RantThree

So as widely predicted, the Hammer Posse won control of their hood. The Lightning leaders won 145 more votes and the Hammer Posse lost 1403 votes. If only they allowed betting on elections, I could have made out like a bandit.

The outcome was never seriously in doubt, but this election reminded me of how biased the media seems towards the Government. It is quite funny because everyone can clearly tell that there is bias and not much effort is made to veil it. I do not read the Straits times regularly but I was watching Channel NewsAsia’s coverage of the by election results on Saturday night. I only watched the program for about 15 minutes but it was sufficient to cement the impression I had of the media.

They had one reporter in a Hougang coffeeshop where the WP supporters were gathered and another in a room of PAP supporters. The anchors first talked to the reporter at the coffeeshop where a thousand WP supporters were reportedly gathered. Let’s just assume there only were a few hundred because the view they showed was not very representative. So the hundreds were chanting and making a lot of noise for the WP. Then our dear anchors switched to the room of 20-30 PAP peeps. The reporter starts with “I hope you can hear me over the noise in the room” and the anchor ends the interview with “It was really hard to hear what she had to say over the noise in the background”. The PAP room also looked so choreographed with everyone wearing white on white, tudung also white.  Laughing out Loud, give me a break…

Hougang really strikes me as a place where the people love their elected representative. in fact, it strikes me as the only place in Singapore where that is the case. You only see spontaneous gatherings of citizens there and in Potong Pasir. I think they take their role as one of Singapore’s few Opposition wards very seriously. No lift? Nevermind can exercise. 1980s looking buildings? Wah retro seh. No wet market? Blackmail no work. Maybe that’s why it seems to be such a stronghold, they have an emotional connection to the Party in their area. When you read stories of Low Thia Khiang going for the wakes in his constituency and the team walking around without much fanfare, you know that the constituents trust and like them personally as they do not seem to have airs about them. In the PAP constituencies, there is a big entourage following the MPs around machiam Lady Gaga.

Desmond Choo seemed like a really nice and sincere guy who would have done much for Hougang if he won.  But i think that he was sunk by his bosses talking nonsense. Singaporeans don’t really care about issues like internal party politics that much. For people who always talk about how much they are doing, how superior they are in all aspects, they tend to do a lot of mudslinging over trivial issues and make it a campaign issue. Mudslinging pisses people off, especially when its over nonsense like the NCMP scheme. If you want to sling mud, do it well using issues that people care about, then the mud might stick.

Maybe if they planned it such that the bosses sling mud, but Desmond takes a public and vocal stance against them, he could have won more votes. The newspapers could have devoted pages to how strong willed he is, and that he is risking his political career by being vocally against the leaders. That is not such a hard situation to envision. He could be seen as independent and willing to stand up to his party leadership. If he got elected, he does not really need to care about national issues, just get Hougang the municipal facilities they desire and he will be considered successful. He could also be considered mavericky and can be used by the PAP as an example that they welcome people with strong opinions within their ranks. They can also say that people like Desmond serve as a check on the PAP, so no need so many Opposition faces. Just wayang lah, it’s how well you wayang….

The WP has been around for a really long time, so in terms of branding they are as popular as the PAP. Out of all the parties, they seem the most likely to be able to challenge the dominance of the ruling party and I think it all depends on how they handle Aljunied GRC. If they run the place well, other GRCs will consider voting for them as they know they can be trusted. The PAP has always made the constituents believe that they are the only competent party around and if WP plays its cards well  to shatter this view, they could be much more successful electorally. Who knows, 1 or 2 more constituencies may fall from the lightning to the hammer columns, then Parliament will get interesting.

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In a parallel universe…

Imagine if they remade The Avengers in Tamil….

The first thing we have to settle is the lead actor. Tamil movies need a hero, there may be ‘multi-hero’ movies but usually there is only 1 A-list actor per movie. If The Avengers were made in Tamil, Iron Man would have to be considered the hero. Why? He has a snazzy outfit, the wittiest lines,a hot chick by his side AND saves the world be almost sacrificing himself. Thus all the requisite boxes are checked. So who can possible headline such a big budget project? Rajnikanth duh, no questions asked. With him, the film will break even easily.

In fact, for my next venture I will have him sitting in a chair reciting the phonebook for two hours. I will film this with my iPhone camera and I believe it will be the movie with the highest return on investment ever, such is the Man’s pull.

His hot chick who appears in 2 scenes will have to be imported from Bollywood, Katrina Kaif will have to do. Just so we can use her for an item number to hype the movie up some more.

Now we have to move on to the rest of the team. Captain America will have to be replaced by Captain India, Vijaykanth, without a doubt, By the way, what is Captain America’s superpower? He basically seems like a gymrat in a corny costume. Hawkeye would be played by Surya. Easy decision as they are both muscular, short guys. Only one person can play Black Widow, Tamil cinema’s resident femme fatale Lakshmi Rai.

We are left with two characters, Thor and The Hulk. Oh wait, I seem to have forgotten about Nick Fury! We will require a character artist to sound serious in the scenes that he appears, Nasser gets it. Thor is a big blonde demi god who plays with hammers and lightning. Hulk is a big green monster. It is here that i utilize my trump card, Kamal Hassan. Since he can act any role and own it, I shall give him Thor. Who better to perform a demi-God than an atheist?!

