Singapore ‘just like Pyongyang’: Kim Jong-un impersonator

Mr Howard Lee, the impersonator of Kim Jong-un, has arrived in Singapore, and just made some remarks about the Trump-Kim meeting.

But guess what he had to say about our Singapore?

just like pyongyang.png

Very apt and accurate indeed. We are just like Pyongyang, with our abysmal press freedom rankings, human rights record, etc.

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Alex Tan: I was sent to DB for making list of NS deaths

pixchiamIn an editorial published on his news site, States Times Review, Alex Tan who once stood under the Reform Party banner in the 2011 General Elections, revealed how he was hauled to the Cantonment Police Complex by police officers who said ‘they do not need a warrant’. It had to do with his involvement with The Real Singapore, a now-defunct news blog. The ordeal reminded him of how he was punished by the SAF during NS just for compiling a list of past servicemen deaths from military training.

“Back in 2008, I wrote a blog compiling the deaths of NSFs who died during training. I was called up for a similar “assisting investigation” by the SAF military police then, and I was called up one day, handcuffed and marched into the Commanding Officer’s office with my “offence” read to me. The CO first commented “Alex I didn’t even know you have a blog!”. I was then given the “kind advice” by my CO that I could get a “lesser sentence” if I don’t claim trial, and so I did. It was a very vague description: “general disobedience”, no mention of the blog. I was eventually jailed for 5 days in the Detention Barracks.”

He subsequently made the decision to flee from Singapore:

“The police investigation “assistance” felt like deja vu to me. Thanks to the SAF for jailing me in 2008, I learned that the police cannot be trusted and there can never be a fair trial in Singapore. I know the Singapore government has a track record of framing the innocent and I am their next target. It does not matter whether if I was innocent, the government wanted me and the other TRS editors jailed. Immediately on the same day, I bought a flight to Brisbane Australia and took flight in less than a week.”

The writer, who nows lives in Australia and publishes his cannot-be-seen-in-sg-mainstream-media news posts entirely ‘in accordance with Australian law’, also said setting up States Times Review was a ‘big decision’:

“It was a big decision to set up States Times Review. The time and resources spent aside, the biggest consequence is that I will never get to return to Singapore. I will never get to see my hometown again, my friends, schools, places I frequent and family members. Everything I knew and learned would only be memories from then on. It was a huge sacrifice, and even to-date, I still wonder if it was worth it. I had never been to Australia before, it was a culture shock initially but I began to like it.”

He also reveals what he likes about Australia, and how he feels valued there:

“The best part I love about Australia? Employment. I love working here, because I really feel valued as an employee here and not like an economic digit in Singapore. I used to average 60 hours work week in Singapore, and the amount of spare time I have here is just ideal. In Australia, there is an open culture of speaking up and this is a big plus for a person like myself, who previously had offended many managers for being too blunt. The work-life balance here is perfect for managing States Times Review while on a full-time job.”

He also talked about his views on the Singapore government’s attempts at disrupting his site (through DDoS attacks) and shutting it down:

“In the past 3 years, the Singapore government had made several attempts to shut down States Times Review. But like a mouse well out of a cat’s reach, I am well-protected by the fact that the website and it’s content is perfectly legal under the Australian legislation.”

And how honoured he is to be crowned as ‘fake news’ by none other than K Shanmugam, the law minister who took the helm at the Fake News hearing earlier, and how it backfired to increase his site’s readership:

“Last year, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam declared STR as a “fake news” website. What an honour actually. I certainly would not want praises from villains like K Shanmugam or Lee Hsien Loong. Thanks to Minister K Shanmugam, STR’s credibility was boosted and monthly readership actually soared some 25% higher since then, which probably say much about K Shanmugam’s very own credibility.

In fact, the “fake news” campaign launched by the government to censor the internet actually backfired on them. Straits Times and several other mainstream publications actually see lower readership, and some like The New Paper and Today even had to terminate circulation. As it turned out, these liars should really not be throwing stones in a glass house.”

