#chilling

Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister of Information: “I think it is important for us to ensure that they read the right thing.”

Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda: “Throughout the world today, people are beginning to see that a modern state, whether democratic or authoritarian, cannot withstand the subterranean forces of anarchy and chaos without propaganda. It is not only a matter of doing the right thing; the people must understand that the right thing is the right thing. Propaganda includes everything that helps the people to realize this.”

Dear “Bryan Lee” (from a Lance Armstrong Fan)

Dear “Bryan Lee”,

From one world-class educated Singaporean (and Lance Armstrong fan) to another, I must say your work, which I saw on the Party page, is a piece of art. Allow me to reproduce your work and offer some critique (in italics) should you feel compelled again to craft a sequel.

Sharing an article received in the mail (these weren’t your words but I love that it suggests that ordinary people outside the Party agrees with you and care enough to spread your message).

Like many young Singaporeans, I have been thrust (oooh – strong word that suggests violence being forced upon you and the reader wonders, by whom? probably those ungrateful and unkind Singaporeans that supports other parties) into this dilemma (strictly speaking, this isn’t a dilemma which is “a problem offering two possibilities” but I love how you introduce some imperfections into your argument to make it more convincing – masterful!) that plague (yes, it’s a disease!) my generation – I seem to be living in an affluent society, yet I am the recipient of the clear messaging (masterful! I love how you counter one “clear message” with a subtle one! it also suggests to the reader that there is an agenda behind this “clear messaging” where we are the passive recipients) that I have to despise and oppose the government and the system I live in (a bit strong but I love the passion! please keep driving the message that those who oppose the party are violent, disorderly and ungrateful! love it!).

For the better part of the 23 years of my life (i think it’s great to reach out to young people but perhaps in the sequel, you could be 40 as we would need to reach out to older people as well), I have constantly been barraged by criticism and cynicism about everything associated with the government here – from policies, the government’s “direct role” in certain areas and why it isn’t doing enough in others?

Growing up with this cynicism has also brought me to be sceptical and suspicious of the government and its actions, no matter how well-meaning (masterful – dropping “well-meaning” here! so subtle!) they may be. You can’t really blame me for thinking this way, can you? (could this be your best sentence yet? you are giving permission to the reader who has been critical of the Party to feel ok about themselves and getting them on your side! genius!)  After all, subliminal messaging (masterful! I love how you counter one “subliminal messaging” with another!) can be a convincing tool, especially when it happens regularly. Worse still, some of this scepticism has also extended beyond the government to bring me to be disengaged with the country (bravo! those who question the Party harms the country! genius!). So when I served my national service a few years ago, I asked myself, “Why am I doing this? Why should I dedicate my 2 years to the country? After all, what has it done for me?”

Call it a prickling conscience or the desire to learn and understand for myself (yes, if only we could think for ourselves, we would love the Party), but I was uncomfortable feeling this way. My life is pretty good. I seem to be in a better position than many of the people I see in neighbouring countries I have visited. What is it that this country has given me?

Serendipity struck (hehe, if serendipity was as handsome as Michael Palmer. swoon!) and the by-election in Punggol East suddenly arrived. I thought to myself, “Here is a chance for me to do some introspection.”

So on Friday night, I went to the first by-election rally, incidentally (i love how this suggests that you are not a Party member. wink wink.) that of the ruling party. I heard many individuals go up and make speeches amidst the rain to a crowd, which I suspect may not be as large as one may see at a WP rally for example (they may be popular, but they may not be right! dammit!). But then, I didn’t expect anything else as facts and figure (YES! the Party sticks to the facts. the Others tell fake stories which is why they are popular! love love love!) often do not make for exciting fodder. Admittedly, some of the speeches were delivered eloquently and with passion but a couple made me wish I were elsewhere (love it! a strategic admission of weakness makes you more convincing. it’s ok to be dull, it’s not as bad as the Others who only know how to tell fake stories to make the crowd angry. not the crowds’ fault but the Others).

But one thing struck me during the speeches, particularly those made by the PAP political leaders on air during the rally. Education.

