Saturday, August 27, 2005


THE crowd jostling in the public gallery all wanted the same thing - to see Took Leng How's face when the death sentence was passed.

Sixty of them, mostly retirees, were packed into the gallery and another 50 were queueing outside

A heavy silence hung in the courtroom as Justice Lai Kew Chai pronounced the death penalty. The drama they had queued for three hours to watch was over in just three minutes.


Took's 23-year-old wife, Madam Yuli, stood off to the side, shoulders slumped in defeat and tears rolling down her cheeks as she watched their two-year-old son Soon Wang happily running around the benches.

Then the courtroom was completely cleared except for Took's family, who had requested time with him before he was taken away.

Fifteen minutes later, his wife, son, parents and two siblings emerged from court escorted by eight policemen, where they met another crowd waiting outside the Supreme Court building.

A heckler taunted Took's wife.

'Why are you crying? Why are you crying? Your husband is a killer,' the man yelled in Mandarin.

Carrying her son, Madam Yuli maintained her silence.

As the family shuffled away, 20 people tailed the reporters who followed the family right up to City Hall MRT station, clinging on to their every move.

Madam Chong Swee Lan, a 53-year-old part-time cleaner, said in Mandarin: 'The family is rather pitiful and so was the way Huang Na died. It's not that I have a bad heart. But it's a life for a life. Ah Hao (Took) has a son and his family should understand that.'


Outside the court, another 40 spectators who had missed out remained in the queue, refusing to leave.

One woman, who had got her seat in the gallery, was still frustrated. 'I couldn't see anything. There's so many people here. All the waiting for over three hours and the verdict is over in just three minutes!'

Sometimes, I just HATE my fellow Singaporeans. Way to show compassion, you sons of bitches. So the guy's guilty. Judgement has been passed and the price has been paid. He'll hang for what he's done. Why heckle his wife? What purpose does that serve? Where the fuck do you get the right to torment what is effectively a grieving widow? We're supposed to be a more civilised society. That means that the executions of criminals are not celebrated anymore. Took murdered the girl. The state's going to murder him. Let's not return to medieval times and make this a social event. Geez. The courts should have limited access to the trial and saved the families involved from the circus that this became. A man lost his life today. Let's not be happy about that. Let's not rejoice in the murder.

And to the media: Your story ended the moment the verdict was passed. There's something called compassion and it's about allowing the victims time to bury the dead.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Sick sick sick.

I hate being sick. Especially when you can't call in sick. At the present moment it's the little sore throat before the full blown flu. I'm currently in school because I have to administer a test and I don't think I can leave my kids invigilator-less.(although they would be ecstatic...) Anyways, I'm sitting in the lecture theater in total silence (rare occasion in any school) watching students take a test and wondering how to tell a student to sit with her legs crossed because the lecture theater is staggered upwards.

Problem is doing it subtly without sounding lecherous/creepy* and also avoiding abject humiliation of said student.

Anyways, with pens scratching succinctly on parchment, the march toward education continues...

* Delete where applicable.

Thursday, August 25, 2005



What's wrong with this picture?

Xiaxue's the face of blogging in the 2005 Singapore writers' conference.

Was thinking about the implications of that and I guess that we really do seem to be quite an infantile blogging culture if our representative is XX. Problem with this on my part?

Let's see:

Has anyone actually READ her writing?

Take away the glitz and the glamour (and the near-panty shot) from her Blog and one realises that it's a blog that lacks substance. (That and grammar, punctuation etc.) Why, pray tell, is she the face of writing in Singapore?! Hello?! It's a writers' festival!


Talk about appealing to your lowest common denominator.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dream a little dream of...

I dreamt the other night that our exhibit A

Dog 2

was this:


We were feeding her worms with her dog food. Now, our dog's always been a chicken...but this would be the first time my dreams've been so literal.

The Hackers' Manifesto. (in case you were wondering)

Still applicable today? Perhaps.

The following was written shortly after my arrest...

\/\The Conscience of a Hacker/\/
+++The Mentor+++

Written on January 8, 1986

Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...

Damn kids. They're all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world...

Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...

