t Double Yellow's Musings: December 2005

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.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Train Services vs Human Life

A cabby once told me that there is no value for human life in Singapore. I asked him to elaborate and he said that it was better to die in Singapore than to go to the hospital. While his reasoning was more financial than anything else, this article in our local paper reminded me of what the cabby said about human life. And these are the kind of reports that make me distressed.

The headline screamed, “Train services hit after man's death”. It began by saying that “The 32-year-old Indian man is believed to have jumped off the platform…” as if the race of the victim mattered but that’s another story. It continued that the person jumped

“right next to a sign that said: "Do not step beyond the Yellow Line until the train stops" and "Danger: Do not go down to the tracks”. Further down along the tracks, another sign read: "Value Life. Act Responsibly”.”

Interesting. So where exactly the victim jumped to take his life was very important. Did it even occur to the journalist to ask the question that given Singapore is such a rule-based society, how is it that a person dared to take his life right in front of those hoardings? Aren't we missing something?

The article continued giving statistics on the number of ‘train deaths’, spoke at length about how train services being disrupted, how people were delayed and how a bus ferried passengers to the next station. Did it even occur to our journalist to focus on the victim itself? As to why he would want to take his life, given that his family will not get to see a cent of insurance money? The report made no mention of suicide rates in Singapore and the societal factors that push people to take their own lives. Is the victim just a statistic? Are train services in Singapore really valued more than human life?

Anyways, I won’t be surprised if some fart writes to the paper and says that we should charge the victim posthumously for crossing the yellow line and make his family pay the fine. Or if some other ass writes in saying that people who want to kill themselves should do so such that it causes least hardship to rest of society. Hell yeah, lets distribute ropes to everyone at the next National Day parade and clear our conscience.

Here is the full article....

Train services hit after man's death
Thursday • December 29, 2005

A Singaporean died when he was hit by an approaching train at Kallang MRT station yesterday afternoon, bringing the westbound train services between Aljunied and Bugis to a standstill for almost an hour.

The 32-year-old Indian man is believed to have jumped off the platform just as a train pulled into the station at 3pm, right next to a sign that said: "Do not step beyond the Yellow Line until the train stops" and "Danger: Do not go down to the tracks".

Further down along the tracks, another sign read: "Value Life. Act Responsibly".

More than five Singapore Civil Defence Force rescuers and a paramedic worked to retrieve the body under the second carriage of the train, which had pulled to a stop halfway into the station.

The entire incident was recorded by the station's closed circuit TV system and the footage is to be handed over to the police who have classified the case as "unnatural death".

This is the second incident this year in which a person got hit by a train. Last year, there were five such incidents.

Madam Marianna, who was heading for Outram station with her daughter at the time of the incident, told Today: "The train came to a sudden stop near Kallang. We were stuck on the train for about 15 minutes, then the lights went off and we were told to get off the train at the front."

She was one of 4,000 west-bound passengers who were affected by the incident. Train services resumed at 3.49pm.

During the disruption, a one-way bus bridging service — which involved 11 buses — was deployed to ferry passengers from Aljunied to Bugis. Train service on the east-bound and north-south lines were not affected. — JASMINE YIN

Thursday, December 29, 2005

On School Uniforms, GEP and Transparency

Sometimes there are articles in our local media which make me smile.... like this letter which comprains about how our school uniforms are ‘neglected’. Everything was ok till I read the last line....

Let us take a cue from countries like Japan where students proudly wear their school uniforms.

Either the letter writer is trying to be cheeky (which I think is highly unlikely) or is totally ignorant that school uniforms in Japan serves more purpose than just outfits worn to school :)

Sometimes, there are articles that make me bang my head on the wall.... like this one about integration of the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) and non-GEP students. I am quoting the Education Minister, hopefully not out of context.

“There are some students not from the GE programme who are very strong in a particular area. It may be science, it may be maths, it may be literature and they can be mingled together with the GE students in those areas”

So basically, the idea is that a ‘mainstream’ student needs to be at least as good as a GE student in order to mingle with them. The onus is on the ‘normal’ student to improve his/her skills in at least one subject if he/she wants to be eligible to mix with the 'superior' GE students in secondary school. Interesting. Uniquely Singapore ‘talent meritocracy’ in the making perhaps :)

Sometimes, there are articles that make me throw up…. like this one which says that quality of leadership is more important than transparency.

