Sunday 26 May 2013

3 more things about Singapore that will shock Vin Diesel

US$154,000 (S$195,000) for a Toyota Prius?

Based on Vin Diesel’s reaction in a RazorTV video, that is apparently more shocking than finding out that Michelle Rodriguez’s character is still alive in Fast & Furious 6.

This is not a spoiler since Rodriguez is also in the same video promoting the movie and I think that pretty much gives it away that her character didn’t die in the fourth movie of the series like we were led to believe.

So it’s not like I’m revealing that Benedict Cumberbatch is really Khan in the new Star Trek movie or anything like that.

Rodriguez’s character supposedly died in Avatar too. And on the island in Lost. Now I’m not so sure.

Anyway, in the RazorTV video, cast members of Fast & Furious 6 were quizzed by a Straits Times journalist on the prices of cars in Singapore.

Rodriguez was asked to guess the price of a 1.6-litre Nissan Sylphy sedan. She said US40,000.

When the US actress was told that a Nissan Sylphy costs US$90,000 in Singapore, her jaw literally dropped.

Wait. Does she even know what a Nissan Sylphy is? Just because she’s in a movie franchise about cars doesn’t mean she has heard of the Sylphy.

This is especially since in America, there’s no such thing as a Nissan Sylphy. Over there, the Nissan Sylphy is marketed as the Nissan Sentra. Same car, different name.

In the back of her mind, Rodriguez was probably wondering whether the Sylphy is a car for lesbians since “Sylphy” sounds a little like “sapphic”.

In which case, 40 grand sound about right for a lesbian car. I have to check

Rodriguez may be a better actress than we thought.

But of the four Fast & Furious 6 actors in the video (the other two are Gina Carano and Luke Evans), Diesel was the most animated and entertaining in his shocked reaction to the high car prices.

Here are three other uniquely Singaporean things I would love to see his reaction to:


In this YouTube video by PUB, someone in a giant water droplet costume shows up and people start having epileptic seizures.

This Water Wally character is a greater menace to public health than the dengue mosquito.

No wonder Singa quit.

Have the Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency been alerted?

I imagine if Vin Diesel is shown the video, he would ask: “Why am I looking at a naked boy showering? What kind of sick kiddie porn is this? Which reminds me, I need to call my agent about that sequel to The Pacifier.”


Maybe Mr Kurt Tay was inspired by Angelina Jolie. Not the part where the actress had her breasts removed, but the part where she replaced her breasts with implants.

Mr Tay went to Bangkok to get his 385cc silicone breast implants, making him a C cup.

Not that he was wearing a bra of any size when I saw him in The New Paper office last week. I wonder, if he goes swimming, would he wear trunks or would he need a bikini?

Mr Tay, 27, told TNP that he had his boobs done because he is vain. He intends to return to Thailand in a year and increase his bust size to a G cup.

He’s straight and hopes to get a Vietnamese wife.

You almost wish he were an intern so that someone could slap some sense into him.

Diesel’s likely reaction: “I’m nauseated, yet turned on at the same time. I haven’t been this confused since I saw Babylon A.D. – and I was in it!”


In the RazorTV video, Diesel couldn’t believe it when he was told the price of a Toyota Prius here.

The US actor said: “US$154,000 for a Prius? Let me ask you a question. Is the moral of the story ‘Don’t buy cars in Singapore’?

He would be even more shocked to learn that even with the crazy high prices, there are still so many cars in Singapore that we need to have the Electronic Road Pricing system to manage road congestion, which makes it even more expensive to own a car.

So the real “moral of the story” is Singaporeans are either too rich or too dumb to realise that this is way too much to pay for a car.

But what is truly shocking to me is that at the end of the video, the ST journalist told Diesel: “You would make a great Singapore citizen. You should move to Singapore.”

Whoa, not so fast there, buddy, or you’re going to make a lot of people furious.

Singaporeans are already protesting the projected 6.9 million population figure and Diesel is such a big star (1.83m, 102kg), he could be counted as two people.

I wouldn’t mind having Michelle Rodriguez as a neighbour though.

- Published in The New Paper, 26 May 2013

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Bandages? I don't knee'd no stinkin' bandages

I used to be an adventurer like you, then I fell while carrying groceries home from the supermarket.

25 April - 8 May

12 May - 20 May

Sunday 19 May 2013

10 things I love about being a Singapore citizen (and not a PR)

I became a Singapore citizen 47 years ago when I was born, and to celebrate, I thought I would recount the top 10 things I love about being a Singapore citizen.

1. Protesting at Hong Lim Park

As a citizen of Singapore, I can participate in protests at Hong Lim Park, like the one on May 1, which was not anti-foreigner but foreigners weren’t allowed to take part.

I can also organise my own protest, like my long threatened demonstration against the garlic chilli sauce at McDonald’s.

If I were a mere Singapore permanent resident (PR), I would need to obtain a police permit, which would be too much hassle. I would then have to return to my own country where hopefully, the McDonald’s has non-garlic chilli sauce.

But since I’m a citizen, I also want to protest the resignation of Singa as the national courtesy campaign mascot.

“From the desk of Singa”? Since when does a fictional cartoon lion need a desk?

And its own stationery?

And why is he already not smiling on the stationery? Did he create the stationary just for the resignation letter? That is kind of wasteful. I hope taxpayers are not paying for this.

I heard Singa just announced that he has removed his breasts because he needs more publicity.

2. National service (NS)

If not for NS, I would not have received my $100 worth of Safra vouchers (which I’ve already spent) and one-year free Safra membership (which I’ll never use) to commemorate the 45th anniversary of NS.

NS is so wonderful that at a recent Our Singapore Conversation session organised by the People’s Association, one of the top ideas for forging a stronger national identity was giving women the option to serve NS.

I think women just want the Safra vouchers too.

3. Not looking like one

I would be strolling in a Singapore shopping centre and a sales promoter would stop me and ask which country I was from.

I would say Singapore and the promoter would be surprised because she thought I was a Japanese tourist.

This has happened several times. Apparently, I don’t look Singaporean. Like the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, I’m not who I appear to be. I’m thrilled to be my own built-in movie twist.

4. Central Provident Fund (CPF)

According to the recent article “10 things I love about being a Singaporean PR” by Mr Chris Reed: “CPF is an amazing and ingenious invention, one that every country in the world should follow.

“It has effectively created property millionaires across the island of people who could never be a millionaire in any other country simply by that old-fashioned way, saving.”

This helps to explain the oft-quoted 2008 statement by National Trades Union Congress Secretary-General Lim Swee Say: “Every month, when I receive my CPF statement, I feel so rich.”

I felt rich when I received my Safra vouchers.

5. I can say the Pledge

You can’t say “We, the citizens of Singapore” if you’re a permanent resident. That would be lying.

6. Pink identity card (IC)

Unlike Singapore PRs whose ICs are blue, citizens have ICs that are pink, which is a combination of red and white, the colours of the Singapore flag.

The feminine colour is probably also a compensation to women for not allowing them to serve NS.

I love my pink IC, which was issued 20 years ago, even though it has a feminine colour and is now held together by Scotch tape. I refuse to replace it as it has a picture of me 20 years ago when I was still young and beautiful.

Also, a replacement costs 60 bucks, which I can’t use my Safra vouchers or CPF to pay. MP Baey Yam Keng knows what I’m talking about.

7. Ask my friend

To be honest, at this point, I was running out of things I love about being a Singapore citizen.

So I turned to a former secondary school classmate, a Malaysian who eventually became a Singapore citizen after decades of being a PR.

He said: “I grew up in Singapore since five years old. Had all my education, friends here.

“The Government is good (really, especially compared to Malaysia). My family is here. My son was born here.

“Singapore has a much superior education system. Safer environment.

“No matter if my son is PR or citizen, he will need to serve NS. My only regret is I didn’t take up citizenship earlier but procrastinated.”

Yeah, if he hadn’t procrastinated, he might have enjoyed NS like the rest of us did. No Safra vouchers for him.

8. Cheaper education

I pressed my friend further and he said school fees are much lower for citizens than for PRs. I knew it! He became a Singapore citizen for the money.

9. It’s better than being a Malaysian citizen

I’m kidding! Malaysia is a wonderful country. Jack Neo has made several movies there because it’s cheaper.

I hope to one day visit Malaysia, participate in a protest at a popular tourist attraction despite a police warning not to do so and have my visitor’s pass revoked after getting arrested.

10. It’s all I got

And finally, the thing I love most about being a citizen of Singapore? No other country would have me.

I really must find some use for the free Safra membership before it expires.

- Published in The New Paper, 19 May 2013

Hi SM,

I always enjoy your humorous articles on Sunday mornings. I am also impressed how you gel all the current daily happenings into the page - all connected somehow...

Keep on writing!

