Singapore Revisit Log #3.3: The Anatomy of a Cancer Cell

After I left the ICA building, I sent Jen and Albany to head home in a taxi for Albany's afternoon nap and I headed straight to the Lavender MRT station to take a train to the east to meet Gintai - the ex-MRT driver celebrity blogger to catch up and get updates on his future career plans. Poor guy, I made him wait for 5 hours for the appointment because I did not expect to be caught up so badly at the ICA. I noticed a mob on the station control as I ran down to the train platform.

Before long, the mob moved down to the train platform level while I was waiting for the train so I had the time to take a good look to confirm what I saw earlier - a life size cancel cell snailing towards me. Soon I noticed commuters standing near the platform doors like me started to walk away to make way for this mob, which was moving right through us. That reminded me of certain laws in Singapore:

Unlawful assembly
 141. An assembly of 5 or more persons is designated an “unlawful assembly”, if the common object of the  persons composing that assembly is —

   (a) to overawe by criminal force, or show of criminal force, the Legislative or Executive Government, or             any public servant in the exercise of the lawful power of such public servant;

   (b) to resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process;

   (c) to commit any offence;

   (d) by means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to any person, to take or obtain possession of             any property, or to deprive any person of the enjoyment of a right of way, or of the use of water           or other incorporeal right of which he is in possession or enjoyment, or to enforce any right or                       supposed right; or

    (e) by means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to compel any person to do what he is not                  legally bound to do, or to omit to do what he is legally entitled to do.

Of course such laws apply to only piss poor peasants like me in Singapore, not to the elites or officials of the Government. As far as I could see, several commuters looked visibly uncomfortable enough to make way for the human size cancer cell. I ended up being the only person who stood my ground while the mob walked right through me such that I could see, hear and smell them. If cancer has a smell that would probably be it.

Small cytoplasm, multiple nuclei, multiple and large nucleoli and coarse chromatin. The resemblance was uncanny, any Minister of Health may know. There were times we wondered why Ministers or MPs seemed totally oblivious of what had been set up way before their 'random' walkabouts, being led to inspect the right route, meeting the right people who said the right things, if that wasn't obvious enough. If they were aware and knew those antics were detriment to serving their people incisively, why did they encourage it? Were these scholars, brilliant academics as they were, unable to gather information from the ground without the group of lackeys feeding them rainbows and unicorns?

I couldn't help but recall an incident during the early 2011 when Minister Raymond Lim was supposed to visit Farrer MRT station before the CCL3 line was officially launched. I was one of the project engineers working on the facade of a few MRT stations along the Circle Line. Our company were roped into the project out of desperation, according to the rumors I heard from the ground, because Raymond Lim had announced to the press that the CCL3 was finally going to be commissioned and put into operation in early 2011. The main contractor panicked because they were behind schedule. So many new sub contractors were brought in to 'fight the fire'. On the day the Minister was supposed to do his walkabout, we were told that we were not allowed to work that day and had to be cleared out from the work sites the Minister was designated to walk through. Only a selected few workers were planted along the route, massively cleaned up the previous night. So I avoided the site and brought the team to work elsewhere that afternoon.

When I returned to the work site to resume work, one 'auntie' suddenly appeared behind me and called out to me, "Ah di, ah di!" I turned around, saw her and hurried told the auntie, "Hey auntie, you are not supposed to walk into a construction site! You are not even wearing a safety helmet and boots." 

"Ah di, can you please return me my plants?" the visibly annoyed auntie asked.

"Har? What plants?" I was completely baffled.

Auntie pointed at the entrance of Farrer MRT station. There stood a row of potted plants, probably placed there as decorations in a last ditch efforts by the grassroots people who borrowed them from various owners of the nearby shops in the vicinity. They probably stuck to their cancer cytoplasm and followed it wherever it ended up, leaving the random uninformed others to clear up their little tricks. I quickly ushered the auntie over to identify her potted plants and carried them back to her shop for her to prevent her from getting into trouble with the safety staff on site.

As we grew up, we were told to believe that magic did not exist. However cancerous cells walk by, magic occurs. Streets became magically cleaned, decorated the way fairies weaved glass shoes from rats. Shabby human beings became polite, well dressed with sparkling teeth and smiles. And flora grew magically through hard, dusty unscreed concrete surfaces. Who said magic didn't exist? 

When the Minister walked past me, the only commuter left standing in their way, I almost wanted to call out and asked why did I have to wait 6 minutes for the next train, as flashed. Only then I realised it wasn't Tuck Yew making his rounds in an MRT stations while his camera men clicked and flashed endlessly. I supposed the Minister of Health would not entertain my transportation query. So I kept my big mouth shut and observed as the Minister led his troops to inspect germs on an MRT seat or whatever he was doing there. After several jokes and regular polite laughter from the appreciative nucleus, I finally left the cancer cell behind as I joined the other piss poor peasants on the outgoing train.


  1. Rulers and Elites have to have their authority and privilege.
    This is the So-called ' dua suay', the Hokkien Parlance for behaving accordibg to statis or station in life. Rulers are the 'dua' class, meaning they they the power and authority to decree. And the Common Folks obviously are the 'suay', subject to manipulation and exploitation. Btw, our Peranakan Compatriots may mistakenly read 'suay' as 'sway'(bad luck/jinxed) which incidentally the 'Suays' (Plebeians) are consigned to.
    Do be prescient to the Fact that 'wayangs' and propaganda are part of Sin Culture and that we just have to accept it as norms here.


  2. My apology for typo mistakes in accordibg which should be accordingly and statis which should read status.


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