t Double Yellow's Musings

Double Yellow's Musings

The warped mind of Double Yellow craves for humor everyday. His daily dose comes from The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, Today, Channelnewsasia, etc. He also thinks that because of this preamble, this blog will never get featured in the local media. And of course, please read the Disclaimer before embarking on the journey.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Shit has hit the fan. Its gonna be a while...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Singapore MRT Anagrams

I read in Boing Boing, many city got anagram of their transit system. London lah, Toronto lah, Amsterdam lah... Singapore also must have one. We is the Singapore, we is the global city, we is the kiasu

I dun have skill time to put everything on a map. So here is the list of anagrams for all the MRT and LRT stations including the ones still in the pipeline.

Boon Lay – Y No Bola (thanks Winged Densetsu)Loan Boy
Lakeside – Sake deli, Sleek Aid, lake dies
Chinese Garden – Adherence Sign, Chained Greens, Crashed Engine
Jurong East – Just Orange, Ornate Jugs, Jute Sarong
Clementi – Me Client
Dover – Drove
Buona Vista – Avian Bouts
Commonwealth – Calm Hometown
Queenstown – New Quonset
Redhill – Drill Eh (thanks Winged Densetsu), Ill Herd
Tiong Bahru – Got Rub in Ah (thanks Winged Densetsu), Tough Brain
Outram Park – Rum Prata OK
Tanjong Pagar – Apt Nag Jargon
Raffles Place – Elf Race Flaps
City Hall – All Itchy
Bugis - Big Us
Lavender – Ever Land, DNA Lever, Elder Van
Kallang – Lank Gal
Aljunied – Laid June, Nude Jail
Payalebar – A Bare Play,
Eunos – Sue On
Kembangan – Me Nag Bank
Bedok – Bed OK
Tanah Merah – Ah Earthman, Tahan Harem
Simei – I Semi
Tampines – Mean Spit, Spin Team, Main Pest, Span Time
Pasir Ris – Sari Rips
Expo – Ex-Op
Changi Airport – Pirating Roach, Aching Airport
Bukit Batok – But Batik OK
Bukit Gombak -
Choa Chu Kang – Hack Chao Gnu, Hack An Cough
Yew Tee – Wet Eye
Kranji – Ink Jar
Marsiling – Main Girls
Woodlands – Downloads
Admiralty – Malt Diary, Tidy Alarm, Tri Malady
Sembawang – We Bans Mag
Yishun – I un Shy
Khatib – Bah Kit
Yio Chu Kang – Hacking You
Ang Mo Kio – Main Go Ok, I Among Ok
Bishan – Banish, Bash In
Braddell – Drab Dell,
Toa Payoh – Pay Too Ah
Novena – An Oven
Newton – Not New
Orchard – Char Rod
Somerset – Mere Toss, Tree Moss,
Dhoby Ghaut – Doughy Bath
Harbour Front – Fourth Barron
China Town – Ninth Waco
Clarke Quay – Lacy Quaker
Little India – Inlaid Title
Farrer Park – Far Err Park
Boon Keng – Knob Gone,
Potong Pasir – Pop Roasting, Poor Pasting, Poop Ratings, Opposing Art, Pisang Troop
Woodleigh – How I Ogled,
Serangoon – Orange Son, Noon Rages, Ones Organ, One Sarong,
Kovan – Van Ok
Hougang – Hung Ago
Buangkok – Bang UK OK
Sengkang -
Punggol – Long Pug
Pioneer – I Opener, Ripe One
Joo Koon -
South View – Shout View, Thou Wives
Keat Hong – Gate Honk
Teck Whye – Ketch Yew
Phoenix – Hope Nix
Ten Mile Junction – Jet Mount Incline, Inject Lemon Unit, Joint Mice Tunnel,
Bukit Panjang – Punjab Taking, Junk Paint Bag,
Chesnut – Unchest, Ten Such
Hill View – Will Hive
Hume – He Mu
Anak Bukit – Kabuki Ant
Dunearn – Dear Nun, Ran Nude
Sixth Avenue – Vein Exhaust
Eng Neo – No Gene
Botanic Gardens – Carbonated Sign, Ignore Cabstand, Acrobat Endings, Botanic Dangers, sanctioned garb,
Whitley – the Wily
Kampong Java -
Beach Road – Head Cobra
Petir - Tripe
Bangkit – Big Tank, Knit Bag
Pending – Ping End
Fajar -
Segar- Gears, Rages
Jelapang – Jag Plane
Senja - Jeans
Soo Teck – Toe Sock
Sumang – Guns Ma
Nibong - Boning
Samudera – Dream USA, Urea Dams,
Punggol Point – Pop Nut Ogling
Teck Lee – Leek Etc
Sam kee – As Meek
Damai – A Maid
Oasis – Is Sao
Kalaloor - Lala Rook (thanx Elvin), A Roll Oak
Riveria – I arrive
Coral Edge – Caged Role, Cereal Dog, Large Coed,
Meridian – Dear Mini, Main Ride,
Cove -
Compassvale – Salsa PC Move, plasma coves
Rumbia – Bum Air
Bakau – A Baku
Kangkar -
Ranggung – Gang Rung
Renjong -
Tongkang – Gang Knot
Layar – A Lyra
Fernvale – Fan Lever
Thangam – Hang Mat
Kupang – Pang UK
Farmway – Warm Fay
Cheng Lim – Cling Hem
Bartley – Let Bray
Tai Seng - Teasing
Dakota – Data Ok
Mountbatten – Meant Button
Stadium – Smut Aid
Nicoll highway – Oh Aching Willy
Promenade – Roman Peed,
Bayfront – ban Forty
Landmark – Damn Karl
Cross Street – Escorts Rest
Esplanade – Sandal Pee
Bras Basah – Abash Bras
Shenton way – Anyhow Sent, Wants Honey, Honest Yawn,
Telok Blangah – All Bathe Kong, Lethal Bang Ok, Long Lake Bath
Labrador Park – Dark Rap Labor
Pasir Panjang – Sparing Japan (thanks Hafiz for pointing out the earlier error)
West Coast – State Cows
Kent Ridge – Gender Kit, Get Kinder,
One North – One Thorn, No Throne
Holland Village – Held Vanilla Log
Farrer – Far Err
Bukit Brown – Bub Tinwork,
Thomson – No Moths
Marymount – Many Tumor
Lorong Chuan – Churn Lagoon

