Sunday 26 June 2011

Kate, Jamie, Jean: Will Glenn Ong run out of colleagues to marry?

Two years ago, when celebrity radio deejay Glenn Ong revealed that he was dating fellow MediaCorp deejay Jean Danker after splitting from another deejay Jamie Yeo, I declared Ong the Brad Pitt of Singapore.

The most common reaction I got, especially from women, was “Eeeeee!”

I had to explain that of course, I wasn’t suggesting that Ong looked anything like Hollywood movie star Pitt, a two-time Sexiest Man Alive and Angelina Jolie’s housemate.

I was merely comparing Ong’s three high-profile relationships with deejays Danker, Yeo and Kate Reyes with Pitt’s three high-profile relationships with actresses Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow.

At the end of my explanation, the most common reaction I got, especially from women, was another “Eeeeee!”

So I wasn’t surprised that when Ong’s engagement to Danker was announced last week, someone tweeted: “Why is it that when I heard Glenn Ong proposed to Jean Danker I went ‘eeeee’ instead of ‘awwww’?”

Maybe it's because Ong has been divorced enough times to start his own Obedient Ex-wives Club.

It’s like the man is addicted. As someone else put it on Twitter: “Glenn Ong needs to go to wife rehab.”

In an interview with The New Paper on Tuesday, Ong said he struggled to kick the habit. “Deep down, I wanted to get married, but I also resisted it...I was stressing myself out over this for the past year.”

But like most addicts, Ong managed to convince himself that this time will be the last. He said of Danker: “I really, really feel she’s the one.”

Flashback to Nov 1 2004, one month before his second wedding, this was what Ong said about his future second ex-wife, Jaime Yeo, in The New Paper: “Our love seems to be growing, every day is exciting, and I know she's the one.”

Sound familiar?

How many “the ones” are there?

And why do they all have to be fellow MediaCorp deejays?

As another person tweeted: “I think at some point Glenn Ong's gonna run out of colleagues to marry.”

Also on Twitter: “Glenn Ong & Jean Danker to marry next year. Pundits wondering who else in #mediacorp he can date if it fails again.”

On the contrary, as a pundit, I know exactly who else at MediaCorp he can date after Danker, thanks to a reader who used to work with Ong (but didn’t date him, I think, since the reader is a guy) and wrote to me after reading my “Glenn Ong is our Brad Pitt” column in The New Paper.

On Ong dating Danker, the reader wrote: “We think it may be a fantasy going back to his Perfect 10 days when he worked with Kate, Jamie, Jean, and Georgina Chang.

“If he's after ‘The Full Set’, somebody better tell Georgina she’s next!”

Georgina Chang is a senior creative director at MediaCorp – and a former radio deejay. She also used to be a sports columnist for The New Paper and is divorced from Darryl David. She’s hot.

I'm not sure whether Chang should feel flattered or be very, very afraid.

In last week’s interview with The New Paper, Ong admitted that people might say “I’m on the road to becoming Singapore’s Elizabeth Taylor.”

Taylor, who died in March, was married eight times!

(Although to be Taylor, Ong also has to marry the same person twice and one spouse has to die in a horrific plane crash.)

So I was wrong. Who knew that when I called Ong Singapore’s Brad Pitt, I was actually selling him short?

One of Taylor’s most famous movie roles was Cleopatra, queen of the Nile, whereas Ong may be the king of denial when it comes to his addiction.

Friends don’t let friends marry eight times. Ong is almost three-eighth way there.

Someone should do an intervention and save him from himself – and also Danker from becoming the next member of his Obedient Ex-wives Club.

Does anybody have Georgina Chang’s number?

- Published in The New Paper, 26 June 2011


Glenn Ong and Jean Danker's wedding on hold

Glenn Ong's first wife Kate Reyes died in November 2014

Why I'm afraid to bump into Glenn Ong

Still a jerk? Glenn Ong versus Nicholas Lee (and VR Man)

DJs Glenn Ong and Jean Danker to wed in December 2016

Please invite me to your wedding, Glenn Ong (I missed your first two)

Sunday 19 June 2011

Obedient Wives Club – the perfect Father's Day present?

