I was fortunate enough to be contacted recently to hope on the Coke Bus on Day 5 of the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame (JYOF). The only thing was that I had to be at the Singapore Discovery Centre at 8:25am.. but nothing beats being there much earlier as a torch bearer :P

Having met Tiffany at the bus park in a rush through the traffic jams and all, I was quickly… “transformed” into a motivator with the distinctive red colored T-shirt and a cap! I remembered that the cap was made from recycled materials… but I can’t remember if the T-shirt was too. In either case, I went… “NO WAY!!!”, since the last thing I remembered that was being made from recycled plastics were supposed to be hard water tumblers!

Nevertheless, I hopped onto the Coke Bus, which is really a modded Hippo Bus with totally awesome speakers at the upper deck blasting away music. What surprised me was how everyone on the bus – mostly students from Nanyang Polytechnic, got into the celebratory mood the moment the bus left the bus park. However, I guess everyone got really high when the bus was on the highway… since it isn’t really often that we get to be on the expressway without a roof over us!

Being the high state that we were in, we waved to practically everyone whom we met along the way… the motorists (some of whom looked aghast!), the pedestrians, the commuters on the bus… they probably thought that all of us were high on cocaine (although I kinda suspected that most of us were high on caffine… hahaha…) !

The first stop was at NTU, where 13 specially selected students (of whom, 1 is a fellow volunteer I know) were supposed to bear the torch till out of the campus, from where, the… rest of the non-NTU students take over. What surprised me was the number of people who turned up to support the torch bearers (and we are not talking about just students) as they did their friends, family and everyone else in Singapore proud… (not to mention being the jealous envy of many who didn’t get to be a torch bearer :P )

While I thought that it was going to be a nice and cool day… I got tricked by the earlier morning mild drizzling that paid a 2 seconds visit and was fried like my favourite “Oo Jian” (fried oyster with omelete.. yum yum) by the time afternoon came… for the second time after being mildly sunburnt a couple of days back. Not to mention that by now, I am shredding so much skin, it puts the snake in the Safari zoo to shame.

Of course, the endless supply of Coca-Cola probably played a part in keeping my spirits high (I had no less than 10 bottles) to the point where… the pain of the sunburns came almost when I have just reached home. Have you ever felt like your arms were so hot they can probably fry and egg on it? Yeah… mine was like that… :( Red.. and almost medium well :P

Nevertheless, I have done a music video with the theme song that was played throughout on the bus, and would like to dedicate this to the sportsmen and sportswomen of the Youth Olympic Games, for their passion of the sports. To all youths participating in the games, you are already champions because you dare to excel and believe in yourself.

Hope you guys will like it! :)

Special thanks to Tiffany from Coca-Cola Singapore and Edel Mooney from Fulford Public Relations

Orchard Road Floods

Singapore June 16th, 2010

It was almost unimaginable, but… who would have thought that Orchard Road would flood?

Flood at the junction of Scotts Road and Orchard Road. Photo credit to Vin Go.

Flood at the junction of Scotts Road and Orchard Road. Photo credit to Vin Go.

Heavy rains in Singapore started since yesterday, but it was only this morning that the flood gates were, well, literally opened. Searches for the term “Orchard Road Flood” would have gained you many more photographs. Fresh in the minds of almost every Singaporean would have been the “freak” flood that happened last year in December at Bukit Timah – resulting in millions worth of cars being sent for repairs or scrapped and tens of students, if not hundreds, being stranded at bus stops. Well, it seems like the freakiness happened again – just that it spread all over Paterson Road, Scotts Road, Orchard Road, (Upper?) Thomson Road and their vicinity.

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I am not sure why the supposed “ad” didn’t load, but hey, don’t tell me this is going to be a new series of “click-the-next-10-ads-before-we-let-you-get-your-daily-dose-of-news”.


It might just backfire and I will never have to click another ad. Ever. Again.


Today marks a special day. Today is the day that the authorities have heard you. Today is the day that they understand how much trouble you have to go through to get hold of those coupons. Today is also the day that they relieve you of the problem of having to fumble with the coupons and not being able to drive out without them…

Today is the first day of OPC e-coupon. So, do remember to get your e-coupons at http://www.onemotoring.com.sg after you have used your OPC. And oh, if you have been getting around places in town, “catching” you can be as easy as…

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For some reasons, my lab mate got hold of a CD of classical music pieces (and it’s not pirated) where many of the all time favourites like Symphony No. 4, William Tell Overture and Piano Concerto No. 5 were compiled onto a single CD. Yes, this means not having to search through all my CDs and burning a separate piece just for my personal enjoyment. Then again, I am probably too lazy to do so…

I will probably not mind a trip to NUS just to listen to their Symphony Orchestra play/practice a piece or too, but then again, these are not places that you can just walk in as and when you feel like.