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Singapore Forum on Politics 2006

I went to the Singapore Forum on Politics 2006 today. Organized by the Political Science Department of National University of Singapore (NUS) and supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) foundation. It was the title of the forum that made me attend the event in the first place – The (In)Significance of Political Elections in Singapore

Saturday morning. 9 AM. The only place I wanted to be was in bed. But this forum was interesting enough for me to trudge my way to NUS. On the bus, there were a number of students in school uniforms headed that way and I was impressed. But alas, my happiness was short-lived. They were all going for an audition or something.

After registration, I entered the lecture theatre which after a while felt like Antarctica. All the speakers were gathered in the front, socializing with each other. Everybody in the front two seats seemed to know everybody else. After a while it looked like the media was there too. More hugging and photographs.

After an introduction by Dr Colin Duerkop from KAS, the chair for the forum, Dr Kenneth Paul Tan began proceedings.

The first speaker was Dr Gillian Koh. She spoke about political legitimacy, the notion of contestability and political socialization. According to Koh, the policy agenda of the PAP government need not be seen just as a 5-year cycle for gaining electoral votes but one that covers bread and butter issues such as jobs, wages, cost of living as well as social inclusion. The basis for political legitimacy in Singapore is growth, meritocracy and social inclusion, social cohesion and deliberative decision-making. For Koh, the PAP cares for each and every voter.

With assistance of numbers, Dr Koh showed that the number of contested seats in Singapore has declined from 1984 (49 seats were contested) to date (in 2001, 29 seats were contested). With the help of Dilbert analogies, which I think the audience didn’t really understand, Dr Koh elaborated that electoral boundaries in Singapore does not really matter because it is so small.

Dr Koh stressed on the issue of political socialization. She said that the tastes of Singaporeans have been shaped for 40 years. In Singapore, it is bread and butter issues that matter more than self-actualization. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is what prevails here. Concluding with possible sources of change in the current political climate, Dr Koh spoke about changes in the PAP internal logic or Singaporeans taking a liking to post-materialist values (heritage, environment and the arts), foreigners in Singapore and lastly, political imagination

Overall, Dr Koh set a good base for discussion. Although her presentation was a bit academic (not that I am complaining), she clearly identified reasons why the PAP has been in power since independence and if things needed to change, it was up to Singaporeans.

The next speaker was James Gomez. He spoke at length on the Workers Party’s recently released manifesto. For Gomez, the current political situation in Singapore is depressing. The number of Singaporeans who get to vote during general elections is decreasing and the system favors the ruling party. In an effort to make democracy more ‘meaningful’, he said that the manifesto provided Singaporeans with a choice and an environment where competition is real.

It was a good thing that he spoke about the Workers Party proposal. Coz I haven’t read it. I only know about the timebombs. Yes, I am that apathetic. Anyways, the proposals in the manifesto included abolishing the elected presidency, setting up of an independent election commission, electoral boundary changes to be announced one year before elections, removal of the Group Representative Councils (GRCs), right to vote for all overseas Singaporeans, proportional representation as well as amendments to the constitution over the right to vote.

The talk was fine up to this point. Gomez went on to speak about activities of the Workers Party in the different GRCs and this is where things began to not only get confusing but also boring. Everyone in the theatre was looking at everyone else and there were a few yawns. Overall, Gomez’s presentation was essentially from the point of view of the Workers Party. It did not offer any independent analysis (not sure how it could have in the first place) and the presentation could definitely be spruced up.

The third speaker on the panel was Viswa Sadasivan. I think he rescued the audience from the monotonous presentation of Gomez. I was impressed with the humorous way Sadasivan went across making his point. He was glad that he was not part of the mainstream media today because of the way they report political activities. He said that there was a lot of gap between where the media is today and where the OB markers are. Journalists today, he said, do not know why they joined the profession and they do not know how the push the envelope. To them, it was increasingly, just a job.

He spoke about Rajaratnam and the PAP to make the point that there is space for more engaging political discussion in Singapore. It used to be a lot more in the 1980s. Going back to the media, he said that there was no leadership or professionalism today. He gave three recommendations. First, he would like to see more critical commentaries in the newspapers. Second, better and fairer coverage of the opposition (the media can take much better photos he says) and finally, a lot more forums and debates. In short, Sadasivan felt that there was a lot more room for integrity and ingenuity in the Singapore media.

The next speaker was Chandra Mohan. He spoke on Singapore’s constitution. He prefaced his comments by saying that the PAP government was run very well, by good and intelligent people. But there needs to be more tolerance towards defamation. According to Mohan, power in Singapore still lies with the people. The question is how to increase interest in politics. He offered a few suggestions – junior parliament and more deliberation on political issues.

He too called for a separate committee to decide on when elections are held. He also supported the NMP’s role today. He said that Singaporeans need to make use of any platform that is given to them. He went on to speak about the history of our Parliament house and also said that the people should still vote even if there is no contest to the Presidential office.

He peppered his talk with some anecdotes which I think the audience found entertaining, especially one about an elephant in front of the old Parliament house – thankfully it was not white, he said. Unfortunately, he ran out of time and had to stop before he could talk on our cabinet members.

The penultimate speaker was Dr Geh Min. She said that although she is in her 50s, she has never voted in Singapore. She addressed three questions in her talk. Are the elections in Singapore significant? Do we have the government we want? Is political choice important? And her emphatic answer to all three questions is Yes!

Dr Geh Min went to elaborate on the queries she posed. She said that there are three key players in an election – the ruling party, the opposition and the electorate. She said that the PAP government likes to take the moral high ground. It is very competitive and there is a lot of healthy competition between PAP members. According to Geh Min, the fact that we have elections is good because it makes the PAP government listen beter.

