$ING $

31 Jul 2009 – The Musical Comedy about Money


Am not usually a musical fan but this one was entertaining and had lots of funny local humour, when Moonlighting Maid, Tiger Beer Aunty, Cruise Ship Gambler, Beef Hor-Fun (a kind of noodle) Hawker, and the hilarious duo of Bangladeshi Dishwasher and Cleaning Makcik are thrown into this money game filled with surprises and sabotage in the Red Light district of Geylang. If not a local, you will be partly lost in translation unless you can read the subtitles or understand and can relate to Singlish.

Highly recommended to watch $ING $ and well worth your $$ for good laughs where the fairy tale ending remarks that even a local high profile Ho Ching ends well. Farewell Goodyear and hopefully that there will be good years for Temasek Holdings (an investment company owned by the government of SIN)… 🙂

Thank you Adeline for an enjoyable evening and thank you Lydia & Michele RIGHETT for the pizza. Do keep speaking Italian to your son and good luck with your stay in SIN.

Someone asked me why women don’t gamble as much as men do, and I gave the commonsensical reply that we don’t have as much money. That was a true and incomplete answer. In fact, women’s total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage – Gloria Steinem

Common Sense to Self-Censor


28 Jun 2009 – Notes from Feb 2006

Was fortunate to connect with another blogger in Australia who commented ‘I miss the people I met and mixed with in the USA…and the people there had this fascination with Australia, whereas here there is a lot of anti-Americanism — which annoys me, because I know that you shouldn’t tar everyone with the same brush’

His comments triggered off what I wrote to the Straits Times in 2006 regarding a cartoon from Denmark, which I am now ready to share with my readers: 

During my 10 years in the Scandinavian countries, my experiences with censorship have not been an issue. That is what contributes to the positive progress of a civilized culture and society. Unfortunately the cartoon crisis is the epitome of irresponsible media who disregards the ambivalence of current world’s situation. When freedom of the individual press or speech results in destruction, it is time to exercise freedom with considerate and compassionate choices – common sense and self-censor.

Having survived over half a century on planet earth, this is my plea and dedication to world citizens:

Africans, Americans, Asians, Australians, Europeans and the rest of the world…
Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and any other religious faiths…
Women, men, bi, gays, heterosexuals, metrosexuals…

Why segregate with labels Human Beings on Planet Earth…
Confused by emotions of desire, lust, insecurities, power…
Awakens with hopes of humble knowledge and wisdom…

Dreams of dignity and grace…
Some may not live up to expectations…
May not be of expectations to others

Assumptions and expectations restrict communication…
Sincere and true respect for differences…
Is a journey to gracious acceptance…

Life is a gift to be celebrated
Differences to be appreciated
Compassion to be achieved

Act with considerate awareness
With no premeditated cruelty, ill intentions or malice

Actions, behaviors, thoughts, words…
Body, verbal and written languages…

In sync and harmony with Nature and Peace
Peace is Love and  Love is Forgiveness

Best of luck to the balance of the Gift of Life

From an optimistic world citizen!
Amy Lam Su Guan

Against ignorance & stupidity even god flights in vain –  German saying

July’s Special Dates


26 Jul 2009 – ACM Exhibits & Lucas 1st Bday party

Should really start with special dates the beginning of the months but have been forgetting to do so… will try from Aug onwards!

4th Happy 4th for USA

17th Happy Bday Nancy BOWMAN in Florida

19th Happy 12th Anniversary Linn HALD & Jeff HALL

20th Happy Bday David YEOH

21st Happy 41st Bday Albert CHUA

22nd Happy 10th Anniversary Dika LAM & Mark BOROWSKY

23th Happy 1st Bday Lucas YEOH

25th Happy 60th Bday Winnie LEE in California

No wise man ever wished to be younger – Jonathan Swift

Hunters & Collectors


23 Jul 2009 – Plus Visitors

John CHENG has left back to HKG after catching up with cousin David WONG, meetings in Port Klang & KL-Malaysia and family gathering at Leslie & Ivy.

At present John LIM is here from Melbourne for a job interview. The last time we met was when I had just moved into my HDB in 1999 when he was doing his architectural internship here. Has been a pleasure showing SIN off to him, a charming young man whose parents also studied in Dublin during our student era! Good luck to him and hope that he will be able to figure what he wants out of his life.

Looking forward to the opening of Hunters & Collectors at the ACM tomorrow night where artefacts will be exhibited from the stories about hunters and collectors from the islands of Indonesia to the jungles of Borneo.

