Alienation scores gold at Youth Olympic Games

Slightly over a week ago, a senior member of the diplomatic corps asked me, “Do Singaporeans care a hoot about the Youth Olympic Games?”

“To be very honest,” I replied, “No.”

I then put it out of my mind, my own interest level running on empty — like most of my fellow Singaporeans.

* * * * *

It’s the affective divide again, in the famous words of writer Catherine Lim, who in the 1990s was rapped by the prime minister for undermining public confidence in the government through her plain speaking. But it’s true: There’s a gulf between citizens and the government. As soon as something is seen as being important to the government, especially if it is seen as important to the ego of the government, the average Singaporean keeps his distance. There’s that sense of alienation all over again.

Lately, the government has been trying to use sports as a platform for cranking up nationalism, but the more ministers get involved, the more Singaporeans stay away from the projects they sponsor.

It’s like how very few Singaporeans fly the flag for National Day. What flags you see are not put out by individuals, they are organised by neighbourhood committees, communist party-style. That accounts for the orderly way they have been put up.

The Youth Olympic Games project suffers the same fate. The fact that huge billboards have to be put up to feign popular enthusiasm says it all. Here’s a billboard that proclaims “Residents of Holland-Bukit Timah town celebrate” the games, put up by the government:

Not more than 50 metres away is another billboard, this time for National Day, complete with likenesses of members of parliament lording it over citizens:

Same same. They’re both government projects. Same same, both aver “enthusiasm” from top down. From bottom up, it’s indifference and ennui.

* * * * *

A few days ago, I bumped into a friend who was a school teacher. “You look rather stressed out today,” I said. She always looks stressed out, and that seems to be my opening line each time I see her.

“I have to reschedule so many classes for next month,” she explained.

Naturally I asked “Why?”  but before she had a chance to reply, a thought hit me out of the blue. “By any chance has it got to do with marching orders for all students to attend the Youth Olympic Games?”

“Aargh,” she went, flinging her arms up in despair. “I’ve said enough, I’ve said enough. I’ll say no more.”

“Am I right or not?” I persisted.

“I’ll say no more. I don’t want to lose my job.”

Attempting a more indirect tack, “How are students going to pay the ticket prices? How can parents be expected to pay? Not all parents have money to throw about. . . ” My voice trailed off as I thought about the the budget for the Youth Olympic Games ballooning from the initial estimate of S$122 million to S$387 million.

7 July 2010
Today newspaper

Cost of Youth Games goes up three-fold
An extra $265 million needed to meet the cost will be borne by MCYS and Ministry of Finance

SINGAPORE – The cost of organising the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games has risen three-fold.

With 38 days left to the opening ceremony at The Float@Marina Bay on Aug 14, it will now cost $387 million to stage the Games, up from its original estimate of $122 million during the Games’ bid phase, before Singapore was named host by the International Olympic Committee in February 2008 after a keen tussle with Moscow.

[snip]

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, MCYS Permanent Secretary Niam Chiang Meng said: “The original bid was an estimate. There was no precedent or template … When we made the bid, the figures were based on specifications not fully spelt out by the International Olympic Committee or by the international federations.

“It was only very recently that the sporting events had their formats spelt out … which is why many of these things can only be finalised so late.”

Technology accounted for the biggest spike – $97 million (see box).

Added Mr Niam: “The estimate is not fixed, although it is likely to be lower than higher.”

The Youth Olympic Games, which run from Aug 14 to 26, will feature 201 events across 26 sports, with some 3,600 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competing.

About 20,000 volunteers will help run the Games, and about 370,000 spectators are expected to watch the two-week event.

[truncated]

A side bar to this news story gave a Budget breakdown for “key selected areas”.

