Friday, March 12, 2004

more selections from the Straits Times

He can get a $10 SingTel card for $8, he said. This buys 24 minutes of toll-free talk-time, at around 33 cents a minute. In contrast, SingTel's BudgetCall 013 costs 87 cents a minute. 'I call my family back home once a day. There are so many shops selling the cards here that they're cheap,' he said.

wow, i learn something crazy every day. how is it 33 cents a minute to call overseas? there is no way, with the telecommunications overcapacity in the world, that this is the -actual- cost of a call. if i can call Singapore from the United States for something approaching 4 cents a minute, how is it that much more expensive to call Bangladesh? shame on you, telecoms companies. -tsktsk-

[oooh final exam 0845-0945 in SS 107 on thursday. 1000 our heads get cut off. wow, i love duncan. he's such a funny man.]

But what happens if that stodgy social climate becomes an impediment to success in the economic world? Talent flows to tolerant cities that embrace diverse value systems and lifestyles. They won't take kindly to Singapore's value-laden rules on who should wear the trousers in the house, its laws on whom one should have sex with and how, and its paternalistic stance on censorship.

aiyee! reasonable criticism from the ST? wow. now if only they would consider the problem of talent flowing OUT of singapore because of 'value-laden rules on who should wear the trousers'...

ok. yesterday my remarks were sparked by a really annoying series of comments made in the ST article by one Dr Ong, and one MP Penny Low. leon has since pointed out that many of the other MPs are making reasonable comments. i take his point - i do tend to overgeneralise and fly off the deep end when i see something that pisses me off. (then again, i was thinking about this yesterday on the way home -and- today during Duncan's class, and i'm not sure that on a personal blog i should feel the need to be fair and considered in my reactions -grin-) and certainly there are good things being put in place re: babies in Singapore that recognise that we have ridiculous 'value-laden rules' -things such as babies born overseas to Singaporean mothers now have the right of citizenship, not just babies born to Singaporean daddies. (and about damn time, i think!) also increasing maternity leave and so forth.

at this point, calm rational Singaporeans like my cousin would point out that i should be grateful that things are changing and it doesn't really matter WHY they're changing. but to me it does matter. it matters to me that the government might be making these concessions not because they have a desire to promote women's rights or deal with issues that women are really concerned with, but because they want more babies who are citizens of our great country. the immigration rules that change allowing foreign men married to Singaporean women to stay in the country can also be a result of the desire to retain population and 'talent' (foreign = ang moh = talent -makes face-) rather than any real desire to change the underlying value system which the government clearly stated in 1993 is 'the way our society is structured. It would be unwise to tamper with that structure.'

hanyann just complained that she never makes it onto my blog. -grin- so i HAVE to quote this. she just told me, re: my complaining that i didn't want to write my paper, to 'blah the shit out' and get it over with. there. satisfied? -grin-


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