Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chewing Gum, Cigarette and Casino

What do chewing gum, cigarette and casion have in common? They all happen to start with letter 'C' and generated lots of public interest and debate in apolitical Singaporeans.

How our government deals with them is interesting too, though as usual, they have the last say. A direct ban on chewing gum - period. We became the butt of jokes world wide, but we have the last laugh. Some Western countries are doing the same now after years of struggle with the sticky issue left by gum discarded irresponsibly.

When it comes to cigarette, we have over the years pile up the layers of restriction and taxes, but no direct ban. Now, chewing gum has some positive health effect - exercise the jaw, freshen the breath and clean the teeth of food debris. Cigarette ? Blacken the teeth, fill the lungs with soot, stale breath, pollute the air around us affecting non-smokers health....the list can go on and on. However, there will never be a direct ban. Why ? The handsome revenue generated, besides cigarette companies have the financial muscle and political influence world wide, which chewing gum companies can never hope to achieve.

As for casino, the ones who said "NO WAY" years ago are the ones who say build not one, but two at the same time. Why ? Money makes the world goes round. The equivalent in Chinese saying - Money can make the devil push the cart. Now many countries around the region are jumping into the casino bandwagon too.

Will the 'preventive' measures taken to ensure S'poreans do not gamble away their lives work ? Unlikely. If folks can get 'addicted' to boring games of circling numbers in 4-D & TOTO, casino offers a wide varieties of 'mental' stimulation bound to activate the dormant genes in potential gamblers.

Most probably started off innocently enough with having an outing at the integrate resort(s) which might as well include the casino out of curiosity. Having paid the deposit/entry fee to the casino, why not just have a go at some of the games for fun ? If they win handsomely, why not go back for another round of fun ? If they lost, they want to go back to recoup the losses. After all it is so convenient - right at our doorstep. No need to take a bus, boat or plane to our neighboring country for a spin. So the vicious cycle starts.

No comments: