Sunday, January 31, 2010

Singapore Cats

Singapore calls itself a Lion City, after its founder, Sang Nila Utama encountered a lion, as the legend goes. However, in modern Singapore, you cannot see any lions in Singapore except in the Singapore Zoological Gardens… of course!


However, there are thousands of cats roaming the streets of Singapore. You may ask how these stray cats manage to survive in Singapore. Well I believe most of these stray cats will still manage to ‘eke out a living’ off the rubbish and litter dumps of the hundreds of hawker centres scattered around the whole of Singapore. Remember, Singapore is a food paradise, as such I believe there should be no problem for these stray cats to survive as there should be enough food for them to just barely subsist on.


There are some fortunate stray cats though in Singapore. They are well-fed owing to some kind Singapore cat lovers feeding them daily. Near my house, two fat cats, one male and female hardly move a din away from their regular spot in a void deck where days after days, a lady will come and replenish a plate meant for them with cat food. These two cats have hence no problems with life. They do not need to hunt for food and just wait for food to be delivered to them just like some lucky Singaporeans who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths right from their birth.


Some cats are not lucky though, they need to search for food as the videos below will show:





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Friday, January 29, 2010

Singapore Air Show 2010

Singapore Air Show 2010 will be here again! Members of the public who would like to catch the stunning aerial displays would be able to do so on 6 and 7 Feb, which is next weekends!

I have been to the Air Show two years back. There was a long queue of visitors to the show and the clearance process into the exhibition venue was slow, due to the security screening. If you are heading for the show, do bring along your umbrellas for most likely, you would be standing under the hot sun for sometime before entry.

Anyway, the wait would be okay for how often can members of the public enter into an airbase and be up, close and personal with the slew of aircraft on display?

However, I found it a tad sad that the audio advertising of the event at MRT stations is just in the format of the "John Little Sales" ! The script as well as the narrator are almost similar and for once I thought another John Little Sales is on coming! The organizers could have afforded a better advertising message since it has already invested so much in the show.


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yan Junru

Barely two weeks after Cheryl Tan Qiwei, a student from the National Technological University (NTU) has committed suicide by plunging to her death from her 24th storey flat, another 21-year old student, Ms Yan Junru has also took the same route to end her life!

What a bad piece of news to have hit NTU these years! Last year, we have the infamous David Widjaja also a student from NTU, stabbing his Professor and plunging to his death (committing suicide), then we had another Assistant Professor from the same institution and faculty (Engineering) committing suicide shortly after David Wijaja's death. It turned ouyt Yan Jinru was also from Engineering! I did not know whether Cheryl Tan Qiwei was also from Engineering too.

Many have pointed finger saying that it is study stress which led to the rampant suicides of young undergraduates these days. Is NTU, in particular, NUS so pressurizing? I do not know though some of my friends who been through NTU found it was super pressurizing than the other universities.

If one can cite exam stress, one may also cite that all these tragedies may be linked to ghostly causes too.

Some others said that suicide has now become a trend in Singapore. It has become an easy way out for teenagers to solve their problems. A young couple, a man and a lady, both students had also committed suicide few months earlier to solve their problems: the lady has committed theft and the man has committeed sex with a minor. Both of them plunged off from their apartments, leaving behind the written causes for their deaths.

Indeed, an increasing suicide of young folks in Singapore has emerged! In my belief, these young folks who chose to end their lives to escape from reality are really irresponsible! They owe a great deal to their parents for their time, effort and money bringing them up from infant, to child to adult. Their sufferings may end with their suicides but they left behind a legacy of misery to their bereaving families.



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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chinatown Light up

Witness the annual bursting of firecrackers once again tonight as Chinatown celebrates Chinese New Year with the annual Chinese New Year light up!

There will be stage performances, lion dances and a slew of other stunning performances such as acrobats and singers from other countries. The signature item of the light up will be the lighting and bursting of the firecrackers! Last year, my wife and I were standing right in front of the firecrackers and I must tell you my eardrums suffered a beating due to the very high decibel of the fire cracking activity! I could hardly covered my ears with my hands as I was busily and happily filming the whole of the rare fire cracking process, similar to what others did!

Expect a lot of jostling and jams of people in Chinatown if you are making your way there. There would be scores of China Chinese foreign workers as usual flocking to Chinatown, adding up to the myriads of people there! I will be going to the Light Up tonight with my wife if time permits, meanwhile read all about what happened during Chinese New Year last year right here!


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Friday, January 22, 2010

Chan Brothers Travel

Chan Brothers Travel Private Sales is currently on! From 21 Jan to 27 Jan, thereare some great discounts going for, especially for travel packages to Asia! So what are you waiting for? Visit http://www.chanbrothers.com/static/21Jan_micro2010_cbt_private_sale/cbt_private_sale.cfm
now!



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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Online Games

There exist a large gamut of online games these days over the internet, many of which are free and easily downloadabe from the internet. I believe all of us adults are still kids in nature, thus many adults these days are still lapping up the latest offerings in online games, whether these are paid or free. It is great to let our hair down on weekends or weekday nights playing such online games else coping with the daily demand of life is too taxing. Online gaming will still continue to carve out its niche as a lucrative business!

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Universal Studios Singapore

Stop playing your online games such as Heroes Online games, Habbo, start playing real games now! In Singapore, where land in scare, it is hard to find places where one can play real outdoor games, but the wait is now no more! Universal Studios in Sentosa is now open! It is reported in the news that Universal Studios in Sentosa, Singapore will most likely open next week though Resort World where Universal Studios is based, has already opened for business yesterday 20 Jan 2010.

Just a few days ago, Universal Studios has announced its plan to build another theme park in South Korea which will be due for completion in year 2014. With the later opening of the Korea theme park, I believe the competition between Singapore Resort World and its Korea theme park may be minimal.

In Asia, Universal Studios has also a theme park in Osaka, Japan. Though theme parks are by themselves, generally typically identical, I believe the experience one get from visiting these themepark hinges on the customer service as well as people whom they meet and interact with in their visit to these themeparks. Another important factor is the offerings of each theme park as these vary slightly with different theme parks in different countries. This experience is similar to playing multi-player online games! The experience of each game depends on who you play with! If you play online games with boring friends, then how can your online gaming experience turn out to be fun and great?

The Universal Studios outdoor experience in Singapore will be a very Sunny one as it is unbearably hot and humid in Singapore. I will try visiting the theme park on cooler days. In the meanwhile, I will still play my favorite online games!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where the Wild Things are

This movie, “Where the Wild Things are” may not be shown in Singapore afterall as the distributors fear that its theme may too scary for kids.


Actually, looking at the giant furry monster, as an adult, I also find it fearful. It may be right that the distributor decided not to bring the movie back to Singapore as somehow the scenes do seem rather disturbing to me though the story plot of the movie is good.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Resort World Sentosa Opens

Resort World Sentosa will open tomorrow on 20 Jan 2010. I have definitely read much of what is to be expected of Resort World Sentosa in the newspapers and other mass media recently and hence I feel thrilled that a world-class attraction will be taking root in our home country soon!

One needs not travel all the way to Osaka, Japan to have a taste of the Universal Studios as Singapore will have its very own Universal Studio at Resort World Sentosa. The challenge, I believe is to replicate the excellent experiences one have at Universal Studios in other parts of the world right here in our doorsteps!

I have visited Hong Kong Disneyland last year and left the place a tad disappointed as the experience afforded by the theme park is not as excellent as one can find in USA. Hence, no doubt Singapore has its very own universal studios right here in Sentosa, the creation of that magical experience, befitting that of a great theme park is paramount.

Also, the Singapore authorities must ensure that it does not replicate the experiences of Universal Studios in other parts of the world lock, stock and barrel. Singapore must inject its very own local flavor to make the Universal Studio experience in Singapore truly and uniquely Singaporean. The challenges therefore are double-folded. Customer service in Singapore Resort world must level up to global standards.

As Singapore resort world opens tomorrow, it will be very soon that we will hear what others will say of the attractions there. I believe Singapore will do a great job as what it does for every other project though having fun rides in Universal Studio outdoors right here in Sentosa can be really challenging due to the unbearable heat and humidity!

