HO MY GAWD. Is that a monkey’s finger?

If anything, the past weekend has definitely taught us that social media is no monkey business.

Ho Ching (yes that Ho Ching) caused a stir yesterday when she shared a photo of a monkey giving the middle finger.

monkey2

Now those who follow her closely will know that she shares everything. Everything. Single. Thing.

But the timing for this post in particular was quite unfortunate, given the public disagreement between her bae and sis-in-law.

In fact, she soon felt the need to delete and apologise for the monkey’s middle finger.

Walao, zhun bo?! What button did she press?!

hcpress

I also didn’t believe it at first, so I investigated.

Looking through her Facebook feed felt as though I’m going through Buzzfeed. But I’m inclined to believe her explanation.

Even though she has since deleted the monkey photo, her Facebook feed yesterday is chock-full of pictures without context. Exhibits A, B, C and so on.

Which made me ask the next question. She gets a $500 SkillsFuture credit also right? Maybe she should spend it on a social media course, and see what kind of monkey pictures she could share instead.

Or you know, save the monkeying around for her Snapchat.

If you enjoyed my article, please like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

Budget buzzwords in simple English

Not sure if you’ve heard, but it’s the Budget season! This is the first time Heng Swee Keat is giving the Budget as our new Finance Minister, and just like past years most Singaporeans don’t give a crap.

UV33P

Unfortunately though, some of us have to face colleagues or friends who like to act as if they know current affairs. PAP this, SDP that. TPP here, Panama there.

So no choice – sometimes we have to engage these posers and act as though we know what they’re talking about.

anigif_enhanced-22834-1407189678-22

But don’t worry! We’ve prepared a list of buzzwords you can use, to appear knowledgeable about this year’s Budget.


Near-term concerns

Immediate problems; usually used in business context. So things like rental costs, manpower shortage or cashflow problems.

For example, forgetting your best friend’s birthday is a near-term concern because he’ll probably be annoyed for one day. But forgetting your girlfriend’s/wife’s birthday is a long-term problem because she’ll bring it up. Every single time you argue, for the rest of your miserable life.

Productivity

The ability or intelligence to make more with less. Somewhat like efficiency, but slightly different.

For example, some people can gain weight just by breathing in air. That’s called being productive. Others lose weight just by farting. That’s being efficient.

Trade Associations and Chambers

These are groups of (mostly) old men who seemingly gather for no other purpose than to eat catered food together. But instead of calling it “dinner”, they like to call such gatherings “annual general meetings”.

cafeteria-cliques-mean-girls-88046892

So they’re somewhat like the groups in Mean Girls, except hairier.

Subsidies/grants/vouchers/election goodies

giphy

Community networks

Help older Singaporeans stay active, be it physically or mentally. So like Facebook Groups, but for old people. And also in real life. Probably in void decks.

Resilience

The thick skin to tahan difficulties, and to try and solve them.

So for example, when your girlfriend/wife remind you that you forgot her birthday x years ago, being resilient means you bow and apologise again. Despite the fact that you have already apologised for the past x years.

sorry-gif-847


If the above cheat-sheet doesn’t help you impress your poser friends, you can always go with these tried and tested lines that can describe every single Budget in the past, present and future:

This year’s Budget is a prudent one.

On one hand, the Budget introduced many measures to help alleviate many short-term concerns that many Singaporeans have. On the other hand, the Budget will also help to navigate many long-term problems the economy may bring.

magic

If you enjoyed my article, please like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

Paul Tambyah loves Tharman, and that’s perfectly logical.

Paul Tambyah today professed his love for DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, describing DPM as the most brilliant out of Singapore’s current ministers.

He even went on to proudly share a ‘secret’ amongst the opposition parties:

“Many of us in the alternative parties hope that one day DPM Tharman will have a falling out with PM (Lee Hsien Loong) and will come out to lead a grand coalition of opposition parties – Pakatan Rakyat Singapura – to present a real alternative to the current PAP (People’s Action Party) government.”

Wow, that’s quite incredible. I wonder what Paul’s leader, Chee Soon Juan, thought of his suggestion. Afterall, as the leader of an opposition party, Paul’s suggestion would place Chee under the lead of DPM Tharman.

I don’t think Chee is the kind of man who would be pleased with someone else steering the ship, and Mr Chiam could probably attest to that.

But that aside I do agree with Paul Tambyah, DPM Tharman is indeed one hell of a minister. In fact, this is not the first time we sang praises for the man – we literally called him Tharman ‘Hood’ Shanmugaratnam after his performance at this year’s Budget!tharmanhood

And it is very easy to be more impressed when you look into DPM Tharman’s credentials. Cue drumroll.

tharman-drums

Not only is DPM Tharman in charge of Singapore’s finances and fiscal policy, the man was also selected as the chairman of International Monetary Fund’s International Monetary and Financial Committee.

In simple English, Tharman led the team that decided IMF’s policies. Yes, that IMF that works to reduce poverty around the world.

DPM Tharman was also selected by Euromoney as the Finance Minister of the Year in 2013. Nobody knows about this award (besides finance ministers perhaps), but Tharman’s won it for us.

And lastly, perhaps most impressively, DPM Tharman is part of the Group of Thirty. This is a prestigious group of 30 top economists and financiers specially set up to look at how economic and financial issues affect the world.

I’m not smart enough to know what it means, but looking at the list of people in that group I would say that DPM Tharman is in a pretty esteemed place.

On top of being world-renowned at his day job as the finance minister, DPM Tharman also has time to partake in all sorts of weird activities organized by his grassroot leaders.

King_Tharman_blowpipe1-600x450

No wonder even the opposition admires him!

If you enjoyed my article, please like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

My problems with the opposition parties

The opposition parties are out in force this time around – all 89 seats are contested, and most of their candidates seem to come from respectable backgrounds. Some of these candidates can even speak multiple languages, a fact that somehow always pleases the crowd at rallies!

But I’ve been thinking and observing over the past week’s campaigning, and some of the things these opposition parties say are starting to worry me.

angry girl

Uniquely Singaporean Parties

First and perhaps most obvious is the reluctance of opposition parties to try and form a government. Most of them are basing their campaign on blaming the PAP, and claiming that they will keep the PAP in check when they’re voted into parliament.

A rather odd logic, if you ask me. Perhaps it is another uniquely Singaporean trait – we have almost 10 opposition parties whose very point of existence is to provide diversity to the ruling party.

Singapore-political-parties-logos

Diversity is good?

Diversity seems to be another oft-repeated catchphrase for the opposition parties. Vote me in! So there’s diversity in the parliament!

Do we really want diversity, for diversity’s sake?

samesame

And at the end of it all, what does political diversity actually mean? WP has been described as PAP-lite, so I suppose the only diversity there is the color of their shirts. Yet they’re asking for voters to grant them 28 seats in the parliament.

To what end?

28 seats would not allow the WP to block constitutional changes suggested by the PAP, and neither would their opinions actually make a difference in policies. The only difference would probably appear in the bank accounts of the extra 21 MPs.

giphy

Policymaking can be scary

Perhaps to set themselves apart, the SDP put out a whole series of alternative policies on big issues like housing and healthcare. What do they say?

Free healthcare! Reduce housing prices! Implement minimum wage!

ezgif.com-add-text (1)

Errr. Somebody’s gonna pay for all those right? Easy, the SDP says. Cut defence budget by 40%, increase corporate taxes, and increase tax on the rich. Sounds good, but what does that actually mean?

It means our armed forces will be weakened significantly, when our neighbouring countries are becoming more nationalistic.

It means that companies, already facing the crunch from the lesser availability of foreign labour and a possible minimum wage regime, would need to incur even more additional costs.

This must be why even their leader Chee Soon Juan is astutely avoiding any mention of SDP’s policies at their rallies, because they know that when Singaporeans really think about SDP’s policies, they would realise that the policies are not viable at all. So all they talk about is the good old days, when every Singaporean led a relaxing life.

Sigh.

I Also Want to be a Town Council Managing Agent

MND yesterday revealed that FMSS, AHPETC’s former managing agent, made a profit of more than $2 million in 2013/2014. Including the directors’ fees and secretariat fees, the four owners of FMSS were apparently paid about $800k each in a single year.

Bloody hell! These people are better paid than PAPpies like Sim Ann, Maliki Osman and Teo Ser Luck! No wonder Maliki had to moonlight as a dancer.

According to the benchmark at Salary.sg, $800k a year means that the FMSS owners earn more than 99.3% of people in Singapore.

That’s a lot of money that the WeePies are giving to FMSS, and the WeePies believe that such payments are completely aboveboard and legit. For some reason though, FMSS no longer manages the WeePies’ towns – despite the fact that they’re so well-paid and that the WeePies are happy to pay such sums.

throwing-money-away

And this is why I’ve decided that I want to be a managing agent for the WeePies. Think about it – the WeePies need a managing agent, and I need a lot of money. We’re perfect for each other!

Plus, I have the qualifications that WeePies require:

As you can see, I possess the exact same qualifications that inspired the WeePies to hire FMSS back in 2011. Heck, I’d even offer a discount – I don’t need $3 million, pay me $2.5 million can already!

So WeePies, don’t wait already. Email me at zhunbosg@gmail.com after you win your GRC okay?

I’ll be checking my email on 12 September.

If you enjoyed my article, please like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

7 Things We Can’t Wait to See at GE 2015

Election season is here!

If you’ve been living under a rock or don’t have internet access, here are the dates you need to know: 1 Sept is Nomination Day, and 11 Sept is the Polling Day.

Then again, I doubt you’d be able to read this post if you actually live under a rock or don’t have internet.

Anyhow, this election is shaping up to be the first election where every constituency is contested. For all we know, PM Lee will no longer be PM in a few weeks’ time!

Of course, elections is not all about the results (unless you’re a political party of course). Here are 7 other things we are looking forward to in the coming elections:

1) The solidarity at National Solidarity Party

door

The doors at the National Solidarity Party have been very busy. Acting Secretary-General Hazel Poa and CEC member Mohamed Fazli left the party recently, and Steve Chia – whose intention to run in Macpherson SMC was the cause of Hazel Poa’s departure – has announced that he doesn’t want to run anymore.

The National Solidarity Party may not have solidarity within its own ranks afterall, and we can’t wait to see if they’re even running in this election.

2) Number of corners at Macpherson SMC

Closely related to NSP’s fate is the fate of Macpherson SMC. The PAPpies has confirmed that new mother Tin Pei Ling will be staying to defend her place, whilst the WeePies have staked their claim on this SMC as well.

NSP is continuing their flirtation with the SMC, so we don’t know for sure if there will be a three-cornered fight. For all we know, other parties might decide to join in the fun!

3) The comings and goings at PAP

In the name of ‘renewal’, the PAPpies are phasing out old stalwarts like Wong Kan Seng, Mah Bow Tan, Inderjit Singh and Hawazi Daipi. Minister Lui Tuck Yew is also stepping out of politics, and it remains to be seen where the PAPpies will be picking their ‘minister calibre’ candidates from.

Especially where the next Transport Minister will come from, since that seems to be the hot potato portfolio nowadays.

4) “Pursuant to Section 49, Sub-section 7e, Paragraph A of the Parliamentary Elections Act…”

Sadly, Yam ‘Robocop’ Ah Mee will not be starring as the Returning Officer this time. Instead, we will have Mr Ng Wai Choong, the Chief Executive of Energy Market Authority.

Nobody knows how he sounds like though, and we sincerely hope that he is as deadpan as his predecessor. Here’s a video of the standards Mr Ng would have to live up to:

5) Social media ‘experts’ to sprout like mushrooms

It has already started – the Straits Times has announced that this will be a social media-led election.

Which must be kind of demoralising to the volunteers working the ground since 2011, eh?

We also expect everyone to suddenly become a social media ‘expert’, and describe this as another watershed election where social media clinched wins and caused defeats.

6) The AHPETC house

This will obviously be a big thing during the election, especially since the WeePies promised to submit their financial reports by 31 August.

Will there be 3, 8 or 14 disclaimers? Or will the report finally be clear of disclaimers?

