Sunday, May 31, 2009

Where & when you can donate blood | World Blood Donation Day

The link is not that hard to find actually. You can find where & when to donate blood here.

On a separate note, the World Blood Donor Day this year shall be celebrated at Jurong Bird Park on Saturday, 13 June. (Official site: here) Admission is strictly by invitation. Although I received the invitation card, I found the intent to make the event exclusive is not a right move.

The organizer should make it as an open event. Let the blood donors be recognized for their selfless contribution & at the same time, let the public learn more about blood donation. (And how to attract more people to attend the event? Waive the entrance fee. Just like the free museum entry as part of International Museum Day celebrations.)

Oh, and to be in line with the World Blood Donor Day, the event ought to be held on 14 June. Heh.

Update: here's the invitation card. It's made in the form of a postcard. I like how simple the design is.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Malaysia boleh: It's a crime if you call your wife ugly!

I agree. Totally! And for fairness' sake (it's the Adamantium age of equality of the sexes, is it not?), they must make it a crime as well for the women to cause 'emotional violence' against their poor husbands through various despicable means, which I shall refuse to further elaborate. (Why should I give them women ideas?!)

It soon could be a crime for Malaysian men to call their wives ugly, a women's rights group and a news report said on Thursday.

The governmental Women's Development Department plans to ask Parliament to ban 'emotional violence' against women, who currently have legal protection against physical assault only, The Star newspaper reported.

Women's groups told the department that husbands who 'demonstrate a pattern of causing mental and psychological damage' should face counseling, fines and jail terms, Ivy Josiah, director of the Women's Aid Organisation, told The Associated Press.

Offenders include a husband who 'tells his wife she is ugly or humiliates her until she feels emotionally pressured,' the government department's head, Noorul Ainur Mohamad Nur, said during a conference on violence against women, the newspaper reported.

Ms Noorul said there was a need to criminalise emotional abuse because it could deeply scar a woman's dignity and self-confidence, the report said.

There were no immediate details about when Parliament would discuss the plan.

About 90 per cent of some 800 women who called the Women's Aid Organisation for help last year reported being psychologically abused, though some were also physically assaulted, Ms Josiah said.

A government representative said Ms Noorul and other officials familiar with the plan could not immediately be contacted on Thursday.

From Straits Times, "Jail if you call wife ugly".

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

There ought to be better ways to handle illegal cigarette (To destroy over S$5M worth of confiscated cigarettes? Argh...)

Over S$5m worth of illegal cigarettes were destroyed each month! Yes, you're reading it right. What a waste indeed--not just the valuable cigarettes, but also the cost of destroying them.

This has to be what they call as a loss-loss situation. So if you're to make it as a loss-win scenario (loss for the smuggler, and win for the government), how would you handle the confiscated contraband cigarettes?

You sell them, of course. Hey, the government would have another source of revenue! And smugglers might think twice to bring in the cigarettes illegally (Why should they enrich the government, they'd have thought) or might think more ingenious ways to smuggle the items (Which in turn is good for the police enforcement as they will learn more when they foil the smuggling operation.)

Over S$5 million worth of contraband cigarettes go up in smoke at the Tuas Incineration Plant each month.

Over 4.5 million packets of illegal cigarettes were seized by Singapore Customs last year.

The illegal cigarettes are first stored under tight security at the Singapore Customs Warehouse. Once forfeited by the court, they are transported to the Tuas Incineration Plant where they are crushed and burnt under the watchful eyes of officials.

And because of the sheer volume of cigarettes seized, the operation takes place every month. In fact, since the start of the year, Singapore Customs has seized over 1.5 million packets.

In this month alone, over five tonnes or the equivalent of 250,000 packets of illegal cigarettes will be destroyed.

Buying, selling, or dealing with contraband cigarettes are serious offences under the Customs and GST Act, and the authorities have adopted a multi-pronged approach to fight the trade.

Victor Seah, deputy head, corporate communications, Singapore Customs, said: "We have strong investigative efforts to combat cigarette smuggling. We conduct daily inspection checks island-wide to stamp out the smoking and buying and peddling of illegal cigarettes.

"And more importantly, we organise community engagement road-shows to raise public awareness on the need to fight against illegal cigarettes among the public."

