Mr Miyagi’s definitive opinion about being sued over something written on a blog

You want (see comments in that post) Mr Miyagi to say something as regards the laws of defamation? Can!

Mr Miyagi says being ‘threatened with legal action’ is not a laudable achievement. Does not matter if it is in connection with something you blogged. Saying ‘I am the first Singapore blogger to be threatened with legal action over something I said about someone’ is like saying, ‘Hey, sliced bread! Cool!’.

Do not insinuate that by my silence over this matter I am afraid to talk about matters of any importance. My silence over this matter is because it bores the shit outta me, and the only important lesson in this whole debacle can be found in any law textbook to do with defamation. And this is not a law textbook to do with defamation.

I do however respect the right of every individual to talk about the matter till the cows come home and place themselves in parks and every available open space in Singapore.

But if you’re daring me and egging me to say something about the matter, here ’tis:

If you get ‘threatened with legal action’ because of something you wrote on your blog, I could recommend a coupla good lawyers, but you really should know better than to run with scissors. Also, you’ll now be used by several agenda-laden and sometimes misguided groups as a poster boy/girl for the poor, oppressed no-hoper Singaporeans who have internet access at the university they are obtaining their expensive degrees in. That doesn’t mean the world is sitting up and taking notice of you because you’ve achieved something or attempted to make the world a better place.

I can get the same kind of attention by standing naked in an MRT train. Once I get arrested and make the news, there’d be at least some quarters who’d defend me saying I’ve had my freedom of expression curbed.

But I don’t need that kind of attention.

I’d much rather write something about Steph Song and get strung up by her instead.

Oh, and another thing. The law’s the law, and you’re not immune even if you’re writing anonymously.

Go on. More cows coming home.

I’d much rather look at this

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Abraham, Martin And John – Marvin Gaye – The Very Best of Marvin Gaye, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

If I had that kind of money, I’d be a full-time perv too

And now, back to our regular programming at Mr Miyagi’s Cheekopek Glob.

My big fat grapevine told me a while ago that Thumper (the club where the car park plays host to couples fornicating in Porsches, y’know, that one?) was going into the modelling agency business. I din believe! But now, they’re distributing Comm. Cards (the postcard thingies where the models feature themselves on magazine covers and fashion spreads – collectors’ items, these.) to people who would hire these models for photoshoots and stuff.

Gotta hand it to the folks at Goodwood Park. They’re really into everything. Then again, if my family had that type of dosh, I would too. Modelling Agency leh!

Rebecca D
Wonder what the D stands for?

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Piano Concerto in a Minor, Op. 16 – The Starlite Orchestra – In the Mood for Romance, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Belated Anzac Day post

It wasn’t Anzac Day ten years ago when I was waiting for my train on the southbound platform at Wollstonecraft station on Sydney’s North Shore. But I’ll remember Anzac Day to you now because there was a kindly looking old man in a Digger’s hat selling paper poppies from a box that day.

It was a pretty November morning, and the jacarandas were littering the platform, as is usual that time of the year. Maybe it was the sight of the purple flowers that prompted me to go buy a red paper one from the old Digger.

When I did, he asked me where I was from. And when I said ‘Singapore’, he said to me in Hokkien, ‘Li Ho Boh?’ (How are you?), and ‘Selamat Pagi’, in Malay.

‘I was at Changi and at Selarang’, he explained, responding to the big, silent question mark on my face.

Pity my train came uncharacteristically on time, or else I would’ve loved to have talked at length about his time in Singapore.

That Digger’s story is part of our history, and like a lot of things to do with our history, we’ve got to rummage around our spanking new National Libraries’ archives/vaults/depositories before we can hear these important voices. I second mr brown’s proposal to bring these voices to the fore. It will be interesting. And at the very least, we’ll see that our history isn’t mired geographically.

Changi Peninsula

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Never Broken – Cassandra Wilson – Traveling Miles, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

A Holland Village epiphany

I’ve been spending more time than usual at Holland Village, and at one of my favourite coffee shops. The one that sells roast pork, chicken wings and pretty decent drinks.

A few afternoons ago, I sat there nursing my second Tiger mug of iced coffee because I had been thirsty enough to order but not drink two. At 2.30 in the afternoon, Holland Village, as you know, is still pretty busy with slow moving cars and slower moving people. And it was such a blazing afternoon, people were moving even slower than usual. Even the Jack Russell terriers being taken down the street to the vet/petshop weren’t as spritely as they ought to be.

And as you know, Holland Village is always chock full of Ang Mohs of all nationalities. So much that the anti-terrorist barriers are still in operation between 7pm and 7am on some of the more popular Ang Moh streets, where Coffee Leaf and Tea Bean and the likes are located: “There will be no terrorist activity between 7pm and 7am on these streets because the terrorists are not allowed to vault over this flimsy metal gate between these hours”, says a sign that doesn’t exist. But ought to be there. So terrorists would know. Bombing is not allowed. There is a gate. It is locked.

