Friday, February 29, 2008

Still no news

Day 3 of Mas Selamat bin Kastari’s escape and still no news from the government on how did the escape happen. Singaporeans are so curious about the escape that even the pro-government newspapers in Singapore admitted that many Singaporeans were more curious about the escape itself than where Kastari is right now.

I am one of those Singaporeans. Foremost in my head: Is Kastari still in Singapore? Is he acting alone? How did a 40+ man who walks with a limp escape from the police manhunt? Personally, I doubt any answers will come soon. Four government MPs had questioned Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Wong Kan Seng, in Parliament on Thursday without any real answer yet. Mr. Wong basically told Parliament "not to speculate" until an independent investigation had completed its work. If MPs from the ruling PAP can’t get answers from the government in Parliament, I highly doubt anyone else in Singapore has a chance of getting anything.

If anything, foreigners seem to have more info on the matter than Singaporeans. Singapore’s neighbors, Malaysian and Indonesia, have already said that they are coordinating very closely with Singapore’s security and intelligence agencies and their security forces are beefing up patrols around the borders. See, they already know more than we do!

Isn’t Singapore supposed to be aiming to be some sort of info/tech hub? How about so info here?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

JI leader escape in Singapore

Here in the Lion City, Singaporeans got a rude shock when news reported that Mas Selamat bin Kastari, the leader of Singapore's wing of the Islamic militant network Jemaah Islamiah (JI), has escaped from police detention.

Wong Kan Seng, Singapore's minister for home affairs, reported that Kastari escaped from the toilet of a police detention facility on Wednesday afternoon in a "security lapse that should have never happened". Thousands of policemen were deployed in a massive hunt for Kastari, who was thought to have escaped unarmed. The JI leader was arrested by the Indonesian police in January 2006 and deported back to Singapore. He had since been held under Singapore's Internal Security Act ever since.

And...that's it. That's all the news Singaporeans have. A dangerous man escaped from jail, is free in Singapore, and that's all the news we have. If this escape has happened in Indonesia, there would be wall-to-wall almost gleeful articles in the Strait Times, but because this was in 'safe' Singapore, there had been almost no news at all.

Look, I don't care how bad it will make Singapore look but when a leader of JI escape in Singapore from the police; I want more news and information than "should have never happened" and "everything is being done to find him". How about answering some questions like how did Kastari escape from the toliet and more importantly; if the police still believe he is in Singapore?

I don't really care about how bad this will make the government look, but I would like some answers please.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just ay No, Take-Two

Thank you, thank you, thank you! That’s my feeling when I heard that Take-Two, the company behind the "Grand Theft Auto" series, has rejected a takeover bid from Electronic Arts, the company behind…Madden NFL and FIFA Soccer!

Bad price, bad timing was the reason for Take-Two’s rejection and I hope it stay that way! EA, who are on a buying spree recently (BioWare Corp. anyone?), isn’t known for giving their sub-companies full creative control and independence.

However, it’s not over. Take-Two said it is open to discussions with EA, but wants to wait until April 30, the day after the latest version of Grand Theft Auto hits store shelves. Please…just say ‘NO’.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oscar Night

They came, they saw, they conquered.

On a night when over-rated thriller "No Country for Old Men" won the best picture Oscar at the 80th Academy Awards, Europeans swept all the acting honors.

"No Country for Old Men" may have been the biggest winner with four Oscars but the big story was the wins by the Europeans. As expected Spain’s Javier Bardem won for “Best Supporting Actor” for his role as a psychopathic hitman in "No Country for Old Men", and Ireland's Daniel Day-Lewis won “Best Actor” for "There Will Be Blood”.

The evening's surprises was by the ladies. Britain's Tilda Swinton, who played a scheming corporate legal chief in "Michael Clayton", got the nod for “Best Supporting Actress” in a minor upset. But the big one was France's Marion Cotillard winning “Best Actress” for "La Vie En Rose" as tragic chanteuse Edith Piaf. She is the first Frenchwoman to win the best actress Oscar since 1960 and only the second time in history that the best actress award had gone to a performance in a non-English speaking role. A non-English speaking role winning for best actress? Now that’s a surprise.

The wins brighten what was a pretty boring show. Thank god for Jon Stewart; hate to think how bad it could be without him

Monday, February 25, 2008

Leo as Akira

After years in development hell, Akira will be on the big screen. Yes, the anime classic will finally have a live-action adaptation by Hollywood and the lead role for Akira is going to…Leonardo DiCaprio?

