The Weekend Cynic – Traffic Jams, Jupiter and Little Girls

Gripes, rants or peeves, this has been a thought provoking weekend.

When you are caught in 3 separate jams that totaled 3 hours, paid ERP 5 times – twice on the same gantry, twice because of a roadworks jam that caused you to miss the cut-off time, and once because of road closures due to the kavadi, you definitely need something to blame. kavadi 1

I do not know why Bridge-gate scandal came to my mind given that I paid scant attention to its headlines but it did and I was struck by a brainwave that politicians could definitely use.

The latest corporate fad is the CEO change and last year was the highest rate of CEO changes ever. This strategy has proven to work well for equity prices for once you have hung the figurehead, the slate is magically wiped clean in the minds of the audience .. even if nothing much else has changed. Because you sold the audience the idea of HOPE and that is enough to live on for a while.

How about applying it to politics ?

Just put a chap there for everybody to hate, blame and curse. Leave him there till the next election, let the problems mount to distract the audience from their other woes. Believe me, if you are caught in jams and ERPs on a daily basis, you would not be bitching about the other stuff. Then you hang the scapegoat. Would that not be a wonderful diversion you need to gain at least some relief votes ? What more, hang the chap along with another, say a private detective hunting down people who litter from flats, I say you could possibly win by a landslide. Once again, learn from the capitalist corporations the ropes of effective management.

All said tongue in cheek, so please don’t hang me. Afterall, I have been subjected to a weekend jam today as well (and I thought Thaipusam was a one day affair). This jam is the jam-for-our-precious-future-jam. United Square, home to the mother of all tuition centres (please don’t blame the church anymore) and the incubator for the future leaders of our country. Children brought up to be the smartest, brightest, most creative geniuses at topping exams and international Olympiads.

None of those children or teens in United Square are going to think much about the young girl who went on the net to rant about how she is Not Proud to be Singaporean. Not especially if they are from elite schools.

Yes. That is another big story apparently, in the news which I have not read.

Only last week, I grimaced when I overheard my father tell my little niece that little girls should be seen and not heard. I believe he knows which era we are in but he was just trying a bit of sarcasm that was lost on little Miss Chatterbox.

My personal axiom is Action first, Talk later. And I have met a few of these young kids before who want to be heard before they demonstrate substance (excluding the fact that my ex husband is dating more than a few of these sweet young things) and some of them can be annoying even if they are over-achievers.

But my son and I played the YouTube video anyway and to my surprise, I like the kid.

Putting aside the bit on the excessive cleavage, I felt for her and her words which were obviously straight from her heart because they were mostly good observations even if she was just pointing out the symptoms and not the illness and did not offer any workable solutions. Give the kid a break ! She just wants some respect.

Afterwhich I asked my son a rhetorical question. “What do you think she will be thinking 20 years from now ?”

It took him off guard. But we both figured 1. she may look back in regret, 2. she may look back and laugh and, 3. she probably would not have achieved anything from her act.

The Singaporean’s worst enemy is … another Singaporean, of course. This is from experiences drawn throughout my life.

I do not want to delve into that topic suffice to say there is a certain culture of fear. Fear is in the national attitude Kiasu which means fear of losing. That is the big driver behind Singapore’s success. Never fail to get into any global ranking at the country level all the way down to getting the best bargain in the supermarket or the shortest route to school.

Then we have the talent and creativity aspect that is hot news this weekend with Lucasfilm opening up a production facility here.

I was told by an American friend 2 weeks back that Google cannot find enough programming staff here (for perhaps, a lack of talent). But I know for a fact that in the financial markets in the past couple of months, we had 4 traders managing the SGD product leave their posts to be replaced by folks shipped in that are suitably inexperienced in the SGD market but talents otherwise.

Well, perhaps Singaporeans are too smart to be doing such mundane work because they are too busy making quick bucks pretending to be the official business registry and badgering me to pay up for 2 months of being registered and refusing to take me off their registry until I pay up the 500 bucks.

Just check out this logo on their letterhead.

singapore data register

Their website is

And the government appears to be in full endorsement of their activities because I have yet to receive a reply begetting the question of what makes Singaporeans unhappy ?

Where do we start ? The fake registry ? who must have been a cute little baby at one point in time, who went dutifully to tuition and had some nice hopes for life. Or just the overcrowding and jams ? Or a confined home and small houses makes one a narrow minded and uninspired ? Nasa experiments do show that living in close quarters brings out the worst in a person with all the neurosis and psychosis showing up.

To round it off, a friend in Penang told me how he came across a possibly suicidal lady at the beach the other day and decided not to intervene. And I wholeheartedly agreed. If one does not have anything positive to say, better depart than deal her a death blow.

So I will leave before my cynicism gets the better of me with a friendly note to watch out for Jupiter this weekend for we are still on a 3/4 moon and it is the brightest star close to the moon shining brighter than Venus just for the month.