Remembering LKY – No smoking

One of his legacies must be the No Smoking campaign and the banning of smoking in cinemas, restaurants and public spaces. And of course there was no smoking in the airlines too. In those days one would smell so foul after watching a movie or having a meal in restaurant that scrubbing for an hour in the bathroom would not help much. And there would be the unsightly and smelly ashtrays on the dining tables with all the cigarette butts to share with the diners. Arrrghhh!

I was in a trip home in SQ. The whole cabin was filled with smelly cigarette smokes like someone had thrown in a smoke grenade. The two assholes sitting beside me were puffing non stop like they were just released from hell. I had to vacate my seat and, as there were no other seats available, I had to seek refuge standing at the back of the aircraft next to the toilet. It did not help much as the whole aircraft was in smoke except that is was less awful than sitting beside two smelly chimneys trying to outdo each other with how much smoke each could produced. Remember those hazy days?

No one would have the guts to ban smoking in public places when many smokers were in positions of power. My last battle was against the Kent Ridge NUSS Guild House several decades back. The committee members were, as usual, mostly smokers and drinkers. And you know what, the main reception hall, a public area when all visitors and children were usually found, aircon and yes, a smoking area. When I protested, I was told to sit outside in the open air, for non smokers. Can you beat that!
I wrote to the ministry to complain. Only then, subsequently, that the committee reversed the decision and the main reception hall was snuffed out. Smokers go outside please. That was 25 years ago.

Only LKY could be tough enough to do away with this dirty and smelly habit and to offend all the die hard smokers. Even Rajaratnam, a chain smoker, had no choice, cannot smoke in Parliament, not when LKY is around. Today, all aircon rooms and offices, public areas, shopping centres, restaurants and cinemas, are no smoking areas. Open air food courts and hawker stalls too are non smoking areas except some designated zones.

You have only one man to thank for, to make it all possible, for a healthy and clean environment. One no longer smells after seeing a show or after having a meal. Today we take this for granted, unthinkable. It is unbelieveable that non smokers had to tolerate the abuses of the smokers, forced to inhale and to smell. Airlines no longer need to provide ashtrays, buses no longer have ashtrays, public toilets no longer littered with cigarettes except some dirty joints. You don’t have to watch a football match clouded by cigarette smokes.

Sorry smokers. Only non smokers could appreciate what No Smoking means to their lives. To the smokers, cigarette smell and smoke are ecstasies and they will pay an arm or a leg for them. Smokers would not understand the agonizing moments that the non smokers would have to bear with. I hope it stays this way until a chain smoking dictator comes along to change everything back to the 60s and 70s, and to make everyone smell like him and share his nicotine and second hand tobacco smokes.

Try imagining smokers smoking in the trains, buses and taxis today! It was the old normal.

PS. The banning of smoking is well received by the people. And there was no complaint. Nice.


Anonymous said...

"I hope it stays this way until a chain smoking dictator comes along to change everything back to the 60s and 70s, and to make everyone smell like him and share his nicotine and second hand tobacco smokes. "

Singaporeans are daft voters.
redbean better get prepared to smell 2nd smoke again.

Anonymous said...

Remembering LKY - USA's F-35 Grounded. Where are our F-35's?
Putin's jet fighters now rule the sky.


Anonymous said...

No Smoking was introduced in many other countries and not only in Singapore. LKY did not create this no smoking trend. It was a natural progression as a healthier life style around the world took hold. No credit to anyone here.

Anonymous said...

No Smoking was introduced in many other countries and not only in Singapore.
Anon 8:46 am

Ya lor. Just like some of the 60%, I think RB over-credited LKY for this. And if only more Sinkies were like him, this will be very good for PAP, even after LKY no longer around.

Anonymous said...

The govt should not ban smoking
in open areas where there are no

BUT, the govt should TOTALLY ban
smoking in coffeeshops.

Will be much welcomed by both
smokers and non-smokers.


Anonymous said...

...even after LKY no longer around.
Anon 8:55 am

So will PAP do better in the next GE with LKY no longer around? Will more Sinkies start to recollect the good things he did long time ago than remember the bad things (policies) that his son did more recently?

What do u think?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Just work in an organisation when the boss is a smoker and you will know what it means.

Anonymous said...

Agree RB whole heartedly with you that smoking is a health hazard and not pleasant for those around the smokers inhaling second hand smoke. To credit this to the doing of LKY is going a little to far, no? It was a natural progression of a healthier society. I say no credit to any one person.

Goh said...

Just wonder why you did not choose a no smoking seat in those days before smoking were totally banned in aircraft.
When many are complaining about haze once a while , I have no problem or do not even feel it.
Thats becos I live in a smoking environment
.Sometimes its good to get use to smoking or shitty environment .
Let our children get use to such environment if there is any, so that they can grow up to be more gracious , can tahan haze or shit resulting in being stronger and lesser complaints .
Imagine soldier not being able to tahan smoke and chaboem...how to effectively defend oneself or their country.
Learn to adapt.

Goh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I tried to get a no smoking seat but none available.

That trip was torturous.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

If you are a non-smoker, smoking people and having to smell and inhale that shit is bound to annoy the shit out of you, and could make you sick.

LKY used to be a heavy smoker. Remember the 555 brand in the tin? That was his poison.

When he quit, he wasn't the only one. The US Surgeon General's warning was taken seriously by many people, and many governments who then proceeded to bring in legislation to curb this filthy but occasionally delightful habit. (I do not like cigarettes, however I do love cigars, and occasionally pipes. I used to love joints...perhaps a bit too much when I was young, cool and invincible ;-) )

Back in the 1950's and mid 60's nearly everyone smoked. You could smoke on buses and cabs, in theatres, in lifts, on planes, in restaurants....everywhere.

LKY may have been "strict" with the anti-smoking drive, but at least he was reasonable. For e.g. I like a duty-free cigar or 2 whilst waiting for my flight at Changi International. Changi has some of the best and cleanest smoking rooms in the world.

Also, in and about Singapore there are areas specially reserved for smokers---similar to the idea that toilets are specially reserved for people who want to shit. If you want to shit, you don't do it in a restaurant or a bus---you go to a toilet. Similarly if you want to light up, make your way to a smoking area. Works great, everyone is happy, and smokers can merrily suck that cancer up in joyful delusion, and non-smokers can keep their nagging and annoying self-righteous pontifications to themselves. As Bill Hicks has reminded the world: "Non smokers die...EVERYDAY!".


The said...

I jog every other day on the liner park. What irks me most is smokers who walks along the park puffing away. And here I am panting for breath and they have to come and pollute my air. Makes me retch.

Veritas said...

This is over-rated. When you go white man land or even China, few people smoke in public place.

There could be some ban down there.

Anonymous said...

LKY - Founding father of Modern Medicine
LKY discovered penicillin and ushered in the age of life saving antibiotics.
He is a true giant in the age of modern medicine.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

Many people are unaware that Hitler, like LKY used to be a heavy smoker. And when Hitler quit, he went on a rampage to wipe smoking out in Nazi-dom

Spooky similarities? Or mere coincidence? Wooooooo....

Anonymous said...

With smokers like Barker and Rajaratnam around and a few others, you think any other leader could get the no smoking bill passed? You need a more powerful man with a stronger resolve to shaft it down the throats of these powerful smokers for them to say yes.

patriot said...

'LKY discovered penicillin.... ...'
This is new to me.
Thought he only fathered Sin?


patriot said...

Maybe it is time for smokers to snub out Pappies.

My parents both smoked, my Late Father lived for 86 years, my Mother 97 years. Both had little medical complications.

My Elder Brother smokes 2 packets of Camel Brand Cigarettes a day for 50 years, still strong as a bull and working.
Me smokes Camel Cigarettes too and stated smoking at 7 year old.over 57 years back, no medical condition and wishes to see my grandchildren get married one day.

Those who cannot stand smoking should not shit for You have yo smell shits that come out of your very ownself. Stop eating and You need not shit anymore.


Anonymous said...

Is this true?
LKY - Founding Father of English Literature in Japan
LKY translated the entire works of William Shakespeare into the Japanese language.
Introducing the joys of English Literature for the Japanese people to enjoy.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...