Cough, cough, vomit, AHHHHHHHHHHH!

What? Little blond-hair pretty boy is going to be Akira? Cough, cough. Are you kidding me? I know Leo may be Hollywood’s biggest star, but him as Akira? What the hell were they thinking? Don’t get me wrong, I think DiCaprio is a very good actor (he was excellent in ‘What’s eating Gilbert Grape?’) but he isn’t Akira. He’s too pretty. Simple, sweet and short. He is too pretty to be Akira.

I don’t mind that the action will be in New York City instead of Tokyo but Leonardo DiCaprio as Akira is something I cannot accept

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Comics this week

Countdown to Final Crisis #10- Usually when the writers concentrate on the Holly Robinson story, Countdown will range from bad to terrible. Amazingly, the Holly storyline in this issue is both interesting and funny. Yes, they finally got Harley Quinn right and she was actually funny here. I also like the new powers given to both Harley and Holly Robinson; it made sense. Finally the death of Karate Kid was a long time in coming. Finally it's over. Next is Jimmy Olsen...please.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Is Edison a victim?

After a month in hiding, Edison Chen has finally returned to Hong Kong. The actor, who is at the centre of an Internet sex photos scandal, has finally admitted that he took the photos.

Too little, too late; I’m afraid. Even though he has apologized for the explicit photographs, Edison has realized this and announced his retirement from the Hong Kong entertainment scene. The biggest problem Edison has was the sad fact that no one think of him as a victim. I think he IS a victim but while most people felt sorry for the ladies involved and the problems they faced (Gillian Chung’s career seems to be pretty much over); they don’t feel the same way for Edison. As the one who took the pictures/videos, most people think he was asking for it. Running away at the height of the storm didn’t help his cause at all.

Luckily for Edison, he has a budding career in America. A role in the upcoming ‘The Dark Knight’ can (maybe) save his acting career, but in Asia, it will take some time before he can return to the top.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Youth Olympics

No, no, no! The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has placed the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. As thousands of Singaporeans cheered the result, I have to go: “Oh shit”

It seems that the swaying factor in the vote was the fact that Singapore will probably never host the exact Olympic Games due to size restrictions, and thus was the sentimental favorite. Now construction will go full-swing. Get ready for more traffic jams Singaporeans! A 5,000-bed mini-Olympic village, costing US$423 million will be built, completed of course by February 2010.

Good luck! More traffic jams for all of us

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not happy about Kosovo

When Kosovo declared independence last week, the West applauded the move, Russia reacted in anger, and everyone in Asia (including Singapore) kept quiet.

This is why. What the hell are you going to say to the Taiwanese when they declare independence from China? I mean if the West support Kosovo, how can they object when Taiwan declare independence? Western leaders are dismissing Russian objections as meddling but on this, the Russian are right. Ethnic secessionist movements throughout the world will take heart at Kosovo’s independence and their own independence movement will grow stronger as a result.

Here in East Asia, that means one thing. Taiwan. If they declare independence, how can the West say ‘no’ when they had already said ‘yes’ to Kosovo? Afterall, it's "self-determination" (the reason they are giving to Kosovo). So what the hell are you going to say to Taiwan if they declare independence?

That’s why almost no one in Asia is supporting Kosovo’s independence. It’s a Pandora’s Box that has been opened, and that’s not a thing to be happy about.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Love of the game

Humans love a gamble. Everything from horses to football games, F1 racing (yes SingaporePools, I’m looking at you) is worth a wager. Now add video games to that list.

A company in America will now allow you to bet on matches you have online. Once you register at the WorldGaming's website, it will hook you up with other gamers/gamblers who want to challenge you at games like "Halo 3," "Tiger Woods PGA Tour" and about a dozen other games. After you put your credit money in, you go to your console and play; WorldGaming will track the competition and pay off the winner.

The geniuses behind this venture are Billy Levy and Zack Zeldin. Former roommates, they used to play "Madden NFL" for $100 a game. Now these guys are betting that there are plenty of other gamers who like them, want to "make things interesting". The budding entrepreneurs hope to make money from ads and fees for hosting online tournaments. Here’s one gamer who hope this venture blow up in their face!

What happen to playing for the joy of the game? Video games are for fun right? Since when did gambling come into the picture? Isn’t it bad enough that we have all these 8-10 year old annoying kids online, now we have to deal with annoying, don’t know how to lose gamblers as well.

I hope the business fail, and fail so badly no other ‘genius’ out there would even dream of this venture again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Funnier than Fiction

Everyone heard of fact is stranger than fiction. Sometimes fact is funnier than fiction as well.

