Archive for the ‘Holidays and Festivals’ Category

Rabbit depictions around East Asia

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 28/01/2023 at 4:13 pm

“Its red eyes, blue body, strange smile, spiked feet, and oddly humanoid hands have sparked a fierce backlash, Some have called it “pure evil”. 

Sixth Tone, a Chinese news site, has about the stamps.

Trust Xi to screw up. Other three rabbits are OK.


Spring Festival movement in China

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 21/01/2023 at 5:28 am

Another ang moh CNY greeting

In Holidays and Festivals on 03/02/2022 at 1:35 pm

Hybrid CNY greeting

In Holidays and Festivals on 02/02/2022 at 4:53 am

Got this:

Related posts:

Another year of “Bai Du Bu Qin” not “Gong Xi Fa Cai”

Modern CNY greetings (Cont’d)

Modern CNY greetings (Cont’d)

In Holidays and Festivals on 01/02/2022 at 12:41 pm

Further to Another year of “Bai Du Bu Qin” not “Gong Xi Fa Cai, first time I received a Christian (OK Roman Catholic) card

And a “Hallmark” styled CNY card.

Another year of “Bai Du Bu Qin” not “Gong Xi Fa Cai”

In Holidays and Festivals on 31/01/2022 at 3:28 am

“Bai Du Bu Qin”

A poetic phrase with origins in Chinese literature, it means “may you be immune from 100 toxins”.

BBC article in 2020

“Immunity from 100 toxins” appears to have originated in a verse by the Cambridge-educated poet Xu Zhimo, and also makes an appearance in the fiction of Louis Cha, a martial arts novelist, but was not known to be said at holidays.

It implies having great self-control and determination as well as not easily succumbing to disease.

Message for Christians after Christmas hols

In Holidays and Festivals on 27/12/2021 at 5:16 am

Get to work.

Kee Chui those who will do this, whether Christian or not.

Related post: The beloved of God

The beloved of God

In Holidays and Festivals on 26/12/2021 at 9:50 am

Certainly not those who smugly call themselves the children of God or the chosen ones or the elect of God.

And certainly not the self-selected natural aristocrats.

Bai Du Bu Qin: Chinese New Year greeting for second year running. SAD.

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 12/02/2021 at 7:56 am

This year again: Bai Du Bu Qin. Not “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (“Wishes for abundance).

More about Bai Du Bu Qin from the BBC this time last year: A poetic phrase with origins in Chinese literature, it means “may you be immune from 100 toxins”.

More details in last yr’s post: “Bai Du Bu Qin” not “Gong Xi Fa Cai”.

“Bai Du Bu Qin” not “Gong Xi Fa Cai”

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 31/01/2020 at 4:08 am

“Bai Du Bu Qin”, is replacing “Gong Xi Fa Cai” or wishes for abundance. This new new year greeting has been viewed over 50 million times on Weibo and is uptrending upwards on Chinese social media.

More about it from the BBC:

A poetic phrase with origins in Chinese literature, it means “may you be immune from 100 toxins”.

The greeting is also being used as a hashtag to help spread public health information. Xue Zhiqian, a pop star, told his Weibo fans: “Hope you don’t stay away from the office. Don’t go outdoors. Don’t spread the virus. Don’t believe in rumours. Bai du bu qin, stay true and pure.”

It has been taken up as a slogan of unity and encouragement to carry on in the midst of a fearful time. The hashtag “people unite together, bai du bu qin” has trended in China.

“Immunity from 100 toxins” appears to have originated in a verse by the Cambridge-educated poet Xu Zhimo, and also makes an appearance in the fiction of Louis Cha, a martial arts novelist, but was not known to be said at holidays.

It implies having great self-control and determination as well as not easily succumbing to disease.

China abolishes Chinese New Year reunion dinners

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 23/01/2020 at 5:46 am

OK, OK I exaggerate. It’s only cancelled if you live in Wuhan and yr family lives elsewhere.

Public transport in Wuhan is suspended from Thursday morning in an effort to contain the outbreak of a deadly Sars-like virus. Residents are urged not to leave the city except under special circumstances. To enforce this encouragement, the airport and train stations temporarily are closed, news agencies cited Chinese state media as saying on Wednesday night.

More at

Btw, trumpets please: SARS all over again.

Taking back National Day from the PAP

In Holidays and Festivals on 11/08/2019 at 4:08 am

A few yrs ago, it was fashionable in the runup to National Day for S’poreans (ordinary Bengs, Ahmads, Muthus and Gregoes, and anti-PAP cybernuts) to moan that the PAP has wrapped itself round the flag and that National Day has been stolen from us. There would articles about why S’poreans were no longer willing to fly the flag around this time of the yr, and how grassroot leaders paid FTs to go round putting up flags. Btw, I’ve not seen any such article this yr.

Whatever, the spate of images and videos on social media by ordinary S’poreans  this yr show that S’poreans have reclaimed National Day from the PAP.

Here are  a few examples to show that S’poreans have made sure that National Day is ours also, not juz for the PAP.

Two good videos follow. There’s a good one from UOB that I can’t find: it shares the experiences of ordinary S’poreans about  National Day. Of course it’s a corporate video but it’s good: very people centric. Maybe that’s why it has disappeared. No plugs for the bank or the PAP govt.

Enjoy these two videos. Any other good ones?


The loneliness of a TRE cybernut

In Holidays and Festivals on 07/03/2019 at 2:39 pm

A TRE cybernut was really lonely during the Chinese New Years hols: with no kaki to spend time with, he had to go online to kill time. LOL.

