He is a DJ, a musician, an author and a "rebel".
I first met Chris Ho in the early 90s when I was a guest on his Rediffusion show, but I had admired him for years before then.
So I found this little online spat today between Chris and the local satirical website New Nation amusing and illuminating.
It started when New Nation (not the long defunct local newspaper but more like a local online version of The Onion) ran the fake news story Man dies from hunger after anti-foreigner strike.
Chris shared the story on his Facebook page with the comment:
Man dies for protest against foreigners? Really? Not for OPPOSING our Singapore Govt's design?
What? Singapore Govt is not worth any form of self-immolation?
As with much of what Chris posts on Facebook, he's a bit too cheem for me to really understand what he's saying except that it's usually anti-Government (or anti-Straits Times), but someone pointed out to Chris that the story is "satire".
Chris responded: "That satire cud've been sharpened if it knew where to point the finger better, no?"
He then call it "Poor lame parody".
It's not really clear whether Chris ever thought the story was true, but New Nation took it that Chris fell for the fake story (not unlike how former minister Lim Hwee Hua fell for a fake Onion story last year) and New Nation gloated about it on its website:
Chris Ho gets pwned by New Nation
At New Nation, we’re quite used to people getting pwned, 50% of the time. When a punkee refuses to admit that he cannot tell satire from honest commentary, that’s cool too.
But to call us lame because the satire was pointed at your inner xenophobic self, now that hurts our feelings.
Yah. We also cannot believe that we once thought you were cool.
I’m going to weep over your music now.
To which Chris responded on the New Nation page (note the inevitable reference to ST or Straits Times):
Thank you, thank you. Folks behind NewNation must really like me, really like me. Pity I wasn't raving about the tragedy but the misfiring of the fake-tragedy. Can't wait to get me pawned? Great. Without the ST publicity, I cud sure use some of it!
On second thoughts, did u see "Really?" in my original post? No matter, thanks for the publicity.
Chris also shared the link on his own Facebook page:
Cudn't wait to pawn me, New Nation completely missed my "Really?" in the post! Well, it's one sure way to distract from what I'm saying! New Nation - once Govt, still proudly supporting.
"We also cannot believe that we once thought you were cool.I’m going to weep over your music now." - it ended saying about me. Ouch-y.
Great, you thot my music is suppose to make you jubilant like Count On Me, Singapore?
Please weep more! Needless to say about scowling too.
He also commented:
Forgiving them is easy if they r nothing but a lap dog. But when they are on a mission to destroy my credibility, that's something else. It's called vicious. Me, am always on logic, albeit unspoken logic in Singapore.
The "Editor" of New Nation responded:
Hi Chris, rest assured your attempt at calling us pro-establishment was not missed. But your kind suggestion that it is funnier if we mocked the government instead of ultra-nationalists also shows that you sir, have been pwned.
We're also deeply surprised that you should thank us for the publicity. We're just the third worst news site in Singapore and if I may humbly admit, we picked on you because your name has more social cache than ours among our largely hipster audience.
Please don't be offended that we're riding on your fame. Here, have a cat picture.
To which Chris responded on his Facebook page:
Oh dear, the editor was hurt cos of the comment I made about a lame satire! I wouldn't have guessed. The comment was made in response to someone's comment before and I shuda said - "Poor lame parody then". If I get hurt just cos someone calls me lame, I'd be broke by now.
Anyway, I told New Nation that it shudn't be hurt, I was only hijacking its 'satire' to cast my satire about the system. I cudn't have had a lift-off without it! And I'm not trying to be condescending. But making enemies of us is certainly our White Paper master's wish. One I'd hate to fulfill. So, I'm glad we're riding on each other's infamy for a wayang showdown on Facebook THEN. Aren't we louder than Straits Times with it? Let's recognize the common one-up neme!
I refuse to fall into the system's divide-&-conquer trap. I love New Nation! I surrender to win... over White Paper master, who's always never short of - inspiring!
Chris' last words on the matter (as of this writing):
I also learned fr my screen goddess Gong Li. Dostoyevsky alone may not help in emotionless Singapore
Wah, cheem ah.