It has been pointed out in this newspaper that the NKF episode underlined the importance of "openness at the highest level". But I would be concerned if Singaporeans were prepared to compromise on the quality of leaders for the sake of transparency. In particular, I am worried they may support opportunists who ride on this "openness" fad. A case in point is Taiwan, where the relentless pursuit of democracy and freedom of the media have thrown up leaders of less desirable moral character. Some may argue that the checks and balances arising from a transparent system would be sufficient to assure the quality of leaders. I am not sure real-world experience, both in the developed and developing countries, supports this. An obsession with transparency will lead to greater demands on the Government to explain its actions. People might expect the Government to investigate thoroughly every single allegation — even frivolous ones. A "fault finding" culture could develop. This will drain public resources and affect the effectiveness of the government. Another consequence of erosion of public confidence in leaders is that it will become more difficult for leaders to introduce tough and unpopular policies. The difficulties faced by the French and German governments in addressing the high unemployment rates in their countries is (sic) such an example.

When I read letters like the above, my first feeling (other than wanting to throw up) is to call the esteemed media companies here and tell them that their National Education efforts have borne fruit. Congratulations! You have succeeded is creating Singaporeans who point to bad things in other countries and say that a persistent quest for transparency here may miraculously come at the expense of leadership quality :)

Sometimes there are letters that make me poignant but that’s for another entry....

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Singaporeans are not Irritated Enough

Another major study has been completed. And Singapore has not done well. Does it matter what the study is about? No. Does it matter that we have not scored highly? Of course, yes! :)

First, it was about media freedom
Then, it was the Durex sex survey
Now, Reader’s Digest poll on whiners in the region!

Singaporeans, according to this study, are the most tolerant in the region. Something is very wrong. If there was ONE study we should have scored really really high, this must have been it. And yet, we came last. We need to urgently start a campaign so that we can regain our customary numero uno position.

According to the poll (via the esteemed The Straits Times, 28 Dec 2005), Singaporeans are most irritated by

Spitting in public
Queue jumpers
Bad drivers
Poor personal hygiene
Poor service in shops/restaurants
Computer crashes
Smoking in restaurants/public places
Dog mess in street/park
People who drop litter
People who swear/use bad language

I think as part of the campaign we should do all the above wearing a T-shirt that says:

Then next year we hope for the best :)

When I first read the newspaper article, I could not get this song out of my head.... "there was a time when they said Singapore would make it, but it didn't...." :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Uniquely Singapore Checks and Balances

The Bush gahmen authorized phone and email taps on American citizens after the 9/11 attacks, possibly against the law, and now he is in trouble for allegedly breaching civil liberties.

Interesting. This has finally come out FOUR YEARS after the decree was issued. This took place in the country which runs around the world carrying the liberal democracy potion. What happened to the infamous phrase of liberal democracy - ‘checks and balances’?

Maybe we should teach the U.S. a thing or two on how to install a ‘checks and balances’ system. I mean, look at the old NKF. From the report, it looks like the CEO wrote a lot of checks to himself and soon there came a time when the balances didn’t add up :)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

The Prime Minister of this blog wishes all Christians a Merry Christmas :) Enjoy your hols! If you managed to do your Christmas shopping without getting irritated with the crowds in Orchard Road, I think it needs to be highlighted in your resume :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

NKF in the Spotlight, Again

The independent auditor’s report on NKF is out. It was filled with bad stuff, stuff that Singaporeans don’t really want to hear before an election.

I didn’t really bother reading the report. I mean, why should I when our ‘unbiased’ media clearly tells me who the bad guy is. And it also tells me who the good guy is. Yes, there is a good guy lady in the NKF saga you know. A bit unaware perhaps, but according to our media, good. Oh, the good person issued a statement that said...

I only learnt how much Mr Durai was paid when his salary was made public during the court hearing of his defamation suit against SPH in July this year. I was not a member of the NKF Board or its Executive Committee. As Patron, I had no authority to endorse the salary paid to Mr Durai.

