Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Be Informed

I write this blog post with a sincere and honest appeal to my Singaporean peers and friends out there -- isn't it time that all of us be more aware of the socio-political situation in Singapore? Easier said than done, that's for sure. For example, how many of us have heard or read about the latest event that transpired between MDA officials and organizers of a private screening of a movie on Lee Kuan Yew? Don't think many of you did.

The paragraph below is extracted from a website.
Film on Lee Kuan Yew seized by MDA

"It was a private screening but that didn't stop officers from the Media Development Authority (MDA) from seizing a copy of the film, "One Nation Under Lee", at the Tulip Room in the Peninsular Excelsior Hotel.

The film, produced by activist and artist Seelan Pillay, was a narrative of how Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew subjugated various institutions in Singapore, such as the press, under the government's control during his time as Prime Minister. It also depicted how the social divide in Singapore is a result of the People's Action Party's policies. The film included interviews with former Solicitor General Francis Seow, political detainee Said Zahari, opposition politician JB Jeyaretnam and scenes of various public protests which had taken place in Singapore."

Now, how many of us are actually aware of such events taking place? And if we aren't, why not? Is it because of political apathy? Or simply a case of reigned press? I really don't know which is more pathetic. It is with this line of thought that I direct you to watch this video yourselves. You be the judge.

Simply visit http://sheepcitytv.com/ and click on the video titled One Nation under Lee, where you can then see for yourself the lengths our Singapore government has gone to maintain complete political dominance. For more information on the abovementioned event that took place at Peninsular Excelsior Hotel, you can read up about it here.

Now, before I start getting branded as a leftist without a cause, please don't get me wrong. Firstly, I agree that Singapore has seen remarkable social and economic progress over the last three decades. I agree that the Singapore government has done a splendid job in maintaining public law and order and safety. But, at what cost? Do all of these outweigh basic constitutional rights such as freedom of speech and peaceful assembly? The PAP has done great things for us. But who are they to say that anyone else will fare worse?

What have we Singaporeans sacrificed for this utopian facade that is Singapore? Truth be told, most Singaporeans are stuck in such an apathetic rut that they can't be bothered to see for themselves. They don't even want to be given a choice. The illusionary concepts of freedom and democracy have been force-fed to us all since our childhood days to a point that we have become agreeable tools of governmental policies.

This isn't a call for us to protest, or for us to take up arms and march down the streets. I just wish to share this informed opinion that I believe every citizen should have the right to. Watch the video, and share it with your family and friends if you feel it to be informative. I sure have.

On another related note, I read recently in the papers about the issue on why NSFs who have not reached legal voting age are not allowed to vote at elections, but are still deemed old and responsible enough to bear arms and defend our country. (Read more about it here. )I await with bated breath at another cheesed-up response from the government. Having just recently ORD'ed myself, I look back and realize that being an NSF brought me only two viable advantages.

1) Being able to receive free medical care at governmental clinics and hospitals. Ok, great for all those days where I didn't feel like working and needed an MC to cover.

2) Receiving an additional $100 for the progress package. Which I view as nothing more but public funds disguised as bribes for political reasons (read: elections).

Such two-sided views on our fine young men are simply a scratch on the surface of how bias our own government has become. What separates us from other oppressed states is that our government masks these shortcomings with pretty outlooks of "economic progress" and "social stability". I beg to differ. It's time for all of us to be informed and educated. The time to abolish political apathy is now, and the time to make informed choices has never been sooner.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The 200th Post

This actually marks my 200th blog entry since I started this blog, um, three years ago. Well, I know it might not count for much for most people, but considering how infrequently I actually post something up here, it's actually quite a milestone for myself. Come to think of it, this blog has served more than just the purpose of letting others have an insight into my life.

Whenever I'm in the mood for it, I'll go trawl through some random old posts that I've posted up before. And every time, I'll have such a good time looking back and reminiscing through all these past events and emotions that I get drawn into them and continue reading more and more. For example, take a look at my 100th post, where I was talking about this local parody of the Gary Oldman Nokia N93 ad. Come to think of it, nobody even uses the N93 anymore!

In any case, lots of progress has been made in one year, at least I can be thankful of that. Well, like how I'm finally attempting to take my driver's license, for starters. Damn, I'm such a late bloomer, I swear.

I just received a call from GSMD to give me an update regarding my appeal for entry into a different course. (For those of you who don't know, I appealed for entry to another course, MMus in Leadership.) Apparently the course dean will be giving me a call tomorrow morning UK time. I just hope I'm not teaching then. Ah screw it, I'll answer it at all costs! I'll even take a cab to wherever I have to be if that means not having the conversation on a noisy bus or train.

