20 January 2007

To Each His Own

If you were to stay up till 2 a.m. and you can only choose one of the following 2 options, which would you rather do?

1. Blogging; or

Photo from www.acclaimimages.com

2. Visit Johor Bahru (JB), after the floods subside, of course.

I need not tell regular bloggers about the joys of blogging. Chris loves it because he finds it therapeutic (as he has several chronic ailments to cure). Chun See seems addicted to it because he loves to write (and the younger generation just won't listen to him when he relates his Ah Gong stories orally). As for Eastcoastlife, I don't really know but I guess it must be because she enjoys being in the limelight for she's always boasting about how popular her blog is becoming (especially when compared to mine). As for me, at first I blog to take up Chris' challenge. After the first few posts, I discovered that blogging is fun, especially when I can recount a story in a fun and humorous way.

Similarly, I don't have to tell regular Singaporean visitors to Malaysia about the advantages of visiting the country but I will do it anyway. Petrol is at half price there. Although you could only fill up one-quarter tank of it, motorists still find it worthwhile to make the trip there just for this purpose. Desperate ones even tilt one corner of the car by driving it up a wooden block so that they could fill in an extra litre or two of petrol! The food and groceries are cheap too. Even car services like polishing and oil servicing are at bargain prices. If you play golf, you will find their green fees are irresistible. And I haven't even mentioned about the prices of their other services that will surely keep the women around our Geylang district off the streets.

You probably would have guessed by now which of the above 2 options I would choose. If it isn't obvious to you, let me say that I have not visited Malaysia for nearly a decade now.

Today I received an email from a colleague whom I shall call MJM. The email, which was also addressed to Chris, contained a Malaysian news article about two socio-political bloggers being sued by New Straits Times Press (NSTP) over postings in their blogs that were deemed defamatory.

Now MJM is known to be a frequent visitor to JB. As for what cheap goods and services he goes to JB for, I really don't know. But I know that he always fills up his petrol tank to the brim, his stomach till it is bursting and his car boot till not even a 5-cent coin could be squeezed in before heading back home.

MJM is aware that Chris and I are avid bloggers. So I read MJM's purpose of sending the email as an indirect way of telling Chris and I to be careful about what we blog and not to end up like the 2 Malaysian bloggers. While MJM's intention is good, I feel that he has greater things to worry about.

I sent MJM the following reply, with cc to Chris:

"Dear MJM,

Thank you for writing to the desks of Chris and yours truly, and for taking an unwanted interest in our private lives.

Incidentally, it might interest your goodself that yesterday, there were separate headline articles in both Today and The New Paper. It was as if both newspapers decided to rebut you on our behalf. I don't know whether it was mere coincidence but both articles were about high crime rates in JB:

a. Today - With 777 cases per 100,000 residents, Johor has the 4th-highest crime rate in Malaysia. Recent examples:

i. Jan 6, 3am: IT consultant Fareed Hassan leaves a restaurant in Danga Bay, 10 minutes from the Causeway. He is attacked by men wielding a parang and a steering lock. When the robbers find just RM10 ($4.40) on him, they ask: "What kind of Singaporean are you?" They take his car, laptop and handphone.

ii. Jan 9, 4.10am: Ms Wati, 27, a mother of two, is hurled from her friend's motorbike and set upon by a group of 12 armed men on motorcycles. She is robbed of her money and belongings worth $1,600.

iii. Jan 10, time unknown: Singaporean hawker Mohamad Bolah is robbed, stabbed and left for dead in a mangrove swamp, just five minutes from where he lived in JB.

2. The New Paper - S'porean refuses to give JB man RM$1 (S$0.45). Man whips out syringe and threatens to jab him with HIV-tainted needle. This is not the first time that such an incident happened. In Feb 2005 and Apr 2005, similar robberies happened to two other Singaporeans in JB.

I wonder who will be the next victim. Just in case that this is the last time you are reading my mail before you go shopping forever in JB, I would like to express my sincere appreciation once again for the stale news article you forwarded to us and also for your unwarranted implicit concern. I am sure that they will be sorely missed when you leave us to go shopping forever in JB.

We remain yours truly,
Chris and Victor."


eastcoastlife said...

Damn u, when was I 'always boasting' about how popular my blog is becoming???? I'm just trying to promote my feature buttons and help bloggers get more traffic to their blogs!

I'm not as eloquent and as highly educated as you lah! I'm just an ah soh writing garbage in my blog. So where got fight?

You forgot to mention another thing you can do if you stay up until 2am, trying to make contact with female blogger to chat her up!!!!!

Chris Sim said...

I'll have a rejoiner to this post of yours. Yes, though I'm not bothered really bothered by MJM, his narrow-mindedness sometimes rub me off the wrong way too. He's juz a moroon. Let's FLAME him. Hahahaha... (evil laugher)...

Victor said...

ECL - I rest my case.

Why you so like to damn people ah? If not then f*** them. Sigh.

Chat up with female blogger at 2 am? You ah?

Chris - Yes, please write the rejoiner. I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

You have not visited M'sia for 10 years but you seem to know JB so well.

What cheap services in M'sia would keep our Geylang women off the streets??

Wah! you listing the crimes in JB..remember some years back SM Lee said JB was crime-infested and then all the protests....looks like the situation has not improved

As for blogging, if Blogger decides to charge a fees depending on your blog size, I think I will stop.

Anonymous said...

Musicians, singers and in general like to perform in Singapore but at the same time feel very apphrensive to the spontaneous response of the crowds. Unlike the audience in the West, standing ovations screamings, blending with the performers, singing along,jumping with jubilation are the norm, but the Singapore audience seems to be out sync with performers. To be fair, the younger audience does react but with lesser vigour. Could it be that we are in a puritanical society for too long? In a small way, I believe Chun See's blog does draw in many viewers, but not the participation in the comment column. Chun See is very passionate person, as far blogging is concerned, and is determined to achieve his goals, come rain or shine.

Victor said...

Frannxis - I know JB so well even though I've not visited it for 10 years because before that I did visit it occasionally. But not for the services that 'keep our Geylang women off the streets' hor. Besides, have I mention anything about Batam, Bintan and Tg Pinang yet? Not that I've visited those places in the last 10 years either nor that I prefer them to JB.

I feel that it is quite safe to quote those incidents. After all, they were reported by our newspapers even though they were only tabloids. If anything, SPH and Mediacorp will get sued first. (They are unlikely to go after a small fry like me. But f they do, you will not escape either because you commented, haha.) If they sue SPH and Mediacorp, then we will have more NKF-like court dramas to watch.

Zen - I hope you don't mind me saying this but I think you're the one who's 'out of sync' here. Sorry that I don't see how this issue has anything to do with whether Chun See's blog draw in many visitors or not.

Anonymous said...

I also don't know what Zen is talking about. I think you misunderstood what Victor is trying to say.

Anonymous said...

Victor - Perhaps my comment was misleading and not clear, causing misunderstanding. I do not mean it to be comparing one blog against another statistically or otherwise. My real intention is to to emphazise the positive aspect of Chun See's blog.

Victor said...

Zen - your explanation is accepted, haha.

Anonymous said...

huh? everyone scolding each other in the comment here? @_@

Victor said...

No lah, Elaine. That's our way of fraternising with each other. Quite harmless bantering.

Anonymous said...

No one like pain in any part of the body, but pain is an extremely important function for maintenance of one's good health. Without it, we do not know which part of the body needs attention.