Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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The Power of 9

In case many of us have not noticed, the number 9 is actually the biggest digit in the numerical system in use today.

Just in case many of us have also yet to notice, 9 always appears in the somewhat strategic and somehow oddest of places.

Firstly, 9 is the recorded strength on the Richter scale of the recent Japanese Earthquake that hit northeast Japan.

9 also appears in phone numbers which are essential all over the world, e.g. 911 in USA. In Singapore 999 for the police and 995 for the ambulance services.

Closer to home, where there has been an election fever for the longest time, this campaign has also been characterised also by the number 9, we have always had the customary 9 day campaign period for eons and until recently 9 single member constituencies used to house the braver of the PAP candidates.

The recent boundary changes have added 3 brave men [when i say brave i mean brave enough to be fielded in an SMC] into the PAP fold and seemingly the magical number 9 had disappeared. But interestingly as if by coincidence the number 9 reappeared in the form of 9 seats for NMPs and 9 seats for NCMPs. 🙂

On the subject of bravery, this election also saw the opposition display its fair share of brave men. SPP’s Sec-Gen Chiam See Tong joined his Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC team to try to take down that GRC. WP’s Sec-Gen Low Thia Khiang joined his Aljunied team to try to capture Aljunied GRC. This has been described by some as going into the mountain to get the tiger cubs. To go and get the tiger is of course a good thing but we should all remember that a cat has 9 lives. And a tiger is a big cat.

Besides extending the life of a cat, the number 9 also had some powers of coalescence and division. And this time it was within Socialist Front’s backyard that the number 9 wrecked havoc.

I had again 9 aging men (myself included) in the council of the Socialist Front. There was a king cat in the mountain of Tanjong Pagar. Prior to the elections, no firm decision was made on going after the kingcat. It was only after our withdrawal that an attempt was made by some renegade members to go for Tanjong Pagar GRC. This last minute attempt naturally ran into problems. Now that the elections would be over, it remains to be seen whether the experience of sitting out this 9 days of election hustings would be a unifying or disunifying event.

Amongst the parties participating in this election, the 9 day hustings also exerted pressure to bring the parties in solidarity with each other.

In the past we had the fallen PAP candidates and walkover PAP ministers who cried. Then its those PAP ministers who were stepping down [Lim Boon Heng], then the last thing i heard was even Khaw Boon Wan was close to tears. We also had a Workers’ Party candidate who cried on his… erm… introduction as candidate. SJP’s Sec-Gen Desmond Lim Bak Chuan also shed some tears due to the stress of the campaign. The sensational Nicole Seah also fell prey to her emotions. As to how many more candidates will be left crying upon the revelation of the polling day’s results is for everyone to imagine.

The pressure of these 9 days also honestly did some good for the country, we have a humbled George Yeo, we have Vivian Balakrishnan finally apologising for his unkind remarks made in parliament, Lee Hsien Loong apologised as well.

If this is anything to go by, I must say that there must be more of such 9 day elections so that certain people can be brought down closer to mother earth.

This to me signals the maturing of politics. This is good for the country. This is how a ruling party should behave. Be willing to admit that you are wrong. Be willing to change and further our nationhood.

As usual, it will be unlikely that a single post on this blog is to come out of my fingers without making reference to SNSD. As explained previously before, SNSD is the acronym for So Nyuh Shi Dae – Girls’ Generation. They are to me the best girl band to have ever walked the face of this earth. SNSD is also made up of 9 members: TaeYeon, Jessica, Tiffany, Sunny, SeoHyun, HyoYeon, SooYoung, Yuri and Yoona.

The trouble with SNSD is that more often than not, Sones like us just cannot seem to get enough of them. SNSD videos are a mix of group shots, panned shots and close up shots of the girls. This was the same for live broadcasts of their performances as well as their music videos. The beauty of SNSD is in their synchronised dancing. However, given 9 pretty faces, cameramen often zoom in for close ups and given the way their videos are mixed, being able to see the entire action of a song is itself a miracle on its own.

Complete and unedited dance versions of their performances are very rare such that even leaked out practice videos have gained a following.

Samples of the practice videos are at the following links:

Genie (Tell Me Your Wish / I Just Wanna Wish) –

Oh! [This is the cheerleading song] –

My Best Friend [watch for TaeYeon’s mistake] –

Now practice videos being practice videos, no one should expect them to be dressed to the 9s. These are not performances but leaked videos of their practices. The appreciation is not in the dressing but their dance moves, the choreography, their timing, their poise and gracefulness.

Some Sones were obviously dissatisfied when they started delving into making the videos more interesting and having organised fancam recordings so that they would not miss out on every move of each of their favourite SNSD member.

Some Sones having decided that one screen playing SNSD was not enough, pioneered the use of 9 screens (they wanted to look at all 9 fancams together so they split the screen into ninths – each playing one fancam). Later on some brought the game further, some wanted 9 different SNSD performances of the same song to be put on the same screen, then it was cast, someone mixed 9 videos into a super SNSD HD video sending some Sones to cloud 9 and giving some others sleepless nights.

Maybe I am reading too much,  if SNSD has nine members it would be apt to divide the screen into nine miniscreens for the screensaver. But i could have sworn that it was the Soshi fans did it first, it was only thereafter did the SNSD Daum Screensaver come along, then came the SNSD Woongjin Coway advertisement.

The 9th of March is also Kim TaeYeon’s birthday. And if you take a closer note of Kim TaeYeon and her cheerleader’s garb and oversized jersey in some of SNSD’s music videos, her jersey is always numbered ‘9’. Someone said that my adulation for SNSD bordered on insanity and obsession….

Notwithstanding the above, it is clear that the power of 9 works its magic once again. As stated earlier, the number 9 appears not only just in the 9 days of campaigning, there is now the promise of 9 NCMP seats, the 9 parties contesting: PAP, WP, SDP, NSP, RP, SPP, SDA (SJP/PKMS)

but interestingly none of the 9 parties actually fielded 9 members…. the minimum number of candidates each participating party fielded is 7 which was obviously an attempt to qualify for the Party Political Broadcast on TV which required each party to field a minimun of 6 candidates. Now this sets me thinking… and incidentally, the polling day has also been fixed as 7th May 2011. What does that mean of the things that are to come?

On this polling day, it pays for each of us to sit down and think about the things happening around us and draw commonalities from the coincidences and the unexplained.

In any event, since Socialist Front had already decided to take a back seat for this round of elections, this 9 days to me have been a time of firefighting, deep thought, self-reflection and re-orientation. This blogpost is the product of these 9 days of detachment.

It would be heinously wrong for me to assert that I had come up with this post entirely on my own intellect and reflection. It would be apt for me to pay tribute to the original creators of the phrase that lent inspiration to this post.

“The Power of 9” is actually the phrase used by the Soshified community in tribute to the South Korean Girl Band named So Nyuh Shi Dae – Girls’ Generation a.k.a. SNSD.


May 7, 2011 Posted by | Life, Politics, So Nyuh Shi Dae - Girls' Generation | Leave a comment