Recently, someone told me that when TRE used M’sian minister thinks M’sian drivers tua kee, a cybernut called rukidding kept posting comments attacking me etc. His various posts taken together were longer then my post which was mainly a “copy and paste” job from a CNA article, juz adding my usual insight, sardonic insight. I was really in a hurry because guests were coming on the first day of CNY.

What was really pathetic is that he was posting comments on the second day of CNY (the day TRE used the piece). Got no one to visit him? Or no-one to visit? Or worse he ethnic minority without any Chinese pals to visit? Or he too uncouth for them to invite him. Meanwhile “bapak” was boozing and eating pork.

Whatever rukidding can only go online isit?

He needs loneliness pill? Akan datang: Pill for loneliness.

Or time for him to get a dog. Doubtless, he’ll soon be charged for cruelty: dog has to eat what he has to eat.

With enemies like him, the PAP will rule forever and a day.


Great decoration and drink for Chinese New Year

In Holidays and Festivals on 29/01/2019 at 3:48 am

Have this on display and offer the drink to yr guests. Good conversation point.















The Blueberry and Pomegranate bottles also make nice CNY decorations. Not seen the diet, Raspberry or lemon products in Cold Storage.

Tea is pretty sweet. My fav is the Blueberry White Tea.

Bottles on sale here are plastic, not glass.

An American product.

More on Thaipusam issues

In Holidays and Festivals on 01/04/2018 at 4:18 am

Further to Anti-PAP Hindus never satisfied

The ban on playing of musical instruments during Thaipusam dated back to 1973, due to fights between competing groups, but was relaxed in late-2015.

Since 2016, live music was allowed at the festival, via three live music points along the procession route.

Good to know that Indians didn’t use their special position to pak other races but to fight among themselves. If Chinese or Malays sure to pak and burn property of other races

Constructive suggestion

Stressing the importance of live music, one dialogue participant suggested getting musicians and music groups to be registered and accredited, who could then work on a single booklet of songs to be played for the procession.

Calling it a good suggestion, Mr Shanmugam said he was prepared to consider it, if the community is able to carry it out.

Piped music

He added that as long as “there is no serious disamenities”, he is prepared “to allow more live music points”. In fact, he said: “I am prepared to allow piped-in music all the way.”

Wonder if anyone had suggested piped music before this remark by the Minister for Pets.

Anti-PAP Hindus never satisfied

In Holidays and Festivals on 31/03/2018 at 11:20 am

The ang moh tua kees KPKBing about Shan’s savaging of PJ Thum (I hope to read the transcript: more on why he deserved to have his views on Coldstore challenged next week*) reminded me of another recent Shan comment

Explaining on Sunday that all religious foot processions have been banned since 1964, after riots occurred, the minister reiterated that Hindus were given an exemption on three occasions — Thaipusam, Panguni Uthiram and Thimithi — passing through major roads.

Minister Shan

Wah got such a privilege position yet anti-PAP Hindus KPKB that PAP govt trying to destroy Thaipusam.

*For the moment, this is what my FB avatar posted when Kirsten KPKBed

Go read about the paper he submitted. They had every right to ask him the questions they asked him about Coldstore. Anyway based on newspaper report, I now know why he never referenced the views of certain known Communists when he analysed Coldstore. (I read his stuff). He thinks they are unreliable. So an issue when analysing his views is whether he’s right or reasonable to dismiss the views of said Communists.


Indian Indians are really different

In Holidays and Festivals, Humour on 28/10/2016 at 1:22 pm

In S’pore, the ethnic Indian community (Tamils in the main) punch above their weight despite only constituting 7% of the population:

— One is DPM and he and the Minister for Pets are two out of the four closest ministers to PM;

— the AG and CJ are Indians; and

— Tharman, a DPM, is a popular choice to be PM.


If S’pore is a meritocracy all the top jobs would be held by Indians: juz look at the judiciary and legal service.

Indian supremacists

But let’s not forget that they are S’porean Indians, not Indian Indians.

Here’s some quirky facts about the real Indians ie those born in India,

Tamils are in the minority, not the uber Indians.

Deepavali is usually known as Diwali because Hindi is the uber language, not Hindi Tamil.

A litre of cow urine is more valuable to an Indian farmer than a litre of milk

Find out more (Open)

“quite normal behaviour” for Indian men to obsessively target women

Last year, a 32-year-old Indian security guard in Australia accused of stalking two women was let off by a court after he argued that Bollywood films had led him to believe that it was “quite normal behaviour” for Indian men to obsessively target women.

He was being perversely honest. In Bollywood movies, the hero will often pursue the heroine with a vengeance. He will stare at her, wolf-whistle and stalk her relentlessly. Spurned lovers will chase and harass women. A critic once wrote that the Bollywood stalker had evolved from a “nominal villain to an outright hero”.

The airforce’s warplanes are often grounded: the highest availability rate is among the Russian-built SU-30MKIs, of around 55%. (Economist)

Giving the finger to Amos

In Holidays and Festivals, Humour on 05/07/2016 at 4:09 pm

Ho ho ho, Santa’s dead

In Holidays and Festivals on 06/12/2015 at 5:23 am

“Dear Father Christmas, born 12 December 1788”, said to have died on 3 December in Nordkapp, Norway’s northernmost point.

The funeral was to be held on 28 December at the “North Pole Chapel”.

Screengrab of fictional obituary


Last Deepavali in Marina Bay’s Little India?

In Banks, Holidays and Festivals, Humour on 10/11/2015 at 12:52 pm

A CNA story* on Sunday said that StanChart will be cutting jobs here in Technology and Operations. Now this is an area dominated in StanChart by FTs from India like two-timing New Citizen Raj**

That brings to mind the following:

FT reported that India is so impt to StanChart that it’s planning to set up a subsidiary so that it can expand its branch network there. A wag commented: “In Singapore there is an area known as “Little India” (I had lunch in the area yesterday). Go into the offices of StanChart’s regional office here and any S’porean would think that “Little India” has expanded into the Marina Bay area.”

