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The Pilot n’ Jo Show

Been listening to these two guys all morning. Check out their views on the IOC and other recent news events. The language is natural and contains a few swear words. But don’t let that put you off clicking on the link.

Great work guys and I hope you don’t mind the plug by some damn white guy who doesn’t give a…

The Push-Pull

In this episode, we drop our two cents’ worth on the recent IOC (which was really one of the biggest embarrassments for S’pore), the London Bomb Blast and the hot, hot news of concerning the NKF CEO who eats up most of the donations that we’ve so long believed were going into helping those kidney patients. All I can say is DAMN S’pore officials for putting up a lame show, DAMN those fucking terrorists who have nothing better to do and DAMN this corporate so-called non-profit organizations that love to just to suck our taxpayers money through false advertising and giving kidney patients false hope. I hope the NKF CEO can really sleep at night, knowing that he’s living, eating and drinking on these ill people’s hopes.

And Osama, this NKF scandal has nothing to do with your kidney problems or dialysis shit. I think you just need to smoke some weed, chill out and stop all this Al-Qaeda and JI nonsense.

Singapore may hold early election this year

By Geert De Clercq

SINGAPORE, July 30 (Reuters) – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who has been in office nearly 12 months, may call elections later this year, media and analysts said on Saturday.

A parliamentary election does not have to be held until mid-2007. But the city-state’s pro-government Straits Times daily quoted several analysts and a member of parliament as saying they expected Lee — son of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew — to seek his own mandate as early as the last quarter.

Lee was handed power in August 2004 by Goh Chok Tong, who was prime minister between Lee senior and Lee junior.

“PM Lee has been in office a year and shown he is a capable leader. It would be a good time to get public endorsement of his time in office,” the Straits Times quoted veteran member of parliament Mohamad Maidin Packer as saying.

Chen Hwai Liang, press secretary to the prime minister, told Reuters: “The prime minister has said earlier that elections will be held before they are due.”

A precedent for early elections was set in 1991, when Goh called an election just nine months after he was handed power.

Analysts say that to secure strong leadership, Lee must at least match his party’s tally in the last poll in 2001, when Goh won 75 percent of the vote for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), which controls all but two seats in parliament.

COMFORTABLE MAJORITY

While there may be uncertainty about the margin, analysts say there is no doubt that the PAP, which has swept every election since independence in 1965, would win a comfortable majority against a fractious and cash-strapped opposition.

“The opposition is too weak and not seen as an alternative to the government,” Cherian George, author of “The Air-conditioned Nation”, a book on Singapore politics, told Reuters.

The Straits Times quoted political watcher Viswa Sadasivan as saying “the ground is as sweet as it possibly can be” for Lee.

“After the London blast, people are obviously going to be more conservative with their votes and will vote in the stable ruling party,” Sadasivan said.

But it quoted other analysts as saying that the Singaporean public may harbour resentment over the Lee government’s decision to allow casino gambling, an issue that generated a rare wave of protest in the tightly controlled island state.

In recent weeks the government has also been embarrassed by a scandal surrounding the country’s leading charity, the National Kidney Foundation, whose chief executive resigned following uproar about his pay and perks.

Analysts say the Singapore economy’s rebound — it grew an annualised 12.3 percent in the second quarter from the first after contracting in the first quarter — and a series of measures to boost the real estate market would help the PAP.

“Sentiment 12 months down the road is expected to improve on the back of a stronger feel-good factor on the property market and on the economy front as well. So somewhere towards the year-end and into early 2006, could be the time for elections,” Song Seng Wun, senior economist at CIMB-GK, told Reuters. (Additional reporting by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Singapore’s first gay and lesbian PrideMonth

First spotted at Sg Review

28 July 2005

IndigNation: Singapore’s first gay and lesbian PrideMonth

This year, there will not be a Nation Party in Singapore. Instead, there will be IndigNation, Singapore’s first gay and lesbian Pride Month, August 2005.

Fridae.com was refused a permit to hold Nation Party ’05 in Singapore, simply because it was expected to be gay event.

IndigNation is a gay community response to this unreasonable ban, as well as to heavy censorship of publications, such as Manazine, serving this community. Gays and lesbians are indignant over what these say about their equal rights and their place in this nation.

The events in the IndigNation calendar are contributed by various organisers to Singapore’s Pride Month.

It opens with an art exhibition by Martin Loh, followed by a series of talks and poetry and closes with a bash organised by the gay and lesbian sports and adventure club, ADLUS.

This collection of separately-organised events under a common umbrella is a demonstration of the initiative and spirit of grass-roots civil society in Singapore – civil society that the authorities say they want to encourage, but then go out of their way to suppress, just because we happen to be gay.

All events are open to everyone regardless of sexual orientation. The talks that are being organised especially welcome heterosexual persons, so that their perspectives are also heard.

The Calendar of events can be seen at www.plu.sg, and at www.yawningbread.info/indignation/intro.htm

For details about any particular event, please email the contact person
listed for that event on the Calendar.

Who do we think we’re fooling?

First spotted on Sg Review. A nice article regarding the problem of the development of a national identity in Singapore.

Thursday • July 28, 2005

Liang Dingzi
news@newstoday.com.sg

AS SINGAPORE prepares to celebrate 40 years of nationhood, there’s a certain level of disquiet about our national identity.

This is evident in the debates about Singlish, the despair over our lack of social graces and, most recently, the controversy over the sale of Raffles Hotel to non-Singaporeans.

Part of the angst appears to stem from the lack of a visible Singapore icon. New York has its Statue of Liberty, Paris its Eiffel tower, and at Agra, not far away from New Delhi, is the Taj Mahal.

Some are ready to discount Singapore’s prime candidate — the Merlion — for most would rather have a beautiful lady with the torch to gaze upon, as they do on Staten Island, than a half-fish, half-lion.

We’re not sure if the Durians — sorry, the Esplanade theatres — would be as popular as Sydney’s Opera House, either. So, perhaps we need to construct a new icon, we say. Some think the answer is the yet-to-be-built integrated resorts.

We are an impatient people who believe in quick fixes. Encouraged by our successes in constructing the world’s No 1 airport and other architectural feats, some think we can dream up and construct, just like that, an icon that will radiate the spirit of Singapore.

But think about it: Why has the Merlion failed to impress?

For most Singaporeans, the Merlion doesn’t evoke the sense of endearment associated with a treasured myth or a historical moment. There’s little one can tell a visitor about it.

It hasn’t earned the pride of a nation. Indeed, “to merlion” has become the local slang for “to vomit” – in reference to its ceaseless water-spouting.

Visitors to Singapore may be more interested in seeing the spot in Raffles Hotel where the last tiger to be killed in Singapore was shot, under a billiards table.

The sale of the hotel to a foreigner has been lamented by some citizens, who have deemed the move a betrayal, akin to selling off a national treasure.

It is an icon that represents part of our island’s colonial history; it is the birthplace of the Singapore Sling. It has the nostalgic distinction of having hosted famous writers including W Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway.

The Merlion, on the other hand, is little more than a commercial symbol. And it is laughable to think that a playground incorporating roller-coaster rides and a casino could inspire the same kind of awe as a structural icon, say the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Even Changi Airport cannot be held up in the same light. I once asked a much-travelled Frenchman what he thought of the terminal. He said it was modern, functional, very well-organised and efficient … but it lacked character.

The Singapore Tourism Board makes much of Singapore as “a city that thrives on modernity”. There’s no denying visitors enjoy convenience and comfort here. But Bangkok, with its slums and smells, has more character than Singapore, with its towering skyscrapers.

Yet do we truly need a physical icon to forge an identity? At 40, Singapore is a young nation. Neither history nor culture can be wrought off a blueprint.

Remember, some years ago, the attempt to design a wearable national costume featuring a Chinese collar, an Indian sash and a Malay sarong? That didn’t take off.

Likewise, entertaining friends from abroad with songs about our homeland shouldn’t have to mean blurting out songs about nation-building, or about how proud we are to be Singaporeans — songs penned specially for the official national birthday celebrations.

Perhaps we try too hard to develop icons, structural or otherwise. Such artificial results just don’t do the trick because they are not about us as a people.

It’s quite different when something is constructed purely for the tourist dollar. After all, as far as forgettable icons go, who really remembers that the world’s highest man-made waterfall is at Jurong Bird Park?

