Monday, June 19, 2006

Come on, don't dissapoint me!

So, those "seditious bloggers" didn't stop there. Careless remarks, an oversensitive people involving the law in an issue it shouldn't be even involved in. Some 'debate' about freedom of speech. A false dichotomy between free/responsible speech.

Later, the Danish cartoon controversy erupted and the government went "I told you so!"

The issue was (mis)used as GP essay fodder, then forgotten.

But it didn't end there!

Now, another obscure blogger is on the wrong side of the law due to some 'offensive' cartoons. Some people are too petty and have too much free time in their hands.

This case will show whether those "seditious bloggers" have set a very dangerous legal precedent pushing too much power into the hands of the overzealous wanting to settle their personal vendettas. Say the wrong things online, and anyone who hates you sufficiently could use the law against you. Surely the frivolous use of the law is undesirable, let alone the personal consequences. And surely, it is a blow to the freedom of expression on the internet, because it also sets a precedent for arresting people for any speech on the internet.

The 'light touch' began a long, long time ago.

Why, 'Kalin', why-oh-why, did you have to make that 3 am phone call? Why must you open that can of worms? Who art thou? Agent provocateur or Pandora?

Why can't people know that not being offended is not a god-given right? Why don't they just stick to trading insults instead of involving the law; or better yet, learn to forgive?

Can't we all just get along? Or at least just disagree?

Come on, people, don't dissapoint me, I do have hope in humanity, you know. Surely, I can justify to myself that a specific subsection of humanity is defective, but you know I really, really don't want to.

I'll just say this: speech cannot be responsible unless it is free. With and only with freedom can you be responsible, otherwise it is naught but fear and want.

Being offended is overrated, anyway.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I am so blind

The law-enforcement and judiciary have been acting strangely (by Singaporean standards) lately. I mean wha-- hearing so many ex-PAP MPs cases at one go (after elections of course), letting Gomez off with a slap on the wrist. Something clicked in me one week after they released Gomez. I am so blind to take so long to figure that out. I still reserved my suspicions, though.

The agreement to hear Chee's case (the election voiding one) in the courts (moreso open court!) more or less strengthens that stand. I think even Chee is surprised by this move as everyone expects the case to be thrown out. She may have intended it as a token gesture, but she'd better have prepared something...

What on earth did I figure out? The answer is EnerNorth v. Oakwell. I suspect the Tur Kwa Factor (Pork liver for democracy!), insufficient evidence and LKY not home pales as reasons in comparison to EnerNorth when it comes to letting Gomez off. Since when did the government ever care what Singaporeans think?

If Enernorth's appeal succeeds, a precedent will be set for considering judgments by Singaporean courts unenforceable outside Singapore.

You know this is going to really hurt. I'm no legal expert, but this will set a very 'dangerous' precedent, which could result in courts elsewhere to follow. It's not just a blow to the government when it comes to those transparency perception things, it's a blow economically, after all, the transparency and corruption thing is touted as one of those things that attract MNCs (I say yeah right... they'll stay as long S'pore is cheap, I bet they don't give a damn about transparency and incorruptibility. Plus, the tax breaks are nice).

I believe the hearing is in June.

Oakwell is going to need every single one of the above cases to bolster their defense, and it is in the interest of the government that Oakwell wins; in which case, they have a precedent proclaiming the unbiasedness of the judiciary. It surely didn't help Oakwell that a civil suit was filed against the SDP earlier.

Hell, I think that such a case can even pop up in the first place (regardless of outcome) is really, really bad. It must be godsend to Singapore that no one actually pays attention to such stuff.

I think the case going to go this way, in my non-legally trained opinion, of course:

EnerNorth (currently): Singapore's Judicial standards (in general) do not meet Canadian constitutional requirements, therefore judgements from S'pore is unenforcable. See my shiny witnesses and past examples. Hey look, they are suing SDP! Also...

Oakwell (maybe): The above is untrue (present egs.). Also, Singapore is No.1 according to some Transparency list based on some arbitrary criteria we found somewhere on the internet.<< If their lawyer is dumb they will use this one

Oakwell (more likely): That was the past. More recently, (present Egs). Obviously every single one of these scapegoats errr... I mean shining bastions of democracy shows that things have changed. Is every single ruling from Singapore going to be voided in future because of a few cases from the past? Think, think! This is a serious decision.

EnerNorth (possibly): Yeah right...! Even if you take into account the present cases, the power structure of the Singaporean Judiciary is inherently skewed towards the ruling party. Just because that there are presently (temporarily, I might add) a bunch of cases, the underlying problem (that generated the past cases) is still there! There is simply no guarantee there will be no continued abuse of the judiciary in future.

On and on and on...

In the meantime, it looks like the Bad Democracy Awards already has a clear winner.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Vote Again

Guess who made it to openDemocracy's bad democracy award shortlist?

This one is a tough competition though... just read the writeups. It has to be tough when The Revolutionary Movement of Congo just missed the shortlist.

Bad Democracy Awards

I'm thinking IMF would win this round... they just have more media exposure.

UPDATE (23/5): Guess who's getting a mandate?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fate, Karma & Destiny

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
-- The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

I don't believe in Fate, because I believe in consequences.
I don't believe in Karma, because I am but a drop in the ocean in the greater scheme of things.

What I believe in though, is Momentum. We can control our destiny somewhat, we just have to overcome the sheer inertia of it. Fate is only true for objects of infinite mass ;). But sometimes, even a mere butterfly could cause a hurricane in New York.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


To Nagfa:

When someone makes me an ambigram, I make one back!

This one was a little rushed tho!

Note to self: Pls update sidebar.
Edit: Done. Good.

Monday, May 01, 2006

MSDS safety sheets and things like that

Material Safety Data Sheets are fun. One of the most infamous MSDS's is that of water, which includes the following:

FIRST AID: SKIN: Wash exposed area with soap and water. If irritation persists, seek medical attention.

EYES: Wash eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lids occasionally. Seek Medical Aid. INHALATION: Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen

INGESTION: Give several glasses of milk or water. Vomiting may occur spontaneously, but it is not necessary to induce. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

Oddly enough, this section is not present on all MSDS's on water, just some. Methinks someone has been doing a cut and paste job on these things.

For more safety/water related humour, visit
Of course, there's always : Silly Molecular Names.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ambigram: Zero

Thou shalt not divide by zero.