28 April 2009

Stay Alert and Be Vigilant

If you've not read in the papers, stay alert and be vigilant of a flu pandemic. A new strain of the flu virus, commonly know as swine flu has spread to countries including USA, Mexico, Canada, Spain and Scotland as reported in Today Online.

In Singapore, efforts have been made to step up pre-cautionary measures (reported here and here) in order to prevent a recurrence of tragedy when Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) hit us back in year 2003.

Ape was in the airport on Sunday and apparently, Changi Airport wasted no time in rolling out the temperature screening machines that were used during the SARS outbreak to detect for any signs of fever of its passengers. Ape supposed the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority will be particularly observant of passengers arriving from America and Europe.

Just yesterday, at ape's workplace, we were told to take out our business continuity plan and go through them... just in case Alert Level has been raised to Orange.

Just this morning, when ape returned to my NS unit for medical checks, the public announcement system called for all medics to assemble for morning brief. One out of the two medics who attended to ape left for the brief and returned to update his buddy on the precautionary measures to be taken. Just before ape left the medical centre, tables were placed outside the rooms... presumably to prepare for "pre-screening" before letting visitors into the centre itself.

As of now, while ape is writing this, CNA on TV says that the Alert Level has been raised to Yellow.

Keep yourself updated on the news and development and stay alert for any signs of flu. Take care everyone... for yourself and your family. Ape has to find his masks and personal thermometer. Ape wonders if there's anymore masks or thermometer in the pharmacy below.

25 April 2009

Ape Supports AWARE

Ape Supports AWARE... and ape don't mean the bogus new EXCO. In ape's previous post, ape has already made known and urge any readers here to support AWARE by signing the online petition here.

What are ape's reasons besides those stated in the petition?

1) The removal of the old guards was clearly a deliberate and pre-planned coup, orchestrated by a certain Dr Thio... who self-proclaimed to be "feminist mentor". Ape has heard of Braema Mathi but who is this self professed Dr Thio Su Mien?

This tells ape the new EXCO (and supporters) lacks humility.

2) The new EXCO allege that AWARE had strayed into promoting homosexuality and intend to set AWARE back on its correct path. If this is true, why can't they address this concern in an open debate? Instead, they went in stealthily and staged a coup.

This tells ape the new EXCO is capable of dodgy actions.

3) All the sub-committee heads, include internationally known Braema Mathi who heads CEDAW were removed from their positions without reasons ... and a simple thank you.

This tells ape the new EXCO is disrespectful and lacks decency.

4) The locks were changed, effectively keeping out the old guards from saving their documents. The centre's manager was fired for "not following instructions" with no further elaboration when the manager had wanted the new EXCO to explain their actions to the old guards.

This tells ape the new EXCO is unreasonable and will force its way through.

Ape suppose the above four reasons is more than enough for ape not to support them. What has the old guards done, anyway, that wins ape's support?

The old guards have maintained their position and objectives clearly and soundly. They embraces diversity in race, religion, culture and sexuality. To ape, the key word is embracing diversity which apes finds is particularly important in this multiracial, multireligion and multicultural society. Embracing diversity is also one of ape's beliefs. So if you do share the same belief as ape, please lend your support by going here and here.

(If you noticed, ape has not mentioned anything about religion other than the last paragraph. The reason is simple. This AWARE saga has nothing to do with religion. It's about our ability to mature as a society in whole and truly progress as a great nation. This is also the reason why ape got involved in this misunderstood "38 38 women thingy")

Save AWARE For Gender Equality

Ape is a male, in case you haven't noticed, so when ape first got to read about the AWARE saga in the Straits Times, ape really can't be bothered. The reason is that, ape heard of this name AWARE and heard that they do something for women and that's all ape knew.

What went on in ape's mind then was "Hmmm... imagine if after the last General Election in year 2006, all supporters of say Workers Party started moving to say Tanjong Pagar GRC and consolidate there and by the next election, WP contest against PAP that is headed by Minister Mentor and PAP lost!!!! Wah! Big news leh!" ... but of course this would not happen.

Anyway, that news article on 10 April 2009 was soon forgotten by ape (not entirely la... ape did visit other blogs and got a little bit info about the backgrounds of the new EXCO). Then on 17 April 2009, over lunch break, ape's colleague was saying something about DBS start interfering with employees personal time and something something relating to AWARE. Oooh! Interesting.

So after work, ape read about the incident in Business Times. Apparently, it is not a case of employer interfering with employees personal time. Read carefully. It is a case of employee breaching the company's staff code of conduct. Josie Lau did not declare or seek approval from her boss (twice) when she joined the AWARE EXCO and then elected to President of the EXCO.

And so days passed. Ape met a neanderthal friend for coffee who said," aiyah... all these women folk things... all the 38 38 matters... why receive so much attention in the news? Trying to suppress the Geylang Serai Market problem izit?"