The "anti smoking" bill is a bit of a misnomer. The bill doesn't totally ban tobacco use---it restricts the use to specifics, like over 18 years old, and in special areas.

EW Barker never gave a flying fuck about lighting up in front of LKY, although he did respect such rights outside, more as a consideration because he was a decent guy. Same for Rajaratnam. As Law Minister then, Barker would have been part of drafting and implementing such legislation.

@patriot: You are committing the logical fallacy called "misunderstanding the nature of statistics", with an addition of CONFIRMATION BIAS.

Just because you have anecdotally experienced that smokers CAN live long (confirmation bias) doesn't mean that every smoker WILL live long and never get sick from sucking up vaporised cancer. (misunderstood statistics). Tobacco will statistically adversely affect > 50% of its users. You have better chance (1 in 6 of certain death) playing Russian Roulette.

That being said, I'm still going to smoke my cigars. Fuck the stats :-)

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

BTW, many of the "old guard" had their various peccadilloes. Mistresses, smoking, drinking...c'mon lah, don't be too quick to judge, we are all human ;-)

Goh said...

Just wonder is it fair to do the same thing and curse on those smokers puffing at the smoking corner when one go kopitiam and cannot find a no smoking seat.
Everyone has their habit so just learn to be more tolerant. Some gave up smoking habit but Or peesai, scratch their body or scalp...
The warning of smoking causes cancer dun seems to have effect to me.
Saw a warning on Taiwan cigarette that says smoking caused impotent.Appear to me there are lesser smoker in Taiwan now.
And@ patriot.
Smoking may not cause sickness but make one poorer.
Consider to save 400 a month on cigarette and buy toto n become richer or go oversea to hug mei mei better.Heard it can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Goh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
patriot said...

@Matilah Singapura

This atheist me believes in 生死由(有)命, though must say death is not cause by devil, god and other supernaturals.
Death due to illness and or age, is natural to me. The Others such as suicide and homicides are man caused and accidents.
Anyway, a happy short life is more worth than a long struggling one.

May I wish All happy and long live like me.


patriot said...

They should outlaw all the night spots and vice services and allow POLYGAMY.
OR, at least reduce the offences.


Goh said...

A bit too late to talk about polygamy now.When Lky around still got some hope.Now no more around my hope oso gone .
Vice services is needed for our local bachelor ,widower or FTs etc.
Many top servants may not even have to give up their post if bigamy is allowed earlier.
Cut down on your cigarette. Go hug mei mei better.

Goh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Patriot, to the non smokers they would not careless whether the smokers get sick or live to 100 years. My mother was chain smoker too, lived to 92. Where got cancer?

The material point to non smokers is the invasive nature of the smell that are offensive to them. Some would quote health as a reason too and statistics said second hand smoke is more dangerous than direct smoking. This would scare the hell out of those mothers and their children and foetus in their tummies.

The die hard Matilah has gone on to smoke cigar. You are a rare exception in that you are a heavy smoker but don't smell like an ashtray: ) But you will drive the non smokers away when you light up.

Many non smokers are not objecting to smoking, but just don't want to be around to share the smell and the nicotine. I always curse and swear everytime my downstair neighbour light up. My whole flat would be filled with cigarette smell that I find offensive. The thing is that I can't do anything about it short of quarrelling with him which is a bad option.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ patriot:

Yes death is part of life. I dun worry too much about it. To me, what you do and the quality of your experience during LIFE is the most important thing. i.e. right here, right now, in the PRESENT.

Religious fuckheads live their lives preparing for death and the non-existent afterlife. What a sorry waste for them, and a waste of oxygen for the rest of us who don't believe in that mystical, supernatural NONSENSE.

@ agongkia: One thing about the "old guard" is that they understood the wisdom on not outlawing vice, but "containing" it to certain areas (like Geylang) and policing it in a sensible manner: i.e. keep an eye on gang activity, immigration matters and most important--- make sure the cheebyes are reasonably clean so STD's are reduced.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ redbean:

>> But you will drive the non smokers away when you light up.