That one word, reiterated by many of the PAP leaders on that wet (wah! so real! you give such a wonderful sense of place! i feel like I am there!) Friday night in Punggol East, answered the burning question (wah! so passion!) inside me. That is what my country (love how you use “country” so interchangeably with the Party!) has given me: A world-class education system (I admire your resourcefulness. housing, public transport, quality of life aren’t that hot now but your determined focus on “world-class” education tied to employment and self-esteem is truly without peer). One that will stay with me for the rest of my life. That is the best gift any parent can give any child, (love it! always credit the parents. also, if we take all the credit, nobody will believe us) and any government can give any citizen. A system that will provide you with an education, that will not only suit your abilities, but one that will make you employable so that you are empowered to be able to provide for yourself and not be dependent on handouts by the government. In short, an education that is the pillar (great word choice! education is erect with esteem!) of our self-esteem.

On the way back from the rally, I pondered over this a little more. I thought about my neighbour, with whom I had honed my footballing skills with (football is a great popular choice! and truly, what a classless system we have!). He didn’t do too well in secondary school and went to ITE. But that wasn’t the end of the road for him. He has just recently completed his polytechnic diploma in electrical engineering and has landed a job as a technician with a MNC here (MNC is sexy! much better than SMEs or Party-linked companies like AIM).

Then there is also my younger cousin, who didn’t have a conducive learning environment at home and fared poorly in her PSLE as she had problems reading complete sentences. Many of our relatives spelt doom for her (obviously, with your “world-class” education system, you are not suggesting that your relatives are causing her harm. i get it! again you’re trying to introduce imperfections here to enhance the persuasiveness of your message! gennnnius!). She went to Northlight school, completed her education there and moved on to the ITE. In her second year in the ITE now, she has new found confidence (love how you drop the word “con-fidence” in this piece. i get it!) and is even being sent abroad by her school for an industrial experience program her (on a personal note, if she exists, I wish they send her to another country with a “world-class” system because they are not that many. send her my love!)

Such is the influence of education that even those from more fortunate backgrounds benefit from it (thank you for reminding us that the Party isn’t just for the downtrodden and despised but also for the rich and esteemed). Education is a great social leveller, even in today’s age, and has helped Singaporeans bolster their self-esteem, financial and emotional well-being (may I suggest that the next National Day song incorporates this message– “whenever I am feeling low, I look at my O-level cert and I know”?). For that alone, I am indebted to Singapore and the government (gennnnius! Singapore=Party! “one Nation, one Party, one Singapore”).

“Bryan Lee”, our country owes you a great debt. Looking forward to the sequel.

Sincerely,

“Annie How”

the PAP deserves the voters they get

My PAP friend thinks it’s entirely appropriate for voters to choose someone who could stand a better chance helping them to fight for local goodies such as upgrading of flats and feeder buses in their estates. The national issues such as transport or dare I say it, freedom of the press, are not as important.

All I can say is that the PAP deserves the voters they get.

A few years ago, the same PAP friend told me that residents’ chief complaint to their Member of Parliament was the lack of a rain shelter from the bus stop to their flats, suggesting that Singaporeans are politically apathetic.  But what did he expect when the social compact between the PAP and the people of Singapore was – Work hard. Don’t ask questions. We will show you the money? When you see people who have opposed the PAP thrown into jail without trial, made bankrupt and forced into exile, which are you more likely to ask: “Can I not get wet or not?” or “Are you sure Temasek Holdings made so much money and what does the President actually know?”

Just days ago, some 40 Bishan residents signed a petition against the building of a nursing home in their neighborhood with reasons such as “blocked air flow” and “the old folk will be groaning right into my home”. This was not an isolated incident. We have become very materialistic and selfish. This is not entirely the fault of the PAP but under their system, these have been normalized:

– You do not serve the country unless you are paid obscene amounts of money
– Take care of yourself first, no one will take care of you if something really bad happens
– Because public housing is so ridiculously and unreasonably expensive, all my money is in my flat; anything that threatens the value of my flat threatens my future
– They are driving Porsches and living in condos. I must work harder to catch up. Nothing else is important
– Don’t talk about fairness, democracy or serving the greater good. They don’t put rice on the table

I suggested to my PAP friend that if this is the Singapore he wants, then his party should continue their pork barrel politics. They will get the voters they deserve but they should not complain when their voters are shortsighted and unreasonably demanding.

Another friend posted this on her Facebook wall, referring to the Hougang people who voted for the Workers’ Party: “Discontinued bus services, demolished wet-market, no upgrading, dangled carrots – they have said, ‘Bring it on.’ As an old lady said, ‘Take away our bus? We will WALK.’”

This attitude is what Singaporeans described as the Hougang Spirit. I fear my PAP friend may never understand this.

People’s Action Party and the Crooks (nice name for a band)

What astonishes me is that the opponents of the People’s Action Party always turn out to be crooks.