Ham Meng.


i read your article about the 10 things....singapore. to be brutally honest, its very badly and poorly written. im not singaporean myself nor a writer but your reasons were too flat flimsy and unintelligent. just giving my thoughts and comments as a readers perspective.

jowenson sy

Sunday 12 May 2013

Mother’s Day from a father’s perspective

On May 1, I asked my 16-year-old son if he knew what May Day was about.

He said mothers.

At first, I thought he was confusing May Day with Mother’s Day (which is today) because they are in the same month and they both start with the letter M (yes, my son can be that dumb).

He then explained that May Day is when we commemorate the labour pains that our mums went through when they gave birth to us and that’s why the holiday is also called Labour Day.

His mother must be so proud.

I couldn’t tell whether my son was being serious or sarcastic. It worries me that he almost sort of makes sense.

So the protesters at Hong Lim Park on May Day were standing up for... mums?

Talk about a motherhood statement.

Speaking of which, how come it’s not called fatherhood statement?

A “motherhood statement” is how you describe a broad non-controversial statement like “Mothers are the best!” and not, say, “Gang rape is democracy in action”.

I think it’s safe to say that mothers enjoy a somewhat more exalted place in our culture than fathers, even though we dads also have Father’s Day a month from now.

Do I sound a little jealous of mums? Perhaps.

One privilege my wife enjoys as a mother which I covet is that she can guilt-trip our two children into doing things by simply saying: “I gave you life!”

When I use the same line on the kids, I’m dismissed as a copycat trying to claim credit where it isn’t due. Does my sperm count for nothing?

Last week, a report ranked Singapore as the best place in Asia to be a mother.

Mothers also get songs about how wonderful they are, like Dear Mama by 2Pac, A Song For Mama by Boyz II Men, Mama by the Spice Girls, Hey Mama by Kanye West and Oh Mother by Christina Aguilera.

Fathers, on the other hand, get songs about how lousy parents we are like Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone by the Temptations, Cat’s In The Cradle by Harry Chapin and The Living Years by Mike + The Mechanics.

How fair is that?

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone is about a father who “had three outside children and another wife” and “spent most of his time chasing women and drinking”. And that ain’t right.

Cat’s In The Cradle is about a father who didn’t watch his son grow up because “there were planes to catch and bills to pay”.

The Living Years is about a son who wished he had told his father that they didn’t “see eye to eye” before the dad died. Sad.

Another indication of how mums are more beloved than dads is how often mums are dissed. Let me explain:

When you want to insult someone, do you make fun of his or her father?

Of course not. You target what you assume is most sacred to that person - his or her mother.

That’s why in the Die Hard movies, Bruce Willis doesn’t say: “Yippee ki yay, father fornicator!”

That’s why we have “Yo mama” jokes and not “Yo papa” jokes.

As in “Yo mama so ugly, she took a selfie with Instagram and broke the Internet.”

Or “Yo mama so fat, when she sat on acid on the MRT train, the acid said, ‘I surrender.’”

Or “Yo mama so stupid, she believed that the New Paper photo of cyclists on Changi Coast Road was Photoshopped.”

Or “Yo mama so ugly, Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah wants to adopt her – and then lose her.”

So as paradoxical as it may sound, every time we insult someone’s mum, we’re actually acknowledging and affirming the sanctity of motherhood.

But apparently, this isn’t enough for some mothers, including my wife and my own mum.

With all these ads peddling special Mother’s Day meals and gifts for weeks leading up to today, they can’t help but succumb to the hype like Trekkers to the new Star Trek movie and want some of that action.

And if the kids and I resist participating in the crass commercialisation of the sacred mother-child bond, we can expect to hear another “I gave you life” or some version of it.

Fathers like me, on the other hand, are kind of blasé about the whole Father’s Day thing. We can take it or leave it. We don’t believe the hype.

We’re too busy chasing women and drinking.

The only reason we might care is that we have to compete with Mother’s Day. Hey, we can’t let mums get all the attention.

So thankfully, my son is wrong about Labour Day being dedicated to mums. One such day a year is plenty.

I better get a fantastic present from him for Father’s Day.

- Published in The New Paper, 12 May 2013

Sunday 5 May 2013

Celebrating Singapore’s 17-year love affair with Ann Kok’s chest

It’s like 1996 all over again.

Only instead of the Macarena, we’re dancing Gangnam Style.

Instead of watching the White House get blown up in Independence Day, we can watch the White House get blown up in Olympus Has Fallen.

