Secret blog of a P65 MP: Part 6

P65 - It's Where We Talk
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Dear Blog,

Yes, it is time to move on to other things, put things in perspective and focus on the big picture. There have been so much negative news lately that I imagine Singaporeans would be quite disheartened if they were to continue talking about them.

So kudos to my colleagues for taking the lead and posting their musings on other things that make us Singaporean.

There are so many unique things about Singapore that we tend to forget and overlook, and we should be proud of our culture and heritage, and remember what makes us attractive to foreigners. Do not forget that other countries are also developing fast, and taking in more than their fair share of talented foreigners. We must not lose out.

In order to do that, we must embrace the global economy and various global cultures, but within limits, of course. And foreigners who want to embrace our own economy and culture must also understand and accept these limits.

It is time to repair our reputation, and I hope every Singaporean will join me in doing so.

More later. I have to check on our security guard and make sure he is not sleeping. We backbenchers don’t have Gurkhas from the GC. Those guys never fall asleep on the job.

-P65 Roxx!

NEA to reduce energy consumption in households

Here’s an idea for saving energy: turn off the ERP gantries

When I read the headline, I thought, “oh no, they’re gonna use the ERP method of reducing consumption”, and then I read on and found out they’re using the lucky draw method instead.

Much better than my parents’ day when they used coin-operated heaters in their flat in Australia when they were students. No more coins, no more heat, and then they walked ten miles to uni.

Wine Garage

We don’t drink, so we might never have gone to the Wine Garage for a meal if not for our friend telling us how awesome the food was. We like awesome food because they taste good.

Chef Travis Masiero smokes his own bacon. No, really. Who in this day and age smokes their own bacon? Next thing they’re gonna tell us is that bacon comes from pigs.

There were a few items on the Wine Garage’s menu that sounded too heavy to be ordered in a combo, in one sitting, but as our friend puts it, we’re ‘enablers’. Once one of us feels like eating something, the other says, ‘Good call, go fer it!’.

And so, we ordered pork skewers with watermelon cubes, chips and blue cheese fondue, two burgers (the one with the home-smoked bacon), a pasta and a spinach salad, expecting to eat ourselves to death. But, and this was very surprising, it didn’t feel like it was a mistake at all. We were sated, and at the right degree of fullness too, if there’s such a thing.

Feeling really good after such an awesome but non-lethal meal, we then proceeded to go across the river to The Central, where we tipped ourselves over the edge with some Azabu Sabo ice-cream.

The Wine Garage
30 Merchant Road (map)
#01-07 Riverside Point
Singapore 058282
Tel: (65) 6533 3188

No torch, no medals, no records, no nothing…

Image from

The torch relay bypassed Singapore probably because protests are only to be held indoors, with a licence, in designated areas. I dunno.

Then there’s news that the Youth Olympics might be a Games without medals or records. That is the sucks! Might as well not have athletes.

I mean, they even give out prizes in primary schools for egg and spoon races and I personally would have had a record in my school’s hall of shame for most number of eggs broken.

Never die before is it?

Dying to see Gregor Schneider's latest work? Don't worry - you could be in it - Times Online
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“Never die before is it?”

That’s what my mother and other older relatives used to say to me, my siblings and other cousins who had been naughty.

That used to puzzle me a bit. Not too much, because I was more concerned with the immediate pain associated with a slap or a session with the rattan cane. A couple of foolhardy times, I had spoken back with the obvious retort, “No, never die before”.

The cane coming down on my legs made a swishing sound that, if you listened carefully, was saying with a lisp, “you will now, shhhtupid”.

This is my blog, and therefore that anecdote is somehow associated with the following story about a German artist who is planning to display a dying person and call it art.

He wants someone whose dying hours will be spent in an art gallery with the public admiring the way the light plays on the flesh of a person gasping for the last breath.

I’m wondering how he’s going to audition suitable candidates. The interview might go something like, “Have you died before? No? So what makes you think you’re a suitable candidate? Oh, you’re dying, is it? Well, buster, I have news for you! We’re all dying, punk! Take a number!”

Maybe I’m a plebian, but I really don’t see how displaying a dying man “restores grace” in death, or how displaying a starving dog or blood from self-induced abortions is art.

I had a really bad bout of food poisoning today, and contemplated calling my ‘installation’ the ‘three flush purge’, but thought better of it. It’s just not art.

Shit for brains

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If this is true, then it really, really sucks.

Apparently there’s an “artist” called Guillermo Vargas who took a stray dog off the street and displayed it starving to death. And called it an art piece.

From The Guardian:

The Costa Rican has been called an animal abuser, killer and worse over claims that a stray dog called Natividad died of starvation after he displayed it at an exhibition last year at the Códice Gallery in Managua, Nicaragua. Vargas tethered the animal without food and water under the words ‘Eres Lo Que Lees’ – ‘You Are What You Read’ – made out of dog biscuits while he played the Sandinista anthem backwards and set 175 pieces of crack cocaine alight in a massive incense burner. More than a million people have signed an online petition urging organisers of this year’s event to stop Vargas taking part.

Online petition here.

A good reason to localize: two killed over sms error

Localization Problems: A Cellphone's Missing Dot Kills Two People, Puts Three More in Jail
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Maybe rednano should try scare tactics.

Localisation could have saved the lives of two people in Turkey (via Gizmodo):

The surreal mistake happened because the ex-husband’s cellphone didn’t have an specific character from the Turkish alphabet: the letter “ı” or closed i. While “i” is available in all phones in Turkey—where this happened—the closed i apparently doesn’t exist in most of the terminals in that country.

The use of “i” resulted in an SMS with a completely twisted meaning: instead of writing the word “sıkısınca” he wrote “sikisince.” Ramazan wanted to write “You change the topic every time you run out of arguments” (sounds familiar enough) but what Emine read was, “You change the topic every time they are fucking you” (sounds familiar too.)

A rude and painful shock

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So the report is out, and our apartment’s security guard intimated that there were some areas of Singapore where apartment security was stricter, and where security guards like him were instructed to always take down particulars of visitors and their vehicles and not let anyone who didn’t oblige with their particulars into the private compound. At all.

“I was instructed to take down all particulars and not let anyone who didn’t oblige with their particulars into the private compound. At all”,
he said.

He also told me that visitors to our apartment block had complained about his conscientiousness, saying that he was harrassing them when all they wanted to do was to drive into the visitors’ lots and visit their friends.

He found it very difficult to do his job properly, he said. Some people just don’t care about security, he added.

If only all security guards, including the sleepy night guard, were like him. Not only is he a conscientious security guard, he’s also been our rental intelligence. One of the apartments in the development is going for $7,000 a month, he says.

“That’s really crazy”, I say. “And that’s why we have to move. Our income hasn’t increased by 120% in line with rentals”, I say.

We’re gonna miss him.