Sumiko has a crush

Embrace your candy crush, Sumiko

Dear Sumiko, I feel you. I really do. I read with interest your latest column on your addiction with the game Candy Crush Saga. Having started on the game myself, just a month before you (this April), I thought I might share some views here. Because like you, I have been spending many hours on this game; and I am still going strong. Like any self-respecting addict, however, I do not think I am addicted to the game at all. No, seriously. In fact, if I could offer you a piece of advice, it will be: Don’t fight it. Embrace…

Kids react to One Singapore

Let Singaporeans create their own NDP songs

One Singapore, theme song for National Day 2013, has outed the closet music critic in every Singaporean since it was unleashed onto the unsuspecting public (unsuspecting because no one had a clue it could be this bad). The criticisms have been harsh: bad lyrics, kiddish arrangement, idiotic rap sequence. Even Stephen Chow thinks it is bad, though as a foreigner he really shouldn’t be meddling in our affairs. After seeing all these sorts of comments, I just had to check out the video to see what all the fuss was about. My impression? Well, I don’t feel anything particular to…

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…

Section 377A: A lesson from history?

Section 377A: A lesson from history?

As we head into a by-election to start off the year 2013, it is fitting to remind ourselves that exactly a hundred years ago, women were still fighting for their right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement lasted many years, and was at its peak in the 1910s. Eventually, the UK finally granted women partial rights in 1918, followed by full rights in 1928. The US had the Nineteen Amendment ratified in 1921. Today, nobody in his sound mind would dare proclaim that it is wrong to allow women to vote. Yet, back then, opposition against this right was very…

"Have you checked out Penjuru?"

District 9, Singapore-style

By District 9, I’m not referring to the posh Orchard Road area. Quite the opposite, but I will come to that in a bit. The Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) is proving to be more than just a one day news hit wonder. In fact, it’s in the local news on an almost daily basis since I last poured sarcasm on its after the fact display of philanthropy. Perhaps I was too harsh on them. Let’s hope this is not just a knee-jerk reaction after being caught missing in action following the recent series of worker troubles. With its links to…

Fancy this for a last meal?

End of winter, and the world. And zombies

Next time could someone please, as a matter of basic courtesy, inform me in advance if the end of the world is nigh? After all, I’m not one to catch up on my daily horoscopes, nor pay much attention to visits by celestial beings. So imagine my horror to read in the news today that Apocalypse will be upon us this Dec 21. What does that leave me — four days? Four days to sort out all my affairs and prepare for impending doom? Surely that cannot be sufficient. I would have sold all my belongings and gone travel the…

Zero tolerance, zero compassion

In this year’s National Day Rally, PM Lee said: There is one particularly difficult area where we need to be big hearted and that is in relations between Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans. To summarise a long-winded speech, he told us we can’t afford to be one-eyed dragons, because it reflects badly on us and people will think that Singapore is anti-foreigner and xenophobic. He urged us to feel for other fellow human beings, especially non-Singaporeans who may offend because they do not know what our norms are. He reminded us that it is wrong to slam the shortcoming of others but…

"This strike action has succeeded beyond all our expectations."

What a striking difference five days made

What a difference five days made Twenty-four, times five, little hours Brought the MOM and the powers Where there used to be complains … What has happened in the space of these five days since those Chinese drivers first went on strike? Ministry of Manpower (MOM) warned SMRT to thoroughly review and improve its human resource and management practices. SMRT announced that it was already planning to give the drivers a $25 increment. SMRT also said it is now looking into their wage concerns and will share its decision with them next week. A first townhall was held with China…

SMRT Chinese drivers strike: A bus load of issues

SMRT Chinese drivers strike: A bus load of issues

This strike by SMRT’s Chinese bus drivers is turning out to be a very interesting development. And it’s not just the thesaurus’s worth of euphemisms that we learned yesterday. While the mainstream media is busy explaining itself today why it avoided the word ‘strike’ — because apparently what they did is technically not one — and whether it’s legal or not, the incident has brought out a whole load of social issues that deserve closer examination. Foreign labour pay It is now out in the open that SMRT pays its bus drivers differently for the same job. This differentiation applies not only between…

"Did you take the $1.1M? On a coin toss. Call it"

The million dollar question

So what would you really do if you find SGD$1.1 million in the cab you are driving? Sia Ka Tian, a 70 year-old Singaporean cab driver, made the news worldwide when he returned a bag containing $1.1 million cash left behind in his taxi. The money was subsequently claimed by a Thai couple and the cabby was rewarded with an undisclosed amount. While Mr Sia is rightly lauded for his honesty, many others will think it was silly of him not to take the money. In fact, such is the incredulity generated by Mr Sia’s act that one news website…

No gallows

Death penalty for the government then?

Consider the following scenarios: First, the case of Noinoi. In 2006, Mohd Ali Johari was charged for the murder of his two-year-old step-daughter, Noinoi. He admitted to slapping her, immersing her in water repeatedly. He was a father at 17, a gambling addict, runner for illegal bookmakers, immature, deficient parent. He said he sometimes brought Noinoi home with him as he thought that she would help him avoid detection by the police. Look at “Nelly” and “Rose”. Nelly (aged six) was placed under foster care after her mother, uncle and grandfather were arrested for illegal gambling. She had been cared…