Anyway, here's a nugget of really random info, but I thought with all the disastrous ongoings in Myanmar, I thought it'd be good to know. Apparently the capital of Myanmar isn't Yangon, like how I (and most other people) have thought it to be. It's called something I've never heard in my life before -- Naypyidaw. Seriously.

Now that I've completed Lost Odyssey, my nights have been filled me fervent streaming of LOST episodes from Season 4. I accidentally watched one episode of LOST on Channel 5 that night and I've been hooked on it since. I fondly recollect all those days where I was religiously ingesting episodes of LOST from Seasons 1 and 2, analyzing and speculating all sorts of LOST mythology in careful detail.

Speaking about LO, I must say it has been an absolutely fantastic game. Bloody good storyline, best graphics ever for a proper RPG and contains every single old-school element that a JRPG should. In all, clocked a total of 80 hours on this game, which isn't alot by RPG standards -- but through smart and consistent grinding, I managed to attain lvl. 80 for most of my characters by the end of the game before calling it a day.

Also, I unlocked 900 gamerscore for that game -- not bad, considering how I only manage to usually get only 500 or 600 gamerscore for an normal game. (One game usually carries a maximum of 1,000 gamerscore that can be unlocked). But, still, I think FF XII trumps LO by just a bit in terms of character development (not character backstory), and that is always a huge draw for me when playing RPGs. I clocked approximately 200 hours on FF XII!

Ok, I'm starting to get into gaming geek mode. Not good. Well, it's back to whiling my hours away in front of the laptop. Vexille has almost finished downloading! (Gah, I seriously hope nobody from MDA reads my blog.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Road Rage

I think I'm going to be a very impatient driver. I get mildly irritated even when someone cuts infront of me when I'm practising driving on the circuit. Not good! Ah, well... I just can't wait to get everything over and done with as quickly as possible, and just get my damn driver's license.


I have five sets tonight -- two at BarStop, three at Indochine. That's after two practical sessions that I'm having today. Think I better get some rest. I woke up at 6:30 in the morning for my 8am lesson! The next one is coming up at 2:10pm, so it's back to BBDC for me. A bit too ambitious there. On a separate note, I've uploaded some photos of our very fun Loof sessions on Facebook. Check them out!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Windows Funk

Well, before I launch into my usual rant, here's something really interesting that I'd like to share with everyone first. It's a video of a music track that is made up of only sounds from Windows 98 and Windows XP. It's really good stuff -- real musicianship, I say! Check this out, and you'll never look (or listen) at those annoying Windows sounds again.

Heh, good stuff isn't it. If only I wasn't clocking up that much time (still) on Lost Odyssey, I could perhaps think up of something like that. Ah damn, it's half-past six in the morning now I only just got off my Xbox 360 not too long ago. Talk about nocturnal lifestyles! Nowadays I just wake up, teach, have dinner, go back, and start gaming.

Anyhow, as some of you might already know by now, there's been a change of plans. I won't be studying in London anymore, so that's bye-bye to my music therapy course in GSMD for now. I'll be applying for VCA in Melbourne, but the new term doesn't start until next year so I guess I'll be staying put in Singapore for the remainder of this year.

In more uplifting matters, I'll be starting at Indochine Waterfront at Empress Place next Monday onwards, on the 12th. I'll be playing every Monday, Wednesday & Friday with Kewei and Daniel, so do come down and check it out if you're free or in the area. I'll be sure to do a dedication for you! Daniel and Kewei are excellent in their craft, and it's going to be great fun working with them.

Turning to something more touristy, Shu and me went onboard the Singapore Flyer last Friday for some sightseeing fun! This was part of Shu's "one-week birthday celebrations" program. Not bad, eh? I've uploaded the photos on Facebook here, so do check them out. The Singapore Flyer isn't too bad as some people make out to be. The terminal is very nicely done, the views are pretty splendid and the price isn't too expensive at all!

However, my only grouch about that structure is that it just looks a tad too boring aesthetically and architecturally. Compare Singapore's wheel to the London Eye (ok, I must admit that one had slightly better views -- you can't beat Parliament House!), where it looks much better and well-designed from the outside. Oh, and for the obsessed, there's even an interactive Singapore Flyer application on Facebook!

Ah well, check it out for yourself, I always say. In the meantime, I'm off to bed -- need to rest up for more grinding tomorrow!