Not-Made-In-Singapore - The 'Beyond Paradise' Sinema Showoff!

The 'Beyond Paradise' Sinema Showoff series had 2 major draws that pulled in a crowd that spilled to the staircase - Anthony Chen's 'Lighthouse' and Raihan Harun's 'Bani Ibrahim'. 'Bani Ibrahim' was unanimously awarded best short film at this year's Singapore Short Film Awards.  Delightfully, the other 2 films were not riding on the popularity of former but rather, held their own water, especially 'Lembranca' which made storytelling seem like breathing air. Watching the films also necessarily begged the question of whether films made overseas are always better. If the films had anything in common other than not being made physically in Singapore, it was the fact that they all had respectable production values. This begs the question of whether anything made overseas is always better - hence the title 'Beyond Paradise'? Here are some snippets of the Q&A in which the filmmakers shed light on how different it is to make films outside Singapore.

Raihan Harun talks about how he received hate mail after asking for an rab woman to be featured in his film about Polygamy and how many other films have already been made about the topic of Polygamy. Anthony shares how he found the perfect 5-yr girl to act for him only to find out that she was a diva in the making!

Director of 'Bani Ibrahim' Raihan Harun before the screening

'Doors are open!'

Mauricio Osaki and the women involved. Osaki, despite the Japanese sounding surname is from Brazil.
Full house again! Kudos to the organisers from Singapore Polytechnic

Question to Anthony : 'How did you make it so British?'
The other 3 filmmkers pondering hard over the questions as Raihan was first in line to answer

Filmmakers share why shooting overseas can sometimes be easier than shooting in Singapore

Short films screened
Mauricio Osaki | Portugese| 18mins | NC16

Joana is a teenager that loves to see the world through her computer. She is forced to live with a "uncle" while her mother is away and must work out her problems without her virtual world.

Anthony Chen | English| 23mins | PG

A mother takes her three children on a road trip but finds that home cannot easily be left behind.  

Kevin Chan | Mandarin | 12mins| PG

Through serendipity, Rachel, a bubbly florist, meets and falls in love with Chris, an introverted photographer. However, Rachel soon discovers she has an eye disease that requires a cornea transplant. In a twisted act of fate, Rachel, who was involved in a near-accident, receives a pair of corneas from the person who saved her. But upon regaining her sight, Rachel soon reaizes that she has lost more than she actually gained.

Raihan Harun| English | 15mins | PG

A Palestine Muslim doctor is confronted with the choice on whether he should save the life of his brother who plans to carry out a suicide bombing.

The filmmakers ended the session by sharing abotu their next projects.

Popeye the classic 1st episode...

A great episode of Popeye the sailor man and with a great observation of by 5896chrisi, "To save one girl, popeye killed every single passenger in the whole train...". Heh.

Street Fighter: Legacy - Short Fan Film

3,062,186 views so far! Well, it is a cool clip! Heh.

Marvel at Benjamin Ang joining Marvel Comics!

Congratulations to Mr Benjamin Ang for being the first Signaporean artist to join the Marvel Comics. Say you don't have any blog to share what ought to be a marvelous life working for Marvel?! Heh. Envy.

The first Singaporean artist will be joining the Marvel Comics bandwagon.

Mr Benjamin Ang, 27, was shortlisted during Marvel's portfolio review at last year's Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC).

The American comic book company has produced well-known titles such as X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, and Thor.

Mr Ang is the first Singaporean to be signed to Marvel and was chosen from hundreds of artists from around the region.

"It is truly a dream come true to be able to work with Marvel and alongside some of the most renowned writers and artists in the industry," he said.

The freelance illustrator's art style has been described as an eclectic mix of East and West. He said: "I aim to add a signature touch to my work and hopefully inspire more Singaporean artists to chase their dreams."

Mr Ang will be working on projects beginning later this year.

Mr C.B. Cebulski, Marvel's Senior Vice President of Creator and Content Development, who conducted the Portfolio Review at 2010's STGCC, is hoping to discover more new talent at this year's event.

Similarly, Ms Yeow Hui Leng, Project Director of STGCC hopes that this year's convention will serve as a platform for other budding talents to be noticed at an international level.

From Asiaone, "Marvel Comics gets its first Singaporean artist".

Singapore Presidential Election: Liar Game 'Minority Rule' to determine the President?!?!

I have this sudden compellingly outrageous inspiration when I was re-reading the manga, Liar Game about the Round 2 that is aptly called 'Minority Rule'.

Hey, why don't we deploy this game to determine the next Singapore President?

Okay, okay...I know those of you (especially those who are ignorant of the treatise called Liar Game. Hur hur) are dying to know about this so-called 'Minority Rule'.

