Monday, October 29, 2007

Age

The general common perception is that experience comes with age and hence as one grows older and learns from his previous experiences and failures, he will grow to be more mature and wiser.

But this may not often be the case. From my daily interactions with people, I have observed a relatively large number of people who display a sense of maturity and wisdom which falls short of their age.

The common problem for them is their mannerism and demeanour. Some behave, talk like a child. Some enjoy fun like there is no tomorrow and do not plan for their life. Some exhibit the undesirable traits of the ‘K’s of Singaporean: Kiasu and Kiasee. Others have unhealthy mindsets.

It may also be too simplistic to associate age with maturity and wisdom. The values inculcated in the person since young, the life experiences undergone by the person and the attitude the person himself makes out of life are equally critical to shaping his character.

I cannot emphasize more strongly the point of learning. Learning can be transformational. Contrary to popular beliefs, learning is not solely from books alone. A greater part of learning is derived from the daily interaction with people. Through such interaction, one may learn valuable experiences, get insights overlooked and get motivated at times. Gradually, one will become more mature and wiser via learning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fact of life

Life is never fair. This fact of life always holds truth to a certain degree even as society progresses.

The notion of fairness derives principally from the assumptions of our moral values that we have been inculcated since young.

Such assumptions include ‘Hard work will translate to success one day’, ‘Good character and good values will deserve good returns’ and etc.

These assumptions though may be true are constantly being challenged in these times.

For instance, the notion of ‘hard work will translate to successes may no longer be true nowadays.

Though performance counts in many companies these days and thus hard work which results in good performance will merit promotions, salary increments and the like; mergers, divestments, outsourcing constantly displace employees from their workplaces. These almost immediately reduce them to zero (being jobless), erasing off their significant achievements made to the companies over the years completely.

To these displaced employees, life is never fair.

Also in some organizations, there exists a group of people who at the tender age of youth, have already their career paths charted high and well for them. They enter into their professions on a title and package that many in the organizations would never dream to achieve in their lifetimes! Subordinates under their charges may be even more capable and experienced than this group of people, however they are sidelined. Automatically each year, without fail, this group of people will automatically rises up higher and higher in the career ladder based on the assumption that their good achievement at youth will be replicated to the end of their lifetimes! No problem if this group does minimum or nothing at all, no problem if this group erases their subordinates’ name on the cover page of their report and fill in theirs.

Readers may think that I am whining, complaining of how life is unfair down here in literature but one has to be cognizant that the phenomenon I have outlined are happening right here !

Monday, October 22, 2007

Passive Smoking from Home

While it is applauding that the National Environment Agency (NEA) has banned smoking in many public places, it could do more to prevent non-smokers from passive smoking.

Like the majority of Singaporeans, I live in a HDB flat. Every night, my neighbour living one storey below me would light his cigarette up in his balcony. The smoke emanated from his cigarettes would never fail to ascend and enter my unit through the windows. Every night, my family and I would have to bear the unbearable smell of the unhealthy cigarette smoke as my unit is engulfed by it.

While the smoker is having a pleasant time indulging in his activity, my family and I have to suffer from the dreadful effects of passive smoking. What made the fact worst is the reality that we do not choose to be exposed to passive smoking, we are in the place we love most: our home. Daily, I return home after a heavy day at work to rest in my pleasant home. It is indeed unthinkable that the health of my family is being compromised by others’ actions right at the doorsteps of our own home!

Definitely, we have tried to shut our windows, but this solution has placed a burden on us. The question to ask is why should be penalized for others’ inconsiderable actions?

While it is noble that the mission of the National Environment Agency (NEA) is to care for our environment, in my current situation outlined, my environment is no longer healthy. In view of the broad definition of the term ‘environment’ which may seem to be ‘all-encompassing’, I would like to ask what would be the definition of the term ‘environment’ to NEA?

Even if private spaces like homes may not be under the purview of NEA, I believe NEA shall look into the problem of home owners putting up with passive smoking from their neighbours as part of their efforts to prevent non-smokers from passive smoking.

I believe there are dozens of citizens in Singapore facing the same plight as me.

Knowledge

There are millions and millions of books in this world, containing tons of useful knowledge to be imbibed, learnt and applied by man. The experience of human, the wisdom of sages, the worthy thinking of the philosophers are encapsulated in these tomes.

In this global era, information is rapidly growing at a phenomenal pace. One must constantly make sense of the information presented right at his face and be discerning enough to discern the worthiness of the information.