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Learning Languages

Just some weeks ago, Minister Mentor Lee had told Singaporeans that it is near impossible to be a master of two languages and in the context of Singapore, these two languages are English and mother tongue. With the majority of Singaporeans being Chinese, Minster Mentor Lee has acknowledged that it is difficult for an average Chinese Singaporean student to master both languages at the same time. I truly agree with Minister Mentor as over my growing up years, I can really admit that I am better in Chinese/ Mandarin as compared to English.This does not mean that my English is not good or lousy; I write and speak English to a fair degree of decency, just that deep in my heart, there is one master language which I know I am better at and which I have mastered to a higher level of competency than the other, which others may not know. Similarly for you and others, up close and personal, you will know the language that they would have mastered better than the other.

I believe family upbringing exerts a paramount and integral influence on which language a growing child is better in. If a child comes from a Mandarin-speaking background, inevitably, he would grow up, more conversant in Mandarin and better in Chinese. Similarly, if a child comes from an English-speaking family, he would grow up to be better in English.

I just watched a reality show on Channel 8 which featured a normal child being born and brought up by a mute couple who could not speak. As a result, the normal child now could not speak a single word and could only relate and converse with others using the languages he is taught in: sign language. I pity the child as his parents are not able to communicate with him and satisfy the myriads of curious questions he has about life. The child appeared to be frustrated as a result due to the fact that his parents could not communicate to him, understand his needs and satiate his curiosity needs.

No man is an island. The ability to speak and write well, make oneself understood by others is a key asset in today’s increasingly networked world!


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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Illuma Bridge

In Singapore, there are over hundreds of bridges around the island, allowing Singaporeans to cross from one point of the island to another one safely. Actually, using the word ‘Singaporeans’ is an understatement, for living on this little red dot, are millions of other permanent residents and foreigners which number to a whopping one million plus in totality! Anyway, these ‘foreign talent’ (a word which is unique to Singapore) is not my muse for today, for I should blog about the most famous bridge in Singapore.

Few years back, when you ask a Singaporean which is the most famous bridge in Singapore, the result is unanimous: Woodbridge! If you are not a Singaporean or living in Singapore for too long, you will not be able to get the joke. Woodbridge is actually the name of Singapore’s only mental hospital which is rebranded as the Institute of Mental Health today; it is not a description of a bridge made of wood. Fast forward to today, if you were ask which is the most famous bridge in Singapore, the reply, especially among Singapore’s youth would be the Illuma bridge!
Illuma is the name of the newest shopping centre nestled in Bugis, just opposite to Bugis Junction. Illuma bridge is the bridge jutting out of Illuma, however it is not merely a bridge, this bridge is a shopping bridge which contains a slew of shop in its interior.

The construction of the Illuma bridge sparked a torrent of discussion and criticism. Illuma bridge is a perfect bridge of its own. There is a destination, an end point at the other end of this bridge, however, the beef is on the ending point of this bridge.
When a bridge such as Illuma is built between Illuma Shopping Centre and Bugis Juction, it is natural to think that this bridge should, without a doubt link the two shopping centres together. However Illuma bridge does not connect these two shopping centres together. Shoppers from Illuma shopping centre using the bridge will have to go down an escalator at the other end of the bridge to find themselves on the road opposite to Illuma shopping complex while others can do vice versa.
The non-connection of this bridge to Bugis Junction is due to the fact that such connection would posses some intrusion and disruption to the business on the particular side of Bugis Junction, however such a connection is not ruled out in the future.

The Illuma bridge serves to alleviate the huge crowds of pedestrians crossing from Illuma shopping centre to Bugis Junction daily at all times. Using this bridge for the first time with my wife yesterday, I felt that this bridge has served well its purpose. Anyway this bridge is the start of the shopping experience at Illuma and not merely a bridge.

At the other end of this Illuma bridge is the wall, which when fallen down will link one to Bugis Junction! I would like to describe this piece of wall as the Berlin Wall of Singapore and Bugis Junction and Illuma were like East and West Germany and shoppers in Singapore shall await the fall of this Berlin Wall!

Chief of Defence Force

Major-General Neo Kian Hong, currently Chief of Army will take over from Lieutenant-General Desmond Kuek Bak Chye as Chief of Defence Force come 1 Apr 2010.

