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Reuters: Singapore restricts debate on ministers’ pay

SINGAPORE (Reuters) — Singapore has banned seven foreigners, including three members of the European Parliament, from speaking at an opposition party debate on Friday on a big pay hike for ministers and civil servants.

The government said this week that ministers and senior civil servants would enjoy a 60 percent pay increase, giving them an average salary of S$1.9 million ($1.25 million).

The prime minister’s pay is set to jump to S$3.1 million — five times what the president of the United States earns.

The announcement has drawn widespread criticism from ordinary Singaporeans given the country’s widening income gap and the fact the city-state’s ministers were already among the highest-paid in the world.

The police told the Singapore Democratic Party it could not hold a public forum on Friday to discuss the increases, and the immigration authority rejected applications for professional visit passes for the seven foreigners the SDP invited to speak.

“Singapore’s politics are reserved for Singaporeans. As visitors to our country, foreigners should not abuse their privilege by interfering in our domestic politics,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement issued on its Web site late on Thursday.

“Foreigners who abuse the privileges that Singapore accords to guests and visitors, and meddle in Singapore’s domestic politics, are not welcome here,” the Ministry said.

The barred speakers include European parliament members Graham Watson of the United Kingdom, Anders Samuelsen of Denmark, and Lydie Polfer of Luxembourg, a former deputy prime minister of that country.

Under Singapore’s Public Entertainments and Meetings Act, public speaking is generally prohibited unless it has been licensed by the government.

Singaporeans who wish to speak indoors do not need to be licensed, but forums featuring foreign speakers require a permit, the ministry said.

Chee Siok Chin, sister of party leader Chee Soon Juan and a senior party member herself, said the SDP would go ahead with the forum with local speakers.

“You have this autocratic government coming down and showing utter disrespect for our international peers. I’m ashamed,” she said on Friday.

She said the seven foreigners barred from speaking at the forum are currently in Singapore.

According to the SDP Web site, Chee Soon Juan plans to speak at the forum and rebut remarks made by Lee Kuan Yew, modern Singapore’s first prime minister, about the ministers’ pay hike.

Lee said earlier this week that Singapore should pay ministers competitive wages because the city-state needs an “extraordinary government with extraordinary government officers”.

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April 13, 2007 Posted by | Sillypore Stuff | Leave a comment

Drifting 101: How to Drift Basics

Drifting with Manual Rear Wheel Drive

  1. Find a car with both rear-wheel-drive and a manual transmission.
  2. Head to an open area (i.e. an empty parking lot) safely free of pedestrians and motorists.
  3. Accelerate and shift to second gear, which allows the widest variance of speed and is best for harnessing the engine’s torque without overly stressing the mechanicals.
  4. Push in the clutch to let the engine rev.
  5. With the engine revving, flick the steering wheel to the outside of the turn and steer strongly inside toward the turn.
  6. Simultaneously release the clutch. If you are uncomfortable with this method of sliding, try pulling the hand brake to further reduce traction(NEVER PULL BRAKE WHILE ACCELERATING. While that wont kill your car initially, it is a bad habit to get into. Don’t start now.)
  7. Immediately steer the car in the direction of the slide. You’re drifting!

Drifting with Auto Rear Wheel Drive

  1. Find a large, open area.
  2. Accelerate to a speed of 35-50kmh (depending on lot size and room)
  3. Turn the wheel hard and floor it. You should feel the rear end slide around if this is done correctly. Repeat until comfortable with sliding.
  4. Set up a cone in the middle of the lot. Drive up on the cone and turn around the cone. when you begin your turn accelerate hard to get the rear end loose.
  5. Counter steer to control where your car will go after turn.(opposite lock)
  6. Increase speed until comfortable
  • NOTE*
    • If your vehicle of choice doesn’t have enough power read the FWD directions but remember to release hand brake before accelerating.

Drifting with Front Wheel Drive

  1. Go to a large, open area.
  2. Accelerate then pull the handbrake or use the parking brake, riding it out the first time or two to get over your initial fear.
  3. Set up a cone in the middle of the lot.
  4. Drive up to it at speed (between 35-50kmh is desired).
  5. Hit the brake and turn toward the cone. Immediately after you feel the back end come around, turn to the opposite direction. This is known as opposite lock.
  6. Repeat the opposite lock at that speed until you can control your car well. Practice this for at least several weeks regularly until it becomes second nature. (Don’t do this on roadways. It is dangerous to others and can get you fined.)
  7. Slowly increase speed until you are proficient in a speed you are comfortable with. Get to know that speed–you should never drift above that speed unless you are practicing.
  8. Upgrade. At the same initial speed, flick the steering wheel opposite of the turn and swing it all the way into toward the CONE (not turn, you aren’t ready at this stage). As before, when you feel the rear end come around, go to opposite lock. It takes time and practice to successfully use the Scandinavian flick, especially on under powered cars.

Tips

  • No two cars react identically; try to “feel” yours to familiarize yourself with its reactions.
  • All wheel drive vehicles can be drifted, but it requires a specific, rather more difficult technique. Keep in mind that there are no rules that can be applied to AWDs because every car is different and more importantly, every AWD system is different. Read about your car, read real articles on it and go talk to people. If they tell you that you must drive rear wheel drive, find someone else.
  • In a rear wheel drive vehicle, you don’t need to pull the brake as you improve, but it is often necessary when first learning.
  • When looking for an area to learn and practice, a wet or slick surface will be much better for your tyres (hint: after rain lah!)
  • This is only a starting point. To do more, you need driving school like RisCulture to teach more than just basic maneuvers and you need driving theory.

Things You’ll Need

  • A car with
    • wheels
    • some horsepower(more the easier)
    • tires(slick tires on the rear is good for sliding, but it is bad for street driving)
    • suspension(if you fear body role, tight set up. Try reading up on suspension because you can collapse your rear suspension if you aren’t careful or if you are unlucky)

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Drift Culture | 2 Comments

Preview: Pivot Raizin Spark Earth (Red, Type S)

Have been provided a unit of Pivot Raizin Spark Earth for testing, installed over last weekend. The unit itself is a beautiful, transparent red case that shows innards of a board holding a series of capacitors and a couple of chips. The unit can be installed either via a direct plug-in into the ignition fuse, or a tap into the coil.

Installation on the 8 was easy – i chose the safer alternative via the fuse. Combined with my FEED aftermarket sparkplug cables, i must say that there was a noticeable difference in terms of throttle response, and launch speeds. Acceleration is definitely improved, and is a more linear than before.

Now I’m not too sure that the unit delivers ‘a new approach in voltage stabilizer devices for ignition coils that brings out 100% of your ignition’s performance by providing point blank power to the ignition coil via connection to our specially designed circuitry’ as the manufacturer claims. I believe that the FEED cable does a better job at that. But what i do think that the unit does is help reduce ignition coil pulse noise, resulting in stable, consistent delivery of power which is further accentuated with the FEED.

I’m not going to jump to conclusions until a more exhaustive test is done over a longer period of time, but ‘butt dyno’ -wise, this gets my thumbs up.

For US$80, this is one mod that seems to deliver, what it preaches.

(BTW this doesn’t mean that i’m endorsing the Pivot Raisin Blue, which by my books is what i call a ‘psychological mod’)

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 1 Comment

RXReviews Tops Google Vertical Searches

Thanks to the support of all of you, RXReviews is now in the top ranges for brand review searches! Just a few of note:

‘RE Amemiya review’ – #1
‘RE Amemiya’ – #10
‘Autoexe review’ – #1
‘Knight Sports review’ – #1
‘EZ-Stab review’ – #3 (in just 2 days!)

We’ll continue to bring you the most unbiased, commercial-free reviews on performance parts for the rotory the best we can! We’ll also be adding a new section called ‘Drift Culture’, which will cover the local/regional drifting scene, articles, and of course, more reviews 🙂 – ed.

April 13, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment