Friday, 14 September 2012

Queenstown Wayang for Prince Will & Kate

Lawrence Wong rebuts netizens’ views over royal’s visit to Queenstown

Senior Minister of State for Education and Information, Communications and the Arts, Lawrence Wong, has rebutted some online views over the past few weeks on the British royal couple’s visit to Queenstown and the MediaCorp TV forum with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, A Conversation with PM Lee.

In a post on his Facebook page on Monday, Mr Wong said he has been watching the incidents unfold on the internet with "some heaviness" in his heart.

He noted that when the British royal couple — Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge — visited Queenstown, Singaporeans young and old volunteered readily to be part of this event. Yet, they were mocked online for taking part in a "wayang" show.

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The Straits Times reports irresponsibly

On 25 September, the Straits Times let itself down terribly with an instance of bad reporting. Turn if you please to page B2 of the Straits Times and look at the article, “Be civil in discussions: Lawrence Wong”.

There is a picture of Prince William and his lovely wife Kate, talking to Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah, while an uncle practises taichi in the foreground. The caption for the picture reads: “Queenstown residents who took part in activities to welcome Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine were mocked online.”

The accusation is repeated in the text of the article: “… residents who turned up to welcome Prince William and his wife Catherine were mocked online for taking part in a “wayang”.”

Oh no, netizens did not mock the Queenstown residents who took part in the wayang. It was the organizers whom they mocked, or rather, the PAP government behind them.

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Queenstown residents concur royal showcase definitely fake

When was the last time you actually saw your MP walking around your estate at 3 p.m. in the afternoon? Ok, besides Low Thia Khiang, who else?

Several Queenstown dwellers New Nation spoke to completely and categorically agree with Indranee that the whole set-up was an exhibition and there is no doubt at all whatsoever that it was fake as hell.

One of the Queenstown dwellers said, “Isn’t it obvious it is fake? Would you normally find Indranee Rajah at Queenstown at 3 p.m. in the afternoon? Duh?!” 

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So. Much. Wayang.

Update: Queenstown royal visit was an "exhibition" and was staged for their benefit.

Before and After the royal visit by Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Strathmore Green precinct in Queenstown estate.

I think some of the uncles on the playground can win Golden Horse award for Best Acting.

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Did pap stage the visit for Prince William and Kate?

At the recent visit by Prince William and Kate Middleton to Queenstown HDB flats on 12 September 2012, the playground was filled with children and adults from “all walks of life” using all the facilities at 1545hrs!

Imagine, the maximum temperature of 32 degrees Celsius and a maximum relative humidity at 95% (see NEA website). This is not to mention the haze level of less than good quality (i.e more than 50).

Did they stage their own audience at the last GE Rallies that pap has? Were the audiences really there for the pap rallies? Or are the audiences there when they are given freebies to attend the rallies? I will leave the readers to judge with this clip:

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PAP’s rigged stage show for the Royal couple to see

This picture summaries everything about Singapore: 

A 50 year-old retrenched man who resides at a void deck in Queenstown, where Will and Kate strolled through, said:
“Usually I am the only one here, besides the stray cats. Today, however, there were a lot of locals hanging out in the afternoon sun, leading an idyllic existence and taking photos. It feels like everyone is very free and do not need to be employed to enjoy a good life.”
A 30-year-old unemployed man, Bo Kang Zho, said:
“I very long never see Ah Pek wear blue traditional costume and do qigong in public already. Actually, come to think of it, I’ve never seen it before.”
He added,
“Some more got Indranee Rajah. So free can jalan jalan?
Last time I saw her was GE2011.”
I am  appalled and ashamed to be Singaporean. Thanks to the PA, RCs and many ruling party and Govt related grassroots organisations, Singaporeans have become a laughing stock to the rest of the world. 

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Lets be authentic
Sometimes you wonder who the buffoons are who do stupid things like this – especially in the age of the Internet. I am all for playing great host to our visitors, whether royals or not. But come on, at least let the welcome be genuine and authentic.

Why do we have to put on an unrealistic parade just to show what a vibrant society we are? Uncles (apparently) asked to “perform” tai chi under S’pore’s sweltering heat, children pretending to be playing, etc. [I'm not dissing the uncles, women and children who were part of this display, but those who planned for this.]

Such fake display of enthusiasm or community activities is, truth be told, an affront to us Singaporeans. We do not want our country to be presented in such a fake manner. Why couldn’t the royals be taken on a tour of the heartlands as they are? They could have dropped by a coffeeshop, for example. Or even just a stroll to “admire” our public housing. [Maybe they did, I don't know. I don't see it being reported in the news but I could be wrong.]

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Welcome, William and Kate, to Singapore!

The Welcoming Committee mobilized again, this time to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

No word on whether the royal couple will be having tea with the Royal Pandas.

Prince William and Kate should visit one of Singapore's biggest and newest icons, our casinos. I can arrange good exchange rate for their British pound (SGD1 to £1 — good right?).

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Uncles, royalties and moonckes

The Vanda William Catherine

Of course much of today's news focuses on the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate). They apparently dined on roasted duck, chicken consomme and sliced baked mooncakes - lucky them!  I wouldn't mind betting that the mooncakes were a cut above the ones that I have been consuming; mine were made in Macau and come in the usual embossed tin with auspicious colouring on the lid.

The fact that the Duchess chose to wear a dress created by Singaporean-born designer Prabul Gurung would have gone down as well as the aforementioned mooncakes.

It is also customary for high profile dignitaries to have an orchid named after them. The royal couple gave their name to Vanda William Catherine, a free-flowering orchid hybrid that is white and purple in colour. They also viewed a hybrid variety that bears the name of William's mother and which she never got to see - Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana. 