Damn underachiever. They're all alike.

I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms. Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me...
Or feels threatened by me...
Or thinks I'm a smart ass...
Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike.

And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is found. "This is it... this is where I belong..."

I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike...

You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals.
We explore... and you call us criminals.
We seek after knowledge... and you call us criminals.
We exist without skin color, without nationality, without
religious bias... and you call us criminals.
You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.

+++The Mentor+++

Monday, August 22, 2005

Interesting Pricing.

So we went down to the local NTUC tonight. (After crashing the regular Monday lecture at NUS <- Not pronounced noose) It's been a while since I stepped into an NTUC. I am what one would consider a supermarket snob actually, Cold Storage (Holland and Jelita) or better. NTUC never cut it for me because of the small aisles and the crowds. I've been spoilt by Australian supermarkets. Large aisles and quiet supermarkets without the major grocery cart bang-age. Well, minimal bang-age anyway. NTUC was always a place that reminded me of everything that was wrong with small supermarkets, especially with the walking sideways through the aisles so that I wouldn't actually knock over cans. Then there was the running of the carts into the ankles that was just part and parcel of small aisles and large turning circles.

But NTUC was nice. It was large and it was spacious and there was absolutely no bang-age today. In fact, it was a rather pleasant experience and probably the first good experience in a long while I had in a local institution. Interesting fact about NTUC today? A jar of Nutella (375g) cost $3.10 while the giant jar (750g) cost $7.50. Simple math would mean that you're paying $1.30 more for 750g of Nutella in a bigger jar instead of 2 smaller jars.

On to a gripe: The latest courts ad.

Other stores give you loans up to 2 months your monthly salary. The dude on TV states that 2 months isn't enough and Courts gives you up to 8 months your monthly salary on credit. Let's see. You basically don't have enough money to buy stuff from Courts so you borrow up to 8 months your monthly salary so you can buy a snazzy laptop, a sofa to sit on with your snazzy laptop and an iPod for your wife.
Hmmm...Perhaps it's the fact that I'm actually the son of two very frugal parents who instilled in me the sense that credit is bad but I think that borrowing 8 months worth of your salary is probably not a good thing. If you can't afford it, don't buy it...especially if you have to borrow up to 8 months your monthly salary.

(BTW, did anyone actually believe the guy's got a wife? Unless his "wife's" got a Y-chromosome?)

Aside: Seems like it's quite sad when a local horror film's trailer actually looks less scary than the trailer for "Incredible Tales".

Aside 2: Irony: Tan Kheng Hua hosting not one, but somewhere in the vicinity of 3 food shows.

The West Wing Season 3 looks so much better on DVD. Either that or season 5 really made season 3 look really good. *Shrug* Theory of relativity at work.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Long delayed and still procrastinatin'.

Just so that there's an update:

This has been what's been keeping me busy...Sigh. It's that time of the year again.

Marking (Small)

Book cafe: Last Sunday. Indicative of my life now. Nice orange tea though.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Spam and Hax.

Well...that's two this morning alone. Firstly, my last blog post got hacked into so that it read that Paddy, Adam and Paul sold some insurance crap. Then, a comment got left in my blog talking about financing.

I believe that the exact sentiment I'm looking for here is buggrit.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Once upon a time...(A local fable)

...there was a little girl by the name of, well, let's just call her Jane. Jane was a special kid. She was smart and more than a little precocious. But Jane was also very careful. She was aware that if she mouthed off too much, she would call attention to herself and that would mean that the neighbourhood bullies, Paddy, Adam and Paul would come round knocking. Heads that is.

Paddy, Adam and Paul were bad news. They spent the day bullying the local kids and stealing their sweets and lunch money. Kids would spend days in traction after a run in with the trio.

Time passed as Jane and the other kids in the neighbourhood had clandestine meetings, out of sight of Paddy, Adam and Paul. They avoided the trio like the plague and scattered as quickly as their little legs would carry them when the bullies were spotted. It was a good existence. Life was almost peachy.

