Sunday 26 April 2015

Panda porn: 50 shades of black & white

I felt like I needed a cigarette afterwards.

And I don’t even smoke. (Can you smoke a bamboo shoot?)

I haven’t seen such unabashed coverage of wild sex acts in mainstream media since the opening of the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie in February.

I’m no prude but I made it a point not to see the movie despite the hype. Actually, the hype kinda turned me off.

I mean, who does egotistical billionaire Christian Grey think he is anyway? Iron Man?

The only climax I would pay to see on the big screen is superheroes fighting robots in an orgy of CGI mayhem.

Fifty Shades Of Grey has been labelled as “mummy porn”, although I’ve yet to catch my mother guiltily reading the E.L. James novel or watching the movie on her tablet alone in the dark.

But last week, like Malcolm McDowell in the aversion therapy scene from A Clockwork Orange, all of Singapore was made to watch an even more deviant form of smut — panda porn.

We want to turn away, but we... just... can’t.

On Tuesday, photos and videos of pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia attempting their first hook-up at River Safari were unleashed on the unsuspecting world.

Look at Kai Kai answering Jia Jia’s booty call.

Look at Kai Kai sniffing Jia Jia’s booty.

Look at Kai Kai climbing on top of Jia Jia's booty.


Why are we being inflicted with Fifty Shades Of Black And White?

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) could’ve at least rated those images PG for Panda Gross.

Why isn’t WRS going to court while eating a banana to face charges for the distribution of obscene material?

I found the images so beastly that I wished Ikea had offered discounted tickets for its Ikea Family members to view them so that I could boycott the Swedish company.

In case you didn’t get that reference, some people called for a boycott of Ikea last week after the furniture giant advertised that it’s offering discounted tickets to loyalty card members to a magic show featuring anti-gay pastor-magician Lawrence Khong.

I used to be an Ikea Family member. Now I just go there for the hotdogs and meatballs.

Speaking of hotdogs and meatballs, Kai Kai apparently didn’t know where his were because he didn’t manage to inseminate Jia Jia during that much photographed mating session.

The pandas must be as frustrated as Rui En at last Sunday’s Star Awards, where she won nothing.

“He just didn’t know what to do,” said Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, the chief life sciences officer at WRS, about Kai Kai. “I think he’s just too young. He’s just a boy.”

Hey, I’ve been there, Kai Kai. I was a boy once, too.

Dr Cheng explained that Kai Kai did not have any older pandas as “a role model” in captivity.

I suspect Kai Kai also didn’t have access to the Internet so that he could learn to how to make babies from online porn, uh... I mean, online sex education videos like the rest of us do.

So you can’t blame Kai Kai for having some performance anxiety.

I don’t need a doctorate from a degree mill to know that even I wouldn’t be able to finish the job if someone was taking pictures of me during my first time. I would be too worried about looking fat on camera to focus on inseminating my mate.

After Kai Kai’s failure to launch, it was decided that Jia Jia would be artificially inseminated as female pandas are fertile for only 24 to 36 hours a year.

Yes, there’s a video for that as well.

If only my wife and I had considered artificial insemination when we were trying to conceive our first child 19 years ago. She, too, only had a short time window every month when she was able to conceive, although it was days rather than hours.

My wife calculated when those days were and circled them on a calendar with a heart. On those “heart nights”, I was scheduled to inseminate her like a panda in a zoo.

Pressure? What pressure?

Unlike Kai Kai and Jia Jia, there were no cameras involved.

Today, the result of those “heart nights” is failing economics in junior college.

We don’t know yet if Jia Jia’s artificial insemination is successful. The earliest WRS can check for signs of embryo is three months later.

If she gives birth, I hope her offspring is better at economics than my son.

As for Kai Kai, maybe he can watch Fifty Shades Of Grey to pick up some moves for his future “heart nights”.

No, wait, the movie is rated R21. He’s only seven years old.

He could read the book instead.

- Published in The New Paper, 26 April 2015

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Clarie, Joelle, Graci: Social media-created 'recruitment bait' arms race escalates

It started with this Cyberpioneer Facebook post:

What does Military Expert (ME) 1 Clarie Teo enjoy, when she is not busy keeping ship engines running in tip top...
Posted by cyberpioneer on Sunday, April 5, 2015 called it "the ultimate recruitment bait video".

Wanna join the navy? :-P
Posted by The Singapore Daily on Monday, April 6, 2015

It went viral and the idea that it's a recruitment ad stuck.

Here are some questions about the Singapore Navy's eyebrow-raising video.
Posted by Yahoo Singapore on Tuesday, April 7, 2015

As I've tried explain in my column, it was not intended as a recruitment ad.

That was two weeks ago.

Then Alvinology posted this:

The Singapore Army fights back! Look! They have a pretty girl with a higher rank than the Navy's ME2 Clarie Teo!...
Posted by Alvinology on Saturday, April 18, 2015

Other sites followed suit:

The Singapore Army is having a go at it after the Navy pulled it off successfully.
Posted by on Sunday, April 19, 2015

Move aside, ME1 Clarie Teo.
Posted by Yahoo Singapore on Sunday, April 19, 2015

At least it's an actual recruitment ad.

And so the social media-created charms race began.

ok now finally the airforce has answered the Navy and Army chiobu challenge. With this 8:49 2.4km. Will the Navy and...
Posted by KNN - Kaki News Network on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

So recently the Singapore Navy had started features: ME1 Clarie Teo, follow by Singapore Army, 2LT Joelle Cheong and...
Posted by Lovely Singapore on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Republic of Singapore Air Force is indeed above all.
Posted by on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Even the Home Team has been dragged into it:

Ok SAF do finish liao, its time for home team.What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts! Please follow and support
Posted by KNN - Kaki News Network on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

And it all started with this non-recruitment ad:

ME1 Clarie Teo is just one of many women from Mindef who have been featured on the back page of Pioneer magazine. It's sort of like the magazine's centrefold but on the back page. And the models keep their clothes on.

Cyperpioneer then took it to the next level by producing the makeover videos.

Since we're so enamoured with women in the military at the moment, let's just get it all out of our system once and for all:

CPT Mailyn Sim May Rong, 25, Assistant Operations Officer, RSS Intrepid
Cyberpioneer, 27 Feb 2015

Wong Tien Kwan, 27, Total Defence Engagement Executive, Nexus
Cyberpioneer, 30 Jan 2015

CPT Katie Lin, 25, Staff Officer, Joint Operations Department
Cyberpioneer, 29 Dec 2014

CPT Joyce Xie, 31, Apache pilot, 120 SQN
Cyberpioneer, 29 Sep 2014

ME 2-1 Rain Teo, 26, Marine Engineering Specialist, RSS Intrepid
Cyberpioneer, 30 Jul 2014

Sally Xie, 23, Staff Officer, Human Resource Systems Department
Cyberpioneer, 24 Jun 2014

ME1-1 Latha Ramaya, 21, Navigation Specialist, RSS Tenacious
Cyberpioneer, 28 May 2014

Joy Wong, 26, Media Relations Officer, MINDEF Public Affairs
Cyberpioneer, 29 Jan 2014

Eliza Martoyo, 24, Asst Production Services Manager, SAF MDC
Cyberpioneer, 27 Dec 2013

CPT Vivien Lee Ying Na, 24, Platoon Commander, 48 SAR
Cyberpioneer, 26 Nov 2013

ME4 Olive Lim, 24, Medical Company Team OIC, Army Medical Training Centre
Cyberpioneer, 30 Jul 2013

Fiona Ang, Staff officer, Naval Personnel Department (NPD)
Cyberpioneer, 25 Jun 2013

ME1 Melissa Lim, 24, Navigation operator, RSS Dauntless
Cyberpioneer, 29 May 2013,

ME2 Joanne Tan, 31, Air Force engineer,
Air Engineering & Logistics sqn, UAV command

Cyberpioneer, 26 Mar 2013

LTA Nur Atiqah, 24, Platoon Commander, Officer Cadet School
Cyberpioneer, 30 Oct 2012

CPT Tong Wei Lynn, 1st Battalion, Guards
CyberpioneerTV, Oct 23, 2014


Into the Fray - The Making of a Female Soldier
CyberpioneerTV, Jan 22, 2015

Sunday 19 April 2015

Oh, Cheryl! Un-Un-Unbelievable should be official theme song for SEA Games losers

Dear SEA Games organisers,

So the countdown has begun to the opening of the 28th SEA Games in Singapore on June 5.