Quoted from Liar Game Wiki, "Second Round" (cool, huh, Wiki just for Liar Game!):

The game the participants play is called "Minority Rule" which consists of players voting with the minority to proceed.

Imagine the 7 persons mentioned in "Clash of the three ti-TANs ... (Recap of Presidential Election candidates)" are--due to some divine intervention?--assessed to be eligible to run for Presidential Race.

Do you think the citizens ought to be burdened of choosing 'the best' (or the cynics among you will prefer the term 'the least of the devils'. Shame on you, really!) to be crowned as the President who Unify the Singaporeans?? (By the way, are we really perceived that strongly as 'divided', thus the need to 'unify'? Sheesh...)

No, I'd tell you.

The citizens must not be shouldering such a paramount ... uhm ... headache(?)!!.

Ergo, let us allow the Presidential candidates play this Liar Game's Minority Rule to determine the winner.

Let's list down the rules of the Game:
1. First a random candidate is chosen to ask any question as long is the answer is either "yes" or "no."

2. Candidates then vote for either "yes" or "no."

3. To vote, a candidate will place either a small sheet saying "yes" or "no" into a box.

4. The paper is numbered to identify who voted for which answer.

5. Candidates don't have to vote honestly. (Yeah, must be tough for a certain candidate who boasts 'honesty' & 'fairness' as his values!)

6. Candidates who don't vote within the time limit are eliminated. (Relevant as we do not want a wishy-washy candidate who cannot even decide to persevere to contest in the Election!)

7. The answer with the most votes is declared the majority and anyone who voted for that answer is eliminated.

8. If the votes are split in half exactly then the candidates will vote again.

9. If two candidates are left standing at the end, both will win, splitting the title of President (and those skyrocket salary!) between them.

The strength of this Game with respect to the Presidential Race will be the intelligence of the random candidate to pose a question which eventhough the answer is either Yes or No, the candidates must be wondering how each other shall vote in order to avoid becoming the majority.

Phew. Too long a sentence. Hate it.

So what do you think?

There is an element of intelligence as elaborated above.

There is an element of luck (with the 'random' candidate is given an opportunity to propose a question) - and isn't it said that "Being deeply learned and skilled, being well trained and using well spoken words; This is good luck"? (Kind of a non sequitur, I know. Sorry.)

Shall we adopt this Liar Game Minority Rule then? It will make a great show when it's broadcast live on TV!!

Disclaimer: this post is just a tounge-in-cheek. (Can'tBelieveIhaveToExplainIt...mutter) If you are taking it seriously, you truly have a serious problem. My sympathy. Liar Game Minority Rule implementation to determine the rightful President can only work in the world where its inhabitants are two dimensional, in black and white, having a pair of incredibly big short, only in a manga-like Reality. Not in this one.

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena ... in maintenance mode

Heh. Cannot resist not to grab a screenshot of this Facebook Game, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" -- as it's in 'maintenance mode'. The white box near the caption 'BACK SOON!' is kinda annoying, though.

Top 10 Hottest Comic Book Girls

3,963,031 have viewed this clip!!

Facebook Anti-Singapore?!?!

No, don't expect me to post a screenshot of this Facebook page called, "Anti-Singapore". Actually I did intend to, at least just to show that there're merely 133 'likes'. Heh.

So why a sudden interest about things against Singapore? Well, let's just say this ridiculous clown in New York City (featured in STOMP article below) somewhat intrigues me & makes me wonder what else the world is against Singapore. Heh.

This man has been spotted walking around Times Square in New York City, holding up a sign attacking Singapore and our prime minister, apparently after losing his job here.

It seems like that he has been doing this for weeks, judging from the numerous emails STOMP has received about the man from various STOMPers.

Editor's note: We have masked out most of the words on the sign, as they are libellous and offensive. Some of the accusations made against Singapore are also patently absurd.

One of the STOMPers who have written in to STOMP to express their displeasure over the man's actions is JJLim. He said he saw the man while on holiday in New York City.

He said:

"My wife and I were on holiday in New York when we saw this strange guy near Times Square, New York.

"Holding a self-written cardboard, he displayed unfounded accusations at our Prime Minister and our nation.

"When we claimed that his accusations were false, he brushed us away and walked off.

"Coming back to Singapore, we still could not understand why would someone thousand miles away accuse Singapore like that.

Another STOMPer, Edwin, said the man had apparently lost his job in Singapore.

He found these comments posted about the man, online:

"Weird man in Times Square. Talked to him and thinks he's just unhappy with losing a job in Singapore and tries to paint a bad impression to the tourists at Times Square.

"...he's weird. I went to talk to him to find out more about him. He lost his job in Singapore and could not find another in SEA, so he's being a bum."

"That's so retarded! Spreading false accusations too.

"Seems like that guy hasn't yet found a job in the US either."

From STOMP, "FT who lost job in S'pore protests with sign against PM and nation in NYC Times Square".

Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys!

In the Caribbean, Vervet Monkeys have developed a taste for alcohol and can regularly be spotted stealing cocktails from humans on the beach. Brilliant wildlife video from BBC animal show 'Weird Nature'. Even the monkeys can act tipsy?! Heh.

Peek behind-the-scenes of 'The Other National Day 2011 music video' by SINdie

Jeremy teaching girly moves. Yikes!

Jeremy trying to convince the cast to do the pool scene.

Jolyn, Charles, Anis and Frederick listen intently

The trio who put thi together - Jeremy, Clement (left) and Darren (right)

Rabil still wearing his Pink Dot shirt on Sunday

Sexy chef Mike Lau gets cracked up

Producer Clement delivering the shooting schedule nicely to the cast

'Guess who I am trying be?'


Jeremy's failed attempt at water ballet

Jeremy and Darren spread their wings

Time to dry up

'Hold it there and count to 50.'
 Kee Chiu if you like what you see

Jeremy decides to show some skin for the blog for the first time

'This is what I learnt from television.'

'Chest up girls.'

Wenxin learning the catwalk

'All the single ladies, all the singles ladies... and a guy'

Girls to each other: ' I think Jeremy always wanted to be a supermodel'

'See my butt from behind, you have tilt it like this!'

4 steps to getting a firmer butt and toned legs:

Not to mention chest too!

The Muppets - Being Green Teaser Trailer

Can't stop my laughters when watching the intro:
In brightest day, in blackest night . . .
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who laugh at my lack of height . . .
Beware my banjo...Green Froggie's light!!!

Do You Speak English? LOL

Simon Pegg and the Big Train comedy sketch team perform a funny short on life of an English speaking tourist in France. Hilarious!

Phoebe Hui: The nude photos are mine!

I swear I have not seen the photos yet. (Not for lack of trying to google 'Phoebe Hui nude photos' or 'Phoebe Hui naked'. Hur hur.)

But what I believe the nude photos were well taken. After all, as Phoebe Hui claimed that they were intended "as a remembrance of her youth". How old is she by the way that she's trying to immortalize her naked youth in the perpetually alive Internet?!

Shall follow up this incident with great interest. Hur hur. Till then I know many of you are ogling at Phoebe Hui's not naked photos in this May Daily post, "34-D belle loses phone, vital statistics all over web".

Meet Asia's answer to Hollywood actress Blake Lively - Phoebe Hui.

A collection of nude photographs featuring the busty Hong Kong model has gone viral in the cyberspace.

Hui, the proud owner of D-cup breasts, admits that she's the person in the photos and that the nude shots leaked online after she lost her cell phone.

While some speculate that this is nothing but a gimmick, Hui denied it, saying that she lost her phone in a mall on June 17.

"I really didn’t expect the photos to be leaked as my cell phone is protected by password," she explained.

She said she took the photos for fun and as a remembrance of her youth.

"I hope everyone don’t take my photos too seriously. Many female celebrities overseas are doing this," she said.

Nevertheless, she is concerned that her personal data might be leaked and is considering seeking assistance from the police.

From Asiaone, "Nude shots of HK D-cup model leaked".

Dr Tan Cheng Bock vs Mr Tan Kin Lian: 1 - 0

Dr Tan Cheng Bock vs Mr Tan Kin Lian: 1 - 0 Photo source: Yahoo

Dr Tan Cheng Bock may have been (mostly) silent or less vocal than the other Presidential candidate Mr Tan Kin Lian, but the recent news about the former may just reveal that Dr Tan is truly a sharp politician.

Thanks to the shaky notion introduced by Mr Tan Kin Lian last Saturday on the possibility about either of them to step aside in preparation to a straight contest with the other candidate Dr Tony Tan.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock manages to instill the image of him being resolute and unwaveringly firm and serious in his determination to run for the Presidential race. He is undeterred with the thought of facing Dr Tony Tan in the contest.

The implication (though, not explicitly said--but darn obvious, don't you agree?) is bad for Mr Tan Kin Lian.

Thus, I'd say Dr Tan Cheng Bock has scored 1 against Mr Tan Kin Lian.

Well played, Sir.

FORMER PAP MP Tan Cheng Bock has no plans to abandon his bid for presidency even if fellow presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian contacts him about the possibility of one of them stepping aside.

'I'm not the kind of person who announces that I'm going to run, then after that decides not to. If I've made up my mind, nothing is going to change it,' he told The Straits Times yesterday.

He was asked for his response to Mr Tan's comments on Saturday that he was open to discussions with Dr Tan about the possibility of one of them stepping aside should both get certificates of eligibility from the Presidential Elections Committee.

