Archive for August 2008

Hitler And ERP Woes

Nicely done.

100 authority on Technorati

Just checked my Technorati status last night and found this.

My blog just hit 100 authority on Technorati. Woohoo!

OK, I know 100 authority is nothing. It took me nearly 6 months to achieve that. And I’m still far from my previous technorati authority. That’s the pain of moving to a new domain. Oh well.

Thank you everyone for linking to my blog.

And so we got an Olympic medal…

And so we got an Olympic silver medal in the Women Table Tennis competition. Or did we?

Rightfully, I should be jumping in joy, celebrating Singapore’s victory. After all, its our first Olympic medal since independence. But I seriously couldn’t find the sense of pride and glory in me. The feeling just isn’t right. It doesn’t feel like we won. It feel like China B team won. Or we purchased the medal by hiring mercenaries to fight for us.

We got a silver medal. But did we get the same glory that is supposed to come together with the medal? I’m sure there are many people out there who disagree with me on this. But I don’t feel the glory in it.

The feeling is completely different. In fact, I feel more pride when Joscelin Yeo took part in the Swimming competition back in Athens Olympic, 2004. She didn’t win anything. She didn’t even make it pass the heats. In fact, she performed badly. But she is a 100% Singaporean. And I’m proud that she could represent Singapore. Same goes to many other born in Singapore athletes who represented Singapore in all major sporting events. I’m proud to see them taking part in international competitions. They truly represent Singapore.

But I really don’t feel any pride when the Singapore Female Table Tennis Team won an Olympic Medal. Not because I don’t love Singapore. But because I don’t feel any connections. Yes, they are wearing Team Singapore uniform. They raise the Singapore flag. But are they our people? Do they represent Singapore?

I have nothing against foreigners who feel that Singapore is a better place and wish to call Singapore home. But are they here because they feel that Singapore is a better place? Or is it because we pay them a lot of money? Is their heart with Singapore or Singapore Dollar?

I’m not slamming the foreign talents in Singapore. You might want to read my National Day blog entry first to know my stand on foreign talents in Singapore. I’m not against foreign talents who come to Singapore on their own without any incentive from the government. But I’m slamming the Foreign Talent Scheme in Singapore. Why are we spending so much on getting foreign talents to join us? Those money could be put in better use. We could use it to build better sporting facilities for Singaporeans to train. We could research on better swimming suits or training methods. We could even use those money to help the poor.

Actually, I was praying that the South Korean will win Singapore on Friday. Not because I like South Korean or hate Singapore. In fact, I do feel bad when I was rooting for another country to win. But I couldn’t bring myself to support a team made up of migrants who came to Singapore because they are being paid to help us win medal. I’m against the Foreign Talent Scheme. I was supporting the anti foreign talent scheme camp. But I lost.

Friday was a night of mixed reaction for me. Everyone around me is celebrating Singapore’s victory. But I was morning the death of Singapore sporting scene. Their victory has become a precedent that the foreign talent scheme works. It will be the model case study for all future cases. And the Singapore Sport Council will have more ammo in terms of money to get more foreign talents to Singapore. Forget about grooming the locals. Why invest in such a big risk? Just go buy another athletes from elsewhere to help us win. Besides, other countries are doing that too. So why not Singapore?

Yes, the Foreign Talent Scheme works in the sense that it does bring us an Olympic medal. But it kills the entire local sporting scene. How do we groom local athletes when all we think about is to bring foreign talents in to help us win? How do the local athletes gain international competition exposure when we always send foreign talents oversea? How do we motivate our local athletes when all the media attention are on the foreign talents? Who will dare to send their child to the Sport School when there is a high chance that we will bring in a foreign talent to replace them if they don’t perform up to standard?

We are only interested in the results. Not the process in getting the results. It doesn’t matter who gets the medal. You don’t need to be a local. You don’t need to stay in Singapore for long. You don’t need to speak with a Singapore acent. You don’t need to know the Singapore history. You don’t need to understand Singapore culture. You can even drag the Singapore flag on the floor for the world to see. So long as you get the medal under Singapore flag, the rest doesn’t matter.

This is the sad state of Singapore sporting scene. And it will remain this way until someone wakes up from the medal chasing dream. It’s not about medal. It’s about representation. It’s about national identity. And this foreign talent scheme is eroding our national identity, if there is any to begin with.

So while everyone is out there celebrating the Olympic medal, I sit infront of my computer with mixed reaction. I should be happy that Singapore finally won a medal after 48 years. But I just couldn’t feel the pride and glory. In fact, I feel sad because we will start having the mentality of getting new migrants to help us in sports.

Congrats to Li Jiawei, Wang Yuegu and Feng Tianwei for winning the Silver Medal. But sorry, I don’t know how to celebrate your victory.

I end this blog entry with 2 paragraph. One from BBC Sport last friday on Singapore winning South Korea and another from Associated Press on Singapore winning the Silver Medal.

Feng Tianwei, who, like the rest of the Singapore team, is an import from China, won both her singles matches to help them clinch a tense 3-2 victory.

The Singapore team features three former Chinese athletes who went overseas in search of better playing opportunities

Food for thoughts: Do we want to see this sort of statement every time we win a medal?

Photo of the week – Fallen hair

Saw this on the train. Hope it’s just hair extension and not real hair.

An evening with Vinton Cerf

Finally found the video for the talk by Vinton Cerf in Singapore. It was a full house event organised by TDM. I was lucky to secure a seat. Actually, I didn’t managed to get a seat. I was standing at the side throughout the whole event. (You can see me at the beginning of the video when Vinton Cerf walked in)

In case you don’t know, Vinton Cerf is one of the father of internet. He co-design the TCP/IP. Without TCP/IP, the internet will not exist. (And you won’t be reading this blog too)

Check out the video. I was standing throughout the entire talk. And it’s worth every second!