Sunday, September 21, 2014

K box leak could be due to human error and biggest culprit, the management

Own experience, two cents' worth.

I had to go to a private clinic to get an x-ray done, for the purpose of employment. Everyone should have done that one time or another, especially in Singapore.

At the counter, a lady (or the customer service staff) was serving many customers. In front of her was a computer terminal that was used to input customer personal data and medical reports/results. To get into the x-ray room, you will be walking right pass this customer service staff. What I saw when I walked out of the x-ray room to the front desk was that she was updating herself with Facebook on the computer terminal that was also meant for sensitive/private data.

Since the K box saga, it led me to think that the easiest way hackers can get into a server and its data would be to fool the staff manning a terminal to the server. By phishing (or spear phishing), staffs are the easiest to fool. By fooling the staff to divulge their login and password, hackers can easily get the key to the server. By fooling the staff to download and execute an attachment (or link), usually with sensational/sexy feeds, people can be easily fooled to click them and compromise the security of their network (and ultimately server containing sensitive data).

For a staff at the clinic, the sensitivity and privacy of patients are at risk and at the mercy of the staff manning the terminal. The management is mainly at fault, because the management allowed (by not preventing) the staff to use the company's property for personal use that could jeopardize the privacy of many patients who entrusted the clinic to protect them.

We are all guilty of wasting companies' time by idling in front of computers and doing things that are not beneficial to the company (nor customers), but rather for personal reasons. For example, the guy blogger who landed in a libel suit for maligning another person was using his healthcare provider company's time and property to write blogs and doing "research" on his blogging material (this can easily be proven by studying the entry time for the blogs he posted/updated). Instead of reading more about how to improve his service method, or studying his patient files diligently so as to provide personalized care to patients, this healthcare provider-cum-blogger was busy with something else.

In my opinion, phishing is still the easiest and effective method to execute. By just sending spam claiming that the person receiving the email has won SGD 10,000, a low but significant number of people receiving this email will click on the corresponding link. A webpage will appear and trick that person to divulge his/her company email login and password. The subsequent prompt, "Congratulation, you will receive a call from us soon", will not raise any alarm to these gullible people. What comes next will be very unpleasant, normally the IT department will call the staff, ask to meet him/her. The IT dept will explain to them that thousands of company's staff data (e.g. email, name, phone number, designation, etc.) have been compromised. This is on top of having received spam/phishing emails from this staff on the company's email network. Normally, the IT dept would suspend the staff's email account for good (or until the staff completed proper awareness course on network security).

However, if management is flawed, don't blame any staff for the compromised/lax security. Onus is still on the company rather than staff.

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Are Singaporeans short fused?

Today, I've watched a man complained about two young ladies who were filling forms. He was not happy about them making too much "movement" to the high round counter table which he shared with them. They were filling forms for a free 2 years membership to Metro Singapore.

When he left, the two young ladies asked what was his problem? They asked each other if indeed they were making too much movement to the table.

I was thinking, why was the man so easily agitated by small matter such as this?

There are times when I have seen people blow their fuse out of nothing/something trivial. For example,
  1. School girls were giggling, talking loudly, and moving freely in the MRT train. An old man with a cane wanted to hit one of the girl with his cane because the girl was too close to him. Fortunately, a terribly surprised Caucasian man stopped the cane from hitting the girl and calmed the old man. The old man muttered repeatedly how ill-mannered the bunch of girls were. Frightened, the girls move to the other carriage. Why the old man got so agitated?
  2. MRT again, a lady was seated next to a sleeping man. The man was dozing and his body shifted towards the lady. Trying to avoid body contact, the lady placed her bag in between the man and her. This action woken the man. He was very angry and pushed the lady's bag away. They quarreled and the man pushed the lady, and threatened to slap her several times. Why was he so angry?
  3. A man was cutting queue to a bus stop and a lady in front told him off. He got angry and started scolding the lady. It led to argument and the man spitted the lady. Other people who tried to calm the situation was scolded and spitted too. Is there anger management problem here?
  4. Someone stared at another person. This made the other person uncomfortable and he got angry. He confronted the other person. A quarrel then led to fight. A similar "staring incident" led to a boy being stabbed and another well beaten.
  5. A kid was doing something kids normally do, an agitated dad (and sometimes mom) without warning slapped the boy across the face. The frightened boy cried. Is that how a parent would want to raise a kid? No wonder some kids ended up ill-tempered too when they grew up. These parents should have been castrated earlier so that they couldn't destroy innocent lives.
  6. There are many more and from what I gather, some people here in Singapore are really short fused.
Back to the question, are Singaporeans short fused? My answer would be that, not all Singaporeans are short fused. The above examples could be perpetrated by visitors or permanent residents in Singapore too (and no one will know or dare to ask, especially when these people are exploding). One thing is sure though, there are increasing number of people in Singapore who are likely to be short fused. This could probably be due to the stress caused by the inevitable high population problem in Singapore (especially if we aspire to be a megacity in the future), e.g. the sheer number of people on the MRT, supermarket, road (with constant jams and cars that ignore traffic rule), parks, residential places, condominiums and their facilities, and many more. The only overcrowded places in Singapore that don't induce anger (but causes happiness instead), are places of worships.

