Earn money through your website, join Affiliate Window

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Last Message of Suicide Girls

This article tells a story about how MySpace website of two girls (who later committed suicide by hanging themselves together in the same tree near Melbourne) received a last message as follow:

"RIP Jodie & Steph"

The message was posted one day before the girls went missing. Scary stuffs...:(

Saturday, April 21, 2007

How to Educate Future Leaders?

A friend sent me this YouTube Video, showing some kind of "physical education" done by "a senior student" to his "junior students" in a government-funded university. This university is exclusively aimed at teaching and preparing the future leaders of Indonesia. The students are chosen from all provinces in the country and usually once the students graduate they will be employed as a local government official in their home town. I don't know how serious the person who punched and kicked the students was, but............. I am speechless!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Toyota Camry SV21 1988

Toyota Camry SV21 1988 FOR SALE, 5 speeds manual transmission, power-steering, well maintained, engine is still in good condition, new radiator, new battery, odometer 271000 km.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS to Ubuntu 6.10

Painless migration that is, except it took my old laptop nearly 10 hours to download more than 1200 files from the internet.

I have just upgraded my Dapper Drake to Edgy Eft, so my old Compaq Presario 700 laptop is now running on Ubuntu 6.10. The beauty of using Ubuntu is, you don't need to re-install everything to upgrade your operating system. How cool is that? Imagine you were using Windows ME and wanted to upgrade it to WindowsXP, what would you do? Move your data from your desktop, wipe everything in the hard disk off, install WindowsXP and then move your data back to your harddisk.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 6.06 LTS to Ubuntu 6.10, you just need to type this line in the terminal:

gksu "update-manager -c -d"

and then follow the instructions.

gksu to call up the root password window, -c to update at all and -d to ask the update manager to consider all pre-release version. For other details, refer to this website.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Manchester City - Liverpool (0-0)

It was a disappointing result from Liverpool's point of view. The Liverpool's boss, Rafa Benitez, has preached to the mass medias since last week, that it is important to keep winning and make sure Liverpool qualify for the Champions League next season as soon as possible so that they can concentrate on the semifinal of UCL against Chelsea. Getting into the last 4 is the minimum target of Liverpool this season, while reaching the 3rd is always more welcome than getting the 4th place in the EPL.

However, the players did not perform yesterday, the game was dull, Manchester City defended well, and Liverpool lacked ideas to break them down. Chances were few, and when it came, both teams didn't make the most out of it to score a goal and open up the game. As Rafa Benitez himself said, in football you must take chance, that first goal is very important to change things. When a defensive team conceded a goal first, they must come out to attack their opponents, hence opening up their own defensive organisation and they are susceptible to counterattack.

So what went wrong in the game last night?

The formation was similar to the one Rafa Benitez put up against Arsenal at Anfield recently, where Liverpool won 4-1. It was 4-2-3-1, or 4-5-1 depending on how you want to call it. The bottom line is, Rafa used two holding midfielders in the centre in Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard played in the middle, Riise on the left flank, Pennant on the right flank.

Despite using a similar formation, playing with different group of players evidently give different results perhaps because collective creativity and imagination of the groups are not similar. The players' movement last night was not as good as when they played against Arsenal and they lacked ideas.

Rafa Benitez himself blamed the players for not getting themselves focussed at beating Manchester City, because the players have started thinking about the Champions League semifinal already. He believed it is a problem of motivation. Perhaps he is right, but perhaps it was actually due to his tendency to rotate his players, which make them eventually do not click to each other that well. Whatever the reason is, it was still disappointing to draw with Citeeh.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rafa Benitez and His Analogies

For those who do not follow football (futbol), Rafa Benitez is the manager of Liverpool FC, the greatest football club in England.

Rafa likes to use analogies when he wants to make sure people get his points. When he just arrived at Liverpool, he used lamp and sofa to describe his frustration of the Valencia CF's boards. In Valencia, he wanted to buy certain player but he was given different kind of player. So he described it like this: "I wanted a lamp they gave me sofas".

