..:: Kellog ::..


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Kelly in Wonderland

Patrick's uncle who will be visiting us in June forwarded us this article about Putrajaya in Malaysia, which appears to be a surreal mini-Singapore/mini-American suburbia. I can't think of a scarier place.

I replied:

"Thank you, Uncle Dan. Enjoyed this article very much. The parallels to Singapore and American sub-urbia are very interesting. I thought it was hilarious how if you didn't mow your lawn, they'd mow it for you then bill you for it. Kinda like Communist China back in the day where they executed your son for not clapping hard enough at Mao Zedong's speech or something (I'm making this up) then bill you for the bullets they shot him with.

I like this quote:
"When you manufacture a city, you're not going to get that organic feel to it, you're not going to get that vibrancy."
How true. There's a big debate in Singapore right now about building a casino. The decision was announced yesterday...Singapore is going to get TWO casinos being built here by 2009...although the government has put a spin to it by calling it "Integrated Resorts" or "IR", which will be the Acronym of the Decade in Singapore, I bet. We Singaporeans like to Acronymize -everything- (Read the spin here: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/casino ) There were a lot of religious (mostly) groups against having a casino in Singapore because they thought it will deprave society (I personally don't like 'moral' arguments because they are almost always tinged with hypocrisy). The government is saying that Singapore needs it for the economy. And they keep talking about wanting to make Singapore a "vibrant city" with "the x-factor" (like NYC or London). Which is silly because when a country's Censorship Board still bans films (with sex or (local) politics) in the International Film Festival here, you'd NEVER even come close to the "great cities" you aspire to be. And I don't know how a manufactured Vegas wannabe will make for a "vibrant" city in any sense of the word.

To prevent Singaporeans from problem gambling, we'll have to pay $100 entry fee per day to enter casinos, but foreigners need not. So let me excuse myself in advance should you visit Singapore in 2009 (god knows where I'll be at that time though), because you will go in for free, but not me because I am a citizen here. Bizarre but true.

Not that I'm against casinos or Integrated Resorts, oops I mean IRs, though. I'm looking forward to seeing how this will all churn out for li'll Singapore, my beloved country (I'm not being sacarstic here. I do love my country for all its dysfunction and neurosis, even though that love is mired, increasingly so, with frustration. I'm not yet angry per se, I would say I'm more flabbergastedly bemused most of the time as I observe my own home). In the meantime, I'm sure I'd benefit in some indirect way as the Economy (with the capital E) benefits through the Multiplier Effect, for example, when the bank I work for gets some $$$ from financing construction and charges ridiculou$ intere$t rate$ for future debt-ridden gamblers! Can you say cash-cow? Whoohoo!

Apologies for that long email. The article just got me thinking and writing.

Look forward to having you here! Would love to hear your views and observations about my country."
kellykelly, 4/19/2005 06:04:00 pm


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