Myanmar schools Singapore

The record books will show that Singapore beat Myanmar 4-2.

But off the pitch, Myanmar taught us a couple of things.


I read in a report that Myanmar’s support was vociferous.

That’s an understatement.

Under the covered dome of our new National Stadium, you would have been hard pressed to say that Singapore was the home team.

The Myanmar fans raised the roof.

Their sang their national anthem with gusto. Damn power, siah.

Majulah Singapura was nary a mumbled whimper.

They sang and cheered. We used “eye power”.

Yes, their fans were concentrated in the away section whereas ours were spread throughout the rest of the stadium*.

I don’t think it would have made much of a difference if we were all seated together.

What is clear is that the Myanmar fans were there to lift their team.

3-0 down? No problem.

In contrast, Singaporeans were there to be entertained.

We went to the stadium to see our Lions score, to see our Lions win.

Hariss Harun knew it. I could see it in his eyes. He ran to the South Stand after his second goal, pleading with fans spectators to raise the volume.

“I scored, so cheer more for us,” he seemed to say with his eyes and arms.

His gestures fell on blind eyes.

Other than the die-hard fans seated together, we have three main cheers, which are demanding, insulting and cheap support respectively.

  1. We want goal!
    An easy cheer, especially at set pieces. We came to the stadium, now you must score.
  2. The clapping or air horn that ends with b***h. (Often supplemented with shouts of referee kayu!)
    This one is for the ref, when we don’t agree with his decisions. Or an opposition player who is constantly fouling ours.
  3. Olé, olé, olé, olé, olé, olé. (Repeat a few times.)
    Generally heard after a goal. Or when we are utterly dominant. Sing when we are winning, eh?

And that’s about the sum of our cheers. In between, silence or the occasional polite applause at a good move.

I know this is not new.

Why haven’t we progressed?

Cleaning up

The Myanmar fans cleaned up after themselves.

We didn’t. Otherwise, it would have been in the news too.

To think that Myanmar fans caused trouble at an AFF game between our countries a decade ago. (My goodness, I blogged about it.)

Myanmar’s fans have grown. Our National Stadium has had a makeover.

But Singapore fans, by and large, are still stuck in the dark ages.

Reflecting on this, I need to bring a trash bag to the next game against Malaysia.

* Our fault for not filling the stadium too. I don’t buy the argument that tickets are expensive. The same people spend probably $60 a month on EPL and European Champions League, and they probably buy expensive jerseys of other clubs and countries.


Circle Line Discovery – Impressive… Most Impressive

Circle Line Discovery (Stage 1 & 2)-7

This morning, I checked out the Circle Line Discovery event, ahead of the opening of the long-overdue Stage 1 & 2 of the CCL.

If I were Darth Vader, surveying the new stations, I would say (in my wannabe-James Earl Jones voice), “Impressive… Most impressive.”

And which station gives me the greatest sense of awe?

Stadium Station.

It is simply magnificent.

The skylight takes full advantage of natural light. Yet it does not end up roasting the station because it is placed very high up.

Very high up.

The station is big.

It is one of the few stations that allows you to look from one end to the other. There no obstructions. Just massive space.

The only similar station is Changi Airport. But that’s the thing, Changi Airport station is so large that you lose perspective. I’m not sure how to explain this.

Sometimes, something is so big that you don’t know the scale of it. A good example is the ground we stand on – Earth. We rarely get to see the horizon. And even when we do, there is no frame of reference. We know it is big, but we can’t put it in perspective.

Stadium Station is big enough let you feel that sense of size, yet small enough for you to put it in context.

Step outside and you’ll get a real feel for the scale. On either ends of the station are two cavernous entrances.

I can imagine a match day. People streaming out of that station. Thousands of supporters decked in red disgorging from this massive structure.

And thousands of people heading into the station once the game is over.

Which leads to my only criticism of the station.

Circle Line Discovery (Stage 1 & 2)-8

Two escalators at each entrance? (And there are only two entrances, not including the elevator access.)

