Thursday, April 28, 2005


A great thunderstorm! It's been so hot and humid for days! Thank God! The heavens are washing all the dirt and bird dropping stains off my car... as they always wash my soul of guilt and despair and leave me radiant with hope...

As the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,... so shall My word be. - Isaiah 55:10-11

I've been reading some abridged novels lately, the first one being Water Babies by Charles Kingsley and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

Water Babies is a fairy tale set in end 19th century England, and is very rich in imagination and fantastic descriptions by the author. Also, the fantasy place (which happens to be underwater, as you might guess) is alive with vivid imagery and there are clear allusions to its parallels to Kingsley's contemporary society back then. Very clear Biblical themes running throughout, and he also pokes fun at some of the realities of his time in a way which would make children laugh.

Monte Cristo is such a great book filled with meaning and struggle. I've seen the French version of the movie, played by this famous French actor with a big nose whose name I can't remember (he played the chief of police in the French rendering of Napoleon), and I remember him as a passionate actor very much into his character. But reading the book gives me further insights into thoughts and feelings, and I learn more about the parts of the plot that were rather skimmed through in the movie. Though it would never be complete without the powerful expressions that I saw and felt in the movie.

Basically the struggle in this story is about a man bent on revenge. He even plays the hand of Providence and takes on the role of a justice redeemer. However, in the end he realises painfully revenge is still empty, but thankfully, he still had a heart and resolved and repented... When he does return all powerful he does take his revenge slowly... but in the end he is ridden with guilt and cannot take pleasure in the destruction of wicked men no more, and finds peace in his soul with God.

Reply to valren: (The bread argument)

Orientalist? What values does it bring? LKY seems to prefer Confucianist...? But here I'm not concerned about those... there's nothing orientalist or confucianist about allowing gambling... if we can so define these 2 'ist' in the first place... I'm saying LKY is a pragmatist. And what I worry is that the govt policy is pragmatist at the expense of everything else, which casino mandate has shown.

As much as we like media theory, the PAP is not exactly imposing anything on us 'docile' Singaporeans.

No.1: They are doing what we like. Providing jobs. Bread. Stability. It's the bread argument. Feed the people. It always works. And it assures their legitimacy.

No.2: We aren't docile. We've got our mouths stuffed up. We're too concerned with earning money, growing rich and buying more stuff. Of course with such a mentality we started having this 'stayers' 'quitters' thing which is the government's darkest justified fear - we'd all leave if the govt screwed up on the economy. (Of course, the other condition being that we have $ to leave and someplace else to go - and we've to overcome the inculcated prejudices we have of other societies)

So this boils down to one thing: What do we Singaporeans really want out of our government? To provide peace and stability and economy? They're doing a fantastic job. To represent the people and their values? As long as it doesn't override their primary aim, which is economic, and also happens to be their claim to power.

Does the government exist to represent the people or to sustain and justify its own existence?

And as for the idea of opposition parties - its not that noone has the passion. It's because the majority of the populance doesn't care. Face it - most people just want their stomaches full and their jobs secure and their credit rolling. They've indicated it time and again - the pragmatic mindset. Why have casino - jobs. Why learn Mandarin - to do business in China. Why be an opposition ward when you'll end up last in HDB upgrading. And so on.

That's why a pragmatic-mindset PAP thrives in such a population of such people. And that's why being opposition is tough. Because single party rule that delivers the bread is the most efficient, do you not agree?


Democracy is not going to save us. Its our mentality that we need to be saved from.

I don't mean to overgeneralize here, on either all Singaporeans or all the politicians mentioned. But wouldn't you agree that this is the general case?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

dividing the person into the secular and religious

Politically correct language. Very important in today's world. A PSC scholar gets blasted for politically incorrect blog postings. Government strongly encourages us to talk about "integrated resorts" instead of casinos.

What is a half-truth? A fact that has omitted something else that would change its meaning? But you'd have to depend on the person telling you that to judge if the particular omission did change its meaning, wouldn't you? Unless you you knew all the facts yourself, during which you wouldn't even need to bother with the person.

Similarly, word play is very useful when people want to make themselves heard the way they want to be heard. After all, everyone has an agenda to persuade, right? And so with it this whole casino debate was. To steer as much of public opinion into their logical conclusion and favour.

Everybody knows about Huntington's "Clash of civilizations" theory that fundamental differences in culture, religion and values across this "West and the Rest" divide will be the "fault-line" of the future. But to me, its just a highly sensationalised conflict theory, and you will see by his selective use of facts that will serve his case, while ignoring the other realities of the world. Suffice to say, the types of culture, values and civilizations in this world exist on a continuum, and even further down, culture, values are hard to define and vague in themselves!

