Sunday, April 27, 2008

Silence Of The Lambs

Using his “People support CPF cuts because there are no protest outside parliament” brand of logic, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mistook Opposition Member Low Thia Khiang’s silence as concurrence that his Deputy and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng should not resign over the Mas Selamat Kastari SNAFU (Situation Normal All F**ked Up). Lee had pointedly asked Mr Low in parliament: “Let me ask the member whether he thinks (Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng) ought to resign because of this.” When Low declined to respond, he followed up with: “No answer. So I think that settles the point.”
Or does it?
A Dharmendra Yadav, purportedly postgraduate student at the National University of Singapore, speculated that:
1) Mr Low did not want to incur the Government’s wrath and end up having to face a defamation suit;
2) Mr Low did not understand that Mr Lee was asking him a question, since he does not have as good a grasp of English as the Prime Minister;
3) Mr Low might have thought that Mr Lee was asking a rhetorical question — and thus merited no reply.
Singaporeans have been muted on more than one occasion, no thanks to the GRC system, amongst other gerrymandering election tactics. The only instance when their threshhold of pain was breached was when graffiti was scrawled over at the entrance of the National Kidney Foundation building. Even Ho Ching, wife of the Prime Minister, recognised the writing on the wall, and wrote a front page article in the morning paper to appeal for calm.
SM Goh Chok Tong is now trying to deflect from the conumdrum of ministers demanding private sector salaries, but not commensurate acountability, by suggesting that the government should move on and focus on rising prices instead. The latter may be a more difficult task than locating Kastari. Who insisted on implementing the full 2 per cent increase in GST despite widespread objection from the populace?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Debrief Of Mas Selamat

Mr X: Well, now that the details of your 11 minutes of fame, for which we paid quite a tidy sum to arrrange, are all over the papers, do you have any questions?
MSK: I must say the ledge in the toilet was just the right height for a man with a limp to step up to reach the window without grilles.
Mr X: That was a bonus, just as was the sawed off handle of the window. What you can’t open, you can’t close either.
MSK: Why the bag of seven rolls of toilet paper on the floor just below the toilet window?
Mr X: We weren’t sure the pipes would bear your weight, given the shoddy work of contractors, as demonstrated in the case of the Nicoll Highway collapse. You did break your leg springing out of your Indonesian cell. The toilet rolls provided a less conspicuous cushion in case you fell. The last thing we wanted to, was to ask you go break a leg. Hah, hah, that’s an American joke.
MSK: Turning on the running tap to mask noises, that I understand. Why did I have to flip my pants over the toilet door? I was supposed to be taking a leak in the urinal, not use the jamban. Hey, me laki laki, not perumpuan.
Mr X: That was the signal you had one minute to vamoose. We are proud you did it within 49 seconds, and you may yet represent us at the Beijing Olympics.
MSK: The covered stairway was a godsend to clear the security fence, but did I have to dump my yellow baju kurung? It was my favorite.
Mr X: We wanted them to be on a look out for a naked man limping on one leg, that is when he’s not walking slowly.
MSK: Heh, heh. How come the CCTV cameras were not working?
Mr X: They have maintenance priority for CCTV monitoring only at election offices, to catch opposition candidates screwing up their filing papers.
MSK: What will happen to the ISD director in charge?
Mr X: DPM Wong already told parliament he knows him for many years, kawan-kawan, so he will probably have a CEO post in a GLC lined up. Did you know the guy in the Istana was a ISD director once, and he screwed up big time in the Laju hi-jacking affair?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who Cares For Rice

Lamenting that he may have to slave for another 13 years at a paltry $3.6 million++ a year before Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong can find a worthy successor, we are told that out of 19 ministers in cabinet, 12 are scholars, i.e. they possess the requisite 4 As in their school report card. We had a clue of how these types think when, in the doldrums of recession, then minister and Colombo Plan Scholar Yeo Cheow Tong famously said, “Only 5% are unemployed. We still have 95% who are employed.”
Downplaying NTUC Fairprice’s recent hike of 9 to 14 percent for “some varieties” of the currently scarce commodity of rice, labour chief and Minister Lim Swee Say attempted to minimise the inflationary contribution by rationalising that “For every $10 you spend, only 22 cents went to buying rice.”
The Straits Times went on to quote Lim, a SAF scholar, as having said, “You don’t go home, eat rice in the morning and nothing else; lunch time, eat rice alone and nothing else; dinner, eat rice and nothing else….”
Understandably, with his monthly pay check as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lim can afford more choices for his meals, such as Filet of Beef Wellington, Escallop of Veal Adriatico, Stuffed Cornish Game Hen with Peaches, Pork Medallions Morella or Paupiettes of Sole Vigneronne. It must be very hard for him to imagine that, with spiralling inflation in Singapore hitting 6%, many people actually have to eat rice at every meal, with or without soya sauce.