Interesting. First time hear about $600,000 salary and call it peanuts. I am at a loss for words… :)

One thing stood out in the newspapers about the KPMG report... that one man was the centre of power.

'Mr Durai drove the NKF and as a result of such trust and confidence placed in him, all effective power centred around him. This made meaningless the facade of a hierarchy of the checks and balances which were ostensibly in place in the NKF's organisational structure.'

The similarities are too alike to miss :) I just hope that we do not hear these very sentences about another man sometime in Singapore’s future :)

Update: There is a lot of anger against the NKF out there. One way to show to it is to protest on the streets and show those Hong-Kongers that we Singaporeans are King Kongers and we are better than them. But of course, you must be prepared to say hello to Queenstown Remand at the same time :) Another way, and in fact my preferred way, is to turn the anger into humour.... chanced upon this super Christmas Carol,

NKF (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

Durai all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
On a first class plane

Flying in the air
On a first class plane
Over the clouds we go
Laughing all the way;

Money from public calls
making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A fucking song tonight

Durai all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
On a first class plane

Now the truth is out
Escape before you're caught
Take the peanuts along
And sing this fucking song;

Durai all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
On a first class plane

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Creativity behind Acronyms - The Making of NTU

Singapore is acronym country, we all know that. But if you thought naming acronyms is easy, think again. Here is an example of the creativity and hard work that goes behind the process of coming up with an acronym.

Enlightening Singaporeans on the thinking behind the naming of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), our Senior Minister had this to say....

We wanted to retain the name 'Nanyang' as the institute would rise from the campus of the old Nanyang University. We also wanted the word 'Technology' to reflect the mission of the institute. An obvious name was 'Nanyang Institute of Technology'. It had resonance like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But unlike MIT, a NIT graduate would be regarded as a fool. And when NIT became the 'Nanyang University of Technology', its graduates would be NUTs.

"Then someone suggested 'Technological Institute of Nanyang'. 'TIN' did not sound too bad but 'TUN' for 'Technological University of Nanyang' did not seem right. We did not establish the university to produce 'TUNs'. Besides, in Hokkien, 'TUN' meant dense which brought us back to square one - NIT. After playing with other permutations, we eventually settled for the name 'Nanyang Technological Institute'. It was rather a mouthful but at least nobody could make fun of the acronym 'NTI'.

Who said all those scholarships to Ivy League universities given to our civil servants have gone to waste? :)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Singapore is Third World Country

Not I say one. You think what? I will dare to contradict the title of this book. You have got to be kidding me. But this is the boldest that I have seen in The Straits Times in a long time.

Singaporean writer, Gerrie Lim had this to say in an interview with our esteemed newspaper today…

“Singapore is basically a country that likes to think of itself as a First World country. But it's not. It's really a Third World country that pretends to be a First World country”

That should warrant response by the highest echelons…. :) Talking about the education system here during the 1970s, he said,

“The school system here sucked. If you asked a question that was not part of what the teacher put on the board, she would say: 'It's not in the syllabus, you don't need to know.' How stupid is that?”

Ministry of Education, is this true? If not, surely we can have a rejoinder :)

"I didn't really want to do a degree here. I just couldn't see myself fitting into NUS. Yuck!"

He criticized NUS you know, a world Top 20 institution.

A point-for-point rebuttal expected, Singapore style :)

Friday, December 16, 2005

More than 100,000 Sex Addicts in Singapore!

Aiyah, our local newspaper really dun know how to give a title to a report. Writing about Hong Kong tycoon’s Li Ka Shing’s stance on not investing on casinos, the headline screamed....

Allergic to casinos, will tycoon cash his chips?

Allergic? Yeah right.... If LKS is allergic to casinos, then we are allergic to homosexuals. Then next time our media writes an article on homosexuals and AIDS (invariably any article in our papers on homosexuals will involve AIDS), why donch you title the report – “Singapore’s allergy to gays”....

In a similar manner, there was another article today titled “Need saving from cravings?

Our journalists dun know the juicy bit is in the details meh? The article said....

Experts from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) estimate that about three per cent of the population could potentially be sex addicts.

