My heart saddens…

My heart saddens when somebody forwarded me the open verdict made by a certain State Coroner Victor Yeo Khee Eng.

A TOP civil servant whose car hit a Victoria School student along Marine Parade Road in October last year was yesterday cleared of criminal negligence in the fatal accident.

State Coroner Victor Yeo came round to this view following testimony by several witnesses at the inquiry into the death of Secondary 4 student Wrixon Chew Teck Cheng, 16, who died six days after the accident.

The driver of the car was Ms Chin Li Fen, 48, an Assistant Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras)

Coroner Yeo, returning an open verdict, said evidence suggested that Wrixon could have failed to keep a proper lookout for oncoming vehicles.”
(Source: AsiaOne)

I could not believe what I read.

Is this the same court that ruled in favour of the wife of an americian millionaire who was killed in a car accident when he deliberately violated the traffic laws?

I did some googling and found the previous case “US MILLIONAIRE IN CAR ACCIDENT AT SCOTTS ROAD, Driver ordered to pay $2m“.

THE jogger may have run right across the yellow traffic box junction outside Goodwood Park Hotel along Scotts Road and disregarded the pedestrian crossings.

Still, the Singapore driver who hit and killed him had to bear 45 per cent of the blame for the accident, the court found.

The traffic lights were in Madam To’s favour. She was driving past the junction of Scotts Road/Stevens Road and Draycott Drive, when he ran across the yellow box junction in front of her car.
(Source: SGForums)

It turned out that the jogger was Mr Henry Adolphus Lassiter, 48, an American self-made millionaire who had a thriving technology company and assets worth nearly $40 million at the time of his death.

Does it mean that if you are a rich millionaire, you can violate traffic laws, run across a yellow traffic box junction, get killed… yet the driver (with traffic light in her favour) had to bear 45% of the blame?

But on the other hand, when you are an average 16 yrs old student, you are 100% at blame for getting yourself killed because you have failed to keep a proper lookout for oncoming vehicles?

I don’t get the logic.

Or perhaps it’s not about you at all. It seems to me that the verdict could have depends on who you are contesting against.

My heart saddens…such is the state of X@#@#……..

How am I going to teach Talia Ann about right and wrong in this country? Should I tell her that when you see a rich man crossing the road, you MUST stop the car. When you see a commoner, just speed on, knock him down as long as the light is in your favour?

Certainly not.

As a sailor, I know that the rule of sea always state that the vessels with the higher mobility gave way to the lesser or vessel restricted in their ability to maneuver.

As a NPCC cadet, I learnt that the same rules apply. Cars should watch out and give way to motorcycles and bicycles. ALL motorised vehicles MUST watch out and give way to pedestrians.

With such court rulings, it’s not surprising that so many cyclists and pedestrians get killed by reckless drivers each year.

Something must change regarding the double standards in such verdicts.

This reminded me of what Edmund Burke said, “Evil Prevails When Good Men Do Nothing“.

We need CHANGE.

Shout to The Lord

Sister Darlene Zschech was in our church last Sunday leading us in worship. It’s a celebration worship a week after we raised S$18 millions for our new church building in a single day of giving on 20th April 2008.

Praise God for blessing the hearts of the people who gave joyfully and sacrificially. It’s only possible because Jesus is in the heart of each of the givers. Jesus is the reason we gave, because He first gave us His all.

I also learned that Darlene’s song “Shout to the Lord” was sang on American Idols’ Idol Gives Back. I’ve not watched Americian idol for a few years so I decided to I google for it.

Shout to the Lord (Jesus Christ) written by Darlene Zschech

Awesome isn’t it. The inspired song that was sang in churches all over the world on sunday will reach hundreds of millions of viewers all over the world as they watch the program.

The sickening part of the show was a comedian coming up on the stage and shouted the fxxk word 4 times immediately after the song. It’s so classless and totally reflects the lack of taste of the producer and the company he/she works for. The company also striped Jesus from the song. They sang “My Shepherd, My Savior” instead of “My Jesus, My Savior”, thus reducing the song to exalt any gods/lords.

