Reflections on the year of lust

Top 10 scandals which shook Singapore in 2012

2012 was a year full of scandals that titillated Singaporeans' imagination. And it was made even more so when the parties involved were high-ranking civil servants, teachers and notable citizens.

Former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer's nervous confession of an extra-marital affair, law professor Tey Tsun Hang's improper relationship with student Darinne Ko and former CNB chief Ng Boon Gay's sex-for-contracts case were among the juiciest news to grip Singaporean.

And it wasn't just these civil servants, young people like blogger Alvin Tan also made headlines. The ex-NUS law student was stripped of his scholarship for posting sexually explicit photos and videos of him and his girlfriend on a blog.

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What A Wonderful World

Thanks to Satchmo (Louis Armstrong) who inspires this bloke, man, it's worth your while to give it a listen. The voice is nothing to sing about but the lyrics may lighten up some

Man, if the National Conversation is not about PAP Town Councils (14 of them then) selling out to AIM (Action Information Management owned by ex-PAP MPs) and "How Not To Throw Stones When You Live In A Glass House?" then what the fook are we talking about? The weather?

Happy 2013 and may peace and love be with you!

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Yaw Shin Leong Vs Michael Palmer

If you want to be a politician in Singapore, you better learn to keep your dick in check.

Two elected MPs, Yaw Shin Leong and Michael Palmer learned their lesson the hard way in 2012. One is from the white camp and the other from the blue camp. Yaw’s alleged affair surfaced at the beginning of the year while Palmer’s affair surfaced now at the end of the year.

Here’s a comparision between the two:

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Palmer the ‘Honorable’ vs Shin Leong the ‘coward’ – a different perspective

And then Yaw shocked everybody by leaving the country a day after his expulsion. If you ask me, none of this made any sense. Of course some folks were quick to jump in and point this behavior out as an act of gross cowardice. I'm not sure if it had crossed anyone's mind that perhaps Yaw was trying his best to protect the persons involved in the alleged affair. I mean, yes, there were speculations about the identity of the woman, but so far, it had remained as just that. There may also be other reasons, other people for whom he felt responsible for, that he prioritized over his political career and reputation.

And then we have Palmer-gate. It's astonishing how in less than 24 hours after the shocking announcement of his resignation, his colleagues fall over each other to give a glowing portrayal of Michael Palmer. If I didn't know any better, I would thought he was one of the 300 Spartans who perished in battle with the mighty Persians at Thermopylae! One even went as far as to say what he did was 'right and honorable'.

Kind of weird that Yaw is a dick for not saying too much and the identity of the other woman in the alleged affair is never confirmed, and Palmer is honorable while the other woman in his story gets slut-shamed.

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Sex scandals in 2012 - S'poreans pick 'Lust' as 2012's Chinese character

After three weeks of voting for Lianhe Zaobao's "Character of the Year" readers' poll, the Chinese character for 'Lust' was chosen to represent 2012.

With a series of high-profile sex scandals involving sex-for-contracts, sex-for-grades and paid sex with an underage prostitute this year, 2012 was perceived as a year of 'Lust', a common interpretation of the Chinese character 'se'.

The meaning of 'se' goes beyond the birds and the bees. It also encompasses wide-ranging connotations from colours to facial expressions.

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Online scrutiny has made it harder for public figures to keep scandals under wraps

A year can be a lifetime in politics and what a year 2012 has been.

Predictably, there continued to be strenuous debate over the troika of policy areas - housing, transport and foreigners - that had emerged as key election issues last year. These are problems associated with a maturing economy, which has reached a high standard of living but is unsure how to sustain growth in a way that benefits all.

More surprisingly, this was also a year shaped by an emotion as primordial as you can get, straight from the worlds of Greek tragedies and Shakespearean plays 

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OPINION: Singapore degenerating into a city of sex scandals
Malaysia Star, 29 Dec 2012
SINGAPORE, which still bans Playboy magazine, is moving into 2013 after going through one of its hottest years for sex scandals.

Few old-timers can remember living through a more torrid period such as this that has dragged in so many prominent, high-profile people both from within and outside the government.

It was as though Singapore was invaded by a type of virus in the air that destroyed human immunity against sexual misconduct.

It spread through the city, striking down young and middle-aged Singaporeans – from Members of Parliament, elite civil servants and business executives to cleaners and lorry drivers. Full story 

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A year of lusting men and lasting wives'

For some, it was an extraordinary act of love and loyalty. For others, it was an act more akin to dependency or foolishness

A commentary published on Singapolitics.sg last week praising women who stand by their men in times of crisis sparked off a fierce debate over whether sticking with someone after a highly publicised act of betrayal was the right thing to do.

Straits Times China Correspondent Kor Kian Beng certainly felt so. He wrote in a commentary titled "2012: The Year Of The Strong Woman?" that the decision by the women to stand by their men was a sign of strength.

