Going home

Cross-posted to Metroblogging Singapore.

In a friend's car on the way home tonight, we spent the first few minutes puzzling over why Class 95FM was playing what sounded like Kenny G. A quick scan through the other local radio stations turned up equally muzak-ish tunes being played on 987FM, Lush 99.5 ("I can't bop my head to this music," YW complained) and every other station."Oh, this is from Somewhere in Time," the friend who was driving figured out, identifying the tune playing on Lush 99.5. Which definitely didn't make it head-bopping music.

A couple of minutes later, the theme from Braveheart took over. "Did all the MediaCorp DJs decide to take a smoke break at the same time and leave the stations spinning music on auto?" I kidded from the back seat.

Some fifteen minutes: "This is like the elevator ride from hell," quoth Terz. And then he made the connection: "Are they playing all this because Rajaratnam died today? Because the last time they did this was when Benjamin Sheares passed away..."

The station announcement that came on just then confirmed his guess. "As a mark of respect for Mr S. Rajaratnam, one of the founding fathers of Singapore, all MediaCorp stations will interrupt their usual transmission until 11:30pm."

Mystery solved.

As the husband observed, it's been a long time since they pulled out all the stops for the passing of one of Singapore's political leaders. Flying the flag at half-mast is par for the course, whether you're former President Ong Teng Cheong or former President CV Devan Nair. But former Deputy Prime Minister Rajaratnam's body will also lie in state at Parliament House on Friday, where Singaporeans can pay their last respects, and will receive a state funeral at the flashy new arts venue, the Esplanade, on Saturday. Not that Rajaratnam doesn't deserve it. It's just been a long time since the government pulled out all the stops like this.

A man passes, a generation evanesces.

For those who need a short primer on Rajaratnam's contributions to Singapore, here's the Channel NewsAsia obituary.


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At 2/22/2006 1:02 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basket, you beat me to it!

I noticed the same thing too whilst driving to dinner with my boys at work. Everyone in the car was so annoyed that we switched stations, only to hear more of the same music.

And yes I heard the Braveheart theme as well, guess we were tuning in to Class 95 at the same time.

Spooky. :)

At 2/22/2006 10:05 pm , Blogger Ondine said...

We thought that all the stations got stuck on the Symphony 92.4 bandwidth or something. I was too young to remember what happened when Sheares died... so no means of comparison.

At 2/23/2006 12:14 pm , Blogger NARDAC said...

I love what a nerd you are... evanesces.

At 2/24/2006 2:28 am , Blogger seefei said...

i didnt get the radio "treatment". i was on ufm 100.3 jung yi yuan. maybe cos the radio is not on mediacorp stable.

the nation, indeed, lost a great man!


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