SGDaily Roundup: What’s Hot in Week 17

Since the escape of Mas Selamat, we the complacent citizens sat waiting, twiddling our thumbs for the release of the COI report.

“A confluence of events” said the report simply. It’s preposterous, absurd and even disappointing. Mas Selamat pulled no stunts. He left a supposedly highly-secured premise by climbing through a window without grill. Yes, it is a primitive method, absolutely lacking in creativity. Does it matter if he escaped sans trousers? Hey, it worked.

Let’s play the blame game. Blame the gurkhas, blame the window with a sawn off handle, blame the CCTVs that were not working.

It’s bewildering. All of us have spent sufficient time watching TV programs and we have almost innately come to realize that no prisoner should be left out of sight. Whether it’s a leak or big-time crapping, the prisoner should be watched at all times.

For a detention center, amidst all the security reinforcements, a Superintendent actually ordered a handle to be sewn off. This is most bizarre. Surely, adequate funds would have been put aside for reinforcing the security of the detention center?

Even the CCTV at 7-11 cautions that “this store is under surveillance at all times”. What gives?

Before the release of the COI report, Singaporeans were told to not write off the Internal Security Department for their previous ‘sterling work’. Is Singapore being led by an aging government which delights in its past glory? As it is, we already have a certain MM (who without a doubt, deserves all the accolades for helping Singapore gain independence) but is still hanging around. Security is an on-going process where no one or any department can afford to rest in the laurels of past glory.

What’s more unbelievable is the atmosphere at the parliamentary session where DPM Wong Kan Seng delivered his speech. Members of parliament were found sleeping. Has it slipped their minds that the session would be the most watched session unlike the rest of the sessions before? Or have the members grown arrogant and ignorant and let only DPM Wong and PM Lee take center stage?

Ms Catherine Lim has since step forth to call Mas Selamat’s escape a scandal. At the same time, she reminds us that it is us who have time and again, re-elected the government. This is perhaps where we have been truly complacent.

There’s this nagging feeling that Singaporeans wouldn’t be satisfied even if Mas Selamat is recaptured. It’s just that we don’t have to put up with sights of his posters anymore.

Just as well the Olympic torch isn’t coming to Singapore. These are dark times.

P.S. If you haven’t signed up for the Million Blog List, you can do so here. We can’t because of a certain NSFW criteria.

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14 Responses to SGDaily Roundup: What’s Hot in Week 17

  1. abao says:

    Well, lets hope that the someone will actually step up to take charge and make real improvements to the huge bruneaucracy that we have today.

  2. The SS says:

    It has to start with us the Voters. Before that happens, nothing is going to change.

  3. NEW ARTICLE 28-4-08 says:


    [Dear readers this should have been the final part of a 3 part interview conducted by Phi Beta Kapa with Darkness. However, due to the sheer breadth of the issues discussed and the overwhelming response from our readers. It has been decided by the Council of the Wise, it should be extended to include some of the concerns expressed by some of our regular readers of the BP. Consequently there will be 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D / this interview discusses the proposal for community regulation mooted by the G-15. To navigate to the beginning of this discussion, click here:

    Q: [Darkness] In the last segment you alleged that Bernard Leong was cavalier in his assessment that our net is a feral place. Tell me how can you be so sure that all or most of the bad currency we regularly see has nothing to do with the net? Do you think you are slightly presumptuous by claiming these people can’t tell a door knob from a knob of butter?

    A: You keep asking me these silly questions (deleted)…this interview should have been finished two pages (deleted)… I don’t know for certain that the net is the smoking gun – in fact no one knows as its still early days and the body on knowledge in this area is no where near incontrovertible. Even the leading brains in this field remain divided on certain key issues i.e the Chicago School which has the dubious reputation of being described as an Ecological School. A polite term for zoo because they happen to be the leading stone cutters in the field of conflict management and ethnography – and that’s precisely my point – this doesn’t diminish what I have said, as much as it lends my original assertion credence. As I mentioned in the last segment; we need to see the whole issue of protecting minors and the truth in the right scale and perspective – otherwise I cannot see what value it brings to the whole discussion let alone premise such a radical plan like community regulation based on a strawman.

    What you need to ask yourself here is simply this Sharon, if the real experts don’t even profess to know for certain what makes Bernard Leong and his colleagues so cock sure that they would be able to bring about the good currency in the net and drive out the bad?