Dr Tan said the former NTUC Income chief executive has not contacted him on the matter: 'But even if he did, I won't change my mind. I'm not open to the possibility of stepping aside. Nothing is going to change my mind about standing.'

Contacted yesterday, Mr Tan said he raised the possibility on Saturday because individuals, whom he did not identify, 'asked me to consider talking to Dr Tan Cheng Bock and discuss if one of us should drop out of the campaign to give the other candidate a better chance to contest against Dr Tony Tan'.

Former deputy prime minister Tony Tan announced last Thursday that he will run for the presidency as an independent candidate.

From Straits Times, "Cheng Bock: I won't drop presidential bid".

Former People's Action Party MP Tan Cheng Bock has stressed he will not abandon his plans to contest the Presidential Election.

"I am never more determined to contest this Presidential Election," wrote Dr Tan in a Facebook posting on Tuesday morning.

"I want Singapore united in transparency, integrity and independent thinking. I will not back off," he stated.

On Saturday, former NTUC Income chief executive Tan Kin Lian flagged the possibility of either one of them stepping aside so it could be a straight fight between either of them and latest entrant to the polls, former deputy prime minister Dr Tony Tan.

Dr Tony Tan announced last Thursday he would contest as an independent candidate.

Responding to Tan Kin Lian, Dr Tan Cheng Bock told The Straits Times on Monday the former had not contacted him. "But even if he did, I won't change my mind. I'm not open to the possibility of stepping aside. Nothing is going to change my mind about standing."

Tan Kin Lian told the paper, it is also his preference to stay in the contest, even if it means a three-way fight.

'People felt strongly that I should continue to contest the election as I am most independent of the PAP," he said.

Both he and Dr Tan Cheng Bock stressed that they stepped forward to allow voters a choice in the Presidential Election. They are focused on obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility first.

One contrast that appears to have arisen between the two already, however, is their fund-raising campaigns.

While Dr Tan Cheng Bock said he has no problems, Tan Kin Lian said he is having difficulty with getting donations.

Tan Kin Lian said in his blog, he aims to operate on a "modest" budget of $200,000 because of these difficulties. Several companies and individuals he approached for donations declined as they prefer to be "neutral".

"Support from ordinary citizens has also been slow," he added, describing his budget as a "modest, shoestring budget".

The fund raised will be used for printing and distribution of campaign material, outreach activities, rallies, rental of premises, logistics, contractors, sound systems, and the production of online videos.

He will also use $48,000 raised for the deposit in contesting the election.

He added," I can meet the expenses on my own, but I want the people to have the chance to contribute financially to the campaign as well. I do not wish to shoulder this arduous task and journey on my own with the help of a few supporters."

Dr Tan Cheng Bock, on the other hand, said he has received "quite strong support from the people".

"I do not think there will be a problem with the funding," he said. Although he declined to disclose details on his spending plans, earlier reports said his campaign budget could hit $500,000.

Each candidate is allowed to spend up to 30 cents per elector or $600,000 on election expenses, whichever is higher.

From Yahoo! News, "Tan Cheng Bock not backing down from Presidential bid".


This slumber's been long and sweet
Tucked in a blanket of great cowardice
I am just a dreamer behind these linen sheets

Sleep's like opium to my weary bones
Seemingly a mute medicine, a cure
That quietly numbs my senses' moans

In oblivion I taste the honey-heavy dew* of rest
Unaware that in the stillness of my being
I decay and digress

This slumber's been long and sweet
Pressed against a mattress of the mundane
I am just a dreamer whose visions are vain

Please rub the sleep off my eyes
Awaken me to the love which death, it defied
Move my lethargic soul
Make it tremble
Hurl it to a worthy goal

Shake off an accustomed stupor
Stir up my heart
For what it's beating for

Interrupt this aimless dreaming
Greet me with the rousing heat of the sun
Like a new summer morning

*William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Presidential hopeful Ooi Boon Ewe makes 3rd attempt

Mr Ooi Boon Ewe. I might be despising this particular candidate, but on the second thought he deserves more chance to be featured in this humble blog of mine. Cannot just blog about the possibly unromantic Romance of the Three King Tans. Hur hur.

President wannabe Mohamed Raffi Bashir Ahmed - a follow up to "I Am No 4"

A belated follow-up to this post, "Presidential Racer Mohammed Raffi: "I Am No 4".", I've just found out this clip, "Fourth presidential hopeful collects forms (09 Jun 2011)".

Here's the description in the YouTube:
A man, under investigation for allegedly driving a van spray-painted with expletives into the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore premises in January, is thinking of running for the Elected President's post.

