Weighing in on Hri Kumar’s “them vs us”

FB was abuzz with likes on Hri Kumar’s recent comments on the HPB issue. Many people appreciated that he supported HPB’s publication from a health perspective objectively.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/hri-kumar/them-versus-us/659427524103848

But there a few points in his comments that we often hear or read politicians or fence sitters make that sounds like concern and supportive but is really as good as not saying anything. The way PAP govt. commented on the “hijab” issue is what comes to mind.

Look, I appreciated the fact the he and 2 other MPs were supportive of repealing 377a, even though for him it was only an academic exercise rather than an actual passion for equality in society. However, we know that the PAP would very often identify some MPs to make opposing point of views just to show that there are “some debate” during parliamentary sittings. So whether one makes a point of free will or was made to do so by their masters, it is anyone’s guest. Read the rest of this entry

Disappointed Mountbatten MP and dishonest disappointments

There is something about religion that makes seemingly nice and smart persons turn into complete brainless sheeps. Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuang is one good example. From some feedbacks from friends, it appears that he is a pretty nice MP, however, now they are utterly disappointed by this “disappointed” MP.

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/disappointed-mp-criticises-hpb-its-faq-sexuality

For me, the disappointment is not that he disagrees with homosexual persons, but rather the brainless and less than factual reasoning that he uses to justify his position, whilst trying to present them as facts. What is more disappointing is him trying to wave his Christian values as secular and factual. I don’t mind if one’s argument is based on religious values, but to be dishonest about it shows a lack of integrity on that part of the person.

Waving the straw men, he is quoted to have said: “homosexual relationships are different from heterosexual ones”. Exactly what is the difference is probably mentioned somewhere later; that homosexual relationships are not normal and there are no facts to say that they can form lasting relationships and that heterosexual relationships are based on values like trust, love, commitment and support, which to him, a same-sex one does not. Read the rest of this entry

AVA says pet shop must assess buyers… but profit more important for pet shops

In 2014 new AVA licensing conditions for pet shops come into effect. One will bar those below 16 years from buying pets and the other is that pet shop owners must assess potential pet owners for their suitability to own a pet. Of course, it a good step ahead to prevent impulse buying, but we know that this won’t stop horrible treatments of animals and conditions in puppy mills and abuses of animals by pet owners.

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/pet-shops-must-assess-if-buyers-cats-dogs-and-rabbits-are-suitable-own

The AVA requires the pet retailers to conduct a mandatory pre-sales screening of each transaction, but already the comments are abuzz as to how this is going to be enforced and what kind of questions to ask. When the tire hits the road, profits for the pet shops will be the first line of consideration. Also are pet shops already doing this currently? If not, this change will only make the comply to as much as it enables to sell the next pet. I honestly don’t think pet shops’ first priority will be the welfare of the animals, if not they will not be selling pets. Instead they will encourage people to adopt pets instead!

Nevertheless, this is a good tiny step in the right direction. It would have been better if there is a pet ownership license; all potential pet owners must go for the appropriate course to get license. Only then can they adopt or buy a pet. The licenses can be revoke due to confirmed abuses, neglect or abandonment. This way, basic pet education is standardized instead of leaving it to profile making pet shops to make up iffy questionnaires.

Lastly, it would have been great if HDB can totally repeal the out-dated no-cats rule (I know its in pilot) or selective toy dogs rules. Both these rules prevents people from adopting cats or dogs (which are not those toy breeds) that really need a home and in a place like Singapore where majority live in public housing, this means only a tiny minority selection of folks can afford to adopt them.

New MCE causes at least 40 mins jam at Central Boulevard

Something you may not get from news regarding the problem with the MCE opening from news media after all the self-congratulatory efforts for the gov’t.

The MCE opening forced traffic from both directions of AYE to exit via Central Boulevard in order to go into Shenton Way or MBFC area. This cause slow traffic to build up from 8 am onwards! I can see from my office building the queue build up all the way to AYE at Keppel Road in the morning. At 2 pm today, there is still a long queue of cars coming via Central Boulevard.

