I follow The Straits Times forum and discussion threads quite a bit, though I almost always operate in lurk rather than participant mode. The posts run the spectrum of quality; some witty, some informative, some pointless, some just plain rude.
Here’s one post I’ve found especially humorous though. In response to the announcement a few months ago from the International Court of Justice to award Pedra Branca to Singapore, and that some Malaysian politicians were reportedly unhappy with the decision (though their government had promised to abide with the decision), one post from a person with the moniker richardpang read:
To the people in Johore [and other Malayans] who are lamenting the “loss” of Pedra Branca as the result of the ICJ’s judgement, I have this message:
You can take consolation in the fact that, with the formation of Malaysia in 1963 [Thanks to the British “colonialists”, “imperialists”, “schemers”, “pirates”!!!], you gained two huge territories: Sabah and Sarawak. Otherwise, you would have remained as the Federation of Malaya while Sabah and Sarawak would be independent states!!
[To the people in Sabah and Sarawak, I sympathize with your loss of potential independence in 1963 as the result of the formation of Malaysia!! To the Brunei Sultan: “You are a lucky fellow because your dad chose not to join Malaysia!”]
That gave me a good laugh.:)
As a rule, the blog we’ve got here sticks to conservative topics and hobbies; like eating in Singapore, and little muses about lives’ experiences. Ling knows however that I’m keenly interested in current affairs. Every night when we drive home from work she’ll get my capsule version of the news headlines of the day.
So, here’s a break from the norm. Those of us who read the local news would be aware of a current legal tussle between Singapore and Malaysia in the International Court of Justice over who exactly owns a tiny island that’s closer to Malaysia than Singapore. I suspect that the current story’s well-known already among locals, but for those of us who’re not, the summary goes: Singapore has been operating a lighthouse on the island since 1847, and all was well until 1979 when Malaysia published a map claiming the island for their own. When diplomacy did not resolve the dispute, the case went to the ICJ and both countries right now have been presenting their cases over the last fortnight.
And why this entry now? Well, the tussle took an – unexpectedly – hilarious turn 2 days ago when it was revealed that the Malaysian team had used a photograph from a plagiarized blog to support their case.
And if using material from dubious sources weren’t bad enough, apparently the photograph itself was not representative of fact even but instead seemed to create an illusion of proximity between the island and mainland.
After Singapore pointed out the true source of these photos, bloggers have been having a field day. The plagiarism was originally discovered by one blogger here; and Jeff Ooi – a well-regarded Malaysian blogger – entry is probably the best read of the lot at the moment. And of course, the poor fellow who not only plagiarized Wikipedia but also apparently clandestinely altered key parts of the text, is getting royally barbequed. His blog, and his attempt at defence, can be read here.
The two photographs that sparked the storm are over here, source The Straits Times.