Most important I think is that short fuse is a character that can be shed away, and people should be more positive. Most people I have seen prefer to be made angry by useless news, insinuations, gossips, impertinent problems (e.g. problems of other countries), politics, sports (like football fanaticism), and many more. It is their choice that made people what they become. Media that provoke negative feelings are insinuating "news", bad news, hopeless news, nasty blogs, Yahoo commentators input, "alternative news" laced with biased perception and personal opinion to the so-called news, Singapore Stomp, etc. To spend significant amount of time in them is an indication of a PROBLEM. Spending sufficient time on these media is an addictive dose of anger and hatred inducement.

In my opinion, fill yourself with something positive if you can't really help staying away from bad news. If there is an earthquake in Japan that stroke the wrong nerve, look at a bright side and appreciate that nature has its nurturing side. If there is murder in town, appreciate that there is currently someone saving another people's life, e.g. policemen, firemen, surgeons, social workers, humanitarian workers, etc.

Just a thought.

Re: K box customer personal data leak a wake up call for businesses

More than 300, 000 members of karaoke bar chain K Box leaked and made public due to hacking of K Box (or "inside job"). Regardless of how it got leaked, the weaknesses of K Box to protect customers' personal data is against Personal Data Protection Act (enforced on July 2, 2014), and is liable to be punished with a fine of up to SGD 1 million. The official website of K box is down for Personal Data Commission investigation.
The hackers collectively called The Unknown posted personal data, such as name, contact numbers, email addresses, NRIC numbers, dates of birth and marital status of innocent people. This act allowed unscrupulous people with ill-intent to manipulate/misuse such data to commit fraud, intimidation, threat and others on these victims (e.g. as experienced blogger Alfred Siew with a "loan shark" reported in Straits Times, Home B8, Sept 20, 2014).
The Unknown, if indeed an activist group, failed miserably in their effort to draw public support (akin to shooting at your own foot). They failed in their effort when they hit the wrong cord and stoked peoples' anger towards them, especially when they purposely exposed innocent people to vulnerability to malicious attacks (by anyone who can get hold of the "free-for-all" data, especially extortionists/frausters). If they wanted monetary gain, they again failed to "bargain" with K Box. Note that K Box is liable to a fine of up to SGD 1 million under Data Protection Act, and not to mention that this episode has tarnished its reputation. Also, why punish hundreds of thousands of innocent people, which The Unknown can't gain zilch, when the party deserving punishment is K Box for the lax in their server security?
Finally, I do believe that no hacker is really invisible in the internet nowadays (or soon anyway), especially when there is international cooperation (to combat/counter terrorism) that see participation from numerous countries (which will also cast wider net on combating hacking activities). This cooperation will soon be a death knell for malicious hackers, unless if they work (via zombies, bots, or the likes) in countries not supporting such international collaboration (or if they are Edward Snowden given special protection by the country). With cooperation and cross-border extradition agreement, it is easy to bring hackers (from different nationals to any country where they committed their crimes).
For those wanting to know why it's not possible to arrest "Anonymous" group, the answer can be referred in this exchange (from Stackexchange). Briefly, it's very possible to arrest any members of Anonymous group (who can be anyone with any misdeed, especially those with malicious/criminal deeds). But to arrest all members of Anonymous group would be improper as it would be akin to arrest all employees of Enron (which is illogical) considering that only a few of Enron members/bosses are guilty of crime/fraud (Enron Scandal). That is why, it's uncalled for for the arrest Anonymous group (a collection of people).
Anyone interested to read about how hackers are able to attack and how they cover their tracks (in order to be invisible), there is one article which is enlightening (from Scientific American). There is ongoing effort to try to minimize and penalize malicious hackers (via international collaboration and the establishment of a "trace-back" system to catch bad hackers). Furthermore, if national security is breached, Singapore with its internet service providers (ISPs) can at any time blacklist and block IP addresses originating from certain countries (which is neither a member nor supportive of international collaboration against cyber crimes or terrorism), and thus prevent hackers from using bots/zombie machines from these countries to attack Singapore. However, it is still dependent on the extensiveness of the bot network and compromised computers, with huge network being unfavorable to law enforcers (I don't think hackers will want to share their network just to see it being shut down by "misuse"). See DNS-based Blackhole List (DNSBL) or Real-time Blackhole List (RBL) by Wikipedia.
For now, I'm as excited as anyone to know how the whole episode will unravel. For example, will K Box be fined for negligence and being incompliant to the Data Protection Act and how much is the fine? Will the culprits who hacked and leaked personal data of innocent Singaporeans be caught and brought to justice, similar to the fate of James Raj Arokiasamy? How will the other businesses in Singapore react to this episode? I guess a huge fine for K Box will serve as deterrent and wake up call for other businesses to enhance their securities (which will be good news to many customers).
Just a thought.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm always thankful to kind people on the MRT, proud to reciprocate

