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.

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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.

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Low could be Prime Minister

Five Stars and a Moon asked a really interesting question last week – can Mr Low Thia Khiang be Prime Minister of Singapore?

Mr Low, as they rightly pointed out, is the leader of the WeePies and that means that he would likely become the Prime Minister if the WeePies wins the majority in Parliament. We now know that the WeePies will not win the majority, since they will only be running for 28 seats.

What if, however, the WeePies win their 28 seats and the other opposition parties pull their weight and take another 17? The opposition parties could form a coalition government with 45 seats and remove PAP from power for the first time since Singapore’s independence!

Would Mr Low, as de facto leader of the opposition, then become the Prime Minister of Singapore? What would that be like?

ltk

Five Stars and a Moon suggested that Mr Low would not be a good Prime Minister, because he is a for-profit businessman and is not eloquent enough to represent Singapore. Instead of Mr Low, they suggested that either Ms Sylvia Lim or Mr Chen Show Mao would be more suitable as Prime Minister.

We disagree.

While Mr Low is definitely not as well-spoken as Ms Lim or Mr Chen, he’s not had the dishonor of running a Town Council to the ground. Perhaps his expertise in running a for-profit business helped when he was running Hougang SMC, where he was MP for 20 years before leaving for Aljunied GRC in 2011. This financial acumen would be sorely needed in a scenario where WP and another opposition party rules Singapore, because PAP’s financial guru Tharman would likely be gone, and we wouldn’t want Singapore to be bankrupt.

Eloquence is not all that matters when running a country. Ms Lim’s time with Aljunied has showed us that she needs more experience.

sylvia-nothing

And please forget about Mr Chen Show Mao – that is assuming that you haven’t forgotten about him of course. Even though it seems like he has more scholarships than the entire civil service combined, Mr Chen has a natural knack of not delivering at key debates. Perhaps he can run for the President, where his talent for reading prepared speeches would be put to good use.

Of course, the other opposition parties would have to agree to Mr Low being Prime Minister. It is a coalition government afterall. Would they nominate their own leaders? SDP’s Chee Soon Juan, RP’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam and whoever is leading NSP when the elections come around – we may have a by-election for Prime Minister!

Do you think Mr Low is the ideal Prime Minister amongst the opposition party leaders? Let us know what you think at zhunbosg@gmail.com!

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Did the PAPpies goof it up with the new boundaries?

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) released their report today, and there are a few major changes:

1) GRCs are now smaller with more 4-member GRCs around;

2) More SMCs, including Tin Pei Ling’s own Macpherson;

3) No more Joo Chiat, which was the most tightly-contested constituency in 2011; and

4) Two new GRCs – Jalan Besar (formed largely by the previous Moulmein-Kallang GRC) and Yew Tee-Marsiling.

electoral boundaries

So what do these changes mean? For all parties, PAPpies included, the changes mean that they would have to reshuffle their teams. For example, its unlikely for Lui Tuck Yew and Yaacob to continue co-leading the new Jalan Besar GRC. Same goes for opposition parties, with the WeePie Mr Yee Jenn Jong expressing his extreme sadness today in reaction to the report.

Such reshuffles are common though, and should come as no surprise.

What really surprised us was the odd re-drawing of boundaries. You see, people are always accusing the PAPpies of re-drawing boundaries to benefit themselves by either breaking up opposition strongholds, or drawing boundaries such that it is difficult for opposition parties to compete.

Today, they did neither.

Smaller GRCs and more SMCs mean that it would be easier for opposition parties to compete because they can now form smaller teams for the smaller GRCs or send one individual to fight in an SMC. One of these SMCs, Macpherson, is also likely to be contested by PAPpie Tin Pei Ling, who wasn’t very popular last time round. The opposition parties must surely clamor to compete in this new SMC.

Aljunied GRC, Hougang and Punggol-East were left completely untouched, giving WeePies the chance to stay there and consolidate their support. We wouldn’t be surprised if the senior WeePies like Mr Low Thia Khiang and Ms Sylvia Lim stay there, and send their now-experienced colleagues like Mr Chen Show Mao and Mr Pritam Singh to lead their own GRC teams.

time to run

Yes, the new boundaries essentially mean that WeePies can strengthen their current constituencies while competing in new areas.

If the PAPpies were really trying to give themselves an advantage with the new boundaries, they may have goofed it up.

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We’re running out of backyards, people!

Is this another case of the Not In My Backyard Syndrome (NIMBY)?

The Residents’ Committee (RC) in Toa Payoh put up a notice last year, saying that they would be building an RC centre at The Peak @ Toa Payoh. Some residents were unhappy about it, and signed a petition against the plan. Concerns cited include ventilation, lighting and safety of the area.

I wonder if the same concerns would apply if the plan was to build a private swimming pool, private carpark, or a tennis court instead of an RC centre.

Doubt there would be as much unhappiness if the plan was to build some fanciful facility that would increase the value of their flats! In fact, one resident even came out to say that even though an RC centre was necessary, she would rather “have it built elsewhere”.

nimby-syndrome-cartoon

Sigh.

This is sadly not the first time something like that has happened in Singapore. Serangoon Gardens, that Bishan nursing home and now an RC centre. Everyone wants more facilities, but only if these facilities were built elsewhere.

If everyone wants something to be built on other people’s backyards we are going to eventually run out of backyards OK?

At this rate, we’re going to have to import sand from Indonesia just to have enough backyards to build things. And that is not fun at all.

sandbaby

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Dear TRS, I think you may have screwed up this time.

The editors at The Real Singapore (TRS) have been hauled up and charged in court for fabricating articles that stir shit between Singaporeans and foreigners. The biggest surprise was that one of the editors caught was a foreigner herself!

Why would she do that? For big profits of course.

Someone else has estimated that TRS makes at least $10k a month from online ads, and they have bought a big house at Brisbane. How ironic – a foreigner coming all the way to Singapore to stir shit between Singaporeans and foreigners, so that she can go home and buy a big house.

trs house

Sigh, if only I could make so much money by talking nonsense on this blog.

Anyway, they will be represented by Mr Remy Choo, one of The Online Citizen founders. Nice to see The Online Citizen and TRS helping each other out!

ai takagi

On the note of helping each other out, I’ve decided to write an entry in the style of TRS as my homage to the probably-soon-to-shut-down website:

Dear TRS,

I am a Singaporean who used to write fake articles online. These articles were very popular and stirred a lot of shit between Singaporeans and foreigners. In fact, they were so popular I had to come out and apologise for a few of them!

But all good things come to an end. My boss who was based in Australia replaced me with his foreigner girlfriend. Yes!!! A foreigner came in and took my job, just like what my fake articles suggested!!! He said she was better at writing fake articles, and was so good that she might get arrested one day!

I was very angry but also powerless. I didn’t expect the Ministry of Manpower to help me. So I decided to go to Australia and be a dishwasher.

I’m not asking for anything by writing my article here. I just want to let everyone know that even as a writer of fake articles YOU CAN BE REPLACED.

A. Tan

TRS contributer

Disclaimer: This is a platform for users to submit content and all views and opinions expressed by author(s) within the website are solely that of the contributors and in no way reflects the views of us. Nonetheless, all the profits belong to us.

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Mr Lee’s greatest achievement

I woke up to the news that Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s condition has worsened today, and I fear the inevitable will happen soon. And many views have poured forth since his hospitalisation in early February.

Me?

I think in Mr Lee we have a man who, despite all the difficulties before him, led a team and made many difficult decisions that brought Singapore to where we are today. He had a vision, and the iron in him to drag every Singaporean towards this vision. And because of him and his leadership, we have what we have today.

Mr Lee is a great man, who brought Singapore to greater heights. But his greatest achievement yet was to make sure that life in Singapore would go on without him.

The selfish side of me wants Mr Lee to soldier on, recover and celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary with us. But I would not begrudge his decision to join Mrs Lee and celebrate their lives together on the other side.

Whichever path he goes on, I trust that Singaporeans would be behind him as always. Life will go on, and I thank Mr Lee for that.

lky

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Being the gahmen must be tiring

As much as I like to make fun of the gahmen, I sometimes feel that their lives are quite sad.

This is because no matter what they do, people online would just attribute it to some reason.

If the gahmen do it soon after elections, it’ll be because the gahmen is trying to ‘fix the opposition’. If the gahmen do it a few years after elections, it’ll be because the gahmen is trying to buy votes. Just because elections in Singapore must be held every five years, and everyone seems to be counting down.

five-years

This is how people in Singapore see the gahmen’s actions:

five-year-chart

Sad right?

During the first two years or so, everything the gahmen does is to fix the opposition and make voters repent. Gahmen announce upgrading? They’re definitely trying to make voters repent by making them jealous. Announce tax rebates? Definitely fixing opposition.