For example, what is Chinese culture? Speaking the language, Lunar New Year, gambling, or what? Must you fulfill all the criteria? Or just one?

Or maybe the "faultline" is something else. Like, religious fundamentalism. Islamic states, jihad, Christian fundamentalists, Zionists, whatever. But herein lies a tricky thing. Sometimes faith is mistaken for fundamentalism, when the expressions or principles of one's faith goes into the public sphere.

Let's put it this way. "Tolerance of multiple religions" is not the same as "no religion". But religion is a private thing, what business does it have doing in the public sphere.

This is the first presumption I need to break down. People tend to think religion means the acts or rituals that people perform at certain times, like on visits to 'holy places' or at weddings and deaths. But really, its more than that. It changes your whole world-view and paradigm of living, of what your existence is and is for. And that, would include things in work, society and so on, wouldn't it? So how can we not?

So, when citizens bring their religious viewpoints and arguments into the picture, they are merely exercising their rights as citizens in a democratic country. To shoot down their arguments on the mere basis that it 'impedes' or 'imposes' itself on others is a weak counter.

I won't be especially surprised if most people who argue for freedom of religion as the reason to ignore religiously grounded arguments are secularists themselves. So its the person with no religion who wants freedom to (and not to) worship. And maybe people whose religion does not change their view of the world or give them principles to guide their life could be considered secularists as well. And perhaps we ought to put people who define what their religion is according to their whim and fancy in this same category too.

As for the dangerous mix of religion and politics, there needs to be better definition. It is one thing to say "God says there will be no parliament" and abolish it, and another to bring religious viewpoints in a discussion on public policy. So all the fears of the Reformation and all the religious wars aren't relevant here, because the Diocese or the Mufti or the Abbot are not about to seize power soon and help to crown the King of Singapore. (The King would hardly want such a now dubious claim to secular power anyway)

So, can a person's religion be shut out in public life? Not at all, if people so wish to remain participants in public policy, which the government encourages.

But back to the Casino debate, it wasn't as much about religion as to the very real fear of gambling addiction and its consequences. As Asians most of us have experience with this, and anyway we have govt-sanctioned Toto and 4D and Score so its no big loss to add one more. But once the govt gave enough promises to check and curtail the 'social effects', many were won over.

The second trump card(hehe) the govt had was the pragmatic value. 30k jobs! "I couldn't say no," was what the Labour Minister said. All the revenue, thousands of tourists! Yeah! More hearts won over.

So, its the people with religious values left. "We must not impose on others our personal religious beliefs" was the final answer. How about people with no religion but insist its a moral value? The answer is the same - your moral is a personal, private matter.

Am I personally disappointed with this? Yes, but I'd expected it. For the Singapore Government's basis of existence is a fully secular one, that it is a government that can provide jobs, ensure peace and keep the economy. So that is what it is here for, and so will it be its lifeline. Although the government is secular, the people in it are not. They'd have some values, if they're people of course. Otherwise they're just mathematicians calculating the most efficient, most productive way to produce results. But are they to blame? After all, we expect results of them too don't we? We will surely blame the government when things go bad for us, won't we?

But in the search for solutions, one can see desperation in the casino mandate. Singapore needs to continue as an economic and information hub and also to join the research and intellectual spheres of the modern economy. But can we? Considering what excellent muggers we are? Overhauling the education system is too painful, so casinos are easier. Maybe they meant casinos as a short-term fix. But once its in, we can't get out.

So, are people who put religious views across in public debate 'fundamentalists'? Well, nobody ever called such anti-religious zealots 'secular fundamentalists' did they? How do I define such a zealot? Going back to the roots of secularism - everything in this world is here and now and I will do what I like according to my own benefit and wishes.

Secularists cannot pretend to be 'neutral'. Cause there's no such thing as a neutral ground in values. You either obey the values of religion, or, of yourself. But what gives you the right to impose the values of yourself over that of religion?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Chua Cheng Zhan - what gives?

It looks like I'm a little late regarding this issue, but hey, I'm not selling a newspaper here, so this is my take on it.

We have had an insight into someone's mind here, through his blog, and it seems that many people seem utterly disgusted by what he has said.

Let's get this straight, its this person's character, which was indicated by his repeated postings in his blog, with which we are disgusted at. (I hope)

I have not personally read the blog yet (and probably never will) but judging by the various news articles that have appeared on this subject, it seems quite unlikely that this person was misrepresented or that his comments were taken out of context. After all, it was reportedly made over several entries spanning days and seemed sufficiently clear-cut enough to strike many readers as blatant and disgusting. And after all, if this guy is a scholar he can't pretend that it was all about repeated bad choices of words, right?

