Sunday 27 March 2016

51 Shades Of Black & White: Kai Kai does 'sexercise' for panda porn sequel

It’s the most anticipated match-up since croissants versus salted egg yolk.

More exciting than Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, where the Man of Steel and Jennifer Garner’s soon-to-be ex-husband are pitted against each other by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

More primal than Mr Murali Pillai of the People’s Action Party versus Dr Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party in the Murali-Chee by-election in Bukit Buttock.

Of course I’m talking about Jia Jia versus Liang Teh, also known as Kai Kai.

Can’t wait for the 50 Shades Of Grey movie sequel? Book your tickets online for the sequel to 50 Shades Of Black & White.

Drop the kids off at Kungfu Panda 3 and bring your own 3D glasses to watch some real R21 animal behaviour.

As you may recall, last April, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) — which apparently isn’t very reserved at all — released some rather explicit images of pandas Jia Jia and Kai Kai attempting to mate.

There wasn’t even a NSFW warning.

And since Jia Jia was six and Kai Kai was seven at the time, could I be arrested for watching child porn?

Where’s the Media Development Authority to shield us from such lurid zoophilia when we need them?

We cut US President Barack Obama’s remarks on the gay community from The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Channel 5 and yet we let such critter smut go uncensored?

Wait, isn’t Ellen DeGeneres a lesbian? How is she still on Singapore TV?

It’s a slippery slope. Next thing you know, we’re allowing panda sex.

But does it count as sex if the animals couldn’t, uh... let’s say, close the deal?

I mean, Jia Jia and Kai Kai didn’t really get to Netflix and chill last year despite WRS’s best efforts.

But that was before Netflix was officially launched in Singapore, which could be why they couldn’t get “connected”, so to speak. Maybe their VPN wasn’t set up properly.

As usual, it was the guy’s fault. Kai Kai was blamed for choking in the clutch.

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

Way to kick a guy when he’s down, doc.

Instead of sending Kai Kai for counselling to rescue his shrivelled self-esteem, WRS sent Jia Jia for artificial insemination.

I’m surprised our Government hasn’t used this method on Singaporean women to reverse our falling birth rate. Just put them to sleep and stick a needle in them whether they want it or not.

But the artificial insemination may not take, which was the case with Jia Jia.

So here we are now, a year later and panda mating season is back again. WRS is mounting the sequel, 51 Shades Of Black & White.

In a statement released last week, WRS said:
“In the coming weeks, visitors (to the River Safari) can expect to see male panda Kai Kai bleating in his exhibit and scent-marking more frequently.

“He may also display the flehmen response, a behaviour whereby an animal curls back its upper lip to sniff for pheromones to assess the breeding readiness of its mate.”
Ooh, sexy. What female can resist a curled-back upper lip?

And Kai Kai has been training hard for his upcoming sexathon with Jia Jia as well. WRS said:
“To enhance his performance ahead of the breeding season, Kai Kai has been dutifully doing his ‘sexercise’ in his den for months.

“Panda keepers get Kai Kai to stand up on his hind legs for a few seconds at a time to strengthen his hind quarters.

“The exercise also serves to improve his stamina which would help to improve success rates during mating.”
Hey, can I sign up for that too?

I also need to strengthen my hind quarters and build up my stamina to prepare for my, uh… let’s say, participation in The Straits Times Run in May.

But despite all the “sexercise” Kai Kai is doing, WRS doesn’t seem to have much faith in the boy. The organisation said:
“Vets have also collected Kai Kai’s semen for artificial insemination to increase the chances of breeding the pandas should natural mating be unsuccessful.”
So WRS isn’t putting all its eggs in one basket, so to speak.

After all, the last thing we want is for WRS to fail to get Jia Jia pregnant again and become a symbol of Singapore’s own failure to produce more babies.

And like Singapore, WRS also brought in foreign talent — ironically, Jia Jia and Kai Kai themselves.

WRS said that once the pandas are “deemed ready” to get it on, they “will be taken out of their respective exhibits for three days to allow natural mating in the dens”.

I hope they get Netflix there.

Season two of Daredevil is pretty good. They can binge-watch it in those three days.

- Published in The New Paper, 27 March 2016


Let's welcome Prince William & Kate like they're giant pandas

Panda porn: 50 shades of black & white

Thursday 24 March 2016

SMRT was once sued for negligence by widow of worker killed by train

With SMRT apologising and taking responsibility for the Tuesday accident that killed two workers, let's not forget that this is not the first time that an SMRT worker has been killed on the job.

