Keep the rallies going, and the quality too

Keep the rallies going, and the quality too

By Lorong Cat The period of 12 months from when Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008 to its anniversary in 2009 was a tumultuous one. This period was marked by an unprecedented wave of financial meltdown with some of the biggest banks in the UK getting nationalised with taxpayers’ money and also coincided with an Israeli incursion into the Gaza strip. Both of these developments spawned weekly large scale demonstrations in central London. I was new to London and my first “participation” in a major demonstration was during the 2009 G20 summit in London where world leaders representing 20 major…

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…

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…

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…

Take your pick!

The Great HDB Resale Flat Hunt – Part 2: The Noobs Guide 2013

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 2: The Resale HDB Flat Noobs Guide 2013 I was living for a dream, loving for a…

What's the COV for this?

The Great HDB Resale Flat Hunt – Part 1: The Search Begins

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 1: The Search Begins Shakespeare said “the course of searching for the true HDB resale flat never…

From Third World to First - A book review

From Third World to First – A book review

By Lorong Cat From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 by Lee Kuan Yew My rating: 5 of 5 stars Dear Harry, Thank you for your company during my daily lunch hour for the past couple of months. When I heave open the hard bound book that is the second volume of your memoirs, I feel as if I have been transported back in time to post-colonial Singapore. I have benefited from the peek into your early struggles and that of your colleagues Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye and Raja. I am intrigued by your account of…

Ah Beng

Singapore’s subcultural identity crisis

By Lorong Cat It is no longer Singaporeans’ pet topic to talk about Ah Bengs and Ah Lians these days. That’s because we have found a different common enemy and, boy, are they bigger fish to fry! By the same token, it is causing a mini wave of nationalistic sentiment, hence we are letting up on the Bengs and Lians pretty much like how the Taiwanese have embraced their 台客 (Taike). So I was caught by surprise when the term Ah Beng was revived to my sore ears lately, here in London. Wow, for a tiny country like us, we are…

Speakers Corner at Hyde Park

Whither free speech?

Guest post by Lorong Cat with Void Decker Back in September, a Californian man pulled together an anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” and posted it on YouTube. It contained blasphemous scenes making fun of the Prophet Muhammad. This video sparked anti-American riots across the middle east and culminated in the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in a mob attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. The filmmaker was subsequently arrested but for minor offences not directly related to the video. U.S. President Obama was quick to release a statement condemning the video as crude and inappropropriate but went…

Singapore Scorecard

Singapore Scorecard

Guest post by Lorong Cat Is Singapore better off than she was four years ago? Mitt Romney, U.S. Republican presidential hopeful, triggered a wave of self inquisition amongst Americans earlier this month when he asked the same question of America.  After the initial fumbling over an immediate response, the Democrats came out to answer in the affirmative, pointing out the positives put in place by the Obama administration in his first term. Likewise, newspapers and bloggers with political leanings to both and neither of the parties fell over themselves to answer Mr Romney arriving at varying conclusions. The Economist produced…

No car but can travel: Checking our desires to own cars

No car but can travel: Checking our desires to own cars

Guest post by Lorong Cat When friends from Singapore visit me in London, I invariably get asked the question, “Why didn’t you get a car?” Fair point. A cheap second car in the UK costs about as much as the top end Apple Macbook, very affordable by Singapore’s standards. I get this question so often, I have readily on hand the standard response stocked in my bag of Frequently Asked Questions. Being an organised person and all, it comes in a bullet form: I live within the tube (London subway) network and I can get to most places in central…