Sunday, May 31, 2009

Participating Bodies Briefing for Matriculation Fair

30 May 2009

Represented NUS Students' Political Association to attend a briefing by the Matriculation Fair Committee at 10am. Tried to navigate myself around Engineering Faculty to find LT6.

On the date of Matriculation into NUS, students will all gather at the Multipurpose Sports Hall to receive their Matric cards. A Matriculation Fair would be held on the second level for CCA groups to market themselves and recruit new members. The new students would be overwhelmed by the wide variety of activity groups in the campus as they clear the maze of booths and publicity materials.

Went to Daiso (Vivocity outlet) where every item costs only $2.

This is my first time combing Daiso and I'm amazed at the wide range of products that they sell. They even sell Bingo tickets! (No more photocopying and cutting in the Community Club for Bingo games anymore!!!)

We enjoyed dinner at Phin's Beerhaus N Grill (Tampines Mall), beerhouse and grille. We were greeted by a non-Chinese waiter who rapped in Mandarin when listing the drinks available. Very entertaining. The beer-flavoured fish 'n' chips was awesome.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eat With Your Family Day

29 May 2009

Mother's company gave its employees an early day off to encourage them to have dinner with their family. We decided to eat out at BBQ Chicken at Tampines 1 Shopping Mall.

We ordered a family feast which included spicy drumlets, crispy fried chicken and grilled chicken. The spicy drumlet is wonderful. It instantly gives you the "flame-on" ability of the Fantastic Four. The crispy fried chicken is not as oily as that of KFC's. According to the brochure, BBQ Chicken is the first in the world to use only olive oil in cooking. That sort of alleviated my guilt for savouring the fatty stuff.

After dinner, we toured the mall and entered the sky terrace. From there, we can view the neighbouring shopping malls. It would be a splendid space, if not for the stench in the air caused by the exhaust from the eateries.

After the weekend, Lin Qiang will commence his second phase of training as a Naval Diver.

Later in the evening, went for the last YEC meeting for this term. Was glad to see many new faces who are keen to join in the next term of YEC.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eunos CC CDEC Appreciation Night

28 May 2009

The event is held at East Coast Hua Yu Wee (华友园) where more than 100 grassroots leaders attended. The Civil Defence Executive Committees in Singapore would be dissolved and merge with the Emergency Preparedness Group to form the C2E - Community Emergency and Engagement Committee. To appreciate the efforts of the grassroots leaders who have contributed to the success of Eunos CDEC, a dinner is held.

A video compilation was screened to play tribute to the CDEC volunteers, followed by a slideshow depicting the activities of Eunos CDEC over the past years. Tokens of appreciation were also presented to the committee members as well as supporting agencies by the Guest-of-Honour, Mayor Zainul Abidin Rasheed.

Eunos CDEC Chairman Mr Pang Loo Seng PBM hosted a short game. Each table had 3 sets of worksheets which dictated the tasks of the game. Enthusiastic participants quickly followed the instructions and started scribbling on the sheets. Little did they know that the last instruction was to ignore the previous tasks. The moral of the game was to highlight the importance of staying calm and looking at the big picture during crisis.

Eunos CDEC members then presented a song item - entitled "我在你左右". It was translated, literally, to an English song as well - entitled "I Am Beside You". Mayor joined in and sang the English version.

The Karaoke session then commenced, with Mayor closing the session with his signature Hokkien song "爱拼才会赢".

Where are the Nurses?

A friend of mine was sick and I accompanied him to Changi General Hospital. This is a hospital which is not in my list of top 1,000 preferred hospital. Neither do I link anything satisfactory with this hospital due to prior bad experiences.

Once, my Grandmother was warded and her wrist tag bore the wrong name and NRIC. On another occasion, the service by a staff nurse was so bad that my Grandmother became fearful of that nurse. I have heard of many other people with poor reviews of CGH. Nevertheless, it's the hospital of the East and one just has to accept that fact when one resides in the East.

