Faking It

It takes a wise man to handle a lie. A fool had better remain honest.—Norman DouglasEveryone lies and if you claim to be innocent of this little sin, then all you’ve done is just prove our point. What really struck us though is that more people seem to be getting caught recently—and not just for little white lies either. Don’t get us wrong—it’s not that we condone lying, but it’s as if no one even tries to lie properly these days. Where’s the effort, we ask you would-be cunning connivers?Take, for instance, bus driver Poh Tian Pow who was recently convicted by the High Court for insurance fraud. After having a spotless driving record for 20 years, he files insurance claims for eight accidents in the space of a year, five of which involved cement mixers. Can someone smell a really rotten dead rat already? As Justice Lai Siu Chiu, who presided over the case, said, it couldn’t be “anything other than a systematic course of conduct.” Now some of the motor workshops that Poh purportedly took his bus to for repairs are also under investigation. Far be it from us to tell anyone how to do their dirty deeds properly, but here’s a tip to anyone plotting a rather huge bluff—pick your co-conspirators carefully.And what about the seemingly needy people who have been knocking on doors of Muslim homes during the fasting month of Ramadan to ask for alms—the same people who are spotted flashing mobile phones and traveling in taxis? While we admit this is a compelling ploy, being sloppy enough to let your true status leak out isn’t exactly what we’d call a smart game plan.Then there are those foreigners who won’t take no for an answer. We’re referring to foreigners who’ve been banned from Singapore, and who tried to sneak into our shores recently by cutting their thumbs so that their prints wouldn’t match those on the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority’s (ICA) biometric database. We’re sorry but this just doesn’t, um, cut it (no pun intended). Where’s that extra effort, guys? Where’s your intricate scheme that’ll make your lie worth it, even if you do get caught?Honestly, if it’s getting so that even the liars can’t be bothered to try, then we really have a sorry state of affairs. If you really do need to lie, try something outrageous. You’d be surprised how many people believe the really preposterous lies, like the one about how we want to be a multi-party democracy. No, really! We’re being absolutely serious here. Honestly—would we lie?