Do you know that some states in America, it’s a crime to sell sex toys? Yes, it is. I laugh my guts out when I read that the U.S federal appeals court has just overturned a statute outlawing sex toy sales in Texas recently.

The land of 'Sex and the City' and same sex marriage has a law that bans sex toys? Even in Singapore we don’t have that. So much for America being a liberal country.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Malaysian problems

When Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called early elections on March 8, he was always going to have problems with the Indian minority. After all, some 20,000 Indians just held an anti-government demonstration in November, so chances are that the Indians will take this chance to hold even more demonstrations and protests.

Which beg to question why Malaysian security forces have to use tear gas and water cannon to break up a protest by ethnic Indians in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. The demonstration was held by the Hindu Rights Action Force, which is demanding the release from jail of five of its leaders who were arrested for the protest in November. Surely the Malaysian government and police know this will happen? So why did they use tear gas and water cannons, which make them look so bad in the eyes of the international community?

Just let the Indians have a few protest marches, at least till the elections are over, and all will be okay. At least this way, the molehill will stay a molehill and not turned into a mountain.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Comics this week

Countdown to Final Crisis 11- Did I miss something…again? After months of reading how a future virus is slowly killing Karate Kid, how he is slowly losing the fight to the virus (he couldn’t walk just 2 issues ago), this issue show the Kid up and about killing OMACs left, right and centre. What did I miss? Please tell me!

Nova Annual #1- I'm not a big fan of annuals and this annual is a prefect reason why. Most annuals do one of two things. They are either a separate story with little continuation from the regular series or they are a flashback telling new readers about the character. I’ll give credit where it’s due; the Nova annual tried to do both. Unfortunately it fails to click. The writers wove a tale that tried to explore both Nova's origin and possible future in a dreamlike state that gives them room in the future to change everything. The origin is good as most new readers would not know much of Nova’s origins, but I dislike how they modified it. It has a nice touch that helps to differentiate the Nova Corps from DC's more famous GL Corps, but you don’t change a character’s origins. Especially a character’s with a brand new series! Skip this and keep to the regular series; it’s better.

Astro City: Beautie- I have collected every Astro City comic Kurt Busiek has put out and this issue showcase why. Busiek has a love for these Astro City’s characters as he crafted a moving tale on a throwaway character like Beautie. A life-size robot doll? But it work as Busiek turned the issue into a journey where a robot who is trying to find her origins and ultimately, her place in the world. After the slightly disappointing ‘Dark Age’ series, this is a welcome back to form for fans of Astro City.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Amazing Race Asia ended yesterday and TEAM SINGAPORE WINS! Adrian and Collin proves that being smart is better than being fast as they came from behind to defeat hot favorites Marc and Rovilson ‘Team Philippines’. When I saw the final leg was in Singapore, I thought they had a great chance. Remember Season 1 when the Malaysian team won in Malaysia? However an early mistake from Team Singapore (failing to hold on to their taxi) put them behind but they came back as the other teams got stopped dead by the final task. Flags! Put the flags of the country in the order where they went. To be fair; why is Hong Kong’s flag there? They were barely there, a few hours at best! Overall Season 2 is better than Season 1; and with Season 3 on the way…GO SINGAPORE!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Malaysians will vote on March 8

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called early elections on March 8. This despite a slide in his National Front coalition’s popularity amid complaints about inflation, crime and ethnic tensions.

Badawi led his National Front (BN) coalition to a landslide victory in the last elections in 2004, but he admits this time it will be different. Dissatisfaction among the Indian minority over alleged discrimination is especially high this year and some 20,000 Indians held an anti-government demonstration in November last year. So why is Badawi calling the elections now in such unfavorable times?

His name is Anwar Ibrahim.

The former Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister is banned from Malaysian politics till April 08 due to his conviction in 1999 for corruption and sodomy after a highly controversial trial. A conviction no one, including people in the BN, believes in. Released in 2004, Anwar’s conviction is something the BN just want to forgets. The sympathy Anwar has is so high, no one has even accused Badawi of being afraid to face Anwar. In fact, they call Badawi smart.

I agree with them. I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, but not facing Anwar is the smart thing to do. I hadn’t been too impressed with Badawi in his tenure as Malaysian PM but in avoiding Anwar; I think he made the right decision.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Edison must go back to HK

Unless you were not in Asia last week, you probably heard of the Edison Chen’s photo scandal that is sweeping Asia like a tsunami. In short, Hong Kong actor Edison Chen’s PC was damaged last year so he sent it in for repair. Unfortunately for him, the repairman at the PC shop found 1000+ nude/sexually suggestive photos in the PC.