  • $97 million: Technology, including $16 million for providing “live” broadcasts in 18 of the 26 sports.
  • $76 million: Sports and venues, mainly for upgrading works like floodlights and warm-up halls.
  • $44 million: Logistics and transport, such as warehousing, supply chain, catering and cleaning costs which increased after organisers upped the volunteers from 7,000 to 20,000.
  • $18 million: Security, including for screening equipment.
  • $12 million: To engage Singaporeans.
  • $7 million: Cost to organise the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame.

A quick punch on a calculator will reveal that together, these items add up to only S$254 million.

I still don’t know what the real story is, or whether my guess is anywhere near the truth — my over-dramatic friend having disintegrated, like she often does, into mock hysteria and never answered my questions.

However,  The Online Citizen reported that of 100,000 tickets sold so far, “80,000 of those 100,000 tickets sold were bought by the Ministry of Education.” It did not refer to a source for the figures.

* * * * *

Meanwhile a poll is now making the rounds of Laugh Out Loud Singapore. As at 8 p.m. on Friday, 30 July 2010, the online poll on the Channel NewsAsia website showed nearly 90 percent of 4,220 respondents saying “I’m not interested at all” to the survey question “Will you be watching any Youth Olympic Games competition?”

I think the 90-percent figure is an under-estimate. If you’re indifferent to the Youth Olympic Games, the chance of you even bothering to participate in the poll is going to be lower than someone who is interested.

59 Responses to “Alienation scores gold at Youth Olympic Games”


  1. 1 KiWeTO 31 July 2010 at 16:02

    If the desired intent of the YoG is probably to elevate
    someone’s KeyPerformanceIndicator(KPI), then for all intents and purposes, Ms Lim’s “affective divide” is most easiest for the average Singaporean to perform – complete apathy and moaning about the life-disruptive effects of hosting the YoG.

    Given the amount of money we spent bidding for it (and now paying for it), like most other cities that have hosted more mega-international sports events (and then felt budget shortfalls due to overspending), I wonder whether we could have spent it on more serious efforts to raise new generations of Singaporean sportsmen/women that arise from within (and not bought in from without).

    Would investing better facilities, longer opening hours, and more specialized staff seed the possibility of a fishmonger’s son winning gold@Olympics?

    But no, if we want measurable results in our office tenures, then they have to be recognizable within the few years of our tenure. So we reject long-term state-benefit for shorter-term effects.
    ————————-
    No, I was turned off by the idea of YoG from the beginning. When we don’t have within our culture enough people leisure-class and $willing, here or regionally, to attend such events, nor the cultural love for sporting events, to bring such a show into Singapore.
    (yet, we angst about the switching of English football from one payTV to another!)

    As a country, we are obsessed with instant fixes. From computers, to wafer fab semi-conductors, to bio-tech, to digital gaming, we have chased the latest fads in education and economy. And then had to import the talent to work in these industries because we did not have the talent base to supply a workforce to said industries.

    And when we finally produce said talents from our education system, they don’t end up in the industry (for various reasons, including NS obligations). Are we so afraid of economic collapse that we cannot truly afford to invest in longer-term industries that take a generation to see fruition?

    Perhaps instead of just the affective divide, there is also a perception divide between rulers and subjects on ‘tastes’ and ‘likes’. Or maybe just the question of sensible KPIs.

    E.o.M.

  2. 2 Beast 31 July 2010 at 16:31

    YOG? Give me a big LOL please.

    Here at the police station where I am working in, mention YOG and all you get is shaking of heads and sighs of despair and self resignation to their fates. As if handing out the freebies at the Padang are not enough, the NS boys now have to do more work for the YOG.

    As a Singaporean, I shall put this plainly and succinctly: YOG is a massive waste of money. As it is, we can never be a sporting nation. This is not because of size (Denmark has a population which is the same as ours, but watch out for their national football team), it is because our sports associations are being led by political morons who know next to nothing about sports.

    Watch the YOG? Nah. I’d rather watch Mr Bean. At least he makes me laugh.

  3. 4 Mat Alamak 31 July 2010 at 16:53

    I remember in 2008, when the results of the Youth Olympics 2010 bid were about to be announced, there were tens of thousands of people, together with PM Lee and ministers gathered at the Padang, waiting “anxiously” to hear whether SIngapore would beat Moscow as the host for the Games.