Head: Hulk has to go to the biggest actor in Tamil Nadu , even if it happens to be female.

Heart: Don’t be a bastard, head!

Head: Don’t be a pussy, heart!

Me: Both of you, shut the fuck up, i’m trying to think!

After much deliberation, i have decided to cast Simbu, sorry STR, as the Hulk solely due to the fact that he managed to get his shirt to rip open with a body that wasn’t all that massive. As for Loki, I will import a random actor from Telugu or Hindi cinema who looks like a badass and can shout really loud.

It’s set then, we have the main cast settled. Now we have to desi-fy the plot. A movie based on a fight over a source of unlimited energy is not going to make a lot of money in India. So the Tesseract is now a dangerous weapon,Bomb-X, that the bad guys have stolen from the Government and the Avengers have to destroy it before the bad guys use it.

Why Bomb-X? As we all know, anything with an X in its name just sounds sinister and high tech.

So the basic plot line is that bad guys are trying to steal this bomb from the Government to blow up some place and the Avengers will have to stop them. The bad guys will succeed in their theft right before the intermission and will try to blow some place up, and will be stopped by the Avengers in the climax. Along the way, Surya will develop an unrequited romance towards Lakshmi Rai, but since he is a supporting actor she does not love him. She will love Rajnikanth, who already has Katrina Kaif. In the end, she will realise Surya’s love and settle for him. The movie will end with our main hero’s soliloquy about the dangers of such weapons and the need for peace while dismantling the device. Yes, I stole adapted that part from Enthiran, sue me.

I think this movie could make tonnes of money and I have already managed to get gcFILM to agree to be the producer. Since it’s their maiden venture, they will spare no expense to make this a hit. The movie is due to hit your local screens in end-2013. As it will be filmed in 3D, please watch it in theatres not youtube.

PS: As soon as the movie is released, you will hear Tamilians saying, ” What wonderful special effects, better than Hollywood movies. Thalaivar rocks again!”. Ignore the first sentence.


RantTwo

How does one say ‘river end’ in Teochew? HOUGANG! Google Maps just told me that Hougang is indeed at the end of the Serangoon River. Stop laughing, there is an actual river in Serangoon. Google said so. But why do I suddenly care about Hougang?

Well, for starters, I hear they are having a by-election there. The last time Singapore held a by-election was December 1992 so its been quite a while. That’s right, the last time there was a by-election I was talking gibberish and wandering around Singapore aimlessly in diapers.

I was also eagerly awaiting the arrival of my baby sister in 1992. I had already drawn up the master plan to fling her against a wall and break her teeth so that in 16 years, she’d get braces to correct the disability that i gifted her for her 2nd birthday. And for her 18th birthday, she would receive beautiful teeth like me. Today, I can update one and all that the plan worked like a charm.

So as you can see, nothing much has changed over these 20 years. Now back to Hougang, the MP who was elected last year had been a very naughty boy, earning himself expulsion from his Party and Parliament. Btw, read his Wikipedia entry, daaaaaaamn this guy is NAUGHTY! Looking at him, who would’ve thought! So now there’s about to be an election between PAP’s Desmond Choo and WP’s Png Eng Huat to settle the question that everyone has been asking once and for all. Upgrading or no upgrading!

There’s bound to be reams dedicated to in depth political analysis in the local papers and political blogs. But, i pride myself on being a genius, a political savant so I will stick my neck out and predict the outcome without wasting as much time, energy or paper as those people. My justification will also be equally succinct, because at the end of the day, who really wants to read long winding analyses on politics?! Drum roll please………. I say Hougang is Thor territory!

One question which I see the pundits asking often is, “Will the election be based on municipal or national issues?”. Basically, this strikes me as a trick question to determine who people are more likely to vote for. Since polling is very restricted in Singapore, especially during campaign season, there are no agencies which do in-depth surveys and polls to determine this for sure.

As an aside, why does Singapore only seem to have 2 political analysts always quoted in the media, Asst Prof Eugene Tan from SMU and Gillian Koh from the IPS? Get some more people please, I would like to see different names. Most of the time, analysts seem to say stuff which just seems obvious. The other day, i read the following in a paper, “These differing views are the contesting parties’ attempts to set the agenda and characterize the by-election…but ultimately it is the voters who will decide which are the issues that are important to them.” No shit, Sherlock.

If the election is based on municipal issues, the PAP will probably win. It is undeniable that if the residents of Hougang were voting for the candidate they think can better deliver much needed facilities to their constituency, PAP will win hands down, confirm chop seal. They will finally get the upgrading perks that they have long been denied. I have always thought its quite a dirty tactic to not let opposition wards get similar amenities as other wards, but that’s politics for you. The boss decides, we have to accept it.

If based on national issues , WP will probably win. I believe when the media speaks of national issues, they are referring to things like transportation and housing. So what has changed from the last election nationally, when the PAP obtained their lowest ever vote share since independence, to suggest that Hougang-sters are going to vote for the PAP? The only thing I am aware of nationally which might have affected people since then, is the transportation system which seems to have declined in quality. So the answer to my question is, nothing!

