Friday, April 23, 2010

Faceless In Hanoi - Clueless in Singapore

Facebook is banned in Vietnam I was told today when time after time in our office I was presented with a "Problem Loading Page" message.

Interesting, because on Monday and Tuesday when I was in HCMC I had no problem harrassing friends with meaningless profile updates and annoying them with innumerable inane gliberties (new word!) in their comments boxes. Here in Hanoi we are closer to the communistic/fascistic heart of the antient Indo-Chine, where digital surveillance and censorship surpasses the more, um, manual kind in HCMC witnessed four years ago by E@L, your ever-trusty correspondent.

Up here, the enbalmed Dr H still runs things from his glass tomb, directing the guards into political action on the internet with a subliminal gesture of his perpetually gray, wispy, Kung-Fu-guru-like goatee.

One of his recent and arbitrary edicts was to stop friends (and friends of friends) from arranging parties and nights out or from having a hub that directs their closest virtual acquaintances to all of the pictures, interesting links and short thoughts, hidden tattoos and personal financial information that they haven't got the time or wanna make the effort to blog about or leave it on a seat in the train. (n.b.: Blogger is obviously not banned.)


Pretty much the way Singapore's increasingly (perhaps) moribund LKY mentors his son on how to do and say (relatively) stupid things in public. Does anyone remember The Son of MM's comments on what would happen if there were more opposition members in Parliament? I personally have forgotten but I know it was outrageously dumb, allegedly.

But the other day I was stunned to read this interview and weep with laughter at the awesome irony fail of the arguably clueless PM!

What do you mean, oh guru of political deconstruction? you ask.

I mean, read this excerpt and then read it again ignoring the red bits to see what, um, I mean...

You seem to be sensitive to the issue of what's called nepotism.

We are very sensitive.

Tell me about this sensitivity.

The whole of our system is founded on a basic concept of meritocracy. You are where you are because you are the best man for the job, and not because of your connections or your parents or your relatives.

And if anybody doubts that I as Prime Minister am here not because I'm the best man for the job but because my father fixed it, or that my wife runs Temasek because I put her there and not because she's the best woman for the job, then my entire credibility and moral authority is [sic] destroyed because I'm not fit to be where I am. (Interview for sale at

Exactly. What we are reading is not all that far from the N-word!


See how easily I get subversive arrested distracted when I talk about censorship?


p.s. this post will be linked to on my completely anonymous (HA!) Facebook page, and even though I can't get to Facebook myself, I know the MDA can.


HKMacs said...

Little Lord Fauntleroy's interview was priceless - beyond Monty Python (if that's possible)! How did anyone keep a straight face?

Word verification is "Plitip". Your new Asian name?

expat@large said...

Yep, here in Vietnam it is.

Xing caio, toi la Plitip.

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