My grouse this time round zooms in on the nurses' station at the A&E area.

Where are the nurses? 11 Nurses? Not one to be seen for a good long time.

It is understandable that nurses are away from their station to attend to the ever-long queue of patients. That can be forgived. But what about the disorganised and messy counter?

Syringes and Urine Sample placed anyhow:

Blood Samples placed anywhere:

More blood samples and confidential patients' information:

The nurses are helpful and friendly. By lodging a formal complaint, I'll be very unfair to the nurses who have provided good customer service. However, if no complaint is made, then improvements would be slow to come by.

Sigh... Where are the nurses?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Are We Dying?

26 May 2009

This is the 7th chapter meeting of the 4th term of Kg Chai Chee Mandarin/English Toastmasters Club and my last chapter meeting as the Vice President Education. It has been a fantastic and challenging year as a VPE. I'm glad to be head the new committee as President from June 2009.

Did Project 7 -Research Your Topic today with the title of "Are We Dying?" I discussed about the adverse effects of global warming and how everyone can do their part to prolong Earth's life. With that, I am now 2 more projects away from becoming a Competent Communicator!

What is Love without Sharing?

A few months back, I received a letter from ComChest saying that I could start a Charity Page online to raise funds for ComChest. I still remember having to reset my SingPass (cuz' I forgotten it...) before I could log onto ComChest. After setting up the page with a short and sweet message, I updated my FaceBook profile status and left it aside.

So I was rather pleased when I see that I have helped raised S$5 for the ComChest to date! Although it is not a big amount (my target is S$1,000), it is still a contribution and I thank whoever donated that.

I had set the deadline for my target to be my birthday. Hope everyone save up the money from buying gifts to me and donate to ComChest to help the needy.

Here's my message:

What is Love without Sharing?

Spread your Love by making a donation today! Each dollar makes a difference.
Make the difference :)

Multi-Racial Dumpling Celebration Meeting

25 May 2009

Went for a refreshing jog after passing the "Are YOUths Stressed" banner to Jia Min, the SLC student who designed it.

After dinner, went for a meeting on the Multi-Racial Dumpling Festival, organised by Eunos Zone '2', '3' & '5' RCs, WEC & SCEC. I am excited to be the game master for the event. During the meeting, Mr. Siew shared some Taiwan goodies with the members -- Muah Chee and peanuts that are black in colour. We also got to sample some dumplings which would be ordered for the event.

Went to help out at the Meet-the-People Session after the meeting. It's nice to know that there are people who fork out time to volunteer at the MPS, despite having an early day the following morning.

Finally found a good title for my Toastmasters project tomorrow...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wu Dang Sheng Hong Health Preservation Centre Inauguration Ceremony

24 May 2009

Had a great rest after the SLC forum.

Made our way to Vivocity seeking a place for lunch and we ended, unfortunately, at Terra Cafe.

It was unfortunate because the mushroom soup was diluted with milk...

(Notice the words on the Tshirt)

& the pasta is.... really just pasta, without any other ingredients.

In the evening, I attended the Inauguration Ceremony for the Wu Dang Sheng Hong Health Preservation Centre. It is a subsidiary of the Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong Temple. Eunos grassroots leaders were invited as guests for the grand occasion.

Before the event, I chatted with a passer-by. He identified himself as a member of the Nanyang Wing Chun Fist Association. He told me that for just $12 a year, one can register oneself as a student to learn Taiji at the new centre. There is a morning session and an evening session everyday. Interesting!

The Guest-of-Honour is Dr. Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC (Geylang Serai). The Special Guest is Mr. Yeo Guat Kuang, MP for Aljunied GRC (Aljunied-Hougang). Both of them are also Honorary Advisers to the Temple.

In her opening address, Dr. Fatimah Lateef spoke in Mandarin for one section of her speech. It was a sincere effort that was replied with thunderous applauses. Sheng Hong Temple Association donated S$100 thousand to President's Star Charity. Dr. Fatimah Lateef also witnessed the presentation of the Singapore Book of Records for having the most number of people practising Taiji at one time.

