The Newspaper Delivery Joke

He's the best!

He’s the best!

For years now, in addition to the local papers, I subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune (now renamed International New York Times) and Financial Times. They cost me a bomb. Being traditionalist, I like real papers in the morning with my Java though I also check for updates online throughout the day.

These papers delivered to my residence every morning.

TODAY is a local tabloid packed with ads and is distributed free of charge but residents of only certain locales receive it. Since I wanted another view (as opposed to the staid Straits Times) I actually pay for TODAY to be delivered as well.

The people behind TODAY tells me that what I pay goes to the delivery person.

But the delivery person sure behaves as if someone has grabbed his scrotum and twisted it hard and forced him to deliver the paper to me grudgingly every morning.

Why did I say that?

Well, all the papers I receive every morning, other than TODAY, are delivered with meticulous care – the delivery persons place them at the grills of my gate. They take care delivering these papers.

On the contrary the TODAY delivery person simply carelessly dumped TODAY on the grounds outside my house, often with the pages of the papers strewn askew.

I’m glad that the problem is solved now – after relentless reminders, TODAY is now delivered the correct way – placed at the grills.

The Straits Times is another story.

Suddenly for some strange reason, for several months now, the delivery person has decided to carelessly throw The Straits Times on a shoe rack outside my house.

When the person who delivers my The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Financial Times saw that he did the same.

Took me an email or two to get that sorted out. Easy peasy.

(I’m not being anal or difficult. It’s just that newspapers left that way tend to disappear. And with some of these foreign papers costing me up to S$5.50/- a copy, I certainly want to make sure they don’t get stolen by the retards in the neighborhood who use them for wrapping dog shit.)

But it took me an entire month to get the The Straits Times delivery situation sorted out.

On August 3rd, I made a request for the papers to be delivered as before – placed at the gate or even dropped through the grills of my gate.

The problem was finally fixed on August 28th.

But not after 10 emails, were exchanged between me and Suneeta Devi, Ragambirri, Willy Benzon and Sidney Lock from The Straits Times. Yup, emails were never replied by the same person.

And yup, it took an entire month to fix a simple problem.

And we wonder why we are losing our competitiveness.

Christ, it’s only newspapers, man!

Not a big deal – annoying nevertheless but not a big deal – but it reminded me of an old story about two bricklayers.

When asked what they were doing, one said he’s building “just another church building” while the other announced with pride “I’m building a house of God.”

It’s all about attitudes isn’t it?

Perhaps now it’s not difficult to understand why folders for the SG50 commemorative notes have our first president’s name spelt wrongly.

To me, that’s an unpardonable sin.

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Keystone Cops

ThaiChiefPig

We assume that cops will do their job – well, in Thailand, the police rewarded themselves three million bahts for nabbing a bombing suspect. Since when do cops need extra incentives just to do what is their job anyway?

We assume that police chiefs aren’t paid much – well, Thai police chief General Somyot Poompanmoung said “One million baht (of the three million) comes from me.”

Before his appointment as police chief after last year’s coup Somyot declared his assets at US$11.5 million including income from advising companies as well as property holdings and investments.

We assume that police chiefs don’t and can’t freelance as private advisors or property investors but obviously our assumptions are erroneous.

Only in this failed state called Thailand, where the good guys have been overthrown and monkeys now run the country.

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LKY: The Dark Side

This dude should work for some telcos.

This dude should work for some telcos.

He built a nation but he was a tough task master.

Underlings would cringe in his presence. Larger than life, working with him; hard, pointed questions and scoldings were the norm.

He was a perfectionist and tolerated no mistakes. He didn’t believe in giving you face.

If you can’t come up with the right answers to his questions, he’ll call you daft. He wasted no time on fools.

Ruthless in pursuing his goals, he transformed a filthy fishing village to what Singapore is today.

Whole generations of civil servants and minions in state-owned companies emulated his management style and continue to take him as a role model.

But little Napoleons strutting about are not Napoleons. There is one and only one Lee Kuan Yew. How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

Lee Kuan Yew wannabes seem to proliferate in some other organizations too.

I hear that one of our telcos, is one such example.

From the many friends and acquaintances of mine who work there, and from my brief professional – and personal – experience with the telco, it is a far cry from what it projects itself to be.

The company has just posted a profit in the first quarter and was even named the most well-governed and transparent company, according to the Governance and Transparency Index by CPA Australia and NUS Business School’s Center for Governance, Institutions and Organizations.