Anyone found in possession of a packet of duty-unpaid cigarettes, faces a minimum fine of S$500 or prosecution in court. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Over S$5m worth of illegal cigarettes destroyed each month".

Monday, May 25, 2009

The best answer to "So you think this is your father's company?!"

The best answer is only if it's delivered calmly, innocently, without any anger or fury. It is: "No, but I don't think this is your father's company, either."

The emphasis ought to be in 'your' (italics, dear readers, italics!) & refrain yourself from using an exclamation mark in your answer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My (un)forgettable BJ: Cocos Nuciferalicious

Presenting Cocos Nuciferalicious (it's from 'cocos nucifera' the fancy Latin for 'cocounut' & of course, duh, 'delicious').

But the list of the ingredients is secret! Hur hur. Actually I might not even be able to recall them. Heh. But it surely is fun to play around with the possibilities of mixing all those yummy ingredients. Participate in "Do The World A Flavour" contest from Ben & Jerry's. (Rules & regulations can be found here.)

And if you're lucky, you can win a year's supply of ice-cream from Ben & Jerry's. Heh.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The National Film Board of Canada presents SEBASTIAN'S VOODOO

Check out the short film, "SEBASTIAN'S VOODOO" at YouTube here courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada together with the Cannes Short Film Corner. Although it's mostly about sacrifice (which is all good and fine), the plot does not make much sense.

See, if you're able to make a voodoo doll and do the standard stuff of cursing the doll by sticking it with pins (yeah, I know that sounds sick!), would you EVER make a voodoo doll which belongs to you?! In a sense, if that doll is pierced with a pin, it's you who will suffer the effect. No, right? Argh...the irrational storyline.

Still it's ultimately about sacrifice and sometimes sacrifice may indeed be without rationale.

Who is the world's oldest blogger? (And why the title hardly matters!)

Is the world's oldest blogger really Maria Amelia Lopez? She's a 97-year-old Spanish great-grandmother who is reported to have died last Thursday, 21/05. You can find her blog, titled "A mis 95 aƱos / 95 years old blogger" at amis95.blogspot.com.

Or is the title of the world's oldest blogger rightly belongs to Olive Riley, an Australian woman who died at the age of 108 last year in July? By the way, her blog, "The Life of Riley" can still be viewed at www.allaboutolive.com.au.

But seriously, does it matter? The fun of blogging is for people irregardless how old they are. And these two amazing ladies have found the means to have their views immortalized in the Net.

And I very much doubt they care about who has the right to claim the title of "The World's Oldest Blogger".

Abraham Lincoln had one of his famous quotes: "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

I can imagine that the two departed bloggers might have a similar thought. And what I thought about their blogs is (my apology, Mr. Lincoln) that in the end, it's not how long you have been blogging that counts; it's the quality of your posts in your blog.

Rest in peace, ladies.

...


And I suddenly have a thought of my late father. I have difficulty to see him using a computer, connected to the Internet & being busy updating his blog. Such a pity.

His blog would have been fun to read. He had a lot to tell. He had the courage to travel far to leave his family to pursue his Master of Education in UK and put unwavering trust to my mother to take care the four (hopefully well-behaved) children without him. All in the hope, to bring a better life to us.

He had the patience to tell me stories & to teach me how to speak when I was little even when he ought to be exhausted after standing the whole day teaching maths in a class.

He had the saintly stoical sense not to ever scold me, without doubt the prodigal son in the family for hardly visiting them back home because I was just too tied up with works (which admittedly the lamest reasons ever and even I could admit that!).

It's such a loss there's no legacy in form of the writing of his thoughts left behind. Like a blog. Like how the two ladies bloggers had done. Although my father might not have been the oldest blogger, he would have been the most interesting blogger whose posts I would love to read & re-read.

I miss you, dad.

Read also:
- Straits Times, "World's oldest blogger dies".
- Brisbane Times, "'World's oldest blogger' dies in Spain at 97".
- CNN, "'World's oldest blogger' dies at 108".
- BBC News, "'Oldest' blogger dies, aged 108".
- Anonymous_X, "Good bye, dad. Heaven will be like a 24-hour library for you".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Citi never sleeps because...