It seems Edison has been a very bad boy and liked to film his conquests. And what conquests they were! Hong Kong pop idol Gillian Chung, Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung, retired actress Bobo Chan are just some of the names currently embroiled in the embarrassing sex photo scandal. The repairman showed and sent the photos to his friends, and before you know it, it’s on the internet and the biggest scandal to hit Hong Kong for years.

Everyone is talking about it, so this is my take.

First off: Whoever is in charge of the PR for Emperor Entertainment Group, fire the man. When the photos first surfaced 2 weeks ago, Emperor Entertainment Group (Gillian Chung’s management company) strongly denied the photos were real. Photoshop was a word widely used then. Before you can blink, the police were involved and what was a small wave turned into the tsunami it is now. It would have much better if they had kept quiet, because now they have no credibility at all. No matter what they say now, no one will believe a word of it.

Secondly: Edison Chen needs to go back to Hong Kong. Chen left Hong Kong soon after the photos were leak, and that just made him look like an ass and a coward to boot. He may have apologized in a video statement last week but he needs to be in Hong Kong to face the music or the public aren’t going to forgive him. One public apology in person beats a hundred apologies on video. I mean compare his actions with Gillian Chung. She apologized publicly in Hong Kong for the photos in front of 100 reporters. And where is Edison? Whereas the female celebrities stayed in Hong Kong and carry the can (Gillian’s clean image is kaput, Cecilia’s marriage is on the rocks, Bobo’s wedding is called off), Edison ran to somewhere in America. Does that sound right to you?

Get your ass back to Hong Kong, Edison! The earlier you face the music, the quicker everything will go away.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Comics this (last) week

Countdown to Final Crisis #12- It was too much to ask. After the jump in quality, Countdown moves down a rear this week. But at least this time it’s understandable. In recent weeks the series has been a good read because the writers had jettisoned all the lousy, unappealing storylines and concentrated on the Challengers of the Beyond. This week is the set-up issue where all the various storylines start to converge. So we are back to the 2 page cameos this series is infamous for. However, this issue has devoted the bulk of its pages to the Holly Robinson/Mary Marvel story. Yes, the Holly and Harley's Amazon story is over! It ruins this issue frankly but it’s a necessary evil I say, a necessary evil. Now for the death of Jimmy Olsen; JIMMY OLSEN MUST DIE!

Annihilation: Conquest #4- The problem with splitting the issue between three different stories is the loss of momentum; this is the problem now with this series. Writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have spited the series into between Star-lord team of freedom fighters; Adam Warlock and Phyla-Vell search for a new weapon against the Phalanx; and Ronan uncovering a secret Kree weapon hidden in Hala of all places. The loss of momentum is glaring as Conquest faces the same problem Countdown did earlier; nothing happen! Add to this was the fact that the main villain is Ultron! That character has the personality of a…well, robot. With a poor villain, it’s up to the heroes to save the day, and the story. Something that can’t be done when the story jump all over the place! The potential is there, but the series will need to improve.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ah Meng is dead

The biggest news in Singapore last week was the death of Ah Meng, the orangutan. The Singapore Zoo’s most famous star died of old age on 8 February 2008. Ah Meng was a tourism icon of Singapore and much loved by all Singaporeans.

Non-Singaporeans will probably wonder what all the fuzz is about. You have to understand what an ambassador Ah Meng was for Singapore. Kids, including me, read about Ah Meng in primary school. The “Breakfast with an Orangutan,” program at the zoo was a favorite of many people and Ah Meng had breakfast with everyone from Michael Jackson to Prince Philip of England. Her death was truly a sad moment for Singapore.

Goodbye Ah Meng!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008



no posts for the next few days

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Holmes was real?

History is important. Not something most Singaporeans will agree on, but I've alway enjoyed history. Afterall, who you are now is because of what people in the past had done.

So I can't help but laugh at the British. A poll showed that the U.K are in need of reforming their eduaction system, or at the very least, the history department of their eduaction system. What else can you say when nearly 25% of them think Winston Churchill was a myth and nearly half thought that legendary English king Richard the Lionheart was, well, a legend. What really surprised me was that 58% of people polled thought Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective Sherlock Holmes actually existed!

Are you kidding?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Go to Moscow

Please pick Moscow. Please pick Moscow. You have to pick Moscow.