I think about the election from a very simple, non-scientific perspective. Hougang has been voting WP for 20 years, so they do seem to have an attachment to the Party and might ‘forgive’ them for Yaw’s indiscretions. In a bad election year, the PAP obtained about 35% of the vote there. 65% voted WP. So there has to be a net 30 point shift for the PAP to win. I really don’t think that is going to happen. The 35% who voted for the PAP will probably stick with them, but some of the 65% might be pissed off enough to shift to the lightning column. So in all likelihood, the Workers’ Party will hold the seat, just by a smaller margin than last time around.

Of course, there could also be some sort of rallying effect which results in the WP’s vote share increasing. The Party could very well go to the people of Hougang and say with humility, “Look, our guy screwed up and we’re really sorry. We did not try to cover up for him, in fact we were as unaware of his problem as you were. When we got the idea that he was not going to come clean, we sacked him and immediately called for an election which was not granted. We could have tried to weasel our way out and cover stuff so that we get to keep the seat, but we did not. We are willing to risk 1 of our 6 seats so that you have another chance to choose. Look, you know us and we know you. We’ve served you with all our heart for 2 decades, with a lot of difficulty. Sorry, give us another chance. Most importantly, this guy is older, not so horny also. ” Now this would be funny if it happened!

At the end of the day, politics is all spin. Whoever wins, one thing is true in Singapore.

PS: Hi sister, this counts as a post about you.


Public Apology

As requested, I am publishing the following public apology.

To whom it concerns,

I write to you in times of great difficulty and with a heavy heart. Let me first apologise for the tardiness i displayed. Let me also be clear that I was not late for our meeting on purpose. I would never deliberately do such a thing for it would result in an undesirable consequence, a reduction in the quality time I get to spend with you.

Factors beyond my control contributed to my arrival 15 minutes after the scheduled time. It would be of great help if I first explained my thought process regarding travel time. I estimated that it would take 10 minutes to the train station and 35 minutes via train to reach the desired venue. Factoring in waiting times, i would have needed to leave my residence at 2 pm so as to reach the destination at 3 pm.

Prior events to my leaving greatly impacted the course of events and are largely the reason for my tardiness. I was watching a clip which shed light on concepts like the intricacies of race relations in America.

I believe that you expect more reasons to explain my latecoming yesterday.

I assure you, there are none. I was watching a video on Youtube and it was funny so I left late and arrived late. You had also demanded a 500 word apology. I admit that i don’t give a copulate about your demands. By now, you should have realised that the entire thing was a joke and i feel no remorse for making you wait, not one iota.

So, if i’m late again (and i will be), deal with it.


Dear SAF

Sir Alex Ferguson,

I’m writing to you from half a world away on the day where Manchester United is about to lose the title. What? Something stupid might happen and QPR might hold City? Well, if that happens something less stupid might happen and Sunderland might hold United. So get off the crack pipe. I know you think you’re playing mind games, but i think mind games are overrated. Teams crumble not because some opposing manager taunts them, they crumble because they have insufficient mental fortitude and can’t deal with pressure. Or in Utd’s case, insufficient footballing skill.

It’s all your fault really. You’ve pampered us too much. An entire generation of Man Utd supporters have grown up with you, so we don’t really know how it feels to lose often. We’ve become so used to winning that when we end up in 2nd place on goal difference and 20 points ahead of third place, we think the world is going to end and the media hypes it like an empire just crumbled. You’re a victim of your own success.

I look at the table and just feel happy seeing Liverpool level with Fulham. They’re closer to Wolves than Utd. Seriously, we can have another 10 games where Utd loses all 10 and Pool wins all 10, and WE’D STILL BE AHEAD!

Anyway, why is everybody is so critical of Utd this season? As far as I’m concerned, they’ve done great. Losing the title on goal difference? Why not? That would be embarrassing for City more than Utd. Yea we crumbled like a Famous Amos cookie, but c’mon who’s surprised! Okay I am, but whatever I’m not going to cry over the crumbled cookie! No other team can finish in this position when half the team,especially key personnel, has been injured for long stretches throughout the season. Just imagine Kompany and Toure not playing for as long as Vidic has been injured. This season is proof positive that you are the best manager in the BPL, period. You’ve made an average team with no game-changing player push an all star team to the final day of the season.

Now wipe your tears, you’re not as perfect as that paragraph makes you seem. 37 games have been played but you screwed it up big time in 1 particular game. I’m not talking about the Shellacking at Old Trafford, i’m talking about the Surrender at the Etihad! You wasted 90 mins of my life, when I could have been sleeping or preparing for my next paper! A lineup which set out for a draw was always going to lose, especially when you play Park for the first time in months. That day, you surrendered the title and showed the state of your own mind. You were afraid, mindful that you were up against a team with superior players in every position and a vastly superior bank balance.

Of course, if something stupid does happen today and we win the title,I will write you another letter praising your mind games and tactical nous. Like how you purposely made the team crumble and let City back into it, just for kicks. *Snicker*