Eh, hello. That’s not how to Honour Singapore, lah.

Honour Singapore was controversial for all the wrong reasons – accusations of steeplejacking – when it launched in August this year. But judging from their latest blog post, nobody need worry about any effective insertion of some extreme Christian Kingdom agenda into the national honour movement because THEY CAN’T EVENT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HONOUR AND COURTESY.

“KEEP TO THE LEFT FOR HONOUR!” screams the headline. Then it goes on try and link courtesy with honour, essentially by insisting that “honouring one another” is the same thing as courtesy.

ZeroWing forgreatjustice

Neither is it justice.

The blog, which publishes an article every week, seems to be stretched for “honourable” content, with past posts also conflating courtesy and consideration with honour. As a matter of fact, most of their posts seems to try REALLY really hard to talk about some subject, then quickly do a switch and jam the word “honour” in somewhere.

Honour is about knowing and doing what is good and right (morally). Moral uprightness doesn’t necessarily relate to courtesy. Even the morally reprehensible and dishonourable can be courteous.

Is Honour Singapore clueless about honour, or are they desperate for content? Well, at least we don’t have to worry about some Kingdom Dominion Theology (ED: for specificity) agenda coming to impose itself upon us.

Hecklegate splits opposition into 3 groups

by Daniel Yap

Love it, hate it, don’t know what to think? Reactions to the Hong Lim Heckling from the opposition camp have been mixed, but one way or another, everyone seems to be falling nicely into three categories.

1. Conspiracy theorist. Somehow they are the victim. They’re always the victim/hero. These guys are in turn supported by some folks with Guy Fawkes masks in their profile pictures who will argue about technicalities like how it wasn’t “heckling”, but just a damn blardy rude interruption, or else they will ad hominem people who condemn the act and label them all as PAP IBs. Damn, suddenly so many people become PAP IBs. If PAP was capable of plotting something so smooth and ingenuous, I swear I will join them right away.

Key points:
Done nothing wrong
It’s a PAP trap/plot
Conspiracy by YMCA, NParks, Police, MSM, and the parents of the disabled kids.

Key Members:
Han Hui Hui
Roy Ngerng
Alex Tan
Kenneth Jeyaretnam (EDIT: KJ has now been upgraded – or is it downgraded – to the level of conspiracy theorist.)

2. Silence is golden. Here stand most of the people who were vocally supportive of Roy and Han… until now. Unable to break ties with their most visible political allies but at the same time unable to jump onto the loony train and screw their credibility. Lie low and you may yet survive the shitstorm.

Key points:
Nothing at all, maybe share some articles written by other people to show that I’m still an ally, but don’t say anything because this shit is bad.

Key Members:
Leong Sze Hian
Chee Soon Juan
The Ice Cream Party leadership

3. The “reasonable” opposition. These guys are happy to distance themselves from the increasingly-alarming CPF gang. Full retard is just too much. Never go full retard.

Key points:
The protesters’ actions were uncalled for and inexcusable
Condemnable behaviour
Stop calling me a PAP IB

Key members:
Andrew Loh
Worker’s Party
Ravi Philemon

 

Roy and Han Hui Hui go full retard

by Daniel Yap

Roy Ngerng, Han Hui Hui and a bunch of their supporters have raised a ruckus at a YMCA charity event at Hong Lim Park and heckled disabled kids, among other low class acts. EDIT: Seems like TRS’ Alex Tan was there too.)

Teo Ser Luck was in attendance at the YMCA event as the guest of honour and there were even pictures of him getting verbal abuse from some crass thug. After heckling some poor disabled kids (and a bunch of elderly people and children) the rabble decided to march around Hong Lim Park chanting.

TOC tries to save their face by claiming that the mob moved off soon after, but honestly, does that make everything okay? Damage done. If you didn’t want to heckle disabled kids, you would have kept your mouth shut in the first place. Marching off somewhere else and keeping up your shouting isn’t brownie points in my book.

Of course, you’ll now be able to find all the low-EQ, anarchist/opposition tryhards actually standing up to DEFEND Roy and HHH’s antisocial, crass behaviour. At least it’s now really easy to spot an opposition nutjob. Ugh, these people actually make me want to join the PAP. *shudder*

Of course there was the HHH POV video of the Nparks Director of Parks and some policeman. While HHH was being an ass, she was largely within her rights and the officials were outclassed and underprepared. Sigh, doesn’t the civil service ever learn?

