Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

DBS & Focus on the Family

There's been a lot of press recently on DBS's announcement that it will donate up to $15000 to Focus on the Family (Singapore) based on festive redemptions. While no one could object to donating to a family-related cause, FotF (Singapore) is affiliated with the ultra-conservative, right-wing and evangelical Focus on the Family. To give you an idea of what that means keep reading ....

..... The following little snippets are taking directly from the FOTF website

Focus on the Family is dedicated to defending the honor, dignity and value of the two sexes as created in God's image – intentionally male and female – each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships.

Sexuality is a glorious gift from God – meant to be offered back to Him either in marriage for procreation, union and mutual delight or in celibacy for undivided devotion to Christ.

Pro-gay revisionist theology violates God's intentional design for gender and sexuality.
We affirm God's design for sexual expression as between one man and one woman in the context of a lifelong, marital covenant.

We strenuously disagree with pro-gay revisionist theology as plainly contradictory to Scripture, historic and traditional Christian doctrine and the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic.

We oppose the ordination of non-celibate, self-identified homosexuals and the celebration of homoerotic sexuality as one of God's gifts.

One has to wonder if this means that DBS are making a public statement with respect to their support of these views. In the meantime there is a general push on for DBS card holders to switch their spending to another card and send a very clear message to DBS that such right wing views won't be tolerated by anyone with even the tiniest bit of intelligence.

Normally once I post a blog I never go back and amend it since its really suppose to be a snapshot at a point in time. In this case however I am making an exception. Like many people I wrote to DBS to complain about their support of FOTF and received the response below. Proof that positive action can sometimes get results, and many thanks to DBS for taking the step back.

Dear Mr Barry

We thank you for your feedback and appreciate your concerns.

In line with DBS' corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts that are
geared towards supporting children and learning, several welfare
organisations that support similar causes were short-listed.

It was never the intention of the Bank to discriminate against any group
through this initiative. Nevertheless given feedback received, to
demonstrate that DBS believes in diversity and inclusion, with immediate
effect we will be removing the Christmas charity campaign.

DBS will continue to play its part to support the community at large,
and we hope to have your kind understanding and support.

Yours sincerely

Rena Leong
Assistant Vice President
Customer Care & Feedback Management
Consumer Banking Group Singapore

Singapore Airlines, Why's

Having travelled mostly on Singapore airlines for the last 11 years whenever I've had cause to fly (for work or pleasure) I've begun to notice that the experience is not as good as it use to be. On more than one occasion I've been fraustrated and left asking why .......

Why do I always get the seat next to the person who decides to hog my arm rest.
Why do I always get the seat with the least amount of leg room.
Why is there always a screaming baby on the same flight.
Why does my TV screen never seem to work right.
Why is the movie that I want to watch always the one that never works.
Why do I always get the headphones with only one ear piece working.
Why if they can tell you there's turblance ahead they can't fly over it.
Why do I always end up using the toilet after someone's had a dump in it.
Why is there an ashtray in the toilet when you can't smoke anyway.
Why is there a hook for your coat on the seat when there's no space to hang it there.
Why do the seats never go back far enough.
Why does the person behind me always grab my seat to get out of theirs.
Why are the bread rolls always hard.
Why is the food so tasteless (and oily).
Why do they call it a menu when there really is no choice.

Still ..... beats the hell out of walking.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Singapore F1 Sucks

The roar of the engine, the exciting atmosphere were all there so I'm sure there'll be many people who disagree with the title of this post, but from a purely personal perspective I have to say that I was totally disappointed with the Singapore F1. Needless to say its not my taste anyway, but I decided to be there for this historic event, and quite quickly began to wish that I had stayed at home and watched paint dry. The problem with the whole thing was that ....

.... it was so poorly organized it was actually laughable. The entry gates should have had a sign above them that read Abandon all hope ye who enter here as once you got inside it was absolute bedlam. There was no signs so no-one knew where the hell to go, and piss poor crowd control to boot. People just stopped were they wanted to blocking stairs and passage ways leading to huge throngs of very unhappy people with lots of pushing and shoving.

The little police presence that was there was totally ineffective and just basically stood there as the crowd surged around them since there was bugger all else they could do, they even looked overwhelmed. The tickets advertised no outside food/drink there's plenty there, well that was a gross understatement as well.

On top of that the only view you got to see was of a fence. Forget about bringing a camera since it was of little use. Even if you had a high speed shutter you still only got to take a picture of fence, and thats assuming you could nudge your way in to take one since everyone was standing in front of it and blocking the view anyway.

Maybe I'm being a bit too harsh because my expectations were set so high after all the hype. But for me it seemed a totally laughable event, especially for something of such a high profile.

Lets see if they do better next year, but I won't be rushing out to buy tickets.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Singapore Brands Cigarette's

Here's an amusing artical from the Singapore Customs website. It had me chuckling for ages because its so totally stupid. In my opinion in ranks up there with bomb shelters in condominium's, and ash trays on motor bikes.

With effect from 1 January 2009, all duty-paid cigarettes sold in Singapore will be legally required to be marked with the letters “SDPC” (which stands for Singapore Duty-Paid Cigarettes). The SDPC will be marked on every individual stick. From 1 January 2009, all cigarettes without the SDPC-marking in Singapore will be deemed illegal.Anyone caught selling, buying, or having in possession of duty unpaid cigarettes without the SDPC marking will be committing an offence under the Customs and GST Acts. For every packet of duty-unpaid cigarettes, buyers will be fined $500.

Can you imagine the police stopping you in the middle of mid-smoke and asking to see your cigarettes, its just so funny to think about. I wonder if they will apply the same rationale to everything that has duty paid on it.

