Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday/Tuesday, May 2 and 3, 2011 (Singapore)

THE BIG NEWS HERE, TOO: The killing of Osama bin Laden was certainly big news here. The major paper, the Straits Times, devoted seven full pages to the killing. And it was, of course, a big front page story on Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore's largest Chinese-language newspaper (circulation 176,000) shown ar right. The paper, owned by Singapore Press Holdings, included an image purported to be of bin Laden's dead face, taken from a television broadcast. Not sure how many U.S. papers put that one on the front page. As most people know, this photo has turned out to be a hoax. Not surprisingly, people are talking about this. A cab driver who picked me up after a doctor's appointment said excitedly , when he knew I was American, "Good news!" Mr. Lim added that "Singapore was so worried," implying that this marks the end of worry. Of course, it doesn't.

POLITICAL IMPACT OF THE KILLING: Whether or not this turns into a key re-election issue for President Obama remains to be seen. It HAS become a political issue here, during the last days before Saturday's General Election. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong--a leading figure in the ruling People's Action Party (which is behind the flags at right)--is quoted in today's paper this way:
"It's a backdrop to our election. It's a reminder to us that, while we engage in all this introspection and political battles here, it's a world where there are threats which are bigger than us and which we must not take our eyes off."
Perhaps this is why we heard fighter jets zipping around overhead a little after 11 a.m. today.

A PICK-UP MATCH OF CRICKET: After yesterday's brush with more formal (all-white clothing) cricket, Sam glanced out our window and spotted a group of players getting together for what looks like a pick-up game of cricket on a small field near Marina Bay. The pitch is not too crisp. There's no neat boundary line circling the outfield (it should be about 140-150 meters across,),
I love the makeshift nature of the field. Normally the pitch area (where the batters stand and run) should be 22 yards between the stumps. Not sure if this is totally regulation. But it sure is cricket.

DID THE CRANES HAVE A BiN LaDeN BOUNCE? For a second, let's commit a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy....
Shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the activity at the Tanjong Pagar Container Terminal here in Singapore has increased, with a continued high number of DOWN cranes. The Singapore Crane Index Limited Economic Indicator, reveals there were only six inactive cranes on the morning of May 2. Cause-and-effect is, of course, tempered by the fact that thee reading is the same as May 1 (before news of bin Laden's death hit). Here's the latest look-out-the-window tally:

Date: May 3
Time: 7:45 a.m. (Singapore time)
Cranes Up (inactive): 6
Cranes Down (active): 20
CRANES MISSING (puzzling): 2

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