Friday, May 26, 2006

Farewell my car

It's official. The road tax is expired. Today is the day. Goodbye. Driving it to the Export Yard and taking the bus home...

Thank God for the 4 over years of enjoyment!

When we first got the car, it was over 2 years old and its mileage was 64000km. Today, its 7 years old and its mileage is about 189000km. It's gone as far as KL. It's gone as fast as 160km/h. It's been in 1 major accident which took out its trunk. But thank God nobody ever died in it.

But numbers cannot express the fun I've had cornering in this car. Be it expressway curves, 90-degree junctions - the new suspension tackles it all. Body roll is still quite bad because I didn't change the springs, and this car is after all front heavy, but the tyres never skid or slide. It has a very solid, rooted feeling at all times. Quite the other end of the world compared to those disgusting tip-toeing MPVs and SUV that almost topple over like vans and lorries.

It's also the end of an era. This 3-box shape doesn't appear much in new sedans anymore, neither do cars have such low bodylines nowadays as they grow taller, more bubbly and more rounded like overbloated goldfishes.

A 110bhp engine through a 4-speed auto pushing a 1040kg chassis is a reasonable power-to-weight ratio and fuel efficient too... yet it can provide a sufficient surge of power when the need arises too.

I've always liked its slim headlights at the front as well as the clean rearlamps configuration too.

From me and all those who've ever been in this car at one time or another - goodbye!

Thank God once again! :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Parrot Press and lame ducks

As a journalism student, I must say that the Singapore mainstream media never ceases to amaze me.

I have been TRUELY APPAULED by its coverage in the recent days. Everybody already knows that its coverage of the elections is biased, and anyone who has had any alternative exposure to the election either by attending opposition rallies or via the non-mainstream press would agree with me.

They already toed the government line with regards to the Gomez incident so fantastically enthusiatically, faithfully reiterating and presenting the relevant ministers' golden words. And gave it headline coverage for 3 entire days out of the 9 days of campaigning.

And many other things of which we have yet to do a content analysis.

Fast forward to the results. When it was announced on TV that PAP had 66.6% of all votes cast and PM Lee called it a strong mandate - I was laughing my head off.

Here was a case of sheer denial. Yes, you may have subsequently read the analysis by some political observers or academics on CNA or ST who go to the tune of '66.6% is very strong compared to the mandate given to the ruling party in most democratic countries'.
But hear me out. In these OTHER countries, are there:

1) a severe lack of non-ruling political parties and people standing up for elections?

2) walkover victories for almost 1/2 of the seats such that about only half of the people actually vote?

3) constant redrawing of district boundaries that people no longer know where they live although they haven't shifted house?

4) an Electoral Department that reports to the Prime Minister's Office (the PM is an elected person too - so isn't this a conflict of interest?)

5) a PARROT PRESS that doesn't give balanced coverage (as explained above)?

6) the ruling party, knowing that it will form the next government and control the budget, threatens people in opposition wards that they will be missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars of funds allocation for the improvement of their estate?

So, thank you for staying with me through this mini-discussion, we have concluded that it hardly qualifies as a 'strong' mandate, given the context.
Zoom back to the results announcement. PM says its a strong mandate. (I thought the press was being a big cynical when in one of the inner pages the title went "PM gets his strong mandate") - perhaps refered to his self-delusion.

And the next day the parrot press resounds all over. Strong mandate! Strong mandate!

Anybody remembered that the 'suicide squad' opposition gang in AMK consisting of rookies caused the PM to actually get a lower percentage in his ward than the PAP average? (66.1% vs 66.6%)

and today, we have the best front page title yet -

"PAP picks up 81% of votes cast overseas"

"... On their own, the overseas voters registered 81 per cent support for the People's Action Party across the 16 constituencies contested - well above the 66.6 per cent that the ruling party received here.
Taken in isolation, they would have handed Potong Pasir to the PAP ( PAP 9, SDA 3) but given Nee Soon Central to the Workers' Party ( WP 2, PAP 1)"


Don't keep putting the percentage results of the 335 overseas voters against that of the 1 million+ voters at home!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

what a fix

Here's something really interesting.

It seems that the phrase "there will be consequences" is going to be considered criminal intimidation.

For that we'll have to wait and see during the trial should it happen.

The whole episode with the Department, according to one ruling party candidate, were a very evil attempt by Gomez to 'fix' the elections department. So when he says Gomez tried to 'fix' the Elections Department, he means Gomez is trying to criminally intimidate the Elections Department, or the staff member, whatever.

So tell me, why is it when some other candidate during a public rally in Raffles Place says he doesn't want to spend too much time 'fixing' the opposition candidates, he is not criminally intimidating anyone?

Is it a case of when this person says 'fix' he means just to 'fix' but when the word 'fix' is used by the earlier-mentioned party member the word 'fix' means to criminally intimidate?

Of course, we always give people the benefit of the doubt. So the rally speaker issued a 'clarification' and saying he's apologising if anyone was upset by his use of the word 'fix'.

That is noble.

But hey, so did Gomez.

So why the harsh reaction on him?

Oh well, he's in a 'fix' for trying to 'fix' the Department either that or somebody is trying to 'fix' him, so he'd better try to 'fix' himself or he'll never get out of this 'fix'ation with 'fix'........