Let’s do the math. About 50,000 people pack the stadium. Assuming only half are taking the train from Stadium Station, that’s 25,000 people who are going to cram onto four escalators – further assuming that all four will be down-riding after a big game – and the central staircase on either end.

Not a pretty sight.

In a strange way, this may be the intention. I am not sure how frequent the trains will be after a big game, but even at 2 minute intervals, it will take time to clear the platform of passengers. So, the bottleneck will be at the escalator instead – in order not to overcrowd the platform. (Remember that the CCL trains are only 3 cars long, not 6 like those on the NSL, EWL and NEL, so they have only half the carrying capacity.)

But all this is speculation. We will not know for sure until our next big game at the National Stadium our Sports Hub is finally ready.

In the interim, you can use Stadium Station to get to Singapore Indoor Stadium (and the Brewerkz located there) and… err… Kallang Leisure Park.

More photos of the Circle Line Discovery (mostly of Stadium Station).

Scene City: Singapore – Wednesdays 8.30pm on Channel News Asia

Scene City: Singapore – Promo

Description from YouTube:
A BRAND NEW photographic & cultural series that checks out the less explored & undiscovered Singapore, follow TOM ANG – as he leads 2 guests photographers each week as they visit places less known!


19th August – Resorts World & School of the Arts
26th August – Singapore Dance Theatre & Timbre
2nd September – Semakau Landfill & Pulau Ubin
9th September – Kim Keat Lane Bakery & Changi Fishery
16th September – PSA & Print Dynamics
23rd September – Pearl Bank Apartments & Margaret Drive
30th September – Southern Ridges & Sungei Buloh
7th October – Star Cruises

Scene City: Singapore
Channel News Asia
Wednesdays, 8.30pm to 9pm

About Singapore

About Singapore

On Saturday, I went on a mini shopping spree. I came back with a few treasures – books and DVDs about Singapore.

None of these are likely to become required reading or viewing as part of National Indoctrination Education. Nevertheless (or is it ‘Because of’?), this unlikely quintet are more authentic than most of what you see on Channel 5 and 8.

Ah, actually, there is something to be said about that – the Channel 8 reference – particularly regarding The Resident Tourist series. I think the graphic novels will strike a chord with many English-educated Chinese here. Troy Chin’s observations, experiences and asides about Singapore will have you nodding and laughing in agreement.

Troy is The Resident Tourist. He details his return to Singapore from New York, where he worked as a music executive. Having been away, he plays tourist in Singapore since he is busy being a bum illustrating and writing a comic about himself – The Resident Tourist.

Very meta.

I read Part 1 online, after finding out about it via Even before I was halfway through, I decided to buy the book. Troy (and Adrian Teo, the publisher), if you are reading this, please publish Part 3!

Moving on to the DVDs.

Remember Chek Jawa, by Eric Lin, documents the journey of ordinary Singaporeans in their valiant effort to survey and ultimately save Chek Jawa from the threat of destruction. If you believe our gahmen doesn’t listen – and I often do – then this documentary will at least make you think twice about that sentiment. Though I still think that on balance, the gahmen generally doesn’t. Think IR and others.

The documentary reveals that we do have natural resources. Perhaps non-exploitable, but they exist.

The Tan Pin Pin Collection is a compilation of three documentaries by Tan Pin Pin – Moving House, Singapore GaGa and Invisible City.

Moving House explores the theme of displacement and development through the exhumation of the director’s great grandfather’s grave.

Singapore GaGa is a documentary about the sounds that make up Singapore. Sounds that we take for granted. Sounds that we might not even notice. There is an interview with the Old Voice of MRT. And you’ll discover why you had to learn to play the recorder in school.

Finally, there is Invisible City, a study of the hidden histories of our land. If Remember Chek Jawa reminds us that we have natural heritage, Invisible City highlights that we have many alternative historical narratives besides the grand story of how we got kicked out of Malaysia and eventually made good.

The common thread that binds these books and DVDs is that they all touch on our identity as Singaporeans. None provide answers. What they serve to do is to make us reflect and to question truisms. The books and DVDs open our eyes to different and sometimes hidden aspects of our existence as Singaporeans.