How could they miss this? Three percent of a population of 4,000,000? We are talking about more than 100,000 people being potential sex addicts in Singapore. We are truly on the way to becoming sex hub of the region. I wonder whether this number includes people who watch pr0n. I suspect that it doesn’t. Surely there are more than 3 percent of Singaporeans watch pr0n :)

I also think that the first thing many Singaporeans do when the go to more liberal countries is to visit the Playboy website just to see what they are missing out on. Well, if you haven’t done so yet, you are missing out on a lot ;)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

No matter what, we are Sports Hub

Usually, the section of the local media that amuses me the most is the Letters to the Editor. But occasionally, it’s the Clarifications section that triumphs. It’s happened before when Changi airport was made out to be the bestest airport in the world. On Dec 13, Today ran an article in its Sports section titled “New Sports Hub to be ready by 2011”…

… in which it said …

“The hub will have a 55,000 capacity covered stadium, an aquatic centre and a 20,000-seater arena for indoor sports”

I ignored this as yet another ‘hub glorifying’ article till the clarification came out today.

That’s right, the seating capacity of the arena is not 20,000 but 3,000. That’s 17,000 seats less. They inflated the accurate figure by not 1, not 2 but nearly 700%. Fine, people make mistakes and they did publish a clarification. But what really entertains me is that the conclusion of the original remains the same.... the new infrastructure is still Sports Hub.

Why do I get the feeling that even if there was a grand total of ONE seat in that arena, we would still be building a sports hub? :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The West playing catch up with the East

Visiting the west of Singapore is a surreal experience. The East of the country is considered to be more happening with better housing, restaurants, bars, pubs, chio bus :) The West on the other hand, is more heartland – not that it is a bad thing, just that it’s different. But I cannot help it leh, I get this weird feeling that the West is trying to catch up with the East.

I was passing by Clementi the other day and saw this poster near the MRT station.

Beach volleyball in the heart of Clementi? What were they thinking? Sun+Sand+Turf does NOT give you Beach Volleyball. There seems to be this rather infantile attempt to inject some ‘fun’ into the Western districts. But why? My kaakis there like it the way it is.

Hang on a sec.... beach volleyball? in Singapore? Am I missing something? How can there be beach volleyball in Singapore? Because we first need to have a beach – water body with natural waves. Like this one....

But all we have for the moment is this....

Just like the way I get this strange feeling that our gahmen is trying to remake the Western districts more like the East, I also have this bizarre sense that we are also trying to make Singapore into something it isn’t.

Instead of attempting to meticulously plan every single square meter of our future, why not let things evolve naturally? And no, we won’t disappear of the world map :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Gahmen Strategy to Better Taxi Service

Goodness me! If there is something that will get Singaporeans worked up, it’s fighting for freedom, democracy and free press paying more for better cabby service. If the letters to the editors over the past few days are anything to go by, Singaporeans are up in arms pens when it comes to tipping cabbies for good service.

The soon-to-be saga erupted when one of the local cab companies, SMRT, decided to launch a campaign (we are campaign hub, remember?) to encourage commuters to tip cabbies whom they think gave them good service. Some of the responses were:

Why should we pay extra for politeness?
Preferred route? The fastest and quickest one, obviously...
Don't just sit there, help me load luggage
Separate queue for taxis willing to go east
A generous tip can go a long way
A boycott will teach taxi drivers a lesson
What's next? No small purchases at supermarkets, too?
Thumbs up to short distance queue idea

From here, here and here

One letter writer called for a boycott against taxi drivers....

Maybe, we should boycott taxis for a few months so that taxi drivers will realise they should not abuse the privilege of serving the community.

Funny hor, when we don’t get good service from the gahmen, we never see Singaporeans write in calling for a boycott :) The letter writer also mistakenly thinks that this initiative is by the taxi drivers, when in fact it is by the taxi companies.

I see three players in this game to deliver good service. (1) Taxi Companies (2) Taxi Drivers (3) Commuters. The gahmen strategy, according to my warped brain, is this – to get the Commuters to give $$ to the Taxi Drivers in return for good service and without incurring any loss of revenue for the Taxi Companies. That way, the gahmen achieves a self-win win-win situation.