There was a Taiji demonstration by the students. Experienced Taiji masters also presented various forms of the martial art and displayed their skills with various weapons. It was an eye-opener.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Are YOUths Stressed? Stress in School: To Benefit or To Get Rid?

23 May 2009

Since December 2008, students from the Bedok North Secondary School Service Learning Club (SLC) have been planning and preparing for this forum. It was a spark of ingenuousness that the title slogan was formed: Stress in School: To Benefit or To Get Rid?

The students were given their individual roles and responsibilities. Jia Min designed the posters, banners and programme booklet; Se Yong (Organising Chairlady) and team filmed a video; Pat Jon (Organising Secretary) wrote the script for a skit depicting sources of stress in school. The list of schools to send invite to, the choice of food for refreshments, choice of music for the event, sound & light coordination, etc. were all done by the students.

Organising a forum is a good way for students to develop useful skills such as event management, communication skills, public relations, not forgetting the experience of being appointment holders in a committee.


From 9am till 1pm, students did their rehearsals conscientiously. It's their big day and everyone is excited about it. Everyone remembered their scripts and know what they need to do.

At 1.30pm, grassroots leaders and students lined up at the registration booth, readily greeted by students.

The Eunos CC YEC Year End Dinner & Launch of Website video was played for the participants to give them an introduction to the SLC and YEC.

At 2.30pm, the Guest-of-Honour, Mayor Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and MP for Aljunied GRC, was ushered in with the Principal of BNSS, Ms Susie Ho and Guest Speaker Ms Virginia De Souza by the SLC and YEC leaders.

The video and skit performance entertained the participants, bringing out laughters from them. They also helped to place the participants into perspective in regards to the topic of the day - Stress in School.

After the speech by GOH, Principal and Guest Speaker, the panel discussion commenced. The panel included Mayor, Ms Susie Ho, Ms Virginia De Souza, Hock Rong, myself and the moderator Harith. Harith is also the President of BNSS Students' Council and Chairperson of the SLC.

Mayor emphasised on the importance of managing stress well by highlighting recent examples such as the suicide of the Indonesian student.

Ms Ho was asked about her most unforgettable experience in dealing with stressed students and shared with the participants.

Questions were forthcoming and participants were spontaneous. When asked about how to destress, Ms De Souza advised participants to take deep breaths, and take a step back, challenge one's perception to the situation and understand that there is no one way to looking at any situations. The responsibility of coping with stress cannot be divided amongst parents and teachers. The "A-Z" of stress in students must be co-managed by both parties.

Mayor then wrapped the session by asking everyone to stand up and learn the destressing breathing technique from Ms De Souza. She brought up a good point that is that the simple action of breathing has often been taken for granted.

As the guests and participants enjoyed their refreshments after the forum, the BNSS SLC has finally accomplished yet another major project. The SLC now deserves a good long holiday break for their hard work and effort!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gearing up for "Are YOUths Stressed" Forum

20 May 2009

Spent the whole of 19 May 2009 working on the emcee and moderator scripts for the SLC students. I am deeply impressed and inspired by this team of students. They have been very professional in the carrying out of their work. My jaw dropped when I saw the programme booklet design, because it looked real good.

In the afternoon, went to Bedok North Secondary School hall to meet the teachers and students. We did a few rounds of rehearsals and it just got better. Everyone is gearing up and ready for the final showdown on Saturday.

The video directed and produced by the students was so professional, any better it must be from Hollywood. This 6 months of planning and execution have been a fruitful one. Can't wait for the big bang!

Date: 23 May 2009 (Saturday)
Time: 2 - 4.30pm
Venue: Eunos CC Theatrette
Price: FREE

Come join us for the forum this weekend and see what we have in store for you! The Guest of Honour is Mayor Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. The Guest Speaker is Ms Virginia De Souza, M. Soc. Sc. (Counselling), Therapist & Coach.

Share with us your ideas on managing stress and learn how to do it! See you there!

Volunteering at the MPS as a Petition Writer

18 May 2009

After jogging at the usual spot -- Park Connector, I left home early for the Meet-the-People-Session. During the last market visit by Mayor Zainul, I got to know Pristine, who is staying in my zone. Kept in contact with her and was happy that she's keen to volunteer at the MPS.

As I was early, I decided to take up my first case as a petition writer. Just nice, Pristine came and observed the session. I used to think that as a petition writer, you need to know all the government policies. After my first session, I realised it is more important to offer a listening ear and help the resident to include important details in the letter.

Pristine blended well with the environment and with other volunteers, so I went on to meeting other residents...

Hock Rong brought an exotic-looking Japanese Green tea - flavoured Kit Kat. It was the most tasty combination of green tea and chocolate I have ever tasted in my life. Both flavours blend well together in a fusion so seamless and smooth and the taste just lingers in the mouth after consumption!

As it was the day of the new session of Parliament, it was late when Mayor came to the branch. At about 2am, all letters were finally signed and everyone chatted as we folded the letters. This is the best moment of the day, knowing that the pile of letters will help so so many residents.

If you are keen to do your part in volunteering and serving the community, check out !

Monday, May 18, 2009

My First Module at NACLI

17 May 2009

Registered for a course at NAtional Community Leadership Institute (NACLI) some time ago. The course that I'd attend is a workshop for Secretaries/Assistant Secretaries. Despite having already gone through on-the-job-training and learning from the seniors, I thought it would be a good idea to find out what is the proper way to execute my role as an Assistant Secretary in my RC and how others are doing.

Going to NACLI is like going to my school (NUS). It's a long, long journey. This is my fourth time coming to NACLI. Always enjoy exploring around and locating the venue within the compound. All the rooms and areas are strategically named, e.g. Thinking Terrace, Synergy Road, etc.

Our facilitator is Mey Lin, who has 19 years experience working in PA. After ice-breaker, we carried on to learn the roles and responsibilities of Secretaries and how to write good minutes. After lunch, we had a mock meeting and wrote minutes. It was a pity I have to depart early to my RC Centre for Mother's Day Celebrations.

Tickets for Eunos Zone '3' Mother's Day Celebrations were completely sold out. More than a hundred residents gathered at the RC Centre to enjoy great games and food. I was the host for the Bingo gameshow. Each number that was called out invited mixed responses from the participants. Amusing. On the 3rd round of Bingo, I got the lucky winners to play 终极密码 or Guess-the-number and everyone had fun.

For more of Eunos Zone '3' information, check out

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Young PAP Investiture & Awards Ceremony 2009

16 May 2009

This is the second time I'm wearing the Party White uniform. To be able to wear the uniform that the founding father of Singapore wore and is still wearing gives me a deep sense of pride. White signifies purity and integrity. And Singapore remains low on corruption level till today.

Our branch secretary, Mr Sim Wai Chin BBM, attended the ceremony together with Hock Rong, Alex and myself. He is supportive of the youth efforts in the constituency and we deeply appreciated his presence.

Among those present at the ceremony were Comrades Sam Tan, Eric Low, Vivian Balakrishnan and Faishal Ibrahim.

The event started off with an impactful hiphop dance performance by dancers who wore all white as well. YP Chairman Comrade Teo Ser Luck talked about the new structure and invited the various subcommittee heads to brief the YP leaders.

Then, region by region, YP leaders receive their appointment letter from Comrade Teo as well as Vice-Chairmen Comrade Zaqy Mohamad and Christopher De Souza.

Then came the award presentation -- Activist award, Mobiliser award, Nurturer award and the service award.

Comrade Teo delivered a speech at the end of the award presentation. In my opinion, he speaks very naturally and casually, and makes us feel that he's part of us. This is the 4th time I'm listening to his speech and managed to spot a pattern. He always begins his speech by sharing with us his personal history. This is a good way to let us know him better.