Why would you want to come to Singapore? Isn't the first Youth Olympic Games a great event? If so, surely a historic city like Moscow fit the bill perfectly? Why come to Singapore? We are a small city who had never held an Olympics before. And we have bad traffic, as so many, many Singaporeans say. Imagine traffic in Singapore if you actually came here!

So please, International Olympic Committee (IOC), please put the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Moscow. Thanks

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The EPL this month

At the end of Jan 08, who's hot, who's not and how the hell did Boro get a Brazilian international to join them?

Top Teams this month
Tottenham Hotspur- It’s amazing what a new manager can do. Martin Jol couldn't get the team to gel, but Juande Ramos did. The Tottenham team looked fitter now and star striker Dimitar Berbatov seems far happier playing for Ramos than he ever did playing for Jol. Of course, that’s not the only thing Ramos got right. Ramos appears to know how to make the most out of the transfer window. Whereas Jol spend about 25 million pounds on Darren Bent and Younes Kaboul, Ramos spent far less to get Alan Hutton and Jonathan Woodgate. Both are great buys (provided Woodgate stay fit). Ramos has also finally dropped keeper Paul Robinson. England no.1 he may be, but he has been making too many mistakes this season. Say what you want about the Spurs board, but in Juande Ramos; they had made a right decision.

Wigan- What? Wigan is hot this month? Am I crazy? A little I admit, but I’ve been impressed by Wigan ever since Steve Bruce came onboard. Taking over from Chris Hutchings, Steve Bruce had steadied the ship. Between Emile Heskey, Antoine Sibierski & Jason Koumas, they are scoring goals so Bruce had started work on that backline. Now Wigan aren’t leaking goals like they used to, and all their defeats had been 1-0, 2-1 kind of things. They are still play hard, only now, I thing they have a great chance of staying up.

Surprise Team this month
Middlesbrough- Middlesbrough is the surprise team of the month based on one thing and one thing only. How the hell did manager Gareth Southgate convinced Afonso Alves to join Boro? The man is a Brazilian international and he is joining a team who is mid-table, at best! Middlesbrough needed a striker but how the hell did they managed to get Alves?

Disappointing Teams this month
Man City- The wheels had clearly come off for Man City. Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has done better than most people thought he would, but teams now know how to play against Man City. Stop Elano! Outside Elano, Man City only has Martin Petrov as a match-winner but Petrov is one of those players that run hot-and-cold. So if you can stop Elano, you can stop Man City. Eriksson needs to find a way around this problem if Man City is to challenge for Europe.

Newcastle- Considering how bad the season has went for Newcastle; I can understand why they got rid of Sam Allardyce. So who do you pick to replace ‘Big’ Sam? Kevin Keegan? I think Keegan is an okay manger but this is just asking for trouble. Not only because Keegan’s tactics are 100% opposite those of Allardyce, the man hasn’t managed a team in 5 years. That’s a lifeline in football! Maybe he will prove me wrong, but don’t be surprise if Newcastle start going down the table.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Comics this week

Countdown to Final Crisis 13- It took awhile, but Countdown has finally got going. The issue is mainly on the fight between Superman-Prime and Monarch. These two overly-powerful villians duke it out in a fight that destroyed not only the city, the world, but totally everything! Also, there's an appearance from Darkseid and what the Final Crisis truly is. I know I'm soundly like a broken record here but the best thing about this issue is still the lack of Holly Robinson, Jimmy Olsen & company. Keep them away and this series might actually have a decent end.

Black Adam: The Dark Age #6- By far the best spin-off out of 52, Black Adam: The Dark Age reach its' end this issue. As this final issue proves, Black Adam deserve its' own ongoing series NOW! This is thinking the writer Peter Tomasi agrees on because the issue is filled with plots that are just begging to be finished. This unfortunately is also part of the problem here. There just isn't an end to the story in this mini-series, and that makes me feel bad. As the the last issue of the mini, there should be a better end to this, thus far, great mini. However, if this get Black Adam his ongoing series complains here.

Avengers: The Initiative #9- This issue connect the past and the present from last issue in a surprising but very decent way. I'm not very happy about yet another clone in the Marvel U, but in a way it made sense here. If there's anyone in Camp Hammond who want to kill Yellowjacket and everyone there, it will be MVP. Okay, a clone of MVP but it still make sense! We also see why Taskmaster is both the best & worst drill instructor at Camp Hammond. Again, something that works and make sense. Wow, is this a Marvel comic? Not happy about Thor Girl's fate though. Thor Girl, we barely know you.