The whos, whats, whys and hows.
There have been a lot going on these past few weeks. We’ve seen local gems unearthed and seen bright youths of our nation go to university to learn twisted versions of sexual education. These are things going on about our tiny island that we could use some answers to.
- Nathan Hartano
Let’s get things off with a question on the lips (or in the minds) of the fairer gender in Singapore. Who is this Nathan Hartano and where did he come from?If you haven’t already heard from the women folk in Singapore, be it your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, colleague, Teh-o aunty or the Nasi Padang Makcik then let me enlighten you. The story goes like this, he’s a Singaporean that auditioned for Chinese reality programme Sing! China.
This guy auditioned for a spot only hoping to walk away with a “Cool Story” to tell. He kinda messed it all up there and walked away with Jay Chou in tow as his mentor. Obviously from his name itself, you can tell that he’s got Indonesian roots. He’s a local boy true and true though, and despite having won quite a number of competitions locally, we’ve never heard or seen him in any mainstream platforms.
Could this be a pendulum in what’s to come for aspiring singers in Singapore? Should we all be attending local singing competitions and begin rubbing shoulders with potential stars? – Actually that idea not bad.
- SMRT, so you public, government or private? Who’s fixing what though?
So we’ve all heard by now that SMRT are soon to be privatised as Temasek Holdings up the ante to purchase SMRT and their assets. Temasek Holdings have tabled a bid of $1.18 billion to acquire the recent bane of public transport. Shareholders of SMRT aren’t too happy apparently, because $1.18 billion is a lot of money and they need to know how much pie each and everyone of them should get (also known as dividends). Also because this pie came as a surprise, nobody told these shareholders there would be any pie after dinner.
But what does this all mean for the public? For the people that actually ride the train? Well you can prepare for absolutely nothing in the short-term. There won’t be instant change to the infrastructure but there are works in the pipeline! These works will not include any cuts to the current fare. However it could spell an overhaul to the framework with privatisation.
SMRT going private will mean that the company will now be a listed entity and will have to comply with listing regulations. It will also mean that SMRT won’t have to keep a constant eye on providing profit for their shareholders in the short-term.
What that means is that you will see an improvement in efficiency which for the past few years have been all we as citizens that commute via the railway have been crying for. No more breakdowns, announcements and adventure walks through the train tracks, just a train that functions better than it’s currently doing. It also means your fare per trip is likely to increase. Hey you win some you lose some, at least one ride doesn’t cost 4 euros (I’m looking at you Finland).
- Are NUS camps the Tinder of real life?
If you’ve watched Van Wilder, Harold and Kumar, or any film about life in University, you won’t be wrong to assume that Universities are where “it’s” at. With “it” being testosterone filled young adults with too much freedom and a ridiculous sense of enthusiasm about the future (their future). It isn’t exactly where you go to get an education, after all we’ve all heard of the Gates, Jobs and Zuckerbergs of the world. Has University turned into a place you go to learn that all the morals your parents and teachers have thought you are unwanted and old fashioned?
So for the second year running, there have been complaints from students and parents about the overly sexualised activities that take place during NUS orientation camps. “One was asked whose bodily fluids she would like to drink, while another watched her peers re-enact an incestuous rape scene.” – That was the headline for a Straits Times article. Think about that, they were forced to role-play an incestuous scene. I’ve always assumed that educating our youth about the dilution of genetics through inbreeding would be covered by the parents of these said youth, and wouldn’t be included in any extra curricular curriculum (Guess I was wrong).
These youth were taken into a room and asked a series of questions, among them, questions such as “Who’s the sluttiest” and “Which male bodily fluid would you drink”. That sounds pretty much like a hazing for a fraternity or sorority. What ever happened to good old trust falls and bonfires?
- Pokemon GO – the game hasn’t even been released in Singapore yet the hype has gone off the charts.
The general public has swung both ways with this one. The chatter in both yay or nay tribes have been vibrant and buzzing. We’ve seen an Australian man lose his job after going full Char-retard with not being able to play the game in Singapore. There’ve also been countless stories of kids and adults getting injured or trespassing in their bid to catch ‘em all. And it’s these stories that have fuelled the nay tribe with copious amounts of security concerns rivalling that of a real and imminent threat that goes by the name of ISIS.
Pokemon GO has pretty much taken over the planet despite far more pressing matters to deal with such as hunger, poverty, terrorist attacks, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It’s been increasingly fearful and ridiculous how a single game to catch monsters in an augmented reality has stolen the show. It’s also worrying how much air-time has been given to the entire game and a bid to monitor players in Singapore.
Yes, security concerns are a pressing issue in this day and age, but it is just a game. It’s not difficult to understand that we can’t have “Pokemon Masters” climbing into the Istana to catch a Caterpie or load up on poke balls. However there are ways to remove sensitive areas from the game in it’s entirety. Policing this entire fracas would only see more policemen wearing shorts and riding bicycles ushering groups of children and adults with faces glued to their phones from one poke stop to the next. And we all know we’ve seen enough of those shorts-wearing, bicycle-riding police officers.
- AHTC – What’s actually going on?
Finally we move to our dear opposition leaders – Workers Party. This saga has gone from AHPTC to AHTC, that’s how long this has dragged on for. We’ve seen the Workers Party try to drag themselves out of the mud ever since they still had Punggol under their charge. Losing Punggol could even be tied back to the saga in itself.
The Workers Party have given Incumbents PAP ammunition to fire. KPMG, auditors of the ongoing saga have published their findings and identified problems that Minister Shanmugan made comments on. In his comments, the minister said, AHTC’s lapses were found by their auditors to be not isolated, but rather “pervasive” and “systemic”. In relation to the finding that AHTC used shortcuts to process millions of dollars in payments to related parties and “dummy” vendor codes used for payments.
Have the Workers Party really been playing their Aljunied residents? Minister Shanmugan believes that they have. Mr Singh of the Workers Party believes otherwise. He responded that “In fact, AHTC had specifically requested KPMG to publish the 70 additional lapses it identified in the course of its engagement since April 2016, even though KPMG had not intended to detail them in its report. The remedial measures AHTC has undertaken since the 70 additional lapses were identified are also highlighted in the July report.”
That hasn’t stopped the public, especially Workers Party supporters getting in on this. Many believe that the Workers Party have absolutely nothing to hide despite the saga dragging on and even displaying detrimental effects to their campaign bids. All in all it is one thing to support your party, but it looks like some supporters have taken their disinterest in the PAP a little too much. Displaying the exact same ardent support and mentality that they’ve labeled PAP supporters of doing.
It’s one thing to support your party and their ideals, but sometimes when something goes wrong, you can admit there’s been a lapse and look to fix it. If not later you lose more acronyms while this saga drags on.