Being kind is inherent. Kindness never fade in people. Kindness can only mature to be realistic and sophisticated. The latter quality is important to prevent from being taken advantage of. 

MRT passengers are kind. Forget about those who aren't. Focus on the positive people.
Most are willing to let go of their seats for needy passengers. Ladies who are moms themselves are more empathetic and they are frequently seen giving up their seats to pregnant/expectant moms (with the "I know how you feel" look).

Guys, who have got wives are willing to give up their seats to expectant moms. They are empathetic too. 

If SMRT and SBS are willing to start a campaign to introduce "care bands" (or other identifiers) for MRT users, so that needy passengers will be able to identify who are willing to give up their seats, I believe there will be a lot of takers. These good Samaritans will be "beacon" for needy people. A beacon of care. A beacon that is contagiously good. 

We have been exposed to the bad/ugliness of MRT passengers in Singapore, mostly thanks to Stomps, Blogs, and YouTube for the negative portrayal. What is lacking is to show to Singapore and the world that there are good, majority, but silent apples too in any society.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I slap you you know oh, ugly uncle at mrt

This uncle physically pushed a female passenger, verbally threatened to slap her. Then when he realised someone took his video, he changed his tone and started and repeatedly explained what was going on.
His famous word was,  "I slap you you know ah/oh".
Oh ya, he also pushed the female passenger at the buttock area (from what I gather). It's interesting to see that most other passengers were not getting involved. They were probably waiting for the quarrel to get really ugly before intervention/help (from what I gather).
I couldn't find the video link to share (by Emilianay Eng). Just got the snapshots. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I thought only thieves and burglars would poison dogs, but in Malaysia, it's different a bit

Ten dogs poisoned in Bukit Bintang car park (reported in Yahoo.Sg). I guess these dogs must have been an eye (and ear) sore for the city, and hence they had to be eliminated this way (either by irate neighbours or someone else). I don't think the culprit will ever admit to the poisoning. I don't think anyone will be prosecuted for this act. That's human nature at work (either ignorant or with ill-intent).

We are fortunate that these kind of people are not daring to the extent that they start poisoning people on the street (or the homeless). If these people can poison lives, it's unimaginable what else they are capable of doing next.

From my experience, I have seen restaurant owners/workers poured hot water on stray dogs in their vicinity, just to drive off these "pests". Some resorted to using bat/stick to chase away these dogs. However, I have not seen or heard any cases where these dogs were poisoned (like rodents). I guess anything is possible in society.

Not long ago, I have heard about the "Robin Hood" of Malaysia who shot a stray dog with bow and arrow. He claimed that the dog was a danger to his family. Well, in my opinion, he should have called his municipal council to dispose of the stray instead of trying to kill the animal himself. Furthermore, if you intend to kill an animal, do it correctly by killing it right away instead of injuring the animal and allowing it to wander and die in the longest agony. Note that the dog died during the rescue due to succumbing to tick fever. The man who shot the animal won't be charged with animal abuse, but he will be charged with using lethal weapon in public.

Talking about municipal councils, some are incompetent in handling strays and could be deemed cruel at times (see "brutality" of dog catchers from Kajang Municipal Council, catch, kill, and get paid, and strays allegedly caught and shot in full view of children). In society, cats and dogs are pets (aka part of family members), and to see strays being treated this way really pain pet lovers and other normal people. If you want to dispose of animals, do it humanely or swift and deadly as nature intended. Dog catchers should be trained before being hired.