Singapore and Burma

First seen at Singapore-Windows.

Isolating Myanmar would not be in Southeast Asia’s interests because the military regime has its “gates” open to emerging regional giants China and India, Singapore’s foreign minister said Tuesday, July 26.
Foreign Minister George Yeo said he did not believe that with ramped up pressure and “the wave of a wand, all the problems (in Myanmar) will be solved and everybody will live happily ever after.”

US and EU sanctions on Myanmar’s internationally condemned junta have done little to bring real change to the country.

“But Myanmar has the back gate to China wide open. India, in its own geo-strategic calculation, has decided to keep its side gate to Myanmar open,” Yeo said at a news conference.

“So it must be in the interest of ASEAN to keep our side gate open whatever happens in Myanmar.

Nonetheless, “Myanmar has decided from very early that it would rather be a part of Southeast Asia than be a part of South Asia and we welcome that,” he said.

Yeo was speaking after foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced that Myanmar had taken the unprecedented decision to skip the chairmanship of the grouping next year.

Myanmar said the decision, which came after months of pressure from the United States and European Union, was to enable it to concentrate on its “democratisation process”.

Something tells me that keeping the gates open to Myanmar might have something to do with the following considerations.

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A Singapore firm has won a $10.6 million deal to expand the Yangon International Airport in Myanmar.

Singapore information technology company CNA Group said in a statement that under the deal, the firm will design and install engineering systems at Yangon airport.

Myanmar said in January that with $1.57 billion for 72 projects, Singapore tops the list of the 25 foreign investor countries in Myanmar. According to official data from Myanmar, Singapore is the largest exporter to Myanmar, and its second-largest trading partner after Thailand.

Whether you refer to ‘gates’ or ‘doors’ I think the relationship between Singapore and Burma is not one of mutual movement to Democratisation.

“Singapore is by far the most important ‘back door'”(Pilger 1999)for Burma. Pilger also argues that the arms industry is a speciality for Singapore. How far would Singapore go? In 1988, when the majority of the Burmese population were on the streets in a popular protest against SLORC(The junta), the Burmese Army was running out of bullets…

Guess which ASEAN country helped out?

Related Articles:
Burma’s PR consultant
Contructive Engagement
Free Aung San Suu Kyi

Singapore TV rapped up for lowbrow humour, poor English

Arguments that mainstream reporters pick up on coming out of Singapore always shine the light of journalistic investigation on the area of Singlish. Below there is a slight twist in the tail. What is never focused on is the lack of air time given to opposition politicians or dissenting views. So back to the same old debate…

“Proper standards of English should be maintained. Singlish should be avoided in broadcast programmes,” One very simple question in response to this statement. Why?

Why is the reporter referring to Singlish as a “mutated form of English” and a “mishmashed version of English”? Is the reporter trying to argue that Singlish lacks, semantics? Does the reporter have a background in Linguitics?

And maybe Phua Chu Kang would like to reply to the idea that his humour has to be more ‘high’ brow. I am sure PCK can get a few episodes out of this often restated demand that Singaporeans ‘Speak better English’, or is it ‘Speak good English’.

Singapore, July. 26 (AP):

Singapore’s monopoly broadcaster has been criticised for substandard levels of programming and widespread use of a mutated form of English, known locally as “Singlish.”

The Programmes Advisory Committee, or PACE, urged Mediacorp, the country’s only free-to-air broadcaster, to improve the quality and content of its programming.

“Proper standards of English should be maintained. Singlish should be avoided in broadcast programmes,” PACE said in a statement late yesterday.

The call comes just over two months after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, also urged Singaporeans to reduce the use of Singlish, a widely used mishmashed version of English.

PACE also said the standards of local sitcoms such as the hugely popular “Phua Chu Kang” had fallen, with “substandard story lines as well as lowbrow humour.”

“Local dramas could take a cue from good foreign dramas and strive for more complex and sophisticated story lines and wittier dialogue rather than straightforward entertainment,” the committee said.

Phua Chu Kang first came under attack in 2000, when the administration launched its war on Singlish and blamed the programme’s main character for a rise in bad grammar among citizens.

My apologises for any misspellings or grammatical eras.