Well, God’s way is always above our ways. When I pray about it, I have great peace in my heart knowing that an inspired song will strike a chord in the hearts of many. People will start searching “Shout to the Lord”, download or purchase a CD and listen to the real Jesus the song praise.

In case you are reading this because you are searching “Shout to the Lord“, I’ve included some clips of Shout to the Lord and some of other wonderful songs written and sang by Darlene and the Hillsong musicians.

Shout to the Lord – Shout Praises! Kids

Here I am to worship – Tim & Darlene

Jesus Lover of my soul – Darlene and Hillsong team

This is one of my favourite song. I can’t stop singing it. I actually memorised it when I was on a mission trip in Port Elizebeth, South Africa. I was singing it as I walked towards the cape point at Cape of Good Hope. To the end of the world…almost.

The potter’s hand – Darlene & the Hillsongs team

Shout to the Lord – Darlene Zschech

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day

Time passes so fast, it was just like yesterday when I brought Talia Ann to United Square for her 1st Free Cone Day. She was only slightly over 4 months old, a sweet baby sleeping quietly in her stroller. Nope, she did not get to taste the yummy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Tomorrow, my Talia is going experience her first Free Cone personally!

Ben & Jerry’s will celebrate their 30th birthday on the same day. It start at 12 noon and end at 7pm.

My latest intel told me the flavours that will be served are: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, New York Super Fudge Chunk, Strawberry Cheesecake and Chunky Monkey.

Please do not go to the Ben & Jerry’s outlet, “The Ranch Home” at Dempsey Hill. No free cone there.

Other posts about Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream:

Reporting MAG 7.4 Southern Sumatra Earthquake

1st in Singapore to report the quake (while it’s still shaking in Singapore):

Most recent large event:
Southern Sumatra, Indonesia

Magnitude: 7.4

Origin time: 2008/02/25 08:36:34.0 UTC

Epicenter: 99.90°E 2.53°S

Depth: 31 km

(Source: Automatic GEOFON Global Seismic Monitor)

Visit this link for the complete list of automatic GEOFON alerts including major aftershocks.

earthquake in  Southern Sumatra, Indonesia

U.S Geological Survey

MAG: 7.0
UTC Date-TIME: 2008/02/25 08:36:35
LAT: -2.352 degree
LON: 100.018 degree
Depth: 35.0 km

(U.S Geological Survey)

Kevin, Citizen Correspondent, reporting live from Bishan, Singapore

After my previous comments on 6 mar 2007 regarding the unprofessional and delayed earthquake reporting, I am glad that the Meteorological Services Division, NEA [Singapore] improved their respond time.

They also added (Singapore Time) behind the earthquake time.

Date/Time of detection 25 February 2008 at 04:36PM (Singapore Time)

Source Meteorological Services Division, NEA [Singapore]

Improvement. Good, but still not professional enough for reporting of a regional/global event. Imagine somebody from Europe or latin america visiting NEA’s page. Would they know which time zone is “Singapore time”? Is it so hard to just put (GMT+8)?

Let’s see if they pick up this post and further improve their earthquakes reporting.

Why I have no respect for US software patent…

Facebook just attracted another lawsuit (not the ConnectU lawsuit).

This one is filed in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit hinges on U.S. Patent 6,519,629 (”System for creating a community for users with common interests to interact in”), which was issued in 2003 and is now owned by the plaintiffs, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners.

The patent claims relate to social networks built around communities of users with “common interests.”

What kind of IDIOT award such a generic patent?

Software patents simply kills innovation. Any countries who really understand the power of collaborative innovation should outlaw IP rights.

”System for creating a community for users with common interests to interact in”???
Issued in 2003???

I created such systems in 1995 when WWW was in it’s infancy.

If Tim Berners-Lee (Inventor of Hypertext and Father of the World Wide Web – WWW) patented HTML and start sueing, all of us won’t be reading this page or enjoy the Net.

Who is going to pay all Chinese for the invention of gunpower?

Before you fry your next tempura, please remember to pay the original inventor. Nope, not the Japanese, but the hungry Spanish missionaries who landed in Japan.