Marina Bay’s Little India, will be no more? This will be the last Deepavali in StanChart’s Marina Bay office? Next yr will be the first Chinese New Year there?


*Following Standard Chartered’s announcement that it will axe 15,000 jobs globally, the bank has declined to reveal how many of these job losses will come from Singapore.

However, recent high-profile departures are said to include the bank’s global head of FX research Callum Henderson and global head of aviation finance Simon Perkins.

A source familiar with the Asia-focused British lender told Channel NewsAsia on condition of anonymity that Technology and Operations is an area in Singapore targeted for cuts.

When contacted by Channel NewsAsia on Friday (Nov 6), a StanChart spokesperson said a large number of the total headcount reductions will be through attrition. The spokesperson said the bank was unable to provide further details at this point in time.

Standard Chartered currently employs around 7,000 people in Singapore.

The bank on Tuesday said it will cut 15,000 of 86,000 jobs around the world, meaning that nearly one in five employees will lose their jobs.

**I understand that New Citizen Raj works in StanChart.

Celebrating the modern mooncake

In Holidays and Festivals on 27/09/2015 at 11:17 am

In recent years, a bevy of newer varieties have sprung up alongside the traditional nut- and bean-based ones. A saleswoman at one of Singapore’s luxury hotels says that their bestseller this year is a snowskin mooncake—which gets its name from the pounded-rice dough that must be kept either refrigerated or frozen—stuffed with a milk chocolate and Earl Grey tea filling dotted with chocolate pearls. Other filling flavours include durian, Irish whiskey and cognac; in China organic and vegan mooncakes are having a moment.

Tempting as it is to condemn these innovations as non-traditional, Fuchsia Dunlop, a British authority on Chinese food, notes that “cuisines are living cultural artefacts…they are a response to where we are now.” And where we are now is a world in which Chinese chefs often travel to the West, just as increasing numbers of Westerners seek their fortunes in the Sinosphere. Its cuisine reflects such interchanges.

Rotate additional public holiday among religions?

In Holidays and Festivals on 19/02/2015 at 6:58 am

P Ravi (the Ravi that doesn’t go round prancing half-naked at Hong Leong Green when he forgets to take his medicine)  wrote I however appreciate the Manpower Ministry’s chronicling of how considering the socio-economic status of Singapore in 1968, the religious leaders were able to forego the public holiday status of some of their celebrations.

While acknowledging the selflessness of these religious leaders, the Government should also not forget the promise it made to Singaporeans at the time of reducing the number of public holidays.

The Government had then said that when Singapore prospered, it will move amendments to increase the number of holidays. It also urged Singaporeans to work hard to show that they deserved more holidays.

“Juz rotate among all the major races: One yr Thaipusam, another yr third day of CNY, another yr Mohd’s birthday,” posted my Facebook avatar.

And P Ravi’s wrong about “the religious leaders were able to forego the public holiday status of some of their celebrations”. “Leaders” of the Christians, Hindus and Muslims were told in no uncertain terms that each religion had to volunteer to lose one public holiday each for the sake of nation building, while the govt removed holiday status from the third day of CNY and on the day after Christmas.  As the Buddhists had only one public holiday, they were not asked to surrender their holy day.

But there those who think (self-included) that the third day of CNY was removed because of concerns that otherwise Muslims and Hindus would riot: on the grounds of racial, religious discrimination. Just see how every yr, there is a row on Thaipusam.

So let’s rotate the extra holiday between the Chinese and the two religions where one’s religion is closely tied to one’s ethnic identity.

What about Good Friday? Well BG Yeo once said, “Christians don’t riot”.  Anyway, the number of Christian holidays is a relic of empire, not the facts on the ground.

Second last para added hours after first publication. Still blur.

The best present can be very simple and practical

In Holidays and Festivals on 25/12/2014 at 6:28 am

The Bear and the Hare tells the tale of how a hare is upset because his best friend the bear has never seen Christmas as he always hibernates. To help him out, the hare drops off a gift at the bear’s cave.

The Fourth Wise Man

In Holidays and Festivals on 24/12/2014 at 1:04 pm

One thing great about Wikipedia is that it helps me track down stories that I once read. Many yrs ago, I read in a pre-war book of children’s stories about “The Fourth Wise Man”.

There was  a “fourth” wise man, a priest of the Magi named Artaban, one of the Medes from Persia. Like the other Magi, he sees signs in the heavens proclaiming that a King had been born among the Jews. Like them, he sets out to see the newborn ruler, carrying treasures to give as gifts to the child – a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl of great price. However, he stops along the way to help a dying man, which makes him late to meet with the caravan of the other three wise men. Since he missed the caravan, and he can’t cross the desert with only a horse, he is forced to sell one of his treasures in order to buy the camels and supplies necessary for the trip. He then commences his journey but arrives in Bethlehem too late to see the child, whose parents have fled to Egypt. He saves the life of a child at the price of another of his treasures. He then travels to Egypt and to many other countries, searching for Jesus for many years and performing acts of charity along the way. After thirty-three years, Artaban is still a pilgrim, and a seeker after light. Artaban arrives in Jerusalem just in time for the crucifixion of Jesus. He spends his last treasure, the pearl, to ransom a young woman from being sold into slavery. He is then struck in the temple by a falling roof tile and is about to die, having failed in his quest to find Jesus, but having done much good through charitable works. A voice tells him “Verily I say unto thee, Inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me.”(Matthew 25:40)[5] He dies in a calm radiance of wonder and joy. His treasures were accepted, and the Other Wise Man found his King.


