Thursday, September 08, 2011
Saturday, October 30, 2010
There are now many people of diverse backgrounds in Bedok. The majority is the elderly and there are many foreigners too. The ways and behaviours of the foreigners is not something Singaporeans can accept readily.
I have seen a China lady throwing an umbrella, just brushing me centimetres away after a tiff with her boyfriend. Such a behaviour is not readily accepted in Singapore.
Alright, now coming back to my main story, my wife and I were inundated or overwhelmed with tissue sellers in the hawker centres. The first such seller who approached me was an old lady with her middle-aged daughter. Then the second one was a China young man.
For the first seller, why did the daughter bring her aging old mother out to sell tissues? The sight is not a healthy one as I am thinking whether she is riding on her old mother's plight to gain sympathy to trade for a income.
The second seller is even worse. He is a young man, fit and look reasonably strong, why did he sell tissue papers?
Actually the sales of tissue papers at food centres is not wrong. When people are eating, then there is a need for tissues if they do not bring any. It may deem alright to buy when there is a need, or out of sympathy.
But for me, even if I sympathise with the many dozens of old men and women hawking their tissues around, and ask the diners, one by one,I will still not buy simply because in Chinese, there is a saying: "A meal is more important than even the time the Emperor seeks you for an audience. "
I think people need to be self-reliant through a job and not through sympathy or selling their bodies.
Friday, July 30, 2010
You would need at least $190 million to be in list of the top 40 richest men in Singapore.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
I believe the measures will only achieve limited success as littering is really a personal habit. The new measures, which are just strengthened existing measures will only deter litterbugs from littering in places with heavier traffic such as in shopping areas for fear that an enforcement officer be in ‘ambush’. In places with no or few people nearby, I think the natural instinct for litterbugs is to chuck their litter onto the floor even though a litter bin may be just nearby. Hence I believe the authorities should send enforcement officers, in plain clothes, to places with lesser human traffic such as the void decks and target the litterbugs in these places too to send the message that: “Litterbugs are everywhere but we are also everywhere!”
Sunday, January 17, 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
Visit Singapore Short Stories for more interesting reads NOW!
Thursday, January 07, 2010
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:
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:
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.
Visit Singapore Short Stories for more interesting reads NOW!
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Some months ago, I went to a polyclinic to see a doctor after falling ill to a bout of stomachache and diarrhoea.
As I entered the consultation room, I saw the bespectacled doctor behind his desk asking me to take a seat and enquiring me on the illness I had. Next he proceeded to check for the symptoms, a part of the routine procedure. I opened my mouth during the process for him to take a look at the throat using his specialized equipment, it was to my surprise and shock when he suddenly grimaced in front of me, raising his voice to me to open my mouth a little bit bigger. The suddenly change of attitude and mood shocked me and it was also an unprofessional conduct coming from a general practitioner. This doctor seemed mad and looked mad.
Few months passed and one day on my way to work, I bumped into the doctor who was walking in the other direction towards my estate. He wore office wear and I presumed that he is now working in a hospital in my estate. This young doctor wore a happy expression on his face and was smiling and talking to himself as he walked. Strange fellow.
For the next few months till today, I will quite regularly see this young doctor on my way to work, always talking and smiling to himself, oblivious to the glances eagle-eyed passer-bys may cast on him. As the self-expression were subtle and made while the doctor was walking, not many people might have notice the doctor’s strange behaviour, but I was conscious of this doctor due to my nasty encounter at his consultation room with him.
I am worried if we leave medical treatments to doctors who may not be mentally sound. It is such a fine boundary between doctors and murderers. When doctors botch up a procedure, overscribe medication for their parents, causing loss of lives, that is when a doctor becomes a murderer. Was the doctor too stressed by his medical studies or work and become mentally unsound? I just hope that the mental illness of this doctor could be either improve and go off or be discovered by his peers or superiors. I definitely do not want a mad doctor to treat me as my life will be at stake.
Friday, November 06, 2009
These girls wore showy clothes, had some piercings and it is not hard to see that these girls are really in some sort of life conflicts, trying to waste time hanging around in shopping outlets and public places, doing nothing practical and may be involved in some minor offences or what.
It is really shocking to see young girls kissing, fondling with their counterparts of the same gender here. This is not my first time seeing young girls showing affection to her partner of the same sex. Does this problem reside only in those problematic youths or is it becoming an increasingly common problem as Singapore becomes more liberalised, more westernized against the backdrop of a readily available internet-connected society where negative websites can be easily reachable within a click?
