29 March 2008

Feeling So Guilty

Not too long ago, I just passed my Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT). Before that, I was thinking about keeping physically fit, not just for the yearly IPPT but also for my health's sake... thinking, like I did every year. True enough, I thought a lot about keeping fit for the last week or so but hardly did any exercise (if you consider a stroll in the park to be exercise in the first place). Not only that, I pampered myself with these:

Got both of these and quite a few other dishes at Chomp Chomp in Serangoon Gardens a couple fo days ago. The crab soup was delicious and guaranteed with roes at less than $10. Arrghhhh.... the cholesterol!!! Anyway, got quite guilty over it so the very next day, I headed straight to the gym for some workout.

I was quite surprised with myself when I managed to pull 4 STANDARD chin-ups... enough to pass my IPPT :p and even more surpising was that I managed to clock a better timing than my RT-IPPT when I attempted the 2.4km run on a threadmill. Ok, ok,,, these achievements are nothing to brag about but it is still my personal best sinc the last 4-5 years. Hmmmm... was it the crab soup? Anyway, I told myself to maintain this standard for at least a year and not only will I be able to pass my IPPT next year, I can even get a Silver Award!... or should I aim for a Gold Award? :p

20 March 2008

Where Can He Hide?

It's been like 3 weeks since Mas Selamat escaped and still no sign of him. From what I read in the net or news, more than a thousand personnel have been mobilised to search for him. More than a thousand phone calls or emails were received by the police with possible sightings reported. However, there are simply no trace of his where abouts - perhaps the Home Team did find traces just that these were not publicised for fear of jeopardising their operation to hunt him down... perhaps. If Mas Selamat is still in Singapore and the Home Team really do have reliable traces or leads to his hiding place, I find it very hard to believe that they could not get him by now.

If his escaped had been planned and co-ordinated with accomplice, I believe he must have fled the country on 27 Feb 2008, the day he escaped the detention centre. How certain are the police when they say he acted alone? Assuming he is still in Singapore and unable to contact any of his accomplice, where can he hide? I don't know.

But I asked myself, if I were him, where will I hide? So I started to muse over this question. Where ever I may be hiding, the place has to be as far away from public view as possible. It should also be near sources of food and water... and near the coast as much as possible. Eventually, my thoughts led me to think of Choa Chu Kang Cemetery.

Firstly, it is not unusual to see anyone in a cemetery... even at night, especially in Chinese cemetery where punters are known to seek additional help for the spiritual world. Also, no one would take more than a glance at a stranger in a cemetery... especially if that stranger appears to be unkept. Who knows? The dilapidated stranger you saw may not be a human after all. Food is really not an issue, if one is not too choosy. There's bound to be some offering of food and drinks to the deceased. Well, if those are really not up to your taste, there's fruit trees among the forests surrounding the cemetery. Beyond the CCK cemetery to the western end is the sea. even if the Home Team were to comb the cemetery, chances are they may not be as enthusiastic about their searches compared to other places. Come on... cemetery gives everyone the creeps. He'll just need to bide his time and await for an opportunity to perhaps hijack a motorised boat from one of the kelongs near Serimbun or Kranji and off he goes... provided the Police Coast Guard failed to detect him.

Anyway, it's just my musings... there's still a lot of questions to be addressed... such as how could he get to CCK cemetery in the first place? How certain can he be that punters will not approach him and ask "Bang, you know which hantu gives good tips?" Or perhaps, he had been taken away by the pontianak hiding there... which is why the Home Team could not find him anywhere in this world...

To all the group troopers who are actually doing the work of searching - don't loose heart. We know you are putting in your best effort to look for him. Keep it up.

19 March 2008

What's My Mood?

Many years ago, a group of us were receiving our training somewhere at the eastern side of this little red dot. On one particular morning, when we just stepped into our class. This statement was scribbled on the board - "I'm so happy I can lick my own ass!" No one knew who's the joker who wrote that but we were laughing and speculating how do this person lick his own behind?

However, this statement has been etched in my mind for may, many years. Whenever I am elated, "I'm so happy I can lick my own ass!" comes to mind...

And this is exactly how I feel this evening... because I passed my IPPT! This means no more RT... no more burning 3 evenings every week for the next 4 weeks... no more dieting, no more training, no more... WAIT. I think I should just maintain my fitness and continue exercising regularly. For the sake of my health and not just for passing IPPT.

P/S I haven't figured out how can a person lick his own behind... do you think contortionist can do it?

09 March 2008

Mind Over Matters?