...the Singapore tycoon, Mr. Oei Hong Leong sues Citibank for "negligence and misrepresentation" after he had lost $1 billion on foreign exchange and US Treasury bond transactions last year.

Citibank was quoted to respond with a firm statement: "We believe that the claim is without merit and we fully intend to defend our position vigorously."

It will be an interesting case to follow. Both have much to win...and to lose. And I am not just referring about 'money', but also more importantly 'reputation'.

Local businessman Oei Hong Leong - dubbed the 'man with the Midas touch' - lost a whopping $1 billion on foreign exchange and US Treasury bond transactions last year.

While he has fully paid off these losses, he is now suing Citigroup's private banking arm in the High Court for negligence and misrepresentation, legal documents seen by The Straits Times reveal.

Mr Oei claims that the bank - with which he has a 30-year relationship - repeatedly gave him an inaccurate picture of his trading exposure, causing him to take on more positions than he would have otherwise done so.

When he knew the full extent of his exposure, he felt he had no choice but to close his positions - at an extremely volatile time last October - thus suffering massive losses.

It is not clear how much of a beating Mr Oei's net worth has taken, but he was ranked Singapore's 29th richest man by Forbes last year with a net worth of only US$210 million (S$308 million). Forbes bases its listing on stakes in publicly traded companies and in private company filings.

Ironically, Mr Oei has become the latest high-profile victim of the financial crisis because he was trying to reduce his exposure.

In 2007, he believed that the global economy would experience a downturn and decided to trim his trading positions, his statement of claim says.

Meanwhile, he told his private bankers that he wanted to maintain a margin surplus of about US$100 million.

This is cash placed with a bank and clients can trade up to several times that amount. If the trades run up losses, this margin has to be topped up.

Following a change of relationship manager last year, Mr Oei dealt mainly with two assistants in the private banking department, whom he would call to check on the balance on a daily basis.

From Straits Times, "Oei sues Citigroup".



Singapore-based businessman Oei Hong Leong has sued Citigroup's private bank for negligence and misrepresentation after he lost S$1 billion on foreign exchange and bond trades last year, the Straits Times reported on Tuesday.

Oei's lawsuit said Citi, with which he has a 30-year relationship, repeatedly gave him an inaccurate picture of his trading exposure, which led him to take on more positions than he would have taken otherwise, the newspaper said, citing court documents. It said Oei declined to comment about the court case.

A spokesman from Citi told Reuters in an email: "We believe that the claim is without merit and we fully intend to defend our position vigorously." It declined to comment further on the matter.

There was no immediate comment available from Oei's office.

Oei was ranked Singapore's 29th richest person by Forbes last year with a net worth of $210 million. Forbes calculated Oei's wealth based on his stakes in publicly traded companies and in private company filings.

According to Straits Times, Oei claimed he felt compelled to close his positions at an extremely volatile time in October last year, taking huge losses, as he felt he had no choice after discovering the full extent of his exposure.

Some angry Asian private banking clients have filed lawsuits after losing money on complex financial products battered in a global market meltdown last year, forcing the industry into damage control.

From Yahoo! News, "Singapore tycoon sues Citi over $684 mln losses-paper".



Update on 19/06: As expected (what else they can do? Give in?!), Citi rejects Oei's claim. The legal battle shall be...tedious!

United States banking giant Citigroup has submitted its defence in a landmark lawsuit by local businessman Oei Hong Leong who says the bank's negligence cost him $1 billion.

The bank said Mr Oei - one of Singapore's wealthiest men - is an experienced and sophisticated investor who knew the risks of trading. It denies it was negligent in its dealings with him or that it gave inaccurate or misleading information.

Mr Oei, aged about 60, had a net open trading position of as much as US$6.9 billion (S$10 billion) in February last year, the bank said.

Mr Oei, a Citigroup client for 30 years, has alleged misrepresentation and inaccurate information from the private banking arm of Citibank. This led him to have to close his trading positions at the height of the market volatility late last year, putting him badly into the red.

Citigroup's defence, filed late on Thursday night, is the latest step in what some lawyers say could be a test case of the scope of private banks' responsibilities to clients.

One key element of the case involves the events leading up to massive foreign exchange losses that Mr Oei suffered.

