Prediction: Future Joy #22

Two ratings for all movies shown in the cinemas.

Prediction: Future Joy #21

A truly effective slimming pill, brought to us by the maker of Viagra.
And without any side-effects too.

Prediction: Future Joy #20

For the busy executives on the go -- food in tablet form;
it tastes like the real thing and is equally stomach-filling.

Cartoon Caption Contest, 18 January 2009

The shortlisted ones:
"Aha! I see what you meant by 'triple vision'!"
- Liu Yi Na

"As a teacher, you're handling too many pupils
for your own good."
- Steffi Phua

"Uncle, you've put in a paperweight instead of your
glass eye again."
- Frederick Law

"That's a funny place to have a power outlet..."
- Mohd Faizal bin Selamat

And the winning entry:
"The Adult Education instructor asked you to dot your i’s,
not EYES!!"
- Sunitha G

Employers vs Maids

[Published on May 3, 1998]


Days off 
Maids: We want a day off every week.
Employers: They should get a day off only every fortnight.
Indonesian maids should not get any days off, as stipulated
in most of their contracts.

Having friends over 
Maids: We should be allowed to invite our pals over if we ask permission.
Employers: Absolutely not!

Living quarters 
Maids: We want our own room.
Employers: They have to make do with the living space available.

Maids: Washing the car is the driver's job.
Employers: It is a domestic chore which they should do.


"Sometimes, my employers tell me not to cook lunch because they
don't feel like eating. Then suddenly, everybody is hungry and
I have to cook a whole meal in 30 minutes!"

"I wish my employer would give me Sundays off
for me to rest and buy my personal things."

"My former employer’s children used to pull my hair, hit me,
and run away when it was time to bathe. If I tried to scold them,
they told their parents and I got a scolding instead."

"I hate washing the car the most because I have to carry heavy buckets
of water down four storeys and the car is parked quite far away."

"My employer scolds me very loudly, and in front of her guests.
Whenever they misplace something, I am the first to be blamed."

Thien Nhan on print

On Jan 3, 2009, The Straits Times ran a story on Thien Nhan,
written by my colleague, Judith Tan.

Here is the article in full:

Baby Thien Nhan can thank the blogosphere for his benefactors.
At least one blog has raised more than $30,000 to pay for reconstructive
surgery for his extensive wounds.
Straits Times cartoonist Lee Chee Chew’s blog "Chew On It!", called
the attention of netizens to the abandoned Vietnamese baby who was
savaged by a wild dog. It has since inspired other blogs to help.
In July 2006, Mr Lee, 42, read about the predicament of the infant,
whose unwed teenage mother had left him to die near her family’s shack
in a remote and poor area in the central Vietnamese mountain region.
A wild dog unearthed the newborn from under a pile of leaves, chewed off
his right leg, and destroyed his testicles and penis in the attack.
Villagers found the baby, his pale and bloodied body crawling with ants,
72 hours later, and took him to a nearby hospital.
Mr Lee was "overwhelmed".
The creator of comic strip Chew On It! in The Sunday Times personally
donated at least $1,000 to Thien Nhan, but was moved to do more to
raise money and help give the boy a normal life.
"Coincidentally, he shares the same birth date and year as my own nephew
and I wanted to do something for him," he said.
Since he set up his blog in April last year, it has raised more than
$32,300 through the sales of his books, compilations of his Sunday strips,
and T-shirts.
Now, he said, "I am looking at reprints of my first two books and
all proceeds will go to helping Thien Nhan".
Donations from well-wishers have also poured in through other blogs. raised $1,500, while and both redirect Net surfers to Mr Lee’s blog.
In 2007, the baby was adopted by Ms Tran Mai Anh, 35, a Hanoi journalist
and mother of two boys.
He is now 2-and-a-half years old.
Ms Tran told The Straits Times she could not stop thinking about him
after reports came out, and went looking for him. Months of tracking later,
she found him in December 2007 in the same family hut -- dirty, anaemic and
suffering from diarrhoea.
His wounds had healed but not too well.
According to Ms Tran, the local authorities had inexplicably sent him
back to his family, into the care of his grandparents.
She took him back to Hanoi where he was fitted with his first prosthetic
leg, donated by VietCot, a German-funded charity.
"It is the first of many prosthetic legs he will need as he grows.
Only last month, we flew to the United States for urethral surgery.
Now he is able to urinate normally for the first time," Ms Tran said.
The trip was paid for by donations but she estimates the child will require
US$150,000 (S$218,000) for future prosthetics and reconstructive surgery.
"Although we have never met Uncle Lee in person, we are grateful for
all he has done," said Ms Tran.
She said the reconstruction of Thien Nhan’s genitals would begin as early
as when he turns four.
Dr Joe Rosen of Dartmouth College in the US has agreed to oversee the
complex reconstruction, which will take place in stages over the next
10 to 15 years.
But a lot more funds are needed for Thien Nhan’s lifetime of medical care,
rehabilitation and education.
Mr Lee, who does not like to travel, said he would make the effort to
see the boy "one day".
Ms Tran said Thien Nhan is a smart and sweet-natured boy, who looks
forward to learning to walk.
"Whenever we buy new shoes for him, he would hide the right sides in an
old fridge in the hope that perhaps he’d be able to wear them when he gets
his leg back."
With enough help, he might realise his dreams.