First, let's take a look at his reply/apology/defence:

"I guess I was not myself when I wrote those things"... I'm sure. It's called the insanity defence. Frequently used in court for defendants which has to be verified by a convinced psychatrist. Point being, this was not a heated moment sort of thing, unlike the jealous lover who kills his girlfriend.

"I don’t use my own persona when I write on my blog"... To me it sounds like - why was I so stupid to even use my own name?

"I realise they were in very poor taste..." It's not poor taste my friend. It's not a matter of taste at all. Its a matter of who you are.

"The weblog, he added, was never meant to be read by anyone but his closes friends. " - Again, that's not the point - in fact, it is when you are in confidence alone or with trusted friends that you show your true self. And what we see is regrettably ugly.

This man has apologised, and as fellow human beings we ought to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that he knows what he did was wrong. But what was it he did that was wrong? Look carefully at his replies again and read on.

In the first part, he's saying that he denies responsibility for the remarks he has made. It wasn't me... I wasn't myself...

In the second part, he's basically apologising for having made his racist remarks in public. Its a private blog... It was hacked into...It wasn't in good taste...

So tell me readers, did he did he actually apologise that his racist comments were wrong in themselves?

In the Sunday Times article, his father even digs out his past humanitarian work in foreign countries. I applaud humanitarian work when its done with a good heart and intention. But you mean after all that helping you still look down on people because of their 'race'? Not that we should look down on anyone for whatever reason, be it economic, education level, etc.

This is the point where opinions start to diverge.

Some people will say that this guy is stupid, not "PR" enough to have said such things in a public area. Call it a PR crisis for his future job prospects and scholarship, if you like. On that, I agree, although I'm not chastising him here for a PR mistake. After all, he didn't hire a publicity manager from SCI :)

Other people, are furious that such a person is being funded by PSC.

They raised very pragmatic concerns.

Do we want such a person at the forefront of policy making or in top civil service? - No, because, we hope never to institutionalise racism, and secondly, we want top dogs who can say the politically correct things, so we won't have to hire SCI's PR professionals.

Isn't it ironic and a great injustice that such a person should be aided in his studies by the people he so detests (the "don't bite the hand that feeds you" argument... unfortunately it also implies its alright to be racist if you don't owe people of other races any favours - sad but it seems many Singaporeans actually subscribe to this view)

Wondering aloud - I feel that it has raised eyebrows at a practice that Singaporean society takes as a given - the use of academic results and achievements as gauge of character.

Everybody knows that the use of wealth as an indicator of character is passe. Remember Everitt Road. But here, where a high level education is a direct equivalent to a life of wealth or maintanence of wealth, it seems like the next big thing. Meritocracy after all, you say?

But then, I think this case would have done good, if it has smashed 1 great presumption that is entrenched in our mindset - that highly educated people have great character, and should be respected, looked up to, and be our future leaders in our top companies, and civil service.

We've already had enough of the bond-breakers stories. Now here there's even a PSC scholar - mind you, a model of academic and CCA near-perfection and of high breeding in education as indicated by his proclaimed alma maters (the great RI and HCJC that people would beg to get to, mind you), who by a Freudian slip exposed his racist mentality.

What use of high education if at the end he behaves like a racist, selfish fool? Better yet, fund them even more higher education and pay them well, and put them in high public service. PSC needs to review its selection criteria.

The public response is heartening, for its an indicator that some of us still think that its not right to behave like a racist, selfish fool, irregardless of wealth, education etc.

If nothing more, this is another sure sign that our merely tangible result oriented education system and social mentality needs serious revamping. Is education for jobs? Yes. Is education only for jobs? My take is no.

An article on ST today by Ms Pan Xuequn suggested that it was Singaporean society itself that was perpetuating racisim, and that unfortunately chastising Chua is a mere symptomic treatment (Averrant behaviour may be reflection on society - April 21 Forum page).

As for "causes" of Chua's behaviour you could blame it on a thousand things, of which we may never be certain, be it upbringing, school, friends, family and so on, but whatever the case the "cause" does not always justify the action. If I said that I couldn't help speeding because my car engine was too powerful would you think that justified my speeding?

She seems to suggest that it is government policy that causes people to think along racially segregated lines. But its not. It's inherent that people would tend to identify with others who look physically the same, talk the same, share the same habits and so on. No thanks to the government for institutionalising that though.