Information can only be transformed into knowledge with the right framing of the information by the perceiver of the information. The knowledge, once applied will generate possibilities beyond the imagination of the perceiver.

Knowledge is power in this era too. Reading is one route to gaining information and acquiring of excellent knowledge. Youths are the pillars of the future of our society, they should be reading more than their predecessors. It is alarming to witness that more and more of our youths are besieged by newfangled technology devices and spending valuable time in online messaging, online games rather than acquiring knowledge to improve one’s life and contribute to society.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

YAH Graduation

Singapore saw another group of citizens, mostly the aged, graduating from the YAH Community College today. The YAH (Youth At Heart) programme was a brainchild of the community institution with the aim to promote livelong learning among the senior citizens. Its other thrust is to render learning opportunities to those who were not privileged to attend schools in their younger days.

The objectives of the programme are noble. For this programme, though the graduates don a mortar board and receive their scroll on stage, much alike the graduation ceremonies in the universities, they did not graduate with a bachelor in any discipline. Critics were quick to jeer at the senior citizens for donning a fake mortar board, wearing an inauthentic graduation gown and wasting time to earn a useless certificate. Some critics went as far as to suggest that this programme was a money spinner to generate mileage from this group of learners.

What these critics fail to recognise is that the graduates of the YAH programme are not merely graduating with a certificate that will render them skills and knowledge to secure job in this new era; the graduates are graduating today with a certificate that marked a milestone in their learning. It is celebration of life! The causes are much worthier than what the common layman thinks.

Of the suggestions that the programme is a money-spinner, one should look at the costs of the programmes and be discerning enough to note that the fees for the programmes are actually very low. It may be unprofitable to a certain extent in the eyes of the common man if he calculate the revenue and expenditure of the course provider carefully.

This programme is more about the journey than the destination of life. It is sad that in this instant-gratifying society, many Singaporeans tend to emphasize on the tangible, the material aspects of life and neglect the worthier, intangible and more meaningful aspects of life.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Era

Singapore has clinched the hosting right for one of the F1 tournament games next year and coming on its radar is its bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympics.

Singapore has also expressed interest to host the upcoming Volvo ocean race and Red bull air races.

The benefits of hosting these international games of such stature are tremendous: it will inject a further boost to the Singapore’s economy and also stand Singapore in good stead in attracting tourist dollars and raising the awareness of our country.

Together with the completion of the mega-projects such as the IRs and the Singapore Flyer, these international events will create a sense of vibrancy in the local community and may inject some excitement into the lives of Singaporeans. Never has our country been more exciting before. These are certainly changes in this new era where globalisation is the buzzword and competition is greater than before.

In this new era, it is not only countries that must be constantly on the vanguard of changes and on a leading edge, denizens of the world must constantly upgrade themselves and stay relevant to the new world. Relevance to the changing needs of the world, of the global economy and of the local economy is key to survival for both countries and its people in this new era.

One can be relevant in this new economy but could still lose out to competitors; thus one must constantly stay on top of others in this new age.

To stay on top of others in this new age, learning, unlearning, relearning of new knowledge is often the buzzword. Knowledge keeps outdating itself, and one must constantly learn new knowledge.

The right type of knowledge to be acquired is important. There is no use at all if one just blindly signs up for courses.

Turning the papers everyday, I see dozens of course providers advertising their courses, be it diploma, bachelor and master programmes.

The caveat is for one to check the accreditation of the course provider. Significant amount of time and money may necessary to complete one course. Some people may have completed the course, spending time and effort, only to find that their qualifications newly earned are not useful at all in landing a higher-paying job or the job that they are seeking.

Unworthy agencies may be on the rise in Singapore as the demand for self-upgrading as well as the status of Singapore as a regional learning hub for foreigners grows.

From time to time, we read in the newspapers how some education centres suddenly closed and abandoned by their owners, leaving their students in a dilemma.

The influx of changes in our new world brings with it a multitude of opportunities and for some opportunities for exploitations too.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth or Untruth?

It was highlighted in today news that a British judge has ruled that the award-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” by former US Vice President Al Gore had presented some misleading facts and figures on global warming.

The whole world seemed to be lapping up what Al Gore had presented in his documentary and took in completely the veracity of the facts outlined in his documentary.

This brought to the point of the important role that mass media plays everyday in our lives. Many of the people has assumed that information purveyed by media are not error-free and fail to distinguish fact and fiction, opinions and facts.