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Queenstown wayanging during the Royal Visit

From ‘Queenstown visit was an exhibition’, 13 Sept 2012, article by Tessa Wong, Singapolitics, ST

Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah has responded to online criticism of the staged scenes put up at the Queenstown Green playground for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. “The pictures that people have posted do not take into account the context of the visit,” she said.

She was referring to several pictures surfacing on the Internet showing the playground before and during the visit, accompanied with sarcastic captions. Many netizens felt that the sight of residents performing taichi and silat, and using the playground and fitness equipment in the middle of the afternoon presented an unrealistic slice of Singapore life.

The Queenstown wayang is the Singaporean way of laying the red carpet to welcome aristocrats, and somewhat of a hospitality overkill. The image of a playground JAMPACKED with activity looks like a scene taken off a staged musical, a real-life collage of local kampong pasttimes squeezed into a common space, people PRETENDING like they JUST happened to be there at the time. 

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Queenstown visit was an exhibition

Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah has responded to online criticism of the staged scenes put up at the Queenstown Green playground for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

“The pictures that people have posted do not take into account the context of the visit,” she said.

She was referring to several pictures surfacing on the Internet showing the playground before and during the visit, accompanied with sarcastic captions.

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Dear Will and Kate, you have been HOODWINKED !!!

U have been hoodwinked into believing that Singapore is a good place and everyone is contended and happy. The real truth is not. A freak circus show had been put up in front of your eyes.

Singapore’s old and elderly do not practice taiji in their sunset years. Only the PAP politicians do and those who have partisan interests, benefited from their connections with the ruling party and its mechanisms do.

Even after they retire, they practice political taiji like the Minister mentor Lee Kuan yew. Majority of elderly couples are picking rubbish and trash for a living or cleaning up tables in food places with salary which is only less than few dollars a day and have hardly any retirement funds.

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Royal couple ‘told activities staged for their benefit’

Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, receive gifts during a tour in Strathmore Green at Queenstown public housing estate in Singapore on September 12, 2012

What Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine saw at Queenstown was a display of community activities and cultural diversity, and they were told that such activities do not always take place at the time of their visit.

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Why the fuss over the royal couple?

There were a few thousand people jammed up against a security barricade, most with arms aloft. Many were shouting slogans, some were just generally making noise. There was a real sense of excited energy in this mob. Yet this was no normal riot.

This was a royal one.

That meant this loud mob wasn’t shouting protest slogans. They were shouting “Will, you’re bril! Kate, you’re great!” with increasing intensity as the royal golf cart slowly approached the Supertrees grove. As that happened, some, who were standing towards the rear of the mob began frantically asking each other: “Can you see anything? I can’t see.” 

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Coloionalism 2.0

So, the balding prince and commoner princess have come to Singapore for a visit. What's the big deal, people? Last I checked, we were no longer a British colony and are instead a sovereign nation that has no affiliation to the crown.
The excitement these past few days has been similar to that reserved for celebrities, but the British-flag-waving and lining the streets is a tad too much. Yes, the English do that for THEIR queen/king/prince/whoever but what has that got to do with us? Yes, we should accord the respect we honour all visiting dignitaries with, but to treat them as if we are beholden to them is cheesy at best and insulting to the people at worst.

Jumping on the bandwagon are the opportunistic businesses (some of whom have but the remotest of relation to the British royalty) with their over-the-top advertisements. This morning, I came across this gem of a conundrum which I could make no head or tail.

To me, it appears like the stewardess is serving teh-tarik as it is found in Malaysia, not in Singapore. Tell me, where do they pack teh-tarik-to-go like this anymore here? Doesn't it typically look more like this below? And even that is not extremely common, with the 'industry standard' being styrofoam cups.

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Air hostess’s daughter helping to fuel the royal revival

If anyone has truly lived the royal fairytale, it is the girl formerly known as Kate Middleton.

Last year, the classic English rose became the first commoner in more than three centuries to marry a prince close to the British throne.

Now, with her fashion flair, much-commented-on figure and speeches celebrating good causes, the Duchess of Cambridge is also reviving memories of that ultimate royal celebrity, Diana. 

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Fans get up close with Prince and wife

Some 2,000 people turned up at Gardens by the Bay this morning to catch a glimpse of Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton on day two of their visit in Singapore.

And boy, there was a lot of screaming going on. And chants, of “We want Kate! We want Kate!”

The young royal couple, both 30, are in Singapore as part of their nine-day Southeast Asia-South Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

The British High Commissioner in Singapore had rightly dubbed them “global superstars” who “make the British feel very, very good about themselves”.

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Web Roundup Sep 12: Of banding, cramming and royals touring

In the afternoon, the glitzy couple headed to the heartlands and mingled with folks at Strathmore Green estate in Queenstown

By far the most talked about bit of the visit: the award-winning performances put on by a well-dressed tai-chi group and schoolchildren depicting an imaginary Singaporean estate where outdoors areas experience peak usage at 3.45pm.


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Queenstown residents get a dose of UK royals’ charm

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine charmed residents of Queenstown Wednesday when the couple showed up at the Singapore housing estate.

Queenstown, one of Singapore’s first housing estates, was picked as the choice location for the royals'
visit as it was named after Queen Elizabeth II to mark her coronation in 1953. 

Crowds of energetic cheering fans could barely hide their excitement when the glamorous royal couple emerged from their car, all dressed up despite the humidity and scorching sun. Kate opted for a pretty printed silk two-piece by Singapore label Raoul 

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