From the third year onwards, everything the gahmen does would magically turn into methods to buy votes. Even if they do the same thing! Announce upgrading – OH NO elections coming, gahmen trying to buy votes. Tax rebates? Obviously elections coming, because gahmen trying to buy votes.

It’s a tiring life, being the gahmen. Right now, there’s probably some PAPpie minister out there wondering if his decision to go out and eat dinner might be seen as an attempt to buy the vote of hawkers, when the only thing he wants to buy is a plate of chicken rice or curry.

No wonder PAPpie Sam Tan decided to give up on eating out, and start cooking for himself.

sam-tan-cooking

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Practical checklist for concert organisers

There’s been a little hoo-ha about the Futures Music Festival recently – apparently, the organiser Livescape went ahead to sell concert tickets before getting a licence for their event. The licence was ultimately not granted, and the event has been cancelled. 15,000 tickets have been sold so far, which is a hell lot of refunding to be done.

Things must be really awkward in the Livescape office right now. Especially after their marketing people came up with the #KeepFMFAAlive ‘movement’.

But don’t worry, other concert organisers! I’ve prepared a really practical checklist to help you avoid such situations:

1) Apply for all the permits and licenses you need.

2) Start selling tickets.

money

THAT’S ALL. Isn’t this a great and practical checklist? It’s quite straightforward really!

Want to hold your thingy outdoor? Here you go. Want to sell beer? Click here! Want some music to go with the beer? Here!

See? Easy right? All I did was to Google ‘outdoor license’, ‘music license’ and ‘alcohol license’. Getting these licenses is extra important if the event you want to organise has a reputation for drug abuse, so don’t forget ok!

Unfortunately, Livescape didn’t follow my checklist, so there will be no rave party at Changi this weekend. I’m sorry for not sending this checklist to them earlier.

To make up for my sins, I hereby present to you a gif of Teo Chee Hean dancing with The Prez-matazz himself, Doctor Tony Tan:

teo-chee-hean-dance

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Sandwiches of Singapore, rejoice!

I would be honestly surprised if there’s anyone in Singapore who still doesn’t know what ‘sandwiched class’ means. In their reports about yesterday’s Budget, every single paper and TV channel referred to this ‘sandwiched class’ and highlighted all the different perks this ‘sandwiched class’ was getting.

In case you honestly don’t know what ‘sandwiched class’ means, here’s what Wikipedia has to say: Very generally, the sandwich class consists of lower-middle-class people who feel “squeezed” — although they are not poor, they are not able to achieve their aspirations as people with a higher income.

So basically, ‘sandwiched class’ refers to almost everyone in Singapore lah. And why should all of us sandwiches rejoice then?

Because apparently, we’re getting a whole lot of new benefits from Mr. Tharman Hood himself. Here’s the run-down

If you’re a simple sandwich with no kids and don’t need to take care of parents…

simplesandwich

– Free ‘SkillsFuture’ Credit of $500 for us to sign up for courses that can be practical (like carpentry and accounting) or impractical (trigonometry and HR management)

– Gahmen will co-pay for salary increments, so your boss will be happier to give you an increment since it costs less

– CPF salary ceiling increased to $6k. Short-term pain, long-term gain I think!

– Increased cap in Supplementary Retirement Savings, which is another way of getting a tax rebate!

– Additional 1% interest for first $30k of CPF, when you hit 55. Free money just take.

– GST voucher increased by $50. Free money!

– Rebates in S&CC. WeePee GRC don’t need, because they don’t need to pay S&CC anyway!

– Personal Income Tax rebate. WOOHOO. Free money again!

If you’re a sandwich with aged cheese (need to take care of parents) will get these additional stuff…

sandwich-old-cheese

– Parents will get Seniors Bonus, which is twice the GST voucher. Free money!

– Parents older than 65 will get an additional $300. Free money, again!

Sandwiches with fresh tomatoes (those with kids) will get these additional stuff…

sandwich-tomato

– Top-ups to Child Development Accounts. Free cash for your kids that covers education and healthcare.

– Free exams from PSLE to A levels. Seriously overdue but at least they finally got around to it.

– Free $150 to Edusave account. Free money, but I think can only use for CCAs.

– Free $500 to Post-Secondary Education Accounts, which parents can use for Uni, JC, Poly and ITE fees.

– Cut in maid levy. Yay, if Indons don’t cut off their maid supply!

Wow. That’s a whole long list of stuff. Free money to help in education, free money to help people retire, and in some cases – free cash for us to buy things.

No wonder everyone is saying that the sandwiches in Singapore should be happier.

happysandwich

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