Rants of a Weird Little Bird

Random stuff involving myself…and people around me. Hello, and goodbye. :-)

Hypothetical typical questions and possible answers that may appear for opposition politicians in Singapore – 1

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Looking at the general elections in Singapore, I notice that some questions keep on appearing among the newspapers and the electorate who are skeptical of opposition politicians.
This is a series of questions and specimen answers which I can come up with.
Q. You first ran for elections in the west, then in the east, then in the north. Why do you run in so many different constituencies in so many areas during different elections?
 
A: The PAP has made it hard for opposition parties to walk the ground consistently in all general elections. Sometimes, an SMC may be carved out of a GRC, or it may be absorbed. As such, it is impossible for any one political to set any specific area in Singapore as its base.
 
I have run for elections in so many different constituencies over the past few elections simply because of the nature of how the PAP government has drawn up SMC and GRC boundaries. I am sure all political parties would love to set their roots in a particular area of Singapore instead of meeting with one another to discuss which area which party is to run for elections.
 
If you look at constituencies in other countries, the parliamentary constituencies may be larger, and because the electoral boundaries don’t change in every election, it is possible for political parties to set up their power base in one area and then spread out. However, this, by nature or by design, is not practical in Singapore because the electoral boundaries can shift in such a way that an able candidate living in a particular area is not able to represent the area he lives in simply because in this election, his constituency is part of a GRC simply because there is a more experienced “Anchor” MP in another area who outshines his far less able MP in the area he lives in.
This goes against the spirit of democracy and it is in the best interests of Singapore if and only if the brightest minds in the country get a chance to form a team together, regardless of political spectrum. If we have to form coalition governments, or we still remain as a government dominated by one or two parties, we would at least have a more normal democracy, as is understood in the rest of the world. No other country in the world has a system like the GRC, where you need, in extreme cases, six candidates to form a team.
 
Some parliamentary constituencies in these areas are even larger than Singapore, and so, I believe that when I run for political office in any constituency, it is just one small step in the larger scheme of things. The long-term goal is for me to run for elections in the whole country, so that my party will be able to form the government and come up with measures to better the lives of Singaporeans.
In whichever constituencies my party’s fellow candidates get into parliament, we not only pledge to do the best to meet the needs of the local constituents, but also push forward our national agenda to ensure that Singapore and Singaporeans, as a whole, become better off.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

March 13, 2016 at 8:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

How I Initially Became Scared (And Then Fearless) of the Supernatural

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When I was in primary school, my sister once borrowed a book home. It was entitled “Supernatural World”. Using the book, my sister would talk about how scary things like vampires, ghosts or dead people would suddenly appear at night. It was scary to hear about how those ghoulish white-skinned people, with sharp incisors, ugly skin and black cloaks would suddenly appear out of a cloud of bats. Or whether things in white sheets would suddenly appear from the darkness and spirit me away into other scary places.

However, all this was thankfully neutralised by my voracious appetite for reading, and watching cartoons.

When I was young, I used to be a huge fan of “The Three Investigators”. In this series, Jupiter Jones, Peter Cranshaw and Robert Andrews are three young boys who go out to solve crimes which have befuddled police. Some of the riddles they have solved include those involving supernatural stuff. These include whispering mummies, talking skulls, singing serpents and other mysterious riddles.

Watching television introduced me to Scooby Doo, a cartoon series which involved many villains using tricks to make up supernatural happenings to commit crimes.

It was clear to me from a very young age that the supernatural world simply did not exist.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

March 10, 2013 at 4:49 am

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Thoughts from A Visit to Universal Studios Singapore

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Recently, I went to the Universal Studios amusement park in Singapore to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The place comprised an interesting theme park, with plenty of rides and shows related to the motion pictures produced by Universal Studios. Personally, theme parks have never been a staple of my taste of must-see-before-I-die places (I much prefer greenery any day), but as things went, it was still a generally great way to spend the day, and marvel at the engineering and decorative aspects of the large-scale amusement park.

The queues to most of the more thrilling and popular rides were long, but it was admirable how the planners of the rides had put on their thinking caps to make the queueing bearable – and continuous. Waiting was never a complaint, for there were always signs to read and videos to watch.

