wonder then, that residents rush through void decks
it cosmic and poetic that we should now have the crisis of fear,
stemming from the biggest crisis of them all, SARS (severe acute respiratory
syndrome). "The PM (on) what he called Singapores worst crisis
since independence the crisis of fear over SARS..." (Straits
Times, Apr 24, 2003). Eh
different kind of fear from the Alfian
Saat one? Oh go on, drop on the floor, just pick up more sand and
justify 'til the cows come home, lor.
kids were first given the thermometer test in a SARS prevention-drive,
we were told by the statesman that the kids would then also be learning
a thing or two about body temperature and how to use a thermometer, etc.
No, we can't just say it's a necessary precautionary measure 'cos if we
do, the ignoramus would somehow equate it with hoodwinking. Why, hah?
justification pointed persuasion or rationalised regimentation?
It's staring at you all the time in the morning paper. "SARS quarantine
use it to get to know family better," some earnest lady suggested
in the Straits Times' Forum on Mar 29, 2003. Oh yeah, instructional time
again and with that fitting paternalistic tone of justification, moo!
Our people need to be told, mah.
but here's the ludicrous extent of that letter's 'instructional' stand
"Take out old board and card games which require the family
to interact as they play. Have a good laugh as you brainstorm and make
up new games too. After a meal, read together from a good book. Do your
own book-to-movie conversion. Or do spoofs of your favorite TV programs
I see one
word in all of that Stepford. It's so obvious why Singaporeans
deserve Channel 8 and 5, isn't it? You think I'm over-stating the instructional-ignoramus
case? The Ministry of Community Development & Sports is distributing
a pamphlet to neighborhood clinics with a message that ain't medical at
all. 'Love Our Children Discipline, Not Abuse' is the headline.
Inside it are tips on disciplining a child and managing your anger. Gotta
tell them EVERYTHING, What to do, how to shit, what to hold back, etc.
take the risk? Find ways to live with bug
keeps distance. Even simple steps can help." (ST, Apr 7, 2003). Sure,
sure. Lead-by-example, suddenly, takes on a new fervor on these shores.
To me, it's more like rub-in the common sense 'cos we ain't got much of
it to begin with. (Nevermind that they're hoping for us to be dynamic
So you can
well imagine how I 'languish' in the 'fever' of our terrible crisis. Finally,
we are forced to take a long hard look at our system of immoderate regimentation
and see how it has subverted personal initiative all this while. And how
WE DIDN'T GIVE A FUCK BEFORE, 'COS FATHER KNOWS BEST! So now, how?
have to regulate some more, lor. Like fines/jail-term for people
who break quarantine
Of course, we've got to. Singaporeans know
zilch about social responsibility and civic-mindedness because with a
system of law-by-law, we don't need to use our head, mah.
for wearing masks," cried one poor conscientious Singaporean in the
Straits Times Forum (Apr 10, 2003). Seriously, am I surprised?
Oh, you can
imagine the joyful space granted to me, each time I wear a mask
on the MRT train these days. Finally, restrained space-encroachment
behavior. Hallelujah, the crisis of fear.
In the past,
whenever the Gov. stepped in to make a stand, our angkat-heavy
press would always follow up with a timely 'social-building chide'
"Why must Singaporeans turn to Gov. for everything?" To me,
that's like saying 'Yes, our sweet masters will always do their
part, so please follow orders given. But feel you are also acting
autonomously 'cos with our chiding-cue now, you are, therefore, using
your head to question the instruction's relevance in order to act on orders
from above. See how important our role is between you, the layman, and
them, the statesmen!'.
press wouldn't dare use that follow-up rationale this time in our
SARS crisis. How nice to be spared ONE morning-time manipulation.
press, no need to get super-defensive on me. You think I'm the only one
spelling out our follies for all to see? Even one minister, not long ago,
had the gumption to say - "We depended too much on a command and
control mode". Just that he said it ever so delicately. I would also
state my contentions sweetly if I have the kind of patience and faith
as he does in a system of sweeping control and insidious subjugation (see
chapter 91 of my book The Attack Of The S.M. Space Encroachers) which
breeds distrust, indignation and hostility, not forgetting, fear. So get
your perspective on me right when buttering up the right backsides.
In the Straits Times Commentary/Analysis on Apr 25, 2003, a senior writer with the paper wrote - "Singapores crisis of fear goes deeper than SARS". Oh, you betcha. I rest my Sars(castic) case.
For more... email [email protected] with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."