’

asked redbean.

 

This could be a recipe for future trouble should a foreign predator one

day use this character weakness to take over the country.

All he needs to do to retain the people’s compliance is by keeping their

stomach full and their mind empty.

 

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I briefly read through this article before but i didn’t think it was worth commenting on. When the above was forwarded via email to me, i was going to just write a short reply to my friend… but then i decided… heck, i might as well post my reply online:-

 

Of ‘cos there are some Singaporeans who are overly dependent on the government and blame the government for all their woes. But there is an even greater number of people in other countries that depend wholly on government handouts & social welfare for their day to day expenses, living as tramps on the streets, under bridges, etc. If the typical blue-collar Singaporean is concerned solely about bread & butter issues, at least he’s taking personal responsibility in ensuring that he’s not living off the generosity of others. I say aye to that rather than people who are streetsmart – and live on the streets.

 

And if individualism is heavily promoted and adhered to by society, as it is in certain countries (esp. the one that takes “freedom of speech” as a sacred entitlement), what comes out of it? What kind of scandals and destruction have those countries caused?

I would say that Singapore has a very well-balanced system of democracy + socialism. We are a social democratic country and this system has worked well for us.

 

I’ll rather have a one-party parliament that’s focused on bringing Singapore into the next lap of economic competition, than a parliament whose politicians’ main activity is wrestling. (Sure, at least citizens of those countries will never fall asleep watching parliament on TV).

 

I’ll rather have a country where the police pre-empts/steps in to prevent/break up any sort of illegal public demonstrations, than a country that sends tankers to bulldoze its citizens.

 

I’ll rather have a country where citizens enjoy racial harmony & religious tolerance, than countries that clam down on religious freedom and where i can get shot for the colour of my skin.

 

In fact, i’m thankful even for the fact that my country allows me to post this blog entry without government imposed restrictions on what sites i can or cannot go.

 

Are Singaporeans stupid? I’ll let the quality of life i live here in Singapore speak for itself.

 

P/S Who the heck is redbean?? (highlighted in red above, pun unintended.)

Wisdom to know the Difference

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things i cannot change;
courage to change the things i can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living on day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as i would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if i surrender to His Will;
that i may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3, 5-6

Communicative Lizard

I came into my bedroom just now and saw a baby lizard on the floor. Instead of taking cover close to the walls or cupboards, this baby lizard was right smack in the middle of open space. “Drats!” I thought. I only just drowned a baby lizard about a month ago and here was another fella asking to be drowned??

So i told the lizard that it had better get out of my bedroom “or else…” I then took a section of the newspapers & started fanning it in the direction of the door. Amazing, the lizard moved in the direction of the newspaper!!

Painstakingly, i shoo-ed the baby lizard towards my door, and out of my room. When it paused at the opening of the doorway, i told it, “come on now, go out baby!”. I could sense its reluctance so i used the newspaper & threatened to smack it. That did the trick and the little lizard ran out of my room.

This lizard good right? I think it communicates better than some people i work with! Sigh…

Personal DNA

Just did a personality test at www.personaldna.com & i am an “attentive analyst”.

My results:

About You

  • Your attention to detail, confidence, sense of order, and focus on functionality combine to make you an ANALYST.
  • You are very curious about how things work, delving into the mechanics behind things.

  • Along those lines, how well something works is usually more important to you than what it looks like.

  • You find beauty and wonder mainly in concrete, functional, earthly things.

  • You are very aware of your own abilities, and you believe that you will find the best way of doing things.

  • Accordingly, problems do not intimidate you, as you believe in yourself.

  • You trust yourself to find solutions within the boundaries of your knowledge.

  • You don’t spend a lot of time imagining how things could be different—you’re well-grounded in the here-and-now.

  • Your independent streak allows you to make decisions efficiently and to trust your instincts

  • You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute.

  • You have a strong sense of style and value your personal presentation – friends may even seek your style advice from time to time.

  • Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

How you relate to others

  • Because you like spending time with others, understand their feelings, and often know what is best for them, you are ATTENTIVE.

  • Some people are merely concerned about others, but you take action, helping people when you have the opportunity.

  • Although you care about others, you are hesitant to trust them to act in the best way on their own.

  • You don’t let your concerns with people go unnoticed: if someone has hurt your feelings, that person will hear about it.

  • People energize and excite you—you are able to have fun and be yourself when you’re around others.

  • You also learn a lot about yourself by talking things out with people, even if you don’t always share things that are important to you.

  • You have a strong sense of right and wrong, and you’re not hesitant to express yourself.

  • Understanding the dynamics of a situation is an important skill that you have, and you often intervene to clarify things for others.

  • Your independent streak allows you to make decisions efficiently and to trust your instincts

  • You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute.

  • You have a strong sense of style and value your personal presentation – friends may even seek your style advice from time to time.

  • Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

Majulah Singapura

Since i’m on the topic of Singapore…. here’s the national anthem… heh. Honestly, i sing it by pure memory of the sounds of the words… never did bother to remember the meaning of each line. But since i’m feeling patriotic now… here are the lyrics in Malay, and the English translation. 🙂

MAJULAH SINGAPURA
Mari kita rakyat Singapura
Sama-sama menuju bahagia
Cita-cita kita yang mulia
Berjaya Singapura

Marilah kita bersatu
Dengan semangat yang baru
Semua kita berseru
Majulah Singapura
Majulah Singapura

ONWARD SINGAPORE
(English Translation)

Come, fellow Singaporeans
Let us progress towards happiness together
May our noble aspiration bring
Singapore success

Come, let us unite
In a new spirit
Let our voices soar as one
Onward Singapore
Onward Singapore

Political Education

I’ve always been very apathetic about politics – locally and overseas till this latest General Election. Reason for this is most likely because this is the first time i got to vote and so i never really bothered to think about which party i would want to vote for. Anyway, my friend and i got into a little debate about what happens to MPs & Ministers when parliament is dissolved?

I bet most people wouldn’t know the answer either… well, simply put:
1) Members of Parliament cease to be MPs because there is no more Parliament.
2) The Government and its Ministers remains till polling day.
3) The President will then pick a newly elected MP to be the new Prime Minister.
4) Together, the President & the PM will then pick the new cabinet ministers.

This is in accordance to Article 25 of the Constitution of Singapore:

Appointment of Prime Minister and Ministers
25. —(1) The President shall appoint as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament, and shall, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint other Ministers from among the Members of Parliament:

Provided that, if an appointment is made while Parliament is dissolved, a person who was a Member of the last Parliament may be appointed but shall not continue to hold office after the first sitting of the next Parliament unless he is a Member thereof.

(2) Appointments under this Article shall be made by the President by instrument under the public seal.

Tenure of office of Prime Minister and Ministers
26. —(1) The President shall, by writing under the public seal, declare the office of Prime Minister vacant —

(a) if the Prime Minister resigns his office by writing under his hand addressed to the President; or

(b) if the President, acting in his discretion, is satisfied that the Prime Minister has ceased to command the confidence of a majority of the Members of Parliament:

Provided that, before declaring the office of Prime Minister vacant under this paragraph, the President shall inform the Prime Minister that he is satisfied as aforesaid, and, if the Prime Minister so requests, the President may dissolve Parliament instead of making such a declaration.

(2) A Minister, other than the Prime Minister, shall vacate his office —

(a) if his appointment to that office is revoked by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, by instrument under the public seal; or

(b) if he resigns his office by writing under his hand addressed to the President.

(3) A person who has vacated his office as Minister may, if qualified, be again appointed as Minister from time to time.

(4)

(a) Whenever the Prime Minister is ill or absent from Singapore or has been granted leave of absence from his duties under Article 32, the functions conferred on him by this Constitution shall be exercisable by any other Minister authorised by the President, by instrument under the public seal, in that behalf.

(b) The President may, by instrument under the public seal, revoke any authority given under this clause.

(c) The powers conferred upon the President by this clause shall be exercised by him acting in his discretion, if in his opinion it is impracticable to obtain the advice of the Prime Minister owing to the Prime Minister”s illness or absence, and in any other case shall be exercised by the President in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

See below for refence links:
http://singabloodypore.blogspot.com/2006/04/mr-lee-or-pm-lee.html

http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?&actno=Reved-CONST&date=latest&method=part

Musical Fine Print

Just had a slight debate with my dad. He was watching the news and said that the police / govt are being unfair to a certain Wayang Party politician by detaining him. I say, just too bad. I mean, if you want to play punk in politics, then you just have to face the music.

My dad said that it was a simple case of “he forgot”. But i say that’s bullshit. If you read the “fine print” in the newspapers (i.e. if you read the whole story instead of just the headlines) , you’ll realise that Mr. Wayang wasn’t as innocent as he claimed. Oh no… it wasn’t a simple case of “i forgot in a moment of distraction”.

As Mr. Wayang’s party chairman said herself, the party never intended to field him in AMK. Hence, if he wasn’t going to be in AMK, there was no need for him to get a minority cert. Since there was no need for a minority cert, why the whole drama of him claming that he had submitted the form, wagging his finger at the election dept people and warning them about “consequences” for losing his cert??

So how to pity him now? Want to play dirty then don’t be so stupid right? Bo wey gong! (Nothing to say.) Sigh! *Shakes head*

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For background info of this post, please see:
http://multimedia.asiaone.com.sg/03f/story.html

Other interesting links:
Singapore GE 2006
GE 2006 Results
Comment by Wong Kan Seng
WP’s “Suicide Party”