Monday 30 November 2020

Online love scam: Why would anyone use Dick Lee of all people to catfish women?

Dear online love scammer,

I am not a woman.

I feel the need to remind people of that now and then because a reader once called me “Samantha”.

Who knows? If I had starred in Number 1, I might have won the Golden Horse award that Mark Lee failed to.

“I'm 52 so I guess to have a long journey I must live till 100," said the actor jokingly.

Posted by The Straits Times on Sunday, November 22, 2020

But because I am not a woman, I don’t know what women want.

And because I don’t know what women want, I would make a lousy scammer.

For example, it would never occur to me to use Dick Lee’s face to attract women and scam them the way you did. That took some kind of evil genius.

Not that I think the 64-year-old is unattractive even though he is no Chuando.

On Saturday, The Straits Times reported:
“In the last two years, home-grown singer-composer Dick Lee has been approached by about 10 women claiming they fell victim to – or nearly did – to online love scams in which his pictures were used.”

The woman is among at least 10 women who have approached singer Dick Lee, saying they fell victim to - or nearly did - to online love scams that used his photos.

Posted by The Straits Times on Friday, November 27, 2020

Wait, does this mean you impersonated him online to dupe these women?

Yes and no. According to one victim ST interviewed, you used pictures of Lee but gave your name as “Alex Cheng”.

Wait, if you sent someone a picture of Dick Lee and claimed to be Alex Cheng, weren’t you afraid that she might say “Hey, that is Dick Lee” and realise that you are lying?

I mean, Lee is a pretty famous guy. He is practically synonymous with our National Day, thanks to his song, Home.

Not only that, the erstwhile Mad Chinaman used to be married to Mum’s Not Cooking host and My Grandson The Doctor star Jacintha Abisheganaden in the 90s. Younger Singaporeans may not remember this, but the two were like Singapore’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of their day.

So, yeah, Lee is pretty famous – but in Singapore. And you knew that. The woman ST interviewed is a Hong Kong resident.

Okay, so maybe Lee is not that recognisable in Hong Kong, but why pick him of all the people in the world who are not that recognisable in Hong Kong?

What is it about that coiffed salt-and-pepper hair, boyish grin and well-moisturised skin that you found so irresistible to con women with?

Wait, I think I just answered my own question.

Dear friends thanks so much for always alerting me to fake accounts. I'm sorry some of you have been tricked into losing...

Posted by Dick Lee on Sunday, October 11, 2020

Still, why would you risk using a picture of someone who is a celebrity in a country not that far away from Hong Kong?

Why not a picture of a nobody – like me?

Not that I would want to be repurposed as bait to catfish women for their money. Oh no, not at all. I would feel so used, exploited and maybe just a tiny bit flattered.

Other local celebrities whose pictures have been used in foreign love scams include such handsome specimens as One FM 91.3 deejay Simon Lim, and Mediacorp actors Desmond Tan and Romeo Tan. So Lee is in rather hunky company.

He told ST:
“I’ve had maybe 10 women approach me over these two years to say they were victims or almost victims of scammers who had been stealing from my photos. I’ve received messages from women all over the world – Puerto Rico, Germany, Hong Kong.”
Is it just me or did that almost sound like a humblebrag?

Hey, I just thought of something.

You know who else you should use if you want to stick with Singapore celebrities?

Mark Lee.

I guarantee that if you use a photo of his face, women will throw themselves and money at you like shoppers at a Black Friday sale.

Trust me. I know what women want.

Would I scam a scammer?

- Published in The New Paper, 30 November 2020

Wednesday 18 November 2020

Guide to Netflix's Best of Phua Chu Kang Season 2 and watch for free

Netflix started streamimg its second season of Best Of Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd on Sunday.

Whereas the first Netflix season is just the original third season in its entirety, the second Netflix season is a selection of 26 episodes from throughout the eight-season series (except the third season, or course).

I have embedded the episodes from MeWatch below so even if you don't subscribe to Netflix, you can watch for free.

Edwin Chong played PCK's brother, Chu Beng, for the first seaon.

Rosie's Red

Lock And Key

Pests And Pretence

Baby Blues

Steam Me Up, Scheme Me Down

Peace, Joy, Deadlines & Commitments

Pierre Png took over as Chu Beng from the second season onwards. I started writing for PCK this season.

Foolish Heart
I wrote this episode.
After a heart attack, Frankie Foo retires from the contracting business and gives all his clients to Chu Kang, who saved his life. Margaret decides to start eating meat.

Lucky Strike
Chu Kang signs himself and Rosie up for a bowling competition, even though the latter is uninterested. Margaret is interested but Chu Kang wants her to prove her worth. Margaret ends up coaching an embarassed Chu Kang when she bowls better than him. Grace Young, Lin Ru Ping, Catherine Kee, Benjamin Ng and Sheila Wyatt guest.

