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A gangster asking for protection money

There was such a huge outcry when the Media Development Authority (MDA) announced the licensing regulations for news websites that you would think they are shutting down the Internet entirely. But everyone is justifiably worried. The new rules are not only broad-based, they are also vague, arbitrary and potentially limitless. Why 50,000 unique IPs? Why $50,000? Why these ten websites but not others? It looks like a bunch of civil servants got together in a meeting room and pluck some numbers out of thin air. They might as well charge $49,999 and tell us it’s a half-price early bird discount….

Oh, behave!

Singa Quits: Letter from Singapore Kindness Movement

This is a reply from Dr William Wan of the Singapore Kindness Movement to Lorong Cat’s previous post urging Singa to rethink his decision to quit. We thank Dr Wan for taking the time to write to us and certainly agree with him that courtesy, graciousness and thoughtfulness are of utmost importance even as we live and manoeuvre in a competitive society. Singa may be gone for now, but the good work of Singapore Kindness Movement continues. Without the little lion man watching over us, please continue to behave! Dear Lorong Cat, Your post on May 15th titled “Singa quits: A…


Questions remain on the curious case of Shane Todd

Now that the family of Shane Todd has left in a huff, the remainder of the coroner’s inquiry becomes a matter of going through the motions. We can expect more witnesses and experts to testify and throw further doubt on his parents’ murder claims. Going by news reports over the past week — bearing in mind they are largely from the local mainstream media — there seems little doubt that the former engineer with the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) had indeed committed suicide. Wrong to cry murder over it; the Singapore police must be feeling pretty smug now. Unanswered questions…


Intern abuse: Was exposure the only recourse?

This incident of intern abuse is as strange as it gets and it will be interesting to read a full account from the 29 year-old victim himself. Never mind that he has been providing underpaid labour at $500 a month, supposedly working over 12 hours a day without benefits and leave under the guise of an internship for a lengthy three years, he also put up with physical and emotional abuse with nary a whimper. We are left shaking our heads at his misplaced loyalty for not quitting earlier — why? Because he felt that there was work still to…

Maybe that's why it looks so clean

The dirt path from AIM to town council managing agents

The reason given for the PAP town councils’ decision to engage AIM to manage its software system was to reap economies of scale, instead of having each town council develop or purchse its own system separately. This makes sense, but going by this line of argument we can reasonably expect opposition parties to not enjoy similar economies of scale. So why should it be a surprise that Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) has to pay higher prices than Tampines Town Council in management fees? CPG Facilities Management, who manages Tampines TC and other PAP town councils, would have the economies of…

Singa tenders in resignation

Singa Quits: Reply from your taxpayer boss

By Lorong Cat Dear Singa I urge you to reconsider your position with regards to your resignation letter, dated 15 May 2013, “Open Letter to Singapore – I Quit”. It seems to me that you are merely undergoing through a common — if not severe — case of mid-life crisis which plagues many mammals coming into existence of more than 30 years. You have never taken a break from your demanding job as the mascot of courtesy and kindness in Singapore, where winning and being number one at all costs is the over-arching philosophy by which we are expected to live…

Hey, look how easily I won this!

Serving up the WTA Championships in Singapore

Get ready your ear plugs — the WTA Championships is coming to Singapore! World-class shriek-fest, magnified and reverberated in decibel levels many times over in the echo chamber that is the Indoor Stadium, giant LED screens flashing instant cues to applause when an ace is served, and air-gun-toting ground crew shooting balls of free T-shirts into the spectator stands to the bang of disco music during intervals, all against the backdrop of top women’s tennis players slugging it out in a season-ending battle to see who can hit flatter and harder, hug the baseline longer, and double-fault less than the…

Majority Rule

Democracy, gang rape and a failure in communication

There was a fuss and a lot of misunderstanding over a quote MP Zainudin Nordin posted on his Facebook page a few days ago, particularly on the highlighted sentence: People use democracy as a free-floating abstraction disconnected from reality. Democracy in and of itself is not necessarily good. Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action. All men have the right to live their own life. Democracy must be rooted in a rational philosophy that first and foremost recognizes the right of an individual. A few million Imperial Order men screaming for the lives of a much smaller number of…

Having your pie and eat it

Economic growth and happiness in Brazil

In a recent May Day speech, PM Lee reminded us that growing the economy is the best way to boost wages. He said, “If we can grow the economy, produce more, become more prosperous, we can distribute, everybody can have a share and everybody will be better off.” We know this, of course, as the “rising tide lifts all boats” gospel that his father and the PAP government has championed all these years. In the blog post “Brazil isn’t growing – so why are Brazilians so happy?”, The Economist explains why, despite slowing growth in the last two years, Brazilians…

You can't see the decor but I assure you it's worth the 100k COV!

The Great HDB Resale Flat Hunt – Part 3: Quirks of HDB Living

By Lorong Cat The Great HDB Resale Flat Hunt is a 3-part blog post tracking the trials and tribulations of a first time flat buyer in her search for an affordable abode in Singapore. Part 1 stitches together the journey, sometimes bewildering and exhausting, of the search process. In part 2,  the author shares her two cents worth of advice and lessons learned to anyone who might fancy it. In part 3, she spills the beans on some quirks of HDB living. Part 3: Quirks of HDB Living The exterior designs of HDB apartment blocks may look somewhat dull and…