I know all of you have been waiting for my announcement, so here it is.

I'm not running in the presidential election.

Now that we got that out of the way, we can discuss the real important news - the Obedient Wives Club.

Naturally, some women are already demanding an Obedient Husbands Club.

I believe it already exists, although it's better known as the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware).

Wasn't it just four months ago when Aware called for mandatory paternity leave to force husbands to stay home and help look after the baby? (Oh, by the way, happy Father's Day.)

Aware claimed that it would help reverse Singapore's declining birthrate. It said: "When women have to bear the bulk of childcare responsibilities, they are less inclined to have children."

Oh, really?

Last week, The Straits Times reported that new research has revealed another possible reason more Singapore women don't want to become baby-making machines.

It's because they're more materialistic!

The research showed that when they value material success, they are less likely to view procreation "favourably". Having kids is considered a drain on their time and resources.

Ha! So it has nothing to do with the lack of paternity leave! Take that, Aware!

The same research also showed that Singapore women tend to choose their spouse based on his social position while men choose based on looks.

Well, duh! (It's like conducting a study to find out if Singapore buses and MRT trains are really crowded during rush hour.)

In light of this irrefutable empirical evidence, it doesn't seem so outrageous for the Obedient Wives Club to equate wives with prostitutes now, does it?

Although such a "club" may seem like the perfect Father's Day gift, being a dad myself, I'd prefer a Blu-Ray player with built-in wifi. (Hey, I can be materialistic too.)

On the other hand, my mother would love an Obedient Daughters-In-Law Club.

My wife discovered this only on our wedding day when it was too late for her to back out.

As my wife recounted recently on her blog: "On the day, after leaving the Registry of Marriage, I entered me hubs' home and his mum performed some kind of ritual."

Don't ask me what "ritual" my wife was talking about. Apparently, marrying into my family is like joining a cult.

My wife continued: "Then she put a long gold chain over my neck. While doing so, she whispered in my ear, 'You must obey me! You must obey me!'

"I was speechless."

It appears that chain was meant as some sort of golden leash. Surprisingly, my wife still wears it.

A tip for future mothers-in-law: Telling your son's new wife to obey you is probably the least effective way of getting her to obey you.

Currently, as it has been since that fateful day 16 years ago, the woman who gave me life is barely on speaking terms with the woman I'm sharing that life with.

And guys, based on bitter personal experience, I can also tell you that saying "You must obey me" to your wife doesn't work either.

Torn between two women, your mother and your wife?

Join the club.

- Published in The New Paper, 19 June 2011

Thursday 16 June 2011

Two unfortunate juxtapositions of headline and photo on same day in different papers

From Today, 15 June 2011: Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong with some young people above the headline 'Man fined for filming teenager in toilet'

From The Straits Times, 15 June 2011: Minister K. Shanmugam, a sword and a stabbing - get the point?

Sunday 12 June 2011

I know how to prevent floods from happening again

After last Sunday’s Orchard Road flood, the Orchard Road Business Association’s executive director Steven Goh said: “It’s kind of like an anniversary for us. It happened last year on June 16, almost the same time.”

Happy anniversary!

I don’t think I’ll be invited to the anniversary party though. I have nothing to wear anyway.

Longtime readers of this column may recall that I wrote about how I might have caused the flooding of Wendy’s at Orchard Road a year ago.

I had put a curse on the restaurant in the 80s after I was annoyed by a Wendy's manager at the Far East Plaza outlet who told me to take my feet off a chair.

The US-based fast food chain soon left the Singapore market and returned to our shores only in 2009.

Wendy's new Liat Towers outlet was open for only a couple of days last June when it was pretty much destroyed by the flood.

I figured my three-decade-old curse was still working. So stop blaming PUB. It was dealing with forces far greater than it could ever comprehend.

But I’m not taking the fall for the latest flood.

This time, it’s clearly Joanne Peh’s fault.

On May 30, the actress complained on Twitter about bad service at Nando’s restaurant in Tanglin Mall.

From her tweets to God’s ears. Talk about the power of social media.

