More equal than other S’poreans?

In Political governance, Public Administration, Uncategorized on 30/04/2014 at 6:03 am

I’m thinking of Ronald McDonald (a FT turned true blue S’porean who if he had a son with dual citizenship would surely insist that his son dows NS, unlike Yaacob who tells us only that he hopes his son will do NS) and again my beef (rendang flavoured) is with the way the S’poreans who don’t dream the “right” dreams” or think the “right” tots are being ghettoised and discriminated against by the PAP govt.

Let me explain.

I avoided going anyway near a McDonald’s store on Monday because it was the start of the latest “Hello Kitty” promotion. I had memories of what happened in 2000:

Fist fights broke out while frustrated patrons threatened store managers, damaged restaurant property and compelled the fast-food outlets to hire private security firms to police crowds. At one outlet, at least seven people were injured after a glass door they were leaning on shattered.

Singapore, which keeps tight curbs on public speech and famously bans most sales of chewing gum to keep its streets clean, was caught by surprise. While public demand was heated for similar promotions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, few expected law-abiding Singaporeans to turn so catty—or for the issue to claw its way to the top ranks of power.

“We should not get too carried away,” said then-Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who later became prime minister. “Even if you want the Kitty, there is no need to fight fiercely to try and get one,” he told local media at a public event.

In Parliament, a lawmaker asked the environment minister if he planned to stop McDonald’s from selling Hello Kitty dolls. “It’s not under my purview,” the minister replied.

And only last yr

… things got heated again when McDonald’s rolled out a so-called “Fairy Tales” Hello Kitty set, featuring six versions designed after popular folklore. The last one—a black kitten sporting a skeletal motif—sparked mayhem as security personnel were called in to deal with heated squabbles caused by widespread line-jumping. McDonald’s wrote a letter to a local newspaper apologizing for the chaos and promised to do better next time.


Finally, an online sale, I tot, was a warning of the public order problems that would ensure on Monday.

To improve buyers’ experience and curb black-market sales, the company also is offering online sales for a collector’s set featuring all six toys, Ms. Low said.

But the online sales drive was overwhelmed by the weight of orders, forcing the fast-food chain to temporarily suspend sales after less than two hours.

Hundreds of disgruntled Kitty-lovers hurled abuse on McDonald’s Facebook page, accusing the fast-food chain of sloppy customer service.

So you’d have tot that the police would conclude, “Three strikes and you’re out, Ronald.”; the police having the power to prevent such a commercial event from being held if they had concerns about “public disorder and mischief”, that “may disrupt community life”.

But, Pledging to prevent a repeat of ugly scenes that plagued past promotions, McDonald’s says it has engaged private-security firms to provide crowd control and prepared line-management plans for its staff. It is also boosting its toy supplies by roughly 50% .compared with last year.

In the event, the police were right in their judgment in allowing the promotion to go ahead, nothing untoward happened on Monday and Tuesday.

But my point is that given the track record of problems in 2000 and 2013, and the very recent online bad-tempered, why did our police not insist that McDonald cancel the event?

Yet some S’poreans are routinely not allowed to hold events in public spaces (other than in Hong Lim) because of concerns of public order. Even the light-blue clones of the MIW were not allowed to hold an event in a park in 2007 because of concerns of public order.

When WP chairman and NCMP Sylvia Lim raised a question over the issue in Parliament, she (and we) was told that such activities “have the potential for public disorder and mischief, and may disrupt community life.”*

Yet the police, it seems, had no such concerns with the MacDonald’s promotion, despite MacDonald’s track record of being the cause of public “disorder and mischief”, that disrupted “community life” in 20000 and 2013.

My point is that shouldn’t these S’poreans (who are not PA or NTUC activists) be given the opportunity as the Filipinos and McDonald of proving the police wrong. After all many of these S’poreans who dream different dreams or think different tots have served NS, defending the country.

Shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to show that they can behave in the right way in public like the Filipinos?

And why is Ronald McDonald given the benefit of the doubt despite his track record of causing problems (albeit unintentionally and indirectly) in 2000 and 2013?

And yet the “wrong” S’poreans are presumed to be dangerous to public order? Doesn’t their honourable discharge from full-time NS mean that they deserve to be treated like Filipinos and Ronald, and be given the presumption of good behaviour?

One could reasonably argue (I’m not) that such an attitude to NS men sucks, and is most insulting from a govt that says it values those who do NS. Just recently, the media reported that Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said a package of “meaningful” benefits is being considered for operationally ready NSmen. “We want to centre the recognition benefits by giving them a greater stake in Singapore, whether it is housing, health or education,”…

The various contradictions and inconsistencies  that have mutated from the Hard Truths on which the PAP has governed S’pore since 1959 are coming to haunt the PAP; contractions and inconsistencies which have especially multiplied since the “FTs are betterest” policies were introduced to repress the wages of local PMETs. Appropriately, the ghosts are appearing juz as the PAP govt is planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our enforced independence, as a prelude to its next GE campaign.


*”Police requirement is that such party activities be held indoors or within stadiums, so that any law and order problems will be contained. This policy applies to all political parties,” Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee.