A Balinese festival that we shld adopt

In Holidays and Festivals, Indonesia on 05/04/2014 at 4:43 am

Renumber that dumb idea to hold a Thai festival where water features prominently without the water?

Here’s an idea that should resonate among everyone living here (locals, FTs): a day of silence:

Tourist areas and economic centres usually bustling with activity on the Indonesian island of Bali were deserted on Monday, as its Hindu population observed a day of silence, it appears.

Foreign tourists were required to stay in their hotel compounds, and the island’s airport as well as sea ports were closed, the Jakarta Post newspaper says.

Nyepi marks the start of a new year according to the Balinese lunar calendar. Nobody works or travels, as it is traditionally a day of introspection and fasting. A special group of guards are usually the only people out on the streets – making sure everybody else stays at home.


But we have to make sure make sure that the organisers do not organise the festival omitting the silence.

As this is a Balinese Hindu festival, and Hinduism albeit the Tamil version) is a major religion here, no-one can object to this festival on being a foreign import. It’s a foreign applicable variation of a major local (originally imported, as are all our major religions).

To avoid increasing the number of public hols (remember productivity) and causing offence if an existing public hol has to be removed from the list of public holidays, this “day of silence” could be celebrated on a Saturday or Sunday. Of course retailers, cinema owners  etc will be unhappy. So will employers who at present pay people to work on the weekend.


Martial arts training in China

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 01/02/2014 at 6:27 pm

Something for Neigh Year hols viewing

BT inflation headline talks sucks, really sucks

In Economy, Financial competency, Holidays and Festivals, Media on 24/12/2013 at 6:28 am

I recently blogged that the PAP should approach mrbrown to help PAP MPs in particular Baey and Tharman. Looks like BT needs his help in getting the facts “right”.Let me explain.

I waz planning to take a break from nasty, vicious blogging as it’s the time of peace and gooddwill towards men.

Happily for my inner Grinch , I read this

Core inflation inches higher, forecasts up
Economists point to higher inflation for next year with pressure from wages, business costs, COEs
… Inflation rose to 2.6 per cent year-on-year in November, from 2 per cent the previous month, with private-sector economists forecasting higher inflation for next year. In a statement yesterday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said core inflation – which strips out accommodation and private road transport costs – also picked up pace to 2.1 per cent in November, compared with 1.8 per cent in October.Based on the above, core inflation was up 16.7%. Taz’s “inching” in a month?

Trying to spin gold out of bull dust? Or is shumeone seriously drunk or mathematically challenged? BTW, inflation was up 30% in a month.

Santa, I want for Christmas “Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World”

Our World: Unemployment Rate Jumps from 7.6% to 7.8%
Mathematically Literate World: Unemployment Rate Probably a Little Under 8%; Maybe Rising, or Not, Can’t Really Tell

Our WorldFirm’s Meteoric Rise Explained by Daring Strategy, Bold Leadership
Mathematically Literate WorldFirm’s Meteoric Rise Explained by Good Luck, Selection Bias

Our WorldGas Prices Hit Record High (Unadjusted for Inflation)
Mathematically Literate WorldGas Prices Hit Record High (In a Vacuous, Meaningless Sense)

Read more

And if interested on why core inflation was up 16.7% (can’t help think of “ponding”)

A higher headline inflation figure in November – marking the first time since March that inflation has risen beyond the 2 per cent level – was generally expected as it had been flagged by MAS and MTI previously.

The biggest driver was higher accommodation costs, which rose 3.3 per cent year on year from 1.9 per cent in October, when service and conservancy charges rebates to HDB households had kept housing-related costs down.


Islam allows alcohol: Time for a Scotch or Tiger today?

In Holidays and Festivals on 19/08/2012 at 7:04 am

Debauched nights in the courts of caliphates were enshrined in the khamriyaat, or odes to wine, by Abu Nuwas, an eighth-century poet. Nobody knows exactly when Islamic scholars decided that booze was sinful … A handful of scholars permit alcohol as long as it is not made from grapes and dates, because these are specifically mentioned in the Koran. But nobody dares open the debate. “No religious scholar is ready to accept the consequences of a fatwa by now saying that beer, spirits, vodka are halal,” says Anas Aboshady, a scholar at the influential al-Azhar University in Cairo.

State of the PAP: My light-hearted analysis based on gossip heard

In Holidays and Festivals, Political governance, Wit on 10/02/2012 at 4:41 am

I was “challenged” by a SDP groupie to write about what I heard about the PAP during my recent feasting and gambling, expecting me to wimp out. I have good reasons not to write about the PAP, other than that the cadres are a litigious bunch and have a code of silence as tough as that of the Mafiosi. One reason is that they are not into feasting and gambling. They lead very healthy life styles where abalone and lobster are out, and even roast duck and pork, and suckling pig are banned. They may have the money, which they apparently invested in products like DBS HN5 Notes and Mini-bonds, but where’s the fun? Another reason is that they are boring and humourless.

But there are people who I gamble or feast with who claim to know what is happening in the PAP. They tell me they get “intelligence” from senior officials of neighbouring countries who have active spy rings here.

There is gossip going around the highest circles in Jakarta, Bangkok and KL, that one LKY called the PM, “weak”, and who now thinks that Teo Chee Hean would have made a “stronger” PM. The rumour is that LKY is upset that the PM did not take his advice to sue Nicole Seah down to her panties (sans bra) for defaming the latter during the May 2011 general election (Yes, legally she did) and for reopening the ministerial salary issue. Seems the Lee family reunion dinner was a tense one. Apparently, the M’sian, Indonesian and Thai secret service each had a spy as a waiter or waitress.