He thinks, though, that the site will eventually be shut down by the PAP:

“I know what they are up to next: site address ban. STR would be treated like a jihadist site and then completely banned.

STR had a good 3 years run. I am pragmatic enough to understand that this site would be shut down eventually, somehow some time in the near future. Until then, I would do my best to provide independent news coverage for Singaporeans.”

Read more about Alex’s story on STR: 3 years of fighting fake news.

LHL gets dismissive when asked by Low Thia Khiang whether we have an elite class

 

Former sec-gen of WP, Low Thia Khiang, asked in Parliament on Wednesday (May 16) whether the Prime Minister would agree that “there is now a political elite class in Singapore” given that the those who are chosen for consideration for the PM position “largely come from the SAF or the civil service”.

The question drew an expected-but-greater-than-usual unfriendly response from Lee Hsien Loong, who started with a very agitated tone.

“My Speaker Sir (heightened tone), this is an example of the way.. not to think about the problem,” he replied dismissively.

He then gave a ‘black cat, white cat” response: “When you look at the person, you ask, is he making a contribution, what are his strengths and weaknesses, what are his contributions, does he or does he not measure up. You don’t ask where did he come from, who his parents are.”

But he was slapping himself. Because Low Thia Khiang specifically asked why the selection criteria were so narrow, Low Thia Khiang specifically asked why “all from civil service and SAF”. Lee was unable to deny that the 3 frontrunners for PM come from the said background.

To make matters worse (and also clearer), Lee added: “Is it good to have people from a wide range? Yes…I have people from the private sector, I have doctors, I have lawyers, I have brought in new people from the backbenchers, some of whom also from the private sector..”

“So we are looking for people wherever we can find them to form a Singapore team.”

But if such people were in his “team”, why were they not given higher positions in Cabinet? Why were so few of them joining PAP in the first place, letting the PAP resort to SAF and other ‘safe places’ to source for ‘talent’? (And then proclaiming we have a lack of talents!)

And just like him, he had to end his speech with a “fix-the-opposition” line: “And the stronger this team is, the harder I make Mr Low’s job.” to spontaneous tapping in agreement from his underlings in Parliament.

Maybe he forgot Low is not the sec-gen anymore. Unlike him, and despite being younger than him, Low was willing to pass the helm to Pritam Singh within the WP.

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TNE

 

Lorry with PH flag rams 15 cars 2 days before elections

Internet commentators have questioned the timing of the incident, and expressed suspicion that it had been staged

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A lorry bearing the PKR flag that was also being used by the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan, to represent itself at the ballot box for this round of GE14, was alleged to be have been on the run from the police in Subang Jaya, and the 27-year-old driver of the vehicle ‘refused to stop’ when instructed to pull over by traffic cops in Batu 9, Cheras.

The lorry also crashed into and damaged 15 cars during the ordeal.

White House condemns China for interfering with how airlines refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and even does so through the US embassy’s Weibo

First, the White House issued a statement that dismissed as “Orwellian nonsense,” China’s request for foreign air carriers – including the United States’s – to comply with Beijing’s standards of referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories.

Then the United States embassy took to the popular Chinese social media platform, Weibo on Monday to post the Mandarin translation of the statement on its official account.

The Weibo post inspired tens of thousands of comments, but instead of supportive messages it triggered patriotic posts on a platform that is closely watched and censored by the authorities.

While the post has not been taken down, users who try to share it on their own accounts receive a message saying: “Sorry, this content is temporarily unavailable.”

The White House statement came after Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a notice to 36 foreign airlines on April 25, asking them to comply with Beijing’s standards of referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories.

Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, and Macau, a Portuguese colony until 1999, are now “special administrative regions” of China.

But Taiwan has been self-ruled since splitting from the mainland after a 1949 civil war.

China views the democratic island as a renegade part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to bring it back into the fold if necessary.

