Well, this piece brought out the irascible ‘burrowing, gregarious, plant-eating mammal with long ears, long hind legs, and a short tail’* in me:
June 10 (Bloomberg) — Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s Singapore casino resort was sued by organizers of the first conference it hosted for misrepresenting a “complete disaster” as a world- class venue and for imposing duress, fear and force. …
Delegates at the conference, which featured Singapore’s first premier, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, as a speaker, were greeted by water leaking into “unsightly” pails placed in the hotel lobby atrium. Some guests had to be sheltered with umbrellas at registration counters. Others were locked in their rooms because of malfunctioning latchkeys, the organizers said.
OK, ever since the first day those casinos opened, I’ve heard nuthin’ but trouble from them, like people trying to use fake IDs and stay past 24 (t-w-e-n-t-y f-o-u-r!) hours. And here we have a casino (which by any other name, would still be a stench) that has water leaking in the lobby and lawsuits being flung around!
Now what really got to me is this:
Singapore decided to license casinos to shed its “unexciting” image, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in Parliament in 2005.
To have said “no” to casinos would have signaled “that we want to stay put, to remain the same old Singapore,” Lee Kuan Yew, who was prime minister from 1959 to 1990, told legislators the same year. “A neat and tidy place with no chewing gum, no smoking in air-conditioned places, no this, no that — not a fun place,” he said.
I don’t know if this is the whole story, but this really makes my country sound uncool. VERY UNCOOL. As though principles were a bad thing to have, as though excitement can only be engendered by money, as though it was a case of giving in to peer pressure! Ever since the leviathans opened and we started living in interesting times, I’ve felt like my country’s been stained. Stained, I tell you! But it’s my country, and I’ll cry if I want to. Must ‘learn to see yourselves in each other’, form connections and give back somehow.
Something to look forward to.