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets Trailer

I can’t wait for the screening of “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets Trailer

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is a 2007 sequel to the 2004 film National Treasure. Currently directed by Jon Turteltaub and the part-fiction, part-truth story was written primarily by Gregory Poirier (who also wrote The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride). Who esle but Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer.

The sequel involves Abraham Lincoln, his assassin John Wilkes Booth, 18 missing pages from Booth’s diary, and a legendary fortune in Confederate gold that could have changed the outcome of the Civil War. It’s going to be an international conspiracy since filming was spotted in Paris and London (some said Rome).

I hope they screen here before Christmas.

Healthcare: Michael Moore blasts Wolf Blitzer on CNN

Many things that Michael Moore revealed a few years back became the truth and now he gets his UNCUT airtime on CNN. Just 10 mins, but enough for some of those ignorant Americans to listen to some truths.

Michael Moore said, “…Removing the private insurance companies from the equation, we shouldn’t have profit involved when we talked about taking care of people’s health.”

I agree. Private insurance did not improve the healthcare services in US and it wouldn’t work except to let the RICH get richer. Why are we imitating a system that’s proven to fail?

“…18,000 people a year who die in this country (USA) simply because they did not have health insurance.” i.e. denied of basic healthcare serivces.

“Mrs Clinton said, universal healthcare should be free for people who live in this country (US).”

I’m glad that an anglo-saxon woman is more Chinese in thinking than some yellow skin chinese wannabes in Singapore. Mrs Clinton actually understood the values behind Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Would we ever have a Michael Moore in Singapore? With all the self-imposed censorship, we need it more than America.

Solutions for Bloody issue….

I was very upset the entire afternoon after learning about the late Madam Swee Lay Kuan, the mother who died due to excessive bleeding in Raffles Hospital. As a shareholder of Raffles Medical Group, I was deeply disappointed.

I tried to seek answers from a few medical professionals, but found many avoiding the issue. There were more things involved said one of them via email.

I was glad that Otterman speaks… raised the alarm for the persistently low blood stocks.

When I followed Otterman’s post, I realised that this bloody issue is an on going problem. I wonder should Red Cross be the agency to solve the challenges of raising blood stocks?

As the Minister of Health continues to push our island towards the vision of a Medical Hub, both the costs of healthcare and the demand for blood will continue to rise. Red Cross may have done a great job in the past, but with the persistent low blood stocks, clearly they are not meeting the challenges well.

Otterman mentioned the problem of “Accessibility” to HSA Blood Bank. I can think of many possible solutions. However, did the Ministry of Health or the ex-Chief of SAF now Chairman of Singapore Red Cross consider making the Blood bank more “Accessible”? Certainly they can draw some lessens from NLB.

As for “Motivation“, I don’t think freebies like a donor’s cap should play any part, it’s nice to have but it should never be the motivating factor. We should educate and create an awareness among the youths. Full time NS men are the best captive audiences. Once an individual overcomes the initial fear and develops a positive mindset towards donating blood, it will be much easier to “motivate” them to donate regularly.

Red Cross did conduct a few random mobile blood banks in my camp during my NS days eons ago, but as I recalled “more important duties” ordered by the higher authorities always took most of the commanders away leaving just 1/2 the troops to donate blood. The general feeling created among the men was that “elites” were always excused and excluded from blood donation exercises, therefore they (the lower ranks) having no privileges were “forced” to donate blood to make up the numbers. That is the worst awareness to create among blood donors. The above experience is mine alone, but I know that my men’s thoughts are likely the general perception among NS men “told” to donate blood.

I hope that Lt Gen Winston Choo with his experience as the ex-chief and in the capacity of Singapore Red Cross’ Chairman can make a few simple calls to solve the “bloody issue”. Sometimes, the simple approach is the best solution. All you need is a little re-engineering and a slight change in mindset.

Some may ask, “what about the ladies?”. I’ll leave this to our capable and resourcesful NS men to influence their girl friends or spouses. This is what we Chinese call 事半工倍, which means half the effort to double the results.