Oh no, I hope this observation is not a tip of the iceberg as if left unchecked, young influential minds will think that it is an accepted norm and like wild fires, this trend may become unchecked.
Many years ago, our youths are all proper and treat chasity as priceless, nowadays with the negative influences in society, teen pregnancies, abortions and the rise of sexual diseases has become a worrying trend. Do not tell me that the next worse thing would be where youths of same sex do unconceivable things together and it become an accepted practice among our youths?
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Geylang, Little India, Chinatown, Redhill... these 'havoc' enclaves when compared to other districts in Singapore? The answer is none of these as the most dangerous place in Singapore is our Public Roads!
Story 1: Stupid Uncle
Drivers no longer heed the basic road sign rules. Most of the times, when the Green Pedestrian sign is on, some cars still proceed on and on traffic crossing, drivers treat pedestrians with blatant disregard by driving through just before or after they have cross past the spot in front of their cars.
This evening, I was with my Dear in Little India when we were waiting to cross the traffic light. The cars in front of us slowed to a crawl and become stationary due to the long traffic jam ahead. The pedestrian man at the traffic lights was still red though all the cars still crawled to a halt due to the long traffic jams ahead.
It was at this juncture, that an old uncle (lao uncle or call him old hero) took the laws to his hand and started to cross the traffic junction with the red man on and most of the cars stopping due to the halt. He crossed nonchalently, face looking down on the road as if he thought it was perfect for him to cross the road when in actual fact, he was just exploiting the situation. When he was almost close to the other end of the road, a motorcyclist on the way to the traffic light screeched to a halt, to avoid the old man who has at that time appeared before him. That motorcyclist cursed the old man, who though stunned, walked off quietly and nonchalently as ever before. My god, this old man seemed not to value his life!
Story 2: Good Uncle
Still in Little India and revolving around the roads, my Dear and I saw this old uncle diligently repairing the traffic pedestrian light for the benefits of the pedestrians.Cars were zooming and inching past him, it was such a dangerous working environment for the uncle!
Though many people might just say that the uncle was just doing his work, I still want to take my hat off to the old uncle for helping to do his little bit for the community!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Dr William Tan, paralyzed from the waist down due to polio at aged two has never given up to fate or his disabilities. He has preserved, endured all the taunting by his peers during school days and worked his way to become a medical doctor and a neuroscientist he is today, helping to heal lives in his profession.
But he has never forgotten about the other needy and the unfortunate in the world. From his wheelchair, he has raised funds for many charities all over the world in expeditions like conquering the Arctic, attempting the Antartic and perhaps the toughest of all, successfully completing 7 marathons in 7 continents in 27 days and creating a world record, and these are but just a small number of charity feats he has carried out. He has raised thousands of dollars for charities the world over, no mean feat for a man who did it from his wheelchair!
Dr William Tan has also inspired thousands of common folks in his many inspirational talks around the world, as well as inspiring others less fortunate in his sharing of experiences to turn adversity into opportunities.
Dr William Tan has still lots of his charity projects he wants to carry out to continue raising funds for charities around the world but alas, a greater challenge now awaits him!
Suffering from continuous nose bleedings during one of his overseas expeditions which delayed his timing for the race significantly, Dr William Tan visited a local doctor only to learn that he has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, a disease in which his blood cells become damaged and grow out of control. During one of his treatments, Dr William Tan suffered such a low heart rate, that the feeling “was colder than Antartic” in his own worlds that he almost passed on.
The disease has left Dr William Tan’s immune system so weak that he has to speak to reporters from two surgical masks to reduce infection (as illustrated in the photo). The cancer chemotherapy sessions also left him bald and constantly tired as a result.
Leukaemia is now the greatest challenge for Dr William Tan and Dr William Tan, always the fighter at heart, vowed to overcome his disease and continue to do his best for charity.
Dr Tan’s current mission which he has taken on before the knowledge of his disease is to raise at least S$70,000 for the Straits times School Pocket Money Fund on 26 Sep 09 by towing children around a running track. If you wish to contribute towards this worthy cause, cross your cheque to "School Pocket Money Fund" and send to Research Communication International, 20 Upper Circular Road, #02-21 The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416. Please indicate "Cycle of Hope" on the back of the cheque.
To all readers reading this blog post, I hope Dr William Tan’s story can inspire you to make the fullest of your life and do your part for the charity! While many of us are busy with work, family or dating, I believe there is just so much we can do in our lives to live to the fullest and also to help others.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Nowadays, HDB flats are built with lifts situated on every floor. Singaporeans are now so used to taking the lift to get to and out from their homes. Staircases are now seldomly used.