In Mr Oei's dealings with the bank, he was provided with 'margin shortfall' figures. This is the sum he would need to top up, given a souring of investments.

According to Mr Oei, on Oct 22 last year, his margin shortfall was US$80 million. On Oct 27, it had jumped to US$90 million, and was more than US$200 million on Oct 28, but was back to US$28 million on Oct 29. He was later told that on Oct 27, the margin shortfall could have been as much as US$348 million.

Mr Oei claims the figures did not reflect the true market movements. He alleges the bank temporarily suffered a 'meltdown' in the accounting systems which tracked such shortfalls.

Relying totally on these shortfall figures supplied by Citibank to manage his portfolio, he grew concerned over their accuracy. However, as the losses spiralled he felt he had no choice but to close his positions, leading to losses of about US$518 million.

From Straits Times, "Citi rejects Oei's claim".

Global banking giant Citibank has refuted allegations by business tycoon Oei Hong Leong that it caused him to suffer huge losses in his foreign exchange dealings.

Mr Oei is claiming unspecified losses and damages, believed to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The businessman has accused Citi of making a mistake in the treatment of his margin accounts. He claimed that on September 15 last year, he was told he had a margin surplus of around US$100 million, but this doubled the next day to US$200 million.

He alleged that the additional margin led him to undertake currency option transactions, which he otherwise would not have done.

Citi's defence against Mr Oei's claims were filed on Thursday night and are based on three key points.

First, they said that at no time was Mr Oei misled on the amount of assets used in the computing of his collateral and in setting his trading margins.

Second, the bank points out that Mr Oei was and is a highly sophisticated and experienced trader, and had confirmed that he understood and was willing to take considerable risks to increase potential returns.

Citi also said the tycoon's trading in currency options was influenced by his own views of the markets and not just based on his margin surplus during that period.

The bank also refuted Mr Oei's claim that it had caused him to suffer losses when it failed to execute an earlier order for 30-year US treasury bonds worth US$600 million.

It said the order could not be filed as he had set his limit process below the indicative market prices.

The bank said it has acted professionally in managing Mr Oei's account and maintains that it has comprehensive and robust systems in place to handle clients' orders and transactions.

A pre-trial conference between the two parties is said to be set for mid-July.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Citibank refutes allegations from business tycoon Oei Hong Leong".



Update on 02/07: Oei argues back that he is not disputing that he is a highly experienced investor. He claims Citibank failed to provide him with accurate and reliable information about his margin positions.

Businessman Oei Hong Leong has hit back at claims made by Citibank over his foreign exchange losses as the legal battle between the tycoon and the US banking giant goes up a gear.

Mr Oei's reply to the Citibank defence filed a fortnight ago centred on a few key points, including the bank's contention that it could not be responsible for losses racked up by such a highly sophisticated investor making his own investment decisions.

In his reply filed with the High Court on Tuesday, Mr Oei said that this was irrelevant as he was not disputing that he is a highly experienced investor.

'I have been a private banking customer with Citibank for about 30 years,' he said.

Instead, he is arguing that he had depended on Citibank to provide him with accurate and reliable information about his margin positions to aid him in his trading decisions.

In particular, he is alleging that the bank's inclusion of a certain US$50 million (S$72 million) sum in his trading lines had misled him about his trading exposure.

Mr Oei launched his suit against Citibank for negligent mistatement and misrepresentation in May. He claims that he lost $1 billion on his forex investments as a result of this lack of reliable information. He has settled all outstanding amounts with the bank.

Mr Oei invested in various foreign exchange contracts on margins, meaning that he needed only to stump up in collateral a fraction of the total outstanding amount of his trades.

The value of such contracts fluctuated daily, depending on how the currencies moved. The bank calculated the value of all these contracts daily and worked out a total value.

Based on collateral that he placed with Citibank, Mr Oei would have had to top up more funds to maintain the margin level or he may have had a surplus. Individual investors would not normally have the tools to calculate the value of such contracts.

From Straits Times, "Oei hits back at Citi".



Update on 01/10: The Citi finally sleeps because...Oei & Citi managed to reach an out-of-court settlement. The amount is, of course, confidential.