And instead of talking about Ann Kok’s breasts at the Star Awards, we’re... uh, actually, we're talking about Ann Kok’s breasts at the Star Awards again.

I guess some things haven’t changed.

Or to be more exact, two things haven’t changed if you know what I mean.

The Straits Times reported that at last Sunday’s Star Awards, Kok “stirred up quite a fuss when she appeared braless in her cleavage-baring and figure-hugging Herve Leger dress”.

The caption under Kok’s picture called her “a pro - getting all dolled up like an aspiring porn star, just to give Singaporeans something to talk about”.

Despite pornography being officially banned in Singapore, The Straits Times isn’t the only publication to allude to porn when describing the MediaCorp actress’s risqué ensemble.

Giving what she wore a rating of “XXX”, 8 Days magazine said: “If you thought Ann’s R(21) outfit looked kinda porny, you’re kinda right. That jaw-dropping outfit was actually made up of a Herve Leger tube dress worn over a long-sleeved netted top from a ‘sex toy shop’.”

Is “porny” even a real word? I was surprised to find out that, according to Merriam-Webster online, it is.

Online is also where Kok’s Star Awards appearance has received many kudos, some of which could be rated “XXX” too.

One commenter wrote: “Wow, such a dress. Absolutely amazing when worn by her, I mean amazing for the male viewers.”

Other comments include “one hand can’t squeeze all”, “Looks bigger than before”, “fwahhhhhhh”, “Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh” and “fap fap fap”.

What’s more impressive is that Kok is getting this kind of attention at the ripe old age of 40.

As someone commented online: “Can’t tell she hit 40 already, still manage to keep such a good figure.”

Indeed, it may be hard to believe, but it has been 17 long years since the nation first became obsessed with Kok’s décolletage at the 1996 Star Awards.

On that fateful night, she wore a black see-through sheer top with a black bra underneath and we would never look at the former Star Search finalist the same way again.

Many TV viewers were duly taken aback. One housewife told The New Paper: “I got quite a shock when I saw her because I thought she was a conservative person.”

A few months later, TNP reported that Kok was initially bothered by all the talk about her assets after the 1996 Star Awards, even among her own colleagues, who teased her or called her names.

“But now, I don’t care very much,” she said. “I’m used to it.”

Then came criticism about the size of her boobs. A stylist said: “She is dark, small and her breasts are too big for her frame. The distance between her breasts and navel is also too short. She is not very proportionate.”

Someone should measure that distance between Kok’s breasts and navel just to be sure. I volunteer!

Almost paradoxically, there was also speculation that she had her bust surgically enhanced.

She told TNP in 2004: “It’s silly now, but I was hurt when they said that I had plastic surgery! I didn’t!”

But the rumours persisted such that in 2009, Kok allowed herself to be felt up by the female host of a Channel U talk show to prove that her boobs weren't fake.

After groping Kok’s breasts, the host, Quan Yifeng, who instantly became the envy of many men, said: “They are soft and must be real!

By now, Kok is more famous for her treasured chest than anything else.

Search “Ann Kok” on YouTube and you'll find video clips of her in a bikini from Housewives’ Holiday and other shows, plus the scene from Love Concierge where she opens her top and reveals a pink bra.

Even that porny outfit from last Sunday is already on the video-sharing website.

After so many years, it seems Kok has finally come to truly embrace her most popular body part (or parts).

According to a 2011 Straits Times article: “In any interview, it is inevitable that Ann Kok’s famous breasts get in the way. Metaphorically speaking, of course.”

I don’t think even Fiona Xie would get a boob-centric write-up like that. The article about Kok continued:

“Asked if getting more attention for her ample bosom than her acting still annoys her, the actress replies with a laugh: ‘Not at all. If people still want to talk about my boobs and are happy doing that, then by all means.’”

Yes, people still want to talk about your boobs and thanks for giving us cause to do so for 17 years. It has made us very happy.

Kindly keep those jaw-dropping, figure-hugging, cleavage-baring Star Awards outfits coming.

Here’s to 17 more years, although by then, the distance between your breasts and navel will probably be even shorter.

But as the late great Dean Martin once sang, mammaries are made of this.


- Published in The New Paper, 5 May 2013

26 NOVEMBER 2013 UPDATE: Ann Kok upset by focus on her body and not her acting

2014 UPDATE: Star Awards without Ann Kok is like a protest without dog poo


25 years later, she's still talking about it.

Posted by SM Ong on Saturday, February 13, 2021