She decided to take an ad hoc poll from the audience about whether people thought we had the government we wanted. Less than 50% of the people put up their hands. Dr Geh Min said that the PAP government is remaking itself to be the government we want. She believes that it is a consultative government now. As the president of the Nature Society in Singapore, Geh Min said that the government was listening when it came to Chek Jawa. The U-turn involved a lot of money but the government still listened and made the right choice.

Dr Geh Min concluded by saying that political choice is important in the long-run. Although she or any of the other speakers did not elaborate on what they meant by long-term, she said a healthy society can only come about through diversity and a lack of choice would eventually be detrimental to Singapore.

The final speaker was Dr Kirpal Singh who spoke on alternative models to the electoral system. He said that Singapore lacks dreamers or even if it has some of them, they are not recognized and rewarded today. He stressed that the Singapore dream should not be deferred and if we do so, there is a chance we may explode one day.

He threw up the idea of whether the U.S. form of democracy is better suited for us than the British model. Giving an analogy about Microsoft being the dominant player in the software market, Singh said that too much of a monopoly can lead to unfair practice. He was quite critical against people in Singapore complaining behind the veil of anonymity. He said that it is important for Singapore is the long-run for people to take responsibility for what they say.

Singh also raised the question about the number of times opposition leaders are invited to state functions. He said that this should be made a practice and even suggested that leaders of political parties in Singapore should be paid salaries. Singh highlighted the difference between legitimacy and credibility and he said that the latter is necessary for the growth of a strong, viable Singapore.

Singh also said that creativity can only be there when there is space for an alternative voice. If it is always about conformity and consensus, then we are heading the wrong way. He said that this change can be brought out only by a confident government and our current government is a self-assured one. Speaking on post-electoral democracy, Singh said that the PAP government should be embarrassed with the current state of political affairs. He concluded by saying that a level-playing field would be a sign of maturity.

DISCLAIMER: The above is my interpretation of what transpired at the forum. Although I have tried my level best to put forth the views of the speakers, I cannot give any guarantee on the accuracy of the above statements. Please use at your own risk. If something has been wrongly attributed to any of the speakers, please let me know and I will arrange to correct it immediately.

P.S: I also have the Q &A session written down but will transcribe it only if people are interested and I recover from my carpal tunnel syndrome.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

S. Rajaratnam Passes Away

Former Singapore Deputy Prime Minister, S. Rajaratnam has passed away. Just 3 days shy of his 91st birthday, he died of heart failure.

Sinnathamby Rajaratnam was born on 25 Feb 1915 in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He grew up in Seremban and Selangor and studied at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur and then Raffles Institution in Singapore. He worked for The Straits Times as a journalist and decided to join Singapore politics in 1959. He held positions of Minister of Culture, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Labour, Second Deputy Minister of Singapore and Senior Minister.

Lets not forget the old guard…

Channelnewsasia Report
Channelnewsasia Obituary – there is a place to send condolence messages and also view a video
Wikipedia Entry

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Licence Fees and Foreign Dramas

More numbers again. Not 1, Not 2, not even 3 but a whopping $111,000,000 was collected by the gahmen for TV and radio licence fees during the last financial year. See here.

This money has been used to fund 3000 hours of public service programmes, including National Day Rally and National Day broadcasts. And 8% of the money goes towards foreign movies and dramas. Hang on... 8 percent? That is $8,880,000 !!

Oh well, I guess it’s not much to carp about since those are about the only times when we don’t get public service programmes :)

2.16m Eligible Voters in Singapore

An interesting piece of news with which we can probably do some even interesting analysis later… :)

Nearly 2.16 million Singaporeans are eligible to vote in the coming general election. Their names are listed in the Registers of Electors which have been certified by the Elections Department on Friday.

Registers for the 23 electoral divisions are now open for inspection. This can be done at the Elections Department in Prinsep Street and 104 Inspection Centres located in community centres and clubs.