Statistics, bar chars, and other graphic tools used to present information are often impressive enough and it can look quite convincing to readers and audiences. One must be discerning enough to analyze the source of the data, the means of gathering the data, and whether the data presented are one-sided and without bias.

In this age of information, technology and knowledge era, where information and knowledge spreads at the speed of lightning, the spread of distorted information will spread in a matter of seconds to affect and influence many.

For example, Terrorism leverages on technology today to spread its twisted ideologies far and apart, which can easily influence many who do not have the faculty to analyze this information and who are easily coaxed into taking up the warped ideologies.

The spread of inaccurate, biased ideas and information in this information age can have immense ramifications.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bad managers

Organizations depend on people and managers are critical to organizations. Managers need to be credible people, who are good leaders and who is able to motivate subordinates to excel in their work.

There are tons of management tenets and mantras which I will not repeat here, one can read on these elaborated text.

It is stifling and irritating to work under bad managers when you know you may be better than him or her and when your talents are constantly being stifled.

TOTO

The grand prize of $5.5 million for the TOTO draw is shared between 2 lucky winners, each bagging about $2.75 million and they have become instant millionaires, joining the ranks of the 666 000 millionaires in Singapore.

To win the top prize, one must obtain the correct 6 numbers out of a pool of 45 numbers and that mean a staggering 8145060 possible combinations and a razor-thin 0.00000123% probability of winning.

If one is gungho enough, one can buy all the possible combinations at 50 cent each and that will be to the tune of $4,0725,30. This will definitely be foolhardy as the top prize may be shared by as many as 10 or more, thus one who adopts this tactic will definitely be at a losing edge.

People who become instant millionaires via TOTO will not succumb to this rhetoric, they just need excellent luck and they got it.

Others may rely on scientific means as they study the patterns, the combinations over many previous years and there may even be others who resort to unorthodox spiritual rituals to obtain the winning numbers ……..

Different means but they are aimed to the same lofty goals.

War against Smoke

The National Environment Agency (NEA) is doing a marvelous job in putting a stem to the perennial light up of cigarettes in public places like the coffee shops, bus interchanges, pubs etc.

The thrust of the initiative, key to ensuring that non-smokers’ health are not jeopardized by passive smoking is well-founded. However the question is whether this initiative is sustainable?

The machinery of enforcement, fines and monitoring is cranked up and set to full gear but at times where there are no officers to monitor and enforce would-be offenders, the basic instinct of smokers, kicks in and it is still not uncommon to see smokers smoking at public places at times.

The effective success of the anti-smoking regulations can only be achieved through a mindset change albeit with the heavy fines, a certain deterrent effect can be achieved.

All public places may be covered with anti-smoking regulations and fines meted out to offenders when necessary, but the regulations may not be able to cover homes.

At times, my neighbours staying below my unit will greet me with cigarette smoke ascending from his balcony and I feel irritated and unhealthy with his actions.

There seems to me I can seek no solace in this case against passive smoking.

Appreciating the value of common objects

“It is only during crisis or losses that people usually treasure what they have.” “ It is only during difficult times that leadership ability is being tested “. These two sayings are commonly heard and the veracity of the sayings are often attested to.

These same sayings apply to common objects around us. One often finds that the objects around us have not much of a value unless one needs to use them urgently.

For example, we may possess many pens around us but many people may have to source for a pen urgently when he has to use it in an emergency situation and realizes he does not have one.

Many of these aforementioned problems can easily be solved by being ready: e.g. bringing a pen with you when you are out and bringing an umbrella to prepare for a sudden rainy weather. I observe such practices and often find it bewildered on seeing scores of people stranded in one place during a heavy rain, wasting valuable time to wait for the rain to cease, as they are unguarded with umbrellas.

Outlined in the preceding paragraphs is one situation in which people come to appreciate the value of common objects, another situation in which people grows to appreciate their value is during the dealing of emergencies.

I recalled once when I was stranded on a remote uninhabited island with a group of my friends. The island was completely cut off from the rest of the world with no means of communications. There were no houses or people, just the beach, the trees and the sea. However the island has been explored before, possibility by some diving or adventure groups as tracemarks of some drink cans and other marks of human civilization were found there.

As we were playing on the island, suddenly, the sky darkened and suddenly it pelted with heavy rain. The rain incessantly assaulted us and soon we realized that we were completely drenched and worst still we had to face the relentless onslaught of the cold wind.