So the telco may be well-governed and all, but at what costs? The corporate landscape is often littered with a high body count of casualties inflicted by un-caring, insensitive, brutal bosses who think they can do no wrong. Yup, bruised and battled workers whose hearts have grown cold due to idiotic bosses.

One of the divisions within the group is apparently home to several VP-level leaders who are extremely uncouth, exhibiting an unprecedented level of boorishness to management but precious little in the way of genuine leadership. Nothing remotely close to the Lee Kuan Yew they try to emulate.

Some of these morons yell – yes, literally yelling and shouting at subordinates at the top of their voices – thinking that LKY would probably do the same. (And they are in the communications business, Jesus!)

These little Napoleons strut around un-restrained, believing that it is perfectly normal to be obnoxious.

It seems to be the accepted culture there. VPs will yell at directors who have no qualms yelling down the food chain. In fact, they are expected to. They seem to think that fear is a great management tool. Don’t they realize that when fear is used as a weapon, the organization they are in will be like a building infested with termites – good to look at from the outside, but will eventually crumble into bits?

Come on, real leaders don’t throw temper tantrums; true grit has nothing to do with being unpolished klutzes who holler and bark like little spoilt brats. Real leaders don’t leave behind a trail of dead bodies. Real leaders build people up, they don’t break people down. Real leaders are teachable. They are willing to learn. They are brainy enough not have to turn to the dictionary to figure out what “antediluvian” means. They don’t always think they are right. They listen to those who know.

If you don’t know how to lead, for your own sake, please avail yourself of some training.

Don’t just yell. (Yelling has never been accepted as a legitimate management technique. It is resorted to only by retards exasperated by their own inability to communicate and inspire.)

And spare your underlings all the pain they have to put up with daily.

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The Ringgit Slide is Not Necessarily Good

RinggitsSince Monday we’ve heard that for every Singapore dollar we could get something like three Malaysian Ringgits.

People are saying “Good, good” and planning their trips to Johor Bahru.

Their happiness will be short-lived.

Malaysia will soon raise prices.

And if more Singaporeans are flocking to Malaysia to spend money, the Singapore economy will be hit.

Plus there are repercussions in more ways than one. Fewer Malaysians visiting The Great Singapore Sale, for instance. More Singapore cars in JB being stolen perhaps. Singaporeans with fat wallets being robbed in JB maybe.

Prosperous neighboring countries doing well is better than Singapore being economically strong in a sea of impoverished neighbors. Remember once when Indonesia was in deep shit and Mount Elizabeth hospital had to shut down an entire wing as a consequence? There goes our medical tourism!

But people don’t think that way – they just go across the border and instead of having one-hour massages, book three-hour massages; and then stuff their faces and then go shopping.

Not sure it’s a good thing. It’s actually quite worrisome, actually.

I am no economist; I’m just a cranky loudmouth, but I have a bad feeling about this.

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Sorry, but er, I’m Not Really Sorry

WuJiezhenDuring Sunday’s National Day Rally, as Kit Chan was belting out the song Home, 26-year-old Wu Jiezhen stood up, because she was “swept up in the moment.”

I may be old-fashioned but I suspect this is symptomatic of the narcissistic and self-centered “Look at me! Look at me!” generation who thrives on being social media whores, the generation who derives their highs by accumulating as many Facebook likes as possible.

Where is the respect? The prime minister was about to deliver the speech of the year, the equivalent of a State of the Union address. The entire cabinet was there, so were special guests, VIPs and foreign dignitaries. Given the solemn nature of the occasion, was this appropriate behavior? Sure, express your patriotism and love for Singapore blah, blah, blah, but there’s a right place for the right thing. Sure, follow your heart, but please don’t leave your brains behind. Call me an antediluvian fuddy-duddy, but my dear Miss Wu, what makes you think you can do anything you like, as and when you feel like it? This place will be an absolute chaos if everyone thinks he or she can just be spontaneous and do anything that catches his or her whim or fancy when they are “swept up in the moment.” No sense of propriety here, is there? And if there’s one thing that your generation needs, it’s not grandstanding, it’s a sense of propriety.

What’s more, by standing up, you callously blocked those seated behind you. You didn’t care about that, did you?

