Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cat mom hugs baby kitten: "There would be lasting peace purr on Earth".


Incredibly...cute! And amazing how this video, "Cat mom hugs baby kitten" which was uploaded to YouTube only 3 days ago (26 May) has gathered 9,740,389 views!

By the way, some part of the title of this post is influenced by Michael Learns To Rock's Sleeping Child. Enjoy!


Friday, May 27, 2011

'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' by Futures


Talking about the previous hoax & the boy (or a 24-year-old man) who cried wolf, let's enjoy the real song, 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' by this group, Futures.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

5 Possible 'complications' over Nicole Seah online donation

Yes, I did avoid listing down the possible complications in the same previous article of "POLITICAL DONATIONS ACT as easy as ABC...really!".

So what are the potential rooms for error likely caused by Nicole Seah requesting netizens to donate or transfer their hard-earning money to her savings account? Here are 5 of the likely problems:

1. Foreigners may be the ones who donate & there's no way to ascertain if the donors are not foreigners if one chooses to deposit/transfer to her savings account especially if using ATM transfer.

2. Singaporeans who are younger than 21 years old may be the ones who donate. And no, it's not allowed.

3. Unincorporated organisations (such as trade unions, societies, charities, mutual benefit organisations, businesses, professional firms and so on) may be the ones who donate. And ditto, it's not allowed. (Note and disclaimer: Clandestine Regime of Anonymous Bloggers or in short CRAB do not donate to Nicole Seah!)

4. There may be anonymous donation of more than $5,000. And guess what, it's not allowed!

5. Clauses 9 and 15 of the Bill require every political association or candidate or his election agent to take all reasonable steps to identify the donor and to determine whether the donor is a permissible donor before accepting any donation received. How then, this is possible if one is to transfer the money, say, via ATM transfer?

The list may grow longer once I understand more about this Political Donations Act. (Yeah, I'm still struggling to read through its complete content!)

PS. Don't get me wrong. This list is not meant to undermine Nicole Seah. Like what I mentioned before, the NSP chief Mr Goh Meng Seng is supposed to guide his party members to avoid the so-called controversy over election donations.

Nicole can always claim 'ignorance'--and still win our hearts.

Mr Goh cannot.

POLITICAL DONATIONS ACT as easy as ABC...really!

What we have learnt from the controversy over Nicole Seah rallying for donations using her personal saving account?

For me, it's about the ignorance of what's known as Political Donations Act.

I googled for it and I must admit it's not easy to comprehend. Just check the full content of POLITICAL DONATIONS ACT (CHAPTER 236) here. Getting headache already, aren't you?

So I further hunted for more information about 'Political Donations Act' & I came across this page from Ministry of Home Affairs. It's a lengthy article indeed, but much easier to understand.

I even highlight those important parts in 'red'. Heh. I'm so proud of myself. Hur hur.

The Political Donations Act was passed by Parliament in May 2000. The Political Donations Act seeks to prevent foreign groups from interfering in domestic politics through donations to political associations, parliamentary election candidates and presidential election candidates. The Act prohibits political parties, organizations gazetted as political associations under the Act and candidates of parliamentary or presidential elections from accepting donations from persons or bodies that are not permissible donors. It also requires political parties, organizations gazetted as political associations under the Act and election candidates to report large donations that they have received. The Act and its subsidiary legislation came into operation on 15 Feb 2001.

_____________________________________________________

2nd Reading Speech by Minister for Home Affairs Mr Wong Kan Seng
Date of Parliament Sitting: 22 May 2000


Political Donations Bill

Mr Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Introduction

2. The Political Donations Bill seeks to prohibit donations to political parties, political associations, and candidates in parliamentary election or presidential elections by persons and bodies who are not permissible donors. It also requires political parties, associations and candidates to report large donations that they have received.

3. Mr Speaker, Sir, Singapore is an independent and sovereign country. Foreigners should not be allowed to interfere in our domestic politics. It is no more legitimate for foreigners to pay money to support a political association or candidate than it is for them to have the right to support the associations' cause, or to vote for the candidate. Any Singaporean or organisation that allows himself or itself to be used by foreign elements, or collaborates or colludes with them to interfere in our internal affairs, is subverting the independence, integrity and sovereignty of the country. We must not allow this to happen. Politics in Singapore should be for Singaporeans only.

4. But Singapore is not immune to foreign interference. We have had to deal with interference in our domestic politics. In 1959, a Government Commission of Inquiry revealed that two sums of money totalling $700,000 were transferred from New York to Mr Chew Swee Kee, then Education Minister from the Singapore People's Alliance, the ruling party led by Mr Lim Yew Hock, then Chief Minister. I think many young Singaporeans do not even know about this. The Inquiry revealed that the money was meant as a political gift to the Labour Front (and I quote the report) "for the purposes of fighting subversion in the colony" and "strengthening" the Labour Front "as an effective party and bulwark against communism." Then in 1976, the Secretary-General of the People's Front, Mr Leong Mun Kwai, who is still around today, revealed during Police's investigations on the misappropriation of the People's Front's funds, that he was given financial assistance and made use of by a neighbouring intelligence service in a "black operation" against the interests of Singapore. A more recent case was in 1988, when a US diplomat interfered in Singapore's domestic politics. The diplomat actively cultivated Mr Francis Seow. Mr Francis Seow was advised by the diplomat how to establish a more effective opposition in Parliament and to set about seriously to recruit more young professionals into the opposition. This is gross interference in Singapore's domestic politics.

5. We should not condone such activities. Currently, we have no law prohibiting foreign funding of political parties, political associations and candidates of parliamentary or presidential elections. This Bill seeks to put in place a legislative framework to prohibit such foreign funding.

6. Sir, Singapore is not the first country to introduce such legislation. Many countries, such as the United States, Canada, India, France, Japan, Germany, already have laws either prohibiting or regulating foreign political donations. Hong Kong and Taiwan also have similar laws. In South Korea, under their Political Fund Act, foreigners and foreign corporations, except foreign corporations and organisations under the control of nationals of the Republic of Korea, are not allowed to contribute political funds to any party. The UK also has recently introduced a "Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill", which amongst others, aims to regulate political donations. It is therefore timely for Singapore to introduce controls against foreign funding. We have studied the various examples in other countries and generally adapted the UK Bill to suit our local context.

Overview

7. Let me now give an overview of what our Political Donations Bill would cover, before highlighting the main clauses of the Bill.

8. The Bill aims to prohibit political parties, political associations and candidates from accepting donations from foreign sources by treating these as impermissible. Political parties, political associations and candidates are allowed to accept donations, so long as these come from permissible sources. Similar to the approach taken in the UK Bill, we have chosen to define who is a permissible source or who the permissible donors are because it is easier to define who is permissible rather than who is impermissible. Any donations other than those from the defined permissible sources would constitute impermissible donations. If political parties, associations or candidates receive any donations from impermissible sources, they would have to return the donation to the donor. If they are unable to do so, they would have to surrender the donation to the Government's Consolidated Fund. Political parties and associations and candidates would also be required to report large donations, to ensure that they keep proper records of these donations.

Who does the prohibition cover?

9. There are three groups of people who will be covered by the prohibition against foreign funding. Firstly, all political parties, such as the People's Action Party, the Singapore People's Party, the Workers' Party, and other political parties registered with the Registry of Societies will be covered by the definition of "political association" in clause 2 of the Bill. They would not be allowed to accept foreign donations.

10. Secondly, candidates of any parliamentary or presidential elections and their election agents would also be covered by the prohibition. The prohibition would apply to both candidates fielded by political parties as well as independent candidates. The prohibition against foreign funding applies whether or not the candidates are successfully returned.

11. It is clear why registered political parties and candidates should be covered by the prohibition - they contest in elections, and if elected, can influence the policies and political process in Parliament. They can even form the government if they have the majority in Parliament. The election agent is responsible for all campaign funds (under the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Acts) of the candidate. It is therefore logical that the election agent is also covered by the prohibition on foreign donations.

12. The third group covers any organisation, regardless of whether the organisation is registered as a society, a business or a company, so long as its objects relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore, and it is gazetted as a political association under the Bill. To leave out such organisations from the Bill would present a loophole for foreign interests to interfere in our domestic politics. Although the organisation's activities or objects may not be directed at procuring a candidate for election into Parliament or as President, it can accept foreign donations, promote a particular political platform and influence the political process, but in the interest of its foreign donor. This should not be allowed. The Straits Times, in a recent article on 13th May, "Regulating the flow of money in politics" highlighted an example where a political party in a foreign country is under investigation for allegedly "setting up non-profit organisations that channelled large contributions from foreign donors". Also, in Business Times, on 10th May, and in fact, in today's Straits Times, in reports focusing on the political donations laws in the US and other countries, highlighted the controversy on the use of "soft money" for purposes like "party-building" and "discussion of national policy issues", which are not directly for election purposes. Indeed, to confine politics to just contesting in elections and electioneering for candidates would leave out organisations who accept or make use of money from foreign sources to seek to change our laws or policies, or decisions of the Government. We have little control over activities and spending by organisations unconnected with candidates or parties during an election. Foreign groups can, through such unconnected organisations, influence local politics. Surely, this cannot be allowed. Such organisations should therefore be subject to the prohibition from accepting foreign donations.

13. The expression "relates wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore" in the Bill is not new. This is adapted from our Films Act. Further, a similar expression - "wholly or mainly of a political nature", can be found in the UK Broadcasting Act 1990, and has already been subject to interpretation by the UK Courts. As regards political activity, we would be taking into account whether:
(a) the activity is intended or would likely to affect voting in any election or national referendum in Singapore; or
(b) the activity is, for example:

an election or a national referendum in Singapore;
a candidate or group of candidates in election;
an issue submitted or otherwise before electors in an election or national referendum in Singapore;
the government or a previous government or the opposition to a Member of Parliament;
the current policy of the Government or an issue of public controversy in Singapore;
or a political party in Singapore or any body whose objects relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore, or any such branch of such party or body.
To define "politics" and "relate wholly or mainly to politics" as referring to "elections or electioneering activities" only as proposed by some civil society groups is therefore too narrow. All we need to do is to read the Washington Post article as reported in the Straits Times of 18th May this year and in it, there are details on certain groups, although they claim that they are not electioneering, not campaigning for political party or activity or candidate, who are actually influencing the cause of the activities of the candidates or parties.

14. To ensure transparency, the Bill empowers the Minister to gazette such an organisation as a political association for the purpose of the new law and be subject to the prohibition against foreign funding. Such an approach ensures that organisations would be fully aware that, if they are gazetted as a political association, they are prohibited from accepting donations from impermissible sources. If they are not gazetted, then they are not required to follow the requirements of this Bill.

15. In deciding whether to gazette any organisation as a political association, the Minister would have to consider carefully all relevant factors, such as its objects and activities, its links with foreign organisations, and the support it receives from such foreign organisations.

Permissible donors

16. Under clauses 8 and 14 of the Bill, political associations and candidates are only allowed to accept donations from permissible sources.

17. All Singapore citizens, who are at least 21 years old, and all Singapore-controlled companies, are considered permissible donors. A Singapore-controlled company refers to a company registered with the Registrar of Companies, and the majority of its directors and members are citizens. All other sources would be considered foreign in nature and deemed impermissible.

18. Naturally, Singaporeans, who have attained the age of maturity of 21 years old and above, should be permissible donors. Singapore companies are allowed to make political donations, as they are our corporate citizens, and should have an interest in Singapore's well being. After all, political stability is a key fundamental for economic growth, and provides the environment for businesses to flourish.

19. Unincorporated organisations are not permissible donors. Political associations and candidates therefore cannot accept donations from these organisations. Unincorporated associations include trade unions, societies, charities, mutual benefit organisations, businesses, professional firms and so on. Trade unions, societies, charities, mutual benefit organisations are set up for specific purposes. As it is now, most if not all of these associations are already prohibited from making political donations under their respective Acts or constitutions. Sole proprietors, partnerships and professional firms have no separate legal identities from their owners. That is to say, the profits and losses of the business are the profits and losses of the individual owners. Hence, if they wish to make donations, they should do so as individuals, as long as they are Singaporeans and are 21 years old and above.

Anonymous donations

20. The Bill allows a political association to accept anonymous donations of less than $5,000 in any one financial year of the association. Candidates can also accept up to a similar amount of anonymous donations during the period of 12 months prior to his declaration made before nomination day. This is to take into account that some well-wishers may wish to remain anonymous in making donations to political associations or candidates. We have chosen a reasonable limit of $5,000 to strike a balance between allowing well-wishers to make small anonymous donations and not opening up a loophole for significant foreign donations to slip through as anonymous donations.

What is a donation?

21. Clauses 3, 4 and 5 of the Bill deal with the definition of donations and how the donations are valued. These provisions are adapted from the UK Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill. Donations are defined broadly to include all goods or services, such as any gifts of money or property, subscription and affiliation fees, loans, property, services and other facilities provided to the candidate or political association that are not on commercial terms. For example, if the goods or services are rendered to a political association at less than commercial rates, the value of the donation would be the difference between the actual cost to the association and the cost which the association would have incurred if it had been provided on commercial terms.

22. Donations would not include any notional benefits of airtime during lawful party political broadcasts, or any postage-free elections communications authorized by written law. These benefits are granted by or pursuant to our written laws, and would not be considered as donations.

23. Like the UK Bill, donations would also not include any voluntary services by an individual. It is neither practical nor feasible to put a value to voluntary services. For example, if an individual contributes, in his own time, professional services within his own sphere of expertise, such as accounting expertise, to a political party, this service would not be regarded as a donation. He could be self-employed, or he could take leave from his employer to provide his service to the political party. As long as he volunteers his services in his own time, it would not be regarded as a donation. However, if the individual is paid by his employer while providing services to a political party, the services would count as a donation by the employer to the political party. The value of the donation is the commercial rate of providing the services.

What should a political party or a candidate do upon receiving a donation?

24. Clauses 9 and 15 of the Bill require every political association or candidate or his election agent to take all reasonable steps to identify the donor and to determine whether the donor is a permissible donor before accepting any donation received.

25. If the donation is from an impermissible source, the political association, candidate or his election agent must return the donation to the foreign source. If that cannot be done, the donation must be returned to the person who transmitted the donation or to the bank, if the money was drawn from a bank. If that is also not possible, the donation must be surrendered to the Registrar of Political Donations.

26. If a political association receives an anonymous donation, it must ensure that it has not accepted $5,000 or more of such donations in the year in question. Any anonymous donations above the allowed limit must be returned either to the person who transmitted it or the bank, or in the last resort, surrender it to the Registrar. Similar provisions operate with regard to candidates and election agents receiving anonymous donations.

Reporting of Donations

27. Sir, the Bill provides for political associations and candidates of parliamentary or presidential elections to submit a donation report and a declaration on political donations to the Registrar of Political Donations.

28. By requiring a declaration to be submitted with a donation report, it would obviate the need for the political associations to list all donations, which would be administratively tedious. The declaration would state that the political association or candidate did not accept any foreign donations as well as anonymous donations beyond the permissible limit, ie, less than $5,000. Political associations and candidates need to list only large donations of $10,000 or above in the donation report. This reporting requirement ensures that political associations and candidates keep proper records of the donations which they receive.

29. Let me elaborate on the reporting requirements.

Political Associations

30. Sir, clauses 12 and 13 of the Bill require political associations to submit a donation report and a declaration to the Registrar within 31 days from the close of its financial year. This is similar to current practice whereby political parties are already required under the Societies Act to submit their annual returns and statement of accounts to the Registrar of Societies within 31 days from the close of their financial year or the Annual General Meeting, if there is one.

31. The political association should list in the donation report all donations of $10,000 or more, whether it is a single donation, or a series of donations from the same source, which adds up to $10,000 or more during that financial year. For example, if the political association accepts three donations from the same individual donor, and the three donations add up to more than $10,000 in the financial year, the political association should also record this series of donations in the donation report.

32. The political association would also have to submit a declaration with the donation report that it has not received any donations from impermissible sources, as well as anonymous donations beyond the permissible limit of $5,000.

33. The president, the secretary and the treasurer are responsible for the preparation and accuracy of the report. The president, the secretary and the treasurer are the key officers of a political association, and should therefore be responsible for the political donations. They have to ensure that the donation report and the declaration are submitted on time, and declare that the donation report is complete and accurate.

Candidates

34. Sir, clause 18 of the Bill requires every person who intends to take part in any parliamentary or Presidential election to submit to the Registrar a similar donation report and declaration. The donation report and declaration are to be made after the issue of the writ of election, and sent to the Registrar of Political Donations at least two clear days before Nomination Day.

35. The donation report and declaration by a prospective candidate are similar to those by a political association. That is, the prospective candidate must list in the donation report all single donations of $10,000 or more, and any series of donations from the same permissible source which adds up to $10,000 or more, for the year prior to his declaration. He would state in the accompanying declaration that the donation report is accurate and complete, and that he has not accepted donations from impermissible sources as well as anonymous donations beyond the permissible limit of $5,000. Thereafter, the Registrar would issue a political donation certificate to the candidate.

36. The candidate is then required to submit the political donation certificate, together with his other papers required for nomination purposes, to the Returning Officer on Nomination Day. The nomination of his candidacy would only be accepted if he can present the political donation certificate together with his nomination papers and other legal requirements.

37. After the election, the candidate and his election agent would be required to submit to the Registrar within 31 days of the declaration of election results, a second donation report and declaration. This second report and declaration are similar to the first declaration and donation report, except that it covers the period from the time of the first report to the time of the second report. This second report is necessary, as in practice the candidate is likely to receive donations during this second period, when he is campaigning for the elections.

Donors

38. Clause 21 of the Bill requires donors of "multiple small donations" to political associations, which add up to $10,000 or more in a calendar year, to report to the Registrar. This is a counter-evasion measure. It helps the Registrar to keep track of small multiple donations that add up to a significant amount of $10,000 within a short period of one year. The reporting requirement will also lessen the tedious task of verifying such donations. A donor would not need to declare if the total donation is less than $10,000 in a calendar year. He also would not need to declare if he made a single donation, or a few donations, each of which is $10,000 or more. In this case, the political association should have captured these donations in the donation report. A similar requirement can also be found in the UK Bill.

Reports Not Open to Public Inspection

39. The donation reports submitted to the Registrar of Political Donations would not be open to the public. Allowing public inspection of the donation reports could inhibit permissible donors from donating to political associations or candidates.

40. As it is now, political parties, like all other registered societies, are required to submit annual returns and statement of accounts to the Registrar of Societies and these annual returns and statement of accounts are also not available for public inspection.

Offences

41. Let me now turn to the offences under the Bill.

42. Sir, under this Bill, accepting foreign donations per se would not be an offence. Instead, the foreign donations would just be forfeited if they are not or cannot be returned to the donor. Clauses 11 and 17 of the Bill enable the Public Prosecutor to apply to a District Court to order the forfeiture of a donation from an impermissible source which a political association or a candidate or his election agent has accepted. Clauses 11 and 17 also provide for appeals to the High Court against the decision of the District Court.

43. Each of the responsible officers of a political association or a candidate or his election agent would commit an offence if any of them makes a false declaration in relation to political donations. For example, if a political association accepts a foreign donation but the declaration accompanying the donation report declares otherwise, each of the responsible officers would have committed an offence of false declaration, unless he can show that he did not know and could not reasonably have known that the declaration was false. This is reasonable since the political association is in the best position to know the circumstances under which the donations were received.

44. If convicted of false declaration, then each of the responsible officers of the political association would be liable to a fine of not exceeding $5,000 or an imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or to both. Repeat offenders would face higher penalties - a fine not exceeding $20,000 or an imprisonment not exceeding 3 years, or to both.

45. Under the Bill, it would be an offence if political associations and candidates and their election agents do not submit the donation reports and declaration within the stipulated time, for example, for the political association, it would be within 31 days from the close of the association's financial year. If convicted, each of the responsible officers of the political association would be liable to a fine of up to $2,000.

46. Clause 23 of the Bill makes it an offence for a person to facilitate the evasion of the restrictions on impermissible donations. For example, if an individual, who is a permissible donor, accepts money from an impermissible donor and donates the money to a political association to circumvent the prohibition, the person would have committed an offence. He would be liable upon conviction to a fine of not more than $3,000, or to imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or to both.

47. Clause 30 of the Bill makes it an offence to alter, suppress or destroy any document he is required to produce to the Registrar, with a view to evade the provisions of the Bill.

48. Clause 27 of the Bill empowers the Registrar to compound any offence under the Act. This provides the flexibility for the Registrar to offer composition of not more than $500 for the less serious offences. Offences which carry a mental element, such as false declaration of donations, facilitating in the evasion of the restrictions on impermissible donations, would not be made compoundable. As per normal practice, the compoundable offences would be prescribed by regulations.

Consequential Amendments

49. Finally, clauses 36 and 37 of the Bill make related amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act and the Presidential Elections Act. A prospective candidate would have to deliver to the Returning Officer, together with his nomination papers on nomination day, a political donation certificate issued by the Registrar of Political Donations. If he fails to do so, his nomination would be rendered void and may be rejected.

Conclusion

50. Sir, this Bill aims to keep foreign interference out of our domestic political process. It does not prevent political associations and candidates from accepting donations, so long as the donations are from Singaporeans or Singapore-controlled companies.

51. In drafting the Bill, we have kept the framework as simple as possible. No doubt, the associations would have to put in some effort to account for the donations that they receive. But this small effort would go a long way in upholding the independence and integrity of our political process. I have made such a long speech to explain this because I think it is necessary for Members to have a clear understanding of the Bill.

52. Sir, I beg to move.

From Ministry of Home Affairs, "Introduction of the Political Donations Act".

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Name is ...

Watching this parody of the super villain in TV series Heroes, I've the urge to watch the TV comedy series "My Name is Earl".


Heroes Parody - My Name is Earl.... I mean Sylar


My Name is Earl

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

By the way, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is actually described as the audacious prequel to "Spartacus: Blood and Sand"--of which the trailer is equally damning! (In a positive way, I mean)

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (TV series by Starz)


More thumbs up. A bloody hot trailer of the TV series by Starz (official website here).

And I thought the Facebook game of "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" is already mind-blowing. Heh.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Naked News Singapore: Akan datang ... or wait long long?

Move aside Naked News Korea! I believe the time will come when one day we will have its own Naked News Singapore.

Unbelievable?

Well, it's almost as unbelievable to imagine that any Opposition party would have wrestled a GRC from the ruling party PAP. But hey, it happened! So I guess it's just a matter of time (and faith!) that Naked News Singapore to be launched here.

So who's the best candidate, you ask me?

From the lack of alluring women in Singapore (disagree if you must!), I can only think of the fictional TV newscaster Adrianna Wow (acted by the gorgeous Michelle Chong).


Adrianna Wow - Photo: XinMSN



I did mention 'gorgeous' Michelle Chong, didn't I? - Photo: ZH SGForum

Super Mario - with 2 guitars?!?!


Seeing is believing. 37,448,835 have seen & they believed this spectacular feat: Super Mario theme played with 2 guitars by extremely talented Zack Kim!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Megan Fox the topless angel in Passion Play (PNSFW)





Well, is it supposed to be sexy? It's more like an exploitation! And why 'Angel' of X-Men comes to picture? Heh.

The hilarious part of the clips perhaps is the comment by yakamolove4 which has gathered 198 thumbs up so far. He/she said, "Nice wings. I guess she got on her Red Bull..." (This is for the first YouTube clip, by the way.)

Lol.

PS. PNSFW = Possibly Not suitable/safe for work. If there's indeed such thing...

The Begrudgingly Funny Grudge Prank!


You all know the scary little black haired girl from "The Grudge" / "The Ring" - Imagine this girl standing at night in the hall...

Lol. That's what the description of the clip above. Hilarious. 1,348,028 viewers have been laughing--I guess, with a mixture of relief as they're not one of the scared 'victims'. Haha.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chris Kline aka Vertexguy: fantastic Contra jungle theme on guitar

Enjoy the clip (1,092,676 views so far)! Chris Kline aka Vertexguy is one darn talented (Very!) guitarist. And great choice of the song too. Heh. Contra! (Miss those good old days of playing Nintendo! Haha!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Eric Khoo presents Tatsumi to Cannes Film Festival

Ah man, I feel like re-reading Black Blizzard. The only manga by Yoshihiro Tatsumi that I've come across.

You see, Eric Khoo has created a wonderful animation titled Tatsumi based on this fantastic artist.

Just take a look at the following YouTube clip about the movie (Oh and to add, it will be featured in Cannes Film Festival this year!):


TATSUMI - Teaser 1: "Black Blizzard" - Eric Khoo - Cannes 2011


TATSUMI - Teaser 2: "Just a Man" - Eric Khoo - Cannes 2011


TATSUMI - Teaser 3: "Occupied" - Eric Khoo - Cannes 2011


TATSUMI - Trailer - Eric Khoo - Cannes 2011


Singapore film makers are vying for international recognition at this year's Cannes Film Festival and Market.

Critically-acclaimed producer/director Eric Khoo will showcase his first animated feature on May 17. Called "Tatsumi", the feature is based on the life and works of manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

It is competing in the Un Certain Regard section, a renowned film event known for highlighting cutting-edge original works.

Singapore's Media Development Authority said the showcase of Tatsumi makes this the seventh consecutive year that Singapore productions have made the cut for the Cannes Film Festival Official Selection.

Also selected for the Official Selection is an 11-minute film, "Suu and Uchikawa", by Nathanael Carton, a graduate student from Singapore's Tisch School of the Arts Asia.

The film will compete in the Cinéfondation Selection, which is devoted to the search for new talents.

MDA said Mr Carton's film was one of 16 selected from more than 1,500 entries, from 360 film schools.

Gracing the red carpets of the Festival is Singaporean actor Chin Han, who plays a doctor in "Restless", the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section. The movie is directed by Gus Van Sant of Good Will Hunting and Milk fame.

The event is also a platform for local film companies to promote their works to potential buyers at the Cannes Film Market. Films like MediaCorp Raintree's "It's a Great Great World", and Elixir Entertainment's "Gurushetram 24 Hours of Anger" will be screened at the Market.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Singapore film makers vying for honours at Cannes Film Festival".

Check out also:
- Holywood Reporter, "CANNES Q&A: 'Tatsumi' Director Eric Khoo".
- Wall Street Journal, "Tatsumi: A Life in Animation".

Eric Khoo has really done Singapore proud. Very proud.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Little Thor inspired by Volkswagen's ad Little Darth Vader...

Surely you'll recall this hilarious advertisement by Volkswagen featuring little Vader when you watch this clip, "Little Thor"?

Haha. I like the dog's name shown as Loki & the car's plate "ASG 4RD" (read: Asgard. Heh).

Here's clip of "Little Thor" (2,002,273 views so far)...



...and "Volkswagen Commercial: The Force" (38,174,443 views so far)

The Bystander Effect is taking effect as this uncle rides an electric bicycle into the train...


Watch and tell me what you think of this phenomenon called the Bystander effect or also known as Genovese syndrome.

This may help to explain why nobody intervened to knock some sense into this uncle featured in this STOMP article, "Uncle rides bicycle into MRT and knocks into child. Is it allowed on trains?".

Firstly, MRT commuters monitor the reactions of other people in this situation to see if others think that it is necessary to intervene. Since everyone is doing exactly the same thing (nothing), they all conclude from the inaction of others that help is not needed.

Fancy name for this? 'Pluralistic ignorance' or 'social proof'.

Secondly, due to what's known as 'diffusion of responsibility'. Observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything. (A little exception is the Stomper who only took the photo & uploaded it later on. Great 'help' indeed.)

Quoted from STOMP article mentioned above:
STOMPer elindestinee says this uncle's electric bicycle hit a child and other commuters on the train as the train was moving. She wonders if it is allowed on the train.

"I saw an uncle riding an electric bicycle into the train.

"When the train moved, the bicycle moved as well and and hit a child.

"Is it allowed on the train?"

Pokémon Apokélypse: for MATURE audience only!

Pokémon Apokélypse. A 2010 fan-made short film directed by Kial Natale and produced by Dylan Innes and Lee Majdoub, the show was meant to give a mature spin on Pokémon.

Take a look at its synopsis (Courtesy of Wikipedia):

Structured as a trailer for a non-existent film, Pokémon Apokélypse is set in the fictional Celadon City, and takes place years after the events of the original anime series.

The plot focuses on Ash Ketchum (Lee Majdoub), a "Pokémon trainer" who uses creatures called Pokémon to battle one another to advance within a league setting.

Formerly a global sport, it was long since outlawed due to outcries of animal abuse, and instead continued in underground arenas, where the fighting became much more brutal. Despite warnings by his friend Brock (Kial Natale), Ash takes part in the battles with his Pokémon Pikachu. When approached by Giovanni (David Quast), the head of Rocket Industries, with a bribe to throw his next fight, Ash turns the offer down. In response, Giovanni threatens Ash's former mentor Professor Oak and girlfriend, Misty (Rebecca Strom).

Deciding to keep them safe, Ash accepts the bribe, and Pikachu is nearly killed in the match.

Quickly regretting his actions, Ash revisits Giovanni and returns the bribe money, declaring himself out of the league. Enraged, Giovanni declares Ash and his friends dead, and sends his minions Jessie, James (Julia Lawton and Gharret Patrick Paon) and Meowth to do the deed.

As a result, Oak is killed, Pikachu and Misty are assaulted, and Brock is tortured. With the help of Pikachu, Brock and Misty, Ash goes after Giovanni and aims to take down Rocket Industries, declaring he will not stop until he has "caught them all".


Anyway, enjoy this Pokémon Apokélypse Live Action Trailer. Warning: brutal (especially if you're Pikachu. Heh.)



And thus awareness of the impact of poké-fighting on Pokémon and the community at large has been raised. Together, we can stop Poké-fights, and give our friends poké-rights. Aww...just look at this PSA (Public Service Announcement):



The closing line of "If you only have one type of Pokemon, that's racist."? Heh. How true!

The most cool (and forgotten?) Tiger Beer advertisement


The topic being 'Reincarnation'. The clip was uploaded in November 2006. I was amused the most when the protagonist find himself to be reincarnated as a cat and decides to speed up the reincarnation process (so that sooner to be a human back to be able to hold & drink that gold liquid of Tiger Beer!) by killing himself by being electrocuted. Heh.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Can't Hurry Love - Very Funny Interpretative Dance



Haha. Hilarious!!

Ehsan Shafiq, an Afghan kungfu champion: Unbelievable Kick!!



Check out the unbelievable kick in the Final of All Pakistan Championship 1988?

If it's football, I'd say it looks like a Bicycle kick.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Nicole Seah on CNN


Yes, Peter Fong (who might think I'm dead against Nicole in this post, "Thank You Letter: Even NSP Nicole Seah echoed WP Pritam Singh's idea for George Yeo as the next President!!").

I did agree with you to give credit when it's due.

So here's to Nicole who made it to CNN. Thumbs up!

Quite an irony, though, for PAP candidates as they--to quote the CNN reporter's own words--"rejected multiple requests for comment". Surely any politicians understand the simple rule of publicity. And it's by CNN, peeps!!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Which Party? - Singapore GE (Parody of Justin Bieber's Baby)

Amidst the tension engulfing Singapore for the last week which climaxed to this early morning result of the General Election, I must point out that this Election sure brings forward...the creativity of Singaporean.

Take a look at this video, for example:



Check out also:
- The best parody political song: No Money Like You
- Election Day - Singapore (Parody of "Friday")

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Akshaya Trithiya day - auspicious to buy gold???

Buy gold today, my well-intentioned colleague urged me yesterday. Why? Why the emphasis on today (or even gold, that is). It's Akshaya Trithiya day, it will bring you luck! He passionately replied.

And what is this Akshaya Trithiya? A quick check on Wikipedia entry on "Akshaya Trithiya" said that it is considered to be very lucky day to start new business or venture. Many people buy gold or property on this day.

Alas, 6 May has passed. Perhaps I mistook the Cooling Off Day yesterday as the day of not to purchase any gold (or property). Heh.

But if you're really curious (and more positive than me), you may want to take note that in 2012, the date of Akshaya Trithiya is April 24.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 - preordered!


Now counting down...82 days to go. Had just placed my order from BookDepository.co.uk. Still 25% discount, but now it costs (after the discount) US$9.82 instead of US$9.34 like I blogged earlier last year December. Hmmm...

Beerfest Asia 2011 -- A jug of beer! A jug of beer! My kingdom for a jug of beer!

The event (if you're to refer to the ticketing agency Sistic) is named "Beerfest Asia 2011 with OCBC Titanium". Yes, you can book for the tickets here. (There's still the early bird offer: for 16/06 & 19/06 if you're to buy early the ticket will cost you $20 instead of $32, for 17/06 & 18/06 $28 instead of $37).

