The Real Reason Watain Got Cancelled

I seldom blog about race and religion. It’s a sensitive topic. I do not know if our people, or our conservative government, is ready to discuss it openly.

On the one hand, people tell me we need to desensitize our people to such volatile topics. We need to open up public discourse to discuss, debate our differences, tensions and insecurities. On the other hand, any discussion on race and religion inadvertently, always, leads to the consequences that we all try to avoid. We are not as matured as we think.

So there I was talking to my associates on Phar-East Festival when a young man walked in with a Nazi symbol on his jacket. He looked more like he was an aide at a metal rock concert than a delegate visiting Pharm and Biotech Festival. Now all the talk in the newspapers about Watain begins to make even more sense to me.

Death metal has a big problem. It’s a Nazi-sized problem, pardon the pun. And there’s no point ignoring it any further. I decided to blog it.

[Read: https://music.avclub.com/metal-music-still-has-an-unaddressed-nazi-problem-1798258676%5D

If you have been visiting Mars and not read the papers, Watain is a Swedish death metal band. Our dear Government just pulled the plug on them hours before the concert.

Who are these people? They call themselves a Satanic band. Yet, they also subscribe to philosophies like Odinism and Wotanism, that celebrate old Norse gods.

But there is a darker side. These are the same philosophies attracting Neo-Nazis, far-right fascists and white supremacists in Europe and America. Metal bands in America like Skrewdriver and RaHoWa have been leading white supremacist groups for decades. (RaHoWa, by the way, is an acronym for Racial Holy War). Any self-righteous politically correct activist worth their salt should start with these people first.

Now, some metal fans and musicians might say that adopting Nazi imagery is purely an aesthetic choice. But this is the world of Trump. This is a world where fascists no longer care about subtlety. When people lie about a restaurant running a paedophile ring, real people do go out and shoot people.

Since Watain sings “Fuck your Jewish God!”. Since they have abused animals and used their blood and organs as props on stage. Since their lead singer has openly celebrated the oppression of Christianity. Worse, they glorify and sing about death and suicide to their young impressionable audience. As a medical personnel, let me assure you these are not trivial matters to be ignored. Watain has to be taken at their word.

Their lead singer agrees that “I think criminal activities and metal are naturally connected.” (https://www.revolvermag.com/music/watains-erik-danielsson-theres-never-been-any-line-weve-been-afraid-cross).

Their guitarist has been photographed giving the Nazi salute (http://www.metalsucks.net/2018/03/27/watain-photo-of-guitarist-giving-the-nazi-salute-surfaces-online/ )

Their lyrics and behaviour have to be taken at face value.

Back to our friend I met the other day. He wears a leather jacket with a red Nazi swastika on the back. What race do you think the man was? I don’t want to sound racist. But you would probably get it right.

There is a very strange obsession amongst them with Nazi symbols. Whether it is a mindless attempt at anti-establishment behaviour, or some kind of aesthetic choice, or just their fashionable hatred of Jewish people, it is still appalling to celebrate an ideology that murdered millions of innocent people. Try wearing a shirt with Pol Pot face in Cambodia.

The crazy thing is that many of these young men would themselves be targets in Europe by the Islamophobia being vehemently stoked by Metal bands and their fascist fan base.

I wonder how would they feel about the lyrics from Orkan, a song from another Norwegian metal band, Taake. It goes:

“Til Helvete med Muhammed og Muhammedanerne/
Utilgivelige skikker
To hell with Muhammad and Muslims/
Unforgivable customs”

I didn’t say that. Another metal band did.

Would it be ok if we allow a Christian metal band to perform “Oppress Muslims, Kill all Palestinian and Arabs’’? Or a Chinese singer singing about “Kill all Malays, Kill all Indians?’’ A big “No’’ for me, for sure. For those with the middle fingers, hope you get the drift.

If we all agree that a band or a preacher expousing anti-Islam content should be banned, but that explicit anti-Christian lyrics should be allowed, then what you’re really saying, is that Muslims cannot handle religious insults but Christians can. That’s quite racist. And that’s the real reason why Watain was banned. It is just good policy. Nothing to do with being secular or not.