Always.

1. Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam – convicted for “falsely accounting the party’s funds”, although Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council stupidly said the conviction was a “grievous injustice”. Declared bankrupt. Then became illegal hawker at Raffles City.

2. Chee Soon Juan – cheated NUS, wait for it, for falsely claiming stamp fees and taxi fare. Was fired. Then bankrupt. Then jailed. Then a lot of other things also.

3. Tang Liang Hong – supposedly an anti-Christian and anti-Muslim Chinese chauvinist. And if that’s not enough, he also cheated IRAS. Fled the country.

4. Francis Seow – “received political campaign finance from the United States to promote democracy in Singapore.” He also evaded taxes, my god. Fled the country.

5. Dr Vincent Wijeysingha – Dr Vivian Balakrishnan of the PAP said Vincent and his party tried to hide a Youtube video from the Internet (despicable!) and they have agendas and motivations which raise awkward questions.

And now, the honorable Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has so kindly raised “a new and serious question about Mr Png’s (WP candidate for Hougang) integrity.”

I’m sure this is a short list and there are more crooks but as the Singapore Police Force like to remind us – Low Crime doesn’t mean No Crime.

“I don’t know what to say” except if you want to be and stay a Master of the Universe, then everyone else becomes your Skeletors, Hordaks and Evil Lyns.

They have the power.

ST: Where to get your Bak Kut Teh

Where to get your Bak Kut Teh

XIU JIE CLAYPOT BAK KUT TEH
What: Owner Ang Chiew Huat serves a Cantonese version that she learnt to make in Kuala Lumpur. Unlike the Malaysian version, which has a strong herbal taste, her claypot bak kut teh (from $4) is lighter. Other items include bak kut teh mee sua ($4) and claypot pork ribs with bittergourd ($6/$8).
Where: Block 79 Telok Blangah Drive, 01-06, open: 9am to 5pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays
Info: Call 9829-6131

OLD STREET BAK KUT TEH
What: Dry bak kut teh ($6.50/$8.50) comes with lady’s fingers, dried chillies and sliced chilli padi and strips of dried cuttlefish. The peppery soup is served separately.
Where: 129 Upper Paya Lebar Road, open: 7 to 1am daily

KLANG BAK KUT TEH
What: Order the special set ($8) which includes a hearty serving of tender pork ribs, mushrooms, beancurd sheets and tau pok (fried beancurd puff) in a herbal soup, and a side serving of you tiao (dough fritter). The normal portion of bak kut teh costs $6.50.
Where: Malaysian Food Street, next to the entrance of Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, open: noon to 10pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays
Info: Call 6577-8899

LEONG KEE (KLANG) BAK KUT TEH
What: The thick, herb-based bak kut teh is cooked in claypots and based on the herbal Klang version. Prices start at $5.50.
Where: Two outlets at 321 Beach Road and 251 Geylang Road, open: 11am to 10pm daily
Info: Call 8368-8229

BLISSFUL CAFE
What: Dry bak kut teh (from $7) is served in a claypot with pork ribs, lady’s fingers, sliced chilli padi and cuttlefish slices. A thick, herbal soup is served separately. Original bak kut teh ($5) and claypot bak kut teh with soup ($9/$15) are also available.
Where: 29 Sultan Gate, open: 10am to 10pm daily
Info: Call 6298-8538

PAO XIANG BAK KUT TEH
What: The Malaysian chain’s first outlet here serves the Hokkien herbal version. Various pork parts, including pork belly and intestines, are available. Prices start at $9.80 for a bowl.
Where: nex, 23 Serangoon Central, B1-34/35, open: 10.30am to 10pm daily

best roast meats in singapore

ST:
LifeStyle picks the best roast meats

BEST ALL ROUNDER
Kim Heng HK Roasted Meat
Block 214 Serangoon Avenue 4, 01-88, tel: 6283-3695, open: 8.30am to 7pm daily
Few places do everything well, but Kim Heng, a stall tucked away in a cluster of HDB blocks, turns out excellent roast pork, roast duck and char siew. The charcoal-roasted meats in this two- decade-old business look luscious hanging behind glass.
On my first visit, the char siew had a good amount of fat and what thrilled me was a hint of ginger juice that came in suddenly at the end of a mouthful.
The crispy skin on the roast pork was excellent and under that was perfectly seasoned meat that had not dried out.
Burnished skin made the duck look very appetising and there was a satisfying crunch when I bit into it. The meat was tender and moist, something that cannot be said of many of the roast ducks I tried.
Prices start at $3.30 for a plate of char siew, roast duck or roast pork rice.