All I will say is that if LKY called the PM “weak”, it is most unfair because the PM contradicted LKY over the latter’s remarks about the Malays (when the Malay Minister, “Speak to me in English” Yaacob muttered “worst case scenario” and other Malay PAP MPS went AWOL or MIA, even action-mouth Zaqy; and implicitly rebuked his father after LKY’s “repent” comments, after which LKY stopped (or was stopped from?) campaigning (a great and sad loss for the Opposition?). And the PM did apologise to S’poreans, accepted the resignations of ministerial deadwood (I exclude LKY from this group) and reduced the size of the cabinet. Not the actions of a Clark Kent is it? More like Superman it seems?

The hard-line wing of the PAP or the “Lee Kuan Yew is always right” faction (irrelevantly also known to the PAP moderates as the “LKY is greater than God” cult) is losing its influence. The suspension of the heads of the anti-drugs unit and the civil defence force is another blow to the reputation of Wong Kan Seng, the cult’s high priest. He was Home Affairs minister from 1994 to 2010, so these officers spent almost their entire careers as senior officers of his Home Team. He therefore cannot evade responsibility for nurturing or mentoring them, or both.

With his reputation in tatters, the “LKY is never wrong” faction has no-one that has the credibility to put forward credible and reasonable hard-line solutions to the PAP’s problems. The hard-liners can only repeat mindlessly the mantras from “Hard Truths”. Maybe, they should produce a pocket size edition of “Hard Truths”. At the very least, it will make it easier to memorise the wisdom of LKY. Remember Chairman Mao’s little “Red Book”? It was a commercial success when it was first published, and is a collectible today.

(For the record, Teo Chee Hean is too intelligent to belong to this faction. So, BTW, is LKY.)

But the “liberals” (or “talk cock, sing song brigade” as I call them) have had their ranks decimated what with the loss of George Yeo, Mah and Raymond Lim. (BTW, I don’t consider Tharman a member of this group. He doesn’t juz talk the talk. Workfare for all its imperfections is his baby. The deformities were caused by having to tailor it to prejudices among the then leaders.)

George Yeo, it seems, still has presidential ambitions. But his public criticism of the PAP has not gone down well with some cadres. They tot it was a bit rich for him to attack the PAP, to win votes. They liked this piece I wrote about deserters being shot in times of war.

Anyway, let’s not be too hard on these three ministers as they are living proof that the private sector is not exactly clamouring to pay ex-ministers millions of dollars for their skills or advice.

Finally, Kate Spade Tin has “fixed” her fellow PAP MPs. She boasted in ST, juz before the CNY hols, that she would be spending about $10,000 of her MP’s allowance of $15,000 a month on CNY dinners for her grass-root activists. That figure immediately became the base line for the other PAP MPs. Match or exceed it, or look cheap-skate by comparison. Err what abt telling their activists, that Tin’s activists have to be rewarded with sharks’ fin, abalone and lobster, and not juz suckling pig and roast duck, given that they have to put up with her silly antics and remarks, and her stomping?

And her sabotaging has continued what with her $150,000 fund (err who is funding the fund?) to help “squeezed” elderly constituents with their SingHealth medical bills. I personally applaud her move, but her fellow PAP MPs have to follow her lead, or look mean. I can imagine one VivianB grumbling that the poor always need help, and Grace Fu bitching on less money to spend on herself.

Tin, the Sabo Queen? It was a black day indeed for PAP MPs when Tin was nominated to be a candidate PAP MP. The PAP should have looked up her record at NUS and Ernst & Young.

Taz all folks. Happy SDP groupie?

Related posting:

State of the Opposition Update: My light-hearted analysis based on gossip heard

In Holidays and Festivals, Political governance, Wit on 30/01/2012 at 5:30 am

This is the “news” I picked up over the last week while feasting and dicing. I have tried to indicate which are the more reliable stories, and which are the more rubbishy ones. As usually I add my very personal takes i.e. analysis.


Juz before the hols, I was told by a reliable source that Mrs Chiam had said that the coming party conference would be a “non event”. Some non event:

– two men that were expected to lead the SPP post Chiam said they were no longer interested in being on the central executive committee (Mrs Chiam was blamed for their lost of interest); then

– six central executive members (including the above two) resigned from the party juz before the conference with one saying “that one or two key CEC members are not willing (to accommodate) a complete change over for collective leadership and accountability, and that being the case, my presence in the party will not add credible value.”

For jet-setters (like one DYadav) and planet hoppers who were away, read here and here.

Desmond Lim (remember him) was one happy man this hols, people who know him tell me. Remember he had a bad 2011 initially, being slimed by Mrs Chiam as lacking the “X” factor to succeed Chiam and hence the trouble he was giving the Chiams, then losing his deposit in the May GE. Well with the failure of the party to retain Potong Pasir and to renew itself, and the unhappiness of long serving stalwarts and newbie ex-scholars all becoming public before the hols, he feels vindicated in opposing the Chiams in 2010 and 2011. I hope he gambled big time before the Year of Rabbit ended as his luck certainly did improve.


No need to say anything abt Yaw because he said “IF it is rumours …”, the other lady said, ““I hope you will not identify me or the other woman involved,”, his wife withdrew her Facebook comments about irresponsible journalism, WP’s Low Thia Kiang said: “You said yourself that these are rumours, why are you still asking me?”, and deputy treasurer of the WP, a Mr Png, said: “We have to think carefully about our response”.

They shld realise that their comments collectively give the game away. Why so stupid leh, WP Sec-Gen, members and Mrs Yaw?

