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!