By the way, the official website of this exciting event does not really acknowledge the part of "with OCBC Titanium", the event is simply called "Beerfest Asia 2011". Screenshot of the website as shown below.



More about the event (from Sistic & Mi2N):

Beerfest Asia 2011 returns for the third consecutive year from 16 to 19 June 2011 at the Marina Promenade behind the Singapore Flyer. The four-day festival is jointly organised by Beerfest Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Timbre Group and Sphere Exhibits, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

Like previous years, this year's festival will showcase more than 250 different types of beers from over 30 exhibitors, made up of breweries and distributors. The beers hail from countries as diverse as Czech Republic, Australia, Belgium, USA and Thailand, among others.

Besides the perennial favourites such as the Belgian Trappist beers , visitors can look forward to the best of Japanese craft beers and bespoke South East Asian beers. A selection of new beers such as the Moosehead (Canada), Budvar (Czech Republic) and Leo (Thailand) will also be making their debut this year. Beer lovers will be able to enjoy these fine beers from as low as $3, and in the comfort of marquees that can seat 2,000 people in German beer cellar style.

One of the highly anticipated attractions at Beerfeest Asia is the live stage performances. Beerfest Asia 2011 will see the debut of the All Star Showstoppers with three tribute experiences of The Beatles, The Blues Brothers and Rolling Stones.

Renowned tribute bands "The Killer Queen" and "The U2 Show - Achtung Baby" who performed last year are back by popular demand to belt out classic hits from the two best-selling acts - UK's Queen and Ireland's U2. All Beerfest Asia visitors can participate in fun games and festival activities such as beer auctions and food-tasting.

Trade visitor will be given the opportunity to interact with other industry colleagues and promote their products at the festival. Beerfest Asia 2011 continues with the tradition of the Asia Beer Awards in its sophomore year and for the first time, the Asia Brewers' Conference will be held on the trade day (16 June 2011) of Beerfest Asia 2011. Tickets to Asia Brewers' Conference will be on sale from 18 April at SISTIC.

Mr Edward Chia, Festival Director, Beerfest Asia 2011, said: "One of Beerfest Asia's key objectives is to actively engage Singapore and overseas industry colleagues. This is why we are introducing the Asia Brewers' Conference as part of the festival. Renowned speakers from all over the globe who have hands-on experience in the beer and relevant sectors have been invited to give their insights at the Conference. We hope with these additional trade components, Beerfest Asia will be a balanced professional and lifestyle event."

Mr Chua Wee Phong, Executive Director of Sphere Exhibits, said: "We are proud to co-organise one of the biggest beer festivals in Asia with Timbre Group. It has proven to be a resounding success from the great turn out and feedback we have received from previous years. We aim to feature a wide range of beers from all over the world so that visitors can sample exotic flavours that are not commonly found here. The festival is a great opportunity to sample different brews and beer concoctions under one roof."


PS. The title of this post (Well, a part of it) is inspired by this Shakespeare's quote, "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse".

Friday, May 06, 2011

Muppet Sex Tapes

Check out the part 1 & part 2. Brutal. Haha!


Elmo and Kermit: PART 1 (Muppet Sex Tapes)


Elmo and Mickey Mouse: Part 2 (Muppet Sex Tapes)

Nigella The Sexy Toilet Cleaner


Real sexy alright. LOL.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The best parody political song: No Money Like You


Hilarious parody of Wonder Girls' Nobody. Lol. Impressive clip with 179,209 views so far since it's uploaded on 24 April this year!

Election Day - Singapore (Parody of "Friday")


"Everybody's lookin' forward to the 5-day work week". Haha. How true? ;) Cool clip by enagram.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

30 random comments a day for the unsuspecting blogs of "Next Blog"...

No, it's not spam, mind you. And no, it's not an effort to start rallying for support for my bid for the next General Election, either. (The blogs of "Next Blog" are really random & not necessarily from Singapore.) Heh.

So what's the idea truly behind this seemingly entreprise? Not other than to prove there's a way to post a sensible comment anytime--regardless of the content of the others' blog.

I may update this post by saying I'm mistaken.
Let's see.

PS. For the time being, let's give it a duration of 7 days (my sanity has limit) first for posting a comment for 30 random blogs.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Pritam Singh was the only worthy candidate of WP rally at Yishun Stadium

Yeah. Since I've snapped many photos of the event, you must be wondering whether I was listening to any of the political speech by Workers' Party speakers yesterday. I did. None to my interest, except this one speaker, Mr. Pritam Singh. Here's the YouTube clip of his speech at Yishun Stadium for Nee Soon GRC:



And this is his speech at Aljunied GRC Rally on 29 April.


In a rally on Sunday, the Workers' Party (WP) candidate for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC), Pritam Singh, suggested that Foreign Minister George Yeo run for president when the Presidential Election is held later this year.

He said this would ensure that Mr Yeo, the leader for the People's Action Party's (PAP) team in Aljunied GRC, would still be able to serve Singapore.

Mr Singh said: "In the next few months, Singapore will host another election, the Presidential Election. I strongly recommend that George Yeo contest in the Presidential Election. In that way, George Yeo will still be part of the government of Singapore and Senior Minister Goh (Chok Tong) can relax.

"But I have another solution for Senior Minister Goh. Maybe the best losing candidates in the PAP can be allowed to stay in Parliament as NCMPs."

On a separate issue, Mr Singh said that the WP plans to come up with a fresh approach to improve the educational performance of the Malays and other minority races, if the WP is voted into Parliament.

He said that statistics have shown that the performance of Malay students has not improved with regards to other races.

Mr Singh said: "My fear is that the Malay community, and even other communities like some members of the Indian community, will be stuck in a trap that we cannot get out of. In spite of tuition grants and bursaries, it appears that no one is brave enough to say 'this may not be working, let us relook at things, let us come up with a new plan'.

