Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Gods are angry!!!

The Gods are so furious with Singapore, for losing so much tax payers money as GIC and Temasek failing spectacularly in their investment; that they took their anger out on our National Icon - The Merlion.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The very ROOT of our problems.

Jose Mourinho recently commented about local football and the lack of competitiveness in the Sleague.

He mentioned the need for promotion and relegation to improve the competitiveness of the league and more to be done in youth development in order to unearth the next Fandi Ahmad.

While many, like me is excited abt The Special One commenting about local football and Fandi, some do questioned the logic in being excited abt such "obvious" stuff advised by Jose himself.

Of course we know abt the need for promotion and relegation, the need for investment in youth, but as far as what i had noticed, it is mainly circulating within this forum. No press or big shots had been talking abt such "basic" stuff regarding local football.

thus, rather than being "enlightened" by the Special One, i prefer to interpret the reaction of excitement/delightfulness/pseudo-enlightenment by most here as simply, the feeling of relief that our thoughts are "acknowledged" by a person of great reputation and influence. Or Him "joining our cause" in pushing for greater change in our local football.


but seriously, its more than what Mourinho had mentioned is required. The true root of the issue is the lack of a sporting culture in Singapore. Look at the USA. They had a great sporting culture; parents play sports with their kids, bring them to watch games (whatever the sport), strong recognition of the sport competitions among the colleges and institutions, strong work and professional ethics by those competing athletes (including the high sch and the college students, many of them probably worked harder in the gym and their training than our sleague footballers)

When there is a strong base in sporting culture, then more attention will be given to local sports competition including the sleague; also to say, spectator numbers will also increase tremendously towards sports of all kinds. And with all this attention and interest, media coverage will increase, sponsors will increase, funding will increase, sportsmen's pay will increase, standard of infrastructure as well as standard of local sports will increase as well.


Thus, i am not enlightened by Mourinho, since making Sleague more competitive and having more youth potential being tapped doesnt really equate to improvement to local football as a whole.

Just like Sleague standard had improve tremendously compared to the year when it started. So what? The attendance actually dropped compared to the first year. Sleague had become nothing else but a joke to most Singaporeans: "huH!? watch sleague? You siao ah~" - i am sure you heard this before... I suspect even the Sleague coverage in the papers are paid for by FAS to ensure Sleague "appears" in those papers.


First step SSC should do to create that sporting culture in Singapore - STOP ELITISM and MEDAL HUNTING.

Only when people (the common ppl) can play sports without being mindful of failure, worrying abt results; can then allow us enjoy a life full of sports or even consider career as a sports person if they excel in any of them. Foreign Talent Scheme in most part only discourages the average Singaporeans to pursue a career into sports of any kind; why should anyone risk failing in the light that the NSAs would simply bring in Foreigners anytime and put them in front of the pecking order?

SSC and probably the Government failed to understand that FTS kills off the desire of most ppl to pursue sports as a career, given that a career in sports is a very short affair, and the potential of being cast as a reserve to a certain few foreign talents is simply no prospect at all for anyone sensible. Career in Sports in not the same as career in the business world: i can go on staying in the shadow of a foreign boss for maybe 10 years, but i know that one day, i can grow strong enough to start my own company or prove myself as the more capable guy; but how long can a person in sports last under such circumstances? 10 years? Then the prime would had been over....

FTS in team sports, i can accept, as the FEW foreigners can help raise the bar for the rest of the team. but in individual sports? Sorry... I dun see the benefit other than short cut to success.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Internet "not an effective self-regulated regime"

Recently, RADM(NS) Lui Teck Yew, Senior Minister of State in MICA, made some interesting comments in Parliament about the internet not being an effective self-regulated regime.

I agree with him on one point, the mean-spirited comments about the MP who got burnt were uncalled for and cruel.

But to take one incident and draw such a big conclusion to it? Well, he might have been a tad hasty. Here's some of my rebuttals.

1. He doesn’t seem to understand the culture of forum users. The reason why most didn’t respond to their mean-spirited comments? Because most ignored it. In the internet forum culture, it’s not what type of responses you get. It’s HOW MANY you get. If it’s stupid, most wouldn’t want to help “publicise” the stupidity by bumping up the post.

2. Next, in forums, the replies are not linear in response. One reply doesn’t mean it’s in direct response to the one before. And sometimes it doesn’t make sense until you read the FIRST post and then link to what replies were talking about, or the post before it (much easier than it sounds).

3. This also brings up the issue on HOW Lui is reading these posts. From my experience, usually the tracking software comes up with a lot of hits, say 1000. A lower ranking staff member sieves through it to extract what he/she deems appropriate or useful. Then the next level person does the same. Eventually, after 3 or 4 rounds of sieving and narrowing it down, the “best” posts, maybe only 50, are sent to the top level guy to read. In this long process, things are lost, contexts are lost. Results? The top guys sees what his staff what him to see. Maybe that’s why Obama fought so hard to keep his blackberry. The higher up you up, the more alienated and closed-in you are from the ground. You need to be personally savvy and pro-active in following the news / trends by yourself, without depending on others to pass you selected information, without the big picture.

4. The internet is a place for people to vent, especially in countries where the mainstream media is so “buddy” with the government. So they vent, saying stupid things that they wouldn’t dare to say out loud. And most of the time, they don’t mean them or they know they are just talking nonsense. No one puts much weight into these comments… well, except the government or people who take everything too seriously.

5. I ask the question, how does Lui define self-regulation? Is it when it benefits them? When the main party gets attacked online, it's a lack of regulation. When the opposition is attacked online, they keep quiet. This seems to indicate that regulation is whatever suits them, what helps them. This isn't how the internet works.

In a subsequent speech, Lui said that others had "misconstrued my (earlier) remarks as “a desire for more regulation on the Internet”". He pointed out that bloggers were the one who brought up this issue. It sounds like a "he started it first" finger-pointing excuse to me. Bloggers, in their everyday interaction with the internet, understand how it works, and how group-regulation actually happens on the internet. They were mentioning something they saw everyday. Yet, Lui took one incident and turned it against them, as proof that it doesn't work. I'm more liable to trust the bloggers compared to someone who probably never reads a blog unless he has to.