Month: May 2010

Singapore Talking a bit

I watched the ‘live’ panel show ‘Singapore Talking’ for the first time last night, and only because I was invited to be on the panel of guests. It was also the last episode, and I got to see some things which, now when I think about it, isn’t surprising – the first half of the show is pre-recorded even though it’s a ‘live’ show, and several takes are done because some things which the host and the guests say may, in the producer’s opinion, have stepped on the virtual cowpat known as the OB marker. All I know is, the retakes weren’t my fault. I didn’t mention anything about my mother’s tongue, any minister’s name and pay, or anyone’s race or religion. Watered down or not, here’s Singapore’s some holds barred a little bit ‘live’ chat show: Singapore Talking Season Finale Tweet

How do you say U-turn in your mother tongue?

The mother tongue was already a serious problem back in my day. My father thought that since all I did was sit around at home watching Sesame Street in English and Ultraman in Malay (yes, Ultraman was dubbed in Malay), he’d send me and my brother to the best school in the land that taught in Chinese. That the school also happened to have taught our country’s prime minister and his brother was also a consideration, and it was hoped that both of us would be imbued with the same Confucianist approach to study. But it wasn’t to be. If I remember correctly, the school, wary of having it’s first student (me) ever to fail the PSLE CL1 (Chinese as a First Language) exam, changed its rules and created a special class of students (me) with special circumstances (nobody at home spoke Mandarin) and allowed me to take Chinese as a 2nd Language instead. For the five years I was in that school, I was as deeply embarrassed as a seven to twelve year old …

Pinkdot 2010

Yesterday evening we brought Kai with us to Hong Lim Park to help make a big pink dot in support of the country’s gay and lesbian community. We didn’t actually get to be part of the human formation that was photographed, because Kai was busy practicing walking, his hands held by two of his favourite aunties. But we were glad we attended. Because while this year’s Pink Dot “honours kinship and family – in support and recognition of… relatives and friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Singaporeans”, Naomi and I really want to thank our friends who’ve shown us so much love and affection all through our marriage and having Kai. To anyone who has the misfortune of having been led to think that to support the rights of the LGBT community is tantamount to shunning family values should take a look at my brand new family – we are so loved by our friends – gay, straight or whatever. Apart from a Godma, Kai has a “Butch Mama” and a “Fairy Godfather” …