TRANSFORMERS 3D

For example, for the queue line leading to the Transformers ride, we walked through an array of screen panels and switches. Even though they did nothing even when pressed, few (children and adults alike) didn’t resist the temptation to turn the knobs or press the buttons when they walked through them. There was also an interactive video explaining the story behind the ride we were going to take.

The riders were split up into groups of fifteen, each group to be seated in an “EVAC” – the vehicle which (according to the story) was to enter a base through enemy territory and smuggle a device to safety.

The ride itself was an interesting affair. We had to put on 3-dimensional glasses for the ride before it started. Traversing through the streets, we were taken through combat between Optimus Prime (If you don’t know about the Transformers cartoon series and its characters, go here) and Megatron.

Throughout the journey, the effects were spectacular. If you didn’t know better, you would feel as if you were really being chased through the streets by Megatron and his army of Decepticon robots, including being smashed through skyscrapers, chased through the streets, evading the Decepticon robots, getting swallowed and falling down from tens of storeys.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (Human)

This was a high-speed roller-coaster ride. The requirements were quite stringent – we were not to carry loose articles during the ride. However, thankfully, the amusement park planners had thought of something to mitigate this minor inconvenience. Lockers were situated only a stone’s throw away from where the queue entrances were. We had to enter our dates of birth at the computer terminal, and were given a selection of colours to choose from. If we had chosen orange, for example, a locker number in the zone of orange-coloured lockers would be automatically unlocked and assigned to us. After placing our articles into the lockers and closing the door, the locker would automatically lock by itself, and be reopened once we re-entered our dates of birth into the computer terminal. Lockers were also placed strategically near rides where we wanted to deposit our items.

The Battlestar Galactica ride had two options – the Human and Cylon versions. The Human version contained no inverted loops, but was faster. Being through many topsy-turvy and dramatic changes in altitude while flying, I had been more mentally prepared than most others for what the ride could offer, but the first drop from the peak of the ride still managed to surprise me somewhat. Only when I observed the roller coasters a moment later, did Irealise that the two roller coasters actually ran concurrently.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (Cylon)

The Cylon version was, unlike the human version, an inverted roller-coaster that ran in tandem with the latter. It featured several inverted loops, and even involved a loop very near the ground, complete with dry ice. It could have been a thrilling ride, had this blogger not had more harrowing experiences in the air before.

REVENGE OF THE MUMMY

The Revenge of The Mummy ride was not unlike the Transformers. However, we had to deposit our articles, and it also featured more “dark” themes – like skeletons, creepy-crawlies, and an undead Egyptian mummy. Additionally, the Mummy was a real roller-coaster ride. A novelty which I had never experienced before, was that the roller-coaster actually travelled backwards on one stage.

JURASSIC PARK RAPIDS ADVENTURE

The Jurassic ride was water-based, and it featured a ride through a land of dinosaurs. What was impressive was the prodigious research conducted in the making of the videos and signboards we could read while waiting for our turn to take the ride, describing the characteristics of various kinds of dinosaurs that used to exist. It featured a few surprises in store as well.

WATERWORLD: A LIVE SEA WAR SPECTACULAR

The Waterworld show was a spectacular drama fest. It featured plenty of choreographed fight scenes, controlled explosions, people jumping into the water from heights one would normally never have contemplated. There was even a scene where one of the characters had his clothes set on fire. It was a great show, and one has to also give credit to the planners, who had the seats painted in different colours, to distinguish between the “Soak Zone” (where getting wet was expected), the “Wet Zone” (where getting wet was a matter of luck), and the normal zones.

On the whole, the whole theme park was a thoughtfully and elaborately designed affair. Aside from featuring the staples of normal amusement parks (albeit window-dressed), like teacups, merry-go-rounds and mascots that have become household names (like Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar characters etc), there were also dances, antique cars and tastefully-decorated street fronts that literally took you across different eras.

From the many souvenir shops, you could hear various soundtrack music, and buy some mementos for keepsake (such as Oscar trophies for “Best Boyfriend”).

All in all, it was a well-designed theme park, great for group outings, and even better if you were into movies produced by them. Much applause has to be given to the engineering team who designed the rides, and to the team involved in the aesthetic aspects of the park.