On Oct 17, 2010, Mr Chia Teck Heng, 48, was deployed by SMRT to attend to problems caused by a trip in the power supply at the Phoenix LRT station in Bukit Panjang.

He was on a designated walkway when he was hit by an oncoming train at 8.55am.

He died 12 days later in NUH.

Unlike the two recent deaths, there seemed to be little interest in how Mr Chia was killed. All SMRT said was that it was investigating the cause of the accident and that was it.

There were no further news reports on the case until two years later when Mr Chia's widow, Madam Moi Fong Sin, sued SMRT for more than $500,000 in damages, claiming SMRT was negligent and failed to provide a safe work system, leading to her husband’s fatal injuries.

That was in 2012. The outcome of the lawsuit has never been reported.

Scroll down for a 2014 video of a Janet Moi Fong Sin, whose husband "met with an accident at work" and "passed away".

The Straits Times, Oct 31, 2010:

The Straits Times, Sept 12, 2012:

Monday 21 March 2016

Today's 'slanted' coverage of PAP press conference announcing Murali Pillai as by-election candidate hurt people's necks

You know how everyone is always complaining that mainstream media reporting is skewed...

Who will the PAP pick to defend its Bukit Batok seat? Tune in as we bring you "live" coverage of the unveiling of the candidate
Posted by TODAY on Monday, March 21, 2016

Sunday 20 March 2016

Who’s your (founding) daddy? Raffles Versus LKY: Dawn Of Semantics

Somewhere out there, Sir Stamford Raffles must be feeling kind of miffed.

That is, if he is capable of feeling anything since, you know, he’s been dead for almost two centuries.

A year ago today, if someone were to ask me to who the founder of Singapore is, I would say the guy whom Raffles Place MRT station is named after.

A year ago today was March 20, 2015.

Three days later, Mr Lee Kuan Yew died.

In a message to Singaporeans, President Tony Tan Keng Yam said: “Yesterday, we lost the founding father of Singapore.”

And the President wasn’t referring to Raffles.

After that, it became almost de rigeur to call Mr Lee “the founding father of Singapore”.

And I would have to take a second to stop and swap out the image of a rather dandy-looking British gentleman in my brain for that of an older Chinese gentleman.

Yes, there is a distinction between “founder” and “founding father”, and no one has ever called Mr Lee the “founder” of Singapore.

Unfortunately, people have called Raffles the “founding father” of Singapore.

Hence, my slight confusion.

For many of us, ahem, more mature Singaporeans, we knew Mr Lee best as Prime Minister (or PM), which he was from 1959 to 1990.

Then he was Senior Minister (SM) for 14 years and Minister Mentor (MM) for seven.

After Mr Lee retired in 2011, we ran out of abbreviations to call him. We didn’t call him “former Minister Mentor” or “Emeritus Senior Minister”. (Hello, ESM Goh Chok Tong!)

While we did call Mr Lee “Singapore’s founding father” before he died, it was only after his death that it practically became his default title.

Before I go on, I want to emphasise that I’m not in any way questioning the contributions of Mr Lee to the founding of Singapore as a nation. So don’t come after me, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

I just want to explore - with respect and dignity - other perhaps more accurate descriptions of Mr Lee that won’t make me do a double-take.

This is where I’m going to get a little nitpicky with words.

Okay, if Raffles was the founder of Singapore, to avoid confusion, could Mr Lee be the founding father of “modern” Singapore then?

That depends on your definition of “modern”.

Because according to Singapore Tourism Board website
“Modern Singapore was founded in the 19th century, thanks to politics, trade and a man known as Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.”
Yes, despite having lived and died before the invention of Instagram, Raffles was considered the founder of “modern” Singapore.

What’s left for Mr Lee? How about “the founding father of independent Singapore”?

Sure, if you don’t mind adding four more syllables to an already mouthful of words.

At this point, you may ask: “Why can’t there be more than one founding father of Singapore? You know what they say, success has many fathers.”

Sure, except that President Tan said “we lost the founding father of Singapore”, not “we lost a founding father of Singapore”.


When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation on the passing of his dad last year, he said: “The first of our founding fathers is no more.”

The poignancy of the double meaning of the word “father” aside, PM Lee acknowledged we had multiple founding fathers.

(I’m not sure about his use of the word “first”, though. Did he mean chronologically? Then what about Raffles, again?)

A month later in Parliament, PM Lee further advocated that we should “remember our founders, not just Mr Lee, but the core founding fathers of the country”.

The problem is no one is going to call Mr Lee “a” founding father of Singapore. Everyone uses “the”.

It also doesn’t help that for brevity’s sake, he is often described as “Singapore’s founding father”, not “one of Singapore’s founding fathers”.

What to do?

The apparent solution lies in a written statement from the Prime Minister’s Office a year ago. It said:
“The Prime Minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore.”
Before that statement, I had never heard of the term “founding Prime Minister”. Have you?

It seemed to have been manufactured for the occasion.

Why can’t we just say “first Prime Minister”? Why must we force the word “founding” into everything?

Should we start calling Mr Yusof Ishak Singapore’s “founding President” as well?

Has any other leader in world been called “founding Prime Minister”?

Actually, yes - David Ben-Gurion, who led the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.

But despite my misgivings, “founding Prime Minister” appears to be slowly overtaking “founding father” as the go-to term to describe Mr Lee as we approach the first anniversary of his death this week.

At least Raffles should be relieved, wherever he is.

- Unpublished

Monday 14 March 2016

Surviving my first Men's Health Urbanathlon: First-person photos

My body is aching in places I've never before after yesterday's Urbanathlon.

Fourteen kilometres, nine obstacles.

I was in the eighth wave, so I was flagged off at 7.51am.


There are three "walls".

We're supposed to run up the final sloping wall and climb over it. I tried that. I hit my nose against the wall. But I got over it.

Obstacle #2: Side Walk

I fell off just before reaching the end of the last frame, but the volunteer waved me on.


The one I dreaded the most and trained for the hardest.

I fell off a quarter way and went back to queue for retry. There's supposed to be a 5-minute penalty if you don't complete an obstacle.

What makes this obstacle difficult is that the crossbars are diagonal, which makes them awkward to grab. I had trained only on regular monkey bars, which are parallel.

For my second attempt, I put on my gloves. My first attempt was without gloves because I thought I could get better grip with bare sweaty hands than with wet gloves.

I celebrated when I made it half way, but once again, fell off before I reached the end. I was very disappointed with myself.

It was a long way between the third and fourth obstacle.

Obstacle #4: LATERAL MOVE

This was the other one I trained for. In this case, the training paid off. I thought I performed my best at this obstacle. The gloves were crucial here.

Obstacle #5: LIFT 'N' LOAD

We were lift a 20kg sand bag over barricades. But when I got there, no one was doing the sand bags. Runners were just going over the barricades like hurdles.

I fell going over the last barricade. Another runner asked me whether I was okay. I just scraped my right knee a bit. No broken skin, but I got some sand on me.

Obstacle #6: MAZE RUNNER

It looked easy, but I took longer to complete this obstacle than I should've.

I couldn't decide whether to crawl on my knees or on my feet. Other runners just ran through the maze by bending down really low.

Obstacle #7: NETWORK

This was fun. I discovered I enjoy rope-climbing.

Going over to the other side.

Running on the track outside the Sports Hub to the second last obstacle.


This is like IPPT with five crossfit stations.

Box Jump – 10 sets

Alternate Lunge Jumps – 15 sets

Overhead Squat – 10 sets

Sandbell Overhead Swing – 10 sets

For some reason, there was no wall throw station.


The idea was to finish the race with a big splash, but it turned out to be a long queue instead.

At this point, it was clear that your timing for the race didn't matter since you spend so much time queueing. It would be much quicker to take the five-minute penalty.

More rope-climbing. Woohoo!

This where I screwed up again. We're supposed to zipline to the pool at the end. I had never ziplined before. I just grabbed the rope and stepped off.

Without any forward momentum, I just hung there. The volunteers tried to pull me to the pool, but I was so heavy, I just made it to the edge of the pool and let go of the rope.

After that, crossing the finish line was a bit of a non-event.

I got my finisher T-shirt, medal, two bananas and a can of 100 Plus.

I didn't queue for the free food because I had done enough queueing for the morning, but I drank lots of water and 100 Plus.

I saw Glenn Ong on stage and he saw me. I went home after that.

The race was tough but surprisingly, quite forgiving.

A photo posted by SM Ong (@sm_ong) on

Below is a slideshow of all the photos taken with my Autographer camera from flag-off to the finish line: