(Thai) government has turned Thailand into a country of fear by abusing
its power, suppressing free will, interfering with independent bodies
and the media, and even taking the law into its own hands," the Bangkok
Post reported what speakers at a political discussion in Thailand said
(March 5, 2003). Just thought my XHo-Files readers might wanna read
an unpeculiar piece of news.
in to our Straits Times Forum highlighting what he noticed at our
Senior Ministers forum with undergraduates: "It is a matter
of grave and urgent concern that the best and brightest Singaporean youths
in the universities have very few questions to ask the SM. The fact that
most of the questions were from foreign students lent strong support and
credence to SM Lees earlier reference to foreign youths as being
hungrier and more driven to get ahead.
students generally lack soul and passion for things outside the syllabus
of examinations. They show little curiosity about things and events in
their proximate communities and the world. At the societal level, this
lack of curiosity in young people also means the lack of imagination,
and a complete inability to visualize any life but their own. It breeds
a selfish me-first attitude as they cannot recognize their
responsibility for their less able and less fortunate fellows in
society." (First of all, can I just say, in learned nation-propping
terms, our students are probably born that way, its through no fault
of the system, okay! But what of that responsibility spoken
about there? Has it anything to do with our system of meritocracy? But
the observation made above, I would say that Singaporeans are the most
"nationalistic" people in the world. Why? Simply because if those "ailments"
cited had been detected in another country, its natives would have stood
up with a damning cry, such as I have seen the best minds of my
generation gone down the tubes. (The tube in Singapore is literally where
all sights and minds go.) But here in Singapore, we really "stand by our
man"-agers and descry nothing. Thats only because we know how to
practise constructive criticism (other countries, it seems, dont).
So how can I not be proud of Singaporeans?
So the top
gun himself has finally popped the question big-big: Are young Singaporeans
committed enough to fight for a better Singapore? (Is he trying to undermine
his own paternalistic government wholl look after everything? Just
wondrin.) Some minor top gun had already hinted at such a question
not long ago in the form of "Are you ready to die for your country?"
its a pertinent question, especially when the tag to the question
asserts that if they (the young ones) dont, then "no one else
will" (The Straits Times, Feb 19, 2003). Damn right, we know there
are just the young ones left now. The older ones surely have tasted enough
sweeping paternalism, numbing double standards and lived through enough
ballot-numbers on voting slips to simply look after No.1 the big-big
moolah! Ask those older ones to die for their country and theyd
surely nod away nervously lest theres a punitive clause in the law
to prosecute anyone with a negative reply. Yes, were very law-by-law.
In case youre
wondering what double standards? Well, for one, sex between homosexuals
(even between consenting adults) is still a crime but half a dozen gay
saunas, with dark rooms and no-towel nights, are ALLOWED to thrive in
our midst. Its painfully hypocritical, may I just say AGAIN!
its certainly left to the young. Future leaders, darling, future
We love you so much were doing everything, and we
mean anything, we can to make sure you wanna take over as leaders tomorrow.
'Cos contrary to what we previously ignored, the gods do have to die one
day. (I think it is called crossing the heavenly gate once we get to it.)
ones (sing Cliff Richard, sing) dont be afraid. Besides, youre
the only ones too young to remember good old paternalism and how intolerant
we once were of funky youth culture. Simply take it as we love
you now, your youth-everything your Linken Park, Eminem, skateboards
Really. Weve got all the proof you need.
that Janet Jackson album Janet and its BANNED-by-Singapore cover-pic of
Janets bare-breast being clasped by another pair of hands from behind?
Well, in case we havent screamed through a MITA memo of a (quiet)
revoke of the ban, such a pictorial concept is fine by us now. Were
hip with it! We didnt even chastise the Sunday Times for coming
up with a reprint of some newlyweds "nude" pic using the same pictorial
concept. See! We kid you not.
Intolerant yesterday but funky tomorrow! Say, maybe we should get Ah-Do
to record such a catch-phrase for next years Sing Singapore. Cmon,
lets dance the funky durian together! Besides-besides, when apathy
pervades the air we breathe, mere motivation itself is everything. So
cmon, lets shake it, shake it, baby.
On us not
staging "large anti-war demonstrations and protests in the streets
here," a Straits Times reader wrote to the paper to say: "Singaporeans
should speak up in their own way" (The Straits Times, Feb.26, 2003).
Hello! Look here. LOOK HERE BIG-BIG! Im someone speaking up in my
own way. Ah, but Im sure there are those who consider my kind of
speaking up as ranting. Well, lest you think its no different from,
say, filmmaker Michael Moores put-down of President Bush at the
Oscars, let me assure you, its different. Moore spoke in the name
of the Fifth Amendment. I write in the spirit of kiasu-ism, farce,
muted free speech and Supercilious Paternalism. (Did someone utter benign
fascism? Just asking.)
its not enough to urge Singaporeans to simply speak up. They should
also be told HOW! (On that point, see Chapter 92 of my book, Attack Of
The SM Space Encroachers.) And please, dont consider it a farce
to do so. Nation-building in Singapore can never be a farce.
On how to
instruct people to speak up
Make it very blatant, the ways of JB
Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan, Francis Seow and company are NOT the way.
And we really want you guys (the people) to speak up, in that, yknow,
obedient way. So, it helps to get a licence first, just like at
Speakers Corner. Start there to begin with. Its sanctioned
grounds for speaking. Not at, say, the Istana. 'Cos look whats happened
to another Singapore Democratic Party leader Ghandi Ambalan. Hes
now barred from the next General Elections because he was "trying
to provide unlicensed public entertainment at the Istana grounds
on Labour Day last year." And he was only trying to "entertain."
Imagine if he was trying to speak up!
But no worries,
the "finest" species of Singaporeans among us has cast heartening light
on the days concern and with comforting figures to boot! Tan Tarn
How in his report in The Straits Times (Mar 7, 2003) noted that "800
sign anti-war petition in Singapore." (This was before the Gov. declared
support for the war in Iraq; so please dont mistake Tan for a anti-Gov.
dissident, okay!). So worry not, Singaporeans, theres always ST
to the rescue. For whatever
whenever. Were the United Straits
Of Whatever (sing it, Liam Lynch!). Id say, lets not even
worry about unquestioning young minds and fighting for a better future,
the papers will take care of everything. Im sure you already know
Chua Lee Hoong in waxing lyrical about Budget 2003 said: "How many realise fully that the Budget is not about putting money into individual pockets but about maintaining national economic health?" (The Straits Times, Mar 5, 2003). Well, I did! (not that I follow these things). I did because I know instinctively that the Budget cannot be for the individual.
"putting money into individual pockets"? Even I know it's not Elections
time yet. X'Ho
For more... email [email protected] with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."