Kaya Ok
Chu Kang struggles with a customer who will use anything, including his father to get a good bargain. Rosie thinks Ahma has found a boyfriend, and Margaret gets upset when she hears Chu Beng calling out for Isabella while he is sleeping.


Crushing Experiences
Aloysius has a crush on his teacher and gets into trouble so he can stay in after school hours and be with her. Margaret has a near fatal accident that causes her to change her ways.

For Art's Sake
PCK Pte Ltd is hired to re-paint a room in an arts and crafts school. Chu Beng joins a painting class in which he is asked to pose nude for the class. King Kong accidentally damages a valuable mural and Chu Beng is roped in to cover up the damage. Meanwhile, Margaret and Rosie unwittingly enrol themselves into the same knitting class. Chu Beng finally musters up the courage to strip and pose, but a series of errors culminate in more stripping than anyone bargained for.

Health Matters
Health really begins to matter in the Phua family when a medical check up reveals that Chu Kang has gout while Chu Beng is iron deficient. Rosie and Margaret find themselves on trying turf as Rosie dabbles in healthy cooking for Chu Kang and Margaret contends with the no less than terrifying ordeal of stir frying beef for Chu Beng.


Toto Day
Kang, to his shock and amazement, wins the Toto grand prize of $ 10m ! Everyone starts making plans on how they’re going to spend it. But he bursts their bubble by declaring he’s keeping all the money for himself, closing down PCK Pte Ltd and moving to a seaside bungalow in Perth. The family slowly falls apart from greed and mistrust. And there is another minor complication. Every time Kang tries to collect his $ 10m winnings, he keeps getting knocked unconscious, and waking up to the very same day... over and over and over again. Kang’s curse is that only he realises it’s the same day being repeated. How will he ever get the money?

Lucky Luohan
Chu Kang complains about slow business despite the economic turn around. Rosie buys an expensive Luo Han fish to remedy the situation. Chu Kang becomes horrified by the fact that Chu Kang's dear Koi fish Mimi and Jasper will become jealous. Rosie believes in the Luo Han and seeks a 4D number from its markings, only problem is that she can't see the number and only Margaret can. Rosie starts to spoil the fish by buying premium aquarium and fish food. Oh, the life of a well-loved pet!

The Girl Next Door
Kang and Beng reminisce about Ting Ting (guest star Zoe Tay), the girl who used to live next door, and how she changed their lives. They both discover that they made the same promise to marry Ting Ting when they grew up, and end up arguing over who she would have chosen. Rosie and Margaret hire a private investigator to find her. They panic when they find out that Ting Ting is not only beautiful and successful but still single. They vow to make sure their husbands never get to meet Ting Ting. One day, Ting Ting shows up at their doorstop...

An Offer You Can't Refuse
A pressured Chu Kang inadvertently insults the Godfather, Vito Koh. In return for his life, Kang has to baby-sit the Godfather's 8-year old son Michael, for him. Ordinarily, looking after a little kid should be a stroll in the park for Chu Kang. But because Michael is the son of the ruthless Godfather. Chu Kang knows he has to keep both eyes on the boy - which is exactly what he doesn't do. Things come to a head when he leaves Michael in the care of the clueless King Kong and Ah Goon and the boy disappears.


Phua Phua Baby
Rosie is pregnant ! As the family rejoices, Kang has to come to terms with the fact that he must now start visiting the gynae with Rosie. Kok Peng and Beng try to help Kang overcome his fear of doctors. Aloy's prelim results did not qualify him for JC and he fakes going to school, until Marge decides to do some investigation. Meanwhile, Bobo (Afdlin Shauki) works on his invention, the Robo-Bobo Quasimodo.

Bringing Up Ah Pa
Kang and Beng reminiscent about the past and how their father treated them. King Kong finds a lump in his left breast and suspects breast cancer.

The New Phua
The birth could be any day now. Betsy Foo (Patricia Mok) makes a surprise appearance and tries to secure a confinement nanny job with the Phuas. But she gets sidetracked by King Kong who hopes to rekindle their short-lived 'love affair'. Meanwhile, Magaret is intent on filming every aspect of the expectant mother and the birth, and starts annoying Rosie with a camera in her face. Beng has turned extremely kiasu and is in high gear getting Kang prepared for the birth. Beng regiments the trial runs with military precision and is dissatisfied with the timing. Kang manages to escape Beng's clutches and meets a client he hopes to secure in a multi-million dollar deal. Minutes after signing the contract, Rosie's water breaks and turns the well planned, well oiled, well run operation into pandemonium.


He's The Wife
Chu Beng discovers that Margaret has accepted a job offer in New Zealand and is hurt the she did not tell him personally. Chu Kang encourages him to be a man and assert his husbandly rights.