It can tell the Commuters.... see lah, I ensure you get good service.
It can tell the Taxi Drivers.... see lah, I ensure that you get more money
It can tell the Taxi Companies... see lah, I ensure that you get more revenue

Now all of you vote for me

So its highly unlikely that the gahmen will initiate a campaign with the taxi companies to lower their daily tariffs. It is also unlikely that the gahmen will pay the cabbies out of its own pocket for good service (fare from the Commuter, tip from the gahmen). What is likely though, is that the free ride given to the Commuter by the Taxi Companies for bad service will somehow come from the pocket of the Taxi Driver, via a fine perhaps? Neat and simple eh? :)

Remember hor, I only say likely ok. Never say this is what happened, is happening or will happen :) Just my warped brain working overtime :)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Drug Trafficking vs Terrorism: Which is the Bigger Crime?

In yet another backlash to the death penalty in Singapore, TV New Zealand decided to run a story on how Singapore hangs drug traffickers but rehabilitates terrorists. (found via IZReloaded)

Singapore may hang drug traffickers like Australian Nguyen Tuong Van, but it has refrained in recent years from trying to execute terrorists. Instead Singapore, which probably executes more prisoners per capita than any other country, detains would-be bombers and their backers without trial. It has also attempted to rehabilitate terror suspects - an avenue not available to executed Melbourne man Nguyen, because Singapore law demands the mandatory death sentence for drug trafficking.

If the comments at IZReloaded for this entry are anything to go by, the terms that come out are "double standards", "hypocrisy" and "shocking". This one by Big Dave is the best....

Are we telling terrorists that its alright to do their dirty work here in Singapore? Come try to bomb us, if you get caught before you do it, youll most likely be detained, rehabilitated and if you show that you are a good boy, you will be released. Is this the message that we want to be giving out to would be terrorists?

While at a glance this may seem like hypocrisy, there are two underlying assumptions when it comes to comparing drug trafficking and terrorism. First, a harsher crime will require a harsher punishment with death penalty being the harshest of them all. Second, terrorism is a harsher crime than drug trafficking. While the first supposition may be true, the second hypothesis I’m afraid isn’t so clear cut.

On what basis does terrorism become a more cruel crime than drug trafficking?

(1) Number of deaths? More people have died due to drugs than terrorism
(2) More dangerous? The drug cartels are a lot more organized than terror cells
(3) Innocent victims? Going by the emphasis that governments place on the production of drugs rather than consumption, drug takers are probably as innocent as terrorism victims

Comparing offences like drug trafficking with terrorism is like comparing oranges with apples. I am not for the death penalty but if you want to argue against it, this is a bad way to put forward your case. Criticizing Singapore government's response to terrorism to discredit its action against drug traffickers is er, misplaced. I think rehabilitation of terrorists is the right way to go forward.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Tactless The Sunday Times

I am thinking on whether I should seek legal advice against The Sunday Times :)

This is what happened. Today was a nice Sunday morning and I decided to go someplace to have breakfast. This place, for some weird reason, served a free copy of The Sunday Times. Just as I was about to drink my coffee, I saw the headlines on Australia’s Drug Menace and Maid’s Dream Boss....

… and I split the coffee. And embarrassed myself :)

The drug menace article is hilarious! The article on Australia’s drug problem is an amateurish attempt at investigative journalism – funny, we choose to use these skills only for bad things that happen in other countries. Coming soon after we hanged an Australian drug trafficker, the timing is side-splitting.

The timing of the report on an employer being a very good boss to his maid is even better. Hot on the heels of the saga between Human Rights Watch and our gahmen, we desperately had to prove to the world that maid abuse in Singapore is not systemic.

Dear The Sunday Times, subtlety is obviously not your forte :)

I am no NKF head-honcho and definitely have no intention of even getting anywhere close to SPH’s lawyers, so I think that lawsuit is just fantasy :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

This is Believed to be the 1st Time

In Singapore hor, we lurve ‘firsts’. When our journalists write an article, one question is always asked – is this the first in the wurl? Failing which, is this the first in the reejun? Failing which, is this the first in Singapore? Failing which, is this the first in Southeast CDC? Failing which, is this the first in Pulau Ubin?