    Maybe someone in the G-15 is a reincarnation of Nostradamus, I really don’t know – you have to go and ask them yourself how they drew that straight line conclusion yourself – otherwise people will claim, I am trying to show off my ESP skills here.

    Q: Darkness do you deny this; for any society to progress there needs to be a minimum standard of acceptable behavior? And that means we all need to promote the idea of goodness and if possible even solicit it from others actively?

    A: A minimum standard of acceptable behavior? Yes, absolutely, I am all for that. Let me be clear. I have never once advocated that the net should be a free for all. Neither have I ever taken issue with the adage freedom comes with responsibility – only these sort of statements is really like saying electricity kills and slippery tiles regularly cause slipped discs. It tells you zero and even less about how one may explore the broader area of generating value in our net.

    I am a businessman so I feel it’s important to balance the idea of security and growth; and not only focus on the former; this I feel is somewhat anorexic if you look at the G-15 proposal – no where will you find a discussion on how to make blogosphere a more interesting place or whether what they have proposed would be likely to create a Darfur or Paris for all of us.

    To the second part of your question whether I believe the G-15 proposal can bring about good – let me just focus on whole idea of introducing the community regulator; here you need to ask yourself; where is BL putting the ‘good’? What if I said to you he’s putting it in the worst possible place very much in the way we would have made a kanikaze mistake, if we appointed Count Dracula as the CEO of our blood bank? – think about that Sharon. Is it conceivable?

    You see this is what happens when you introduce something like a community regulator into blogosphere and you couple it with the imperative to revivify. Instead of the ‘good’ residing in the hands of the individuals where it can grow, develop and take on a trajectory independently like a business enterprise, he’s entrusting it to the ‘community,’ please go and read what he wrote, if you don’t believe me. Here it’s conceivable, the so called good can only continue to calcify and corrode and produce the same staid sameness, we regularly see in the real world.

    My feel is, that’s just a lousy way to generate value, as what he’s actually doing is inadvertently fashioning a facsimile of brick and mortar Singapore online. Because in the real world Singapore, that is where the good really resides, its not in the hands of the individual as much as it remains firmly in the death grip of the community and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a stat board, the PAP or even when we discuss something broader like whether two men have a right to knob each other in the privacy of a bush – where you have the good in the community, the mantra is simply; the nail that sticks will be hammered down!

    That’s the part I don’t understand. The last time, I looked out of my window we already have a real Singapore, so why do we even need recreate another online version of the real Singapore in Singapore is beyond me? I mean if the online world ends up like the real world Singapore, I’ve just go back to board games and I suspect so will everybody else except perhaps BL & Co who might as well be the mayor of online Pyongyang because there’s no way it can aspire be a New York or Paris, when you rely solely on the jalopy of the community to leverage the so called ‘good.

    Q: So let me get it straight. You are saying that sort of community led ‘good’ is a bad generator of value?

    A: Absolutely! Consider this why isn’t 377A repealed? Because of the collective good – to paraphrase it is the good that we regularly associate with the community; now if you think real hard about it; you will come to the realization, it has nothing to do with ‘good’ as much as it has everything to do with a system that is so parochial, narrow and insular that it doesn’t even have the capacity to make one judo roll in the mind to accommodate differences i.e hey I think all homos are an abomination and an effrontery to my beliefs (period). That in a nutshell is the shattered dreams of S377A – but never forget it was purchased in the very same name that the community regulator seeks its legitimacy on; the community.

    Now when you transplant that sort of corrosive culture of how to define organization and personal success online – you might as well go and play the extinction game or ram up a stick of dynamite up your ass – because that sort of community inspired ‘good’ machine doesn’t even have the flexibility and multi- tier state of mind to accommodate, let alone create or even nourish the whole idea of diversity and lets leave out innovation and creativity – all that goes out of the window.

    You tell me; where’s the good there?

    Q: Darkness could you give us an example of a place where it is in the community but led by the individual good which you claim to be so superior? Because you are well known to be a twister of words (cut off)

    A: Hey, mind your tone with me man! I know your boss hates me that Joey motherfucker has been on my back (deleted) I mean…(delete).consider this: if you walk into lets say the lobby of the Mirage in Las Vegas, do you see the Spanish Inquisition there handing out the 10 commandments?

    For that matter do you see any casino operator in the state of Nevada regularly building high walls, manning them with snipers, search lights and Rotweillers? No, because no one in his right mind would ever consider going to such a place, unless his idea of fun is talking about hot air ballooning, tunneling or he’s happens to be doing a Phd thesis on how Mas Selamat managed a reenactment of “Shawshank redemption.”