So what would have taken me 15 mins from my home to office in MBFC during morning hours will now take me at least 40 mins more!

The problem as you can see from the picture below is that most of the traffic are trying to go into CBD, but they are squeezed into 2 lanes left turning lanes towards CBD.  I am surprised that they spend all that money to build the tunnel but such a shoddy work on the traffic planning on the Central Boulevard.

MCE Jam

Can Buddhists celebrate Christmas?

A perennial question that pop up almost every year during Christmas, however for me, the question never popped into my mind. For me it is a given that there is no problems with Buddhists celebrating Christmas, going to mass or even singing along during services. I believe that this only becomes a question when people see Buddhism as a religion rather than a system of teachings.

I remember quite a long time ago, I was invited to a Christmas mass with another Buddhist friend, I was singing enthusiastically all the gospel songs and Christmas carols, but I noticed that the friend was hesitant to sing or perhaps he don’t really know the tunes well. Either way, for me even if you asks me to visit a mosque or Hindu temple and pray together with the believers, I will do it as well as any of them can and as enthusiastically also. I don’t believe that doing that makes me any “less Buddhist” or makes me believe in anything different. Read the rest of this entry

HDB flats for singles makes people stupid

Okay, this is not exactly what this writer, Daniel Chia, say, but that is the message he implies, as below

More new flats for singles: Sending wrong message

The push by the Housing Board to supply more new flats to singles is not good news for the nation (“HDB to roll out more new flats for singles”; Sept 24).

First, these flats will discourage the formation of family units.

The Government has been encouraging people to get married. But offering new flats to singles will have the opposite effect.

Second, when two singles who own such flats get married, what is to become of the units? Are they allowed to keep them?

The age criterion for ownership should be raised to 45 and the salary ceiling lowered to $2,500.

The Government should not give in to pressure from singles.

Daniel Chia

What dear Daniel doesn’t seem to be unaware (what world does his live in?) is that this is only the first time HDB actually builds HDB and give some priority to singles. Yes, the government also tried to sell some unsold HDB flats in far flung reaches of Singapore to singles some time ago. But for the longest time, the policy against singles has never changed and yet Singaporeans are not getting married at the age the governments wants them to and not having enough babies. It should be obvious the issue is more than just flats.

Worst, Mr Chia, perhaps as a Freudian slip, implies that people are getting married only to get a HDB flat because it requires two persons (ok parent-child still can), if not there is no meaning in getting married. I don’t know if this Daniel is married or not, but it looks like this is could be reflection of his own life. Perhaps he wished the government offered new HDB flats for singles so that he would not need to get married and is now really pissed about this dilemma.

And almost insidiously, it feels like another hidden agenda against gay equality. After all what does “Pressure from singles” imply? Which singles forms the biggest pressure group but LGBTs? Actually it is very easy to solve this problem, just equalise marriage and you will not have such a big “singles pressure group”.

Anyhow, for someone to say that such move will encourage Singaporeans to stay single is just plain stupid. I can imagine conversations around dinner gong like this:

Mom: When are you getting married?

Single person: I am not getting married, the government allows me to buy house as single, no point getting married.

or

Your current partner: Let’s get married and get a HDB flat

You: Nah, I think I prefer to stay single because I can get a HDB flat on my own without getting married to you… thanks for the offer

or

You: Yes!! Now that I can buy a HDB flat as a single person, I have no desires to get married and have children

To paraphrase one my friend: “Govt should not sell HDB to stupid people”

The 1Malaysia of stupidity and ignorance.

It appears that in some countries as the world and education and knowledge progress, the children and their citizens seems to become more stupid instead of more informed and enlightened.