The lift in my HDB flat malfunctioned today. Hence I have to use the stairs up and down to and fro from my home. Along the way, though it is tiring (been ages since I used the stairs), I discovered the following benefits of using stairs over lifts:
a) environment friendly (lifts consume electricity)
b) exercise and physical workout
c) meet neighbours who you never know exist on the block
d) get some tips of home design (as you pass your neighbours’ doors)
Monday, June 29, 2009
The unsung heroes in our daily lives, who help to make life possible for us: the drivers of the MRT, buses we take everyday, the foodstall operators who cook the meals we eat during work, the newspaper vendors whom we receive or bought our newspapers from everyday.
Singaporeans love to travel and with airfares hitting rock-bottom prices in the recent years, a large proportion of the world’s population commutes via planes for their vacations and overseas work.
We tug at our luggage at the airport every time we travel overseas and hastily find a trolley to ‘dump’ our luggage on so that we can just push our luggage with ease. We can sometimes forget the very person who makes the trolleys available to us: the trolley operation executives, in my own preferred term.
I was at Changi Airport last week when I caught sight of the rows of neatly stacked-up trolleys in the transit area. It is certainly no joke for the operation executives to assemble the heavy trolleys in a centralized location, taking cognizance of the fact that in the airport, travelers use and dump the trolleys (after use) in almost any part of the airport.
So next time you are at the airport, departing to or arriving from an overseas travel, watch out for these unsung heroes and give them your recognition in the form of a simple gesture: a smile or a nod. Such simple gestures can mean a lot to them, letting them know that their laborious daily ordinary work is being appreciated!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Yes, our hands, which we use for a myriad functions in life also contain a legion of bacteria!
It is prudent not only to wash one's hands but also in a proper manner.
I always shrug at the thought of many of the Singapore's toilets having doors. What is the use of washing one hands in the toilet after doing one's "business", only to touch the heavily bacterized toilet one before one exits the toilet?
The way to go, in my opinion is for all toilets here to go doorless.
In the latest campaign by the Health Ministry to remind Singaporeans on the important need to keep their hands clean and hygienic, the above "scare-tactic" poster is employed.
But it is not really a 'scare tactic' per se. Our hands contains a multitude of bacteria and virus which are much worse than the little hideous monsters you see on the poster.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Sunday, November 16, 2008
You head down to the nearby temple or other charitable organizations by foot and partake the free lunch. After lunch, you will go to shop around the neighbouring shopping mall, enjoying the free aircon, or to the nearby park, chatting with your neighbours. You satiate your thrist from water coolers again and when you are hungry once again, you go to the charitable organizations for an early dinner and then you head back home to sleep early after bath and spending electricity on water and then on the fans to sleep.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I hope they will learn a lesson of humility, I abhor these arrogant people.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It was dinner time, feeling the hunger pangs in me, I walked around to locate a food centre but I was astonished to see that what greeted me was steamboat buffet restaurants one after another as I walked from one end of the road to near the middle of the long road.
In essence, a 'Steamboat' enclave has been carved out of the Geylang landscape and most of these steamboat food centres were operated by mainland China chinese (if I am not wrong, as heavily-China-language-accented waitors beckon me to dine in at their restaurants along my walk).
If my surmise on the nationalities of the owners of the many steamboat cateries there was correct, then foreigners in Singapore have not only had an influence of the cosmopolitian mix of our population, but they could also shape places.
Foreigners can shape place and people of the locals but their impact on our culture is minimal as the locals form the majority of the population here afterall.
Monday, October 13, 2008
This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see a foreign apprentice beside her, learning the trade. I was even more surprised when the foreign apprentice turned and greeted me with a ‘Good morning’, for which I responded with the same. Months passed without a word of greeting from the errand lady and there the apprentice was, in just her first day of work, giving me a greeting!
Her simple act of greeting may seem insignificant but in its entirety it exemplifies the distinction between a foreign service worker who adds value in his work and a local who simply does not care more apart from doing the basics. Singaporeans grip about the threat of foreign competition but it all boils down to whether they want to make that extra effort to be even better than their foreign counterparts.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
True to my words, within seconds of my realisations, they have beckoned (a woman who had started to jaywalk) towards them and issued her with a document. Seconds later, another Singaporean was 'booked' and there seems to be a continous stream of jaywalkers being caught off-guard later by the traffic policemen and being 'summoned.'
Singaporeans seem to get used to jaywalking so much so that they do not realise that it is an offence! Only when they are being caught and fined, reality will then sink in.
Jaywalking, I believe is a more common offence than littering.