By some sheer luck (and knowing lots of people), I came to know of a concert that NUS Symphony Orchestra will be playing in… if you are thinking classical pieces, you are in for a BIG SURPRISE!!!

Tomorrow (19th June 2009, Friday), NUS Symphony Orchestra is actually going to play for Video Games Live! Yes! The series of sold-out concerts that had been happening around the world! Now, I am not sure if NUS *did* play for the other concerts, but I thought it’d be rather interesting to have NUS Symphony Orchestra playing video game pieces! Think – Super Mario, Final Fantasy and Warcraft (?!) Now, I am really not sure which pieces they will be playing, but I was definitely awed by the following video I found on Youtube:

Now, of course we are not looking at a One-Man-Orchestra!!! But I thought it’d be amazing to listen to these video game pieces being played by an entire Orchestra! And I heard that the Choir will be there too (although I am not sure what they will be singing)! So, if you would like to re-live the days of Super Mario Bros (again, I am not sure which pieces they are playing) or to indulge in your kids’ games (now now, I don’t have parents visiting this site, do I?) do go down to the concert tomorrow!

VGL_ebanner

Yes, it’s happening tomorrow, 19th June 2009 @ The Singapore Indoor Stadium. There’s still time to go get your tickets from the Stadium Box Office or at all SISTIC outlets! This is a one day performance and there’s no knowing when they will return again… (and the pieces may not be the same any more). Yes, go book your tickets now and don’t even bother checking them out at www.videogameslive.com/singapore because the tickets may not be there any more! :P

See ya!

PS: And oh yes, you enjoy discounts if you are a gamer student! :)

Well, at least the truth is out now and the speculations can stop. It was revealed that the main motive of the take-over of AWARE was that it was perceived to be pro-gay and that senior lawyer Thio Su Mien was alarmed and felt that she had to put everything straight (pun unintended) into perspective.

When the coup happened, everyone was speculating what their motive is. Well, it does seem now that she (they) had been their motives clear and I think everyone can relax and be assured that they are only anti-gay. Phew. Yup, that’s all. It’s just a group of women who are pro-family, pro-women and pro-Singapore who felt that the burden was on them to put things into perspective – that AWARE shouldn’t be… erm, losing sight of their original goal – that is to make sure that women are treated equally.

As a Christian, I see this as a calling. A calling for them to change things for the better. A calling for them to take the burden unto them and carry out what’s right in the name of God; and that because of what they believe in and what they have acted upon as good faith in the name of the Lord, they have received persecution. For this, I quote (from the Bible and also shortcut’d from here) :

John 15:18-21

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you… If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you… because they do not know Him who sent Me.”

And my words of encouragement goes out to them that:

Matthew 5:10-12

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven….”

Then again, Singapore is a secular state. I am not sure if imposing my Christian beliefs unto people is right. Hmm… And I somehow wonder how this will change the perspective of people on Christians. Already, “someone” had been telling me “isn’t this what you all Christians want?” and when we watched a totally unrelated movie, Knowing - where everyone on Earth perished and only “the chosen ones” get to escape apocalypse and start life anew, I was asked “why should you be afraid? they (the aliens/angles/watchacallthem) are one of you anyway? isn’t this the way of the Bible?” Er… . I don’t really think that there is a Christian theme behind this and I did get a little freaked out because of the show.

Duh…

Well, seems like there are some “personal” repercussions to the “Christian” takeover of AWARE afterall. Persecution? Nay. Endless rants of how “we Christians want to take over the world”? Maybe. So… perhaps I am not so comfortable with them taking over AWARE afterall? I’m not sure. However, when they pray to God and seek guidance from the Lord God Almighty, Jehovah Rohi, and march forth under the name of the Lord, Jehovah Nissi and trusting that the Lord, Jehovah Jireh will provide, I hope that God gave them the wisdom of what’s to come and that the Lord, Jehovah Shalom – God of Peace, is with them.

Make love. Not war. 