Mohamed Raffi Bashir Ahmed, 50, turned up at the Elections Department on Thursday to collect forms to contest the Presidential Election. He said he did so because a friend had promised to be his campaign manager.

Mr Raffi said he retired three years ago after he "made his bundle". He did not disclose whether he had been a CEO or chairman of a company.

He was the former owner of the Singapore Satay Club in Sembawang.

Mr Raffi said if he became President, he would want to help Singaporeans become better citizens. "I've seen the good side of Singapore. I've seen the bad side of Singapore. But the worst was the ugly side of Singapore. So I want to help repair the ugly side of Singapore first."

After the incident in January, Mr Raffi was arrested again in March for disorderly behaviour in Changi where he is alleged to have used expletives on police officers.

He was subsequently remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric assessments and later freed on bail. Investigations into the expletives-painted van incident are ongoing.

Earlier Thursday, a group of three unidentified men turned up together at the Elections Department. They are believed to have collected forms for the Certificate of Eligibility. They declined comment when asked by MediaCorp why they were there.

Applications opened on June 1, and will close on the third day after a writ is issued for the Presidential Election which must take place before August 31.

To date, former People's Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) Tan Cheng Bock, former NTUC Income chief Tan Kin Lian, and 70-year-old Mr Ooi Boon Ewe - who failed in his bid to contest the recent General Election as an independent candidate - have collected forms for the Presidential Election.

Representatives of former foreign affairs minister George Yeo on Monday collected the forms on his behalf.

MediaCorp understands that former group chief financial officer of JTC Corp, Andrew Kuan, will also be collecting the forms before the closing date.

So it is the same Mohamed Raffi Bashir Ahmed! Irregardless the use of 'Mohammed' (additional 'm' to the name). Heh. A (little) mystery is solved. Heh.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock: No Last Minute man for Presidential Election Candidate

The clip was uploaded on 1 June 2011. Dr Tan Cheng Bock believes in what he is doing and he does not want to be a last minute man.

The last-minute man running for President (no, I'm not necessarily referring to Dr Tony Tan), this clip is especially dedicated for you. Heh.

Dr Tony Tan on bloggers, defamation suits, and difficult decisions the President may have to make

Check out this YouTube user 'TonyTanOffice'. The above 3 clips were from Dr Tony Tan's news conference on 23 June 2011. Thought-provoking, alright.

Fantasia 2000 - Rhapsody in Blue

George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue -- an episode of 1930s-era New York City, depicting the day in the lives of several people within the Depression-era bustling metropolis, as scenes drawn in the style of Al Hirschfeld's famous cartoons of the era, including an animated cameo of Gershwin the composer himself at the piano (all through the use of "a simple line on a piece of paper").

The little girl in the hotel is based on the Eloise character created by Kay Thompson and the red-haired man is based on John Culhane, the author for the "making of" books for both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.

Written and directed by Eric Goldberg
Music composer: George Gershwin
Based upon Brookside Hill
Art direction by Susan McKinsey Goldberg
Design consultant: Al Hirschfeld
Introduction by Quincy Jones
Performed by Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Featured pianist: Ralph Grierson
Conducted by: Bruce Broughton

Kung Fu Panda holiday special - watch 21 minutes++ clip!!

LOL. Enjoy the 21 minutes 35 seconds short movie of Kung Fu Panda holiday special!!

DreamWorks' Puss in Boots - Official Trailer

Brought to you by DreamWorks Animation's PUSS IN BOOTS, in theaters November 4, 2011!

Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Sentinel Prime featured in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"? Woo hoo!!! Can hardly wait.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock shall win the Presidency with 42% votes

Political watchers say Dr Tony Tan has the the edge in three-cornered fight--involving Dr Tan Cheng Bock & Mr Tan Kin Lian--in the 'coming soon, please!' Presidential race.

Political watchers are wrong.

It's Dr Tan Cheng Bock who will benefit from such a situation.

This is why.

Note that the logic is based on the following 2 premises:
1. The "pro-establishment" votes could be split between Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock. (As thought by SMU law lecturer Mr Eugene Tan.)

2. The "non pro-establishment" votes would likely be split between Mr Tan Kin Lian and Dr Tan Cheng Bock. (As suggested by a former NMP Mr Siew Kum Hong.)

From all eligible voters, let's assume that 60% are of "pro-establishment" and 40% are of "non pro-establishment". (The figures are simplistic indeed - and based from the latest General Election result.)

Of "pro-establishment" voters, let's assume that another 60% would prefer Dr Tony Tan (as he's perceived to be more pro-establishment. Disclaimer: I strongly disagree with this perception as evident from this post of mine, "Dr Tony Tan the Government's preferred Presidential candidate? Perhaps. Perhaps not.").