Businessman Oei Hong Leong and Citigroup have reached an out-of-court settlement over claims that he was misled by the bank into losing some $1 billion from foreign exchange and US Treasury bond transactions.

In a brief statement on Thursday, the bank said: 'Citi and Mr Oei Hong Leong have reached an amicable settlement, as a result of which Mr Oei will be discontinuing the action. The terms of the settlement are confidential.'

In May, Mr Oei sued Citigroup's private banking arm in the High Court for negligence and misrepresentation.

Mr Oei claimed that the bank had repeatedly given him an inaccurate picture of his trading exposure, causing him to take on more positions than he would have otherwise done so.

When he knew the full extent of his exposure, he felt he had no choice but to close his positions - at an extremely volatile time last October - thus suffering massive losses.

It is not clear how much of a beating Mr Oei's net worth has taken but in a recent ranking by Forbes, he was listed as the 33rd richest man in Singapore.

From Straits Times, "Oei, Citi settle out-of-court".

Friday, May 15, 2009

Siew Kum Hong - Discouraged under fire?

The Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), Siew Kum Hong was reported under attack by Netizens for his involvement in Aware saga. This is as he seeks second term for NMP.

Is this revenge of the (ousted) new guard of Aware? Nah, that's just a speculation--baseless & we should get our facts right before even thinking to conclude it that way.

What I like about Siew Kum Hong is that besides him being an NMP, he too is a blogger (Check out his blog at http://siewkumhong.blogspot.com/). At least his views & thoughts are reachable by more people & it serves as a balancing act to what the newspaper reports about him.

In his own words, nominated member of parliament (NMP) Siew Kum Hong describes himself as an 'advocate of active citizenry'.

Ironically, the corporate lawyer now finds himself at the receiving end of online attacks by 'active citizens' who are vociferously opposing his re-nomination as an NMP.

Mr Siew, who is seeking a second term as NMP, has been flamed on several popular forums, including a discussion thread on the Reach website, over his involvement in the recent tussle at the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware).

Reach is a government-run website which encourages Singaporeans to give feedback on topics concerning them.

If that's not bad enough, he has also been flamed on his own blog.

Known for his controversial views on several issues (see report, below), Mr Siew, 34, had supported the old guard, which was ousted from office in the Aware annual general meeting in March.

He actively campaigned for them and sat with them during the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 2 May.

His presence among the women sparked a ruckus when he was asked to join the male associate members and refused.

He was finally allowed to remain after the old guard loudly protested that he was their legal adviser.

However, he was later accused of over-stepping his boundaries by speaking up and apparently orchestrating the cheering and booing during the rowdy proceedings.

Most of Mr Siew's detractors campaigning against his re-nomination have cited his involvement in the Aware saga as their main reason for doing so.

Netizens have flooded the Reach website with comments, many of which are directed at Mr Siew.

One netizen wrote: 'I wish to register my disapproval of the NMP Mr Siew Kum Hong.

'I do not know him personally. But his recent and past activities as an NMP are clearly unacceptable to many Singaporeans.'

Another added: 'We believe that as an NMP, his plans and motives are to use the public service as a stage and platform to further his own personal agenda.'

Agreeing, another netizen wrote: 'As a NMP and a de facto politician supposed to lead and represent us, Mr Siew should not have taken sides in the Aware conflict and fanned the flames in the volatile situation.'

Yet another netizen called Mr Siew's behaviour 'questionable' and asked why he had been 'pushing so hard' for the rights of the homosexual community in Singapore.

The deluge of comments directed at him has led some netizens to speculate that the online attacks are part of an organised effort to discredit Mr Siew, in order to give the impression that these online views are representative of majority beliefs.

'Disorder & mayhem'

In an interview with The New Paper, Mr Siew said he was unaware that he was being flamed on the Reach website, but said he had come across comments directed at him on The Straits Times website and on several online forums.

He said he had also received an e-mail, forwarded to him by a friend, which called for Singaporeans to collectively oppose his re-nomination.

The e-mail, which he later posted on his blog (siewkumhong.blogspot.com), accused him of 'openly taking sides in this internal affair of a secular organisation (Aware).'

The writer also said Mr Siew was 'part of the orchestrated disorder and mayhem on that day'.

