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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Meenah and Cheenah

Dream Academy presents Meenah and Cheenah. I was convinced by my friends to attend this show and at first I have to admit to doing so under duress. I have lived in Singapore for 18 years so I really do understand the culture but my sense of humour tends towards left of center and I have never found local productions funny as a result. In fact shows like "The Noose" serve only to irritate me rather than make me smile.

So as I sat down in my seat and girded myself for some very local entertainment I have to admit to being totally wrong in this case.

Meenah and Cheenah was hilarious. True it was very localised in terms of humour and you would have to be Singaporean to get many of the references, but I could not stop laughing at so many points throughout the entire show. Maybe that makes me more Singaporean than I give myself credit for.

This was a show with minimal sets and props that focused on the interplay between two people with almost perfect comic timing and delivery. Well structured, well balanced, and equally well delivered it did not disappoint and when it ended I found myself wishing it hadn’t as I really wanted to see more.

This was Singapore comedy at it's finest at least from my perspective. There were so many skits in such rapid succession that to be honest it is hard to pick a favourite. But if I had to pick one I would say the Ghost scene not only because of the amount of humour it had but also the subtle references it contained that had me and all of my local friends laughing so hard.

I loved it and would gladly watch it again.

For those that missed it, you really did miss out.

We Wear White (not)

Once again we reach that time of year when Pink Dot, a celebration of the freedom to love regardless of sexual orientation, gets ready to take off in Singapore. And once again self proclaimed evangelist pastor and part time magician Lawrence Khong takes exception and plans a We Wear White campaign to coincide on the same day.

Mr. Khong is reported as stating that "there is a conservative majority in Singapore who will push back and will not allow them (LGBT) to promote their lifestyle and liberal ideologies that openly and out rightly contradict our laws, our Governments stated polices, our national core values, and the conservative majority's view on public morality, marriage and family".

I would love to know what the hell he means by that statement because for me it makes very little sense. I read it a couple of times and I'm still no wiser. So I decided to break it down to see if I missed anything.

"To promote their life style"
I have no idea what lifestyle he is referring to. I get up brush my teeth, shower, go to work, come home, eat dinner, catch up with friends. Weekends I might do some shopping. I support my family when they need me too, and the same for my friends. I have the same dreams and aspirations as anyone else, I look forward to holidays as I'm sure everyone does and yes I pay a mortgage and bills too. It's a normal mundane lifestyle with the same worries as everyone else.

"Liberal Ideologies"
Again I have no idea what he means here at all. I think like any person, I have similar politic views as many. I have my own views on religion (which incidentally have taken a bashing at the hands of Mr. Khong it has to be said). I respect and admire the many different cultures and religious beliefs that my friends here in Singapore hold, and I accept that my views and my friends may differ from time to time and even lead to heated debates on certain subjects. In fact it it wasn't for the Liberal Ideologies of the founding fathers of Singapore, Singapore would not be the country it is today.

"Openly and out rightly contradict our laws, our Governments stated polices"
I can only assume here he is referring to section 377A. Given that the Government is already on record as stating that what two people of the same sex do in the privacy of their own home is their own business, and that they will not enforce 377A, I am at a lose as to why he makes this statement. Singapore is also on record as stating the same to the International Human Rights committee. Clearly Mr. Khong is out of touch with reality and seeks to justify his campaign by such a sham alignment.

"our national core values"
The Singapore Pledge, something every person in Singapore has said many times in their lives reads as follows. "We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation". This represents the core values of every Singaporean. If anything Mr. Khong's misguided We Wear White campaign is in direct volition of this pledge. Clearly his message is that equality for all citizens in the eyes of the law is irrelevant and that his religious views are the only ones that matter since clearly his arguments are based on them.

"the conservative majority's view on public morality"
While I can understand people being conservative, and even such a group being in the majority, I donĂ­t' really understand the public morality connection. I think he needs to explain what he means by that last part because I really don't get it at all. Even if section 377A was repealed there are plenty of other laws already in place to protect public morality. In fact it's one of the reasons that the Government is on record as not enforcing it and why many other countries have already repealed it.

Well, now we get to the juicy stuff. The core argument from Khong and his like is that should section 377A be repealed that gay people will want to be married next and that such a proposal runs contrary to all of his religious beliefs. Well I doubt he has much to worry about as I'm pretty certain no gay man of sane mind would actually propose to him. That said, in no country in the world has any religious organization EVER been forced to perform a same-sex marriage where it goes against the core set of that religions beliefs. NO WHERE. Yes there are many posts of people being sued for not doing so etc, but read up more on them, many are government related jobs where the person refuses to do their job and have been sued on that basis. Others are for stores/shops/public services etc that have openly practiced discrimination based on sexual orientation which was a criminal offence in those countries according to that countries constitution. If same sex couples want to marry in the eyes of the law, then it is the law that makes that decision and certainly not Mr. Khong or any religious organisation for that matter.

We all love our family, the ups the downs, the argument, the laughter. We don't judge each other, our love is unconditional. Regardless of the make up of that family or any individuals sexual orientation in it. In fact if anything Mr. Khong seeks to undermine that family unit by driving wedges between it's members simply because of an individuals sexual orientation within it. Through no fault of your own should you happen to be LGBT Mr. Khong would ensure that you remain less than equal in the eyes of the law. Such views can no longer be tolerated in a modern progressive society like Singapore. No Singaporean should ever believe that any fellow Singaporean should have less rights than they enjoy. Everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law.

I have to say that when you pick apart Mr. Khong's points they don't really stack up. In my opinion this is really nothing more than his attempt to enflame passions among the people of Singapore and his own religious following. Why pick a date for the We Wear White campagin that clashes with Pink Dot if his motives are so pure and above board, in my opinion the answer is they are not and Mr. Khong is directly attacking Pink Dot wether he chooses to admit it or not. Unfortunately however, he is entitled to his own opinion of course, regardless of how misguided it may be, but the rest of the people in Singapore should take them with a pinch of salt.

In my opinion Mr. Khong is following his own agenda here and I say that because he clearly doesn't speak for me or anyone I know in the slightest. . Indeed, he seems to be shouting so loudly on LGBT related topics that given the recent scientific study's on people who are overly negatively vocal on LGBT related topics one has to wonder.

I think Margaret Cho summed it up perfectly with her opinion of Mr. Khong in her recent performance in Singapore, enough said.