Normally meant for things like an invention or event, this “I am first” mentality has become ingrained in our local media. They now use it for all kinds of inane stuff. Writing a piece about loan sharks extorting money, our ‘talented’ journalist wrote about the victim losing her baby due to a miscarriage allegedly caused by a shove by the loan shark.

Nothing wrong with this and the loss of the unborn child needs to be highlighted to push the police to go behind the loan sharks, but this sentence got me cracking....

“This is believed to be the first time an unborn baby has died because of a loan-shark attack”

What kind of sentence is this? Is there no limit to what can be considered a ‘first’? Well, I thought our media will appreciate some help…

“This is believed to be the first time a loan-shark attack has used Nippon paint on the 11th floor of HDB flats”

“This is believed to be the first time the amount loaned to a loan-shark attack turned out to be the numbers on the next 4-D draw”

“This is believed to be the first time a loan shark wore a pink dress while extorting money”

There, new milestones for us to remember. Remember to include it in the next history project.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Devan Nair Passes Away

Our former President, Devan Nair passed away on Dec 7. Our current President, Prime Minister as well as Senior Minister were among many Singaporens who expressed condolences over his death. What was interesting to me was not who did but who did not :)

Some things are never forgotten huh?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Singapore Spoils You

They say that the moment you board our national carrier you get the feeling that you are in Singapore. That is very true! But why? What makes it Singapore's mobile embassy? So on my way back, I decided to find out exactly when I felt this way. And I swear, the moment I laid eyes on The Straits Times, my nerves calmed, an amused smile came over my face and I knew I was home :)

Having been away from the 'hub' of the world, its just amazing on the extent to which Singapore spoils you. Living in Singapore is like living in a cocoon. You are shielded from so many things. Take our transportation system for instance.... train and bus at your doorstep. The cost of our cabs is really cheap when compared with some angmoh countries. Another example is food.... so many cuisines available throughout the island. Nowhere else have I found this. I asked some of my 'foreign' kaakis and they concur that Singapore is one of the easiest places to settle in. There, add one more to the 'hub' list - settling-in hub :)

Oh, of course, we are also shielded from the 'evils' of a free press. But when I read their newspaper and see their TV, its hardly like that. Their media have flaws but that does not exactly make ours the bestest in the wurl.

Anyways, its good to be back. Now need to catch up on the news.... :)

Monday, December 05, 2005

NS Dodging - the St Poll

I miss the tangible paper of our local media. Reading the online version is not even half as fun. Sitting in front of the computer to read news is ok for a while but to do it all the time is er, boring. Maybe I am old school. But reading the local papers keeps me amused during morning coffee, in public transport and sometimes during lunch time. Also, I never run out of toilet paper in the process :)

Anyways, there are certain things that one only gets to read online. After all the furore over Melvyn Tan, the infamous pianist being fined only $5000 for missing NS, I noticed this online snap poll on The Straits Times website.

A whopping 95% of the 4000+ respondents thought that the punishment was too light.

The second part of the poll also revealed that 92% wanted a jail sentence to be made compulsory. Knock, knock, gahmen, you there?

Friday, December 02, 2005

In a Country far far away....

.... in this country where I am now, they have never heard of Singapore, until now.

Someone: Where are you from?
Me: Singapore
Someone: Isn't that the country where you still have the death penalty?
Me: Er... is that the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about Singapore?
Someone: Its all over the news. You people are hanging a guy transiting through your country with drugs.
Me: What else have you heard about Singapore?
Someone: You guys ban chewing gum and cane people for vandalizing
Me: Great... what else?
Someone: What else?
Me: Yeah, what else do you know about Singapore?
Someone: Er...
Me: Dude, thats pathetic. You should read up more.
Someone: Why should I? You guys have the death penalty....
Me (*bangs head on wall*): You guys are hopeless

Singapore badly needs a PR campaign. They almost think we are on par with North Korea. For my part, I have invited this someone to come to Singapore for a week so that I can introduce him to Singapore National Education so that he will appreciate our gahmen country :)