Friday, August 8, 2014

Engkau Laksana Bulan

My idol P. Ramlee performing the song 'Engkau Laksana Bulan' from his first directed film, 'Penarek Beca'.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Alumni barred from school for being “politically active”?

July 31 2014, The Online Citizen

ariffin
By Terry Xu
Like the year before, graduate of First Toa Payoh Secondary, Ariffin Sha was preparing to return to his former school to help out with its involvement in the National Day celebrations. He was former parade commander and also vice president of the student council.
This year was different, as his teacher told him that he need not come to help because the parade will be on a smaller scale.
This sounds fairly normal, until Ariffin started to hear other opinions about why his alma mater no longer needed his help.
image from lenneyHe was told by his former teacher that he can no longer enter the school premises without the approval of the principal.
And soon after, he got to know from about eight other friends who were still studying at the school that they have been asked about their relationship with him and whether he has ever spoken to them on political issues.
They were asked questions such as, “Are you close to Ariffin?”, or “Did Ariffin talk about politics to you guys?”
Ariffin had recently been active in the social political arena, voicing out on social issues online and speaking at events in Hong Lim Park. His views dealt mostly with government policies.
His friends said they did not know why the school had to ask such questions, and  were very puzzled about why Ariffin should be treated in such a manner.
Two friends from the group of students had also volunteered with him for his community project and were also questioned about their voluntary work with Ariffin. They said that they understood where the school was coming from in terms of safety and responsibility of the students, even though they volunteered in their personal capacity. But they could not understand why they were asked questions about Ariffin himself.
According to Ariffin, no other fellow Alumni members were told that their services at the school were no longer required.
The school principal, Mr Lim Kok Hwa, arranged for a meeting with Ariffin on a Saturday to address his concerns over the issue. Ariffin had informed his principal that the contents of the meeting would not be private and confidential.
During the meeting, the principal assured him that he was not being barred from the school compound. He explained that the school was merely exercising security measures due to the recent spate of sex-for-grades cases. He also said that the teacher who told Ariffin he would require the principal’s approval before he can enter the school misunderstood what he said.
However, Mr Lim did not address the issue of why Ariffin’s friends were questioned about their relationship with him and whether he spoke to them on political matters.
TOC sent queries to First Toa Payoh Secondary School and the Ministry of Education last week, to confirm if Ariffin has indeed been denied entry to the school compound as alumni, or if other alumni members have also been treated similarl. We have yet to receive a response from the school or MOE, and will include their response in this report when they reply.
Ariffin said that he hopes what happened to him will not continue, because quite a number of secondary school students have expressed to him their interests in political involvement.
Questions remain about whether Ariffin was indeed ostracised by his school for his contrarian views on national policies, as his fellow students are now left wondering if they would be treated the same way should they do likewise. Would it have a chilling effect on active citizenry among those he know?
Images of Ariffin volunteering with the Extend the Feast community project organised by the Happy People Helping People Foundation. Ariffin was the organiser for the Toa Payoh area for the distribution of food.

UN Official Breaks Down On Air After Gaza School Bombing

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why is PM Lee paid times more than Obama?


Jokowi's future salary as compared to other world leaders. Note how Singapore's PM Lee still earns 3 times more than Obama, does he have more work to do than the President of the United States?

Image from this article.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gaza.


To me, this photograph is not about Gaza. It is about a woman crying in complete misery with her dress soaked in blood (it does not matter whose).

I often feel that tragedy is the only reality that I can ascertain as truth. Sometimes I see or read something that makes me happy, but it is momentary, as soon after I'm confronted by images such as this, and realize the pain and suffering of the person in the photograph within myself. I wish I could be there for her, I wish I could be there for everyone, but I can't.

Such thoughts have left me in agony all my life, but I do not mind it. For at least then, I know that I am still human.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Racial Harmony Day 2014: A look at Lee Kuan Yew

21 July 2014 is Racial Harmony Day in Singapore. On this occasion, let's have a look at some of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's thoughts on Race, Culture, and Genes. Perhaps teachers should share these with their kids at school, since he is the "founding father" of the nation after all?

“If I tell Singaporeans – we are all equal regardless of race, language, religion, culture. Then they will say,”Look, I’m doing poorly. You are responsible.” But I can show that from British times, certain groups have always done poorly, in mathematics and in science. But I’m not God, I can’t change you. But I can encourage you, give you extra help to make you do, say maybe, 20% better.”

“Three women were brought to the Singapore General Hospital, each in the same condition and needing a blood transfusion. The first, a Southeast Asian was given the transfusion but died a few hours later. The second, a South Asian was also given a transfusion but died a few days later. The third, an East Asian, was given a transfusion and survived. That is the X factor in development.”

(Lee used his 1989 National Day Rally address to defend the Government's programme of encouraging Chinese immigration from Hong Kong on the basis that the birth rate of Singapore's Chinese is lower than that of the Indians and Malays. The numerical preponderance of the Chinese must be maintained, aid Lee, "or there will be a shift in the economy, both the economic performance and the political backdrop which makes that economic performance possible." Without a hint of irony, Lee also took the opportunity to assure Malays that they need not fear Hong Kong immigrants taking their jobs because the immigrants will all be high income earners.)

“The Bell curve is a fact of life. The blacks on average score 85 per cent on IQ and it is accurate, nothing to do with culture. The whites score on average 100. Asians score more … the Bell curve authors put it at least 10 points higher. These are realities that, if you do not accept, will lead to frustration because you will be spending money on wrong assumptions and the results cannot follow.”

“The human being is an unequal creature. That is a fact. And we start off with the proposition. All the great religions, all the great movements, all the great political ideology, say let us make the human being as equal as possible. In fact, he is not equal, never will be.”

“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society…So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.”

Read the full essay 'Lee Kuan Yew: Race Culture Genes' by Dr. Michael D. Barr here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Boy Soldier


An old charcoal drawing of mine entitled, 'Boy Soldier'. I was more interested in the look on his face than the bullet-belt across his chest.