All I will report is that WP high command and those who should be in the know are saying nothing in private to friendly, influential outsiders (including prominent bloggers: I’m neither a friend nor influential) or “lesser mortals” WP supporters. As they are also saying nothing in public, I conclude that the WP’s attitude is, “Your problem Yaw. You solve it”.

Problem for the WP is that the silence implies that there is a problem that Yaw has to resolve, whatever it is.

But if Yaw is the dad of a bastard (albeit a Dragon), the WP can’t escape collateral damage. He was possibly the most trusted lieutenant of Sec-Gen Low, and if he was as rampant a stag as alleged by TRE, it casts doubt on Low’s judgement. And if Low didn’t know that his Kim Jong-il look-a-like aide was as horny a stag as alleged, it shows the lack of his of intel on members.


The old guard can’t believe that the newbies are fighting among themselves and with the old guard.

Hazel Poa (Sec-Gen) and her hubbie Tony and other newbies are spitting mad at Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss (VP) who has the support of the people’s celebrity, Nicole Seah. Ms Chong is refusing (and has refused for over six months) to declare her personal wealth. (Reminder: she is hot-shot corporate and shipping lawyer, or so it is claimed. Detractors say it is a two partners and no slaves, legal assistants, firm).

All central executive members have to submit this declaration to the government in order to get the licence for NSP’s newsletter renewed.

Why she refuses to give this declaration or step down, and why Nicole Seah is supporting her is a matter of speculation. One mean spirited view is that she and Nicole realise that moving to NSP was a big mistake and they want to jump ship again. If they leave when Tan Jee Say sets up his party (the two gals got crush on him, it is alleged), there is a danger that they will be perceived as serial, air head rats: first KennethJ, then Goh Meng Seng. If NSP was in disarray, they could excuse their leaving by blaming the NSP mess.

The old guard kicked out one Goh Meng Seng for failing to deliver a breakthrough. He got his revenge. The newbies he brought in are fighting each other and the Malay Bureau (his creation) and the old guard. Want to destroy an organisation, give GMS an executive role: juz kidding.


Glad to read in ST confirmation of a story I heard: he is pursuing the shared resource centre for the Opposition that he was thinking about before the last general election.

As he is turning 58 soon, why is he working so hard? “Relax. Watching over yr daughters and making sure they hook rich China men and is hard work. Do it well, and can be richer than Peter Lim”.

But seeing that that Dynamic NSP Duo (Hazel and Tony) are helping him recruit people for the centre, does it mean that he is giving Jeannette Chong and Nicole Seah, the brush off? Scholars like the company of other scholars, not pretty air heads who are serial hoppers? Will hope to find out more in the next week of feasting, dicing and Black Jack. No, dicing is not Roulette, it’s Backgammon.


Michelle Lee is expected to leave SDP soon even if TJS doesn’t set up up a new party for her to join. She didn’t join other SDP members in CNY Chinatown walkabout. She joined the SPP, NSP, RP and TJS in their Ang Moh Kio walkabout which SDP officially declared it wouldn’t join (Danny, the teh tarik bear, doesn’t like competition from Nicole, the people’s princess? Hey Danny, you are cuddily and furry but not sexy enough for boys to fantasise having sex with), clashed with its long planned Chinatown walkabout.


KennethJ is rumoured to be looking for a job in financial services. No surprises there as he was a hedgie and hasn’t been working for a few years, dedicating his time and efforts to politics and keeping dad’s memory alive. What is surprising is that he is rumoured to be looking for a London-based job. Trying to make a graceful exit? Whither RP, which dad founded? RIP both RP and KennetJ’s political ambitions?

And finally, how can I forget Goh Meng Seng? He after all has many, many enemies saying nasty things about him. The least nasty is that he is desperately waiting for a phone call from Lina Chiam who has said SPP “will continue to seek new passionate and talented individuals with the right aptitude and who will pursue the opposition cause cohesively.” His enemies say he has told Lina that he is willing to be co-opted into SPP mgt committee. Err wonder if Lina thinks he has the X factors she is seeking? Somehow looking at his CV, I doubt she would. Anyway, SPP’s loss is TOC’s gain, or is it bane? If he joins SPP, he would have to resign from Team TOC. The Chinese section of TOC that he founded to large self-publicity seems kinda quiet.

Taz all folks. An update next week. One more week of feasting and gambling. Take care, drink or drive, not both.

Thaipusam: “stop this brutality”?

In Holidays and Festivals on 15/01/2011 at 6:46 am

I did a double take when I saw this pix on ToC’s front page and below it “We must stop this brutality,” says Human Rights Lawyer.

I tot “Oh no. Not another attack on Thaipusam”.

I clicked the story and it turned out that the lawyer meant the recent curbs on the Thaipusam procession, not the body piecing spikes.

I must admit I shudder and feel ill whenever I see pixs of khavadi carrying devotees. They may not feel the pain, but I do.

But no, I do not want the practice to stop. It’s the devotees’ religion, not mine.

A more appropriate symbol for the PAP?

In Holidays and Festivals on 02/01/2011 at 11:35 am

SDP’s Danny (and nothing to do over the hols other than partying) got me thinking of 21st century symbols for the other parties.

As MM Lee believes that local-born S’poreans are “less hard-driving and hard-striving” because “the spurs are not stuck into the hide”, and as the other PAP  ministers, and GLC CEOS are forever scolding S’poreans (taking the cue from MM?), maybe the PAP should buy over the Hammer symbol of the Workers’ Party?