For the above poisoning case, I can only hope that the poison acted quickly and painlessly in killing these dogs. I also hope that the poisoning incident is not a prelude to a burglary attempt.

Tan Pin Pin's "To Singapore, with Love", my thought

Singapore banned local documentary "To Singapore, with love" by Tan Pin Pin. This documentary is about former activists and student leaders who fled Singapore in the 60s to 80s. I guess the film was banned because this documentary failed to include inputs from Singapore government. This is perplexing considering that the documentary was clearly about historical fact and hence, to omit the view from the Singapore government (or at least the National Heritage Board of Singapore), would usually be seen as a biased approach to produce a documentary. Or, am I wrong and Tan Pin Pin did indeed approach the Singapore government/agencies to procure the materials?

To include just a sided view of historical event is dangerous and unjust. Can you imagine what will happen if the justice court/system starts hearing only sided testimony before passing sentence? Would it be just? Similarly, a documentary with sided testimony is considered unjust.

If Tan Pin Pin had instead produced National Geography-type of animal documentary, she wouldn't have encountered any problem by any way she intended to narrate the story, especially considering that animals can't talk. Hence, her work wouldn't have been banned in Singapore.

In my opinion, a documentary about historical events should be "neutral" and the narrator (in this case, Tan Pin Pin) should be covering testimonies and facts/material from all sides instead of taking on side. A documentary with contradictory testimonies (from different sources) is more credible and mature than inclusion of just one side of the story.

Having said that, I guess that to have a documentary that is provocative and controversial is considered more appealing and successful than "safer" alternatives.

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Re: Half of teens here (Singapore) exposed to pornography - Survey

The poll (or survey) was conducted by Touch Cyber Wellness. The survey suggested half of teens are exposed to pornography early. Experts worried about "pornography content" (in my opinion, it is context-dependent) affecting young people's attitudes and behaviour towards love and sex, and may lead to sexual crimes.

Teens access pornography through smartphones (I think we should thank mummy and daddy for the "oversight"). The visits are either deliberately or accidentally (problem with no open discussion about sex education and pornography). Also, not to mention that pornography spread through peers the fastest and most effectively.

Bad things associated with pornography are disrespect towards women (are mums included?), altered behaviour and function in society, and worst, sexual crime.

In today's Strait Times, the above article was placed on similar page as this article about "Youth got girl to have sex by using threats and force". Many thanks to the parents in the mentioned case. Sometimes, I think that some people must be treated like stray animals and be neutered. They are not meant to be parents and shouldn't be given the opportunity to reproduce and raise "beasts and monsters" in society. I remembered the failed Eugenic movement in Singapore (which was thought to be distasteful back then, but sometimes when I read such article about bad parents, I wished we could at least neuter these people). I can't believe that girls (or boys) at 13 years old can be allowed to go out at night unsupervised/unchaperoned. The 20 years old youth got his victims (three of them were reported, and there could be unreported cases) aged 13 to 14 years old from unchaperoned outings. The latest one was when he met the girl during a night out hanging with friends and subsequently tricked her to his empty house (how convenient that the parents were not at home), and tried to buy sex from her (failed), then verbally and physically threatened her (succeeded) in order to rape the victim (how I appreciated statutory rape and how I would break the bones of people who opposes the implementation of statutory rape act).

Okay, back to the topic. I wanted to write this article to voice my thoughts and opinion.

First, knowing about sex early (pre-puberty) is not unhealthy (we have seen animals do it in TV). Knowing about the function of our sex organs (that is to say, in addition to pee pee for boys (a tube sharing two functions), whereas girls have a more specialized pee pee organ) early is not to be ashamed of. Knowing how babies are born (through the same place where sex is performed) is very crucial to sex education (and should be directed to boys especially in order for them to know that they were conceived and born from the same place from their moms. So please show some respect). What is even better would be to show them how babies are delivered (it will be bloody fun; some useless fathers should be made to see this too). Next, pornography is not bad, and good pornography (without violence, perversion, or "unnatural") can help in and complement sex education. These pornography materials should be categorized into age-suitable levels. While we are at it, to have sex education about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with visual cues will be of great help (similar to cigarettes and cancer; hence casual unprotected sex goes hand in hand with pregnancy/STDs). Children should be given the unrestricted information about how viruses are transmitted (not through toilet seats), and how scarily virulent viral infection can be (titer count for some infection can be low, meaning that few viruses are sufficient to cause infection and how the virus will stay dormant and come back to haunt you in the future, repeatedly in your lifetime). Children should be given information about the real effective rate of protection, such as condom (it's not 100%, and very much dependent on batch effect and defects).

