So what’s new? The June holidays are here and the airport is crowded again. Families are travelling but the long wait for passport renewals seems to show no signs of abating. Meanwhile, some families I know have returned home only to find themselves down with Covid. Do take precautions to prevent getting infected when you are travelling overseas.
27-year-old Thai busty internet celebrity (aka “influencer”) Arisara Karbdecho died on 6 June 2022, some three months after she choked while eating moo ping (skewered pork) with khao niao (sticky rice) and collapsed. She was rushed to hospital but unfortunately, it was too late. With her brain deprived of oxygen, she was already in a coma with little chance of recovery.
That was an accident, but like many accidents, Arisara Karbdecho’s death could have been prevented. A simple Heimlich (pronounced haim lick) maneuver could have saved her life. I’m quite surprised that most people I know don’t know how to do it.
- Ask the person if he/she is choking. A choking person cannot talk. He/she can only nod and grasp his/her throat.
- Reassure the person that you can help.
- Stand behind the person. Place one foot between the person’s legs and the other behind for balance. Bring your arms together around the person’s waist.
- Make a fist with one hand, tucking your thumb in. Place the fist in the centre of the abdomen directly under the sternum or breast bone.
- Grasp the fist with the other hand.
- Thrust forcefully inward and upward to expel the foreign body.
Anybody young or old can choke on food. That’s why it’s so important for every one of us to know how to perform this maneuver. It is literally a lifesaver and choking deaths are so easily preventable.
To be fair, Arisara Karbdecho did not try anything funny to attract views and followers. She really didn’t deserve to die this way. She was just hurriedly devouring her moo ping and didn’t have any reliable person nearby. But some internet celebrity wannabes would put their lives at risk for the sake of views and fans. A dangerous TikTok challenge called ‘the Angel of Death’ has some teenagers in Indonesia jumping in front of moving trucks in which they are supposed to move out of the way quickly.
On 2 June 2022 in Bandung, West Java, a 14-year-old boy was hit by a truck after he took up the challenge and failed to jump out of the way in time. On 4 June 2022, another boy was hit by a truck Tangerang City, Banten when he deliberately jumped in front of a moving truck but failed to escape in time.
Then, there’s the basikal lajak case involving a woman by the name of Sam Ke Ting who ploughed into a group of teenage riders on a Johor road at 3.30am on Feb 18, 2017. She was acquitted at first but later slapped with a jail term upon appeal. Two online petitions seeking justice for Sam had collectively amassed more than 1 million signatures. Some questioned why the parents of the boys were not investigated for allowing their young children out well after after midnight. In the raging debate over who’s responsible, some wanted the young woman to be punished for killing eight young people.
Out on bail, Miss Sam had made a statement asking the public not to discuss the case as if there’s a racial issue involved here. Even a famous influencer had made this appeal and said that it’s not up to him or to us to decide on whether Sam deserves to go to jail. Such “neutrality” may be a good flame protector, but it would be naive to think that those who are bailing for blood are colour blind.
On 6 June 2022, a Grab delivery rider was sentenced to 3 days’ jail for causing the death of an elderly person after knocking into him with his bicycle at a void deck at Bedok Reservoir. The victim was injured but survived the hit. Cases like these are fairly common but seldom end up with fatality. Not so lucky was one Madam Poh Cho Hui.
Interestingly, I still find people commenting on social media, blaming the government for not providing cycling lanes. Will cycling lanes solve the problem? Certainly not. Bicycles can virtually go anywhere. The other day, I just saw one on the road that continued cycling after the traffic light had turned red. Almost none of those on bicycles would respect the red man like most pedestrians do. Even if we had bicycle lanes and there is slow traffic on it, you can bet that some cyclists will mount the pedestrian walkway or even bus lane to overtake. Some ride their bikes all the way into the lift and ram into the wall of the lift with impunity.
Such selfish, self-centred behaviour stems from the “it sucks to be you” mentality. Sounds familiar? I first encountered that statement in a video game. The protagonist would go around gunning down people and saying “it sucks to be you”. I only care about myself and do things for my own benefit. Everyone else doesn’t mean shit to me. Such mentality exists throughout Singapore Inc. It’s just manifested more dramatically on our roads and ubiquitous bicycle paths.
As long as uncivilised maniacs (and there are many Third World people in First World Singapore) are allowed to cycle around, having cycling lanes will only increase the population of bikes that speed on void decks, race on park connectors and ram the insides of lifts. Maybe even baisikal lajak.
Finally, we have a “new” cabinet (check my twitter for the poster) and Lawrence Wong just took a step closer to the top job by being appointed deputy PM. However, no timeline was given and our dear incumbent PM said he’ll hand Wong the reins “once he is ready.” Probably after GE2025, but keep guessing. I can’t be bothered. It’s just going to be old wine in a new bottle. No hope of anyone in power opposing the increase in GST.
Finally, for those of us going out or coming in, there is a confirmed case of monkey pox that left Barcelona on 1 June 2022 and arrived at Changi Airport on 2 June He remained in the transit holding area until his departure for Sydney on the same day and did not visit other places in the airport. Mr Ong Ye Kung’s MOH added that as the person did not enter Singapore or interact with others in the community, there is currently no significant risk of community transmission.
So are we safe? Yao mo gao chor ah? We may be safe from this confirmed case, but what about the people who interacted with him and cleared immigration? Could this be the start of a new (hopefully non-deadly) pandemic? Whatever it is, life is too short to worry about so many things. As long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, just do it! See you guys later when I get back from Kyrgyzstan.