Somewhere, and I can’t find where, I read about an Eskimo hunter who asked the local missionary priest, ‘If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?’ ‘No,’ said the priest, ‘not if you did not know’ – Annie Dillard

Picture 5

21st Century Fairy Tale

20 Jul 2009 – Fairy Tale

Time is not on my side at present but would like to keep my readers guessing what I might be up to! Will update when all the overseas’ visiting guests depart SIN. In the meanwhile, would like to share this 21st century fairy tale 🙂

Once upon a time in the land far away land a beautiful, independent, self assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond.
The frog hopped onto the princess’s lap and said:  Elegant lady, I was once a handsome prince until an evil witch cast a spell upon me.  One kiss from you and I will turn back into the charming young prince that I am.  Then we can marry and set up housekeeping in your castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children and forever feel grateful and happy doing so.
That night, as the princess feasted sumptuously on a repast of lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled to herself and thought:
‘ I don’t think so’


LAM-Heritage/Editing & Updating

14 Jul 2009 – I Am Alive

12days since my return from China, and back to normal life with many thoughts&ideas flooding the mind as to how we can preserve the LAM-Heritage with some dignity. Chinese character for LAM – logo for our family tree.

Grandfather LAM SongKee/Shang-Zhan & granduncle LAM JiChiew/Shang-Qian were humble & generous. After making their fortunes in Sarawak around the mid 1900s, also just discovered (Mon23May2022) that they were known as LIN Shang-Qian&Shang-Zhan in the old documents.

they returned to their village of SunWui (新會) in Jiangmen (江門), Guangdong Province/China where they built 2 houses and an ancestral hall. (see posting Happy Mother’s Day from China for pictures). They also hired teachers using the ancestral hall as classrooms. Coffins for burial were donated to those who could not afford them. In Kuching, Sarawak, they donated a large piece of property to the township on the condition that the road is named after the bank, Jalan Kwong Lee Bank, still existing.

After 2 visits to the village, mass emailed the family to update them about the ancestral houses & hall to get comments, feed backs, ideas etc as to how we can go about this project. No expectations, just hope that the majority will wish to support for keeping the LAM-Heritage like I do. This will show our respect to the ancestors and will provide our descendants with some knowledge about their heritage. We’re all immortal as long as our story is told!

To bear defeat with dignity, to accept criticism with poise, to receive honors with humility-these are marks of maturity and graciousness – William Ward

12Sep2021: have sort of given up hope about preserving or even trying to talk to anyone in the family about the ancestral hall&homes after the visits in 2009-11. So hearing from Irene gave me some hopes to revive this posting. Thank you Irene.

Sooo excited&thrilled to hear from a long-lost cousin, Irene (sister of the CoconutPostMaster in HI/USA) – no have never met her or him and really hope that we are able to connect&work something for our family’s ancestral village in Jiangmen/Guangdong Province, China so as to be linked to a neighbouring village (1hr away) which is in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This has always been in my dreams&hopes when I first set foot there in 2009, but kinda given up hope as no one in the family showed any interest when I voiced out my thoughts then!



5Sep2021: appreciations to GG-LAM Irene, a cousin from granduncle RG-LAM JiChiew’s branch (Alfred-Linda Tay is the contact person for this branch) for this interesting link that her father BG-LAM YatYin and bro GG-LAM Michael started. https://lamaviation.com/

7Sep2021: hoping&praying that the LAM-Heritage is moving forward in the direction of preservation instead of destruction in the name of progress! As granddaughters of LAM JiChiew&SongKee, Irene & I have given our POA to Cangdong East Culture Heritage Conservation&Development Centre 廣東倉東教育基地 KaipingCity/China to mange the family’s property&affairs there. Hope that I have not signed my life away – hahaha

http://cangdongproject.org/cangdong-xmgken.asp (May2022: being updated at present)

15Jan2022: this is probably the most exciting news for my Bday and the year of the Tiger ahead. Work has started at the ancestral hall. Led by Dr TAN JinHua/Selia (see above link), an architect, VP of the VolunteersUnion, and WuYiUniversityConservation&Architecture students who are so generous to volunteer their time.

They have begun to research on our family history&the history of the ancestral hall. Work will be done to the 2 identical houses&water-pavilion house. Eventually the plan is to have a museum about the LAM family. Hopefully will live to see that and able to take some of my flock, if not the whole flock there one day. And even if I do not get to see it, have at least planted the seed to this project.

The exact location&correct address of these buildings: TangbianliVillage, DanzaoTownship, PengjiangDistrict, JiangmenCity, GuangdongProvince, PRC

A plaque has now been installed at the entrance of our LAM ancestral hall, designating it as Jiangmen City Heritage Architecture. After so many years of effort&frustrations, this is indeed a very happy moment – appreciations&tkx to GG-IreneLAM ( RG-LAM JiChiew’s branch).