The bad thing about pornography is that we can be addicted to it. Addiction to pornography is bad (similar to other types of addictions that alters behaviour). The crave for new pornography materials will promote infidelity and affect wrong behaviour towards love and sex (but we need to realize that infidelity and casual sex have been there in society all along and even before television was invented, so for those experts opinion I have this to say, "YOU ARE WRONG TO BLAME IT ON PORNOGRAPHY. IT'S HUMAN NATURE."). Addiction to pornography (or sex) will hamper proper functioning in society is true. We will be distracted from study or other social interactions, healthy relationship, and closeness with family members (it could be the other way around, i.e. no family closeness predispose "pornography abuse"). Disrespect for women due to pornography? I beg your pardon, PORNOGRAPHY did not invent sex slavery or other means to subjugate and debase women. Since ancient times, women have been subjected to "ill-treatment" by certain society. During Japanese occupation, sex slavery sure wasn't caused by pornography, but rather by Japanese men in uniform (I wonder what Japanese women were thinking then when their Japanese males were doing "atrocities" to other women, but I can't blame these women especially considering how chauvinistic/patriarchy Japan was then). How about the kidnapping of school girls by Boko Haram in which I can only imagine and cringe knowing their fate. How about the unabated human trafficking problem in certain country? That's human nature at work and not pornography. Similarly, violent movies don't promote violence, but rather it reflects the violent nature of humans on the screen for entertainment purposes.

It is difficult to stem pornography in the world today. Rather than ban pornography, more work should be done to promote healthy sex education and pornography (age-suitable levels/restrictions). FYI, children will be exposed to pornography nowadays, even with or without sex education. If romantic novels with description about sex is pornography, it will be inappropriate and ridiculous to eliminate these books from the libraries. In addition, there are other ready resources about sex, e.g. friends talked about sex, friends who visited prostitutes, friends showing explicit pictures about sex, friends sharing nude/sexual pictures/videos of their girlfriends/boyfriends, friends taught friends to masturbate, friends the sex education "specialists", and then finally, friends the adult movies supplier. What is worst would be the friend having sex with the friend type (DIY the wrong way) or sexual predators targeting children.

Pornography deemed distasteful are those that debase women. Other types are the "unnatural" sex (but not so as according to the Kamasutra, which is more than thousand years old). What is natural and unnatural then, especially considering that some sexual act or behaviour predate even written history?

The only obstacle we have right now concerning sex education is HOW ARE WE GOING TO INCLUDE HOMOSEXUALITY? The debate of whether it's behavioural problem or genetic problem is irrelevant. Are we going to allow homosexuals to live in the shadows (and in the deepest and darkest cracks in society) suffering from similar problems of straight couples, especially on matter pertaining to unprotected sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and infidelity? When marriage concept is not applicable to a certain group of society, it will be impossible to have healthy and happy family unit. Depriving homosexual couples of healthy family unit do promote unhealthy "promiscuity" problem.

Other topics that sex education can cover are pedophilia (psychological disorder) and its threat to children, prostitution (instead of debasing/insulting these women, a healthy perspective of this topic will help promote respect/empathy), human trafficking/sex slavery (historical perspective and how such threat is still in existence in the world today), pregnancy/abortion, masturbation (the act should not be perceived as shameful and unhealthy; to masturbate is many fold healthier/socially-acceptable than casual/unprotected sex), rape/sexual assault/molestation (prevention to minimize risk, and where to go for help, responsibility in reporting to prevent recurrence, and to prevent the same people from harming/exploiting other victims; note that date-rape and rape by someone known to the victims make significant number of cases), drug/date-rape drug (precaution and tell tale sign, how to prevent and where to report), help counselors (where to get help early), and finally statutory rape/rape law and punitive/deterrence measures (jail and whip).

Just a thought.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mosquito fogging in private properties

I can never understand the rationale of frequent mosquito fogging at private properties. Don't they know that it is useless considering that the toxic fog was only effective within their compound and that the mosquitoes will come back to repopulate their estate after a period of time has lapsed (unless the chemical used are those environmentally unfriendly type that cannot deteriorate/degrade and hence might pose a health long term hazard to people)?