Editor: Having said that, I went on to read news of how the new guards are quite literally, taking over the organization, changing locks, having husbands record everything that was going on, firing more old guards and leaving old guards out of the press conference. Their choice of words, to say the least, was quite… unexpected. Yes, it does seem like… an overthrow.

The start of a new dynasty. Not as… Christian-like as I’d have imagined it to be. Then again, thanks to the new AWARE’s expose of what they considered was damning and sinning on the part of the old guards, people will be starting to search for “spider lillies”, “SG butterfly” and perhaps “Alex Au”? Nay, the last one is famous enough. Oh, as for the EOGM, I think the old guards can might as well forget it. If the new guards want, the number of people they can get to support is enough to drown the old guards. And their supporters. Twice over.

SENIOR lawyer Thio Su Mien on Thursday revealed the key role she played in bringing about the change of leadership at the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware).Appearing at a press conference called at short notice by some of the association’s new leaders, she said she was alarmed to discover that Aware had lost sight of its original purpose and become pro-lesbian and pro-homosexual.

Dr Thio, 71, a born-again Christian who runs her own law firm, is the mother of Nominated Member of Parliament Thio Li-ann and her nephew, Dr Alan Chin, is married to new Aware president Josie Lau.

She was the first woman dean of the Law Faculty at the then-University of Singapore, from 1969 to 1971.

Introducing herself as a ‘feminist mentor’ to working women, she said she began monitoring Aware’s affairs about a year ago.

Disturbed by what she saw as signs that it was promoting lesbianism and homosexuality, she began urging women she knew to challenge Aware’s attempts to redefine marriage and families.

On Thursday, the new Aware leaders said that they and their families had been threatened and even received death threats, and they have reported them to the police.

Dr Thio said: ‘I feel kind of responsible for these difficulties they are going through, because I was the one who mentored them over the years.’

She said she had been teaching and counselling some of them in different groups for up to 10 years.

She was ‘absolutely outraged’ that a group of women who just wanted to contribute to society are now facing ‘ferocious attacks’. ‘I don’t understand what has become of our people,’ she added.

Source: Straits Times Interactive, http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_367834.html

Article extracted on 24th April 2009

Just barely hours after I gave my views on the recent “take over” of AWARE by new members, the old guards have submitted a request to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EOGM) on a motion of no-confidence on the newly elected ExCo. I am not sure if this is a good move, but I think it does help to speed up the pace of the new ExCo to issue their press release. I had been waiting eons for it. Any longer, my head will have to rest onto the next cubicle. :-)

SINGAPORE : 160 members of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) have submitted a request to call an extraordinary general meeting for the society, where a motion of no confidence in the newly-elected Executive Committee (ExCo) will be considered.

It all started at the AWARE annual general meeting on March 28.

Nine of the 12 Executive Committee positions went to newcomers during that meeting. Over 100 people had turned up to vote and many of these voters had only just joined AWARE.

Some of the newcomers have previously written to the media speaking against homosexuality. AWARE, on the other hand, is known for its liberal stance.

“It (AWARE) stands for choice, it stands for gender equity, it stands for democracy, it stands for diversity, plurality. That’s why our membership has always been open,” said Corinna Lim, a former Executive Committee member and AWARE member since 1992.

When asked for their reasons for seeking leadership, the new ExCo members declined comment.

“We told you that ExCo is going to be meeting sometime this week, after which there will be a press release. So there is no comment,” said Charlotte Wong, VP of AWARE.

Its newly-elected President, Claire Nazar, a longtime member of AWARE, resigned barely two weeks after being voted in.

Some past presidents in the meantime, have been collecting signatures to call for an extraordinary general meeting – prompting some observers to comment that they are behaving like sore losers.

“We welcome change, it is not about losing at all. Someone from a different group came in, have certain ideas about what AWARE should be doing and hasn’t communicated it, and all we want to know now is what this is about,” said Lim.

“The extraordinary general meeting is an opportunity for the new guard to explain their position and win the members over. We can’t really comment whether they will hold fast to the traditional line of AWARE, but I can’t imagine why not, if they chose to enter AWARE and run for office there,” said political analyst Gillian Koh.

The current committee has not replied to members’ request to hold the meeting.

AWARE has about 500 members. – CNA /ls

Source: ChannelNewsAsia, http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/422301/1/.html

Article extracted on 14th April 2009

Be aware?