Unable to hold out further the cold wind and the heavy thunderstorm, we decided to find something to cover ourselves, not wholly but at least partially to mitigate the assaults by the elements. After looking through items of what we could find of human civilization on the island and exploring alternatives, we finally found some discarded canvass sheets. Spreading out, we finally sought solace in these canvass sheets as they were perfect excellent shields against the relentless elements.

A common thing like canvas sheets, which we see commonly in tentages, can be summoned to noble use in times of emergencies or urgent use!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sleep

Sleep

Sleep is paramount to one’s health and well-being. However as the society progress more and more rapidly, people are generally getting busier, juggling work, family life and other commitment within the same fixed 24 hour day.

As one gets busier, sleep is even more critical, a busier person shall be getting more sleep for his body to ‘recover’ from the onslaught of the daily chores. However, this may be impossible in today’s society where the pace of life is mind-boggling, and I am talking about metropolis and cities in general, including Singapore.

Sleep is at a premium to me too and I do not sleep enough. Signs of insufficient sleep are often shown on the next working day when one yawns repeatedly and needs that constant repeated jab of caffeine from teas and coffees; however this caffeine jab does not work for me anymore.

Over time, insufficient sleep will exert adverse effects on one’s mental and physical health. The best cure is to obtain a sufficient sleep by turning into bed early; however, this is not possible for many as there is a slew of commitment to be fulfilled daily.

The next best choice will be to take quick naps over the day for the body to rest. Studies have shown a 20 min nap may do wonders to the body, erasing some of the fatigue of the tired person.

Of course, there are many others who will not be tired with just a few hours of rest per day. Some may argue that ultimately the sufficient number of hours of sleep varies from one person to another.

I am a strong advocate of sufficient and good sleep and I feel better and function better on the next working day if I had a sufficient amount of sleep the previous day. Health and sleep is inextricable in my opinion. Faced with current situation of not getting sufficient sleep, I will definitely try to take a good nap when there is a good opportunity.

Generally, with one spending a third of his life in sleep, the amount of sleep that adds up in a common man’s lifetime would be significant: 20 years or so; however sleep is a integral part of one’s life, and this applies to all animals and not confined to humans alone.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The War of Life

It has been pouring the whole of today. After the rain, the smell of the night was made even more palpable, sending my mind back to reminiscence mode as flashes of memories streaked past in my mind, reminding me of the yester-years.

It was the smell of the night, but more aptly, the smell of the jungle; when boys become men, when command and control were given to a few men who were supposed to be good officers and commanders.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. Command and control when given in a military setting, when left unchecked and used to control a bunch of innocent young men who did not have any inkling of the military law soon became hell.

Abuse, humiliation, unfair treatments were the norms of the days…… the commanders were na├»ve to think that young men in their early 20s could not distinguish between strict regimen and plain ‘tekaning’. In my two years’ stay at the now notorious army camp, I could not recall the numbers of incidents when I was subject to absurd humiliation, taunting and unfairness.

I shall not dwell on the details of these days………… I remember writing all events of my NS life on diaries which soon accumulated into thick volumes, only to be shredded into thousands pieces on re-reading it one fine day. This shall speak volumes of my NS experience.

NS is critical to Singapore, the two are inextricable. I understand the paramount importance of NS to Singapore. However, organizations do have black sheep which tarnish the image of the organization.

My days in NS were unfortunately blighted by unworthy military commanders….. but it only made me even stronger mentally and physically as I experienced countless of unnecessary hardships, tortures and experience the gamut of life. I emerged a more rugged man, not really ready to fight a military war, but ready to take on the war of life.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Autism

This morning, I had the good opportunity to visit an autism care centre on a guided tour and had a better understanding of autism and persons suffering from autism. In the context of our visit, we are being introduced to the term that the centre uses for the patients: clients.

The general public does not have a good understanding of these clients. When one sees the clients in the public, the general consensus that one gives to this disadvantaged group of people is that they are not normal, and what one will usually do is to stare at their behaviours, and at time, some unkind folks may even jeer at them. This is understandable as many of us do not comprehend their actions.

I really treasure today’s guided visit to the autism centre and I would like to share with all what I have learnt from today’s visit.

Autism is hardly detected in affected young toddlers and signs of autism in a young affected child only surface out when he or she reaches 3 years of age. When these signs are detected, their parents often believe that ‘something is just not right’ about their children till autism is confirmed by doctors and the harsh reality sinks in.

The truth is that autism is a neurological illness. It is a complex disease and the clients are in fact normal people who have suffered from a disease which hampers interaction and comprehension of the world and reality and makes their actions a misfit with the actual world.

The clients generally have a sharp visual sense and they interpret the world largely via visual means. If one is to pass messages to them through speech, they will not understand as they usually do not have a capacity to process and hence fore comprehend instructions or messages through listening. They comprehend the world visually. If you want the clients to carry out an activity, the successful way to do so is to depict the activity on a picture card to remind them. For them to carry out several activities, these activities are drawn on a series of cards and pasted on a wall; once an activity is carried out, the associated card is taken off the list and they will then comprehend the next activity as drawn on the next card.

The clients may not have a good memory and therefore visual reminders are necessary to be carried by or to be shown to them constantly to remind them of what they are going to do next. In the public, it is not uncommon to see the clients carrying some forms of cards; and the masses do not really understand this fact and just stare at what they are doing with the cards.

For autistic people to comprehend the world, pictorial illustration is paramount. The clients generally do not possess the faculty to decipher the emotions of man. A normal man may tell when another is angry, happy or sad but autistic people are not able to do so. To teach them the emotions of happy, sad, angry, etc, one needs to produce the various pictorial illustrations of these emotions. One needs to be mindful that a comprehensive list of illustrations of emotions of real people to be shown to the clients, else they will believe that to be happy is just to see a smiley face J.

Some autistic people are really visually focused to an extent that if one just slightly shifts the books placed by him on a table by a slight angle at the end of the day, the next day, he may be depressed on noticing that the book he has placed is not in the exact orientation that he has placed.

Learning is critical for all human beings. In the centre, lessons are taught to the patients largely by visual means no least.

The clients are generally viewed as people with low intelligence, but you may be surprised that some of them actually show a level of intelligence or talent that is hard to be surpassed by normal man. For example, we are told that one such patient, about 13 to 16 yrs old can play a Mozart piece on a piano with no teaching at all!

Many will often think that when a person suffers from autism, he is the only one affected. The truth is that the family of the clients suffer as well. We were being told that some parents, on reaching an advanced age, worry about their autistic child after they pass on. A few of them even contemplate the drastic thought of dying with their autism child so that they can continue to care for them in their afterlife. Their main worry is their children being uncared for after they pass on.

Stress is not experienced and confined to the autistic parents alone, siblings of the clients are affected too. We were being told that some older siblings of the clients become surrogate parents of their younger autistic sibling at a young age of four. Parent of autistic clients may spend a large chunk of their time catering to the needs of them and neglect their other children. These can lead to detriment effects on these siblings.

It is important for Singaporeans to have a deeper understanding of autistic people so that acceptance of them in our mainstream society is easier to attain and discrimination against them will reduce. Contributions to society by this group may be less or none but one needs to value them as an individuals. They have inner worth, strength and beauty to be valued by all. If it is hard for one to understand these facts, individuals born healthy shall feel we are indeed blessed and fortunate as compared to this disadvantaged lot. We shall try to engage the clients and integrate them into society, for they are also part of society.

Raison d’etre

Turning the pages of my diary, I suddenly realised that year 2007 is coming to an end suddenly. January is just like yesterday and here we are welcoming Christmas and then the Chinese New Year very very soon.

People like to make New Year resolution and with the coming close of the year, many people will tend to reflect on the new year resolutions that they had made for themselves at the beginning of the year, and whether they have been fulfilled. Unfulfilled goals will most probably become new resolutions for the New Year for them.

What have you achieved for this year so far? I believe achievements cannot be defined solely in material terms and tangible terms alone.

Achievements to many will be to earn money, get the next promotion, get a better paying job, buy a bigger car or house, there is indeed a continuum of wishes …….these achievements are definitely some achievements for the individuals and the wishes to fulfil these achievements are understandable and inevitable in modern and affluent Singapore.

The crux of the problem arrives when Singaporeans view achievements on a wholly material dimension. Looking at Singapore society currently, the spiritual quotient of Singaporeans is lacking and youths seem to gravitate towards a materialistic lifestyle, judging by the common behaviour of youths in the public.

Looking at today news, Singaporeans are ranked the lowest in the region for ‘life satisfaction’. This is not surprising to me. As outlined above, Singaporean mainly view life satisfaction in practical and material terms. If Singaporean are to pursue spiritual satisfaction, we will go up in the index.