Breath Of Fresh Air
Rosie tries to manage motherhood on top of the rusual housekeeping duties, and her slimwrap, mahjong and facials. Chu Kang is left eating instant mee, and losing clients because he has to look after the babies. Rosie finally gives in and allows Kang to hire a maid. But the maid Chu Kang hires turns out to be nothing Rosie expected a maid to be !

The Bengmobile
Chu Beng, tired of being constantly humiliated by Chu Kang every time he wants to borrow Kang's car, decides to secretly buy his own automobile. He loves it like a child and parks it a few doors away on the street, anything to keep the purchase from Kang. However, his secret is discovered by Rosie, Bobo and King Kong. They totally understand Beng's need for secrecy. Kang gets very petty and jealous when anyone buys anything new and shiny. They agree to keep Beng's secret from Kang, in return for many, tedious car rides, where Beng acts as their chauffer. The plans hit a dead end when Chu Kang uncovers Beng's new purchase (from the loose lipped Bobo and King Kong) and torments Beng in secret by hiding his new car's engine!

The Reunion
Guest stars future NMP Janice Koh as Margaret's sister Melissa
It's Chinese New Year, Kang devises an elaborate scheme to maximise Romeo and Crystal's ang pow takings. Margaret gets an enexpected visit from her sister Melissa, who makes a shocking request from her. Meanwhile Beng has to deal with an irritatingly polite hotel clerk.


I was the executive producer of this season and wrote these three episodes.

Dunkin' Don'ts
Chu Kang builds a dunk tank for a funfair and ends up facing a very disgruntled ex-client.

Incredulous Tale
UTT from Incredible Tales introduces an incredible tale about Chu Kang and Rosie by bringing home a mysterious unconscious woman who may not be what she appears. Sergeant Dollah (Suhaimi Yusof) from Police and Thief investigates.

Under Another Roof
Chu Kang reunites with former clients Tan Ah Teck and Dolly. Guest stars Moses Lim, Koh Cheng Mun and Jocelyn Yeo.

EARLIER: Is 'Best of Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd' on Netflix really the best? Maybe the chicken episode

Monday 16 November 2020

Changi Jurassic Mile: What's more dangerous than dinosaurs and stray golf balls?

Dear Changi Airport Group,


Yelled no golfer during my visit to the Changi Jurassic Mile last Friday morning. I was expecting golf balls to be whizzing by all around me like bullets during the Omaha beach sequence in Saving Private Ryan.

Medic! Medic!

Have you been hit?

Yes, by a Bridgestone e6 Speed.

Based on recent reports, the Jurassic Mile seems to have become a prehistoric war zone where carnage could come with a Titleist logo.

Last month, a maid was hit on the head by a golf ball presumably from the nearby Tanah Merah Country Club. (I mean, it could be someone at the Sembawang Country Club with an incredibly long drive.)

So you installed additional safety barriers.

But last week, it was reported that the five-year-old son of actor Chen Tian Wen – Mr Unbelievable himself – was almost hit by another golf ball at the Jurassic Mile.

He must have been stunned like vegetable.

He urged authorities to enhance safety precautions even more.

Posted by on Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Despite the danger, I as a quasi-journalist decided to endanger my life by finding out firsthand how dangerous the Jurassic Mile truly is.

And I didn’t even wear a helmet.

And it was Friday the 13th.

The risk is even greater when you consider that whenever I walk past kids playing football in my neighbourhood, the ball would almost always be kicked into my face.

Some call it a superpower. I call it a curse.

For some reason, my face is a magnet for stray balls.

And encounter a golf ball at Jurassic Mile I certainly did.

But fortunately, it wasn’t rocketing toward my football-abused kisser.

The golf ball was resting benignly on the ground among the grass beyond the fence. It wasn’t attracted to my face at all.

Two days after the Nov 1 Mr Unbelievable incident, you added an overhead netting over the presumably more ball-prone stretches of the Jurassic Mile.

But it’s still not safe.

While the golf balls got all the publicity, a bigger hazard remains and I’m not talking about the T-Rex display inexplicably coming to life and chomping on selfie takers.

When I was there, I was more worried about getting injured by not by killer balls or reanimated giant reptiles – but by human cyclists.

As the Jurassic Mile is a too-narrow shared path for both pedestrians and cyclists, signs remind cyclists to dismount and push their bicycles. Many did. Many didn’t.

As far as I could tell, there was no enforcement.

People on bicycles squeezing past families with children stopping suddenly to snap pictures with the dinos is a New Paper story waiting to happen.

You need to do something about it before somebody really gets hurt.

Since you have a giant net to catch golf balls, why not a giant net to catch errant cyclists too?