The Hammer can be used as the 21st  century equivalent of the Hammer of Thor. Once owned by the PAP, the Hammer will automatically change from a symbol of the power of the working class (not that many around nowadays, everyone’s middle class nowadays), into a symbol of hammering into shape “less hard-driving and hard-striving” local-born S’poreans into “more hard-driving and hard-striving” S’poreans that the PAP (especially MM) can be proud of.

BTW, did anyone notice that the lightning bolt of the PAP looks like this?

File:Runic letter sowilo variant.svg

Add another oneFile:Runic letter sowilo variant.svg File:Runic letter sowilo variant.svg and we have a sign associated with the Nazis (National Socialists): the SS, a Nazi military unit that had two distinct branches. One branch were elite fighting men, feared and respected by the Allies in WWII. The other butchered Jews and other Read the rest of this entry »

May you have the fortune of the fisherboy

In Holidays and Festivals on 01/01/2011 at 9:45 am

One day Shah Mahmud, riding with the Wind
A-hunting, left his Retinue behind,
And coming to a River, whose swift Course
Doubled back Game and Dog, and Man and Horse,
Beheld upon the Shore a little Lad
A-fishing, very poor, and Tatter-clad Read the rest of this entry »

The ghost of JBJ

In Corporate governance, Holidays and Festivals on 31/12/2010 at 6:18 am

Sumeone by name of Richard Tang has summoned forth the spirit of JBJ. Writing in TR, he has rattled the cage again abt what the present Sec-Gen of WP is supposed to have done JBJ: “stab him in the back”.

It provoked a response, and he responded to the response. Netizens joined in the row with gusto.

Who benefits? The PAP. Looks like in death, JBJ is still the PAP’s poster boy on what an Opposition leader should do. Split the opponents of the PAP.

I’ve been critical of WP (and indirectly of Low) but lest we forget, it was Low that turned WP into a grass-roots party, active all the time. When JBJ was the Sec-Gen, it was largely a collection of JBJ groupies, smoking the BS of human rights and “everything shld be free”. It was only active juz before an election, when celebrities joined him on stage. Then it was back to praising JBJ, cursing LKY and smoking BS.

OK I’m exaggerating, but that’s what I tot of WP. And before anyone takes me to task on my comments abt JBJ: When JBJ was hawking his books at Raffles City, I thanked him for his courage and bought a book, did you?

Another macabre tale or two

In Holidays and Festivals on 30/12/2010 at 5:26 am

After Kenny Rogers on investing and Bacchus on partying back to macabre tales. It’s the Christmas season, you know.

Horror of horrors: Posters on TR find it hard to accept that MM Lee has many fans in M’sia including M’sian dissent and blogger Raja Putra whose servers are based here.

They shouldn’t be. Many M’sian Chinese and Indians find MM’s “M’sian Malaysia” where meritocracy is the rule attractive because it is the opposite of the racially-based Bumiputera policy which gives Muslim Malays certain privileges. They also think that this meritocracy has made S’pore a better place to earn a living than in M’sia.

They also like the fact that he allows M’sians to work here, without insisting that they become citizens.

And finally perhaps they admire him for writing-out the Malays from S’pore? Remember he said in September, “We’re largely Chinese and Indians”. This despite the official statistics showing that the Malays are 19% of the population, the second largest ethnic group.

Now if it is true that the Malays are no longer the second largest ethnic group, and the official stats don’t reflect this fact, this a horror of horrors. Where else are the official stats no longer the reflection of the facts on the ground?

Seriously, back to MM. The New Testament is correct when it says”A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house” and “No prophet is accepted in his own country”.

The neighbours see the feet of clay not apparent to those faraway?

The God of this season

In Holidays and Festivals on 29/12/2010 at 11:17 am

No not Christ as the Christians would have us believe nor the PAP as SPH and MediaCorp are trying to spin.

It’s Bacchus.

Like Jesus … Bacchus … had a famous childhood …. When he became a young man god, he went around like Jesus with a following of disciples – in this case, hairy-legged satyrs, wine-crazed maenads and his ridiculous yet wise mentor, the fat satyr Silenus – who has a lot in common with Father Christmas.

In art, Bacchus and his followers are the heroes of misrule, abandon and ecstasy.

Err doesn’t all this sound like partying at this time of the year?

Property: What a minister’s salary can buy in 1957 and 2010?

In Holidays and Festivals, Political governance, Property on 29/12/2010 at 5:19 am

Or why PAP ministers deserve our compassion in this season of gdwill. Another Christmas macabre tale. Who would think they deserve our compassion? But they do.

David Marshall said he was paid $8000 a month in the 1950s as CM. Taz $96,000. From what I hear* that could buy 3 bungalow properties in a then non-fashionable area in the East, say Frankel or Opera estates. He could have some change leftover.

Today, a minister earning $2m a yr, can’t buy even one bungalow in these areas with his annual salary. He could possibly get a two-storey terrace house for $1.5m. He has to borrow money from the bank to buy a bungalow.

Other macabre Christmas tales


*too young and can’t find written records. Have to depend on old people’s memories.  You know what can go wrong, I mean if MM can forget that the Malays are the second biggest group ….

A ghost city-state or why FTs are needed

In Corporate governance, Holidays and Festivals on 28/12/2010 at 5:14 am

In the English tradition of telling ghost or macabre tales during the Christmas hols, here’s one on how S’pore would look like if the PAP gave in to populist pressure and stopped the FTs flooding in

For a glimpse of S’pore’s future, a good place to visit is Yubari, a former mining town on the northern island of Hokkaido, which four years ago went spectacularly bust with debts of ¥36 billion ($315m). It is a quiet spot, nestled in a valley at the end of a railway line … 120,000 people lived there … and there are only 11,000 people left, almost half of them over 65.