But what I do agree with her is that we are all guilty of ignorance and stereotypes. It's a matter of whether we realise and admit it or not. It's one thing to learn about 'stereotyping' as a psychological element of human behaviour. It's another to see and realise how it affects your daily life and actions, be it consciously or 'instinctively'. It'll always be there, its just that we have to learn to temper it and not let it get the better of ourselves, and be rational and practise restraint and clear judgement.

But as Chan is concerned, as far as I see it he hasn't sincerely apologised for thinking its okay to be disgustingly racist, its as long as he doesn't let other people know. And that, is a value that needs to change.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Irritating Brother version 9.21 BETA 7

reach home. Find computer left on. "What's the computer doing on while you're inside the room? Are you downloading something?"

Brother gets out from room with irritated face.

"I'm going to."

"If you're not using the computer can you please switch if off. Don't just switch it on and go somewhere else."

(Stands behind to watch him "continue" to 'use the computer')

(He fumbles around thinking what to do, opens some game, and then decides instead to start a new music download and search. And then sets it and leaves it there.)

- Why can't he just admit that he had left it on by accident again and switch the thing off? Instead, he has to conjure up some stupid rubbish as though he was really using the computer and did not leave it on by accident.

Irritating brother rule: Never admit you're wrong even if its blatantly obvious and you must instead stick it up and look correct although you look incredibly stupid in the process.

And I can't be bothered to say anything. It's okay, just leave my computer on all the time for nothing. After all, electricity bill you won't get blamed. Harddisk one day decides to fail (remember my MAXTOR DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT thing) not your problem also. The most just use my laptop.

I am a spoilt brat I am a spoilt brat... I am stubborn... I am always right I am always right... I must never lose face ever ever ever...

............ oh well........ maybe just like my mom says.... he'll 'outgrow' it.... just like his obese status (no lah jerry I'm not over-feeding him he'll outgrow it) (I'm not spoiling him and making him lazy he'll outgrow it)

These are the "I-told-you-so"s that I hope I'll never be able to say... for his sake.

But who knows. "outgrow" doesn't have a timeframe. Who's to define by what age anyway? He could be still "outgrowing" for the next 6, 7 years.

There he goes leaving his books and magazines and his bag on my bed again... yes... not only is my table, now even my bed is a common dumping area...

And no, don't bother about me, I'm the evil tyrant brother who complains about you all day... yes that's me, all nasty and stuff... only good for fetching you to school and to poke fun at and ridicule

zzZZzzzzz *whine*

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Removed a link to a blog that is now privatised. Wrapping up 216 exam due tomorrow. The exams are already ending... feels weird... and now I'm stuck because I forgot to sign up for a GE during the holidays and neither did I sign up for Go-Far.

Oh by the way did I mention my recent sadness with realising that journalism is merely a job just like anything else? Ah... the realist world. Rant more about it later. And btw, go to "impz82" blogsite in my list of links if you want to see an irrational stab at NTUSU... I don't like the SU either, but poor Jan is just whining too much and thinking that everyone else gets stressed with anything that is graded.

Go drop him a note and calm him down will ya? Or hey, I could be mistaken. You could be a pragmatic realist too.

Bz, seeya folks after exams.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I saw this on and thought it might clear up some confusion of what some of us think Calvinism means... it tends to be misunderstood as... "HAHAHA I believe so I won't ever go to hell whatever happens so I can do anything I feel like....."

Classic Calvinism
• One must persevere in faith to be saved.
• True believers cannot lose their faith, since it’s God’s gift.
• Those dying without faith in Christ are condemned.
• Those who “lose” their faith never had it to begin with.
• God will preserve true believers and they will be saved.

“The ‘believer’ who 'loses' his faith never really had it—or at least it wasn’t in Jesus.”

So, what is your faith in, really?

Here's the reformation theologian Jonathan Edwards' quote with regards to the work of the Holy Spirit from "Religious Affections" :

"...holy affections are not heat without light" but rather, "arise from some information of the understanding, some spiritual instruction that the mind receives, some light or actual knowledge."

BACK TO 211... is there a relationship between locality and descent systems with regards to the population density? WHAT RELATIONSHIP??

Ah... the speculatives...

At least you and I have the absolute, eternal, truth and hope therein, on our side. Amen!


Alright, 202 is finished, for now.

How's revision folks? Intending to start on 216 later today... No, Jan, don't tag me about how you haven't started studying yet... I don't want to know...