Then few weeks later, he decided to sell some of Liverpool's players at the time and buy a couple players from his native Spain. The reason he was giving to the fans was "Like a table, we need to balance the numbers of its legs, if we have 3 legs only, the table will not be balance, therefore we need to buy the 4th leg".

And then when he was asked what his opinion of Chelsea FC, who have a rich owner in Abramovich, he diplomatically said: "If you have £1 million you can buy a better jacket than if you own £10,000 only", which is sensible.

And the most recent one, before the quarter final of the 2006/2007 UCL against PSV Eindhoven, he said: "This is a very important trophy and we will do our best to go as far as we can. At the moment we are swimming and we're getting closer to the beach, but we know that we could die at any time. We need to keep swimming until we reach the beach. That's why we need to keep our focus and make sure we keep playing well.". This is his analogy to ask his players to keep working hard and keep themselves focused to the task of winning the UEFA Champions League.

I am sure there more quotes to come from him in the future, but I can't predict what they are gonna be. :)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Abuse of Power by 2 Singaporean Airport Officers

It looks like I am not the only person who do not like the way the Singaporean airport officers' handling of passengers. Here is a ridiculuous case of a family's holiday was ruined just because she mentioned bomb once and was rudely asked to repeat it again (so that they could arrest the poor lady).

Dangerous Four-Letter word: Do not utter the word
BOMB in the airport at checkpoint..


Do not use the word " BOMB " even for private conversation in airport
although the law only applies to saying it in public in particularly to
security officers.


Dear Mr. Foo,

My name is Sandra Tan (I/C number 7328669G). It is with great
disappointment and distress that I am filing a complaint to you with
regards to my situation.

My family (including myself, my husband, my daughter, and my son) planned a Darwin holiday for the March school vacation period and was supposed to depart on 09 March. Unfortunately, we were put in a situation by the security officers at the departure terminal, that was way beyond our control and we were not able to make our trip. The following is an account of what had happened : -

I entered the Immigration gantry at about 7.15pm with my daughter (Belle Lee, 13 yrs old) to have our passport scanned and our hand carry luggage checked whilst my husband (Lee Ming Chong) stayed behind with my son (Caius Lee, 8 yrs old) at the ticketing counter to sort out my son's visa.
After having mine and my Belle's passport scanned, we proceed to the security gantry to have our hand luggage and our bodies scanned. Belle passed the security gantry first, whilst I followed right behind her. A lady officer asked me to remove my boots for scanning, and I did as told immediately and put my boots inside the basket provided, for it to be scanned together
with my hand luggage. I then proceed to the metal detector of which I cleared without the gantry beeping or detecting any metal objects. I was then asked to collect my luggage and my boots. In the mean time, Belle was throwing away a sweet wrapper and retuning to me and saw me putting on my boots. Belle then asked casually "Mummy, why do you have to remove your shoes?" Whilst putting on my boots, I replied her and said that "they (the security officers) are afraid that we might keep bombs in our shoes (which is why I need to take it off to have it scanned)"

Immediately, a security officer standing at the conveyor belt (Stephen S Naidira) who was standing in front of me said with a very rude tone"repeat what you just said". I clarified with him what he meant - is it for me to repeat what I had told my daughter? He said loudly again, to repeat what I had just said. So I did exactly what he told me. I said to him that "my daughter asked me why I need to take off my shoes, and I told her that you guys (the security officers) are afraid that we will keep bombs in our shoes." He immediately asked me to stand aside and said that he had to report it to his superior that I said the word "bomb" twice. Then an Indian lady (Sivamalar) at the customs started hurling at me and my daughter and said that I said the word "bomb" twice and it is against the law and I can be sent to jail and they are calling the police. She (Sivamalar) was so loud and rude and she shoved us to the side, and refused to listen to my
explanation. In fact, she got so aggressive that another officer Ricky Lim (I guess it's her supervisor) had to come forward to stop her from further attacking me and my daughter verbally, and specifically asked Sivamalar to "shut up". I told Ricky Lim that I would like to know the names of his staff because their attitude and rudeness were simply beyond any acceptable
level. Immediately Sivamalar got so angry and aggressive that she started charging at Ricky Lim and hurled "What?! What?! What?! She (she meant me) said the word "Bomb" twice, so what is wrong with arresting her (which is me) and we were told that if we heard the word twice, we will arrest!!"