    How come the govt then could mobilise so many people? Or was it because it was a one day staged event so not a problem?

    But now to sustain the whole of Singapore interested in the run up to the Games is no “staged” matter. It requires genuine interest, like the World Cup, rather than being staged managed like a one day event.

    Frankly I do not know why Singapore wanted to host the Youth Olympics, which is obviously a 2nd or even lower tiered international sports event.

    Some even speculate that Singapore likes to compete for things international when other countries don’t really want or bother, hence less of a chance of losing out and more to gain from the publicity if won. Just like foreign talents, never mind if it is not the top rate one.

    Or just like getting sports stars from other countries where there is an excess supply of them for export, eg China table tennis players but not other sports stars because they are not available for export.

    • 5 Beast 31 July 2010 at 17:18

      Of course the Singapore govt doesn’t have to “stage” the YOG. All the government needs to do is simply order all government schools as well as NS men to turn up to form a “shadow audience”. Its that easy.

  4. 6 ex PE teacher 31 July 2010 at 19:18

    Remember the so called supporters for N. Korea at the last world cup in S Africa ? It turned out that every single supporter was actually a chinaman and of course, they were paid to watch the games. So we can expect something similar from the PAP wankers, throwing $$$$ to draw the crowd to YOG.
    This could be another reason for the budget hitting $387M

    • 7 Beast 31 July 2010 at 19:43

      My opinion is the Singapore government only needs to pay for the tickets, and then pass it on to the various regulars and NS slaves. For watching these insipid games, they get time off, and sure enough they will do anything to get out of the monotony and dreariness of of national service.

  5. 8 yuen 31 July 2010 at 20:48

    >Catherine Lim, who in the 1990s was rapped by the prime minister for undermining public confidence in the government through her plain speaking

    what got her into trouble with GCT was not the first article about Affective Divide, but the second one suggesting that GCT was not responsible for the hardline actions relating to foreign press, opposition, etc; in other words, GCT was only a figurehead/seatwarmer; she thought she was being helpful to GCT, who thought otherwise

    about YOG – I am sure the government feels an expenditure close to $300M will still be worth it; the benefits are diplomatic – a small country needs friends, and having all these countries’ sports administrators and participants come visiting/getting an impression of Singapore, is one way to acquire more friends

    • 9 yawningbread 1 August 2010 at 00:59

      Thanks for the clarification re Catherine Lim. I stand corrected.

    • 10 Anonymous 3 August 2010 at 02:49

      I agree that it is certainly important Singapore to have more friends.

      It would also be helpful if politicians, speaking as representatives of the country, do not insult our friends too often with ill-considered remarks at high-profile international events.

      It is sad to see the silent hard work of the many undermined by the few. Unless it is a perverse way of keeping people on their toes!

  6. 11 Alan Wong 31 July 2010 at 21:01

    When it comes to public spending, our Govt seems to give me the impression that they have got all their priorities wrong and can be so petty to the dollar. They rather splurge on those unnecessary events like YOG and spending money like nobody’s business whereas when it comes to improving our drainage systems, they tell us in no uncertain terms (even without trying) that no amount of engineering can ever solve the problems of flooding in Singapore .

    To add salt to injury, they can be so petty and vindictive to the extent that they won’t even hesitate to cut the NAC’s arts sponsorship to our local arts group Theatreworks just because some its plays happened to poke fun at our govt authorities. Our govt leaders must really so be thin-skinned that they can’t even take the slightest joke make out of them.

    Now that Ong Keng Seng of Theatreworks has receive international award for his contributions towards the arts scene, I am just wondering whether the NAC will remain spiteful again next year and not restore its funding cut to Theatreworks in view of the recent recognition of the international honour that Ong Keng Seng has brought to Singapore.