Yup, that's the idea. I don't want anyone of those holier-than-thou motherfuckers anywhere near me when I'm enjoying the filthy, decadent pleasure of burning carcinogenic leaves. I prefer a single-malt, some nice music and hot babes running around lighting my cigar, massaging my back, pouring my drink. Non smokers---not welcome, fuck off. go and enjoy your boring lives ;-)

Anonymous said...

Did Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Disaster Stop PAP Government From Developing a Nuclear Power Plant In Singapore?
- just think of the consequences of a Singapore Nuclear plant managed by an ex-SAF General like Desmond Kuek


Lucky, lucky lucky.

Anonymous said...

In Singapore you can smoke in an air condition room with free coffee, tea, soft drinks with music for entertainement. All you have to do is pay $100.00 if you r sinkies and if if you are a foreighner it is free. The place:
MBS or Genting Sentosa

Anonymous said...


You went out of the way to support Gilbert's talk at Hong Lim square. Many precious pictures you shared.

Are you going to pay tribute to LKY by going to Parliament house?

Anonymous said...

"Today, all aircon rooms and offices, public areas, shopping centres, restaurants and cinemas, are no smoking areas. Open air food courts and hawker stalls too are non smoking areas except some designated zones."

Again, there are lots of rules but no enforcement.

Just wondering whether those dudes at the NEA who is supposed to visit such places to enforce the ban actually works or do they just report for work and disappears into the sunset once they are out of the office.

That eye doctor who is in charge should be replaced by a pulmonary doctor who may understand better what it is like for non smokers to suffer this filthy habit.

Anonymous said...

i was a cigarette smoker and would still smoke if not for doctor's orders. when i was in switzerland in the early 80s, i bought a train ticket for the smoking carriage. after i settled down in my seat, i wanted to light my fag but when i smelled all those wonderful high quality pipe tobacco and cigars being smoked by the gentlemen, i kept my ciggies in my pocket and just enjoyed the sweet aroma and breathtaking scenery.

patriot said...

Smoking is a simple pleasure for the poor folks who may not have other interests such as boozing, gambling, visit brothel or other hobbies.

Yes, there ate plenty of indiscipline smokers, BUT please DONT MAKE IT SOUND SO ABNOXIOUS AND SINFUL .

I can agree that it may give some people discomfort, however, let me say that in those days when cigarettes played a major role in wedding and wake, lighting the cigarette for someone meant a lot. No one ever complained even iI the smoker carried a newborn in his/her hands.
How many died in the old days because of smoking? I DONT need the answer, the oldies who are smokers should dispel the MYTH.

Now, there is reason for ridiculous tax on tobacco and I hereby call upon smokers to snub out the Pappies in the Coming Election. Let us smoker show them our DISPLEASURE.


Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ patriot:

>> Yes, there ate plenty of indiscipline smokers, BUT please DONT MAKE IT SOUND SO ABNOXIOUS AND SINFUL .

Errr... good luck on that. Non smokers are a kaypoh, snobbish and arrogant bunch. They cannot help themselves but "kachau" smokers. Naturally, they think they are "better" than you. Just accept the fact. Don't worry, you will attend many funerals of so-called "healthier" non-smokers. :-))

OTOH, smokers should not "kachau" with the non smokers right to breath smoke-free air. Leave them alone to get their own lung cancer from automobile exhaust and particulate matter from Indonesia's smog, or the smoke from cooking things like char kway teow and other such deadly foods.

I think if people get lung cancer and didn't smoke, god (who doesn't exist) just played a very fucking funny joke on them. I'm not sorry to say that ALWAYS makes me smile :-) If they happen to be religious, I fall down with laughter, rolling on the floor in uncontrollable spasms of schadenfreude glee.

>> ridiculous tax on tobacco

Consider yourself fortunate. In Australia a pack of cancer sticks (aka "Coffin Nails" is AUD 25. However in Singapore, you can still get "duty unpaid" tobacco....aka "smugglers".

BTW, do you know the rates of smoking amongst doctors? It's about the SAME as the general population. Many of my cigar smoking kaki's are doctors, and we all more or less share the same "philosophy":

I'm not here for a LONG time, I'm here for a GOOD time.

Puff away and enjoy lah.