A long-time fan, I’m old enough to remember when they were called the Seap (for South-East Asian Peninsular) Games.

I thought changing the name to the SEA Games was confusing because not all the games are held at sea. Many are held on land.

I was very young then.

But young people are different now. My 16-year-old daughter, for instance. The only countdown she cares about at the moment is to the opening of Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron in the cinemas this Thursday.

Kids today — all they know are superheroes and whatever nonsense that’s going viral.

So I’ve been thinking, how can we get young people, like my daughter, to be more interested in the Seap Games, I mean, SEA Games?

Well, you know what they say, if you can’t beat them, join them.

Not that I’m suggesting we should introduce a new sporting event where our athletes battle super robots while levelling an entire city.

At least not until we get this whole artificial intelligence thing licked.

What I’m suggesting is that the SEA Games should go viral.

As in online, not Ebola.

For example, you know how the Internet went nuts last week trying to figure out when Cheryl’s birthday is, even though she’s clearly just trolling Albert and Bernard?

It was at first presented as a Primary 5 maths problem, but it was later revealed to be a question from the Secondary 3 and Secondary 4 Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO) contests held on April 8.

According to the SASMO Facebook page:
Being Question 24 out of 25 questions, this is a difficult question meant to sift out the better students. SASMO contests target the top 40 per cent of the student population and the standards of most questions are just high enough to stretch the students.
So it’s basically The Hunger Games for maths nerds.

Hey, if they can have a “Math Olympiad”, why don’t you have a “Math SEA Games”?

Instead of Cheryl, Albert and Bernard, you can have Siti telling Ah Boon and Bala separately the month and the day of her birthday respectively, then sit back and watch the world burn.

Actually, no one really needs to find out anyone’s birthday any more because Facebook will send you a notification.

Granted, a competition where school kids have their souls broken by difficult maths problems may not be the most live broadcast-worthy of spectator sports.

Fortunately, there are other ways to go viral, like with videos.

I saw your video for the official SEA Games song Unbreakable by former Singapore Idol finalist Tabitha Nauser.

It looks very nice. The video features such competitors as swimmer Joseph Schooling, bowler Jazreel Tan and silat champion Shakir Juanda.

But you know what’s missing from the video?

I mean, besides Nauser the singer?

Actor Chen Tianwen, star of the Unbelievable viral video.

And you know, instead of Unbreakable, what the song should be?

Unbelievable, the song that Chen sings in the Unbelievable viral video.

After all, both songs already have a one-word title that begins with the same three letters.

The difference is that your Unbreakable video has fewer than 200,000 views (as of today) on YouTube since it was uploaded on April 9.

By contrast, the Unbelievable video has a million views on the Channel 5 Facebook page since it was posted on April 13.

The video has been shared online so often that my wife’s friend threatened on Facebook: “Sorry, folks. I am intolerant of bad English and poor diction. Anyone who thinks that Unbelievable song is funny, I will unfriend you.”

That’s when you know you’ve made it — when people can’t stand you.

I guess what I’m saying is that you should adopt Unbelievable as an official SEA Games song. I believe it can work.

Unbreakable is the theme song for those who win in the SEA Games. Unbelievable is for those who lose because they will be “stunned like vegetable” as Chen sings in the video.

I understand that you may be reluctant to use my ideas because frankly, they’re kind of stupid.

But I have one last suggestion.

Why don’t you change the name back to the Seap Games?

It’s just so much more fun to say.