BEST ROAST PORK
Lau Phua Chay Authentic Roasted Delicacies
Alexandra Village Hawker Centre, Block 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, 01-20, tel: 9663-6862, open: 11.30am to 3.30pm, closed on Saturdays
Many places I went to were able to produce roast pork with crackly skin, but so many versions were too salty. There were also a couple of stalls with dried-out pork.
Lau Phua Chay’s pork ticked all the right boxes: very crispy skin, tender pork and just the right amount of salt.
Ask for the sauce on the side so you can enjoy the full effect of the crackling, and do dunk the meat into the excellent chilli sauce, zippy with lots of lime juice.
Prices start at $2.50 for a plate of char siew rice.

BEST ROAST DUCK
Fu Shi (Traditional) Roasted
Block 320 Shunfu Mart 02-25, tel: 9237-8157, open: 9am to 2pm, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Long queues form at this stall and it stays open only until just after lunch.
It was the first one I tried and after two days of duck with crispy skin and bland meat or flabby skin with fat attached and dry meat, I had to admit that the first one was the best.
The skin is not atomically crispy but it was the flavourful meat, aromatic with five-spice powder, that made me sit up and take notice.
Prices start at $2.50 for a plate of roast chicken rice.

BEST CHAR SIEW
There is a tie because it was hard to choose from several stalls with excellent barbecued pork.
Yee Kee Specialist Roasted Duck
Block 148 Silat Ave 01-14, tel: 9697-7083, open: 10.30am until the food runs out, closed on Sundays
Foong Kee’s springy char siew came close and so did Kay Lee’s. Yee Kee’s version (right) was one of two that made the cut for this category.
The lean version was good, with tender meat. But the fattier cut is the one to order. The caramelisation added depth of flavour but the char siew was not too sweet. Burnt bits at the ends added texture and crunch.
Go early or call ahead to order. Sometimes, the roast meats run out by 1.30pm. Prices start at $3 for a plate of char siew rice.

Fatty Cheong
ABC Brickworks Food Centre, Block 6 Jalan Bukit Merah 01-120, tel: 9882-4849, open: 11am to 7pm, closed on Thursdays
This stall’s bu jian tian char siew (right) is a textural delight. It is made with a part of the pig that does not see the sky. Those less poetic will just call the cut the pig’s armpit, seeing as it sits in between the neck and belly. The strip of fat on top is springy, the meat is tender and moist.
If the pork had been less sweet and had come with lightly charred bits, there might have been only one winner in this category.
Prices start at $2 for a plate of roast chicken rice.

The other stalls that LifeStyle went to
Foong Kee Coffee Shop
6 Keong Saik Road, tel: 9181-1451, open: 11am to 8pm, closed on Sundays

Hong Kong Jin Tian Eating House
Block 58 Eng Hoon Street 01-15, tel: 9005-6151, open: 7am to 8.30pm daily, closed on alternate Wednesdays

Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint
125 Upper Paya Lebar Road, tel: 743-8778, open: 10.30am to 7.30pm, closed on Tuesdays

New Rong Liang Ge Cantonese Roast Duck
Block 269B Queen Street 01-235, tel: 9451-9669, open: 7.30am to 8pm daily

Toh Kee
People’s Park Food Centre, Block 32 New Market Road, 01-1016A, tel: 6323-3368, open: noon to 7.30pm, closed on Mondays

 

ten works

ST:

Ten works not to be missed at the Dreams & Reality: Masterpieces Of Painting, Drawing And Photography exhibition

STARRY NIGHT, 1888-1889

By Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

Oil on canvas, 72.5x92cm

The 19th-century Dutch master enjoyed the starry night skies of the Midi region in southern France and he wanted to ‘paint the stars’. The banks of the river Rhone provided the perfect setting for this composition where the night light and its reflections allowed him to capture the elements of the sky, earth and water. The sky, painted in cobalt blue, dominates this. You can see the constellation of The Great Bear and the stars are painted in strokes with thick white highlights at their centre. These were believed to have been applied straight from the paint tube.

STUDY OF A FIGURE OUTDOORS: WOMAN WITH A PARASOL LOOKING TO THE RIGHT, 1886

By Claude Monet (1840-1926)

Oil on canvas, 131x88cm

Monet, who is famous for his paintings of water lilies, dedicated himself almost exclusively to landscapes from the mid-1870s. He returned to figure painting from 1886 to 1888. However, he was interested in a figure within a landscape. In the summer of 1886, he painted this picture, the model for which was his step-daughter Suzanne Hoschede. He enhanced the composition’s decorative character while heightening the impression of movement. Everything in this painting seems to quiver, with the figure enveloped in light and air.