Just had my 5th RT session. For the uninitiated, RT is known as Remedial Training. You will be blessed with RT if your fail or did not attend your IPPT. IPPT is Individual Pa Pok Test... no lah. IPPT is Individual Physical Proficiency Test. It is compulsory for every NS liable Singaporean to take the IPPT once a year. Since I'm still an Operational Ready NSmen... or so they term us but I still regard myself as reservist, I'm still required to take the IPPT once a year. For my last IPPT window, I failed my 2.4km run... ok ok... to be honest, I would have failed my chin-up also if I had not cheated a bit... a little it of jerking and not keeping my arms straightened :p

Of all the stations, consisting of of 4 static stations (shuttle-run, situps, standing broad jump and chin-ups) and a 2.4km run, I always have problems with chin-ups. Every year, during the test, I will fail by 1 or 2 chin ups... and have to re-test or attend RT. Since the days of my Basic Military Training, standing under the chin up bar would make my heart pump faster and I'll conjure butterflies in my belly. Only in the last recent years, I have problems with running the 2.4km also... just managed to pass.

I've always wondered what is it that keeps me from passing my IPPT.

Is it due to lifestyle?
Or perhaps diet?
Maybe it is work stress and the lack of time for exercise?
But I think all the above are excuses. I smoke but there are chimneys out there who can get gold medal for IPPT. The Company's Best PT during my BMT is one such example. Diet wise... well, I'm not obese and my BMI is still within the ideal range. And I have reduce my intake of fatty and high cholesterol food. Lack of time and stressed by work is also not an excuse... afterall, I'm one who do not believe in selling my soul to my employer.

So what's keeping me from training for my IPPT? I believe it is this...Mind Over Matters. I just have to keep to a strict regime of exercising regularly. I must keep reminding myself that exercising is not just to pass my IPPT. It is to keep my health stable as well. Afterall, age is not slowing down for me and as the years pass, I am finding it harder and harder to keep up and maintain my personal standard.

For a start, I have to train to pass my RT-IPPT in less than 2 weeks. Wish me luck :p

03 March 2008

Terrorist On The Run

Just doing my part for the safety of Singapore. This man was placed under preventive detention at the Whitley Detention Centre for involvement in a number of terrorists plots against Singapore. He had escaped on Wednesday 27 Feb 2008. If you see him, please call the police immediately.

Added on 8 March 2008

It's been more than a week and seems like there's not a single trace of this man's whereabouts other than the lead provided by the petrol kiosk workers on the day his man escape. Is he still hiding in Singapore? Or has he left the country? Is he working with accomplice(s) or still hiding alone. There's still a lot of questions left unanswered. The first and foremost is "How did he escape?" We've been told that he escaped while he went to toilet break when his family came to visit him... hardly a satisfactory answer. Wasn't he escorted? Shouldn't the toilet/building/compound be secured? Well, I hope MHA can release the details... eventually, whether he is caught or not.

Next perplexing issue is that why is the information released to the public 4 hours later? On the previous case of the NSF who smuggled a rifle with live rounds out of the army camp, public was also made aware much later. The reason cited then was that they do not want to alarm the NSF, forcing him to panic and go on a shooting spree... or hide. That sounds reasonable, at least to me. But what about this case? Supposedly, he did not pose an immediate threat since he's not armed... and he will definitely go into hiding... much better than the NSF. Afterall, he's been trained overseas making him somewhat a "foreign-trained-talent". Will the public panic? I don't think so since the public did not panic when news of the NSK with a dangerous weapon came out. In fact, I think most Singaporeans are too complacent to panic. If they had alerted the public earlier, perhaps the petrol kiosk workers would have informed the police much earlier and maybe he could have been caught on that very night. Anyway, its just my wild speculations.

What made me perturbed is that the information to assist the public to identify this man is released in piecemeal. We have his face in the papers and news on that day. We were told he walks with a limp on the left leg the next day. Later, we were informed that his limp is not observable unless he is running or walking fast. And a couple of days later, the public was informed of the clothes he is likely to be wearing when he escaped... information that is no longer useful or relevant since after so many day, he could have changed or even left the country.

One other very puzzling thing is that Dr Teo Ho Pin, Law and Home Affairs Government Parliamentary Committee Chairman, posed questions to Mr Wong Kan Seng, Home Affairs Minister, in parliament about this security lapse (see link) !?!?! Pardon my ignorance, isn't the Law and Home Affairs Government Parliamentary Committee equally accountable or are they just an independent audit committee? Is there too much focus in creating too many committees that we have over-sighted on the REAL issues?

Of all the statements that came out from the politicians so far, I feel it is still these from MM Lee that make sense. Trust this old man to be rationale, precise and to the point... whether you like what he said or not.

I can only hope and do what little part I can to ensure that Mas Selamat is caught before any harm is done. Mas Selamat is not a threat just to Singapore. He is an allege terrorist. He is threat to the world.