Yours sportingly,
S M Ong

#Unbelievable #SEAgames2015 - Stunned vegetable and sports matches - a winning combination!Watch 28th SEA Games 2015 on Toggle:
Posted by Toggle on Thursday, June 11, 2015

Friday 17 April 2015

How do you pronounce the name of Cassandra Chiu's guide dog, Esme?

Cassandra Chiu, 35, has resigned from her part-time position as the Guide Dogs Association of the Blind's (GDAB) clients...
Posted by The New Paper on Thursday, April 16, 2015

So a blind woman named Cassandra Chiu has been in the news recently with her guide dog, Esme.

But how exactly do you pronounce "Esme"?

In this first video, it sounds like "Asthma".

Here, it sounds like "Assm".

This video can't make up its mind. It's either "Ass-mee" or "Assm".

This one sounds the best, "Ass-may".

In this video, the narrator pronounces it as "Ass-may" too.

Ms Chiu herself pronounces it as "Ass-may".

According to Wikipedia, Esme can be a masculine name and can also be short for Esmerelda, a feminine name, which adds to the confusion, as it's pronounced differently depending on the gender.

If it helps, Esme the guide dog is female.

By the way, Ms Chiu was the woman radio DJ Joe Augustine called an "asshole" on air last year. I believe we all know how to pronounce "asshole".

And in case you're wondering, Esme Bianco is an actress from Game Of Thrones.

She's no dog.

Sunday 12 April 2015

You know that 'chiobu' navy recruitment video? It's not a navy recruitment video

This month is the 28th anniversary of the publication of my one and only letter to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) monthly magazine, Pioneer.

I wrote it during my full-time national service about my experience as a recruit on Pulau Tekong.

My letter was published, somewhat edited, in the April 1987 issue. (Yes, I’m that old.)

Here’s an excerpt:
We were resting on Botak Hill, watching the sunset after a hard day of field training. From where we sat, we can see the Singapore shoreline.

As dusk fell, the mainland flickered into illumination with lights showing where our homes were. It was a magnificent sight, especially for ‘marooned’ recruits like us.

Just then, the silhouette of Lieutenant (LTA) Sudi, the most senior of our platoon commanders, motioned towards the lights. ‘Look at that, gentlemen,’ he said. ‘Isn’t that worth fighting for?’

It was a moment that aroused many mixed feelings in me.

Every Singapore male will spend the prime of his youth in the SAF.

He will be frustrated by things he thinks he can do nothing about. He will have to work with people whom he thinks are just as frustrated and discontented.

For all the bureaucracy, loss of some personal freedom, endless duties, daily area cleaning and things we have to do ‘for the sake of training’, we ask ourselves: ‘Is it really worth it?’

When LTA Sudi posed the question to the company that evening on Botak Hill, like good recruits, we replied in half-unison: ‘Yes, sir!’

We did not sound as convincing as we would have liked, for the answer can only be found deep in our hearts.

Sure, it gets a bit hackneyed with the “deep in our hearts” nonsense at the end, but overall, I thought I painted a pretty evocative word picture with that whole sunset, flickering lights and silhouette thing.

My letter impressed my Encik enough that after it was published, he was civil to me for about two days before he went back to treating me like the insubordinate private I was.

Unlike my column in The New Paper on Sunday, the letter ran in Pioneer without my gorgeous face next to it.

So unlike the lucky readers of The New Paper on Sunday, the unlucky readers of the magazine were deprived of enjoying my beautiful words along with my entrancing visage.

Who knows? If Pioneer had published a photo of me 28 years ago, I might have become as famous as Military Expert 1 (ME1) Clarie Teo became last week.

ME1 Teo, who is in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), was featured on the back page of last month’s issue of Pioneer, but she went viral only after Cyberpioneer (the online version of Pioneer) uploaded a video of her and shared it on Facebook on Monday.

She even made the news in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Canada.

Citizen journalism website Stomp reported: “‘Chiobu’ Singapore navy girl becomes Internet hit — after appearing in Mindef video.” called the video the “ultimate recruitment bait video” for RSN. This led to some criticism online that the “recruitment ad” was resorting to “sex appeal to attract men to join the navy”.

