Cards: Taboo?

nanzi wrote:

During a simple gathering, a woman (near 50 of age) was astonished to see that some kids were gathered and were happily playing cards. She asked me, “How can they be playing cards?”

Just a few days ago, my other half expressed incredulity at her tutee’s ignorance of “clubs” and “spades” or the number of ‘J’s and ‘K’s within a deck of cards. Apparently, the mathematics question she was explaining dealt with probability and made used of a deck of playing cards as a scenario.

Given the hostile climate against playing cards in most educational institutions — I heard the more “premier” schools have saner rules; some even have bridge clubs — I suddenly wondered why was knowledge of the contents assumed of all mathematics students in the first place?

Reward Singaporeans, not PAP Supporters

In Today, 3 May 2006:

East Coast candidate Chia Ti Lik also pointed out that the PAP’s threat of denying Opposition wards upgrading programmes is divisive to the society. Said the lawyer: “Whether you live in an Opposition ward, whether you have upgrading, don’t you all have pink ICs, serve National Service and pay taxes? This Government is forgetting that on the Singapore Flag, one of the stars represents equality!”

Yes, MM is damn right that no government will help the opposition to displace itself. But no, bona fide Singaporeans should not be penalised for not supporting the ruling party. Being in the queue is not good enough. WP’s Chia is damn right on on this.

Never mind that I am neither a recipient of the “Progress Package” nor am I eligible to vote. There can never be democracy without opposition. But let me say that having just Chiam and Low in the parliament is not going to keep PAP in check. Neither will the outcome of tomorrow’s results change this fact. Having a strong, credible and honest opposition to keep the ruling party in check is going to be a long and tedious process for Singapore. It is going to require more Potong Pasirs in the many GEs to come to attain that.

Follow your heart, prudently

I read on the forums today, a man found out that his girlfriend of 10 years and buddy of 8 have been seeing each other. And you thought this only happens in TV dramas and soap operas. But trust me that not everyone will sympathise with this poor man.

I recalled once when my better half called me up in tears after watching a drama on an attached woman who fell for another man but never got together. What was aberrant was that my better half was weeping for the wretched couple and not the poor man.

Perhaps, being a man myself, I was inclined to empathise with the poor man more than I could with the new couple. However, being a soap opera, I believe much of the show was focused on how the woman finally realised that the new man is her true love (you know, after all these years).

The sentimental audience would of course be emotionally obligated to support the newfound love of the woman. After all, in the era of individualism and liberalism, we are indoctrinated to follow our heart regardless of its costs. It doesn’t really matter how long or how much you used to love each other for the only thing that matters now is that you have eyes for someone else now.

True, couples who, in the absence of love, remain together for the sake of responsibility are foolish. But couples who went through years of thick and thin and decide that there isn’t any more love are the most abominable.

Here’s a paradox for you: Follow your heart, prudently.


Another extract of a MSN conversation with my better half. Xemus is her 4-year-old cousin who happens to like to stick to me and not her.

Sharon: but xemus is so cute
Sharon: i jus grab any chance to make him hug me
Sharon: so chubby
Sharon: lol
bAa: lol
Sharon: i used to carry him sleep till my arm numb lo
Sharon: but he like dun like me leh
Sharon: i think its the age gap la
bAa: age gap?!
bAa: we’re same age
bAa: lol
Sharon: no me and him
Sharon: but u boy ma
Sharon: tt age of boys tend to think girls are yucky
Sharon: ur age one think girls are yummy
Sharon: kayz
bAa: LOL
Sharon: WAT

Movie Review: I Not Stupid Too

In a society wildly obsessed with foreign brands, foreign artistes, foreign films and even foreign talents, local productions usually take a backseat to Hollywood blockbusters. The writer has to confess that he had been so myopic as to share such a view until he caught Jack Neo’s latest production, “I Not Stupid Too” (INSToo). INSToo is not a film with intricate twists or messages hidden beneath cryptic and arty storylines that requires one to wrack one’s brain over. Instead, INSToo tastefully (proponents of perfect language will disagree for vernaculars and dialects are extensively employed throughout the film) and deftly presented the grim reality plaguing contemporary society that threatens to weaken the very foundation of families and forever sever communication between the young and old.

More than being just a drama/comedy, the film explores pertinent issues extensively in our contemporary society that requires the immediate attention of all children, students, parents and educators. Throughout the film, one (assuming one is local) would find many scenarios extremely and hauntingly familiar. Suddenly, it appears that we are not alone and the disease that inflicts our society, more specifically our families and education system, is pandemic.

INSToo explores the issue of public caning in schools extensively through the public caning of Tom in an incident that is somewhat reminiscent of the Ho Poh Fun (Angry RJC teacher caught on video) incident 3 years ago, albeit on a much more serious scale. Like the students in the film, I too was made to witness public caning at least twice in two different institutions over the past 12 years of education. Desensitisation must have worked wonders. I now wonder why I had, like the students in the film, so docilely sit through the entire gruesome process twice. Should I be coerced into witnessing another of such barbaric act, I would stand up and leave the place.

A major point that Jack Neo tries to put forth is the irony in how acts of love and care by children, parents and educators end up irking each other. The love manifested by parents to children, children to parents and educators to students are unequivocal and clearly manifested throughout the film but always ignored by the receiving party. MOE, for instance, is plagued by exasperated teachers who are extremely dedicated yet at the same time exceedingly inadequate in dissemination.

I teared while watching the prequel during a screening at my alma mater. I teared again while watching the sequel, but I was not alone. Sniffles could be heard from people all around me despite attempts to hold them back. Many heart-wrenching (and warming) moments revolving around the family would inevitably send most to tears.

The soundtrack has an uncanny semblance to Jay Chou’s music, but is in the right direction for the first time ever in a Jack Neo’s production.


Students, parents and educators, do yourselves a favour and catch this movie.