Do you think the media (TV, radio, print) should be run solely as businesses? As in, profit maximisation at all costs taking into consideration legal requirements? Apparently, some people, like my dear brother think so, and he thinks that studying philosophy and ethics regarding media and communication is just a waste of time.

After all, when we become media practitioners, we're going to work for media firms, and our job is profit maximisation, isn't it?

A business entity's aim is profit maximisation isn't it? Yes it sure is. But could you separate Jerry the media practitioner from Jerry the human being? Obviously not, right? When I'm working I'm a human being too ain't I?

So why don't we just study the techniques of production, PR, advertising skills etc etc and then graduate? Technical skills. Some of our seniors several years back complained they had learnt nothing, which my guess is they felt they hadn't learnt enough technical skills.

It seems my brother thinks that should be the case.

But Jerry, who happens to be a human being, wants to learn what he should do as well. He wants some guidelines, frameworks of thought regarding the various forms of media on culture and content, on its implications on citizens, politics and public consciousness. Not that I'd just memorise and agree with what some scholars and academics feel, but to know how our predecessors felt and what their concerns with media were. So we can decide for ourselves how to be media practitioners with a human conscience.

What significance does film have, that it differs from books? Comics? What of the ways in which they present information? Is thinking involved? What of TV news?

But that being said, most of us graduates will just leave with our degrees and put our skills up for sale 'to the highest bidder'. We'll do what we're paid to. If somebody reeled in disgust at your ad with scantily dressed women, you'd say, that's my job, I don't mean it personally.

Right. And I'm sure that soldiers who are ordered to commit genocide should not have any guilt because they were just following orders.

There's a psychological term for such a phenomena, of how individuals absolve responsibility for their actions by hiding behind a bureaucratic structure. Can't remember what it's called.

But nobody ever got killed by scantily dressed women. If people want to see it, we should let them! After all, we need to cater to consumer's taste, don't we?

If you're coming from that viewpoint, then I guess you should stop reading this article.

People like party drugs, hardcore drugs. They like alcohol, cigarettes. Overdose of these addictive things kill the body. But media is different. Overdose of addictive images kills the mind.

Are beautiful women nice to look at? Yes. Could looking at them become addictive? Yes. So what happens then? Women become a way of satisfying addiction. But it never goes away. Desensitization
sets in. Islamic societies respond by demanding women dress covered up and in clothing that hides the female shape. And how do we respond? By having more naked women in more situations.

I'm not saying Islamic societies is the way to go. But you see, there is human weakness for beauty here that is being mercilessly exploited by business interests. No consideration of balance.

I wonder, what do women think about all this? Or is it all in the mind? If I really wanted to I could just ignore all the near-naked women in the streets? Or go live in Iran? But you see, beauty is good. Women are created to be beautiful in the eyes of men.

Abuse, its a form of abuse. But then again, most people are relativists. If having scantily dressed women in billboards is what people don't mind, then so be it.

My brother got a good taste of what his profit-maximisation theory of media meant. He was very surprised to see that Sunday Times now looked so 'New Paper'-like. And I told him - market reality. He was visibly disappointed at the bimbotic-ness of the latest cartoon serious on ARTS CENTRAL - Stripperella. And I just had to say "well, market forces - give the people what they want."

In product markets of most goods there is a self-correcting mechanism. Lousy car makers go out of business. Chefs selling poisonous food go to jail.

But there's no self-correcting market mechanism for mental addiction to enticement, be it sex, violence, controversy, fantasy. We just give them more and more and more. In the name of news values. In the name of whatever attracts attention. And it ends up like a legalised opium industry.

Boys and girls, welcome to the media industry. We don't pollute, we don't waste and we don't generate any side effects. Because you'll never see that our greatest externality is you.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

202 - semiotics

Exams are around the corner soon. Let's get some quick replies.

reply to ol' Vanz : Oh dear... I seem to have misrepresented myself... I hardly want to accelerate the abolishment of gays laws... haha... And who knows... what you say may come to pass, as in if people push for it to be abolished sooner then the rest may be aware and delay its abolishment... hehe

You seem kind of resigned to relativism, and I admit, that will be the general trend till the end of the world.

It's kind of like, I once did a paper on female genital mutilation practice in Africa, and women themselves see it as essential, in order to be considered a proper and respectable woman of their society. Those who refuse are ostracised. And its done by women themselves even and there are many many other reasons for it which made them think it appropriate.

Of course we'd all reel in digust now and feminists will be up in arms with all their social theories and so on as to why the tribals thought it socially normal...

But whatever the case, the point I'm trying to make is that, they thought it was acceptable, so they practised it.