That means 40% (of "pro-establishment" voters) will opt for Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

In other words:
a) 60% of 60% total voters will go for Dr Tony Tan, that means 36% of overall votes.
b) 40% of 60% total voters will go for Dr Tony Tan, that means 24% of overall votes.

Of "non pro-establishment" voters, let's assume that 55% shall vote for Mr Tan Kin Lian whereas 45% for Dr Tan Cheng Bock (Note: I make use of the poll result conducted by Yahoo to gauge the choice between Mr Tan Kin Lian & Dr Tan Cheng Bock where they secured 2,270 votes & 1,987 votes respectively.)

In other words:
c) 55% of 40% total voters will go for Mr Tan Kin Lian, that means 22% of overall votes.
d) 45% of 40% total voters will go for Mr Tan Kin Lian, that means 18% of overall votes.

In conclusion:
- Dr Tony Tan shall secure 36% of overall votes
- Mr Tan Kin Lian 22% of overall votes
- Dr Tan Cheng Bock 24% + 18% = 42% of overall votes (WINNER!!)

There you go. Dr Tan Cheng Bock as the next Singapore President winning 42% of overall votes.

As many have commented, this Presidential election is going to be the most exciting ever!

The above are based on 'assumptions'. I could be very wrong. In the first place, it may not even be a three-cornered fight, it could be a many-cornered fight. Just see the recap so far of how many possible candidates in this Race. Heh.

On Saturday, former NTUC Income CEO Tan Kin Lian reportedly said he was open to discussion with fellow presidential hopeful Tan Cheng Bock about the possibility of one of them stepping aside, should both get the nod from the Presidential Elections Committee.

Yesterday, when contacted by this newspaper, Mr Tan Kin Lian explained that the thought arose after some people had asked him to do so, in order "to give the other candidate a better chance against Dr Tony Tan" - a view that was shared by political observers whom Today spoke to.

Even so, some of the observers reiterated that a withdrawal of any of the hopefuls will be a setback to the maturing political landscape here.

The Presidential Election should not be framed as a contest between political affiliations, they pointed out. Rather, the higher the number of candidates contesting for the highest office on the land, the better it would be for Singapore because it gives voters more options.

Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Zulkifli Baharudin said: "This is not party politics where it's the Opposition challenging the ruling party and trying to unseat its members."

What matters instead, is how each candidate would convince voters that he is independent and is best qualified to become President, he added.

Said Mr Zulkifli: "It's good for Singapore that more people contest, so anybody who is qualified and prepared to contest should come forward."

Concuring, another former NMP Siew Kum Hong, however, acknowledged that in the event of a three-cornered fight, the "non pro-establishment" votes would likely be split between Mr Tan Kin Lian and Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

Independent scholar Derek da Cunha noted that although former Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan is not the Government-endorsed candidate, he is "very closely identified" with the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) - which means that he "is likely to pick up the bulk of support from all those who voted for the PAP in last month's General Election".

"That is a sizeable block vote," said Dr da Cunha.

Dr da Cunha argued that "the moment Dr Tony Tan announced his intention to stand in the Presidential Election, it made Mr Tan Kin Lian's candidacy quite uncompetitive".

Singapore Management University law lecturer Eugene Tan offered a different take: A three-cornered could actually work to Mr Tan Kin Lian's advantage if voters assessed the presidential hopefuls through politically-tinted lenses.

Assistant Professor Tan suggested that pro-establishment votes could be split between Dr Tony Tan and former Ayer Rajah MP Tan Cheng Bock.

With votes split three ways, it also raises the possibility that the President could be elected without an absolute majority, he added.

Reiterating that he is keeping his options open until after the Certificates of Eligibility are issued, Mr Tan Kin Lian told Today that some people feel "strongly" that he should continue running because he is the "most independent" of the PAP among the presidential hopefuls.

When contacted, Dr Tan Cheng Bock stressed that he is contesting the election.

When asked if he is open to discussions about either himself or Mr Tan Kin Lian withdrawing, he said he had no comment because the latter had not spoken to him yet.

From Today, "Dr Tony Tan has the edge in three-cornered fight, say political watchers".

M&M sighting near Plaza Singapura

These photos taken yesterday are what I was referring to in this post, "Hilarious M&M advertisement...". Heh.

1. Live M&M-s near Plaza Singapura! Couldn't resist to snap this photo...

2. And also this one...

3. I was not the only one who couldn't resist the urge to take the photos.

4. The lady was showing the right way of holding the poster. Upside down. Heh.

5. The sighting of these sweet mutated candies to promote

Hazel Poa Koon Koon the new NSP secretary general | Will Nicole Seah be the next President of NSP?

Congratulations to Ms Hazel Poa Koon Koon for being the new secretary general of the National Solidarity Party, replacing Mr Goh Meng Seng. She must have been very busy that she has not updated her blog ( yet. Heh.