  1. You are absolutely correct in pointing these out. However, they are only the manifestations of the flawed thinking of one man – that it is right to keep the opposition or opposing views (in your vocabulary, those not having the right ‘tots’) from ever being able to gain traction. Examples of this abound, but I shall point to one – that it is right to withhold upgrading of public housing from constituencies that vote for the opposition. Surely this is a travesty and an outrage. It is the thinking behind these manifestations that have to be removed. How else can you explain the PM’s declaration that if there are more opposition MPs he will have to spend time thinking how to fix them?

  2. You do realize that the chaos at Mcdonalds are caused mainly by Singaporeans fighting over Hello Kitty right? Its funny that you are blaming Mcdonalds when the true cause of the chaos are actually Singaporeans.

    If the Singapore government actually banned the sales of Hello Kitty, they will be flamed for being dictatorial and not having faith in Singaporeans’ behaviour. Basically, they will be making a mountain out of a molehill – I can also imagine that Singapore will be made the laughingstock of the world with headlines such as “Hello Kitty Sales banned in Singapore because Singaporeans Cannot Control Themselves”

    And Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza is actually not a public area – you may lease the place for events at

    If you want to say that Singaporeans are getting discriminated, you better back it up with true evidence.

    • Cock, I was very careful to use the term “public space” about Ngee ann and not “public area”. And if it is not public space, how come need police permi? Based on yr reasoning, no need of MCDonalds to take security measures as not their problem. But they tot they had to. Guess you will not get paid yr 10cents fee from IB.

      • I see you have changed your comment – Mcdonalds cannot be in any way held legally responsible for the chaos. However, there is such a thing in business as branding – Mcdonalds took security measures because they didn’t want the bad publicity to affect their business. This is Business 101.

        There is a need for police permit because it is perceived to be a public space as members of the public have a right to access due to permission given by Ngee Ann Kongsi.

        And police permits should be given and should be judged on whether they “have the potential for public disorder and mischief, and may disrupt community life.” Unless there is a likelihood Filipinos will create public disorder, there is no reason to deny them the permit. Celebrating Filipinos doesn’t sound dangerous.

        However, Mcdonalds do not need a police permit to sell hello kitties. Suggesting that government should ban hello kitty will only make the government look bad. And its a ridiculous idea.

        I am flattered that you think my comments are worth $ – unfortunately they are not. Please enlighten me on where I can get paid.

      • MaCDonald’s liability — suggest you go talk to a lawyer

        Pls also go read what I wrote about the police powers in relation to McDonald. Pls don’t attribute to me things I never wrote. So PAPpish.

      • Don’t worry, I have realized that talking to you about law doesnt help at all. Thanks for pointing it out to me anyway.

        I have read what you have wrote. You are saying that the police should have stopped the sale. I am saying that although the police can deny a permit (I hope you do realize that the rejection quote that you have been quoting in your post is a rejection for application of permit and not for anything under the sun) but they have no right to stop a perfectly legal sale.

        The police are enforcers of the law. They are not allowed to tweak the law as and when they like.

        So what I am basically saying is that the police has the right to stop a public fight because it is illegal but they have no right to stop a legal sale.

        I am sorry I didn’t make it perfectly clear I was commenting on what you wrote. Hope this is clear enough.

      • The police have the power to ban anything that they think is a threat to public order. It’s in the statue book. Usually, calling a co up to “advise” is gd enough. BTW, I agree with you Filipino do sounds peaceful, but I also think the near clones of the PAP are peaceful people.

      • Kindly please show me the part where they have the right to ban anything they think is a threat to public order.

        I can amused by the random attacks you are making on PAP supporters. Are the attacks supposed to make me riled up or something? Hilarious stuff.

      • Ever heard of Googling for yrself? Or go ask a lawyer. Only a PAPpy would expect everything to be done for self. LOL.

        BTW, on both McDonald’s legal liability and police powers, I checked with lawyer.

      • Haha. I have read up on the Public Order Act and I have found nothing of the sort so I am waiting for you to enlighten me.

      • So you base yr comments on only one Act? Ever tot that police powers are contained in other Acts? Juz go ask lawyer or do an intelligent Google.

      • Haha. I googled – no answers either. Why don’t you just kindly enlighten me since you obviously have checked with a lawyer.

        Take it as a good deed for the day. I will appreciate it. I am sure readers of your blog will appreciate it too.

  3. Please cite me the difference between public space and public area. It is a private area owned by Ngee Ann Kongsi who allowed the public to use it.

    If people wanted to kill, it doesn’t matter whether they have guns or not. There are other ways to kill. Guns can be used to kill, can be used to defend but they don’t kill. There is a difference between can and do.

    Don’t you agree that Singapore government will get flamed for banning hello kitty? If Singaporeans can fight over limited quantities of hello kitty, they will definitely fight over not getting any hello kitty at all.

    And that will definitely “have the potential for public disorder and mischief, and may disrupt community life.”

    • You’ve explained it yrself. LOL.
      If the govt banned the pro, think S’poreans would do anything? At most grumble. )))

  4. Want to bluff, pls try to bluff more convincingly. By telling me so fast that you had googled and hadn’t found an answer, you showed that you hadn’t googled. Do remember that I can see the time relies are received. So if you can’t be bothered to google …

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