Wu explained her behavior to The Straits Times by saying “Home is one of my favorite songs because its lyrics resonate so dearly with me. I know Majulah Singapura is the national anthem and the reminder of what our forefathers went through to build the nation, but Kit’s song really is the anthem of my generation.”

Oh, really?

Drawing parallels to how the late Lee Kuan Yew must have similarly “stood alone” at times when he struggled with building the nation, Wu insisted that young people in Singapore must not fear “being different” and must take ownership of the vision of Singapore that they want to see in the future.

Wow so she’s a wannabe Lee Kuan Yew or what? What audacity! Comparing herself sticking out like a sore thumb to Mr Lee. And since when did Lee Kuan Yew stood alone? He had everyone he needed with him – good men and women of his generation handpicked to roll up their sleeves and to work and labor hard. (They certainly toiled more than they sang, that’s for sure.)

Almost as an afterthought, Wu also said “I would like to apologize to those behind me for blocking their view when I stood up, but sometimes I feel we should not be unapologetic when we’re standing up for something that we believe strongly in.”

Call that a half-ass apology, if there’s one.

Whatever.

I, me, myself and to hell with everybody else, huh?

What else is new?

It’s so easy for people to rationalize away their behavior and find justification for their actions.

Doesn’t say much for a Wellesley graduate, does it?

She also reminded The Straits Times that “It is people like us who will be responsible for how the next 50 years will look like for our country.”

That thought almost makes me brown my boxers.

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To Mock a Killing Bird

CecilComedian Jimmy Kimmel choked back tears in a four-minute rant about Cecil the Zimbabwean lion and its killer, a dentist from Minnesota.

“I’m not against hunting,” he explained, saying it’s ok to kill animals when it’s for food, to control population, or “part of your culture.” But in this case, he had no mercy for the “evil dentist” who has apparently gone into hiding, after receiving death threats. Yes, to the delight of lots of people, Dr Walter Palmer, the lion hunter has now become a chicken that has disappeared from the surface of the earth. To rub salt into the wound, Kimmel insulted him further by asking “Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things?”

What the fuck?! Nowadays, everyone wants to talk like Donald Trump.

Before I go further, let me first state my points:

First, like deep sea fishing, hunting is a legitimate, legal sport in many parts of the world. I have fished for marlin in Mexico. My father and uncles used to hunt for flying foxes and wild boar in Singapore and Malaysia. Members of the Royal Family in the UK were hunting foxes even before the Romans arrived. Hunting was officially a royal sport, and to an extent shooting still is, with many Kings and Queens being involved in hunting and shooting, including King Edward VII, King George V (who on December 18th 1913 shot over a thousand pheasants out of a total bag of 3937), King George VI and the present day Prince Philip.

Try calling them cowards or barbarians. Yes, try sending them death threats. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am not condoning random, wanton killing of fish and animals outside legal parameters and merely for fun. There is no justification for such acts. In the same vein, I too, believe that tobacco and alcohol consumption is potentially harmful, but tobacco products and liquor are not illegal and I don’t go around threatening to kill tobacco users or those who imbibe in alcoholic products. You with me so far?

The fact of the matter is that ironically, many scientists contend that hunting has so far proven to be one of the most successful ways of contributing to the economy of some impoverished countries, as well as a most effective method of conserving wildlife. About 20 African nations allow it and permits are issued to hunters to hunt for animals past their breeding age.

Rosie Cooney, a zoologist who is the chairwoman of The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialists Group recently said that there are only two places on earth where wildlife at a large scale has actually increased in the 20th century, and one of them is Africa. According to her, “both of these models of conservation were built around hunting.”

Vernon Booth, a Zimbabwe-based ecologist who has worked in wildlife management for 30 years in Africa said that “even though hunting may seem un-palatable to a lot of people around the world, it is actually very, very necessary.”

I admit that the subject is complex and the issues are multifarious, but the positives of legalized, legitimate hunting far outweighs the negatives caused by the many endangered species of animals that are being killed by local residents for meat and skin on a daily basis.

Second, the dentist’s private life is his private life. You don’t heap scorn on him for whatever pastime he chooses to pursue in his own free time, even if it’s something like big-game hunting. So what if he plays with Barbie dolls or collects Coca-Cola bottle caps or weave his armpit hair? It’s nobody’s business what he does in private as long as it is not against the law. I mean, if he goes around knifing old ladies, then we should simply liquidate him, take him out. Nobody pillories you when you say your hobby is helping yourself to little bottles of shampoo from hotel rooms, right?