If you have been observant enough, it has most often been the case of the Chief of Army becoming the Chief of Defence (except for Bey Soo Khiang, who was Chief of Airforce before becoming the Chief of Defence). However, this is not to say that the Chiefs of Navy are not good, in fact Teo Chean Hean, now the Deputy Prime Minister and Lui Tuck Yew now the acting Minister for Information, Communication and Arts were Chiefs of Navy before. George Yeo, Foreign Affairs Minister and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were also Army Brigadier-Generals before while trade and industry minister, Lim Hng Kiang were ex-Lieutenant Colonel in Army too. The highest military rank: Lieutenant –General (LG) (3 Stars) in Singapore goes to the Chief of Defence.

However, most of the Colonels, Brigadier-Generals do not necessary need to become the Chiefs of Army, Navy, Airforce, Staff and Defence as a promotion, many of them enter into the elite administrative service of the Singapore’s civil service after serving as commander of divisions to head Statutory boards as CEOs or become Deputy Secretaries or Permanent Secretaries of Ministries.

Let us trace back the history of the Chief-of-Defence who had served Singapore:

Winston Choo Wee Leong:

1st Singapore’s Chief of Defence for 18 years from 1974 to 1992. He was also chairman of the Singapore Red Cross Society for 12 years up till 2008. He is currently Singapore's non-resident ambassador to Israel.

Ng Jui Ping

2nd Singapore’s Chief of Defence from 1992 to 1995. Upon retiring from his military career, General Ng chose to enter the private sector. Between 1995 and 2003, he held various positions including Deputy Chairman of the Central Provident Fund Board, Singapore; Chairman of Chartered Industries of Singapore Pte Ltd; Corporate Advisor, Singapore Technologies Pte Ltd; Corporate Advisor, Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd; Chairman, Singapore Technologies Automotive Ltd and Chairman, Ordnance Development & Engineering of Singapore (1996) Pte Ltd. He is currently a board Director with PSA.


Bey Soo Khiang:


Singapore’s third Chief of Defence for 5 years from 1995 to 1st Apr 2000. He was Chief of Airforce before he became Chief of Defence. Currently, he is Chairman of SIA Cargo.

Lim Chuan Poh:

Took over from Bey Soo Khiang from 1st Apr 2000 as 4th Chief of Defence. Lim Chuan Poh was formerly Chief of Army. He served as Chief of Defence for 3 years till 1 Apr 2003. After his relinquishment of Chief of Defence, he became the Permanent Secretary of Education and now the Chairman of A*STAR.


Ng Yat Chung

5th Chief of Defence from 1 Apr 2003 to 23 Mar 07. Currently he is the Senior Managing Director in Temasek Holdings.

Desmond Kuek Bak Chye

6th Chief of Defence from 23 Mar 07 to 1 Apr 10. He will return to the Administrative Service after his relinquishment of the top post in defence.

Neo Kian Hong

7th Chief of Defence from 1 Apr 10.


The current Chief of Staff, BG Chan Chun Sing, from Infantry vocation will take over from MG Neo Kian Hong as Chief of Army from 1 Apr 10. I believe Chan Chun Sing will take over as Singapore’s 8th Chief of Defence in 3 years’ time.

Let us see the vocation each Chief of Defences hail from:


LG(RET) Winston Choo (Signal)LG(RET) Ng Jui Ping (Artillery)LG(NS) Bey Soo Kiang (Air Force)LG(NS) Lim Chuan Poh (Armour)LG Ng Yat Chung (Artillery)
LG Kuek Bak Chye (Armour)
MG Neo Kian Hong (Guards) - most likely resume LG after his appointment as Chief of Defence



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Friday, January 15, 2010

Return your trays please

The Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) has launched a new movement yesterday to remind diners to clear their leftovers and return their trays once they have done with their meals. SKM has partnered with fast food joints here for its latest movement.

Though Singapore has now become one of the top global cities, it is really a shame that this movement has to be institutionized. Clearly, kindness, social graciousness and courtesy for others are rare traits in Singaporeans. Despites years of campaigns and educations, social graciousness has not really sink into Singaporeans and one can still witness acts of ungracious social behaviors taking centrestage each day: littering, no giving up of seats to elderly in trains, spitting among others.

I believe Singaporeans’ way of living are hard to change. This is basically the reason why the ‘Bring your own bag’ day are not successful too.

One day, if all Singaporeans return their trays after partaking of food and never litter, we will make for a truly gracious society, however the axe will also fall on the cleaners and officers who issue summons!