I am just disappointed that IMDA didn’t do it earlier in the first place.

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Bad move from LTK

Bad move from LTK

Low Thia Khiang said that Singapore should correct the perception of us as an arrogant nation.

How exactly do we do that Mr Low?
– Be less successful?
– Stop insisting on our rights when people enter our territorial waters?
– Kowtow to others when they bully us?

Don’t confuse a confident nation with arrogance.

The soft power initiatives you suggested have nothing to do with the fundamental problem – envy from neighbouring countries. We’ve been engaging ASEAN youths for decades. But their leaders still stir up anti-Singapore sentiments whenever it fits their domestic political needs.

A friend who graduated from LKY School tell me, that his classmates, the youths from ASEAN are even more aggressive, more assertive of their country’s might and power. And they don’t hold back from reminding the rest that they are bigger, more powerful.

And now, you are parroting the same lines as Mahathir? That Singapore is arrogant? And at the same time old M brings up the water price too! Bad, bad move.

Goondu lah!

Goondu lah!

I have to blog this one now. Sometimes the wisest comment can come from the most unlikely source. My regular kopi uncle in this case, Ah Chai.

Just came back from the hawker centre. Had a quick chat with him during my late morning break when the crowd thinned. I asked him about the CPF opt in, opt out issue. I presumed he has reached the age of 65 where he can go and cash in on more of his retirement money. (Sadly, I have to wait another 7 years to get my first withdrawal at 55 and hopefully rules have not changed by then.)

First thing first, Ah Chai looks older than his age. He is only 62. Results of years of toiling behind the hot coffee filter. But he has excellent views.

Ah Chai tells me in Mandarin. And this is what he essentially summed up. These goondu people complained so much. Your own money you need the Cheng-hu to come and ask you to withdraw, seow lah.

Ah Chai tells me the moment he neared 55, he asked his wife – who is next to him helping collecting money – to accompany him to CPF Board to ask how he can take out his money. He also tracked the letters that was sent to him by CPF ahead of his withdrawal age. “我们的钱,你不自己拿,要等人家来跟你说?等死啊?’’ Essentially, what he meant was “Your own money you don’t go and collect and wait for others to tell you? Waiting to die is it?’’

And then he made the most succinct political observation. These people who complained about the opt in, opt out at the age of 65 don’t even make sense. They are the most vocal. Obviously, they are the ones who desperately want their money back as easily and as early as possible. They kept saying, it’s our own money you know! They want to take out and spend it their own way.

And then, they are the same people who are saying, come 65 they may forget?!!! You better have a opt-in provision so that I won’t forget. Ah Chai says if this is China or other developing countries, nobody will be waiting for someone to tell them to go collect their own money. Definitely not the government! He is right, it’s your own money for God’s sake. And not forgetting the CPF will send you reminders before you reach qualifying age to go collect. Seriously, if you can forget to go and collect your hard earned money after waiting for decades, you are either doing pretty ok. Or you need to give yourself a kick in the backside.

I asked Ah Chai why it has become like that. He says our government has done so well in taking care of the people, they have weakened their natural reflexes and everyone has to rely on the government for everything. Including telling them to go collect their own money. I agreed with Ah Chai.

As for the rest of us, we better start looking after ourselves better and not wait for the Govt to tell you what to do. Isn’t that what critics have always been saying – let us handle our own personal affairs.

So to those who complained, especially the better educated cynics, goondu, lah, you.

 

Stop aiding criminals- take care of our own first

Stop aiding criminals- take care of our own first

As a member of the medical industry, obviously I have an interest in following this HIV saga. First of all, I would not call this a leak. I would call it negligence. This Dr Ler fella, the gay partner who used to head the National Health Unit, was authorised to access the HIV registry as part of his work on infectious diseases, including HIV, TB and others. Can the incident be prevented?

So first question we have is how can anyone predict that this man is going to have a gay lover who will fall in love with him, break up with him, fall out badly with him, and then steals his data to create trouble. Can you seriously think you can pick that up during the interview process or during the course of work?

Should all interviews in public or private sector now require candidates or employees to declare the status of their personal relationship, whether they are gay or straight, whether the partner may or may not have HIV, whether their girlfriend or boyfriend is of good character – which at this point of his appointment they were madly in love and surely he is not going to say anything nasty. We have to be realistic. Can all appointments in public sector now entail answering one thousand different scenarios in personal matters? Not realistic. If so, no one will be joining the Government. I put the same question to another medical practitioner and his reply was “it is unfortunate this has happened but the chances of preventing it is almost zero.’’

Next the victims. At this point in time, all our efforts nationwide must be to protect them. We can be of different political leanings. We can all dislike each other. We can be pro or anti PAP. We can be pro or anti LGBT. But our utmost priority must be to ensure two things – that we do not do any more harm to hurt them and their families further. Patients carrying HIV face enormous physical and emotional challenges. This stems not just from having the medical condition but the emotional trauma and stigma arising from friends, colleagues, employers and, more important, families and relatives. We must do whatever we can to help them. It was good that someone in the newspaper suggested perhaps the best help we can offer now is to help fight this social stigma and let them know it is alright and not their fault that they contracted the virus. Which means even if their names are out there in the public, there should be no additional emotional stress on them.

Now the problem with the usual anti-Government critics. This clearly is an opportunity to have a go at the Government, gain some political capital and, hopefully, embarrass the political leaders and the civil servants. There are many occasions where we can and should take the government to task. But not this one. There is a time and place for dirty politics. In fact, on the contrary, this is the time where Opposition politicians and government critics must display their real political courage to stay above politics and put public interests first. Show that they truly care for Singapore and Singaporeans.

Sadly, already I see Lim Tean capitalising on it. Brochez is now lying through his teeth, painting himself as a Snowden. He’s even denying the offences he was convicted of. I see TOC and its editor Terry Xu jumping to repeat these lies, to try to create more distress for the HIV patients. They are not helping Singaporeans. They are not helping the thousands of HIV patients. Certainly, they are not helping the gay community who will now face even more discrimination in employers’ mind. Terry Xu, by trying to approach Brochez to get a good juicy, sensational story must remember a few simple facts – this man has lied about all his academic qualifications, has totally disregarded the interests of the thousands of fellow HIV patients, and is now trying everything he can to bring down Singapore.

As someone who has openly promoted the abolition of 377A – if you have read my blog pieces below you will know – I am already worried and disappointed that this incident of a gay relationship-turned-sour will now further weaken the case for the gay community and pro-abolition supporters like me. The reckless and selfish act by Brochez has already caused so much harm to the HIV patients – and some who are now depressed and suicidal. By jumping to his side to try to give this man more platform and credence to his madness can only serve to create emotional distress to the victims and their families. And worse, Brochez and his criminal actions – now egged on by the anti-Government factions whose disdain for the ruling party trumps over all common sense and decency – has set back all the efforts and progress made by the LGBT community in the last decade. I truly fear for them. Do not make it worse.

Where will Tan CB run?

Where will Tan CB run?

(Images from Tan CB’s Facebook. Singaporeans don’t look too impressed with him.)

Tan Cheng Bock has been basking in the limelight, posting pictures from different parts of Singapore every weekend. The sore loser of the 2011 Presidential Election appears to have a mischievous streak. Everyone is speculating where he will run for elections based on where he appears. Well, politics 101. Keep your enemy guessing. Here are my two cents.

First things first. He probably doesn’t have enough resources to contest more than one GRC. His party only has 12 members so far. Since every candidate needs an election agent, he can’t field more than 6 candidates. And that’s assuming he can get 5-6 strong candidates including a minority.

The obvious choice for him would be West Coast GRC, where his former constituency is. That’s where he would have the most recognition. With Lim Hng Kiang retired, their anchor minister is S Iswaran- a minority with a “lightweight” ministry (MCI). It’s also a 4-person GRC, making it easier for CB to assemble a team. It was formerly contested by that joker Kenneth Jeyaretnam, who should be easy enough to shove off or run against in a three-cornered fight if need be.

Marine Parade? Only if his bosom buddy Goh Chok Tong retires I think. But this is the only place he wasn’t spotted and met by an MP- perhaps indicating that the PAP doesn’t have enough supporters on the ground there.

Ang Mo Kio? Only if Lee Hsien Yang will join him, turning the election into the worst kind of Taiwanese soap drama. But he has been to AMK twice, indicating it could be a possibility.

Nee Soon? The best performing Opposition WP had one of the worst-performing contests there last round. I doubt Tan CB can do better.

No other GRC has so many high-profile candidates- that heavy weight minister Shanmugam and two vocal backbenchers Lee Bee Wah and Louis Ng who are known to give the Government a hard time. My clinical assistant tells me this is one GRC where no one will say “I don’t know what my MP has been doing the past 5 years!” A campus buddy of mine who should be in the know claims even WP team is quitting there to go for Tampines.

Tampines? The media reports that WP has been very active there recently. And they have a tradition of contesting where the next PM will be. But this could be fertile ground for opposition as the East tends to be more restive. It all depends if Tan CB can persuade WP and NSP to cede this GRC.

It’s too early to tell. Tan CB could go for an SMC to dethrone a younger PAP MP. Or just retire as “the guy who nearly became President”. Notice he’s left this option open by saying he wants to mentor younger candidates.

WP’s story hard to believe

WP’s story hard to believe

When I go onto the Straits Times’ website, news about the AHTC trial is not under “courts and crime” or even “Singapore”, but “politics”. This is weird but probably reflects what many Singaporeans think of the case. (Bearing in mind, the suit was started by an independent panel for the TC, appointed by the WP and headed by JBJ’s son Philip Jeyeretnam.)

The WP MPs exploit this perception in their defence.

Essentially they are saying that they appointed their supporters’ company FMSS without an open tender because the other players experienced in TC management all serve PAP Town Councils and are not to be trusted.

Whether that statement is correct or not, some Singaporeans do believe that these companies might be biased. But even assuming that, WP had choices other than to lie and flout procurement rules.

 

– Other companies approached WP

Low Thia Khiang admitted in court that other property management companies approached him after GE2011, eager to be his managing agent. Was WP too quick to assume they couldn’t be trusted? And while they may not have direct TC experience (like FMSS), they were experienced property managers. They could have hired staff experienced in HDB town management.

But Low never gave them a chance to tender for the contract.

 

–  CPG was contracted to stay on

The TC’s original managing agent CPG was contractually bound to serve at least two more years, at the same price (lower than FMSS’), regardless of boundary and political changes. Even if CPG was unwilling to serve WP, they wouldn’t have destroyed their own reputation by skimping on services to residents.CPG is and international firm, and their reputation would be important to them. They wouldn’t give that up just for this.\

The contract could only be terminated with the TC’s consent. This means WP could have made CPG stay on, at least for a few more months to give them more time to call an open tender.

 

-WP had 2-3 months to call a tender

From the election on 9 May 2011, to when WP had to take over AHTC on 1 Aug 2011, was nearly 3 months. Even without making CPG stay on, WP did have enough time to call a proper tender.

WP says that the withdrawal of the TCMS (TC management computer system) forced them to appoint FMSS as early as possible. But in fact, the deadline for withdrawal was extended twice, until after WP got its own system up and running. There’s no evidence that the TCMS was forcibly withdrawn.

 

– Their own Town Councillors should have been informed

WP appointed their own town councillors, mostly their long-time supporters. The councillors would have bought the explanation about CPG not being trustworthy. They probably preferred to work with FMSS, whom they knew from Hougang, even at a higher price. Why not be transparent, set out the facts before the town councillors and let them decide? Town Councillors after all, are empowered to participate in key decision making processes over town matters.