Meanwhile, Ong Yong Kian, director-general, Singapore Customs, is reported as having said: "Our assessment is that it is unlikely that the SDPC markings will be counterfeited. This assessment is also shared by the industry. But nonetheless, we will be monitoring the situation very closely."

Which just made me laugh even more.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Political & Human Rights

In a recently produced report it has been stated that despite its impressive economic development, Singapore fails to meet international standards for political and human rights and there are concerns about the independence of its judiciary....

.... Apparently the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute identified a number of areas in which Singapore fell far short of international norms stating that democratic debate and media comment are extremely restricted and government officials have initiated numerous successful defamation suits against both political and media critics.

Lee Kuan Yew is reported to have responded to allegations that his country ranked low in matters of press freedom, saying Singaporeans were free to read whatever they wanted (a comment that made me smile giving the restriction on what publications can actually be sold in Singapore)

The group which represents 30,000 lawyers globally has published a 72-page report (with 18 recommendations it says should be implemented urgently). And as no surprise to some, the Singapore Government are reported to have dismissed them as without substance and feeble.

The Law Ministry is also reported as having said that whatever the government’s shortcomings, the overall objective has been to get Singaporeans better educated and exposed to the globalised world. So the laws and systems are adjusted to maximise the global forces to make Singapore a thriving cosmopolitan city, where both locals and foreigners live and work in a peaceful, safe and open environment.

You can't argue with that I guess, although it would be interesting to hear what the Law Ministry believes the government's shortcomings to be.

Chewing Gum in Singapore

I was at the out shopping the other day and although I've heard that Singapore Government had relaxed its ban (yes ban as in illegal to sell) on the sale of chewing gum in Singapore, I didn't think much of it until ....

.... I found my way into the chemists. As I walked around I passed by the Pharamcy counter, the place were you would normally hand in your prescription to be filled, or where all the drugs deemed too dangerous to sell over the counter sit locked away behind glass cabinets.

On the counter top itself was a locked glass container and in it was a whole stack of chewing gum for sale. My first reaction was to smile. Then I asked the assistant why it was locked and was told that in order to buy chewing gum in Singapore you must fill out a form and provide your passport/IC number, your phone number, your address etc, at which point, and I couldn't help myself, I burst out laughing.

Can you imagine it, having to register yourself as a chewing gum user. Totally insane! On the plus side its great to see the Government work so hard to keep us amused.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm all Ears

I have discovered a new pet hate, and one which totally baffles the hell out of me. When we talk about personal grooming it just looks like shit if left unattended. Hairy ears. Seriously ....

.... and while I know people can't help genetics, if you have hairy ears for God sake then shave them, wax them even,take whatever steps it necessary to relive yourself of them. It just looks damn ugly. There's absolutely nothing sexy about it in the slightest so don't be disillusioned about your appearance. People are pointing at you and laughing, it really looks that bad.

And if you have a partner that happens to think otherwise then I suggest you hold them against a wall and kick the crap out of them because they are either lying to your face or totally stupid, either of which is enough excuse. In fact line up all your friends and do likewise because if one of them hasn't told you that you look like an idiot then they deserve it as well.

And if you happen to be one of those extreme cases where the hair grows from the inside of your ear out (trust me you don't want to see a picture of that) then seek professional help immediately, don't wait, don't even think about it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Down with Love

I've decided two things today in order to provide myself with a better quality of life. After all the relationship/dating game is just getting way to dangerous these days, not to mention stressful.

Firstly in order to protect my heart from further fracture I will encase it steel, and surround it by thorns so that only the most persistent person will ever gain access. And secondly, I'm not going to bother trying to win over someone else's heart since it seems my own only gets hurt more in the process which is counter productive.

It's not that I don't believe in love or have anything against it, its just that I always seem to fall for the type of person and for some strange reason does not have the capacity to love me back. So time to step to one side and stop searching although that said I will still be walking around with a sign over my head that says available for those that can read it.

To the rest of the world .... please take note!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Propaganda in Hong Kong

As nightclubs go, Propaganda in Hong Kong always seems to be one of those clubs that people tend to rave about. I'm not sure why because the place totally sucks, and that's on a Saturday night even ....

Firstly no-one gets there before 1am which means basically that no-one really cares about the place that much. Inside its pretty alright as far as the layout goes, but the music that is played is totally and utterly crap. Seriously, whoever is spinning there needs to be taken outside and slapped around a bit because he/she's totally lost the plot.

By 2am the dance floor was starting to fill up with people standing still and swaying because there was no way they could dance to the crap that was being played. It was kind of like the worlds worst ever jazz style dance music, just plan fucking terrible.

Avoid this place like the plague, its a total insult to the gay community. I think people only go there out of habit at this stage because there sure as hell isn't any other reason to go there.

So much for propaganda eh.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

VPL - Visible Panty Lines

This one goes out to all the ladies out there who remain blissfully unaware of the VPL or visible panty line. Don't get me wrong on some women this phenomena can have much appeal to the wandering eye (obviously I'm not speaking for myself here), but more often than not the reverse it true. You see ....

.... if you have a fat arse then wearing tight fitting underwear with equally tight fighting trousers is a bad move. The net result is basically 4 butt cheeks wobbling in different directions which despite how good you feel about yourself is totally unattractive. Just don't do it. Wear a tong, or wear nothing at all. Don't constrain your voluptuous assets by a piece of material that is poorly designed to hold them.

Please have some pity for the people who stand behind you on the escalator, and help to make our mornings a little less frightening.