Tue15Mar2022: tkx to IreneLAM for these architectural drawings produced by the architectural professor and students at Wuyi University. Someone plx help to translate so that I will be able to edit in here before uploading the rest of the pix (22total). There is a sentence saying that the township government will collect rent. That sentence is in error and is being removed.

Fri13May2022: many thanks to cousin IreneL for sharing this video&including me in the ZOOM + a few photos from the groundbreaking restoration ceremony for the LAM-AncestralHall on 29Apr2022.


Night Festival


12 Jul 2009 – National Museum of SIN

Managed to miss both years of the Night Festival. Last year was the first one and I was globetrotting. This time round, the energy has not reached the level to get out in the crowd and heat. Who knows if there will be another spectacular show in 2010? Will cross that bridge when it is in front of me 🙂

This trip has really taken its toll on me but of course age might be the culprit. Before departing USA, explained to Linn that if they decide on a 5th child, the energy will not be able to endure another challenge like this. And if any complications, who will take care of the children? The other reality is that the world is overcrowded and polluted. The diminishing of nature resources is not in balance with the increase of the population.


Pictures credit to NMS and Leonard Shoh who was there for both years and shot a few hundreds pictures.

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough – Lao Tzu



9 Jul 2009 – Lifestyle of the rich

The above picture was taken in the early 1950s from 5 Temenggong with the cruise ship and Pulau Blakang Mati in the background. The curved roofs were then go-downs is now Vivocity

Even a smaller dot than SIN, Sentose=peace or tranquility (Malay). The irony is that it was once known as Pulau Blakang Mati=Island of the Dead (Malay). In the 1950s, bump boats (10cents) were the only means of public transportation to get there. The colonial barracks, pillbox with concrete stilts facing Indonesia and a malay fishing village on stilts (facing SIN) where kids dived for coins thrown by the cruise ship passengers were all but a past to this island. Check Wikipedia for more interesting historical facts.


Today Sentosa is visited by over five million people a year with a new second link opened yesterday. Attractions include a two-kilometre long sheltered beach, Fort Siliso, two golf courses, two 5*hotels (Kat & Greg was married in one of them), the upcoming Resort Worlds at Sentosa, featuring the new theme park Universal Studios. And Leslie & Ivy‘s 4,000sq ft new penthouse condo where Kiera & I swam in the pool with a sea-view.

Oh, I get a little tired now and then, but knowing my lifestyle, that’s only natural – Harry Caray


7 Jul 2009 – Words from a Zombie

Joel told me that it will take 1 day for each hour difference in time to recover… ouch, that means 12 days to be normal! Well guess what? Slept for 12hrs after arrival and off to dinner with Lawrence as he was flying back to KCH. Was feeling like a zombie but do remember having beef noodles and some red wine in a plastic cup!

Sun: morning playing with Kiera who arrived from Canberra, Australia the night before me. Afternoon at the airport… again; introduced Lawrence & Mabel to the new T3 and kept company with them for lunch; they were unaware that there was 2hrs delayed for their flight. Had crabs for dinner and a pleasant catch-up time with cousin David from Hawaii.


Mon: met with Joel & Julia who were visiting from Perth. Congratulations with their 2nd wedding anniversary, welcome to SIN and to parenthood. Tue: just saw them off at the airport… again. Forgot to give them my book yesterday; somehow jet-lagging manages to play tricks on the mind but a good scapegoat to have for now 🙂

Joel’s mother, Peggy Leung, married Puddey is my childhood friend from 1954… I do remember those days! Welcome to grand-parenthood, Peggy & Ian. 


In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in – Robert Brault

Happy 4th July


4 Jul 2009 – Back in SIN

The only flight on schedule was from CAE-CVG (1hr15mins flight time). Was delayed 1hr+ from CVG-JFK (1hr30mins) but made no difference as there was a layover time of 6hrs+ @JFK with a lovely sunset. Another 2hrs+ delay from JFK-PVG (14hrs+). Arriving PVG in the early morning smog and was zapped by the aliens. Thank goodness for normal body temps! No big deal about the delay from JFK as the morning flight from PVG-SIN (5hrs15mins) was cancelled; another 10hrs+ layover for the next flight and could not even update blog as China does not allow access to WordPress.


Met another Amy at the transit hall and we decided to get happy with a stiff cocktail before 0800hrs! She did not know about the cancelled flight and was on her way to SIN where she has lived for 7 years teaching English. Left Linn’s house in Columbia, SC 1000hrs Wed 1Jul USA Eastern time and arrived @ my HDB 2200hrs Fri 3Jul SIN time. That is for traveling on budget fares with China Eastern, RT tickets cost US $750 for SIN-PVG-JFK-PVG-SIN and the US section on mileage. More important that all the flights took off and landed safely! SIN is the only civilize airport to have a layover!

I think arriving at or departing from any airport in America is just horrendous these days – Roger Moore