Instead, the WP dismissed CPG, gave FMSS a letter of intent, and even started paying FMSS before the Councillors met to discuss?

Why lie to the council that they needed to waive the tender because it was urgent?

Why hide from the council the fact that FMSS was solely owned by their supporters?

Why did they go to such lengths to ensure FMSS got the job- what did they have to gain?

 

WP’s case is essentially “woe are we, we were victims, we had no choice but to bend the rules”.  I find that story hard to believe. They admitted in court that they had plenty of choices.

What’s more, if everyone who feels they have the moral high ground to bend the rules, why even have rules in the first place?

The House of Soros

The House of Soros

The House of Soros – that’s what they call the organisations funded by George Soros.

George Soros is, of course, the billionaire financier. He made his money from other people’s woes – for instance, financial turbulences, including the 1997 Asian financial crisis that destroyed so many lives. Poverty rose during such crises. Ironically, he has been found to be evading taxes while calling for governments to spend more.

His foundations are all over the world. Despite their claims of transparency, NGO Monitor found that a lot of the funding runs through a secretive Swiss organisation .

Most of the groups financed are left-wing. They have spent over US$14 BILLION on funding such causes, and that’s only the openly declared portion. He overthrows elected governments he doesn’t like. But who elects him?

Not surprisingly, many of the organisations that attack Singapore regularly, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Oxfam and New Naratif, fall into this shadowy group. New Naratif, set up by Kirsten Han and Thum PJ, even tried to register themselves in Singapore to run political workshops and websites.

Thum, if you remember, is that activist who attempted to change history to suit his own academic work. New Naratif is funded by Soros’ Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), which is the secretive Swiss organisation identified by NGO Monitor. It’s not clear how much money it dispenses and where the money comes from. New Naratif admitted it received funding from many other unknown foreign entities.

We stopped them and they’ve now gone off to Malaysia to seek Mahathir’s interference in our politics. And some Singaporeans are too quick to jump on Soros bandwagon without thinking through how much they want to destroy this great country.

Oxfam is the latest to whack Singapore. In what is one of the most flawed rankings ever seen, Oxfam said Singapore comes in bottom 10 in the world for efforts to combat inequality. This is mostly not based on how poorer Singaporeans live, but because we’re classified as a “tax haven”. Any initiative to attract investment by giving tax breaks is “tax haven” behaviour in their books. They ignore how the bottom half of Singaporeans pay no income tax while benefiting from government-funded housing, transport, education, healthcare, utilites etc. It does not matter to them that Singapore’s public housing, healthcare and education are among the best in the world and most important, accessible to all strata of society.

So they would rather see people relying on handouts than people using good affordable public housing as a base to build their lives. Oxfam inequality index had been consistently dismissed by experts as flawed and politically motivated. Just think about it, Singapore is ranked below Palestine, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica.

That’s the line all their reports take. They routinely attack capitalism, while ignoring the fact that global poverty, disease and hunger are all on the retreat since capitalism spread all over the world. They call for irresponsible redistribution instead of wealth creation, which is precisely what led the Communist states to bankruptcy. Complete equality probably means everyone earns $1,000 a month.

It’s actually sad what has happened to Oxfam. It was a UK organisation focused on famine relief and much loved by people. But along the way it was “hijacked by the politicised left”, especially in the case of Soros-funded Oxfam International. According to recent exposés, Oxfam International covered up reports of their staff using underage prostitutes while on “relief” missions. (Well, someone’s getting relieved at least?)

The cheek of a billionaire who wrecked countries’ currencies and caused years of economic hardship and poverty to the ordinary folk and then positioned himself as champion of democracy and poverty reduction?

Oxfam never really cared for poverty reduction. Its role is to recklessly attack the rich and governments Soros doesn’t like even if pro-market policies have helped uplift the lives of billions in China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe. All over the world, the House of Soros has funded biased claims, violent demonstrations and political actors who hide their foreign influencers. Do we want to be the next victim?

 

 

(Featured image from Fabrications About the PAP)