At that time, Stephen S Naidira came to me again to intimidate me further by asking me to repeat what I said earlier to my daughter again. I refused to repeat again then because I believe he was deliberately asking me to repeat so that he can count the number of times that I mentioned the word "bomb". I also believe that that the officers were deliberately provoking me by being rude and intimidating, in the hope that I will retaliate in kind, thereby making their unreasonable actions justifiable.

Despite my anger and the fact that my daughter was scared to tears by the situation, I knew I had to keep my cool. I sat aside with my daughter taking down names of the personnel involved on my mobile phone. I was told to wait for another officer of a higher rank to decide on the matter,
and I was still hoping whoever the higher ranked officer that was coming will have the logical thinking to acknowledge that what I had said to my daughter was a simple, harmless private conversation taken completely out-of-context.

At about 7.30pm, the Sergeant-in-charge, Amran Buang came. After I explained the full context of the incident to him, he refused to make a decision and decided to escalate it further to the Auxilary Police and State Police. He said that the word "bomb" is very sensitive and I
should not have mentioned it twice. I explained to him that I did not know saying the word "bomb" is against the law, and I further explained that I did not say the word "bomb" in a threatening context to the officer, the word "bomb" was taken completely out of context as part of an answer to my daughter's question. Despite my explanation, he said he cannot make the decision and my case has to be escalated to higher authorities.

Meanwhile, at about 7.40pm, my son's visa cleared and my husband and my son came in through the customs. After knowing what had happened, my husband tried to talk to Sergeant Amran Buang, further explaining to him that we are just a family going on holiday and what I have said to my daughter had been taken out of context. Again, no one was bothered to listen. And
again, we were told to wait for another officer with an even higher ranking. With time ticking away and at 7.55pm with no sign of the higher authorities appearing, we knew then our hope of boarding our flight had diminished.

Whilst waiting, Stephen S Naidira (the security officer) gathered with a few security officers at the side, including Sivamalar to discuss how they should present their statement to the police when they arrive later to make sure that they are adequately covered, and that they are just following the rule and doing what they were told to do. They said by insisting that they are taking actions "by-the-book", they would be ok.

I hope by now you have a clear picture of the situation. My kids were both crying then, with more and more policemen arriving which scared the living daylights of them, and with no hope to continue our holiday plans. I believe every action inside the terminal is recorded and I would insist that your review the CCTV recordings on that night to know that I am only stating the truth without exaggeration. You can also see that during the entire episode, I was not at any point defiant or rude or refused any further check by the officers, despite the infuriating situation that me and my family were put through.

I know it is important to stay vigilant to protect Singapore. I have young children, I know how important it is, which is why I complied without complaining when I had to remove my boots for scanning. However, here is an obvious case of the security officers trying to get away with their
rudeness and aggressiveness by taking things way beyond what was necessary, in the name of following the security protocol. They were really angry when I asked for their names from Mr. Ricky Lim, and they knew very well then that they can abuse their power to make things very difficult for me and my family.

At around 8.05pm, we were informed by the Tiger Airways personnel that the plane will have to depart and they will off-load our luggage from the plane. At around 8.10 p.m., the State Police and other policemen arrived to take our statement.

In the entire episode, the State Police and the SWISS PORT personnel were the only ones who conducted themselves professionally and offered us consolation and meaningful advice. They have also at some stages expressed their personal views that they acknowledged this incident was
gravely mis-handled on the part of the security officers. The State Police further confirmed that there is no case against us, and they would just need to complete the paperwork.

The Budget Terminal manager came to meet me and said that whilst he empathized with our situation, it is an airport security protocol and frankly, it's "just too bad" that this happened to us.