Only the WeePies know, and they’re holding this card close to their chest. We can expect the PAPpies to pounce on any financial irregularity the reports show, and Singaporeans would have to consider whether having an opposition voice is worth the financial mismanagement.

7) Chee Soon Juan

This will be the first election that Chee Soon Juan will be competing, since sitting out GE 2006 and GE 2011 because of his bankruptcy.

csjon8oct

Which Chee Soon Juan will we see this time?

Could we see fierce liberal who spared no punches in criticizing Singapore’s trade agreements with US? Or would we see the man that his own mentor, Mr Chiam See Tong, described as a ‘megalomaniac’ who wants the centre-stage all the time?

These are all very exciting angles for this coming GE, and we haven’t even talked about the Reform Party and Singaporeans First – both parties led by familiar names in local politics. Hell, for all we know Roy Ngerng might even decide to run against his old foe PM Lee in Ang Mo Kio GRC!

Exciting times ahead, indeed.

If you enjoyed my article, please like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

Top 7 quotable quotes from PM Lee’s National Day Rally

Today was the SG50 NDR, and PM Lee sounded like he had something for everyone. Help with housing for low- and middle-income families, more baby bonuses and even raising the retirement age.

Doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, poor or not so poor – there’s probably something in there for you. Even if you fly PM’s aeroplane like the WeePies you may also qualify something.

wp dinner

Anyway, this year’s NDR was a landmark speech. It is the NDR for the special SG50 year, and we are not surprised that PM Lee paid tribute to our pioneers and painted a bright SG100 in our future.

Here are 7 quotable quotes from this year’s SG50 NDR:

1. On water

Every now and again, when issues arose with Malaysia, some crazy politician would threaten to “turn off the tap” to get us in line. But we were not cowed.

2. On the government

We do right by Singaporeans.

3. On foreign workers

Every option has a downside.

4. On his responsibilities

I believe that I am doing what Singapore needs and what best safeguards your interest. If I did not believe that, I would not be doing it.

5. On the Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral

I was deeply moved to see the crowds stand their ground, paying their last respects to Mr Lee. Teardrops and raindrops fell together.

6. On Singapore’s future

Those people who feel daunted and think Singapore’s best days are behind us – They are wrong! Our best days will always be ahead of us.

7. On the coming elections

You will be deciding who governs Singapore for the next five years.

There were many quotable quotes from PM Lee, but I think the best of the night came from the late Lee Kuan Yew.

When asked if there will be a Singapore 50 years from now, Mr Lee said ‘Of course there will be. Even better!’

lky

Ng Chee Meng is a Camel: 5 Interesting Facts About the Outgoing CDF

So the cat is out of the bag.

Outgoing Defence Chief, Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng,  has announced his intention to enter politics. Nobody knows where he will be contesting in, but given his background as a fighter pilot we expect a lot of parachute jokes when his next battleground is confirmed.

In the meantime, here are 5 little-known facts that may interest you about the latest high profile PAPpie:

1) His pilot call sign is ‘Camel’

11223593_754489614659565_6371030508913555240_n

 

According to Wikipedia, a callsign is a nickname usually given to military pilots. These nicknames often play on the pilot’s surname, personalities, references to historical figures or past exploits.

None of the above reasons seem to apply to LG Ng. So why is he the camel?

Perhaps he could fly for long hours without drinking any water? Maybe because he ‘carries’ a lot of responsibilities for the SAF?

There are many possible reasons, but we like to think that it is a reference to LG Ng’s humps.

2) He commandeered the 144 Squadron at RSAF

LG Ng started his career as a fighter pilot with the 144 Squadron before rising to command the squadron. Based out of the Paya Lebar Air Base, the 144 Squadron is considered to be the best fighter squadron in the RSAF and handpicks top pilot graduates to join their ranks.

3) His family is full of stars

ng family

LG Ng’s oldest brother, Ng Chee Khern, was previously a two star general with the RSAF. His younger brother, Ng Chee Peng, also wore two stars on his epaulets as the Chief of Navy.

Combined with the three stars that LG Ng has, the Ng family has a total of 7 stars within the family.

Curiously enough, LG Ng Chee Meng is the only one out of the three brothers to not receive the President’s Scholarship, yet is the one who rose the highest in his military career.