As I mentioned before, most people thought persecuting Jews was normal, so they practised it. And they had plenty of reasons to justify themselves too! Just like the female genital mutilators.

My main point: Just because most people think a certain activity is okay is not a sound basis or reasoning for public acceptance or approval of an activity.

But then, what does it matter? After all, people are absolute masters of themselves aren't they? They themselves can know what's best for themselves.

reply to esther: I'm glad you have started returning to the Bible to get a clearer picture of what's going on. And I'm glad that we are in agreement on your proposal that there are no such people who have followed the law in their hearts perfectly.

I could go on as to regards issues with your church, but then, I don’t want this ‘last laugh’ mentality as we’re not here to poke at each other and it’s going to take a long time to compile it, but rest assured, I’ll address the serious issues again here.

Dearest Prof. Benj:

It’s so amusing how he lost my essay (but it’s really my fault anyway because I submitted it late) and how he’s so honest about it being lost somewhere in his portable harddisk, school or home computer (hehe).

I didn’t know he was born a Jew until that rather strange retort from him about having studied the Old Testament as an orthodox Jew and thinking they should be thought of as stories.

Well, since he’s not a believer anymore I can safely conclude that it would not be ‘scientifically objective’ to draw conclusions about the matter from his own personal experiences regarding the subject proper… it’s a bit like Freud analyzing his own dreams. Nice, but as you could guess, everything was about repressed sexuality. Not only about him but about every other patient he had ‘treated’.

It’s like you gathering evidence from me about what the Muslim faith is. (I’d try to give you some of my factual understandings, but you won’t know what the faith really is about because I just think that they’re not true at all)

But he has done lots of great work and research in his fields of anthropology, and sure is an apt and thorough researcher. Guess when it comes to issues that involve you personally you tend to end up subjective.

Probable discussion topics in the future (after exams)

  1. Defining ‘gay’ – what do we really mean?
  2. What is truth?

A tribute to the lost people who read my blog:

“Who knows the answers, who do you trust – can’t even separate love from lust…”
Twenty-Something (Jazz favourite sung by many artists)


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Reply to Esther

Esther: "thus even though they've never heard of Jesus but God says just in His creation of the world, they should acknowledge the presence of a Creator."

So, guess God just wants us to acknowledge His presence? And we can either do it thru Christ or by acknowledging a Creator directly since they're both the same? And thus we'd be justified?

Guess what. All Muslims acknowledge God's presence. Jews also acknowledge God's presence. Some people believe in some 'life-force' or 'nature' that drives the world....

Do you know what is the only way we can be in communion with God in heaven and have eternal life? Only by being justified. That we agree, right? For God is perfect and cannot tolerate sin.

And let's see, which person on earth has kept God's law perfectly and is thus justified? This law that is written in all the Gentiles' hearts even, as you so say with Romans 1:20

Well, who has kept the law perfectly? NOONE.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" - Romans 3:23

So... ALL of mankind is going to Hell already!! NONE were justified by the law, be it the Mosaic Law or the the law in the hearts of the Gentiles who don't know the Mosaic law. Does that answer you?

Esther: "but pls dun ask me abt tribal ppl who worship a Creator in their own community. erm...i dunno how God will judge them..."

It's like you're setting up an alternative path to salvation for ppl who don't know if they could be justified by any other way when it is so clear throughout the whole scripture that...

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." - John 14:6

It's becoming clearer and clearer that your gospel is different from scripture. Is that something you yourself misunderstood (as you so claimed in your email while defending your church) or were you taught like that? Please check with your cell leaders, bible teachers etc etc.

It's not that I am biased against certain denominations. But a church whose believers aren't clear in God's Word on even basics like salvation, grace (ay, our very faith itself, that ultimate testament to God's glory and mercy) needs a lot of reform.

So, dear Esther, and every other Christian reading this, will the Emperor of China, who had no knowledge of the gospel, have salvation?

If you still don't know after reading all this, then, sigh. Go ask your pastor and another one from a different church. All teachers of the true gospel will tell you, on pain of Bible scripture being a lie, that every man, even those who had not heard of the gospel, had always been dead in his sin.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Yesterday was quite a busy day. So busy until I come home and fell asleep within an hour at about 11pm.

Let's recap.

As I was walking to school from Can B I had a very pleasant and memorable surprise as CEL came and shared her umbrella with me because it was drizzling lightly. Apparently 221 sucks the life out of people faster than Tom Cruise in "Interview with a Vampire."

In the morning there was the final editing for 229, followed by the 2nd last 216 lecture on the role of media in culture rather than politics.