Months went by and the bullies grew bored. Their rule of the streets was getting monotonous and there seemed to be no kids to beat up on anymore. (Except for that strange bespectacled boy who seemed to keep yelling at them whenever he saw them...Paddy, Adam and Paul had a lot of fun beating on that kid...) They decided that enough was enough and they announced a truce with the kids in the street. They declared their club open to all who wanted to join and they would let them participate in the mischief that once was their exclusive domain.

The local kids were naturally suspicious and despite the apparent sincerity of the three bullies, were hesistant about the invitation. The bullies cajoled and pleaded, promising that they had turned over a new leaf but still the kids were wary.

Finally Jane stepped up to the plate. It was high noon when she finally met with the bullies as the local kids watched in fear and trembling. The place was in the middle of the street they lived in so that all could see (so the bullies claimed) and the sun was burning down on the asphalt. The bullies welcomed her with open arms and they started chatting happily. The local kids let out their collective held breaths as they started climbing out of their hiding places. It all seemed OK.

Then, the unthinkable happened. As soon as the bullies saw the kids, they turned on poor Jane, knocking her to the ground and kicking her in the stomach. As Jane lay there gasping, the bullies beat her, all the while yelling at her and calling her names. The kids watched in horror, too scared to dash forward while at the same time too terrified to run. The beating went on for 10 minutes.

At last the bullies walked away, satisfied. They sneered at the kids, spitting on the ground as they did so. Jane lay there for the longest time, bruised and bleeding.

Jane and the kids in the neighbourhood never mentioned the incident in their lives and it faded into legend.

Moral: Never stick your neck out to play with Paddy, Adam and Paul unless you want to be beat down. Either keep your views (and your neck) to yourself or move out of the neighbourhood.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Weekend updates.

On a Thursday.

We just had a nice long break. Saturday and Sunday. Monday was a no-brainer and then Tuesday and Wednesday off. Now it's Thursday, the day of the week that shines brightly despite having 4 double periods because the weekend's almost here. (Along with the cathartic frag session on Fridays to work off weekday frustrations) I'm happy.

Watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yesterday. Interesting movie actually. Some obvious allegory thrown in (MJ) along with a boy who plays violent video games and you have a children's classic updated for the new millenium. Also a movie that, by definition, was excessive and a child's absolute dream. Thank goodness I'm not that big a chocolate junky or I would've swooned.

Also caught Spanglish on DVD last night (finally) and wow...I haven't felt that emotionally drained from a movie for a while. (Good thing) The story was great. Loved the point of view. Fell in love with the characters (yes, even the irritating neurotic wife played to a T by Tea Leoni) and felt a twinge of loss as the movie faded to black. *wipes tear from eye*. It's a great show. Two thumbs way, way up for the leading lady. Definitely going on my DVD wishlist.

Yes, 'twas a good weekend despite the sinister nationalism behind it...but then, I did my patriotic duty by completely ignoring the festivities around me and enjoying my Singaporeaness by relaking in one corner. Happy times.

Monday, August 08, 2005

National Day.

Well...What can I say about National Day that hasn't already been said? Let's pull a quote from the Straits Times Forum letter called iPod a hit because it is born out of a big idea.

"Its success comes from an intangible source. It comes from an idea."
Subodh Deshpande

The author of the letter states that the iPod manages to hold the fort despite everything that Creative throws at it. Why? It's the idea. An idea that transcends the bureaucracy of the company itself. And then I thought about why National Day really grated my cheese...uhm...Anyway.

And that was it.

The idea has become so ingrained in the institution that you really can't divorce the one from the other. Idea: Singapore. Institution: [Comes before smear] I like the first. I detest the second. And I'm indentured to the latter.

The National Day ceremony was sad actually. It was full of songs that I actually sang while I was in school...and I realised that the songs that I sang with gusto in the past not only didn't mean anything to me anymore, but took a sinister turn when associated with the institution.

I mean, what is Singapore? Is it the country? Why then do we see the country in white instead of red and white? The fact that we can't separate the government from the MIW is quite disturbing really...and what is the country if not for it's government?