Thirdly, my stand is that it is ABSOLUTELY WRONG and utterly immoral and disgusting in every sense of the word for the dentist’s guides to lure the lion from a wildlife preserve for him to shoot. (Apparently this was done without the dentist’s knowledge or approval.) When I heard about that, I was so incensed with rage, I felt like taking a gun to shoot those guides!

Now that we got that out of the way, let me share some of my other thoughts about this whole episode.

It has been reported that since the tragic slaying of the lion last month, thousands of people have been killed in Syria, mostly by the regime’s war planes. Indeed, talking about Syria, nearly a quarter million Syrians have died and millions displaced but it seems that the world would rather mourn a lion.

Why indeed do people care so much about the death of a lion when so many human beings are suffering and dying? Doesn’t the outpouring of sorrow for a dead lion, when compared to the relative silence about other wrongs, reveals a moral flaw in our humanity, a defect in our moral compass?

Look no further than Zimbabwe, home of Cecil.

CNN says that the country is a showcase of misrule by a president who has held power for 28 years, destroying the country’s economic base and spurring the kind of hopelessness, hunger and poverty that, among other things, leads to the poaching of wild animals.

The fact of the matter is that in Zimbabwe, much of the population is destitute, its wildlife is devastated.

Elsewhere, 30,000 children die from hunger daily but do we care about their plight? Or about the millions of suffering refugees created by war and terror – the highest numbers since World War II – or about the 9 million people (3 million of them children!) who die of hunger-related causes every year or the 800 million who go to bed hungry each night?

What is more appalling? The death of one lion, the behavior of the self-righteous sanctimonious lynch mob who issues death threats to hunters, the toxic jealousy of those losers who despise the wealthy who can afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars to go on hunting safaris and deep sea fishing trips, or our turning a blind eye to the millions who live below the poverty line and are dying of starvation each day?

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Face Stuffers International

Don't you know that people are laughing at your stupidity?

Don’t you know that people are laughing at your stupidity?

If I had put aside all the money I have spent in the last 30 years eating all over the world at so-called famous award-winning restaurants and those featuring celebrity chefs, I would be able to buy another house at Point Piper, Sydney.

At the end of the day, what one ends up with is a jaded palate and heaps of disillusionment.

Give me nasi lemak with ikan bilis any time!

I see the younger ones going all over the world stuffing their baby faces and flaunting it by posting pictures on social media – living it up – and I wonder if they’ll end up like me when they reach my age – craving for street food, ie, simple, comfort food that are truly “happy meals.”

Flying first class, traversing the world using private jets, throwing lavish parties, eating the best, quaffing the most expensive wines, never ever buying a cheap ticket to concerts and operas, I must have had a rather hollow, empty life those days. And what a showoff I was, declaring to the whole world that I was living life in the fast lane. I shudder at the thought of how big an ego I had those days. I probably even scream my own name when I had an orgasm. But, honestly, who the fuck cares about what you ate for lunch? And where are those “friends” now that the local food court – and not Les Amis – is your favorite hangout?

After years of indulgence, I’ve come to the conclusion that the F&B scene is all a lot of hype and most celebrity chefs and their restaurants are just a big rip off.

Very very few are really worth the money.

Some of these restaurants of great renown can’t even produce decent food.

Some so-called celebrity chefs are just con artists, pure and simple.

Of course there’s ambience and all that shit. Yeah, sure, try eating ambience.

The duped paying good money for delusions is how I would describe all those suckers fighting to get into overpriced celebrity chef restaurants.

I just turned down a request that I would have jumped at if I had been in my 30’s or 40’s.

Noma’s head chef, René Redzepi, will temporarily close his award-winning Copenhagen restaurant and relocate to the new waterfront home in Sydney Harbor for 10 weeks starting in January 2016. It will open for lunch and dinner five days per week.

If you haven’t heard of Noma, then you really are not in the know.

Noma’s “pop-up restaurant” in Japan earlier this year had a waiting list of 60,000 people. Lunch cost about US$500/- per head and dinner about double that amount. Expect somewhat similar pricing for Sydney. (Heard there’s already a long waiting list. The typical wait time in Noma, Copenhagen, is three months, depending on group size. And Noma’s only going to be in Sydney for 10 weeks, so imagine the scramble to get in.)

