Cartoon Caption Contest, 27 July 2008

The winning entry:
"Hi, beautiful! Do you want to engage in some small talk?"
- Bernard Lau

The shortlisted ones:
"Can I say what is on my mind now?
He is such a Control Freak!"
- Stanley Lui Wing Chiang

"You are right, it is impossible to have a proper
conversation with your husband these days!"
- Chong Fei Fang

"Yes, I'm your date from the Friendship Centre
For The Unusually Shy."
- Yap Lian Whatt


Every now and then, I would receive emails from groups of students asking
for my work to be used in their school projects. Despite my hectic schedule,
I still tend to their requests, hunt down the requested toons and then
email them over.

After all that, I don't hear from those said students again.
No acknowledgement of receipt. No update on how the project went.
No "Thank you" email.


Because of that, I shall not respond to such requests any more.

Fiddling with genes to see gold at Sydney Olympics

[Published on 2 Aug, 1998]

It is the perfect way for athletes to cheat. No test can detect it,
it could create "super-athletes", and it might be up and running
by the Sydney Olympics.

This is the description given by The Sydney Morning Herald for the
new method -- gene engineering.

It involves changing the DNA structure of genes to increase an
athlete's testosterone and growth hormone levels.

According to the newspaper, gene engineering would make the messy
and murky scenario of regular injections of banned drugs a thing
of the past for cheats.

At present, the cheats rely mainly on steroids, which are detectable
through urine tests, and the undetectable hormones, like
Erythropoietin (EPO) and human growth hormone (hGH).

Cartoon Caption Contest, 6 July 2008

The winning entry:
"See, I promised you a ‘Music and Movement’ enrichment class!"
- Selva Kumar

The shortlisted ones:
"This isn't working -- I'm not getting any further from him."
- Dion Ng Sheng Jie

"Ah Boy... can you ride one more round?
Uncle wants to hear the Hokkien song one more time..."
- Yap Joo Ann

"I know this song.
Come, let me make this an enjoyable ride for you."
- Latiff Amanda Juanita Huina

Clueless citizens

[Published on 18 Feb, 2008]

They know what "kiasu" means, but not what the crescent moon and five stars
on the Singapore national flag symbolise.

Don’t count on Singaporeans to name you their first elected president either,
although they may have no difficulty coming up with the name of a Singaporean

When it comes to testing their understanding of their country, Singaporeans
are hardly anywhere near the top of the class. What’s more, they don’t fare
much better than new citizens and permanent residents.

A questionnaire comprising 10 questions ranging from Singapore’s history
and politics to its culture was presented to 100 Singaporeans and 100
new citizens and permanent residents.

Taking 75 per cent to be the passing grade, an astonishing 85 Singaporeans
didn’t make this cut, while as many as 90 new citizens and permanent residents
who have plans to become Singaporeans also failed.

The question that stumped both groups was who Singapore’s first elected
president was. Only one in four Singaporeans and new citizens or PRs correctly
named the late Mr Ong Teng Cheong.

Nearly half of the Singaporeans named Mr Yusof Ishak, the country’s first
president. Some not only got the answer wrong, they couldn’t even muster Mr
Yusof’s name.

Both groups also did badly when it came to reciting the pledge and pinpointing
the year Singapore became an independent nation.

Another head-scratcher: the national flag.

Half of those Singaporeans polled and nearly 70 new citizens had no idea what
the crescent moon or any of the five stars symbolised -- only one person knew
all. One response that kept cropping up: "The five stars represent the five
races in Singapore."

It was enough for a cab driver to protest: "I left school so long ago.
You should ask students, they will know better."

For the above article, this drawing of mine was used:

It was a second choice, really. My first concept, which I like so much,
was rejected by the editor.

Here it is:

Time to retire, at 109

[Published on 24 May, 1998]

When Lebanon kicks off its first municipal elections in 35 years today,
no one will be more relieved than Sheikh Hussein al-Qadi.

At the age of 109, the head of the municipal council in this
Druze village is ready for retirement.

"I submitted my resignation 10 years ago but officials rejected it,
saying I was still capable of serving my country," he said.

The Druze sheikh has been head of Ain Aata, a village of 1,500 people
in southern Lebanon, since the last polls 35 years ago.

He keeps busy trying to resolve day-to-day problems. "For the past 35 years,
the demands have been the same: water, electricity and roads," he said.

Born in 1889, he was first elected to the mayoral council in 1932. He took
over as head of the municipality in 1963, for what was to be a six-year term.

But elections kept being put off, because of political disputes and the
country's 15-year civil war.

Asked why he is not standing again in the polls, he replied: "I think
I have served my village enough after 35 years. It is not because I fear

Reckless driver

[Published on 16 Feb, 1998]

In Kuala Lumpur, shortly after a police chief spoke at a gathering of police
officers, in which he said that the police would arrest reckless drivers to combat
the increasing number of road accidents, a lorry turned into a "no entry" road.

When the driver defied the police chief's order to stop, a chase ensued during
which the lorry driver tried unsuccessfully to ram into chief's car.

He then noticed the lorry driver bending down and grabbing something.

Not taking any chances, he took out his revolver and fired a a warning shot,
but the lorry driver became hostile, forcing the sergeant to shoot him in the
leg to effect arrest.

Big "yes" to foreign talent

[Published on 6 June, 1998]

Three in four Singaporeans support the Government's move to welcome
foreign talent to Singapore.

They think that it will enhance the cultural scene here and make the
country a more interesting place to live in.

And they also believe that it will reap economic gains for the country.

"Staged accidents" do happen

[Published on 7 July, 1997]

Some motor workshops are working hand in glove with syndicates that
cause road mishaps deliberately. They then share the profit from
repairs and insurance claims.

A motor insurer said that in such staged mishaps, a vehicle driven
by a syndicate member would stop suddenly, usually on expressways.
This would cause the vehicle behind to crash into it.

A tow truck would then appear and offer to take the vehicles to a
workshop belonging to the syndicate for repairs.

The workshop then claims repair costs from the insurer of the motorist
who has hit the syndicate's vehicle.

Mobile phones for tots

[Published on 24 Aug, 1998]

A new range of mobile phones is being aimed at children as young as three.
The devices could be embedded in teddy bears or other cuddly toys, allowing
children to hug them while they talk to their absent parents.

Ericsson, the Swedish mobile-phone manufacturer, says its phones will help
parents keep in touch with youngsters who may be far away with a child-minder
or in a nursery.

It says parents could even set up the phones so they could eavesdrop on their
youngsters playing.

Payroll lapses

[Published on 16 July, 1998]

Fifty-four teachers and other Education Ministry staff who resigned between
July 1995 and December 1996 continued to get paid after they had stopped
working, according to a payroll audit.

The Auditor-General's Office, which uncovered the discrepancy, said that the
salaries paid amounted to $232,350.

The money has since been recovered and stricter controls have been put in
place at the schools and the ministry.

Overpayment also took place at the National University of Singapore, where
the problem was first highlighted three years ago by the Auditor-General
when NUS continued to pay one staff member who had already resigned and
another who was on no-pay leave.

Another audit last year found that between April and November (1997), there
were 13 former NUS staff members who were being paid after they had resigned.
Another six were being paid while on no-pay leave.

NUS has recovered over $98,000 in 16 cases and is continuing its efforts to
recover $2,715 from three others.


The following strip was denied being printed in The Sunday Times
because, apparently, newspapers were told by the Government that
they "cannot make fun of the judicial system".

Well, I am not making fun of it -- I just cannot understand it:

They say justice is fair... but, somehow, I don't see it in Singapore.