"For the immediate terms, we need a comprehensive reappraisal of the education performance of minority students in Singapore. To the PAP, I humbly say to you, it cannot be business as usual."

Meanwhile, the WP rally had some light-hearted moments.

Mr Singh drew laughter from the audience when he drew on the tiger analogy used to describe the Foreign Minister.

He said: "Today I read Straits Times, and I was surprised to read the comments of Mrs Jennifer Yeo, the wife of Minister George Yeo. She said 'who dares to kill my tiger, will have to deal with me'.

"My fellow Singaporeans, I promise you the WP is not interested in killing any tigers. According to SM Goh, the quality of government will go down if George Yeo loses but like many tigers around the world, it appears as if George Yeo is being treated like an endangered species!"

From Channel NewsAsia, "GE: WP's Pritam Singh suggests George Yeo run for president".

Workers’ Party GE2011 Rally – Nee Soon GRC (Yishun Stadium) - photos galore (Part 4 of 4)

Finally Part 4--checked out part 1, 2, and 3.

Mostly about the photos outside the Yishun Stadium (to let you have a feeling how many audience were unable to enter the premise & yet, they're still eagerly listening to the rally. Politically apathetic, Nee Soon GRC residents surely are not!!

Oh, and that included more entrepreneurs (selling more drinks & for Virgin Voters, a $10 t-shirt for you, please?).

And not to mention the last 2 photos about the nearby event opposite Khatib MRT station which in my opinion was just poorly timed (and not to mention too near to the rally location.)











Workers’ Party GE2011 Rally – Nee Soon GRC (Yishun Stadium) - photos galore (Part 3 of 4)

Part 3 of 4. And if you're lazy to scroll down to see part 1 & 2 here they are click here & here respectively. Heh.

The last photo showed a sharp Singaporean making use of the LARGE turnout to sell drinks. Wonderful. Why, oh why did I not think about it? Just need to have one of those cute "definitely not Thor's hammer" flag on my stall & sure a lot of party members/participants will buy from me. Hur hur.











Workers’ Party GE2011 Rally – Nee Soon GRC (Yishun Stadium) - photos galore (Part 2 of 4)

Part 2 of 4. Previously--not in Lost--here

Another series of 10 photos of the event. Oh, by the way according to Straits Times today, the crowd were estimated to be 10,000 people. If you see the attendance beyond the stadium (likely a peek at Part 3 and/or Part 4, I reckon you can easily say the figure should be more than that.)











Workers’ Party GE2011 Rally – Nee Soon GRC (Yishun Stadium) - photos galore (Part 1 of 4)

Presenting 40 photos (Part 1 of 4) of the Workers’ Party General Election Rally for Nee Soon GRC held at Yishun Stadium yesterday evening (which happened to be Labour Day--good timing, WP!).

I might have been as well be the photographer who was whacked there should I stay till the end of the rally. (It was ended at about 10 pm, I left at 9:30 pm).

A fight broke out between two individuals at Yishun Stadium at the end of the Workers' Party rally there on Sunday evening.

An eyewitness said one of them was bleeding at the head after the minor scuffle but was conscious throughout.

It is understood the fight broke out when one of them objected to being photographed by the other.

Police were called in and ambulance officials attended to the injured man.

From Channel NewsAsia, "GE: Fight breaks out after WP rally at Yishun Stadium".

Anyway, here are the photos of the rally (unedited, only re-sized smaller as to speed up uploading. Heh.):










A Chinese Ghost Story 2011 - the best movie poster

I must admit I still prefer the original 1987 movie, "A Chinese Ghost Story" (aka Ch'ien-nü Yu-hun aka "The Ethereal Spirit of a Beauty").

'Ethereal'...hmm, what on earth does this word mean? According to Merriem-Webster dictionary, 'ethereal'--an adjective--is defined as:

1a : of or relating to the regions beyond the earth
b : celestial, heavenly
c : unworldly, spiritual

2a : lacking material substance : immaterial, intangible
b : marked by unusual delicacy or refinement
c : suggesting the heavens or heaven

3: relating to, containing, or resembling a chemical ether


Hmmm...shall we consider the alternative titles, then?
- "The Celestial Spirit of a Beauty". (Well, pompous)
- "The Heavenly Spirit of a Beauty". (Ditto)
- "The Unworldly Spirit of a Beauty". (Nah, not attractive)
- "The Spiritual Spirit of a Beauty". (Heh. Redundant!)
- "The Immaterial/Intangible Spirit of a Beauty". (Duh! Stating the obvious, aren't I? Which spirit is not immaterial/intangible?!)
- "The Unusually Refined Spirit of a Beauty". (Too lengthy. Not attractive)

Ah. So that's how it comes to "The Ethereal Spirit of a Beauty" (Sounds nice. Mysterious. Irregardless whether one knows the meaning of the word 'ethereal'. Hur hur.)

Alright. I digress. A lot. The intent of this post is actually to feature the 4 movie posters (source: various from the Internet).

The one I like the most is the 3rd one. The reason being is that it is the poster which has the least characters shown (the other 3 posters have simply too many!). Also I find the the 3rd poster has the most 'actions' (the 2 demon hunters, the tree demon, the constantly blur environmental agency(!) who is tasked to find a water source for a village & ends up falling in love with the beautiful Ghost, and of course the Ghost herself in running position & covering herself as Ghosts too apparently have their code of modesty).






How about you? Which poster do you prefer? And why?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Thinker - in watercolour


Playing with watercolour effect to The Thinker photo featured previously. Not bad, huh?