    Incidentally our Govt doesn’t seem to have shown any appreciation or recognition of the rare achievements that our true blue Singaporeans like Ong Keng Seng and Hossan Leong have brought to Singapore by earning Japan’s Fukuoka Culture Price and France’s knighthood respectively. On the other hand, they make such a big deal over the Singapore fake honour brought about by our PRC table tennis imports winning over their PRC comrades.

    Frankly if our leaders can’t distiguish between what is fake & true honour or what is useful & wasteful spending, are they really fit to be our leaders ?

  7. 12 Ponder Stibbons 31 July 2010 at 23:08

    I wouldn’t attribute the lack of enthusiasm for the YOG to the affective divide. There are other attempts to mobilize enthusiasm that work better. National Day is an example; a sizable proportion of the population still looks forward to NDP. Most readers of Yawning Bread may be indifferent towards National Day but I’m not so sure most Singaporeans are.

    • 13 yawningbread 1 August 2010 at 01:02

      They don’t care about the significance of National Day. They’re only excited by the show.

      • 14 rojakgirl 2 August 2010 at 05:24

        Then, let us hope that they have taken enough preventive measures for the NDP, against flooding.

        Hopefully, there will be enough sandbags and so on, around the areas/roads that lead to the Padang. And hopefully, the amount of rainfall will not increase on National Day.

    • 15 JC 1 August 2010 at 17:06

      Those I know who look forward to watching NDP on TV do it because it’s great heckling material.

  8. 16 liew kai khiun 31 July 2010 at 23:27

    Two words on the YOG buses summarizes the affective divide that YB has paraphrased from Catherine Lim: “GIVE WAY” (or pay $150 fine)

  9. 17 yuen 31 July 2010 at 23:35

    >lack of enthusiasm for the YOG to the affective divide

    I guess people here are just not into athletics; soccer, car racing, gambling, parade ground show… seem to work better

    in view of the hordes and queues at Shanghai Expo, maybe the government can go for that next time; it wont be much more expensive than YOG

  10. 18 PK 1 August 2010 at 00:23

    I am more disgusted by the Winter Olympics nonsense. Would be more impressed if we continue at the World Cup thing. At least there is interest in football and success can motivate the youths. So what if a Singaporean wins a gold at the Winter Olympics, I am not going to get my children any skates.

    Most probably we will be hiring some PRCs to skate for us at the Winter Games. Crap

  11. 19 yawningbread 1 August 2010 at 00:57

    Here’s another angle for consideration:

    It may well be that bidding to host the Youth Olympics was a strategic mistake. Consider this: how many adults would be interested in paying money to watch kids run around, jump around or swim about? How many parents even show up on school sports days?

    It may not just be Singapore; it may be anywhere: The Youth Olympics will struggle to get a crowd whichever city it is in.

  12. 20 Joshua Kums 1 August 2010 at 07:45

    This government had a golden opportunity during the world cup to sponser it so that all Singaoreans could watch it free. But instead they allowed the greedy telcos to squeeze water out of stone as was seen in the exorbitant prices they charged to allow Singapreans to watch the World Cup.How was it possible for Malaysia and Indonesia to telecast all the world cup matches for free?On hind sight if this government had done this good deed for Singaporeans they would have been able to get some goodwill which would have translated into support for the YOG.But unfortunately today’s government is more reactive then proactive.

    • 21 prettyplace 1 August 2010 at 15:17

      You are right, it should have started from the World Cup, especially after the telco fiasco.

      They should have gone further, involving CDC’s with every job seeker, getting a hourly wage provided they volunteer a few extra hours as well. This wuld have given a better PR among Singaporeans.

      Till today there have been no news about which country is exactly sending how many kids and for what sports.

      With the number of foriegn workers/talents in Singapore.
      I am sure these people would be keen to come and watch their home country succeed or just participate. The feeling will always be there. The Europeans, Aussies & Americans would certainly have a get together.

      This should have been done for the Asians too. Drumming up support would have been easy.