Several friends here have already signed up for the Sydney event. A few of them actually flown to Tokyo earlier this year to eat at the “pop-up.” Some acquaintances of mine in Bangkok and Jakarta are also planning to fly to Sydney come January next year to partake of Redzepi’s cooking.

Me, I’m just happy with nasi lemak and ikan bilis or plain watery Teochew porridge with chye por.

In any case, not everyone’s a fan of Noma. Times (UK) restaurant critic Giles Coren fired off a series of profanity-laden tweets tearing into the restaurant in 2012 after Noma won top spot in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for the third time in a row; and during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session in April, Redzepi revealed that Gordon Ramsay dined at the restaurant and “hated it.” Uncharacteristically, however, “he was nice about it.”

But I suppose it doesn’t really matter to the showoffs anyway. They just crave for the opportunity to boast that they have eaten at Noma and can now consider themselves part of the glitterati. Yeah, a pig can wear lipstick, but it’s still a pig.

Really, the better you feel about yourself, the less you need to show off.

Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.

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Where’s the Stickability?

No shit!

No shit!

A first-time member of parliament, a lawyer by profession, announced a couple of days ago, that he will be “retiring” from politics because “he felt his work was done.”

Until the announcement, I have never heard of Alvin Yeo – yup, Alvin who? – and before I could follow his progress, he has already done a Lui Tuck Yew, saying “I suppose…I owe it to my family to spend a bit more time with them…”

What this nation needs are men and women who will stick it out. When is a conscientious MP’s job ever done? Coffee shop critics will only jump to the inevitable conclusion that this strawberry-generation softie probably couldn’t handle the pressure that comes with the MP job. In fact, Yeo himself was quoted saying “If you aren’t prepared to put up with the demands then you shouldn’t do it.” Yeah, when you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Maybe he was following his own advice but didn’t he know that all serious and diligent MPs basically have no life, what with weekends burned doing constituency walkabouts and nights spent at “Meet-the-People” sessions? Didn’t he know that he was signing up for such a lifestyle right from the beginning when he stood for elections? Or did he think that being an MP is a piece of cake? A nice addition to his CV?

We need to weed out the jokers, especially those who come in riding on the coattails of the ruling party, earn their generous monthly MP allowance, do all the PR shit and then scoot off at their own convenience.

Imagine if our founding fathers had that kind of attitude. We would have all gone to hell in a handbasket. It was their “never say die” attitude that got us to where we are today.

Public office is no child’s play. Some people need to wise up to this fact.

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Waltzing Matilda

UnionsQantas flight QF36, scheduled to leave Singapore for Melbourne on August 9th at 7.55pm finally flew off only on August 10th at 6.54pm.

What happened?

On August 9th, when Singapore was celebrating its Golden Jubilee, the airspace was closed from 6.25pm to 7.10pm.

Airlines were informed of the airspace closure as far back as January and were reminded again on July 29th and August 5th.

As if unaware of the airspace closure the Qantas inbound flight headed for Changi and had to be diverted to Batam, an Indonesian island 45 minutes away by ferry.

After refueling, it could not fly to Singapore because its crew had exceeded their maximum flying hours. Aussie unions won’t budge on that.

So they had to wait for a new crew to fly in.

It arrived at 4.39am on August 10th.

Long story short, the plane could only leave for Melbourne on August 10th at 6.54pm.

It was a 23-hour delay for which Singapore was conveniently blamed.

Cathay Pacific Airways had no problems. They re-scheduled their flights months ago.

Kishore Mabubahni once wrote a book entitled Can Asians Think?

I think we now know the answer.

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Retards on Escalators

More haste, less speed.

More haste, less speed.

You are standing on the left of the escalator, as is the practice here, and suddenly some retard zooms past you on the right. Thing is by the time you reach the bottom, the same retard has just gained only a three-second advantage over you at most, meaning he’s only like three steps ahead.

Why do people run on escalators? Is everyone suddenly a Parkour enthusiast or what?

Whether you’re going up or down, escalators are not for running on.

The Retard’s Guide to Escalator Usage:

Just stand and hold the handrail for support. It’s not rocket science. It’s not brain surgery. Just stand still, no need to fidget.

The norm in Singapore of standing on the left of the escalator and leaving the right side to those retards who always seem to be in a hurry, is plain wrong.

Let the escalator do its job; those who must rush should take the stairs – and perhaps burn some calories at the same time. May even cause them to become a little bit more intelligent.

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