THE BIRTH OF VENUS, 1863

By Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889)

Oil on canvas, 130x225cm

The was one of the great successes of the 1863 Salon, where it was bought by Napoleon III. Typical of Cabanel’s style, this painting is regarded as a perfect example of popular and official artistic taste of the period. The mythological theme, though, is simply a pretext for the portrayal of a nude figure who, though idealised, is depicted in a suggestive pose complete with an alluring gaze.

WAR OR THE CAVALCADE OF DISCORD, 1894

By Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)

Oil on canvas, 114x195cm

When French artist Rousseau presented this painting at the 1894 Salon des Independants, it received mixed reactions. Some criticised its heavy-handed appearance while others embraced its independent style. Taking inspiration from popular imagery, and Italian painter Uccello’s battle scenes, this expressive work looks at the futility of war. The painting is dominated by black and red, the colours of mourning and blood portraying the grief caused by any war.

M. AUGUSTE RODIN, 1906 (ORIGINAL NEGATIVE), 1911

By Edward Steichen (1879-1973)

Heliogravure from the original negative, 23.9×16.5cm

Steichen wanted to take portraits of the artists and writers of his time. He had dreamt of meeting the sculptor Rodin prior to his arrival in Paris in 1900, and his dream was realised a year later. This portrait appeared on German poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s pioneering monograph of the sculptor in 1908.

THE CARDPLAYERS, 1890-1895

By Paul Cezanne (1839-1906), Oil on canvas, 47.5x57cm

Using local farmhands as models, the French painter is said to have drawn inspiration for this Provencal genre scene from a painting of the same theme by the Le Nain brothers that was in the museum in Aix. Depicting just two card players, Cezanne does not paint too many details in the surroundings. This lends the painting a timeless effect which is enhanced by the range of colours rendered with wide brushstrokes.

KATHERINE, 1905

By Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946)

Heliogravure from the original negative, 20.7×16.8cm

Stieglitz, the son of a self-made man of German-Jewish origin who had settled in New York, trained in Europe where he witnessed the birth of the Pictorialist movement. This movement was composed of amateur photographers who considered themselves artists in the same way as the painters and sculptors around them. They rejected the point-and-shoot approach to photography and embraced labour-intensive processes which involved hand-coating artist papers with home-made emulsions and pigments, or making platinum prints, which yielded rich, tonally subtle images. Katherine is one of the many superb portraits produced by Stieglitz of his only child by his first wife, whom he married in 1893. Her soulful gaze inspires reflections about her troubled childhood.

VARIATIONS IN VIOLET AND GREEN, 1871

By James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

Oil on canvas, 61×35.5cm

The influence of Japanese prints, which had arrived in Europe from the mid-19th century, helped Whistler move away from his traditional training. This painting features the characteristic Oriental flattened perspective, with water dominating the middle section. Whistler concentrates on light effects late in the evening which are captured through rapid strokes of colour.

SEMIRAMIS BUILDING BABYLON, 1861

By Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

Oil on paper on canvas, 26.5×40.5cm

In his early years, French impressionist Degas aspired to be a history painter. This painting depicts a mythological scene featuring Semiramis, a legendary queen of Assyria. Determined to surpass her predecessor, she summoned architects and workers from all over to build the city of Babylon. In accordance with the Neoclassical academic tradition, the figures were drawn separately, first nude, then draped with care.

From the 1850s until about 1862, Degas worked on a large version of this piece. Just a few aspects differentiate this detailed oil work from the final version.

A BOX AT THE THEATRE DES ITALIENS, 1875-1878

By Eva Gonzales (1849-1883), oil on canvas, 98x130cm

The inspiration for this painting came from Gonzales’ teacher Edouard Manet and his painting The Balcony (1869), focusing on the isolation of the characters. But Gonzales, a key female Impressionist painter, demonstrates her own style and approach in her abundant use of black and the light touch that gives life to the gossamer covering the young woman’s neckline and arms.

About the Impressionists

* Impressionism is one of the most important artistic movements of the 19th century and the first of the Modern Movements.

* It developed in France between 1867 and 1886. The artists who made up the Impressionist school shared a similar approach to art.

