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

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