I'm quite relief that it's not Nicole Seah who becomes the secretary general. I mean it's getting too predictable if NSP is overly pushing forward this amazing young politician into the limelight.

Unless of course she's aiming a higher post in the party to replace Mr Sebastian Teo...

THE National Solidarity Party (NSP) has elected a new slate of leaders to bring the party forward after the May 7 general election.

At a congress meeting on Sunday, former government scholarship holder Hazel Poa was voted in as the NSP's new secretary-general - the first woman to be made secretary-general of a political party here in decades.

She takes over from Mr Goh Meng Seng, who said on Sunday morning that he is stepping down from his position and the party's central executive council to take a two-year sabbatical from politics.

Ms Poa, 41, called her new role a 'heavy responsibility' but pledged to put in her best effort to help the party grow.

Business consultant Sebastian Teo, 63, was elected president for a fourth consecutive term. The congress also voted in 13 other members to sit on the NSP's central executive council, which makes collective decisions for the party, for the next two years.

Mr Teo said the council contained "a very good mix" of older and younger party members. One of them is 24-year-old Nicole Seah, who won support for her eloquence during the polls and helped her team score 43.4 per cent of the votes in Marine Parade GRC against the People's Action Party team. Said Ms Seah: "We have a very great responsibility, not just to rebuilding the party but also to forward the cause of the opposition in Singapore."

From Straits Times, "NSP elects new leaders".

Opposition figure Hazel Poa has been elected as the new secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) after the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the party met on Sunday.

Mr Sebastian Teo retains his position as party president.

Meanwhile, Mr Tony Tan, Mrs Jeannette Chong Aruldoss and Ms Nicole Seah were elected as council members.

Ms Poa's appointment came after Mr Goh Meng Seng stepped down as NSP's secretary-general.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Goh said on his blog he would taking a sabbatical for at least two years.

Mr Goh, who will remain a congress member, also said he will try to help presidential hopeful Mr Tan Kin Lian in his campaign over the next couple of months.

He added he had an exciting one year and four months leading the NSP for the recent general election.

He described the NSP's result as its "best" since its inception even though it did not meet his expectation of winning seats in Parliament.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Hazel Poa is NSP chief".

Former civil servant Hazel Poa yesterday became the first woman to lead a political party here, as she took over from Mr Goh Meng Seng as National Solidarity Party's (NSP) secretary-general.

Ms Poa was part of the NSP team which lost in the Chua Chu Kang GRC at last month's General Election (GE). The team garnered 38.8 per cent of the votes.

NSP's latest central executive council lineup features three other women - Ms Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, Ms Nicole Seah and Ms Noraini Yunus, who stood as candidates in the recent GE. Mr Sebastian Teo remains party president.

Ms Poa, 41, told Today that she hoped NSP's new leadership slate would enable the party to shed its "male-dominated, Chinese towkay party" image.

When Today pointed out to her the significance of her appointment, Ms Poa said: "I have never felt gender to be a problem but I do hope that it can serve to encourage more women to step up."

Said political watcher Eugene Tan, a law lecturer at Singapore Management University: "Taken together with the higher number of women candidates in the last election, and Singapore having its first woman Opposition parliamentarian, Ms Poa's rise is a qualitative and not just quantitative symbol that women are not only getting more involved with politics but also can be in a position to make decisions."

Apart from building the party's branding, Ms Poa said the NSP will work at communicating more clearly its "political position" and stand on certain policy issues.

She also plans to have more collaboration and engagement with other Opposition political parties and set up grassroots organisations in areas the NSP is targeting in the next GE.

Ms Poa noted that the party will also go on an "aggressive" recruitment drive as it found that it had spread itself too thin during the recent GE. "For the next GE, we should be more focussed and more concentrated. Of course, that depends on how many members and candidates we are able to attract over the next five years," she said.

Mr Goh, who became NSP secretary-general last February, said he is taking a "political sabbatical" of at least two years. Meanwhile, he plans to help in former NTUC Income CEO Tan Kin Lian's presidential bid.

Mr Goh added that he may look into working with international non-governmental institutions or setting up a think tank, as well as look for business opportunities to provide financial support for the family of his late brother, David, who died in the early days of the elections campaign.

He said whether he stands for the next election will depend on the situation then, although he remains an NSP congress member for the time being.

From Today, "She's the first woman political party chief".

Sex sells...this clip is the proof?!

Quoted from one of the comments: "let me ask you, who's being exploited? the girl whos getting payed? or the guy who has to buy the beer?"

What do you think? Heh.

Hilarious M&M advertisement...

This post will be the prelude to the next one where I posted some photos on the M&M sightings outside Plaza Singapore. Till then, enjoy the above funny clip. Row, row, row your boat...LOL!!