But anyway, that afternoon, at the coffeeshop with me were two Ang Moh men, sitting at separate tables, minding their own business, which wasn’t much. The first man was seated facing the back of the second, and was mulling over his Tiger mug of Tiger, and the other, seated one table away from the first was poring over some book.

Then it happened. The second man leaned to his left so that half his backside was off the plastic chair. And let out a god almighty audible fart. It was a toot long and loud enough above the traffic noise to startle himself and the people at the coffeeshop. There was a very pregnant pause as everyone, coffee stall owner, charsiew, roast pork stall owner and chicken wing man, all turned towards the direction of the sudden noise. The Ang Moh sitting behind the Tootler was already choking on his Tiger trying to stifle his giggles. Then everyone burst out laughing.

The poor bugger-who-thought-this-big-one-would-be-a-silent-stinker sat frozen, probably not able to decide whether to acknowledge his audience, or get up and flee.

Half the tiger in my tank
Iced Coffee also comes in Heineken mugs

Sorry. Reflex. Nothing to do with this post. Not bad though.

Surf stop: je suis libre

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: tmbs-050426 results may vary – mrbrown – the mrbrown show, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Fragile patch

On Sunday, I went for my second haircut in a month at my friendly (and chio) hairstylist’s. Before the last haircut, I had been going to the barber’s for a convenient but nosso nice crewcut. But you know, you have to pamper yourself every now and again. And my hair grows really quickly.

So, for a little bit more than what I pay the barber, I had a shampoo and scalp massage by some funky dude whose name I didn’t get again, and a stylish haircut by the chioest hairstylist you’ll ever see this side of Orchard Road. Actually, she could give me a Mohawk and I still wouldn’t mind. Or notice. Until I got home and my mother were to ask, ‘why you look like red indian?’

Cheryl the Chio started the usual hairstylist/barbershop conversation, but steered clear of politics (because this place, damned stylo one), asking me what movies I had seen lately, whether I had been clubbing, and asking why I didn’t go to the Zouk 20th Anniversary Bash.

I yammered away, as you would to a chio hairstylist who asked you those things: Went to Mohd. Sultan instead lah, had teh lah, nowsaday cannot drink lah, too old to party lah.

Then Cheryl suddenly asked, ‘Eh, before you came back here last month, you went to the barber for a crewcut right?’

I said yes.

‘You shouldn’t’

‘Why not?’

‘Because you have a fragile area’

‘WHAT YOU MEAN FRAGILE AREA?’, I asked, so loudly that the other customers turned to look, causing their respective stylists to go tsk (or ‘zhk’, depending on whether you’re a pinyinophile or a wade-gilesophile. Gotta get these things right, you know?)’ because they nearly cut their customers’ ears off.

‘There’s one part of your hair that grows more slowly than the rest’.

‘Oh no! Beijing 101 time!’

‘Don’t worry. I style for you and give that area more volume’.

Looks empty? It’s not. Everyone’s hiding below the window sill.

Next Hair Salon
Pre-haircut and waiting for my cup of tea.

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Waltzing Matilda – Slim Dusty – West of Winton, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Baluku your head ah!

If you don’t already know, there’s at least one local blogosphere controversy every day. Today’s stoush of choice comes courtesy of mr brown’s, where his use of the local colloquail colloquil vernicular word has stirred up a hornets’ nest of purists and non-purists alike. I have little to say about this issue, as with all other issues, except that I have not sullied anyone’s mother tongue, and there is no such thing as a mother tongue. We don’t play mother one.

This one is your mother and you speak her tongue

Surf stop: DavidTheTan
iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Take a Letter Maria – R.B. Greaves – The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

‘I like Singapore. It’s very beautiful. We see it from the boat’

As she was ladling the rest of the stock into my bowl of Pho, Mrs Nguyen said, ‘I like Singapore. It’s very beautiful. We see it from the boat’.

I was at my first dinner over at Julie’s parents’ in the south-western suburb of Lakemba, where from then on, I was always guaranteed a bowl of the best MSG-free Pho in Sydney because Julie herself hated the stuff. As far as possible, Jules would sneak out for a sandwich or felafel or anything, as long as it wasn’t Vietnamese. Jules and I became friends at law school only because I loved Vietnamese food and she hated it, and she had brought me home that first time so I could finish everything her mother cooked.

It’s no surprise I was 10kg heavier than I am now when I hung out with Jules. Her mum cooked the tastiest Vietnamese food I’ve ever eaten. Apart from that, Jules was really fun to be with, especially when she was with her best friend, Nu, and the two of them would often put on Spice Girls skits on the train to Uni. But it was Jules’ hilarious ignorance of all matters Vietnamese that made it even more fun.