Apparently, the negative publicity wasn’t punishment enough for the restaurant because six days later, Tanglin Mall was hit by the flood, shutting down the shopping centre.


Peh’s problems with Nando’s started because she wanted some hot water. Thanks to the flood, Tanglin Mall had more water than it knew what to do with.

Another coincidence?

More like poetic justice. So who's clapping now, Nando’s? Repent! Karma can be a female dog.

But Peh was angry only with the restaurant, you say. Why take it out on the whole mall?

I have two words for you: collateral damage.

Of course, Peh denied any responsibility.

She tweeted: “I do not wish for natural disaster to befall anyone. I just wish for effective communication n good knowledge of product & price.”

And yet another coincidence!

Before blowing out my birthday candles next week, I plan to wish for world peace, effective communication, and good knowledge of product and price.

Then someone else tweeted: “@NandoSingapore is flooded. @JoannePeh rejoices.”

Peh replied with another tweet: “How can we rejoice at other ppl’s misfortune? It is unfair & mean. Does not rectify internal problems.”

I totally agree. That’s why I, too, didn’t rejoice when Wendy’s was flooded last year. (Wink, wink.)

So what can be done to prevent such “misfortune” from happening again?

Forget about flood alerts, widening drains, raising roads, retention ponds, diversion canals and all that “very, very expensive” stuff.

Restaurants should just be nicer to customers who ask for hot water and put their feet up on the chairs.

Or else.

If the threat of flood and millions of dollars in property damage and lost business doesn’t raise Singapore’s service standards, nothing will.

Call Noah and tell him to get the ark ready - just in case.

- Published in The New Paper, 12 June 2011

23 DEC 2011 UPDATE: Orchard Road hit by flood again!

Sunday 5 June 2011

Joanne Peh demonstrates true power of social media

I just had a watershed moment.

I realised that whenever the watershed Singapore general election of 2011 is mentioned, it must be referred to as a “watershed election”.

Otherwise, the watershed police will come and arrest you, and possibly put you in a watershed.

So what made the watershed election such a watershed event?

For one thing, it was the first election where Twitface (also known as Twitter and Facebook) played a major role.

Social media’s impact was so great that the influence of the Internet can still be felt weeks after the watershed election.

Last month, Member of Parliament (MP) Lim Wee Kiak withdrew and apologised for remarks he made about ministers’ salaries after much criticism online.

Another MP, Major-General Chan Chun Sing, refuted online speculation that he’s related to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

By responding to online comments, public officials are acknowledging and thus, ratifying and bolstering the power of the Internet to affect public agenda.

This wouldn’t have happened before the watershed election.

But as it turns out, all this political stuff was mere build-up to the ultimate display of social media’s awesome might last week.

Actress Joanne Peh tweeted about an unpleasant restaurant experience and it was national news!

In her own less-than-140-character words, she threatened to never return to Nando’s restaurant “unless their corporate comms step forward and clean this up".

That’s right, the whole history of the Internet - the invention of the World Wide Web, data plans and Twitface - was to make it possible for an over-entitled TV star to get an apology for bad service, which she did.

If only you and I were so privileged.

Peh’s main grouse was that the restaurant staff members had clapped when she walked out. Perhaps they thought the actress was researching a new role as an annoying customer and were applauding her convincing performance.

At least she got their attention. When I go to a restaurant, I practically have to remove my top and wave it like a flag just to get the bill.

If I were to tweet about bad service, I doubt any restaurant would respond. My wife would just tell me to stop taking off my shirt in public because she’s my only Twitter follower.

But then I didn’t win a best actress award for my role in The Little Nyonya and I’m not dating a hunky Caucasian, partly because my wife won’t let me.

But I may just go to Nando’s at Tanglin Mall and ask for hot water.

Now that would be a watershed moment.

- Published in The New Paper, 5 June 2011

UPDATE: Six days after the storm in a tea cup over Joanne Peh's request for hot water at Tanglin Mall's Nando restaurant, Tanglin Mall is flooded during an actual storm. From her tweets to God's ears. Talk about the power of social media. Another watershed moment!