My statement and my daughter's statement only completed at about 10.45p.m. The counter service staff, Ms Nur Aisah Bte Ali Hassan was very helpful and advised us on our next steps. She was kind enough to ask us to return the next day to change the traveling dates and advised the additional charges involved.

I am not given a report for this case, but my case number with the State Police is P/20070309/0015. I was already told by the State Police that the case is closed without further action.

For the ordeal that my family had been put through, I would want an official reply from CAAS and all relevant authorities addressing the following : -

Whether the security officers were trained to handle passengers with such bad attitude and rudeness and if such actions by them are condoned by authorities. I would insist you to refer to the CCTV recordings during the period of the incident.

What actions would be taken by CAAS and all relevant authorities with reference to both the security officers, Mr. Stephen S Naidira ad Ms. Sivamalar, for their unruly behavior and attitude? Surely, characters as such do not belong to a national airport that aspired to be a world class traveling hub.

What actions would be taken by CAAS and all relevant authorities with reference to Sergeant Amran Buang, who had the authority to end this episode promptly, but instead decided to prolong our ordeal for no justifiable cause? Is it a protocol that even after establishing the facts that we, as a family poses no security threat, there is still a need to escalate the matter to the authority and have the State Police and other policemen carry out a full investigations only to end up in vain? Why is it that even at level of Sergeant, whom I reckon is better educated,
experienced, and able to make logical sense of the whole situation, refuse to make a simple decision and end our ordeal quickly? Is this a Singapore civil service practice where decision making is pushed and shoved from one level to another no matter how obvious what the final decision should be from the very beginning?

Whether all the officers concern are properly trained and competent to handle such situation. Besides hardware ( i.e. the protocol book), are they taught to apply the software (i.e . common senses)? Is it really a protocol that as long as the word "bomb" is mentioned twice by a person (once being asked to repeat by the officer) ??then no matter what context, tone, situation and profile of the person who said it, it would not be taken into consideration? What if my daughter instead of asking me a simple question about my shoes, decided to say: "mummy, according to news report, there are speculations that the recent Indonesian air crash may be attributed to a bomb inside the plane." Would your security officer would come up to her and ask her to
repeat one more time, and she would be put under arrest? Your staff kept telling me that saying the word "bomb" in the airport is illegal and I can go to jail. They quoted newspaper examples of how people have gone to jail because of that. I think your staffs need to be trained to understand and differentiate situations and circumstances. As far as I knew, the people that went to jail had VERBALLY THREATENED staff members in the aviation service or had DELIBERATELY caused public alarm using sensitive words.

My case was clearly none of the above. Even if, I am saying if, indeed its illegal to mention the word "bomb" in the airport no matter what context, the person involved need to be warned ahead of time. You cannot arrest a person for committing something illegal when the person has no idea
that the word is illegal in the first place. Your staff could have given me a verbal warning to say that such sensitive words should be refrained in the airport and I would have walk away remembering the warning. But instead, they decide to let the matter escalate further.

Who is to compensate for the expenses that are already incurred and forfeited for this trip, and our emotional stress and duress during the entire episode? The total cost incurred, including air tickets, accommodation, and land tours amount to about $4,200. We had to put up with hours of humiliation with more than twenty policemen and officials surrounding us, questioning us, checking our luggage through and through.

We had put up with never-ending questioning from different departments, and best of all, repeated checks on my same pair of boots. My kids were terrified, puzzled, disappointed and exhausted from this entire ordeal. My husband and I are left with one week of applied leave and no vacation and holiday to look forward to.

I would like to state that not everyone that we came across in this episode had been unpleasant. I wish to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the empathy shown by the State Police and the SWISS PORT personnel.

I will be waiting for your reply. Please let me know when to expect it in email. In the mean time, I may seek legal advice for my rights and entitlement in this incident.

Yours sincerely

Sandra Tan Hong Lian
I/C : S7328669G
Blk 148, Tampines Ave. 5
#04-284, Singapore 521148
Mobile : 81236990