I'm not saying that we shouldn't be fogging mosquitoes. I'm just saying that fogging frequency should be moderate so that we don't overdo it. Constant fogging will only increase the resistance of mosquitoes towards the chemicals used (similar to the effect of overusing antibiotics that caused bacterial resistance to antibiotics). Furthermore, we might also be killing slower flying/moving insects, an unintended casualties.

I think the best way to prevent "mosquito bloom" would be to remove their breeding grounds. It's really hard to do than thought. Mosquitoes can breed at places we can't even reach. They are resourceful and adaptable. These mosquitoes could also breed on unreachable tree (or plants) crevices with trapped water, and they could thrive especially during rainy days.

The claim that certain plants are natural mosquito repellants are not scientifically proven BUT have been used in earliest times, from which modern repellants were developed from (e.g. citronella). These plants could act as decoy to overwhelm mosquito senses.

Another useful plant to have around would be the pitcher plant (Nepenthes spp.). Although these plants have been shown to harbour mosquito larvae, a symbiotic relation of these plants with pitcher ant (Camponotus schmitzi) ensures that these mosquito larvae are eliminated early. Hence, it is crucial to have both of pitcher plant and ants in order to effectively control mosquitoes. Otherwise, pitcher plant could be a mosquito breeding place (although at very low frequency as compared to other types of breeding grounds)...

The use of electronic mosquito repellents are doubtful. The claim of efficacy of these devices are based on the believe that the frequencies produced mimicked predatory noise or annoying to mosquitoes. However, recent studies have debunked such claims. There was no effect of electronic repellents in repelling mosquitoes in one study, whereas in another independent study, such electronic devices could be increasing mosquito bites (akin to ringing the dinner bell). Also, the electronic zappers that are supposed to be zapping and killing mosquitoes have been found to be doing more harm to harmless insects than mosquitoes. For example, outdoor bug zappers actually killed 0.22% insects corresponding to biting insects whereas the rest was harmless and beneficial insects.

All in all, constant fogging is useless considering that mosquitoes will become resistant to the chemicals if overused. Controlling mosquito breeding grounds is more useful but it will be challenging to beat the resourceful and adaptable mosquitoes. Planting natural mosquito repellents could help alleviating bites by acting as decoys and messing up mosquito senses (however, some studies have found that the phytochemical level is too low to produce sufficient effect, e.g. citronella concentration too low in these plants to be effective). However, considering that these plants have been used in ancient times should provide credit that there could be benefit in them. Last, the use of electronic mosquito repellents are useless and could be detrimental. Similarly, outdoor zappers only zap beneficial insects while the percent kill for mosquitoes are extremely low.

P.S. Other claims such as increasing bat population will help minimize mosquito population is misleading. Although bats do consume mosquitoes as part of their diet, but they only eat mosquitoes when other food sources are unavailable. Similarly, although we do take bitter gourd, but we don't eat them regularly or make them as our main diet. Hence, bats won't be the natural predator that will help eliminate mosquito menace.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Singapore zoo Kidzworld Wetplay an incubator for infection

Nothing of real concern as kids will get sick frequently, especially once they are out playing and mixing with other kids, and especially true when they start schooling. For my kid, she was playing at the Kidzworld Wetplay last Saturday. The water was not clean and it was murky white (I have no idea what could have caused the discoloration). I can't imagine how dirty the water was. I can only bet that the water must have been the result of kids (or parents) passing water, spitting saliva, emptying runny nose, and other more (which is not unusual). I can bet that the water is just full of waste from kids or parents who were not feeling well. If the water is not properly sanitized (e.g. with salt or chlorine), you can bet that some kids will get sick after playing in it.

Sure enough, my daughter fell sick after two days playing in the water. She contracted fever and had ulceration in her mouth, suggesting that it could be viral infection. Her throat was not yet sore. Her temperature reached 38.6 degree Celsius. We couldn't do anything except to reduce the fever by medication. The rest would require her own immune system to acquire the immunity against whatever was/were assaulting her system. Poor kid. I guess it's part of her growing up process, i.e. to be exposed to as many pathogens as possible so that she will grow up to be stronger.

Anyway, I really hope that Singapore Zoo will be mindful of the poor quality of water at their Wetplay area and do something about it. Having viruses originated from other kids are not really bad (well except for the hand, foot and mouth, HFM caused by coxsackie A virus). I'm not sure if HFM virus is transmissible by dirty wetplay water or not (especially considering that viruses tend to die very quickly outside the host/vector).