      I was there for a few events of the Asian Youth Games. It was not bad, there were families and parents with kids coming to watch, however not too many tough.

      By the way, schools are assigned a country or 2, to cheer for and assist. They get their tickets, just for that particular country’s participation. Their job will be to go & cheer.
      Certainly it is a chore, no wonder your friend was stressed, worst if she was teaching a graduating class.

      It would have been better, if the school athletes or sports kids get together with the relevant participants to learn a thing or 2 about the sports training and coaching.
      It would have been beneficial for the local kids.

      Long way to go for these guys, in Singapore to learn about sports. Long way.

  13. 22 Andrew Loh 1 August 2010 at 12:00

    Hey Alex,

    The source of the news that 80,000 tickets were bought by MOE is from the Straits Times:

    http://theonlinecitizen.com/2010/07/yog-%E2%80%93-another-farce/

  14. 23 Andrew Loh 1 August 2010 at 12:11

    By the way, in 2008 I wrote to the Ang Mo Kio Town Council to ask how much each billboard cost (this was in reference to the billboards during the National Day period):

    This was the TC’s reply:

    “Dear Mr Andrew Loh

    Thank you for your email.

    The total cost of each billboard is $3,300. Our town council pays for only one billboard per division/SMC and the rest are borne by the respective CCC through their own fund raising. The $100 electricity cost is for one billboard.

    For Ang Mo Kio GRC and Yio Chu Kang SMC, our town council had put up 7 billboards (for the rest, we leave it to the CCCs to install at their own costs) and 1,336 bannerettes.

    Regards,
    Wan Chong Hock
    Chief Executive Officer
    Ang Mo Kio-Yio Chu Kang Town Council”

  15. 24 George 1 August 2010 at 12:38

    The LHL govt is simply not interested in the needs of the people. Not when his father is forever breathing down his neck and making his job tougher with his stupid and self-serving remarks which the MSM must carry or risk being called to his office for a dressing down.

  16. 25 Kelly Tan 1 August 2010 at 17:48

    I think about our kids who have trained hard for this event and feel sad that Singaporeans are not showing much enthusiasm and support for the Games. But at the same time, I am extremely turned off by Vivian Balakrishnan and I am unable to bring myself to be more engaged. Everyone around me is feeling the same.

  17. 26 K Das 1 August 2010 at 18:07

    Some time last year I was standing in a queue at the post office and I happened to recognise a man who was four positions ahead of me. He was Mr Tan Howe Liang, the weight lifter, who won a Silver medal for Singapore in the Rome Olympics in 1960. He was an unknown figure, a none entity to all those who were present there except for me. I stretched my hand to shake his hands and he obliged with a humble smile. I was loud in addressing him by his name and in commenting that his Silver was more valuable than the Golds foreign talents have been winning for Singapore. Soon after, few others around acknowledged and smiled at him. One or two others shook his hands too.

    Appreciation, support and recognition should come from the heart and they cannot be mandated by fiat.

  18. 27 someone 1 August 2010 at 19:55

    I think the whole YOG event’s kind of a plain waste of money, in the sense that yes it might help boost a teeny-weeny bit for commerce when foreigners start coming in during that period, but it’s not going to do much to balance out the overspending of $300+ million and the doubtfully “fast-selling” YOG tickets, with 80000 out of the 100000 tickets bought so far being bought by MOE and passed on to schools which absorb/pass on the cost to the students there. Taxpayers pay for SG to host this event, and paya again to let their children watch it. -_-

    Moreover, its attempts to “hype up” the whole event by those sparse amount of media coverage are plain:/ . I you asked any of my classmates about the YOG they would go “LOL”. Seriously none of them seriously cared about this whole event.

    And what’s with the expensive showcasing of foreign talent to our local population? The main problem of this whole idea of hosting this event is that locals do not really place sports as of much importance in their hearts. They should just spend all of the money on our local talents and to change our apathetic mindsets slowly (and more effectively) rather than going straight “BOOM” and making us wave goodbye to $300 million dollars, without doing much justice to the amount of hype and interest in sports and Olympism it was supposed to provide Singaporeans in exchange for that exuberant sum of money.