The White House called Beijing’s demand to the airlines an attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to “export its censorship and political correctness to Americans.”

Sources: HKFP

Halimah: I am honoured to be first Malay president in 47 years

Mdm Halimah Yaacob, the ‘unelected’, ‘Indian-turned-Malay’ President of Singapore, claimed she was honoured to be the first Malay to be President in 47 years.

In her speech drafted by the 4G leaders of the PAP, Halimah also hit out at the use of ‘cyber space’ to ‘sow distrust within societies’, and that we must not ‘allow our nation to succumb to these forces’.

In probable fear that the ‘winds of change’ currently happening in Malaysia would blow to Singapore, the PAP-drafted script also urged Singaporeans to ‘avoid being embroiled’ in our neighbouring countries’ ‘domestic politics’ during election seasons.

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ST censors Kirsten Han part of NYT article on the Qipao saga

Let’s play spot the difference again.

So Straits Times copied word-for-word an article published in The New York Times entitled “Teenager’s Prom Dress Stirs Furor in U.S. — but Not in China”

But curiously, it left out a small line and a huge chunk featuring none other than Kirsten Han. Kirsten, you got featured on NYT but ST deemed you not fit for our national newspaper lah!

A paragraph-by-paragraph comparison finds ST ommitted two parts in the original article.

The 1st part was this line:
“Other Asian-Americans said the criticism was silly.”

that came after the NYT said: “Some (ST changed ‘some’ to ‘other’) Twitter users who described themselves as Asian-American seized on Ms. Daum’s dress — a form-fitting red cheongsam (also known as a qipao) with black and gold ornamental designs — as an example of cultural appropriation, a sign of disrespect and exploitation.”

(Why did ST choose not to give the ‘others’ credit? Lumping the Asian-Americans as one big dumb lot?))

missing parts, st.png

The 2nd part was a big chunk, 7 full paragraphs that mentioned Singapore. That featured Kirsten Han, and talked about muticulturalism in Singapore:

(Why did ST feel Singaporeans should not be reading this?)

“The uproar surrounding the prom dress highlights America’s growing — and increasingly complex — conversation about race.

Several recent episodes have shown that Asians and Asian-Americans do not always see eye to eye.

Diversity was certainly on the minds of the filmmakers behind the 2016 Chinese-American coproduction “The Great Wall” when they filled the movie with so-called Chinese elements — a predominantly Chinese cast, story line and filming locations. In doing so, they addressed a diversity concern in China, where moviegoers are increasingly sensitive to Hollywood’s tendency to cast Chinese actors in bit parts. But after the release of the movie trailer, another diversity issue arose: Several prominent Asian-Americans criticized the filmmakers for casting Matt Damon in the lead role, as one of the leaders of a Chinese army, likening the decision to “whitewashing.”

More recently, the debate has resurfaced with the planned American release, in August, of the film adaptation of “Crazy Rich Asians,” based on a series of novels about the lives of wealthy families in Singapore.

The casting has generated some controversy, in part over the biracial actor chosen as the male romantic lead.

While the film is promoted as having an all-Asian cast, the Singapore journalist and activist Kirsten Han wrote in a 2017 essay, “the focus is specifically on characters and faces of East Asian descent (as dictated by the book).”

“This is already a misrepresentation of Singapore at the most basic level, obscuring the Malay, Indian and Eurasian (and more) populations who make the country the culturally rich and unique place that it is,” she wrote. “A continent as massive as Asia can never be as simple as the stereotypes imposed upon us.””

(Why did ST feel Singaporeans should not be reading this?)

NYT version: Teenager’s Prom Dress Stirs Furor in U.S. — but Not in China: https://www.nytimes.com/…/wor…/asia/chinese-prom-dress.html…

ST version: Qipao prom dress that caused a culture furore in the US draws head-scratching in China:
https://www.straitstimes.com/…/prom-dress-that-caused-a-fur…

Looks like ST is the one doing cultural/political misappropriation here.