I believe in spiritual satisfaction of life, it is an important component of life. It will make one strong and ready to take on the vagaries of life and encompasses many more. It is the overarching bedrock of life.

To achieve spiritual satisfaction, one needs to set spiritual goals and align daily activities in tandem with the goals.

Learning, learning how to overcome problems. self improvement, making a difference to others, cultivating good moral relationships with others, learning to be happy, are just some examples of such actions.

Keeping fit is another way to maintain fitness, maintain an alert mind which in turn promotes spiritual satisfaction.

There is no denying the fact that one needs to excel in career but this should not be the sole raison d’etre.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

4.68

Reported in the news not too long ago was the fact that Singapore’s population has reached a figure of 4.68 million! This number includes the close to 1 million PRs and foreigners living and working in our island.

The government has in the months before, unveiled its land use plan to cater for a possible population of 6.5 million. This created some ruckus among Singaporeans who have questioned the feasibility of accommodating this figure on our tiny island.

With the population increase, is it any wonder if I find myself being in the midst of an increasing crowd these days on the MRTs, in the shopping centres on weekends and even in my neighbourhood?

I find myself lost amidst the increasing throngs, outside of the hectic schedule of work, I need a breather. I need some place quiet, some place remote to do this …….

The place for such sacred places is getting more and more scare ………

I do know of one sacred place for to take a breather and imbibe in the natural surroundings and be completely at rest and peace with oneself momentarily.

It is Changi village beach, I think it may be last vestige of untouched urban Singapore………. and it is getting more and more crowded…………

Man and Environment

Charles Darwin’s evolution theory postulates that it is not the most intelligent man who will survive, and neither the strongest, but the one who is most adapt to changes.

In this rapid changing era where change is the buzzword, man always find himself adapting to the new era. It is no longer a choice to be adaptable in this century, it is a MUST.

Technologies keep outdating itself, new knowledge is relentlessly being created, new things are always on the move. Faced with the vortex of change, man has to learn, unlearn and relearn to make sense of the changing world.

Today’s winners are learners.

But not all learners are winners, the crux depends on what things you learn.

Today’s economy is geared towards future, man has to learn about future, predict future and control future rather than being held hostage by the unknowns of the future.

Singapore is entering into an exciting era. Singapore is entering into new industries like the IRs, the biomedical fields, and imbibing new ideas into the country and experimenting with novel ideas: F1, Singapore Eye, Youth Olympics and the casinos.

The age of the old era is no longer here. The age of the iron rice bowl is no longer here. One career hinges on the competencies one develops, hencefore the importance of constant upgrading, a point stressed so often by the government.

I feel irked when people told me that the government still owes them a living. These people are trapped in their mentality and have not come to terms with the new world.

In this era, one’s future hinges on oneself.

Food

Singapore is a haven for food lovers, with a whale of food centres and restaurants offering a host of cuisine, pampering the tastebuds of the mass.

Food centres have been renovated into spacious, hygienic dining places for all. Caterers have to pass through stringent checks on hygiene, food processing etc. The image of food centres is constantly been revamped.

Though all measures seem to be in place to ensure a good quality of food and dining place, I still lament on the quality of food being served in the food centres.

The benchmark of quality in my opinion is neither the taste of the food, nor the hygienic standard. Though these two criteria are paramount, another key criteria is how healthy the food is.

I believe some of the food served in our food centres may be too oily, or loaded with too many salt, MSG.

It will take a discerning tastebud to discover the excesses of oil, salt, MSG present in food.

With the majority of Singaporeans working and hencefore eating out lunch and sometimes dinner and breakfast almost daily, the choice of food to partake outside of homes is one that many Singaporeans make everyday.

With diet and exercise being the immutable determinants of health, this choice is one that individuals make important decisions on everyday.

The MSG, salt and oil present in food may be significant: it depends on the nature of food and the way the food preparer prepares the food.

We eat to fill our stomachs, we pay to fulfill this need when outside. But a solemn thought will be that we may be paying to be killed gradually if we choose unhealthy food everyday.

I will not delve on the effects of cholesterol and MSG on health as we are constantly bombarded by the slew of health messages from National Health Board (and I think it is good that health education is being emphasized so strongly in Singapore).

For myself, I go for less oil, less MSG and less fried food. But too often a time, I feel disappointed after patroning a new food stall when I find my tongue and mouth cloaked in oil and MSG.

I feel disgusted too.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Are the Mynamar monks all silenced??

See Report


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