Flat Earth: Flagpoles apart on Hill Street

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The Independent Online
THE BLUES - or at least some disconcerting vibes - have struck Hill Street in Singapore. Koh Pu Lin, an expert in the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, says the flagpole that juts into the street from the American embassy must go. The pole 'points like a cannon' at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce building and has 'generated an imbalance of emotions, affected the behaviour of Americans, their family lives and work in Singapore'.

Feng shui seeks to balance the elements, environment and other forces for a more ordered life, and the American flagstaff, to Mr Koh, is 'not in harmony with its surroundings'.

He is not entirely blaming a mere pole for the disharmony between the governments of Singapore and the US over Michael Fay, the 18-year-old sentenced to be caned for vandalism (and stealing flags). Still, he says, relations can only improve if the flagstaff is 'neutralised'.