Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Mas Selamat breaks our winning streak
Well, we had a good run. But every winning streak has to end eventually.
We won the bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympics, beating out no less than the default villain in all those old James Bond movies – the Russians.
We won the right to stage the first ever Formula One race at night (you know, to avoid ERP charges).
We won the second Asian edition of The Amazing Race with a guy who sounds like Marlee Matlin speaking Singlish.
Heck, we even won the first and likely only Asian Idol, thanks to pretty boy Hady Mirza and a quirky voting system.
But – and oh, what a big "but" (and I'm not referring to J Lo) – we lost a terrorist with a bum leg.
I guess nobody's perfect.
Even the American football team, the New England Patriots, were only 'perfect' – winning 18 straight games – until the Super Bowl when they were stomped by the New York Giants.
Even the No 1 tennis player in the world, Roger Federer, lost the Australian Open to a guy whose name I've given up trying to remember.
Even I have been known to misspell a word on occation.
But it's good to lose now and then. It keeps us humble. It's like that old Avis line: We're not No 1, so we try harder.
So we let Mas Selamat Kastari escape using the old "I need to go to the toilet" line. Doesn't anyone guarding the Whitley Road Detention Centre watch movies?
OK, we just have to suck it up and move on. Admit our mistakes and learn from them.
But have we?
When we were told the fugitive had a limp, I felt sorry for every Malay adult male in Singapore who stubbed his toe that day.
And then we were told he limps only when he is walking fast. I felt sorry for every Malay adult male in Singapore who stubbed his toe and tried not to walk fast that day.
What is so diabolical is that Mas Selamat's face is so commonplace. Why can't he have some evil-looking scar or an eye-patch or something? (Because he's not a pirate, that's why!)
I can think of at least three Malay acquaintances who vaguely resemble the Singapore's most wanted man. If not for their non-limp...
And that is why I would be reluctant to call the police if I think I have spotted Mas Selamat.
For one thing, I would most likely be wrong. On top of that, since I'm not Malay, I would be wrong in a manner that might make me appear racist.
And I'd rather not appear racist when I can help it.
But what if my fear of being political incorrect allows a terrorist to escape?
Chances are the guy I spotted isn't Mas Selamat anyway. Just some unfortunate Malay adult male who happened to stubbed his toe and walked really fast on the wrong day.
Like I said, nobody's perfect.
- Published in The New Paper, 12 March 2008
TRENDING POSTS OF THE WEEK
Zoe Tay said she was “just sexy”, and that men love her and women hate her. I can’t speak for women, but as a man, I don’t exactly love...
Let me first say, I love my country. And I dislike the new National Day song, Because It’s Singapore, because it’s not Home — like any t...
It’s like 1996 all over again. Only instead of the Macarena , we’re dancing Gangnam Style . Instead of watching the White House get bl...
For the first time, I limped to the start line. It was The Performance Series Race at Punggol East-Coney Island this morning. I had been...
Two years ago, when celebrity radio deejay Glenn Ong revealed that he was dating fellow MediaCorp deejay Jean Danker after splitting fro...
I first met Darryl David at Gurmit Singh's wedding dinner in 1995. David's date was a woman named Lynette Pang , who was a stag...
Last month, my wife posed for pictures with a topless male model at the entrance of Abercrombie & Fitch on Orchard Road. Because he pu...
It started with this Cyberpioneer Facebook post: What does Military Expert (ME) 1 Clarie Teo enjoy, when she is not busy keeping ship eng...
Okay, I surrender. I admit it. I was wrong. In April last year, I wrote a column called “ So is Joanne Peh really going out with Qi Yuwu? ...
Halimah Yacob did not delete info about Indian descent on Wikipedia page because it's still there unless it has been deleted againOn Wednesday, The Independent Singapore speculated: Did Halimah Yacob delete info about Indian descent from Wikipedia page ? The short ...