* Key Impressionist artists include famous names such as Claude Monet, Pierre Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Camille Pissarro.

* These artists placed great emphasis on capturing reality through the effects of light and colour.

* The Impressionist aesthetic was different from the traditional school of art which emphasised subjects and themes. For the Impressionists, the subject did not matter as much as the artist’s manipulation of colour, tone and texture.

* In the 1860s and 1870s, the Impressionists painted aspects of modern life as they saw it. They captured its energy, its exhilaration, its possibilities for leisure and its exploitation of nature and people.

* In their search for the ultimate way to represent reality on canvas, the Impressionists developed techniques and beliefs which paved the way for Post-Impressionism.

* Major post-Impressionist exponents included Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne.

* These artists preferred and highlighted geometric forms which led to the development of early modernism and abstract expressionism.

emotions, unlike politics, is not a bad word

“I think the whole idea of elections is that you think carefully about long-term future for Singapore, and whatever emotions that are aroused during that period, calm down, and detach yourself, think carefully before you vote.”  – Lee Hsien Loong

Lee Hsien Loong wants you to detach yourself from emotions when voting at the next elections.

I disagree with him.

Again.

In the fascinating book, How We Decide, Jonah Lehrer, a neuroscientist takes on the popular misconception that there is “a clear distinction between thinking and feeling”.  He explains:

“For too long, people have disparaged the emotional brain, blaming our feelings for all of our mistakes. The truth is far more interesting. What we discover when we look at the brain is that the horses (emotions) and the charioteer (reason) depend upon each other. If it weren’t for our emotions, reason wouldn’t exist at all.”

The book is full of great stories based on real life cases. One of them is about Elliot, who led a very normal life until he went for an operation to remove a tumor from his brain. While he tested in the normal range for his intellect after the operation, he was suddenly incapable of making decisions, from what pen to use to what to eat for lunch. It turned out that the operation affected his ability to feel. His family and friends observed no emotion in him and his sweat glands did not respond as normal people would in controlled experiments.

Lehrer argues:

“… emotions are a crucial part of the decision-making process. When we are cut off from our feelings, the most banal decisions became impossible. A brain that can’t feel can’t make up its mind.”

Lee Hsien Loong is right about one thing. He’s implying that if you just rely on your emotions alone, you will not vote for the PAP. In other words, you have the right to be pissed, distrustful and maybe even a little hateful of the People’s Action Party.

This is not what I’m trying to argue though. At least not here. As Lehrer has point out, you make decisions based on both feelings and reason, they are never used in isolation.

Much has been written about the merits and faults of the PAP.  Being a lesser writer, I want to encourage you dear reader, to think about how you feel about the PAP instead.

Do you feel that the PAP is an open and honest government?

Do you feel that the path we’re on is sustainable and whether we’re measuring the right things in determining success?

Do you feel that we live out of hope and passion or do we live out of fear?

I ask only one thing of you dear reader – that when you go to the ballot box, bring along your beating, burning heart; do not be ashamed of it and use it wisely.

you were educated in singapore? your english is excellent!!!

last night, over dinner…

j: you were educated in singapore? your english is excellent!!!

two thoughts came to my mind.

1. where got?

2. singaporeans english so bad meh?

this morning, i received an email from a singaporean vendor on behalf of a rather prestigious expensive american university in response to my online query.

allow me to reproduce the choicest bits (i have retained the original formatting as much as possible):

1. Dear kim

2. Welcome.. & Thank you for shortlisted XXX; XXX program in XXX as your choice.
Herewith, Please see enclosed the vital information. Fyi; Please feel free and you are most welcome to made an appointment with me…

3. Point to note;
As a matter of fact, the world of work is changing.

4. An I-O psychologist are able to assist in personnel staffing…

5. Besides this, XXX program are emphasising on practitioner-focused learning…

6. Overall, Organizational Psychology & HR program can be useful i.e incorporated into daily decision making or in actual fact
apply it for more effective management… (i: thank god it can be useful)

7. Proud to share; Some of our alumni and current students portfolios:

8. In general, assessment mode are comprises of…

9. However, certain modules does not have any exam, but are comprises of class presentation, group discussion and bring home assignments… (i: bring home assignments remind me of the lady in good morning vietnam who thought that a home run means running home with the ball).

10. Thus, for cost savings, I implore those who are keen to take up the XXX to do so for this coming Dec 2010 intake as this will be the final intake before the GST component sets in next year.

so here are my thoughts:

1. who the fuck is kim? 아파요

2. need i go on?