The recently judgement in Malaysia that the word “Allah” cannot be used by other religions because it could confuse Malay Muslim is an example of stupid people syndrome. Whilst the government and the self-serving religious groups are happy with the decision, their actions have the opposite effect. They give impression to the world looking at this circus that:

  • Malay Muslims in Malaysia are stupid. They cannot tell the difference between Allah used in different religious text and may (gosh!) mistake the Christian bible as the Quran because the word is used.
  • Malay Muslims in Malaysia have weak faith. Their faith is so weak that any mention of “Allah” in any faith or text will make them switch religions.
  • Malay Muslims in Malaysia don’t know their own teaching: They don’t understand what the Quran have to say about the word nor how to be compassionate, tolerant and accepting of other faiths

I am not saying that this is the case, but this is really what the judgement and the government says and are protecting against, because any other reasons don’t make sense. But we know that this is not true because my own experiences in Malaysia is definitely not just all that ignorance and intolerance. What has happened to the renaissance of Islamic culture that gave us advances in thoughts, science and culture centuries ago? So I really hope that Muslim friends in Malaysia who don’t agree with the judgment do come out in strength and make your voice heard, because in this case, silent is really consent and silent means you support the violence amd discrimination against those whose rights are supressed by this government.

An article in Malaysian insider blames both sides for the intolerance and the fate we see now and calls for an interfaith dialogue. This is really blaming the victim again. One must ask, who and which persons and organisations have been fire bombing churches and hanging cow’s head in Hindu temples? Who are the people (surely not the other ethnic groups) who supports the Malay KKK policies instead of an equal Malaysian one and who have benefited with sleeping director roles in companies just for being bhumiputra? The division in 1Malaysia is a Malay Muslim created problem that only vocal and enlightened Malay Muslims themselves can stop this and heal the wounds between cultures, faiths and people.

Touched by Hitler’s Charity

Posted this on http://ieatishootipost.sg/2013/09/ultimate-hawker-fest-2013-best-hawkers.html, which will never see the light, but I think it is important for me to voice it out.

“I understand what you are doing and fully support it, I also enjoy your blog, despite very obvious religious affiliation.

However, it pains me to support such a great event as the Ultimate Hawker Fest as it support Touch Community which we know is under Pastor Khong and part of the American militant right-wing Christian agenda.

As much as I know the money will help many people, the same money will help to promote hatred in families in Singapore with LGBT folks to drive them out of the house, get beaten by the parents, abused by their religious leaders and friends, cause attempted suicide and ostracize by society.

In other words, for 10 persons it save probably one LGBT person is abused by the Christian agenda to dominate Singapore politics.

I know for sure this will never be on your blog. Perhaps its because you support what Pastor Khong’s agenda is or is unaware of the harm and division it has done to society

Nonetheless, Hitler’s charity is still Hitler’s charity, Jews beware.”

Screw the fault lines, we are already divided!

A recent report from Today, DPM Teo’s reported pointed out several fault lines “emerging” in Singapore

http://m.todayonline.com/singapore/we-must-watch-fault-lines-dpm-teo

I regret to inform the misinformed DPM that the fault lines is already there and society is already divided. It is now the job of the government to repair those fault lines, especially reviewing policies and penal codes that created them in the first place! If you want a cohesive society, then you better think about what the government has done wrong. Read the rest of this entry

The LKY legacy and what coat-tailed MPs don’t understand

Many time, we heard Ministers and MPs complaining that Singaporeans are ungratefully. If you at postings on the Internet and social media, most of the comments are negative towards the ruling party AKA PAP. This is very untrue. Yes, if you only read those negative comments, you may come to a conclusion that there is a disaster in Singapore and citizens are being locked up or sued till bankrupt. The fact is, it would be hypocritical for any Singaporeans to sit there in their air-conned room, earning those salaries they do and able to walk safely in the night streets and not be grateful of the good governance that brought about these comfort, safety and prosperity.

Here is what the new generation of coat-tailed MPs don’t understand, all these achievements were possible with the 1st generation of opposition AKA PAP who became the government, led by none other than LKY himself. His daring vision for economic prosperity and stability for this country allows it to be transformed within 40 years to what we have today. Of course, along the way, his ruthless authoritarian control of the state, the law and citizens allowed all these to happen, to the expense of human rights, a robust and just judiciary and politician diversity. On its wake, rearing a generation who are fearful of the government, apolitical or even indifference to unfairness in the system, a civil service that is only obedient to the ruling party instead of serving Singaporeans and other who practically worships them like god (with benefits attached of course!). Read the rest of this entry

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