    They could have done better IMO.

  19. 28 Tired 1 August 2010 at 21:08

    I am not interested in NDP and YOG and I didn’t bother to take the poll. No energy to be too concerned of any events associated with the ruling party image.

  20. 29 wordcrass 2 August 2010 at 12:23

    on the topic of sports, may we ask mr vivian balakrishnan, whats the latest update of the supposedly sportshub in kallang?

  21. 30 xtrocious 2 August 2010 at 21:30

    The only way to make Singaporeans interested in YOG is probably to allow betting at Singapore Pools…sigh

    Money talks unfortunately and unless it can directly (or indirectly via betting) affect lives, most aren’t bothered…

  22. 31 rojakgirl 3 August 2010 at 08:08

    Now, Yahoo’s kind of covered part of the planned events for the YOG games:

    http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/2010/08/03/sneak-peek-at-yog-opening-ceremony/

    Filling it with 200 tonnes of water? Is that a bit insensitive or what, given the recent floods? Also, isn’t water precious?

  23. 32 ritchie 3 August 2010 at 08:51

    everything they do the majority of us just won’t support. why/ because they just don’t have the pr. always think they are god damned smart and always talking down on us.

  24. 33 shei 4 August 2010 at 11:31

    they can import more FT to support the games.😉

  25. 34 Concerned 7 August 2010 at 13:39

    I am very concerned on the upbringing of Singaporean.. This is once in a lifetime when Singapore can showcase the country, their growth and achievement yet the ‘could not be bothered’ attitude of Singaporean is so disappointing. Maybe get did not realise that it could affect the future of Singapore and their lifes… The economy of Singapore… Felt so sad for the government.. As parent who brought up their kids to be so heartless.

    • 35 Beast 7 August 2010 at 14:13

      What deluded nonsense from our concerned citizen.

      If the government is not willing to give us our liberties, our rights to free speech, affordable means of living, why then should be show empathy to the machinations of this tyrannic and Kim Jung Il style of government?

    • 36 Beast 7 August 2010 at 14:17

      I care about a lot of things, say……abolition of S377A (Contrary to what most people think S377A applies to both straights and gays), the abolition of ISA, the abolition of the death penalty, etc.

      But I am just not interested in that stupid YOG. And oh, lest you forget, if you do not give way to a YOG vehicle……..you can be fined………..

      Sinkieland is indeed a “fine” city. The more the government imposes its values upon us, the more apathy you will get. And that, my dear concerned citizen, is the way it is going to be.

    • 37 KT 7 August 2010 at 16:48

      ‘This is once in a lifetime when Singapore can showcase the country, their growth and achievement.’

      Concerned

      WHY do you want to showcase Singapore, and spend S$387m doing it? Does it bring foreign investments to Singapore? Does it create employment? Does it make Singaporeans happy less unhappy?

      • 38 Concerned 7 August 2010 at 17:57

        Guess you guys are not in the working life… It is all inter-link… You can’t expect to see the result straight away… Do you think people just came to invest in Singapore just like that? Things don’t just happened… Just because it wasn’t shown doesn’t mean nothing is done behind the scene.

  26. 39 Concerned 7 August 2010 at 18:02

    There must always a balance in everything… Am not saying government is always right but you got to appreciate what was done to grow Singapore… Can one say that they are always right in everything he/she does?

    • 40 Beast 7 August 2010 at 19:44

      “….. but you got to appreciate what was done to grow Singapore… Can one say that they are always right in everything he/she does?”

      Ah. Another Sinkie being influenced by Confucianism, the art of being grateful to a parochial state.

      Now here’s the deal: Sinkies vote them in, they work for the votes. In true democracies, gratitude doesn’t come into the equation. If the govt cannot perform, it gets voted out. Simple as that. Being grateful has nothing to do with it.