'He showed no regard for protocols until challenged by a member from the floor,' the writer added.

Responding to the netizens opposing his re-nomination, Mr Siew told The New Paper that his involvement with Aware was in his personal capacity.

'At no point did I seek to leverage on the fact that I am an NMP,' he said.

On online comments that he was actively supporting the homosexual agenda, he stressed that he neither supports nor condemns homosexuality.

He said: 'I am anti-discrimination. I just feel that gay people have the right to live their private lives free from public interference. It's the same for straight people.

'These people (making these comments) are ignoring the existence of the middle ground.'

He also acknowledged that some of the online hostility could have been from netizens who felt he had promoted the homosexual cause by putting together a petition in Parliament to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises homosexual sex between consenting men.

He said, however, that he didn't feel it was right to reduce his re-nomination to be all about one single issue (homosexuality).

'This speaks more about the intolerance of the people making these comments,' he said.

Not wavering

On whether he was affected by the online furore on his re-nomination, he replied: 'Like any other person, it does bother me to be singled out as the target of what seems like an organised campaign.

'It bothers me even more that my re-nomination is being linked to activities which I carried out in my personal capacity.'

He is one of two NMPs seeking a second term, the other being Mr Gautam Banerjee, 54, executive chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr Siew handed in his papers at 2.45pm on the closing day on Monday , but said he had 'not wavered' about his decision to seek a second term. He plans to focus on needy Singaporeans, civil liberties and economic issues.

NMPs were introduced to provide for alternative views in Parliament and they serve for up to 21/2 years. The new term starts in July.

Mr Siew, who became an Aware member last year, added in a recent blog entry that he got involved in its recent controversy because he 'wanted to restore the society to the values that I supported when I joined...'

He added: 'At no time did I mention or seek to rely on my position as an NMP.'

Despite the online attacks, Mr Siew said he respects the opinions of those who have spoken up.

He said: 'They have the right to speak up - it's part and parcel of their right to free expression.

'I just hope that the comments will reveal more sensible and rational minds.'


HIS MILESTONES

JANUARY 2007: Lawyer Siew Kum Hong, 31, appointed as a Nominated Member of Parliment (NMP)

FEBRUARY 2007: Among four MPs who was concerned about GST hike and gaps in offset package, saying it missed out on families who have to raise children and support parents.

OCTOBER 2007: Tabled petition to have Section 377A, which criminalises sex between consenting males, repealed. It was rejected.

MARCH 2008: Argued that Electronic Road Pricing is regressive 'as it reduces drivers' choice of roads.'

OCTOBER 2008: Noted that there are still divisions in society, in response to uproar over plans to build a dormitory for foreign workers in Serangoon Gardens.

AUGUST 2008: Conducted street poll in Jurong GRC on whether a by-election should be held in the constituency after MP Ong Chit Chung's death.

MARCH 2009: Only MP to object to amendment to Films Act. He said the amendments on party political films actually narrow the space for such films.

APRIL 2009: One of three NMPs who opposed the move-on order (which allows police to order someone to leave an area if they determine that he is about to break the law).

MAY 2009: Told to sit with the men during Aware EGM, but old guard insisted he should remain with them as he was there as their legal adviser.

From The New Paper, "'It bothers me to be singled out for organised campaign'".

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Skudai 'Let's Run-About' Advert: Sometimes He Had to Get Lost to Find Ourselves (Ashamed for being Complacent)

The breaking news: an unnamed creative advertising agency from Malaysia was fuming because their advertising clip for Skudai is deemed a plagiarism of that for Australia.

Skudai, recently brought to the headlines for being the chosen city for the escaped JI Leader Mas Selamat Kastari from Singapore, is gearing itself to accept more tourists. "(But) no more escapees, please!" Tan Ah Eng, the Member of Parliament for Gelang Patah, the constituency which Skudai falls under was quoted to say.

The advertisement for Skudai, however, has never made it to the television or YouTube, no thanks to Australia who threatens to sue the Malaysian company for blatantly copying the idea.

You have no idea what I'm talking about? Then you need to check out this YouTube ad, "Incredible: Australia 'Come Walkabout' Commercial Directed by Baz Luhrmann for Tourism Australia". In the video clip, there are two professionals shown separately having a tough time in their lives.