Just before 202 final lecture and screening there was an amusing state of affairs. JR, who had left the benches to give her gf a ride home was on his way back and had a flat tyre. How bad? Really bad as it totally flattened. He wasn't so sure if he had a spare so I told him to wait for me and we'd check it out. After all, I've changed flat tyres so many times its getting a bore.

In the evening, while going for dinner with sam before sending her back, my car got rear-ended by a taxi. Seems he saw the green light and just moved forward without checking to see if the other cars in front had actually started moving. It's not really serious although the side of my car bumper is now a little out of place. Hope it doesn't gradually fall off or collect rainwater or something.

This morning was the online editing session at 11.30 so I was late, and lo, behold, drove past the traffic policeman with a pen and notebook at above 100kph just after the Bukit Batok exit. And in the end we had to wait in school for half an hour for someone to arrive so we could start.

Lesson learnt. If you disobey the authorities, then accept your punishment. Will be waiting for the nice letter from TP soon. So don't disobey, although I think ethically its not wrong if you think you're justified and did it safely, for to avoid the punishment of paying fine and scoring points.


But having said that, I think its only if you think you're justified. Okay, being in a hurry is not sufficient justification, for some drive as though they're wasting every single second of their life while they're behind the wheel, all the time. Just get a chauffer. Or take a taxi.

You yourself will know if you hurry only when you're in a genuine rush, or if you rush all the time for the sake of rushing, even when you don't have an appointment to keep.

Secondly is the judgement of safety. Are you tailgating? Made sure you have an extra safe following distance? Road is clear, straight and visible? Weather?

Third, don't expect others on the road to rush at your pace just because you are in a rush. The rule is always to be predictable. And to go with the traffic flow. If people aren't rushing, wait for an opportunity to overtake, or else just pace in with the traffic and start conjuring excuses for your lateness.

Fourth, don't act as if it were your right to rush. If you get stopped by the authorities, well, give your reasons, but as a mitigating factor, not as why you weren't wrong. And don't tailgate people who aren't rushing, even if they're road hogging. It's a form of intimidation if you tailgate consistently. Just overtake at an opportunity.

Fifth, if you find yourself being in a genuine rush all the time, then there's probably something about your scheduling you need to improve on. Give yourself more time for road journeys.

"But wait, I paid so much for a car so I could save time, so I waste less time on the roads."

It's true. But not at the expense of the safety and consideration of others. Money doesn't justify selfishness.

The same goes for people who drive dangerously without concern for other's safety all the time just because they're able to pay the fine. Know what I am meaning here, it is that consideration for others is the paramount issue.

It seems that the roads are Singaporeans' outlets for their frustrations. These are people who are otherwise considerate, reasonable drivers.

That's why I like driving at night. Most of the people have already rushed home to watch TV and you wouldn't be at the receiving end of somebody's bad day or stressed life.


By the way, our 229 online session was great! Took 1.5 hours! Thanks to our whole team plus Ms Draper!

8 days left to exams... I think I'd better start on my readings.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

God answers prayers.

Of late, I hath been troubled with certain issues, not knowing if I hath done that which was pleasing in the sight of God and sake solace and forgiveness. And the answer being from the quotation from St. Augustine I think - "In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, liberty, in all things, charity."

So back to the issue of the City Harvester and I disagreeing, and she swore never to have any form of contact ever with me again.

I have since apologised to her that I had not been doing it in the spirit of 'charity' (biblical meaning, not secular form).

Well. Humility. Forgive. But doesn't mean agreeing. This is not an endorsement on my part. Let me demonstrate one example of her understanding.

For example, she said she doesn't know if one of the Emperors of China, who has never ever heard the gospel before and died, may have salvation (eternal life). In other words, Emperor may not be in Hell. At first she said "if you have no knowledge of Christ, how can you reject Him?" Then after my reply she says oh, that Emperor must at least know God first...

This is coming from someone who of her own accord told me that she had read the Bible cover to cover twice in different translations.

And I didn't want to listen any further, for her statement changes everytime I counter it. I wonder, would I be guilty if I just left her at the mercy of her preachers? But for now, trust in God's Will till as such time God gives another opportunity by softening her heart.

So folks, ye were not dead in sin and condemned to Hell, until somebody told you about the gospel! And God! You must curse and hate me then and all the other Christians who evangelised to you and told you about the true living God and Christ! For we condemned you to Hell! You weren't going there at first! You must really hate us!!

What rubbish that is entirely contrary to basically the whole of the gospel. Yes, I used a strong word. Rubbish.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16

"should not perish"... you were already going to perish. All of us! Not just physically, but eternally, in Hell.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. - John 3:17

That is why we like to say that, Jesus is our Saviour! Such that the undeserving condemned like us may have mercy and be saved. All the people of the world were already condemned.

