Monday, May 22, 2006

Ayaan Hirsi Ali...The Enigma

Love her or loathe her....she is her own woman...or is she?
"Somali-born Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, known for her outspoken criticism of conservative Islam, is leaving politics and the Netherlands amid a row over her citizenship..."
"Hirsi Ali's controversial film Submission famously led to the brutal murder by a Moroccan immigrant extremist of Theo Van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who helped her to produce it. That gruesome event shot her to international fame. She subsequently received numerous death threats which ever since have forced her to live a semi-clandestine life with 24-hour police protection."
In her own words ...

On immigration: 'I am not against migration. It is pragmatic to restrict migration, while encouraging integration and fighting discrimination.'

On religion: 'I do not believe in God, angels and the hereafter.'

On 9/11: Referring to hijacker Mohammed Atta's letter to his accomplices telling them to pray for martyrdom, she said: 'If I were a male under the same circumstances, I could have been there. It was exactly what I used to believe.'

On Islam: 'When a Life of Brian comes out with Muhammad in the lead role, directed by an Arab equivalent of van Gogh, it will be a huge step.'

On the lessons she learned from an Iranian-trained Shia fundamentalist: 'I had never seen an Israeli, but we hated them because it was "Muslim" to hate them.'

On herself: 'I have no real social life. It's like having a body with no bottom [a Somali expression]... who on earth can I saddle with a relationship? It's not off limits, and technically it can all happen. But is it, as we say in Dutch, verstandig? Sensible? It doesn't seem sensible now.',,1779723,00.html?gusrc=rss

I admire her for the courage to do and say what she's her choice afterall. I admire her even more for the courage to live up to it...probably for the rest of her life. But frankly...I don't really know her agenda...fight against discrimination? for the poor? for women..muslim women? for equality? or is she trying to exorcise the demons of life within herself?

She is leaving for America....with her "baggages".

Monday, May 15, 2006

"It's cold in here!"

Finally a brilliant idea! And it could possibly be the first in the world:
New bus shelters

"... the PTD is working on the masterplan for buses and other modes of public transport with an aim to cut growth of cars by 50 per cent in the future.

"After the success of the express bus service between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we are going to introduce similar services between Al Ain and Dubai, and Abu Dhabi and Al Ain," Al Rashidi said.

"A comprehensive network of public transport within Abu Dhabi will be in place very soon," he said.

Abu Dhabi's transport chief said the PTD will also build around 500 air-conditioned bus stop shelters in Abu Dhabi(hopefully in Dubai as well) within the next 18 months."
I had tried a couple of times taking the public transport (bus) in's really a harrowing (corrected by agent kingfisher..thks original: experience.. especially during the weekends. It's so jam packed..the sweaty smell of tired commuters who have waited for nearly 40 mins under the scourging sun. Never mind the driver..shouting at u to move to the back of an otherwise sardine packed bus!Once in awhile...a young local inspector will come on board..screaming at the foreign workers for their tickets...very humiliating.

And it's quite an irony..Dubai built so many beautiful mega malls, impressive buildings, hotels...etc that cost millions... but look at the pathetic bus stop shelter (see pic)? what were they thinking in the first place? Perhaps, they ran out of budget or musing to themselves " Im not taking the's for the labourers..why spend so much to build beautiful shelters?"
Hopefully, the new air con bus stop shelter comes with an an enclosed environment with so many sweaty beings...we need fresh
Wonder...what's your experience like? If you have taken the public transport in Dubai/UAE or any parts of the world...

Running in the desert

I am having a dizzy spell...not necessary from running..I am a good runner. Terry Fox Run, Standard Chartered Marathon...etc Done them and looking forward every year!It's almost like a ritual. I had only tried once..running at the Al Safa Park..good jogging track but a bit way out for me. So the only alternative is really the ugly man made lakes at the Spring Villa (Emirates Hill)...either early in the morning or slightly after 7pm in the evening...not too hot but still very stuffy. Living at the Spring feels like a prisoner...especially if u do not have a car.It's about 40 mins by cab to the Bur Dubai city...70 Dhms. Besides a regular old man with his doggie...the other insane person running round the bigger lake 10 times is yours truly here!
Anyway, coming back to the's confirmed..they are building the DUBAI SPORTS CITY!
"Dubai Sports City — costing $2.5 billion and sprawling over 50 million square feet — aspires to be a bustling minimetropolis devoted to sports, a Xanadu for spectators and participants when it partly opens next year.

Four stadiums, ranging in size from a 10,000-seat multipurpose indoor arena to an outdoor stadium with room for more than 60,000, will play host to basketball, cricket, rugby, soccer and even ice hockey. An outdoor field hockey facility will hold 5,000 fans. A sports-themed shopping mall will connect the four indoor arenas, while hotels, condominiums, a promenade of high-end retail shops and boutiques, a health and fitness club and a sports medicine center will offer services and accommodations to residents and visitors.