4) One of his past jobs was Military Private Secretary to the Defence Minister

He was the Military Private Secretary to the Defence Minister back in 1995/1996. The Defence Minister back then? Current President Tony Tan.

We can’t seem to find any information on what a Military Private Secretary actually does, but we came across this article where another Navy guy described his experience. He didn’t say much, except that the experience gave him a glimpse of the vast scope of important responsibilities our Cabinet Ministers hold.

Okayyyyyy.

5) His current children will not need to serve NS

Keep your tinfoil hats, conspiracy theorists.

The reason why LG Ng’s children would not need to serve NS is not because their father was the head honcho of the SAF. Both his kids would not need to serve NS simply because they’re both girls – Sara Ng and Elisabeth Ng.

Of course, both of them can always volunteer after the Committee of NS (which LG Ng led) suggested the addition of the SAF Volunteer Corps…

If you enjoyed my article, please like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

Tharman, Sylvia Lim, and a metaphorical house

DPM Tharman had a feisty exchange with the WeePies MPs in Parliament today over their financial (mis)management in AHPETC.

A video of this exchange can be seen here.

It is quite a lengthy video, so its forgivable if you decide against watching it. Basically, WeePie/AHPETC chairwoman Sylvia Lim proclaims that the AHPETC‘s latest financial report only has 3 unresolved problems, as opposed to the 13 problems highlighted in the previous year’s report.

Just 3 problems, no big deal here! Because you know, 13 problems is okay, 3 problems is excellent, and 0 problem is simply a pipe dream.

wp2

Of course, someone with a mind as sharp as DPM Tharman’s would disagree with that logic.

tharman bullshit

Describing AHPETC as a structurally unsound house, DPM Tharman ask that the WeePies put in the hard work needed to fix the problems, and not to simply whitewash everything. He added that the problems at AHPETC are fundamental and basic issues that need to be looked at, and said that the WeePies have had a long time to fix these issues.

Oh, and DPM Tharman revealed that the problems at AHPETC are so bad that even MND’s $7 million grant would not be enough to solve the issues.

Ouch.

burn

The WeePies have not responded to this latest salvo, but we expect that any statement from AHPETC would simply say that they would be submitting their financial report in due course.

If we’re lucky, the AHPETC or WeePies would once again lament the life as an opposition town council, chide DPM Tharman for politicising the issue, and complain that MND is withholding the grants.

Because, you know, complaining about problems is much easier than actually fixing them.

If you enjoyed my article, please like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

Looking into Sylvia’s oyster omelette

From PM Lee’s infamous gaffe with his ‘mee siam mai hum, to uproar over Baey Yam Keng’s $2.50 nasi padangand the recent interest over Vivian’s relationship with fishballs – food and politics seem to always find each other in Singapore.

And now WeePie Sylvia Lim seems to have taken a leaf out of the PAPpies playbook – her first Instagram post featured the WeePies chairwoman enjoying a plate of orh lua (oyster omelette) at the Fengshan hawker centre.

The taste of Fengshan – heavenly! #reasonstowin

A post shared by Sylvia Lim (@sylvialim65) on

 

Our local media, ever so hungry for every morsel of election-speculative news, dug in with much relish.

Both The Straits Times and TODAY ran stories speculating that Sylvia Lim might be leaving her Aljunied GRC, and branching out into the new Fengshan SMC. This suspicion, according to both papers, was supported by Sylvia Lim’s cryptic hashtag ‘#reasonstowin’.

escalated

Calm down, people.

First, the WeePies have already committed to running in Fengshan SMC. And since her party has already committed to that SMC, shouldn’t Sylvia head over and lend their candidate some support? She’s one of the most recognisable opposition politicians in Singapore afterall.

In any case, she is still the chairman of the AHPETC. Sylvia Lim’s face was the one that represented AHPETC throughout their entire exchange with the government over AHPETC’s financial situation, and it be irresponsible of her if she were to leave her colleagues in the lurch.

Lastly, this is just someone going out to enjoy a plate of orh lua. Perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into it, and let her enjoy her dinner.

If you enjoyed my article, please like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!