What is Singapore coming to? Yesterday, guess what E@L found on the sole of the left hand foot of his new walking shoes?
No, no that.
It was chewing gum!
USED chewing gum! Chewed up and spat out chewing gum! I felt like giving LKY a personal call to point out that the No1 son is falling down in his vigilance against the creeping tide of non-Asian Values!
The history, just cheeking it up on Stickypedia, of the chewing gum ban is mouth-wateringly interesting. It was the new MRT subway system that prompted the ban as vandals - aka cheeky kids - were plugging over the sensors which prevented the doors from closing properly. And so it was the Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and not Harry Lee who stuck to his
But ban chewing gum? IS THAT ALL! E@L is thinking, what! old chums, hardly much of a punishment, eh? Cane the rambunctious little rascals, trousers down, six of the best, never did us any harm. As we used do for your typical common or railroad urban artists, wherever they be from.
The ban is not complete, as sugarless chewing-gum has been available in Singapore since 2004 for it can't be denied, apparently, that calcium lactate can boost the strength of enamel. This medicated gum can only be sold by dentists or pharmacists now and the gum is RFID controlled and DNA tagged. Hand over that ID card you cheeky kid, we've got you sequenced. Any problems with the MRT doors and we'll know if it was you! ... No, stop crying, lad, I was only having a laugh, big boys don't cry, here have a lolly...
(aside 1) Bringing a large bag of chewing-gum packets purchased in the Hong Kong airport in through carry-on luggage is not something E@L would ever unless it was for a pretty lady, because it remains illegal to import.
(aside 2) One finds it a tad ironic to consider that what we are chewing is basically flavored latex (or artificial substitute), and it was on the back of the Malayan rubber plantations that the port city of Singapore rode to its pre-war prosperity.
There was some gnashing of teeth and chewing of the fat during the time when USA and Singapore were going through free-trade talks (remember that hilarious one about Free Trade and Democracy going hand in hand, so funny) at the turn of the century. [I'm looking for reports on the Dreyfus Case, or I go wool-gathering in Antiques Shoppes when I hear that phrase.] Staunch defenders of the Rights Of Man were there to assist our world leaders make the right decision...
--- "In 1999, United States President Bill Clinton and Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong agreed to initiate talks between the two countries for a bilateral free trade agreement (USS-FTA). The talks later continued under the new administration of President George W. Bush. Details of the closed-door negotiations are unknown, but it became apparent that by the final phase of the negotiation in early 2003, there remained two unrelated issues: the War in Iraq and chewing gum." (from the above linked Wiki) ---
Yes, that's why they were there, because if Wrigley's doesn't stand up for Truth, Justice and the (vaguely formulated - no-one has ever convincingly explained to E@L what exactly is meant by this) American Way*, then who will! And why were Wrigley's brought in, you ask? Was there no wriggle room in the negotiations, couldn't they stretch things more, was there no bounce in their step, were things stuck in the craw and wouldn't go down, would the fruit of the discussion not be juicy? Yes Wrigley's should, indeed, must be involved in the battles which threaten the good of humankind and its salivary secretions. And their long term philosophical profit.
Singapore, indeed everyone should heed the sage advice offered by Wrigley's who fought strongly enameled tooth and nail for the Iraq War Juicy Fruit Concession or JFC [requires disambiguation], when they had this to say, and not tongue in cheek either, about the efforts they put in to encourage Singapore to relax its ban.
--- "There's many examples in our history of things that may have not made short-term financial sense but was the right thing to do in a philosophical or long-term sense," said Christopher Perille, Wrigley's senior director of corporate communications. (ibid) ---
Believe it or not he was talking about Singapore Oral Latex Laws and not the Iraq War. Truer words were never choked upon.
* What about the Asian Values, what about the Singaporean Way? --- '... as a sovereign state, Singapore had the right to formulate its own policies based on its own unique political and cultural values.' ---