That Lying Beggar Auntie

by Daniel Yap

So there is finally a newspaper report about her scams. Wanbao followed up on a lead through STOMP and discovered that this auntie makes over a thousand dollars a night begging, lying and scamming. She has asked me for $500 before, but then I uncovered her scam over 45 minutes once I bought her tea.

She cries, lies, and makes more money on one weekend than you do in a month. Photo linked from STOMP http://goo.gl/6RIqLZ

I first met her in front of Red Dot Building in Tanjong Pagar on a weekday afternoon, maybe in 2012. She was sobbing and crying to a bunch of young office workers as I walked past on an errand. On the way back I saw she was still there sobbing by the pavement and stopped to try and help. She said she was hungry and I offered to take her to Maxwell Market to buy food. She declined. I offered to buy her tar pao food from Maxwell. She then claimed that her leg hurt and she wanted to rest there, and that I should just give her $5 instead so that she could go buy food later when she felt better.

She claimed to live in Ghim Moh and was only here in Chinatown (Tanjong Pagar actually, but I shan’t quibble) to meet someone who owed her money but who refused to return it. She said her children had abandoned her and that she had lived a “good life” but had been “taken advantage of”. She said that she worked at some big local company (I forget which) as a secretary but that she had been cheated of all her savings. She even invoked the name of some church she had attended and that was how she knew the person who owed her money, she said. She gave the impression that this was a temporary situation.

I was heading back to the office so just gave her the $5 and wished her well.

In 2013, I saw her again in Holland V (where I live), which didn’t raise alarm bells for me because she said she lived in Ghim Moh. She was sobbing along the pavement again and I came up to her to ask what had happened about that loan, and why was she begging still. When she realised that I had given her money before, her eyes lit up. I thought it was because of familiarity, but now I realise she saw me as easy prey.

This explained what she said next.

Her momentary flash of recognition quickly faded into sobbing again as she poured out a tale of how she had been a guarantor for a church friend’s son, but that both son and friend had defaulted and that she was left in the lurch. (In retrospect, I now realise how foolish a notion this is – that a penniless old woman could act as guarantor for a loan). The bank was after her. SHE ASKED ME FOR A $500 “LOAN”.

I don’t know why, but I still had a soft spot for her and I knew that I would never see the money again, but I wanted to do my due diligence and help her sort out a better solution to the “grave injustice” that had been done to her. I offered to buy her tea at the HV market and tried to uncover her story and talk to the players to reach a better outcome. Oh, how it unravelled from there.

She would make fake calls on her phone without actually dialling numbers, and furnished me with names and contacts that didn’t exist. She declined to say which bank the alleged loan was from. Nothing existed. I declined to give her $500.

She then proceeded to chide me for leaving her to suffer and die. I told her to go away, and she eventually did.

A friend of mine who worked at a market food stall (we were having tea at the market) then came up to me and told me about this woman. She knows about this old woman with the crocodile tears and the bag full of lies. She, and other stall operators, have seen her frequently begging and scamming in HV. She is not poor at all, my friend explained. She could be seen walking into the 7-11 or other shops nearby to change her small notes into 50s, and would change $400 or $500 at a time (the retail assistants would tell her, as they bought drinks from my friend’s stall). She made over $1,000 at each outing. Maybe more. The news reports say that she deposits the cash into a bank account, which I suspect contains more cash than some people’s CPF accounts.

The next time I saw her in HV, I asked her loudly who else she was planning to lie to today. She gave me a dirty, irritated look, seeing how I was blowing her cover and revealing the scam that she was running. If I see her doing this nonsense again, I think I will call the police and get them involved. It’s all on record now.

I’m glad the press has blown the cover on this woman’s disgusting antics. We have genuinely poor people working hard to make ends meet, and here is some greedy, rich scammer beggar sucking up money that should be going to properly-governed charities, like the now-renewed NKF, or to the folks at the rental flats nearby.

And for the rest of us – don’t be taken for a ride like I was.

 

What makes non-graduates valuable?

I’m really trying NOT to take the mickey out of PM’s NDR, but his section on ITE and Poly grads being successful really threw me off.

First, of course were the promises that the public sector will “place more emphasis on skills and ability” according to the ST report on Page 2. Some talk about merging some non-graduate and graduate tracks and changing the way people get promoted. Sounds like a plan (and perhaps merely a plan), as I have often complained on the hypocrisy of “meritocracy” in the civil service, particularly the different officer schemes in the SAF, and in disciplines where no specialised “degree level” qualification is needed.

