Category Archives: Bouquets and Brickbats

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Beautiful

Tongue-in-cheek Ad

The most literal imagery I have ever come across. Btw: details below for those who wish to support this cause.

Cat Welfare Society (CWS) teams up with Strip – Ministry of Waxing and MimiPong for a cheeky fundraising affair for the welfare of community cats all over Singapore!

This is the first wave of the tongue-in-cheek “What’s New Pussycat?” campaign conceptualised by Strip – Ministry of Waxing’s marketing team… and we certainly hope that with the increased awareness lured by the eye-catching image – more people can learn about CWS and what we do, as well as raise some funds!


Enjoy your Coffee!

I’m enjoying every single page of this book I’m reading, “The 5 Minute Miracle”, by Dr Ed Delph, and so I’d like to share this chapter with you:

I am a coffee lover. The stronger  the better, especially in the morning. Recently, I was in downtown Seattle, standing in front of the original Starbucks at Pike Place Farmer’s Market. Now that’s good duty! Being a coffee lover I couldn’t help but notice this story that came through the Internet.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit one of their university professors. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. After offering his guests refreshments, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups. Some were porcelain, others were plastic, glass and crystal. Some were plain, others were expensive and quite exquisite. He told his guests to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, he said, “If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were chosen first, leaving the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, the name-brand and exquisite cups just makes things more expensive and in some cases, even hide what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup. Yet, you all consciously went for the best cups. Then you even began eyeing each other’s cups.

“Now consider this. Life is the coffee – jobs, money, position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The type of cup we have does not define or change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided for us.”

That’s a good lesson for us all. We have all played the comparison game. We have to have a better cup than someone else. We try to outdo others and become undone in the process. Sometimes when you try to possess the best cups, the best cups end up possessing you. Why not just enjoy who we are, who they are, and enjoy the coffee of life.

Sometimes people are like cups, they don’t look or act like the fancy cups you prefer, but if you enjoy the coffee in the cup, life gets better!

It’s what is inside the cup that counts to God.

God brews the coffee, not the cups. So, enjoy your coffe – you’re a special blend!

Peace starts with a smile – and good cup of coffee. Make mine strong and dark. I’ll be glad to take it in a paper cup!

SMS phone scam: Vent your frus thru newspaper

Do look at my original post which generated 32 comments sharing similiar experiences and individuals who took the effort to make police reports and report it to CASE (Consumer’s Association of Singapore) and the subsequent post.

Apparently a journalist with a newspaper is writing a story about it.

Anyone with who wants to share their woes should contact her. She left a message in my blog as follows:

Hi there, I’m a journalist with SPH mypaper, and I’m actually doing a story on this hp scam. Hopefully you can get back to me and share abit more on your story? You can email me, or call me at 6319 5257. Thanks alot! If you have any friends who had the same experience and wish to share with me their thoughts as well, feel free to ask them to contact me. =)


Best way to increase prices

I found out the best way to answer to your customers when they complain about price increase at your food stall. Paste a newspaper article right below the new prices.

Blame it on the economy, inflation, and everything else.

All grouses will be nipped in the bud.

‘Nuff said.

Singaporean Comic book

Drop by and check out Troy Chin’s autobiographical story about him being a Resident Tourist in Singapore after a spell working as a music exec in NY.

It’s pretty darn good.

Probably strikes a chord with Gen-Y like me who grew up in the 80s, and feel displaced in the greater stratosphere.

Mr BrownShow: Coffeeshop talk (5/5 stars)

Click to listen to some funny parodies about conspiracy theories and, speedy clearance and fare games

…and one borderline heretic “bread and butter sermon

Chio Gao Peng (laugh until cannot stand).

I tell you, I was a fan of Mr Brown ever since his earliest days of blogging. I think he was one of the earliest pioneers of this social phenomenon.

His National Education series was quite a hoot.

And then it was his famous impersonation of the Richard Gere visa ad, what with the local mix of colourful hokkien vocabulary.

And then the Mee Siam Mai Hum rap.

I tell you, Mr Brown and his buddy Mr Miyagi ought to have their own TV talk show (perhaps Singapore’s answer to David Letterman?)

Overcoming doubts and stepping forth

The Straits Times recently ran the following excerpt of Catherine Lim’s speech given in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Studies, on 2 July. I always find wit, humour and logic in Catherine’s exhortations. Click on this link to see the video.

By Catherine Lim

Whatever strategies of communication I may use as a political commentator – directly through exposition, or indirectly through humour, iron and satire – I would like to continue to share my views with fellow Singaporeans.

There is one special group I’m interested in – those who follow political developments keenly and are now wondering whether they should move from being passive observers to active participants in public discussion and debate.

For them I have an urgent message: If you have the following reservations, you can overcome them, as I have:

Firstly, you feel bad about criticising a government that has done so much good for the people. The People’s Action Party (PAP) Government’s achievements have been so spectacular, surely whatever shortcomings it has can be overlooked?

But if you sincerely, strongly feel that the shortcoming is more than minor – that it is, in fact, a real defect of leadership style that could have serious repercussions for society in the long term – then you must speak up.

If giving credit where credit is due is a good thing, then giving criticism where criticism is due is better, for it entails greater effort, even courage.

There is a time and a place for praise and blame, trust and doubt, appreciation and anger. They need not exclude each other; indeed, together they make for a more balanced, integrated view.

I am probably the most seasoned critic in Singapore. But I have repeatedly expressed my profound appreciation for the safety, security, and material well-being of Singapore. Perhaps the most glowing tribute ever received by the PAP Government came from me four years ago at the time of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

I was so impressed by the Singapore Government’s rendering of help to beleaguered Indonesians – help that was noted not only for its generosity but also its quiet tact, calm resolution and warm empathy – that I wrote an enthusiastic article about it that was published in Today.

Secondly, you feel that since you are not interested in going into politics, since you don’t have the makings of a politician, you aren’t qualified to be a political critic. Wrong.

Political life is not for everybody. As long as you are a concerned Singaporean with worthwhile ideas, as long as you are motivated by conviction and good intentions, you can make a valuable contribution to the raising of political awareness and the enlarging of political debate, so sorely needed in Singapore.

I have been challenged, as well as invited, many times to get into the political arena, but my answer has always been no. For I am aware of my limitations, pretty serious ones at that.

For one thing, my personality and temperament make me quite unfit for the demands of political life. Being overly individualistic and solitary, not to mention opinionated and stubborn, I would find it very hard to submit to party discipline and consensus.

I’m sure if I joined any party, I would be booted out within a month. I can claim only two abilities – being able to speak and write. But that’s okay, as I can make reasonable use of them in my role as political commentator.

Thirdly, you fear that as a political critic, you will bring upon yourself the wrath of a powerful and implacable government, perhaps even strong punitive action. Wrong again.

I believe that much of the fear we Singaporeans experience is unnecessary and self-inflicted – which, of course, suits the PAP fine, since it makes its work of control that much easier.

I also believe that even a criticism-averse government must respect, even if grudgingly, criticism that is informed, measured, reasoned and principled, born out of conviction and a genuine concern for the well-being of the society.

At the most, the government might react to your criticism with a sharp rebuke; at the least, it might simply ignore you, as it has been ignoring me for years.

When my first political commentaries appeared in The Straits Times more than 10 years ago, there was initially an uproar, and the government was clearly angry. In fact, there were all kinds of rumours, some downright ridiculous, about how the government was out to get me. But as you can see, I’m still happily around.

You will notice that my operative words are honesty, sincerity, conviction and good intentions. Ultimately, these are the most important qualities to bring to any relationship in any sphere – political, business or professional, in the public or private domain.

So my rallying cry to Singaporeans is this: Think through, speak out, stand up and try not to be too afraid.

The writer is a novelist. The above is an excerpt from a speech she delivered at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy last week.