Singaporeans can also check the registers on-line via the Elections Department website at www.elections.gov.sg. The registers contain a total of 2,158,439 names. Among them, 857 are registered as overseas electors. They will be able to vote at eight Overseas Polling Stations located at the Singapore diplomatic missions in Canberra, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, London, Washington and San Francisco. - CNA/ch

Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd

Friday, February 17, 2006

Touché, mTouche

Singapore consumers are up in arms again. A company called mTouche billed some mobile phone customers $1 for a SMS about Chinese New Year. Our mainstream media don’t seem to have picked up this story. Maybe hor, they are preoccupied with the inclusive-beyond-expectation budget :)

Anyways, a few people wrote to the newspaper about the extra charge and guess what, mTouche published a ‘clarification’ in the Class Ad section of Today today.

mTouche Pte Ltd, a premium mobile aggregator for business-to-consumer SMS, would like to make the following clarification

Wah! Clarification also must say you are the best issit? Next time hor, can do even better.... mTouche Pte Ltd, soon to be Fortune 500 company offering 100% dividend to all shareholders and looking to expand into the Chinese and Indian markets, would like to make the following clarification

.... erroneously billed $1 due to technical error

Aah! I get it. The unsolicited SMS was not wrong at all. It was the stoopid computer that screwed up your marketing strategy. So if we consumers want to sue someone, we should take legal action against the CPU and monitor. Thank you hor...

mTouche has immediately terminate the shortcode and service of MyGlobal Fun and have also sought the help of all the mobile operators to reverse the charge to all affected mobile phone users

What in the world is shortcode? Tsk tsk, techie jargon gets you nowhere dude. You sent us unsolicited SMS thinking we were bodohs right? Well, we are. And hey, it isn’t enuf if you refund the $1 you know. We are Singaporeans, must offer us free unsolicited SMS during Chinese New Year for the next 5 years. And an extra SMS during National Day for the bad English.

mTouche, I have a suggestion for you. Quickly change your name to ‘New mTouche’. You have a better chance of being forgiven :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine’s Day History & the Uniquely Singaporean Version

On Feb 14 every year, people scramble to get buy flowers, book restaurants, go for holidays, exchange gifts, yadda yadda yadda – all in the name of expressing their love on Valentine’s Day. Of course, there are people who do better things on this day coz they are single (and loving it!) or they find the whole concept glorified (and the prices of flowers and restaurants exorbitant!). Irrespective of whether we celebrate Feb 14 or treat it as just another normal day, I think many of us don’t really know the history and significance of this day.

Valentine’s Day or more rightly St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated on Feb 14 every year in honor of Saint Valentine. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Saint Valentine could have been either a priest in Rome, a bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) or a martyr in the Roman province of Africa. How in the world did a priest, bishop or a martyr become a symbol of love? Ah, this is where history turns murky. So Valentine’s Day could be for all you know a myth that has survived through the generations.

The relationship between St. Valentine’s Day and romantic, sentimental actions was first recorded in 14th century England and France. But in 1969, the Catholic Church removed St. Valentine’s Day as a public holiday from its calendar. I doubt if this had anything to do with the Vietnam War, probably more with the
hippie culture. But the rebels ‘prevailed’ and Valentine’s Day is still commemorated today.

Despite the Western and Christian leanings of the romantic Feb 14, other cultures too have their own conceptions of this day. The Chinese Valentine’s Day or
Qi Xi falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar. And so for 2006, it is actually celebrated on 31 July. The Japanese too have their indigenous notion called Tanabata and White Day analogous to the Korean Black Day. The Brazilians have a conception of Boyfriend/Girlfriend Day on June 12; a similar one for the Colombians on the third Friday and Saturday of September.

In Singapore, we are looking for new creative ways to boost retail sales and the Feb 14 Valentine’s Day nicely falls during the ‘offpeak’ period. Every hotel, florist, cruise ship operator and jeweler marks up prices so that when Singaporeans publicly articulate their love, they will spend more and boost the economy. We is Singapore, we is pragmatic.

But since we are Singapore, we also cannot lose out to other countries. So I think we need to have a local conception of Valentine’s Day. What better way than to have a St. Gahmen Day where we all profess our lurve to our gahmen! On this day, all bus and cab prices will be marked up 10% and GST will be increased to 50%. How? :)