  27. 41 KT 7 August 2010 at 18:54

    ‘Guess you guys are not in the working life… It is all inter-link… You can’t expect to see the result straight away…Do you think people just came to invest in Singapore just like that?’

    Perhaps I was not clear. I did not mean we should not showcase Singapore. I meant why should we showcase ourselves using the YOG as platform, over two weeks, at a cost of S$387m?

    I guess you are ‘in the working life’ – working and not investing. Otherwise, you would not think spending S$387m is justifiable because there might be some unquantified returns at some unknown point in the future. Present such an investment to profit oriented investors, who could be very long term, and they would laugh in your face.

    • 42 Concerned 7 August 2010 at 21:14

      Please check with coke how much try spend on commercial….. Round the world, please. That will answer your answer

      • 43 Concerned 7 August 2010 at 21:38

        I have few conversation with few foreigners and some don’t even know where Singapore is… Some said it is part of Malaysia. Though we can say that these foreigners are ignorant, but Singapore need to be known before anything can happened… And all the youth are the future generation.

  28. 44 Beast 7 August 2010 at 19:42

    A bunch of deluded nonsense from our North Korean fan. You actually believe that, just because we host a non-consequential YOG, that investors will actually come to our shores like bees to honey?

    Wake up and smell the roses. This isn’t the olympics. This is child’s play. If you think YOG is going to do anything other than blow a big budget hole in the pocket, then you are sorely mistaken.

  29. 45 Concerned 7 August 2010 at 21:12

    Please be creditable opposition politics then…. Rather than whining in the Internet. Contribute to the society rather than be a wet blanket.. Don’t be a greedy person where you want the cake and eat it at the same time. If you think you can do a better job, please step out. Am sure Singapore needs another Mr Chiam.

    • 46 Beast 7 August 2010 at 21:25

      There are many ways of contributing other than being politics.

      Anyway, look who’s talking. You are the one complaining about Sinkies not having enough interest in YOG.

      Besides, in Singapore, running for politics is too much of a minefield. The political field is made and designed by the PAP for the PAP.

    • 47 KT 7 August 2010 at 22:19

      Concerned

      My god, you really have been brainwashed! Every citizen has the right – and duty! – to critique his government whether or not he is an opposition politician. Please stop parroting the PAP’s nonsense!

      As for Coke, what is your point? There is a huge difference between Coke spending on commercials and Singapore spending on the YOG. Coke’s commercials are aimed at targeted consumers. The company does not advertise indiscriminately. The YOG, on the other hand, will be watched by people who are mostly not Singapore’s targeted investors or even investors of any kind. At best, they may spend a few tourist dollars in Singapore. Is splurging S$387m over two weeks the best way to attract them?

    • 49 The Chuister 8 August 2010 at 22:06

      Mr Concerned;

      Good cut & paste reply. When Beast & KT are just airing out their views, and when the argument reaches a stalemate, the usual tactics are;

      1) Complain about them whining on the internet

      2) Tell them to stop whining and join opposition

      3) Contribute to society in other ‘constructive’ ways

      I regurgitate what our farty PAP says: We can fight our wars on many fronts; politics, internet, boycotts etc.
      The internet is just one of the methods. Appearing dormant does not mean we are not taking action. We are just waiting for the right time and place to strike a stake into the enemy’s heart.

  30. 50 Concerned 7 August 2010 at 21:29

    I did not complain… Am concerned. Btw, am not even a Singaporean…

    • 51 Beast 7 August 2010 at 21:55

      Then why bother? Its just a silly event.

    • 52 KT 7 August 2010 at 23:27

      I find it hard to believe that you are not Singaporean. Only Singaporeans would sprout such nonsense about being an opposition politician before speaking up against the government. You reason like a Singaporean. And you write like a Singaporean.

  31. 53 yawningbread 8 August 2010 at 02:20

    Ok, KT, Concerned, Beast… your points are made. I was getting a little worried that emotions were running a bit high. Can we stay civil please?

  32. 54 James 8 August 2010 at 11:41

    Hi YB,

    You have nailed it.

    Also, if you haven’t already, you should check out the following academic article:

    CONSUMING THE NATION:
    NATIONAL DAY PARADES IN SINGAPORE
    http://www.nzasia.org.nz/downloads/NZJAS-Dec01/Leong.pdf

    What’s true for NDP is also true for the YOG.

  33. 55 Beast 8 August 2010 at 12:22

    I thought I was being pretty civil throughout.

  34. 56 Robert L 8 August 2010 at 20:50

    Perhaps I should make a new, fresh point.

    Personally, I find it troublesome to buy a ticket and take the atrocious public transport to jostle with the crowds to watch an event. But that’s just me, I do not assume that others feel the same.

    Nevertheless, I thought of supporting the Olympic torch, which is going its rounds around the heartlands. This is a support within my comfort zone, since it’s within walking distance from my home, and without the need for buying tickets, taking public transport or jostling with the crowds.

    But here’s the rub. Being a constant subscriber of Straits Times for the last 50 years, I do not find anywhere in the newspaper that discloses which roads the torch will pass by and at what time.

    So perhaps this demonstrates an example of the kind of lacking information that made them feel there’s little support from the public.

    I’m sure supporters of the ruling party would be quick to point out that there’s plenty of information in such and such a place, but that would surely be a stupid reply.

  35. 57 pkisme 10 August 2010 at 10:07

    i’m supporting for the young gymnast girls….

    • 58 Newbie 10 August 2010 at 21:32

      “When we don’t have within our culture enough people leisure-class and $willing, here or regionally, to attend such events, nor the cultural love for sporting events, to bring such a show into Singapore.” (KiWeTO)

      One of the factors that have led to this lies within ourselves, something which defines us as uniquely Singaporeans. We comment about the parties accountable or responsible for everything that goes wrong, in a way that is as natural as the rain that falls; pointing out faults from ‘totalitarian’ politics and tax to flooding whenever the chance arises.

      “Perhaps I was not clear. I did not mean we should not showcase Singapore. I meant why should we showcase ourselves using the YOG as platform, over two weeks, at a cost of S$387m?” (KT)

      Nevertheless, I do not feel any pity even after the milk has been spilt ($387m) and we’re going to showcase a ‘lukewarm’ Singapore. Afterall, isn’t that our true colours? Why bother so much about packaging ourselves into something that isn’t us…

      This is a part of us, isn’t it? A short clip representing a semblance of what we are.
      http://kiasusingaporean.com/uniquely-singaporeans/

  36. 59 Sean 24 August 2010 at 08:49

    Singaporeans complain and criticise about the fine for not giving way to YOG vehicles. Isn’t that hypocritical when many Singaporeans do not possess any basic manners in giving way EVEN to emergency vehicles such as ambulances?

    On top of that, you keep seeing drivers hogging onto the overtaking lane. Haven’t they learnt in the driving theory books that the overtaking lane is an OVERTAKING lane.

    Why do Singaporeans need the threat of fine to behave themselves? Just look around and you can see for yourselves. When entering into buildings sometimes you see some of them rushing to squeeze through closing doors and not bother about the people behind them. I’ve come across people who wouldn’t even look at you to acknowledge you or thanking for keeping the door open when they are walking behind you.

    On the MRT, some commuters just barge their way in rushing to look for seats. Some even want to compete with frail senior citizens in getting seats. Or some of them pretend to sleep when they see someone who is in greater need of a seat.

    Sometimes you see Singaporeans eating and drinking on the trains without regard of the people around them. And remember when someone was caught on video picking his nose on the bus and leaving his crap on the handrail of the seat in front of him?

    Sometimes the pampered Singaporeans just whinge and moan too much about everything. They expect everything to be perfect for them, but they themselves sorely lack the manners and courtesy.


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