Once, when it was reported that one of the members of the notorious 5T Gang had been killed, she had said very innocently, ‘Now, they have to call themselves the 4T Gang’.

Things only got a little closer to home for Jules when Nu’s brother was arrested in connection with the murder of a NSW State MP. At that point, I felt that it was the first time either Jules or Nu had to confront anything Vietnamese. But Jules simply said, ‘Crime’s just crime and it’s got nothing to do with whether you’re Vietnamese or Lebanese’.

Of course, the popular sentiment at that time was that ‘ethnic groups’ caused crime, and children of ‘non-english-speaking-background’ were industrious and scored the best places at the best universities. Such that one of the jokes bandied about at that time (and bandied about by a stand-up comedian of Vietnamese origin called ‘Hung’) went:

How do you know when your house has been burgled by a Vietnamese?

Your dog is gone and your kids’ homework’s done.

It was at another, later Pho binge at Jules’ parents’ that Mrs Nguyen again said, ‘I like Singapore. Very beautiful. We see it from the boat.’, and I had looked up (from placing my face directly over the bowl) and asked what turned out to be the question that opened the can, ‘Oh, how long did you stay in Singapore?’

‘We did not go to Singapore. We only see from boat’.

‘Why not?’, I ventured further, realising only at the end of my question that she had meant seeing Singapore from their refugee-filled boat.

‘They did not allow us. They give us oil (fuel), give us food, give us water, then they pull the boat away from Singapore. Julie will not remember. She was only 18 months old’.

Further conversations with Jules’ brother and father revealed that their boat had been towed out to international waters, where they were picked up by Malaysian coastal police boats, and the refugees were placed in a camp somewhere on the east coast of Malaysia. The Nguyens were later accepted under an Australian resettlement initiative, and have been living in Sydney since 1977.

The last time I spoke with Jules, she had just quit her job as a tax lawyer and had taken on what she felt was a more fulfilling job as a family lawyer in a smaller firm. Over the phone, I could hear her mother interrupting her now and again, and she had shouted back in her typically Australian-accented Vietnamese. I wanted to ask her how her mum’s Pho master stock was doing, and whether she was still making Pho feasts from it, but I figured Jules wouldn’t have cared the least for it, and she’d have talked more about how the damned Starbucks and Borders outlets were taking over Sydney.

Jules, Sydney 1997
Jules eating Tom Yam soup because it’s Thai and not Vietnamese. Sydney 1997.

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Traum durch die Dammerung – Nai-Yuan Hu\Nelson Padgett – A chance of sunshine, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.


It looks like another Working Weekend. I rilly, rilly need a holiday, and it doesn’t make it any better when wallflower writes about her trip to my favourite island in the whole wide world. In two parts some more. Though she didn’t quite seem to like it. Got holiday still complain!

Stranded on an island with this one? Not too foul. I’ll Survive.

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Walk Like a Man – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons – The Very Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons [Music Collection], of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Maybe I weighed in on the mature issues?

Nabeh, what does a blogger have to do to get noticed? How come Steven McDermott didn’t name this blog as one of the infanteow ones?

I did everything right! I have chiobu pictures, I have iTunes music, I have Surf Stops, I talked about Fiona Xie, I talked about the weather, I talked about blogging! How come still don’t have?

Come on, Steven! You cannot claim to be on to something when you don’t even recognise the infantilitlility of this blog! Look deeper and closer, Steve! Yes, buy an airticket, fly here. Immigration will let you through, don’t worry. I’ll buy you a kopi-o and a hum cheem pang for your trouble.

Infantile blogger
Some people are only ever concerned with being funny, food, stuffed toys and stylish accessories.

Surf stop: The Accidental Blowjob (this link should earn me some Singabloodypoints!)
iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Alamuhan – – , of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

I posted on Tomorrow today

There is so much work. There is so much else other than work. My sleep debt is piling up and I’m having trouble paying back the interest alone. But cannot schleep! Because why? Because we live in such essiting times! We have a new project leh! Like so:

I know lah! Everybardy already put this up! I have to work ok? Think what? Every hour online ah? is buzzing now, and there’s a fair bit to iron out still, but as long as you all participate, it’ll keep getting better. All contributions welcome, all ideas considered. Only thing is, think before you contribute, because it makes it easier for the moderators. Think about what, you may well ask? Think about whether it’s a dead horse you’re flogging, and if so, whether it’s worth flogging that dead horse.

Wouldn’t mind sleeping if I could wake up next to this one.

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray – Patsy Cline – Through the Eyes of Patsy Cline – An Anthology Disc One, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.