Granted, the Oligarchy has been quite good for the country. It's worked and it's worked well. It's good really. I think the main problem here is the fact that come the 27th of August (If all goes to government plan), I'll be sitting (on a Saturday afternoon) from 6am to 8pm helping to poll an election that makes absolutely no difference to life in sunny Singapore anyway. What the heck do I need to lose a Saturday for? If there was an opportunity for change, I'll be at the front of the line volunteering for duty. But as long as I'm given the illusion of a democracy, as opposed to the real thing, I'll just take my totalitarianism, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, on a lighter note:

Ms Teen USA? Can you say j-a-i-l-b-a-i-t?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Same Space, New Face.

I decided that my blog was in need of an extreme makeover. Sadly, despite the fact that I liked the Jellyfish blog template, it lacked individuality. It was with great sadness that I buried the old and at the same time, elation, as the new empty-vessels rose from the ashes. Farewell Jellyfish. I'll miss you.

Also saying goodbye is Haloscan, which despite serving me well enough, did not actually keep my comments past 6 months (or something...). O well.

Unveiling the new Enjoy your stay here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

How well do you know your prostate? *

The last time I saw my prostate was about a year ago. I was walking down the street when I saw him walking on the opposite side of the road. It was a weird experience actually and because I really didn't want to create a big hooha, I pretended to look into a store window and took a really unhealthy interest in a half dressed mannequin. My prostate, however, recognised me and yelled my name across the street. I blushed. It had been too long since I'd actually talked to him and I was ready to hightail it. I pretended not to hear him in the vain hope that he would figure that I was someone else and keep walking.

He didn't.

He called out to me again. This time I figured that he wouldn't take no for an answer and would actually cause me way more embarassment if he continued so I turned, pretending to get shaken out of my deep thoughts, and waved hi. He walked across the street, carefully looking both ways before doing so. I resisted the urge to smack my forehead with my palm. It was such typical behaviour, the do gooder. I sighed.

He was all smiles when he got to me. He gave me a quick hug and his usual hearty greeting, to which I mumbled an incoherent response. Didn't he realise that I hadn't been talking to him for the past 3 years because I just didn't like talking to him? He seemed oblivious to that as he chattered, his voice a non-stop staccato that grated my ears and made me wish that the earth would open up and swallow me whole. My shoulders drooped and I nodded my head wearily as he droned on and on. He was as insufferable as ever.

Fifteen uncomfortable minutes passed as he talked. I glanced at my watch every 3o seconds, hoping that he would get the message but he was as thick headed as ever and continued on his tirade of pleasantries. I wanted to strangle him right there and then. At last, he paused for breath and I finally had the opportunity to cut in. I muttered and excuse and walked away. Call me, he said. I nodded, not meaning it and stepped around the corner and ran for it. I felt a slight twinge of guilt for it but that passed as soon as I got to the burger joint and bought a double cheeseburger. I haven't seen him since, thank god.

*Title from the Mind your Body section of today's newspaper.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I got this e-mail on my account today. Names erased to protect the guilty:

> Dear ******
> Good afternoon. I am **** from *** Corporation who is the SPO for
> Polling District HB **. I like to check with you on the dialect that you
> speak as during the actual elections, there could be some voters who may
> require assistance using dialects other than English or Chinese. Look
> forward to hear from you. Thanks.

Hur hur. To all who don't get the joke, read my reply:

Hey ****,
Sad to say that I don't speak any dialects nor do I have a functional
command of Chinese. Sadly a product of the ACS brand of education and am
effectively monolingual.

Whereupon **** rises at least 5 notches above all textbook civil serfs and replies:

thanks for your reply, ******.
at least you excel in this very important language (English) which the
nation treasures.
Have a nice day. Thxs & Cheers.

Nice to know that the elements of subversion still run strong even in the *** corporation.

Unless of course, he means it all. If he does, that's really scary.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The coolest movie poster this year?


Certainly looks like it...Whoa.


...or because I've been bitten by the bug...


This was the cat that W and Tym were posting about. This was a shot that came about by chance. Not the most technically perfect shot (as if I could) nor the clearest, but I really like it.


Ladies and Gentlemen, our dog, after a bath...

Dog 2 with added guilt-inducing stare.