A-Pop Blush -- Forget the looks, give us the song!!

A-Pop group, Blush: (from Left) Angeli Flores, 19 (Philippines) - Victoria Chan, 28 (China) - Lee Ji Hae, 26 (South Korea) - Natsuko Danjo, 20 (Japan) - Alisha Budhrani, 19 (India)

Can we have your 'undivided' ('Undivided' happens to be the allegedly free song downloadable from the attention, people? Stop ogling (yes, I'm referring to the above screenshot photo of the Blush band website and its gallery section). And start enjoying their music!

Oh wait, you can't...

Screenshot of Blush - Music section

For whatever reasons, there's no Music section. Only coming soon. Strange how the gallery section has a lot of photos (These girls, really. Tsk, tsk...they're so vain?! And they probably think this post is about them. Hah, actually it is. I just miss the song by Carly Simon, You're so Vain.)

Well, so much for a free song 'Undivided'. Hur hur.

FORGET Bieber fever, and brace yourselves instead for a "Blush crush".

Newly formed Pan-Asian girl band Blush - which has been billed as the first A-Pop (Asian- pop) group - has big plans for international stardom, and are making good headway, too.

The quintet were the opening act for 17-year-old Canadian teen superstar Justin Bieber at his Hong Kong concert last month, and are working with A-list Los Angeles producers for their debut album.

They're not shy about coining a term like "Blush crush" either, describing the upcoming phenomenon as "being inspired by the Blush love and Blush power to go after your dreams".

"This opportunity (to be a part of Blush) wasn't handed to us - we worked hard for it and have learnt that it is precious," explained one of its members, Alisha Budhrani. "We hope others will be inspired to follow their passions."

Blush were speaking to my paper at TAB in Orchard Road during a five-day promotional trip to Singapore last week.

The Blush girls - comprising Budhrani, 19, who represents India; Victoria Chan, 28 (China); Natsuko Danjo, 20 (Japan); Lee Ji Hae, 26 (South Korea); and Angeli Flores, 19 (Philippines) - are based in Hong Kong, where they live together.

And they are unabashedly a manufactured group, not unlike the hugely successful 1990s pop powerhouse, the Spice Girls.

Blush are the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Jon and Stacey Niermann of independent production company FarWest Entertainment. The group was formed through a televised talent search, Project Lotus, which saw thousands across Asia competing for a spot in the final five.

But while the sassy fivesome are keen to break into the United States, they will retain their Asian roots, they say.

Their record, to be released by the year's end, will include songs in the girls' mother tongues and also feature traditional Asian instruments such as the sitar. In the meantime, the girls still celebrating their first milestone: the release of their first single, Undivided. The track was co-written by none other than American rapper Snoop Dogg, who will also appear in the song's music video, which was filmed in Los Angeles last month.

On working with Snoop, Flores enthused: "It was a lot of fun, because he's a very chilled-out and down-to-earth guy."

Chan added that the rapper, 39, took the time to chat about "where we're from and what we're doing", and even picked up take-out from one of his favourite restaurants, Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles, for them.

Their next big US appearance is in August, when Blush will perform on reality dance competition So You Think You Can Dance.

Blush are hopeful of being received well in the US, since Asian celebs, such as Filipino singer Charice Pempengco, who has a recurring role on TV show Glee, are doing well.

"There's so much Asian talent out there... We're hoping we'll be able to see that same success," said Budhrani.

Download Blush's single, Undivided, for free from

From Diva Asia, "Hey guys, go on - have a 'Blush crush'".

THEY'RE a long way from being the next Spice Girls or Pussycat Dolls, but five Asian women are hoping to take the world by storm in what is being billed as the first pan-Asian girl band.

Blush is made up of five girls from the Philippines, India, China, Japan and South Korea who beat hundreds of other pop star wannabes during a talent search across Asia last year.

After surviving weeks of gruelling training and an elimination process, the five are ready to make a big splash on the music scene - both in the East and the West - as they prepare for the release of their first single in May.

'We are hoping we can get global and touch everyone's heart out there with our music,' Alisha Budhrani from India told AFP in a recent interview as she took a break from dance practice in a Hong Kong studio. 'For us we are really happy that all of our countries can come together through music and we could go out there to show the diversity of Asia, how wonderful it is as a whole.'

'We got real different cultures, languages, dialects and (there are) all kind of crazy things going on in Asia,' said a self-assured Alisha, breaking into laughter with the other four girls, aged between 18 and 28.

The group's bid for superstardom may be a long shot, but they have been supported by an A-list of Los Angeles-based producers who have worked with top names like Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas and Beyonce.

From Straits Times, "First pan-Asian girl band hopes to make world Blush". (22/04/11)

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