But I thank God that He had answered my prayers this afternoon with my first real time of fellowshipping and exhortation within my church that I had today and my heart was comforted and encouraged.

May the Lord have mercy on all our souls.



saw ms congeniality 2 wif ol' Vanz. Took off my critic cap and had a reasonably good 2 hours laugh. But its a super shallow and clique thing altogether. Ok that's what I was expecting anyway.

Interview with a vampire. Super lousy show man, no wonder they needed the 3 musketeers. You know, Banderas, Pitt and Cruise. Okay, initially I thought the struggle of him coming to terms with the decision he made to become one of them was quite a good characterization. But after that it seems utterly ridiculous. The little girl vampire too... The message that the whole show seems to have is... vampires are human too aren't they? But some interesting thoughts of the 'vampires' themselves of why God 'created' them. Maybe since they lost their soul they'd became heartless killers like animals. Perhaps. But all that's just a moot point. Vampires don't even exist.

But it seems there's something disturbingly erotic about how they suck blood and how its always full of sexual settings. Reminds me of my JC literature texts, especially The Bloody Chamber. Actually, practically all of them had some form of blurring of lines between sex and death, but in some cases it was much more stronger than others. Okay, terribly disturbing things I shall dwell on no more.

Tried teaching a little bit of Julius Caesar during tuition yesterday. Very enjoyable. 1 student responded really well. The other, not so. But it was quite a challenge considering the sec 3 kids didn't know who Romans even were and I had to give a brief introduction. But really nice. She understood the point of arguments that Antony made and saw the patterns and structures of discouse which I explained that made Antony so persuasive. Perhaps watching a video of the play would be in order.

Maybe next time I'd just answer questions on how to write essays.

Last week of school. Lots of stuff to rush, but alright.


Friday, April 01, 2005

we cannot be the deciders of our own morals

202 is done! muahahah! Remember to turn up for the screening... I'm very sad I couldn't be the main voice talent... some scheduling problem...

But well done. My namesake Dr Foo is either going to buy the whole thing or trash the whole thing.

Yes. Quite unlike most things in life. Either the absolute truth, or otherwise its a complete lie.

I wanted to write an article on why the sodomy law should be kept in place, and after several hours, I found that there actually is no secular reason for it at all! And btw my brother has decided to study law. Fantastic. Now I won't have to fear anymore insurance claims.

The law against sodomy is from several places in the Bible, but got its name from the city of Sodom where there were a lot of men practising such acts and God passed judgement upon it and destroyed the city. (Genesis 19)

There are also several mentions of men lying with men as with womankind as being punishable by death and the act being an abomination unto the LORD, a strong word as its not often used. And sodomy is typically mentioned amongst other sins like beastiality. All these are found in the Law books of the Old Testament. Paul also mentions against it in the New Testament as well.

So how did it end up in Singapore? As you could have guessed, it was made law in the 1500s in England and Singapore inherited it as a colony.

Singapore is a secular state. No doubt about that. And the excuses that the government gives:

1) gays spread HIV
2) it doesn't result in procreation
3) the majority of the population is still conservative

are weak reasons for why it should be kept.

Probably reason number 3 is the most acceptable because law makers are representatives of the people. So you see, the secular state does work in some sense, but only as long as the people are well-grounded in their moral guidance.

But there's something else here. Most Singaporeans aren't Christians. So why do they keep the sodomy law? They didn't. We just happened to get it from the British. Thus, they aren't going to be bothered when gay sympathizers campaign to bring it down. And the activists know this. That's why they're working hard. Some even come from churches. Churches that interpret the Bible for themselves and cast out or twist passages they don't like. I thought it a damnable heresy that it was a group calling itself christian that tried to organize a gay concert which was rejected. Well. What to do with such heretics?

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. - 1 Cor 5:5

That's right. Church discipline. Cast them out till they repent. In other words ex-communication. But wait, these guys are in a church of their own altogether, and from top to bottom agree that being gay is not a sin. Reform based on the Bible.

That is one of the consequences of a secular public society.

But back to sodomy. Well, it's a law that came from the Bible. If people don't want to believe in it anymore, then take it out from the secular body of law. For the faithful will always have the law written in their hearts.

But I will be sad for people who will lose even this archaic form of restraint.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, - 2 Tim 3:1-3

And that was a warning about people close to the end of the world.

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. - 2 Tim 3:5-7

Another warning of the false teachers.