I’m glad that the Blood bank did create the DonorWeb (a snap shot below) to alert the regular blood donors about the current blood stocks for each group, but I believe more can be done. Knowing that there is a limited shelf life for blood donated, any mass blood donation exercise is just to create awareness, since HSA states that “Every hour of the day, 12 units of blood are consumed.” Blood not consumed after the shelf life would likely be disposed.

What we really need is a low blood stocks alert system for the general public. I could think of a few solutions immediately.

A simple one would be the flashing of a Blood Type icon (e.g. a Heart with an O+ or A+ flashing over it) and a number indicating the No. of donors needed below the heart on TV. This is much more useful than looking at the animated channel 5 or 8 icons.

I know what some of you fast thinkers are thinking. You worry that it will create a rush of people going to the blood bank. Wait lah…that’s what the number below is for. Blood Donors should SMS to e.g. 25663 (i.e. BLOOD on your keypad, easy to remember) indicating they are coming down to the blood bank. They would get a SMS reply telling them “Thanks! We are waiting for you” or “Thanks! Enough donors in queue. You are on the waiting list. We will SMS you if needed.” The No. of donors needed will decreases till zero and the icon automatically removed.

Of course, the No. of donors needed should cater for some no-shows. If the final amount collected is still not enough, there is already a waiting list of donors ready to save lives.

I do not think any TV viewers would mind a Blood Type icon flashing once in a while. The appearance of the blood type icon is also a great way to generate public awareness for blood donation. I can almost visualise myself telling Talia Ann about the importance of donating blood each time the icon appears.

We have nice people running the TV stations, I doubt they would object to the idea.

Is this an overkill? NO. It’s better than receiving a few emails asking for blood donations every month, yet not knowing if blood is still needed. I have received too many chain emails requesting for blood when the person has already been dead for weeks.

The above idea is copyright by me. Since I belong to the Austrian School and a firm believer in the “Subjective theory of value“, it is free to use the idea provided a former letter seeking permission is address to me.

Ok, it’s almost 2:30am. Why am I thinking and writing all these when we have a ex-General running Singapore Red Cross and million-dollar Minister running the Ministry of Health. Shouldn’t they be the one spotting the bottleneck and potential pitfalls for Singapore to become a medical Hub? They should have addressed the bloody issue before any death occurred.

As for policies and protocols issues, I still blame the Minister of Health for his mismanagement.

Being in consulting and an Agent of Change for so many years, I know that organisational cultural changes can only start from the top. Any failure is almost always due to the lack of will and commitment from the top executive.

Not enough blood for a dying mother…

First world healthcare services!!!??? World class Medical hub? Is Singapore a Medical Hub that does not have enough blood to save her own SINGAPORE Citizen?

I just learnt about this via Jseng’s posting on A woman died in Singapore on Sunday night after excessive bleeding.

From the news clip: “After the delivery of her boy-girl twins, the woman lost a lot of blood and needed more blood transfusion. The doctor told the family that there was not enough blood in the hospital. If they need more blood, they must seek the approval from HIGHER authorities. The husband gathered about 200 friends and relatives to the National Blood Center the next morning at around 8:50 am to donate blood. The glass door was locked and the staff behind the glass door told the desperate husband that it’s not opening time yet and ‘Cannot Talk‘. The woman died later that evening.”

Why was a Singapore Citizen denied blood when it was needed? Was there no blood or was it “access to blood not granted”?

If the blood bank was really low in blood reserves, the matter should have escalated quickly and a few truck loads of NS soldiers would have volunteered from various army camps.

If its policies & protocols issues, then in my opinion the Minister of Health should resign immediately.

Such mismanagement and oversight should not happen in Singapore since we have the highest paid Minister of Health in the whole world.

I am always against privatisation and profiteering of basic healthcare services!

No Singaporean should die in Singapore, a regional Medical Hub for lack of blood during deliveries or operations (unless, AB- blood type was needed). Even One life is way too many.

I wonder if there was enough blood for Myanmar’s military dictator when he sought medical treatment in Singapore recently? Did he receive any Singaporean’s organs?

Read my lips, I am AGAINST privatisation and profiteering of basic healthcare services.

Here is a follow-up post regarding the Bloody Issue.