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Singapore Caps Year of Lust With Parliamentary Affair

Singapore's Parliament House stands in Singapore. Photographer: Bryan van der Beek/Bloomberg 

The resignation of Singapore Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer yesterday over an extramarital affair came two days after readers of the island’s largest Chinese newspaper called 2012 a year of lust.

Palmer, 44, said he had a relationship with a member of a government agency who worked in a district he used to represent. He’s the second person this year to leave Parliament for private indiscretions.

“Human failings and affairs are common,” said Bridget Welsh, a political science professor at the Singapore Management University. “What is new is the open discussion of these issues, expansion of public sphere and the difficult political navigation of these issues.”

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Unprecedented year

Singapore, which still bans Playboy magazine, is moving into 2013 after going through one of its hottest years for sex scandals.

Few old-timers can remember living through a more torrid period such as this that has dragged in so many prominent, high-profile people both from within and outside the government.

It was as though Singapore was invaded by a type of virus in the air that destroyed human immunity against sexual misconduct.

read more

Singapore News 2012

We will be ushering in year 2013 in just 2 days. This year, if there is one word to describe Singapore's top news, this word will be: Deviant as:

a) there are so many prominent personalities such as civil servants, prinicipals and even MPs involving in "not proper" relationship with the opposite sex 

b) there are offensive comments coming from people like Sun Xu and Amy Cheong 

c) and last but not least, some SMRT bus drivers even orchestrated an "illegal strike" not seen here in decades!

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The Year In Pictures

She came, she saw, she collected millions, and zoomed off into the sunset in her Ferrari California. Budget for train maintenance, whazzat? Engineering is so unsexy. The new guy seems to think so too.

His sacking triggered a by-election. In retrospect, it was a godsend; the relentless witch hunters will have the tables turned on themselves before the year was over.

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The year in sex scandals

The word "sex" has probably been spoken or written about more this year than in any other year in Singapore.

From neighbourhood coffee shops to office pantries to dinner parties, sex scandals involving top civil servants, teachers and other high-fliers fuelled many a conversation for an entire year and kept the nation riveted.

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2012: The year of the strong woman?

For many, 2012 will be remembered for its scandals, after seeing a string of cases involving the successful and powerful men tripping over sex and extramarital affairs. Last week, Zaobao readers went so far as to vote it as the “year of lust” for Singapore. But that is a tad negative.

Instead, I would like to remember 2012 as the year of the Singaporean women - who have shown remarkable strength to forgive and even support their wayward men, as exemplified by the wives in each of the scandals.

In a year where the focus has been trained intensely on politicians and other powerful men, the good example being set by the women behind them has been obscured.

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Sex scandals in 2012

The Chinese character "se" means colour, but it can also mean lust. On Monday, Lianhe Zaobao's readers voted it as the word of the year, among others such as "change", "reproach" and "home".

And they may be spot-on. In the past year, Singapore has seen a number of high-profile scandals:

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The year of the Internet mouth-off

If there is one lesson that has emerged during 2012, it must surely be this one - watch what you say online. Over the past year, several people have sparked national uproar by leaving offensive messages on Facebook and Twitter. It did not matter if they had posted the rants on the spur of the moment or had intended them to be private. One after another, they were shamed by other Internet users. Joyce Lim takes a look at four cases that clearly demonstrate the power of the online vigilante.

SUN XU - He compared S'poreans to dogs

AMY CHEONG - She disparaged Malay weddings

LAI SHIMUN - She made racist tweet about Indians

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Women involved in sex scandals

WHO: Former IT sales manager Cecilia Sue Siew Nang, 36, prosecution witness in the sex-for-contracts trial of former Central Narcotics Bureau director Ng Boon Gay.

WHAT: Ng, 46, faces four charges of obtaining oral sex from Ms Sue to further the interest of her companies between June and December last year.

TRIAL: Ms Sue testified in court last week that Ng had forced her to give him oral sex in a car on those four occasions. The defence maintains they were in a consensual relationship. The case has been adjourned to Oct 31.

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Underage Sex Scandal

48 men have been charged in court for paying for sex with an underage prostitute. Another 14 are under probe.
The accused include civil servants, high flyers in the finance industry, and other notable figures.

80 men have been implicated in the case. More charges are expected to be filed.
Paid sex with a minor carries a jail term of up to seven years and a possible fine.
 » Read: The law on underage sex

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To S'pore youth, sex scandals are a big deal

Sex scandals - especially those involving high-profile public officers - do strike a chord among young Singaporeans.

The majority of the 20 people we polled, all aged below 30, say inappropriately mixing work with pleasure is no small matter.

"Just because others are doing it doesn't make it less of a big deal," says 22-year-old undergraduate Shannon Ang.

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