Singapore April 14th, 2009

So much has been written about the recent “fiasco” (or what ST seemingly made it to be) that I would probably refer you to here and here to get in tune of what’s happening. If you ask me, I think…

Everyone is over reacting.

No doubt a few of them are allegedly/seemingly against the idea of repealling Section 377A; or that some of them believe in Christ (and are hence fundamentalists???), but I somehow feel that, in my personal opinion, everyone is overreacting and seemingly putting relationships where they probably do not exist.

Having held on to, or currently still holding on to “leadership positions ” in a couple of societies, the “fear” (if I can even term it as one) of having other members running for office and garnering a lot of support and hence “taking over the entire committee” is very real. As a matter of fact, I have heard, first hand, from my previous President of one of the societies that a member had joined the society with a lot of friends, got all of them to vote for her and did nothing during her office.

Now, doing absolutely nothing during a Presidential term is probably more fearful than having someone “unfamiliar” take over. Essentially, this wastes not just everyone’s time, but results in wasted opportunities – but I will keep this for another day.

So, what do I have to say about the “new women on the block”? I’d say, well, they fought hard for it (in a sense) and have either mixed around really well during their short term of membership or have really went all out to garner support. In this case, they should show us what they have got and not let whatever that the past teams of AWARE have built be put to waste. Of course, if they want to change the Constitution, impose more rules, and change their direction – that is probably their prerogative now. They can even change from an “all-inclusive” to “ours-exclusive” stance if they wish to. Afterall, an ineffective society will just die by itself. What’s wasted is the effort that’s been put into making people… more aware of it now :-)

And oh, someone mentioned that this is happening now because AWARE supported the repeal of Section 377A and that someone has to be put there to put things right? Nay. Nothing is stopping the current group of members from coming out and starting their own group all over again. Afterall, if they have supporters, it doesn’t matter if they are AWARE or simply A-MARE, does it?

Now, does it seem that this post is full of disclaimers? :-)

All of us heard about the shocking news this morning about a second person involved in an apparent suicide. This had been report in various sites including here and here; and hence I will not spend time repeating what’s been said there.

Having said that, some bloggers found out that both the student and the project officer were from the same lab and this resulted in another wave of speculation that Zhou Zheng was doing the FYP that David was doing and there were a lot of skeletons in the project… and so on and so forth. I’m sure you probably get the picture now.

Now, I’m just going to show a screen capture that may probably just suppress this speculation:

image

The image is rather long, so you would have to click on it to open it in a new window…

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Harry, I love you too!

Singapore January 14th, 2009

A man was apparently arrested outside the Parliament House when he scribbled “Harry Lee, I love you” on the signage stone wall just outside the building. Just as he had finished scribbling the words, Certis Cisco guards ran across the lawn to nab him. Putting up a struggle, the guards had to wrestle him down before he was subdued. MM Lee is also known as Harry by his family and some friends.

I am not sure of his intent, but I am sure many people in Singapore would have loved Harry for the things that he had done – from bringing Singapore in the 60s in it’s old run-down days to modern day advancement that our neighbours can only look in awe and jealousy.

Ok. I am threading on dangerous grounds, but Harry Sir, with all due respect, I love you too! =)

Man arrested for vandalism

By Selina Lum

POLICE on Wednesday arrested a man in his 40s for vandalism, after a signage stone wall outside Parliament House was defaced at lunch hour.

At about 1.30pm, three unifomed Certis Cisco guards were seen wrestling down a man, wearing a red T-shirt and brown trousers, on the lawn outside Parliament House.

Scribbled in black marker on the top right corner of the shoulder-high wall were the words: ‘Hi Harry Lee. I love you.’

Eyewitnesses said they saw guards running across the lawn from Parliament House to nab the man while he scribbled on the wall.

It took three guards to subdue the medium-built man as he refused to be pinned down and tried to wriggle free.

As he was led away, a guard held up a piece of cardboard to cover up the words.

Soon after, other security personnel brought a canvas sheet and draped it over the sign.

The graffiti was cleaned off by 2.40pm.

In response to queries by The Straits Times, a police spokesman said: ‘On 14 Jan 09 at about 2.20pm, Police arrested a Chinese man in his late 40s for vandalism at the vicinity of Parliament House. Police investigations are ongoing.’

Source: Straits Times Interactive, http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_326123.html

Article extracted on 14th January 2009