They were then visited by a wild boy (this part is kinda creepy, really!) who told them "Sometimes we have to get lost to find ourselves, sometimes we have to go walkabout".

It's incredible indeed...because these two professionals choose to listen & go their walkabout in Australia!!

So this unnamed Malaysia company happened to have the same idea! Featuring an actor who looks like Mas Selamat Kastari, the advertisement has shown him having a tough time in Whitley Detention Center, Singapore.

After he was visited by some wild boy during his sleep (not much to his surprise because ghosts are rumoured aplenty in that Detention Center) who advised him the most logical thing he ever heard, "Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourselves, sometimes you have to go run-about...especially during your toilet break", he escaped during his toilet break & made a run--well, a swim too with an 'improvised floating device--to the promised city of Skudai.

But from here on, the advertisement which never made it to the television and YouTube goes wrong. After an initial peaceful life in Skudai with the community having a simple thinking of "don't know and don't care (about strangers)", he was shown to be captured as he slept.

As he was shown detained and tortured (tortured? Did I say 'tortured'? I mean, 'interrogated', yes, that's it)--as he was shown detained and, ehm, interrogated by Malaysian Intelligent Agency, he had a vision of the wild boy entering the room through the wall & giggled to the screen, "Sometimes He Had to Get Lost to Find Ourselves (Ashamed for being Complacent)".

It's a senseless advertisement really & should not have made it to television or YouTube.

REFERENCES:
- Wikipedia about Skudai: here.
- Channel NewsAsia, "Mas Selamat's arrest puts sleepy town of Skudai in spotlight": here.
- JI Leader escapee, Mas Selamat Kastari arrested in Malaysia--over A MONTH ago?!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

AWARE EGM aftermath - parodies (Hitler, Rambo)

AWARE Extraordinary General Meeting at Suntec City last Saturday (02/05) was surely an intense event. And the aftermath, intensely painful for some (read: the ousted self-claimed new guards of AWARE & their 'feminist mentor' Dr. Thio Su Mien) and hilarious for others.

The latter refer to those who frequent YouTube & come across these 2 parodies of AWARE EGM, "(Mild Version) 1st of May, what happened in AWARE one day before the EGM" & "The missing hour during the EGM of Aware 2009".

The screenshots of the 2 clips are shown below.

"(Mild Version) 1st of May, what happened in AWARE one day before the EGM"


"The missing hour during the EGM of Aware 2009"


Note that the first YouTube clip without doubt has Hitler acted as Dr. Thio Su Mien while the second parody has Rambo as Ms. Josie Lau (the ousted President of Aware).

It's good to know that sense of humour is still alive in Singapore (assuming the creative person(s) behind the clips are Singaporean(s) or Singapore-based). Even STOMP has picked up the video (the one with Rambo) in its article, "Exposed: The missing hour after Aware new exco received no-confidence vote". Which I guess it's a sign that the parodies are okay (to spread in the Net) & that ladies featured in the clips have the maturity to accept that as just harmless videos.

On a serious note, those who are curious about AWARE EGM, the news can be found here.

Friday, May 01, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- which cinema NOT showing it?

The tragic answer is Cathay Cineplexes. Why, oh why???

What probably is the movie of the year, and my preferred cinema doesn't show it?

Meanwhile I'm trying to console myself by looking at the screenshots of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" from the other 3 major cinemas in Singapore. I think the best one is from Shaw Online. That of Eng Wah looks okay--if not too simple, perhaps. But for sure, not Golden Village (I swear not to ever watch any show there!)


Screenshot of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" from Shaw Online


Screenshot of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" from Golden Village


Screenshot of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" from Eng Wah


(The images above were uploaded to Nikon my Picturetown.)

Anyway more info about the movie, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" can be found in this ofiicial website of the movie here & in this Wikipedia article here.

Check out also the trailer of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" at YouTube here! (Man, I have the urge to re-read the comics about the origin of Wolverine, aptly titled as "Origin"...)

I'd definitely watch this show--and to patiently wait after the credits, they say there's an additional ending. As long as I remember not to watch it at any of Golden Village cinemas.