Well... ape is not sure of both allegations ... 1) Is what's happening in AWARE just an internal problem? 2) Is there some cover ups at the GSM?

At least ape is sure he can find out more about AWARE. What ape found out is that, the AWARE saga, as the ape see it, has become a battle of idealism (is that the right word?)

Apparently the old EXCO feels that the new EXCO will possibly impose their religious views into AWARE. The new EXCO accusses the old EXCO of promoting lesbanism. In their defence, old EXCO maintained that AWARE is a secular organization that embraces diversity and they are neither pro or anti gay/lesbanism.

Is you want to find out more, search the net or if you trust the posting of new AWARE website set up by the old EXCO (so confusing new website, old exco :p.. ape going bananas), go here where the old EXCO supporters have consolidated all the news reports from main stream media. (Remember hor, in Singapore, main stream media is supposedly to be factual and objective).

After reading through all these reports and the events that occurred... ape feels not only this matter concerns him, ape also feels he need to lend some support to the old guards... and he did so by signing this petition.

Actually, in this post, ape wanted to tell you why he decided to support the old guards but... really, it's very late now so I'll explain further on another day .

13 April 2009

Story of Duke and Bruno

Duke and Bruno have been with their keeper for as long as anyone can remember. Both are equally loyal. Both protects the interests of their keeper but in different ways.

Duke rarely barks. He would do his usual walk around the house, survey the area, keeping a mindful look out for anything unusual. He would pick up the wayward litter,casually dropped by his keeper when he takes out the trash. In the night when all were asleep, he would rest near the doorstep,keeping vigil. His gaze would be fixated on any passerby and ready to pounce on any stranger who has the audacity to trespass. He rarely barks and did his work dutifully.

Bruno was never missed by his keeper. His presence is always felt. He would follow his keeper wherever he went. He barks at the slightest anomaly, including the occassional rebel leaf from the neighbour that found its way across the fence. When opportunity arised,he would strut towards his keeper,parading the squeaking pest in his jaws - the pest that was snatched rudely from the paws of the neighbourhood cat who hunted it.

In spite of their differences, Duke and Bruno never had any rivalry between them. The only time they fought was playtime, solely for the entertainment of the keeper's child, KJ.

It was under new moon and the winds were high. A stealthy shadow leapt across the fence and took cover in the garden shed in a single swift motion. Fast but not enough to escape Duke's sight. Duke stood his ground and guarded the house entrance still. His gaze never left the fugitive. As long as the escaped prisoner stayed in the shed, he was no threat to the family and Duke intended to leave it that way. Nevertheless, Duke adjusted to a crouching position,ready to pounce should shadow take another step towards the house. Further up north along the street, the flashing lights of the local patrol could be seen.
Bruno roused from his slumber, glanced at Duke and realised something was amissed. He followed the gaze of Duke and barely made out a man sitting in the garden shed. Bruno leapt up, ran round the courtyard excitedly and woke the entire neighbourhood with his incessant barks.

The fugitive panicked. He had to think fast. From his position, he could see the patrol approaching. The barking dog had effectively blocked his escape into the street. He was not prepared to test the truthfullnes of the adage - a barking dog never bites. His alternative was to hold someone hostage in this house. He'd rather die fighting than return to the cell and face the noose. A hatchet hung harmlessly on the shed and turned evil in the hand of the fugitive. Shadow dashed for the main door. Duke pounced. Bruno watched as the hatchet landed on Duke's shoulder while Duke landed squarely on Shadow's chest. Dog and man sprawled on the grass. The hatchet flung into the bushes. Duke would have gone for Shadow's throat but was too weak. Shadow was disoriented but quick to pick himself up and dash into the street southwards, only after he kicked that barking dog out of his path. Bruno laid whining and wheezing with a couple of broken ribs. He would never be able to bark as he used to. Duke, totally exhausted and bleeding profusely, remained fixated on Shadow as he diminished down the street with the patrol on his heels. A couple of gun shots were heard and that's the last anyone in the neighbourhood saw Shadow. Duke took a final look at the house. Saw Keeper and family safe and sound. He closed his eyes for the final time, knowing he had kept the family safe.

Keeper missed Bruno's bark. In fact,he missed those days when Bruno would run around the house,chase after birds or leaves and any little things that excited him. KJ is no longer a child. KJ will soon be told that Bruno's health had deteriorated and he would need to take Bruno to the town vet. Keeper is sure that KJ will brightened up when he present a puppy to KJ. However,Keeper is determined that he will only keep one dog. Keeper knows exactly the type of dog he wanted.

KJ is at the pet cemetary. He placed Duke's favourite biscuit on the ground. He remembered how Duke would always break his fall when he was a toddler. Or how Duke would snuggle up to him and lick his face when he felt all alone in the sand pit. Duke never failed to find his lost toy or shoes. He remembered vavidly how Duke had heroically saved the family on that fateful night. He had witnessed the entirely episode but no one cared what he saw because he was just a kid.