As a former navy man, I’m offended by this criticism.

Hey, the navy doesn’t need a 72-second video of a “chiobu” to entice guys to sign up.

We already have a feature-length movie for that. It’s called Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen. Heard of it?

The thing is, I don’t even think ME1 Teo’s video was ever meant to be a recruitment ad.

In fact, she has stated quite emphatically on her Dayre blog: “I’m not the Navy Poster Girl. Once again, Cyberpioneer magazine.”

Meaning she was just featured in the magazine as have many other individuals in the armed forces — and not chosen to be the face of RSN. At least not yet.

It's like mistaking my 1987 Pioneer letter for a recruitment ad for the army.

In February, another navy “chiobu”, Captain Marilyn Sim, was featured in Cyberpioneer with the accompanying makeover video et al, but because she didn't go viral, no one mistook her for the Navy Poster Girl.

Before that, “chiobu” of varying chio-ness from other branches of Mindef also got the Cyberpioneer treatment.

Actually, if Cyberpioneer should be criticised for anything, it’s for being sexist by featuring so many “chiobu” like they’re The New Paper New Face finalists or something.

Who knew there are so many “chiobu” in the SAF?

Which, I guess, is the point of these magazine features — to show that there are so many “chiobu” in the SAF, so that you would want to join…

Ohhhhh, I see.

If only I were 28 years younger.

- Published in The New Paper, 12 April 2015

UPDATE: From Clarie to Graci: Social media-created 'recruitment bait' arms race escalates

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Subway-Avengers movie tie-in versus KFC-Avengers movie tie-in: No fight

Never mind its "funny" Avengers commercial, where does Subway get the (meat)balls to simply add bacon to a tuna melt and call it "Earth's mightiest combo"?

This is, at best, a hero sandwich.

It's no superhero sandwich, like the KFC Zinger Double Down from three years ago. In my book, that was truly "the mightiest burger ever assembled". (At least in Singapore.)

Now if Subway had made a meatball-tuna melt combo, that would be smashing.


EARLIER: KFC Double Down - as bad for you as an underage hooker?

Monday 6 April 2015

This is ME1 Clarie Teo (The navy has changed a lot since my time)

Do you have enough of Navy chio bu ME1 Clarie Teo?

Posted by Must Be Singapore on Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Meet the star of Mindef's new video and the navy chiobu of the moment, ME1 Clarie Teo. And not "Claire", as some, including myself, have misread her name. And it's also not a recruitment video.

Another video of her when she was in Singapore Maritime Academy, which is part of Singapore Polytechnic.

Here are the many faces of RSN's latest weapon of mass distraction:

Navy servicewoman Clarie Teo looking calm and composed during a rehearsal for SAF Day Parade 2013. #SAFpeopleFollow us on Instagram for more pictures!
Posted by cyberpioneer on Saturday, September 27, 2014

From Pioneer magazine:
From a convent school background where she hardly spoke to any guys to joining the (traditionally) male-dominated military, Military Expert (ME) 1 Clarie Teo's life took an about-turn when she made the unconventional decision to pursue Marine Engineering after her O levels.

She decided to join the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) during her first year in polytechnic. Recalling the week that final exams ended, she said: "I got a letter asking me to report for training the very next Monday! That's how efficient the Navy can be."

Being in the RSN is a challenge that ME1 Teo relishes. She recalled an incident when one of the frigate's engines heated up and had to be taken offline. In the meantime, the ship had to make do with power from the other three engines.

Together with the engineering department, she checked and rectified the fault - a clogged fuel filter - within the hour. "The rest of the ship's crew was quite amazed we did it so quickly."

On what she enjoys about being a sailor, she added: "Shipboard life is never relaxing but what I like is the team spirit and sense of family among the crew."

Singapore Polytechnic Buzz: The Female President

And yes, she has a boyfriend.

COLUMN: ME1 Clarie Teo: 'I'm not the Navy Poster Girl'

UPDATE: From Clarie to Graci: Social media-created 'recruitment bait' arms race escalates

2018 UPDATE: No longer navy but still chio