    Here what you need to understand is for anything to work well you need to recruit the marketing component; the long and short of it is simply this; you cannot built an interesting place, if you put the community before the individual – you’re probably end up with something like Detroit or Baghdad – Las Vegas is a very attractive and appealing locale for one simple reason, it’s not supposed to exist that means many of the iconology that we regularly associated with it, probably emerged from someone who wanted to escape the cacophony of the American community landscape. Here the ‘good’ and ‘value’ generated doesn’t emerge within the American community as much as it tries to reject it completely by throwing the cusps to the wind and saying fuck you, I will not conform to your ideal; that’s why if you look carefully at the symbolism of the architecture in Las Vegas, they all have one thing in common, all of them are saying, “hey look at me, I am supposed to be in Venice or Paris, but look again, I am here!” Why are they all trying to run away from the community good? Think about it, could it be because it is not so good?

    To be con’t

    [Sharon / Darkness Interview Series – annotated by Jasta 1 and JUMO / The Brotherhood Press 2008]

  4. NEW ARTICLE 28-4-08 says:


    Q: Darkness isn’t a deregulated net logically better than one that’s regulated? Because its more flexible, less draconian and perhaps even more democratic.

    A: More flexible blah blah. Hey, I don’t know where you got that from. To me that’s just a marketing tag line that most people buy into without really thinking about it. I don’t believe life is so simple. You don’t foreclose on lets say communism and automatically get happy democracy. That only happens in the movies. This we saw when the USSR collapsed, it did not produce good as much as a tsunami of bad that brought with it; run away inflation, transmigration; balkanization which even fueled partisan and sectarian divide which mushroomed into a civil war. To a limited extent this was also what’s currently unfolding in Iraq; decamp from dictatorship and instead of happy democracy, what you get instead is closer to a self styled Iranian theocracy – the sum of all our fears.

    So we need to be very careful; just because the G-15 have a nice logo and it comes with pad lock that’s half open, you mean that’s all it takes to persuade your intellect, we are going to get a better net?

    That’s why I believe the question really boils down to a mechanical analysis when the G-15 say, we are going to deregulate it can only mean we will get a better net, if the means remains sound; but how sound is it; when 94% of the bloggers weren’t even given an opportunity to participate in the process? This is very different from don’t want to participate. I have to be crystal clear here. There is no way of participating because at no time did the proponents of G-15 even provision for anon bloggers to do so without compromising their elemental right to privacy – so even from the word go, you got the cart before the horse – how the hell are you going to make any progress, I have absolutely no idea; where is the freer so called net in all this. Because I can argue when you deny and that’s what they did, not deliberately but by design the statistical majority then how does that even raise the bar on freedom?

    You think about that. I mean in life you don’t jump and expect me to follow tout suite – its never going to happen. I’ve go through the fine print and so will most netizens.

    Q: Darkness let me ask you a point blank question, why do you think the community regulator cannot produce the desired ‘good’ that will benefit blogosphere? The reason I am asking this question is many readers have being asking what do you consider as the gold standard of good and why are you so adamant that the community regulator is incapable of producing good?

    A: The short answer is smart people don’t go about trying to solve the problem of a police state by creating another police state within the police state. Did I just confuse you? Because I cant tell my left from my right foot now.

    Q: Can you clearer please?

    A: Hey any clearer and I’ve be the invisible man. Look here, this is no Mensa test man, it’s really like the African headache cure, take a hammer and bang your toe; yes the headache disappears only because it’s superseded by a bigger pain. Here you are not curing the headache as much as creating a bigger problem – that’s how I see the whole idea of the community regulator. It does solve as much as it creates new problems for all of us.

    Q: OK it seems like you’re getting irritated by my questions, so I will keep them short from now onwards. Coming back to the second part of the question; why are you so adamant that the community regulator cannot produce any good?

    A: The short answer is the cost of having the community regulator is simply too high. You can only believe there is no cost, penalties or kickers, if you don’t subscribe to the law of cause and effect – I do not.

    Build a lousy system and you are likely to get lousy results; there’s no mystery there, it’s a open book anyone can make those sort of calculations; where the cost and penalty calculation turns to mud is when you build a perfect system that’s so good that it has reserves of kinetic energy to not only keep on going but to also gather momentum and when you pull on the brakes nothing happens! It’s a bit like the Titanic 30 seconds before it struck the iceberg.