He shared with us how he had always been picked at by the teacher when he was in school.
When he was working, his employer picked on him too and as a result he was sent overseas by the company. However, this increased his personal value and experience. When he stepped into the party, he found real friends who he could share his passion with and work together.

The ceremony ended early and we got to network and meet our counterparts from other branches.

If you're interested in serving the community and believe in having a multiracial, meritocratic Singapore, why not consider joining the Young PAP and do your part for the nation?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Central Mall & The Central

It took great pains to realise that The Central ain't Central Mall. They seem so synonymous that even those in The Central didn't know that it was not Central Mall. Indeed, it was frustrating to have the salesperson insisting that the place she was working at is Central Mall.

It is seemingly impossible for NYAA office to be situated in a shopping centre. After careful maneouvring, the place is finally located at 5 Magazine Road. Situated beside a mosque and in proximity to the MOM building, the Central Mall previously housed a club.

There are so many different staircases that one needs to be sure one's walking the right one to the right place.

Friday, May 15, 2009

都是你 It's all About You

13 May 2009

The Chinese believe that 7x7=49 days after a person dies, the spirit would then either go to the Netherlands or to Heaven.

The first 7th day is the saddest moment for the deceased. He will return back home and find out that he had passed away. All the reflecting surfaces should be covered up to prevent him from seeing his own reflection. The rice container should be filled to the brim so that he can be assured that the family would have sufficient food to eat. Many people would have dreams about their beloved kin.

Everyday leading to the 3rd 7th day (21st day), rice would be served together with dishes on the altar. On each of the 7th day leading to the 49th day, there would be prayers and offerings would be made. Incense papers would be burnt. From the 21st day onwards, cooking utensils, oil, salt and rice would be placed under the altar. The servants in the Netherworld would take over and cook for the deceased.

I dreamt of my Father the very night that his body was cremated. He said he was hungry. When I awoke, I could feel a force pushing me down to the bed. It resembled a hug. Shocked, I tried to yell but apparently no one could hear me. After a minute or two, I managed to wake and immediately rushed to my Mother, who was awake then, but didn't hear me yelling.

Anyway, today's the 49th day. It's 48 to be exact but since Father had 2 sons, 1 day was deducted according to the priest.

The priest added Father to the ancestral tablet. Now he is back with his ancestral family.

It seems naive for me to leave the door unlocked everyday, hoping that he will return one day. Images and memories so afresh.

谁 改变了我的世界
Who has changed my world?
没有方向 没有日夜
Intially without a direction, with no sense of time,
我看着天 这一刻在想你
I look up upon the sky, thinking of you at this point in time,
是否会 对我一样思念
Wondering if you are thinking of me too.

你 曾说我们有一个梦
You said we had a dream,
等到那天 我们来实现
Until that day, we will fulfil.
我望着天 在心中默默念
Looking upon the sky, I mumble to myself,
下一秒 你出现在眼前
Hoping that you appear at the next second.

想念的心 装满的都是你
The heart contains all about you.
我的钢琴 弹奏的都是你
The song I'm playing on the piano is all about you.
我的日记 写满的都是你的名
My diary is all about you.
才发现 又另一个黎明
And then, I realised it's yet another day.

这是我 对你爱的累积
This is the accumulation of Love I have for you...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Aljunied GRC (Eunos Division) Zero Litter Month 2009

10 May 2009

It was a bright Sunday morning. Eunos YEC members gathered at the Community Club to be introduced to a new sport -- called Tchoukball. I couldn't join them as there is another parallel activity taking place at the market.

This year's Zero Litter Month campaign is more extensive than past years'. Mdm Cynthia Phua, Chairman of Aljunied Town Council, was present with Mayor Zainul. They gave away certificates to reward the best cleaners from each zone. Mayor Zainul also shared with everyone that all market stalls are now at least Grade B in Aljunied GRC.

Market vendors and managers from MacDonald's and KFC also endorsed their support behind the campaign.

After the presentation, together with grassroots leaders, NEA representatives and Town Council representatives, Mayor and Mdm Phua visited the market and shophouses.