A friend of mine, Jin Yao, has already pointed out on his blog how this whole “sell” just comes off as a bunch of hogwash. At this point in our meritocratic decline, I’ll only believe it when I see it. Until then, I take it as simply a political promise. I’m skeptical in this area.

Then he mentioned two things: “hard work” and “upgrading”… and that got me confused. Yes, hard work and continuous self-improvement are critical (and I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt by interpreting it as “self-improvement” rather than “upgrade to a degree”), but the real root of excellence for people in Poly and ITE is 1) respect for their craft and 2) passion for their craft. That then results in people spending hours honing their skills and, to quote an aspiring Pokémon Master, “be the very best. Like no one ever was.”

The new role model for ITE and Poly.

Of course, there’s also the typical lack of any sort of admission of poor governance. PM happily skips to “the solution” without addressing the causes of the problem – his own Government’s long-held policies and values.

How come all three of PM’s examples of non-graduates being given opportunities are from Keppel? Okay, they come from two different Keppel subsidiaries, but this really points to the fact that Keppel is doing well in this area or that the shipbuilding industry really values ability rather than paper qualifications. Seems like you have to join Keppel and do shipbuilding if you want to get anywhere without a degree.

Labour MP Patrick Tay (Nee Soon GRC) recently shared with a small group of influencers that he too was not comfortable with ITEs and Polys constantly boasting about what proportion of their students eventually went on to Poly/Uni, as evidenced by the many posters and advertising campaigns boasting “X% of our students made it to Poly” or “Y out of Z made it to the local university”.

This nonsense has to stop, and the public service is clearly a large part of the problem. Promises are easy to make, but if the public service hasn’t already solved this travesty by now, I don’t fancy their odds in the next couple of years.

Prosecute and extradite NS defaulters? Maybe.

by Daniel Yap

The noose is tightening for NS defaulters, and I fully approve. As one of the major sources of unhappiness in Singapore as far as fair treatment of citizens goes, NS defaulters should be made to pay the piper. It is the law, after all, and a commitment is a commitment – the benefits and responsibilities of permanent residency and citizenship go hand in hand. It is a matter of HONOUR.

According to this CNA report:

Dr Ng said that according to records, no such persons have been granted re-instatement of PR or citizenship. He added that the policy has been progressively tightened such that no NS-liable PR who renounced his PR status in the last decade has been granted approval for work or study.

For former PRs who fail to serve NS, any immediate or future applications for renewal of their parents’ and immediate family members’ Re-Entry Permits may be adversely affected, including curtailment of the Re-Entry Permit.

 

I heartily approve. A full one third of liable PRs shirk their duty – a disturbing trend. Add to that the fact that most non-Singaporeans don’t think that NS is part of the Singaporean identity… and we have a problem.

Even though I’ve long said that PRs, by definition, should not be doing NS, as long as the law exists, it must be applied. I’m not exactly sure about making family members pay for the foolish choices of one man – sometimes the parents are to blame, but sometimes not. It is hard to tell.

I’d love for the ministry to take this two steps further – prosecute and attempt to extradite NS defaulters who have fled to other countries. It seems rather pathetic that we should wait until the perpetrator returns to our shores to start proceedings against him, and most of these people simply choose never to show their faces here again. If we want to send a strong signal that NS is to be taken VERY seriously, especially at the time when the family members receive permanent residency, then we should ultimately go as far as extradition.

In this way we can honour the honourable PRs and citizens who have done their duty to our country.

We import foreign athletes? Hells yeah.

by Daniel Yap

Citizens are citizens, although Australia’s William Henzell may not be too happy about Singapore’s largely ex-Chinese team sweeping most of the table tennis medals at the Commonwealth games.

I’m okay with getting foreign-born athletes to commit to the nation and become a part of our country, if the scheme doesn’t significantly deprive Singaporeans of the chance to excel and raises opportunities for our people to do better.

Of course, there’s also the conundrum of how they are ACTUALLY Singaporeans as well.

The worst case would definitely be when a foreign-born athlete fails to integrate into our society, then packs up and leaves when his or her sporting days are over. If you want to buy in to Singapore, you have to buy in to the whole package. But alas, this is a humane society, and such fair-weather friends are free to go (and good riddance).

But we do have Australia to thank for one of Singapore’s most amazing foreign-born athletes – Aleksandar Duric. This guy’s story should be made into a movie. Don’t believe me? Go read it here on Wikipedia.

Duric came to us from Australia, on his own steam (not specifically for his excellent sporting prowess), and became a major piece of our nation’s football history.

So yeah, thanks for letting us have him, Australia. It was totally worth it.