Having said that though, I wonder how a local Member of Parliament could say that being unable to take her parents there was her greatest regret in life. There are certainly more things in life than visits to amusement parks, no matter how much fun they contained.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

July 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm

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Atheists – The Untrustworthy Kind

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http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=in-atheists-we-distrust

An interesting essay on how atheists are perceived.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

January 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm

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Another Friendly Reminder – “Just Cremate Us”.

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My parents have just returned from my uncle’s funeral (held in Malaysia). Apparently the immediate families of the bereaved had spared no expenses to organise an extravagant funeral for him.

Not too long ago, they told me what they saw.

It was during a ride in the car from the airport that we spoke. Or, rather, they did most of the talking while I drove the car.

“It was so expensive. What good does a funeral like that do?” my mother asked.
“Death happens to everyone, it’s not as if the dead will thank you anyway,” my father agreed.
“It’s such a bother. Next time when it comes to our turns, remember – don’t bother giving us such nonsense,” my mother said. “Ching Ming’s such a waste of time, especially when so many people have to come from so many different places to visit a pile of ashes. Just burn us and be done with it. I don’t even remember my parents now.”

“Yes,” my father said. “If you want to remember us, just go for a picnic or a hike, do something more meaningful than burn incense papers and polluting the environment. Don’t even bother with a crematorium slot – scatter part of our ashes into the sea, part of them in the ground and part of them in the air.”

“Okay,” I said, my eyes firmly focussed on the road. “I don’t mind, but please put it in your wills. No one’s going to accuse me of being disrespectful if I don’t organise any kind of funeral rites for you.”

“Ahhh don’t need to do that – just remember our wishes,” my father said.

Lest I forget, I put it up in my blog.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

December 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

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On Jason Neo’s “Bus filled with young terrorist trainees” picture

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Recently, you may have read in the newspapers that Jason Neo from the Young PAP was made to apologise and resigned from the Young PAP for posting a photograph of Muslim children in a Huda Kindergarten school bus with the words “Bus filled with young terrorist trainees”.

A few points to note here:

1. Jason Neo was NOT insulting Islam. There is nothing in the photograph caption which equates Islam with terrorism.
2. Jason Neo was NOT calling the entire Muslim community in Singapore terrorists. There is, again, nothing in the photograph caption which equates the Muslim community with terrorism
3. Jason Neo’s remarks were indeed offensive, but offensive not to the Muslim community, not to Islam, but offensive to the children in the picture, as well as to the teaching staff of Huda Kindergarten.

What could we grasp from his caption and photograph?

Jason Neo COULD BE saying that:
1. Huda Kindergarten was trying to poison their children’s minds to become future terrorists i.e. it is a terrorist training ground.
2. The children are terrorist trainees.

Neither of these allegations can be proven or disproven, except by Huda Kindergarten and the children in the picture. Already, Jason Neo has apologised for his remark, so this entire saga can be considered to be over.

It would be best if everyone managed to be more rational about what they read, and not jump the gun and assume that Jason Neo was tarring the entire Muslim community.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

November 20, 2011 at 6:53 am

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Cooling-Off Day – How to Deal With Nicole Seah and Tin Pei Ling’s Violations

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So Tin Pei Ling violated the Cooling-Off Day rules:

– from The Temasek Review

And, by some PAP supporters, Nicole Seah too – twice:

– from Pwned??? Nicole Seah – cooling-off day restrictions apply on polling day as well.

– from Pwned??? Nicole Seah – cooling-off day restrictions apply on polling day as well.

I’d love to see what the PAP supporters do now – and I’d love to see them report Nicole Seah to the police for the exact same thing. Not that I, an ardent Opposition supporter wanting to see the PAP become more humble, would be happy about it, but it would be most interesting to see how the police deals with both cases.

Will they only prosecute Nicole Seah?
Will they prosecute both Tin Pei Ling and Nicole Seah?
Will they say that both breached the Cooling-off Day rules?

Come on, PAP supporters! Report Nicole Seah as well, and let’s see how fairly the police handles both breaching cases. Nicole Seah’s alleged breach wouldn’t lose the NSP any seats, but Tin Pei Ling’s will. Then if there is a by-election, both parties can always come and contest in the constituency and election fever will be back again. YAY!

Written by aweirdlittlebird

May 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

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