The town hall is like a morgue, with few lights on. In the past four years the number of civil servants has been cut in half, their salaries have shrunk by a third and they now have to mop their own floors, they complain. The town has embarked on an 18-year austerity drive to repay its debts. The public library has already closed down. This autumn six primary schools merged into one. (Extract from Economist special report on ageing in Japan)

(Update at 11.40 am: some population charts that Grey Hippo found)

Another X’mas season ghost or macabre tale


BTW, wonder if this will be picked up (and publicised) by the YPAP activists who are tasked to scout the Internet to counter anti-PAP stuff). After all sume of my stuff have found their way onto TR or is it NTR?

Our political parties’ Santa Claus

In Corporate governance, Holidays and Festivals on 27/12/2010 at 5:34 am

Last year things took a rather Dickensian turn when local news reported that Santa himself showed up at a school—but only to give presents those children whose parents had paid him. (Economist blogger on Christmas in Vietnam)

Hmm, the kind of Santa that PAP likes?

Got me thinking abt the other parties’ Santas.

SDP — No white bearded, white guy. It’s Santa Danny, the bear that loves teh tarik. As SDP has no money, he makes it up by teaching the kids to chant,”Scrooge is PAP, PAP is Scrooge” and “PAP is humbug”. The kids love it. And then he asks for donations for the SDP. He threatens them if that they don’t cough up, he will send in the clowns Chees who will have them chanting defamatory statements. The kids scream for the Chees.  The parents pay up to avoid getting sued by the PAP.

WP — No-one knows how its Santa looks like. Bit like the no-show by Sec-Gen or chairman at  recent opposition get-together. Suspect WP’s Santa was in previous incarnation a eunuch at the court of the Ming emperors. No, I am not implying that WP lacks balls, remember admiral Cheng Ho was a Ming court eunuch when he wasn’t sailing.

RP — Party has a problem. The patron saint of RP, JBJ, believed in goodies for all, and damn the cost. The present mgt believes in compassion but not freebies. So what is Santa going to do? RP members  compromise,  getting Tony Phua to blog on 24th December on tax and social welfare. And Sec-Gen goes eat SPP’s food at latter’s X’mas lunch.

SPP — Santa is getting on, so Mrs Santa takes his place. Some of the elves are unhappy. They think that one of them deserve to take Santa’s place. So they grumble a lot, trying to spoil Santarina’s début ride. Hope the reindeer pulling the sled are not the friends’ of the unhappy elves, but friends of Santarina.

NSP — Its Santa gives away”at-cost” HDB flats” for all those without a flat or other property, at one stroke transferring wealth from the landed class and those who paid “Market – less subsidy”.  Young and speculators who sold their flats are happy. Everyone else is angry. It’s OK for NSP Sec-Gen they say, “Meng Seng sold his HDB flat under the old system, making a killing. And now he can buy low.” Mah Bow Tan smiles.  NSP’s Santa is making life easier for PAP in the coming GE.

SF — As members are socialists, they don’t believe in Santa. And anyway, Santa is a big fat slop. SF want someone that can wear a speedo elegantly.

SDA — There is a Muslim party, so Santa is haram, even though  the Sec-Gen would make a gd Santa.

Hope the parties take this in the spirit it is meant: the spirit of meanness masquerading as the spirit of Christmas. )))))

“Holy Apples”: X’mas with Chinese characteristics

In Holidays and Festivals on 26/12/2010 at 5:47 am

Christmas has become a festive season in China with “Holy Apples” being given as presents.

“China mainland’s acceptance of Christmas was passed from Hong Kong,” explains professor Kent Deng from the London School of Economics.

Because of historical reasons, Christmas is an official holiday in Hong Kong.

“After the Reform and Opening Up policy in 1978, mainland China has gradually begun to accept Western culture,” Dr Deng says.

This reminded me of Friday or Saturday last, when there were a couple of pages in ST on the ties between the CCP and PAP. If I recall (sorry I skim through such spin), it was all abt what the CCP had learnt from PAP. Strange that ST didn’t credit  PAP with teaching the CCP abt celebrating Christmas.

Seriously, the PAP teaching the CCP is a bit like LKY teaching realpolitik to the hegemon. The US was already a co-hegemon for yrs before LKY learnt geopolitics. Likewise the CCP came to power in China a decade before LKY came to power here. And the CCP had come to power after fighting the Japanese and the KMT. The PAP came to power in an election.

Back to apples. Apples for example, are sent as symbolic gifts. Known as Holy Apples, they cost five times more than usual and are packed as gifts to wish people a happy Christmas Eve. Now the guy or gal who tot this racket up is one FT we need here.

BBC article on Chinese celebrating Christmas as a time to give presents and party.

Freak election result? No worries MM

In Corporate governance, Holidays and Festivals on 25/12/2010 at 5:24 pm

(Update on 27 December 2010: Juz realised I should have prefaced this by saying that this post is in the spirit of ghost or macabre stories that are part of the English Christmas tradition.)

Learn from Africa. Hold a “Klingon election”

Holding a  “Klingon election” is how the BBC’s African correspondent describes a situation where the incumbent party or president uses violence, or the threat of violence, as a convenient device enabling it/him to ignore the actual election results and cling to office thanks to some expensively, externally mediated “power-sharing” arrangement. Blog post.

Seriously, watch out for a coming post on why this or military intervention will never happen here.

An off-putting Christmas tradition

In Holidays and Festivals on 25/12/2010 at 6:14 am

If you reading this, get a life.

Have a super festive season, and reading on-line shouldn’t be part of it. But since you are reading, might as well read: A “shitty” Christmas tradition.

It will put a smile on yr face.