To ensure that everyone gets the message to clean up their mess, stickers were pasted on tables at the market as well as other eateries around the neighbourhood. The Aljunied GRC MPs also interacted with residents. At MacDonald's, we came across Pristine who expressed interest in becoming a community volunteer.

Also got to know Liyuan, Nicole and Baoyu, the 3 secondary school students who just begun their volunteering at grassroots.

I once came across an article in the Straits Times that questions if Singapore is a "campaign" country and whether campaigns work. In my opinion, I believe campaigns are not just a wayang act. During campaigns, MPs get to walk the ground and get the chance to directly communicate with the people and ensure that the estate is properly maintained.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Celebrating Mother's Day at Plaza Brasserie

9 May 2009

Lin Qiang got his Navy IPPT Gold and was rewarded with an early book out from camp every week. We were planning to bring Mother out for dinner to celebrate Mother's Day, but we didn't have any idea where to go. In the end, we called up a few restaurants and was relieved that Plaza Brassiere @ Park Royal Hotel still had vacancies.

Buffets are always a more superior choice because you get to walk around choosing the food you prefer. Also, you can try out various food which otherwise you would not have the chance to eat. By bringing back "exotic food" back to the table, everyone would be curious and you become proud that you managed to get a good hunt!

Chefs were preparing roti prata, sashimi, laksa, lor mee, and oysters! These must be the freshest oysters I have tried. The poor chef had to keep opening oyster shells for the long queue of diners at his counter.

A photographer was roaming around and helped us snap a family photo. It was the most suitable gift, given the occasion of Mother's Day.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine Flu's Impact on Daily Activities

4 May 2009

About 3 days ago, I received a text message from NUS. I was asked to report to the examination venue 1 hour prior to the start of the paper, due to the temperature checking procedures that need to take place.

The morning traffic was slow and I ended up reaching school at 8.45am, instead of 8am. As the bus drove past the Multipurpose Sports Hall, one of the venues for examinations, long queues were seen doving straight to the carpark. I was fortunate to have my exam in a small lecture theatre.

One by one, each student was subjected to checks using the ear thermometer. When the disposable cap was used up, the oral thermometer was used. Invigilators donned the N95 mask. The exam started slightly later than supposed to and invigilators asked us to verify our details for contact tracing purposes as we took the exam.

In the afternoon, headed to Changi General Hospital to visit Grandma. Many exits were sealed to direct visitors to the main temperature screening point. I reached at 2.15pm and was told that visiting time was already over (12-2pm). I couldn't even enter the building.

In the evening, I went to the Meet-the-People Session (MPS) to volunteer. Again, anyone entering the office needed to be screened and to fill a form.

Many people that I have encountered lamented the exaggeration of such precautionary measures. In my opinion, it is best to be safe than sorry. The SARS crisis had taught Singaporeans many lessons and hopefully these lessons enable us to avert the Swine flu pandemic. The measures taken by the Government were swift and decisive. The short-term inconvenience would translate into a happier future.

Friday, May 01, 2009

First New Media Champions Sharing Session

30 April 2009

Went to the new People's Association HQ near Lavender MRT station for the first time. The building was formerly a school building. Overall the building looks stylish and professional.

The purpose for us (Edmund, Hock Rong, myself) being there was to attend a sharing session on New Media initiatives taking place in various constituencies. I was impressed by the spread of food and the welcoming smiles from the staff. This goes to show the emphasis placed on New Media.

If you thought New Media was for the young, then you are wrong. The New Media Champions that turned up were of various ages. New Media is about reaching out to everyone.

5 New Media Champions shared their strategies and experiences. Some placed emphasis on social networking sites, while others focus more on websites. Hence, there was a wide range of lessons being learnt.

I was attracted to a few models. These include the Moulmein website as well as the Joo Chatters. They truly show that community websites done by volunteers can be also professional and interactive. I am greatly inspired by the sharing session and hope to do my part for my own constituency.