19 December, 2005

pap man

An anonymous Singaporean blogger has started a blog where the leadership of the long-ruling People’s Action Party receives obsequious praise:

PapThere are many other blogs, websites, anarchists, rubbish and websites that criticize and, maybe even ridicule Lee Hsien Loong (LHL) and how he became PM with the help of his father, Lee Kuan Yew. This blog will not be another biased slur on him. If you need these slanted and profane articles, this may not be the best article you need….

We do know that LHL was from Cambridge and graduated with First-Class Honours, but maybe some might suspect that he was riding on his father’s might. First and foremost, Cambridge does not take such favourism, even the son of a Prime Minister of a small, backwater former British Colony that broke free. An Associate Professor, Jayaram Muthuswamy, currently teaching in one of the local universities, once asked his friends in Cambridge, how smart was LHL? The answer he got from the senior professors there was that he results was so high up in the scale that the number two in the class was quite a distance from his score. Don’t quote me on that, but trust the reputation of Cambridge. From young, he bears the burden of being the Lee Kuan Yew’s son. The pressure to perform academically was second to none. He has to perfect his English, Malay, Mandarin, and even learn Russian. And there was no compromise in his education, he was demanded the best of him, the best he delivered.

AsiaPundit assumes anonymity has been chosen because the blogger doesn’t want the Straits Times to find out who is muscling-in on their turf.

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by @ 11:57 pm. Filed under Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

beer saves

AsiaPundit is a regular an irregular contributor to the Good Beer Blog. He should be more regular but there is so little good beer in China. But there is still good beer news in Asia… and if it holds up to peer testing it could be very good news, Japan’s Kirin Brewery has discovered antibodies that can protect humans from Avian Flu.:

KirinI kid you not! The Kirin Brewery has apparently discovered or developed avian flu antibodies to protect humans from the flu…

The antibody proved effective in fighting avian influenza, including H5N1 strains, according to Gemini Science Inc., a U.S. unit of Kirin, which reported the findings at a meeting of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Washington. The antibody proved effective in experiments with mice, the company said.

I wonder if they found them in the beer?

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by @ 11:40 pm. Filed under Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

beijing needs monsters

Imagethief says Beijing will never be a great city until it is attacked by a giant monster. AsiaPundit agrees, and suggests that the city has a few monstrosities already there that could probably do the job just fine.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Beijing cannot be a great, global metropolis until it is attacked by its own giant monster. Thanks to the encyclopaedic reference information contained in two invaluable websites, Stomptokyo.com and Giantmonstermovies.com, I’ve been able to research some of the cities that have been on the receiving end of giant monsters. Sure, you all know that Tokyo has had a fifty year kaiju infestation that has included Godzilla, Gamera and friends. New York got King Kong on multiple occasions plus, as a bonus, the Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (by the way, that’s 180,000 feet, or about six times deeper than the deepest part of the ocean). London was attacked by Gorgo. San Francisco got the five-armed octopus of It Came from Beneath the Sea. The list has also has some surprises, including some of Beijing’s key, regional rivals and a few cities you’d never expect:

* Copenhagen was attacked by Reptilicus

* Hong Kong was attacked by Mighty Peking Man in 1977, in an unintentional but apt metaphor for the city’s future

* Rome’s Colosseum was destroyed by Ymir in 20 Million Miles to Earth

* Los Angeles got Them

* North Korea was attacked by Pulgasari, admittedly in ancient times

* South Korea’s Seoul has had various monsters

* Sweden got a monster, although it appears to have been confined to rural areas, in keeping with Scandinavian tidyness

* Bangkok got Garuda

* Even neutral Switzerland had a monster, although it was put there by Americans

* Every tiny town in the American southwest had a Gila Monster, Mantis or giant Lepus at some point, thanks to the tireless efforts of Bert I. Gordon and his contemporaries.

As you would expect, Singapore is monster-proofed, although I think a romp by a giant merlion would do it a world of good.


by @ 11:02 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

little red security alert

(UPDATE: The below item is possibly a hoax. Details at Boing Boing. UPDATE 2: Or it may not be a hoax. UPDATE 3: Hoax.)
As Mainland China itself avoids the use of ‘Maoist’ or ‘Maoism’ in a political sense, the Little Red Book is nothing but a historical artifact. So, there is really no excuse for this* (via Frog in a Well):

LrbNEW BEDFORD — A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung’s tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."

Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library’s interlibrary loan program.

The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand’s class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents’ home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.

The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.

(*No excuse unless Homeland Security has some evidence linking the student to those Nepalese bozos or Sendero Luminoso lunatics).

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by @ 2:00 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Censorship

dongzhou scapegoats determined

Good news (of sorts). While an investigation is still underway, state news agency Xinhua has determined the scapegoats for the killings in Dongzhou.:

Xinhua has now, two weeks after the incident, the official editon on the shooting at Dongzhou and fortunately they did not try to change bullets into bombs, like local officials wanted to. But many details do not fit with other stories going around.

The story sticks to three casualities (and not twenty as in the stories of the villagers) and eight wounded. Three protesters have been detained and the police commander in charge of the shooting.

New is the accusation that one of those detained Huang Xijun organized the protest out of anger because he was not elected for the village committee.

When he realized that he might lose the election, Huang blew up the ballot box in public with firecrackers, halting the vote, officials said.

He and two accomplices, Huang Xirang and Lin Hanru set up many armed protests since June, using villagers’ anger about the compensation funds for the land being used to build a power plant to incite them, the spokesman said.

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by @ 1:45 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

contents: 7.9 percent li

Via Sun Bin, a comparison of the distribution of Han Chinese surnames (1990 census) compared with South Korean surnames (2000 census).

…45% of all Korean (South) people are either Kim, Lee or Park. If one use the same breakdown and project to the whole of Korea one has the following chart (source, 2000 figure)

* Top 3 concentration: 45%

* Top 10: 64%

* Top 15: 72%

* 22 names have over 1% population (see chart): 81%

The Han Chinese, being a much larger ethnic group, is less concentrated.

* Top 3 concentration: 23%

* Top 10: 44%

* Top 15: 51%

* 19 names have over 1% population (see chart): 56%


While China largest surname, Li (aka Lee) covers a 7.9 percent share of the population of China, Lee (aka Yi) as the third-most-common family name in South Korea holds a 15 percent share.

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by @ 1:35 pm. Filed under South Korea, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

ski bunnies

Many expats I know rave about skiing in China. While one would expect ski resorts to be excessively congested in a country of 1.3 billion - as such resorts are in neighboring South Korea and most other tourist attractions are in China- AP has been assured that “they are virtually empty and the locals mostly avoid everything except for the beginner slopes.”

Obviously better marketing is called for. This is a good start.


Professional women skiing performers, in bikini,demonstrate skiing skills at a ski resort in Jinan, east China’s Shandong Province December 17, 2005. The temperature then was 5 degrees centigrade below zero. The activity was organized by the ski resort to attract customers. These performers come from Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province.

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by @ 1:19 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

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