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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Google Exit from China

Google has planned to exit from China after its website has been attacked by malicious Chinese hackers.

Google is indeed pervasive and an extremely brilliant creation. I have read two books on Google’s operation. Indeed, Google wants to know information of as many people as possible.If you have a Gmail, you would probably see ads on the sidebars of your inbox. You may not known that each of these messages in your inbox are scanned for their content so that the relevant ads pertaining to these contents are displayed besides your inbox pages so that there will be more chance for you to click and Google to earn money!


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NATAS Travel 2010

Year 2010 has just entered into its second week. It may be too early to start planning for your travel and tour plans but as the adage goes: “Time and Tide waits for no man”, so if you want to travel to Japan, travel to China, travel to Europe or travel to any other countries, this is the time to start planning now! Good news are here! The first NATAS Travel fair for this year 2010 will be held soon, details as follows:

NATAS Travel Fair 2010

Date: 26 Feb 10 (Fri) to 28 Feb 10 (Sun)
Time: 10 am to 10 pm
Venue: Singapore Expo Hall 4 and 5
Admission charges: $4 per adult, free for children below 12 years of age

I notice that the admission charge per adult has increased by 1 dollar to $4! Wow, it is really expensive now to get into the travel fair! This cost must be the price one pays for the myriad of travel brochures one will receive inside the fair! Just kidding!

NATAS Travel Fair is really a travel fair not to be missed! I have booked my two tours last year at great prices from the fair and so I am looking forward again to the travel fair!Some tips for getting the best bargains in the travel fair: try to go to the fair early, if possibly, the first day, as the best deals are also offered on the first day, from my experience though I do have my critics too!

Secondly, plan where you want to travel first. If you do not have a country in mind for your travel, you will be inundated with many attractive offers till you will not know where to go. For me, I will decide on the country to go, check out as many well-trusted travel agents, using a piece of paper to jot down each of their strengths and weakness of their offers and then decide!

There are many budget travel firms joining in the travel fair, I think more and more Singaporeans are giving them a consideration though big brand names like Chan Brothers, Nam Ho, 5 Stars, Dynasty, ASA travel still rule the roost in the travel industry in Singapore.

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McDonald’s Chinese New Year 2010 collectibles

McDonald’s Singapore restaurants have recently launched a Chinese New Year small soft toy collectibles in conjunction with the coming Chinese Lunar month. These soft toy collectibles are 12 little Doraemon charms, decked out in the animal signs of the Chinese Zodiac. By logic, there should be a charm representing each of the 12 animal signs, however, the restaurant management has replaced the charm of last Chinese zodiac sign, the pig with that of cupid. This has since raised quite a brouhaha among Singaporeans.

Singaporeans know the logic behind the restaurant’s move to replace the pig is due to religious sensitiveness: ‘Pig’ is taboo to Muslims. However, Chinese Singaporeans lamented that in not selling the whole complete set of zodiac signs, there is some form of injustice and insensitiveness perpetuated to the Chinese populace here. Lovers of the collectibles may also fret not owning a complete set of the 12 zodiac signs and non-Muslim collectors born in the year of the pig will not be able to owe a charm of their signs.

As we all know, Mcdonald’s in Singapore is a Halal restaurant, which is defined as a restaurant selling food fit for consumption in religious terms to the Muslims. However, not all Mcdonald’s in the world are halal restaurants, when I was in Taiwan ten years back, I ate pork burgers which are not on the menu of Mcdonald’s Singapore restaurants.

In this matter, I believe that Mcdonald’s Singapore should have introduced the pig charm and the cupid charm both at the same time and offer them as choices. For Muslims and those who do not want to collect the pig , they can collect the cupid and vice-versa, this decision is simple and take into account the sensitiveness of both races and religions.

Boon Lay Garden Primary School made headline news in Feb 2008 when it certified its canteen as ‘Halal’. Officers were deployed to ensure students bring only Halal food into the canteen for consumption. Many deride the school’s move as unwise and on its wasting of resources to check on the food brought by students when these could be better deployed in areas like school security.

SingPost’s Inkman stunt made the first marketing flop in Singapore this year, I am afraid Mcdonald’s Chinese New Year marketing stint made it the second flop.



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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

City Alive! 2010


Singapore's biggest street dance party returns, this time to a new party venue at the Pit Building. City Alive! 2010 promises party-revellers yet another night of pumping action as they witness the transformation of the tracks in front of Pit Building into an out-of-this-world party venue!

My Dear and I have participated in City Alive! 2009 and we had hours of fun, read this post to learn more the excitement on that night!

Party-revellers will expect a night of adrenaline rush as they party the night away with international acts such as Space Cowboy (Digital Rock Star - UK), DJ Sarasa a.k.a Silverboombox (Japan), Singapore’s very own DJ Andrew T and DJ Inquisitive dishing out Hip Hop/R&B/Electro-pop grooves.

Also expect a host of exciting activities, such as the ultimate B-boys battle between All Area Crew from Japan against Singapore's own Radikal Forze., UV stilt walkers and many more, to bring the party anthem to the heart of the city!

The minimum age of entry to City Alive! 2010 is 18 years old. Advance tickets are available at all Sistic authorised agents at www.sistic.com.sg and the Sistic Hotline via (+65) 6348 5555 at $15 for PAssion cardholders and $20 for general public. Event day tickets will be priced at $28 at the door. All ticket prices include one standard drink.

Log on to www.cityalive.sg for more details!


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Monday, January 11, 2010

Life and time management



These few days, I am really really busy, with hardly a time to breathe, this may explain for the uninteresting blog posting on my blog recently. I really can feel the stress of modern day living on this little red island. There are simply too many personal committments.


Every morning, when I board the train, it is as though I enter into a coffin as most of the passengers are standing like dead fishes, crammed in a super-packed sardine can. Many of us, the passengers are simply too tired and are simply dozing off and catching a sleep.

There are too many Singaporeans who are leading an average lifestyle as salaried employees, working many hours, clocking in overtimes just to survive in this super high-paced and high-stressed societies. To many, there is simply no way out to escape from this lifestyle of an average salaried employee. In this everchanging economy, having a job to support the family is already a fortunate thing to many. Of course, everyone wants to do well in their career, earn more monies and succeed in life.

With many of us working as employees, spending so much of our time at work to earn our wages, we come home every night late and tired, hardly having the time to do what we want to do. For those with families, the precious little time that he or she has are to be spent even more productively as it is definitely more challenging with family committments. Come weekends, many of Singaporeans take the time to spend with their families, to laze around and relax at home.

This trend will keep recurring year after year, with little time on weekday night to do what one has always wanted and all the time on weekends devoted to other recreational and relaxing activities, as such, it is not surprising that for many, their new year resolutions are always not fulfilled as they simply do not have the time.

For those who want success and achieve their goals, time management is paramount. One has to learn to sacrifice the time for some activities he enjoys in order to plough back this time to doing something much more beneficial to his life goals.

It can really be challenging to ditch that old habit of coming home and adopting the easy way out to watch hours and hours of TV for something more construcitive as man is a creature of habit. But if one does not want to do the sacrifice and do the things he has also wanted to do, then when is a good time?

The greatest regret in life is finding it too late and too old to do something you have always wanted to achieve. As such, we should make use of life now.

I acknowledge it is definitely not easy to make the first move, to spend your precious little tired hours every weekday night to do something extra, something that benefit. But it is never too late and small efforts each day do add up to something transcendent over time.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Singapore voyeurs and exhibitionists



Are Singapore becoming more and more voyeuristic? The recent news seems to suggest so.

At the countdown party in Sentosa Siloso beach, a girl scantily clad in a bikini was

held and molested by 4 men vigorously. Singapore partygoers just watched the molestation of the helpless lady, with many taking out their handphones, cameras and videocams, busily taking videos and photos of the perverse act, with nobody lifting a finger to help or even calling for the men to stop! See:
http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/caught_in_the_act/300934/countdown_party
_molest_how_can_heartless_sporeans.html

Also occurring on the long weekends of the new year, party-goers and night owls watched in horror as a man with his face masked in black plastic went around the island vandalizing mailboxes belong to Singpost, spraying ink and creating graffti on these mailboxes calmly and nonchalantly, to the horror of passer-bys. He called himself ‘Inkman’ and it was shocking that despites the significant length of time he spent vandalizing these mailboxes, no Singaporean dared to stop him or to even shouted to him to stop. Instead, Singaporean passer-bys took out their cameras and video cameras once again, shot a slew of photos and videos of the vandal and his vandalizing act and posted them online. These eventually hit the headlines news and the police stepped in to investigate the case until Singpost apologized that this vandalism act was their marketing gimmick in support of the Singapore Youth Olympics. See:

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_474487.html

http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/caught_in_the_act/300172/first_holland_v_now_bt_batok.html

When the photo of the vandal was published on the newspapers, I was also shocked that such thing actually took place in Singapore. It did not matter that this vandalism act was now make known as a publicity stunt which was in bad taste and went awry as together with the aforementioned molestation case, these two incidents spoke of the civic consciousness of Singaporeans as a whole!

As a Singaporean, I am alarmed at the actions of the Singaporeans. What happened to the civic consciousness of Singaporeans? It seems that when Singaporeans now see a crime taking place, people needing help, all they would do first would be to whip out their handphones or cameras, shoot these photos and videos, upload onto websites and blogs to be the first to break these hot news, so as to garner lots of eyeballs to their contributions and make a fame for themselves!

Singaporeans have become voyeuristic. The ill effects of the internet have seemed to rub off on Singaporeans. With the advent of the internet, besides becoming more voyeuristic and less civic-minded as mentioned earlier, Singaporeans have become more exhibitionistic, making videos of themselves; some even shot videos of themselves making love and bullying others.

Some years ago, a Singaporean professional was beaten by a group of youths till he died. What was shocking was that the youths recorded all their beating and their perverted laughing and taunting of the poor man as they beat him on their handphones and posted them online. At that time, it was a fashion to record such acts on handphones and share with the world. In Singapore, we also read of school bullies beating up their classmates, molesting, raping ragging, asking their classmates to do perverse sexual acts, record and post them to Youtube and the slew of online social networking medium.

It seems that the new internet tools have undermined our social norms and mores.


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Monday, January 04, 2010

Wendy’s Singapore

On the eve of New Year 2010, my wife and I finally visited Wendy’s Singapore! Yes, the restaurant which has returned to Singapore after slightly more than a decade (read my earlier post).

After navigating through the Lau Pa Sat hawker centre, with a hawker tout hot and persistent on our trail, we managed to locate the fast food restaurant, nestled at a remote corner outside the hawker centre. Business was brisk at the restaurant with hardly any seat in sight for my wife and I. However, soon we managed to clinch a seat for two.

The counter sale staff were a bit slow in their operation, and hence it took some waiting time to secure our ordering. I believe it was understandable as Wendy’s has just commenced operation.

I ordered the signature triple-patty (3 quarter pound) burger meal and a chicken burger set for my wife. The triple-patty burger was super shiok! The beef were grilled so that they were succulent and melted in my mouth! Oh, my wife and I love Wendy’s! The Kopitiam Group will put some 50 over Wendy’s in Singapore. I wish there would be one Wendy’s near my house too. Hehe!


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Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Marina Bay was the place to be last night with an estimated 20,000 Singaporeans, permanent residents and foreigners at the venue for the countdown and the brilliant fireworks.

My wife and I were at Asian Civilization Museum countdown party and Clarke Quay before heading down to usher in year 2010 with the thousands of folks.

At the Asian Civilization Museum, the mood was relaxed with families and friends seated serenely on the lawn while others checked out the exhibits in the museum on its open house night. Disc jockeys spun a medley of great songs and there was a galore of free coke: thousands of 500 ml bottled coke drinks were given to all! There were also limited free food and tonic.

Just a stone’s throw away, the festive mood in Clarke Quay was boiling high with mobile percussionists, fire-eaters and stuntmen roaming around, enthralling everyone with their acts. There was also a large free concert with local bands revving up the spirits of the crowd. Needlessly to say, Clarke Quay was jammed packed with crowds as well.

Close to 11 pm, my wife and I made our way back to the Esplanade area which had, by then, burst its seams with people. We took a detour when a policeman denied entry to more crowds.

Everyone eagerly waited for the fireworks:

And when the fireworks came so magically at the stroke of midnight, cheers of “Happy New Year” greeted the skies and everyone was spellbound at the magnificent display of the fireworks!



Happy New Year 2010!

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