That same day, two little girls dropped by my workplace and handed me a
get-well card which they have made for Thien Nhan:

Thank you, Nursyahirah & Nursyazana. I will mail it to Thien Nhan on your behalf.

After Thien Nhan on print

So, on the day when Thien Nhan's article appeared in the papers,
I did what I always do in the morning: switched on the computer.

When it finally booted up, I keyed in my email password.

Then --

Never have I received so many emails from readers in a single day,
all wanting to make donations to help the toddler.

My next few days were all spent on replying to these kind folks and
updating the amount collected, all the while praying that I didn't mess up
and get the figure wrong. (Fact: Maths and I do not get along very well.)

It was really tiring; but also very worth it.

[By the way, due to the huge volume of messages,
I may miss
your email or acknowledge your donation.
Do email me again
if that happens!]

Cartoon Caption Contest, 28 December 2008

The shortlisted ones:
"Die, we've been spotted!"
- Xu Junling

"Oh those scientists! First it was the watermelon.
Now, insects!"
- Chee Foong Mun

"This is utter plagiarism!
There is no acknowledgement to me!"
- Goh Chern Ping

"Argh! That's how I'll be recycled when I die!!"
- David Fong

And the winning entry:
"Omigawd! You fell into a trash compacter, didn’t you?!"
- Hoon Tian Swang

She's seen Titanic 100 times

[Published on 9 April, 1998]

An Australian woman has gone overboard for Titanic, sitting through
the film more than 100 times.

An Adelaide cinema manager said the middle-aged woman, who did not want
her identity revealed, had sunk more than A$1,000 (S$1,070) into tickets
and was still coming back for more.

"She has apparently seen Evita more than 100 times and she intends to see
Titanic 150 times," the manager said. "She really enjoys the film."

Alert out for micro-gun

[Published on 8 May, 1998]

Singapore Police are on the lookout for a new weapon available to
international hijackers and terrorists -- the micro-gun.

A police spokesman said the new weapon looks like an ordinary keychain.
It is 7cm long and 3cm wide, and has a ring on the end. But this .32 calibre
micro-gun is lethal if it falls into the wrong hands.

It can fire just two shots, but these can kill. The weapon is effective from
a distance of up to 20 m.

The weapon could be made in Bulgaria.

The international police agency, Interpol, alerted its 177 member countries,
including Singapore, to the new weapon.

It is an offence to carry or discharge unlicensed firearm in Singapore.

Checks have been stepped up at all entry and exit points to catch those
bringing in the micro-gun.