    You could even say that’s really why I am so adamant that the community regulator is such a lousy way to solicit good; as I believe the regulator has all the potential to assume the worst scenario of a run away train; so its really a disaster waiting to happen; it’s very much like our great social engineering experiment we once launched during the early 80’s; the ‘2 is enough and 3 is company’ population control program. It made perfect sense then and even it even worked admirably, the problem is that everyone was so fixated on the drive train and breaking the land speed record; none of those scholar space monkeys bothered with the emergency brakes. Fast forward today; it can be said this is one of the main reason why we have a such a dismal birthrate.

    Now one thing that you need to understand about those sort run away train scenarios is the cost is not only high, but exorbitantly high enough to cancel out whatever payouts a plan may even generate; so its really very much like a proposal to build a nuclear reactor in Bedok, it makes mathematical sense because the probability of a mishap is negligible, but the cost is simply to horrendously high to contemplate; as its even conceivable you may not be able to put it back into reverse gear; here to exacerbate the whole calculation its not really a quantitative method we are relying on as much as it remains a qualitative process; its more an art than a science; because you dealing with people and people don’t always behave rationally. Contrary to what economist often tell us; the fact that they do maximize advantage is undeniable; but that’s like saying anyone will invest in a stock that gives a good return on investment, but I can say there are some people who may even run counter to that behavioral template by doing the exact opposite because they may not want to get rich at the expense of people and planet; for example by investing in tobacco or defense firms. So what we see here is what I call eccentricity – not in the dictionary meaning of the word, but in a mathematical sense and here you need to appreciate that small things can have big consequences.

    Now with this knowledge let’s take a closer look at the community regulator in our Petri dish and ask ourselves can the same run away train scenario happen? I believe that’s a very real possibility, let me share with you why; Q: How do you stop a cat from jumping on a stove? Simple turn on the stove, now if you think about it, that’s exactly how the community regulator works; go and read BL’s essay and you will find he uses words like ‘condemn’ and ‘warning.’ Q; will turning on the stove stop cats from regularly jumping on it? Q: will hauling offenders up to the public square put and end to the feral net? In both cases the answer has to be a resolute yes. Only because when you frame punitive measures in something as formalized as a committee, then its naïve to assume fear isn’t somehow elevated into either a theory or science that even makes it effective and efficient to modulate behavior. Contrary to what many people have written, I do not disagree that what BL proposes will NOT work; my main contention has always been it may work too well, like a Maglev train barreling at 600 mph without brakes; so very well even that it may well have every capacity to ripple through generations; that’s really the kicker, cost or penalty that keeps me awake at night – and let me tell you where it will hit the hardest; creativity and innovation only because they are the ones that leverage most on freedom; so Sharon I want you to be very clear here; what we have is not just a simple way of disciplining that one offending cat who regularly jumps on the stove, but also stopping other cats (and there are always more of those) who may have either seen or heard about what happened to this one cat; only for them to think twice, thrice and probably give up the whole idea of jumping on a cold stove even; that in the palm of your hands is the shattered dreams of what the G-15 are trying to propose – it is not a way to free as much as it remains a very effective way to rule us all.

    Darkness 2008

    Private Message to the Lady of Lake from Darkness;

    “I trust all is well with the Royal Creche. Please allow me to offer you all that I can afford too”

    Your humble servant

    Darkness 2008

  5. LADY OF THE LAKE / 92374 says:


    “We will magnetic dock @ 18444 / Primus / stand by at BAY 08 / We will be teleporting our navigators to to assist in docking / do not be alarmed. We advise com silence in approach.”


    Lady of the lake.

    Darkness sends this to you and your friends.

    Message End 0983204

  6. Darkness says:

    My take on the flag is pls fly it. Please everyone raise it up – as its a bit like painting your ass red; the sight is a success; but the smell is a failure LOL

    Darkness 2008

  7. masalah says:

    way ahead of yourself, dude. nobody is going to run down your brokeback mountain just because of ONE community. has your partner macau kingpin jackpot ho who build his empire by watching old aunties life savings harvested for opulence and needles,pots,pipes, razors, whips, handcuffs etc resulted in your mental paralysis that you can’t see the value within the four walls you are trying to break out?

    dude, those are not walls. think energies. think global. think of synergizing the FOUR corners of the world!!!!

    see lah. open your mouth all kosong! LOL.


  9. ST Slave says:




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