The International Cricket Council, which recently moved its headquarters here from London, will open an academy in Dubai Sports City. So will the Manchester United soccer team, the Butch Harmon School of Golf and the David Lloyd Tennis Academy."

It will not be far fetched to predict...this could possibly be the next venue for the Olympic Games..just wait and see.
By the way, I hope the authorities will adopt a wholistic approach to the entire concept of health...building state of the art infrastructure alone whether for one upmanship or to bring in the money is just part of the equation. I hope to see more emphasis on healthy living especially for the locals...what u eat, taking up a game etc...driving in flashy car does not I notice the local ladies look elegantly slim... but most of the guys...just my observation (do not throw darts at me!)are pretty heavy from the abdomen/waist downward..I do not know what they eat or whether they work-out or not...perhaps some locals could enlighten us on that? And friends exercising a pleasure or pressure for u?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


06 May 2006 is election day back in Singapore...3 more days. Those who are working overseas are allow (for the first time in history) to vote online provided your constituency is not a walk-over. I am tired of hearing how efficient...clean and beautiful city my country is...everything here runs on clockwork precision..etc YES THEY ARE ALL TRUE! However,the following..more or else summed up what most of us feel for a long time:
You accept their system of government, a system of trampling on the basic civil rights of the citizens. You have no right to free speech, and that means criticisms will be censored, or worse, interpreted as defamatory and be charged. Even when you criticize court cases or its sentencing, you will be treated as contempt of court, and be fined or jailed. In other countries, when their govt deliver poor performance or overtax their citizens, they are allowed to demonstrate and protest. Not in this system we have - you talk and you will be in trouble.

You accept a system of stiff fiscal penalties, from paying ERP and COE, to buying and maintaining a public flat - either for reasons of "limited resources" to "market pricing" excuses. You will be so broke and in debt that in later life, retirement is something no longer availble to you. You will work until you drop dead.

You accept a system of totalitarian rule, with laws to tell you how many children you should have based on your academic attainment, to freezing your CPF money based on your inability to manage your own retirement.

You accept a system of state controlled media propaganda where only one side of the story is promoted, and television that shows monologues between the leaders and their citizens. Anything else will be censored.

You accept a system of non-functioning parliament - Members of Parliament, which you are going to elect as your voice in government, are not allowed to speak nor vote on your interest or welfare. No matter what the candidates promise you of "adding value in parliament" or to "help the poor and sick", they are prevented from doing so in parliament, for if they try to speak and vote on the peoples' behalf (that's their job, really) they will face party disciplinary action for not supporting all policy or law put forward by their party leader. What is the big deal, you ask. Well, it means in plain language, your voices are gagged in parliament, the nation's highest decision making assembly. It means you had been silenced by the government.

You accept a system of non accountability to the people - from absence of transparency of the country's reserve, to details of how many citizens lost their jobs or were downgraded in salary or rank. Nor is there independent audited figures to tell us how many foreigners we let in took away mid- to senior positions from citizen workers. You may sacrifice your years doing National Service, but this govt system do not protect your jobs, do not really subsidize your healthcare or govt built homes, and leave you out in the cold with media silence and parliamentary gag. They can grab numbers from thin air and publish them for public consumption, and with transparency lacking, you never know if the govt took you for a ride.

You accept a system of unmoderated and excessive elitism in this govt system, where you get top posts from paper certificates and no measurement of their proficiency nor performance. In fact, these "elites" (some called them scholars) can get into parliament without a contest, get top public office positions without any relevant background, and continue to hold their posts without delivering any improvement to the public. Not only will you be burdened with their generous financial rewards, you will also have to put up with their frequent cost increases that you, the public has to pay for.

You elect a govt who when it comes to writing laws, or finalizing policies, do not have the obligation to ask the people, even if such laws and policies affect every citizens' lives. You elect a big-brother-knows-all govt who speaks of public feedbacks but never take them into consideration nor acted on them. Faulty policies and unfair laws were passed and who will suffer? It's YOU. Not the govt, not the elites who makes the decisions. Did they listen to you? Acted for your interest? Or did they put you in debt by squeezing your hard earned money by way of taxes, levies, penalties, HDB flats, CPF distortions, and fines?

You accept a Party lacking in integrity - when the leader push his son into office, put his relative to manage our national reserves, put his buddies to administer the laws, use public money for their party interests, punish and prevent free speech and criticisms, disallow their MPs to speak and act for the citizens, maintains an army of mercenaries, allows citizen to be incarcerated into a mental institution at the president's pleasure, sue opposition leaders into bankrupcies, character assassinate political opponents, pretending to be whiter-than-white rascals, and remove any contest to the presidency election

So do not be a wisely..YOU HAVE A CHOICE!