Also, while I have your attention, why is it called the Changi Jurassic Mile?

Shouldn’t it be the Changi Jurassic Kilometre?

Or if you want to be pedantic about it, Changi Jurassic 1.609 Kilometres.

Did a golf ball hit your head and make you forget the metric system?

Someone forgot to yell “Fore!”

- Published in The New Paper, 16 November 2020

Thursday 12 November 2020

My friend in US voted for Trump four years ago – who did she vote for this time?

Shellshocked by Mr Donald Trump winning the US presidential election four years ago, I found out someone I knew actually voted for him and tried to understand why she did for my column.

Below is our online conversation:

That was in 2016.

After four years of the Trump presidency, I wondered who she voted for last week.

Her answer surprised and disappointed me.

So she has become so disillusioned she didn't vote for anyone.

Well, at least she finally recognises that the man she once voted for is an "arrogant ass".

EARLIER: Trumpocalypse now? I asked a friend if she voted for him & she said 'Yup'

Monday 2 November 2020

I blame 2020 for Robinsons and Sean Connery

A 74-year-old Robinsons sales associate at the Raffles City outlet said: “I’m very sad… When I see the empty counters...

Posted by TODAY on Friday, October 30, 2020

Dear 2020,

You nasty.

And there are still two more months to go.

If only we can cancel you like the Raffles Hall Association cancelled the authors of the PAP Vs PAP book.

We should’ve agreed to a safe word before the year started, like “circuit breaker” or “wap”.

Is it too late to cry Uncle Roger?

Never mind SafeEntry. We need a SafeExit and quick.

It’s not enough that more than a million have died from the pandemic this year and Manchester United introduced its ugliest kit ever, you just killed off two beloved decades-old institutions within days of each other – Robinsons and Sean Connery.

The former announced on Friday that it was closing shop after 162 years in Singapore.

Already queueing for the TraceTogether tokens, Singaporeans are now also lining up to get into Robinsons before the doors are shut for good.

Where do I get my extra firm bamboo charcoal memory foam pillow after that?

I mean, besides Tangs, Metro, OG, Isetan, Takashimaya, BHG, Courts, Harvey Norman and the Internet.

I almost feel guilty for partially causing the closure of Robinsons by cancelling my OCBC-Robinsons Group credit card in March.

I already have too many cards in the wallet in my back pocket, which ruins the smooth curve of my perfectly shaped buttock.

And I realised that lately, I used the Robinsons card only to get a member’s rebate when paying for my all-butter Viennese milk chocolate-dipped finger biscuits at Marks & Spencer.

But no, it’s not really my fault that Robinsons is joining John Little and Oriental Emporium in the great megamall in the sky.

I blame you, 2020.

Don’t you see a pattern here?

Eddie Van Halen, Helen Reddy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chadwick Boseman, Olivia de Havilland, Regis Philbin, Charlie Daniels, Carl Reiner, Ian Holm, Vera Lynn, Little Richard, Irrfan Khan, Bill Withers, Kenny Rogers, Max Von Sydow, Kirk Douglas, Kobe Bryant and Toots of Toots and the Maytals – you took Toots!

Do you have a bucket list of famous names you want to end before you end?

And as if knocking off two iconic Bond girls – Diana Rigg and Pussy Galore, I mean Honor Blackman – isn’t sufficient villainy, you did what Dr No, Goldfinger and Blofeld couldn’t. You got to the man himself.

Connery was 90 years old.

I remember back in the mid-70s, my father once told me he was taking me to see James Bond. I thought we were going to see Roger Moore as he was the only Bond I knew then.

But the movie my father took me to see was this bizarre post-apocalyptic psychedelic fantasy with near-naked women and a giant flying angry stone head.

Traumatisingly unsuitable for children, the movie had an existential ending that haunted me for many nights to come.

Needless to say, it was nothing like James Bond at all with no Roger Moore in sight.

Why did my father lie to me?

It was only decades later, after he died, that I found out that the movie of my childhood nightmares was called Zardoz.

And the reason my father said he was taking me to see James Bond was that the movie starred Sean Connery.

At the time, I didn't know who Connery was, much less knew he was the original Bond. Eight-year-olds are dumb. I also didn’t know how to pronounce “Sean”.

My plan was to share this poignant anecdote with the Oscar-winning Scottish star if I should ever meet him – and also rag him about the red diapers he wore in Zardoz.

But that possibility is no more, thanks to you. Even 007 was no match for 2020.

Contrary to the title of the much delayed new Daniel Craig-starring Bond sequel, this year has been the time to die for too many.

My only quantum of solace is that I still have my all-butter Viennese milk chocolate-dipped finger biscuits. They’re for my mouth only.

Oh, and stay away from Sheena Easton.

- Published in The New Paper, 2 November 2020