28 Sep 2009 – Tan Kah Kee 陳嘉庚

RTHK/Radio Television Hong Kong is to remain a government department and its 300 contract staff will become civil servants, a source said Tue. The announcement, which will end years of sometimes heated argument as to whether the station should become a public broadcaster. Nearly half the station’s staff have been on contract terms since the debate began more than three years ago. According to the source, these will be absorbed into the civil service. The station will also be able to hire new staff, ending a halt on recruitment.

The NY times 23 Sep – The government announced plans Tuesday for further oversight of the government-owned broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong by a new advisory board that would be named by Donald TSANG, the Beijing-appointed chief executive of Hong Kong. The broadcaster is also to be given money to build a new headquarters in an outlying neighborhood and develop digital broadcasting. Proposals for bigger changes were shelved. These included the creation of an independent entity like the BBC, favored by advocates of an independent news media,or the privatization of RTHK and replacement of its staff, favored by some of Beijing’s allies in Hong Kong. Pro-Beijing politicians contend RTHK has many pro-democracy holdovers from British rule, which ended in 1997 – Keith Bradsher


At present RTHK/Anita TONG & her crew are here to do a program about Overseas Chinese featuring on the TAN Kah Kee family. Trying to help by finding them the transportation to the various venues for interviews and photography. TAN Kah Kee’s grand-daughter, Peggy TAN also MD of Hagley & Hoyle was interviewed in her office. It will be a learning experience to watch the makings and the result of this program.

If it weren’t for Philo T Farnsworth, inventor of television, we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners – Johnny Carson



25 Sep 2009 – Sep’s Movies

Happy Bday to Kat LAM

This new interesting building in Bugis houses the usual shops, eateries and cinemas. The ceilings are rather unique and so is the exterior design. Had to try out the new Filmgarde cinemas and to my surprise, the venue which was showing The Ugly Truth was not as small as I thought or expected. Was the only person there watching the 1000hrs show. S$4 is a good deal for senior citizen tickets, especially when I can have the entire cinema to myself! The mall was rather empty, probably because it is still very new and was early in the day. Not being a fan of crowds, this was comfortable and pleasant. Did not taste any of the food as the diet has started 🙁

IMG_7474uglytruth_poster2TokyoSonata_OneSheet.FIN (Page 1)

Have watched only 3 movies this month. Two romantic comedies, The Proposal & The Ugly Truth… usual Hollywood flicks but quite entertaining if one has the time to spare,  no brainer movies. Some comedy and romance to balance with the not so light hearted Japanese movie, Tokyo Sonata. A drama about a modern Japanese family life of today, but holding on to traditional culture and values. The final scene was rather touching with a talented performance of Debussy’s Clair de lune… if only I could play like that!

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods – Albert Einstein

Il Divo

23 Sep 2009 – Ahhh & Ohhh!

Leslie is in San Francisco for a cardiac conference and wine tasting at Napa Valley, Opus 1 &  Harlan Estate… do not feel sorry that he missed the concert but feel sorry that he lost his mobile. Nowadays, we are so helpless and useless without mobiles and computers. Lucky me, being the recipient for his ticket to the Il Divo concert. A belated Bday dinner for Ivy at Jumbo… yummy lobster, bamboo clams, jellyfish, honey BBQ lamb and half a bottle of champagne.


Never too late or too old for the ahhhs & ohhhs to such beautiful voices and handsome views 🙂 The speakers were on the loud side when all 4 voices sang the crescendos at the same time but they were confined within 4 walls of the Kallang Indoor Stadium, thus not disturbing others who do not enjoy that kind of music. Il divo/Italian=star or celebrity, is a multinational operatic pop vocal group created by music manager, executive and reality TV star Simon Cowell. Formed in the United Kingdom, they are composed of singers Carlos Marin/Spain, Urs Bühler/Switzerland, Sébastien Izambard/France and David Miller/USA.


Thank you Ivy for an enchanting evening.

Whatever deceives men seems to produce a magical enchantment – Plato

Food for Thought 2009

20 Sep 2009 – Selemat Hari Raya


No disrespect intended and do understand that it is Hari Raya but why are the prayers blasting over the loud speakers 0800hrs Sun and other days at the mosques? How about adjusting the volume for just the congregation? Perhaps it is their culture as my Malay neighbours sometimes have their boom-box at a decibel destructive to the ears. More important to remember that all religions teach compassion, consideration, courtesy, etc but unfortunately many are not aware that teaching and learning are not the same as practicing! Hypocrisy is beyond my patience.


Located on 420 North Bridge Rd, (opp the National Library) Food for Thought was introduced to me when it was newly opened. Was pleasantly pleased with the first visit and returned for a second visit yesterday. To my surprised, the young chef remembered my first visit, must be because the general crowd consisted mainly of today’s youth and this auntie stood out like a sore thumb 🙂

Decided to go on his recommendation for the day, smoked duck pizza, the best pizza I have tasted in SIN. Service with a smile and such a charming place, highly recommended and will certainly revisit. Appreciation to MeiPin for introducing Food for Thought.

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and new – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Selemat Hari Raya

19 Sep 2009 – Fasting & Feasting!

Happy Bday, Ivy

Happy Bday, Ivy

Wed: Albert CHUA flew in 10 dozens yummy oysters from Adelaide, Australia for Ivy‘s Bday… what a feast with the pink champagne and the excellent wines to go with the rest of the food. Spent the night at Les&Ivy‘s as Lawrence&Mabel arrived from Kuching, Sarawak late in the evening and we had to get up early the next day to pay respect to our parents at the Mandi Crematorium. The Hungry Ghost month will soon be over.

Jo picked us early Thu morning and that really saved time on the highway. Usually it takes me well over an hour (one way) by bus and having to make a change as there are no direct buses from town or from my place. Managed to squeeze in some work before heading to Les&Ivy‘s condo in Sentosa for a family dinner and to spent the night.

It’s certainly not easy to focus on work after two days of ‘high-life feasting’ but reality has to be faced and working this weekend to make sure that there will be some new designs so that the manufacturers in Thailand are able to show us samples of merchandise when we meet in Chiangmai end of the month. This is the long weekend as Hari Raya Puasa/Malay=celebration day of fasting marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. This year it falls on a Sun, thus a public holiday on Mon. Selemat Hari Raya to all my Muslim friends. And to the rest- have a wonderful weekend and stay safe.

It’s clearly more important to treat one’s fellow man well than to be always praying and fasting and touching one’s head to a prayer mat – Naguib Mahfouz

Apologies to Monkey Cups


15 Sep 2008 – Ignorance of childhood

Happy Bday ENG Ting Ting, my first blogger friend!

Received a pitcher-plant (cultivated) and find them to be most fascinating and intriguing. They are carnivorous plants whose prey-trapping mechanism features a deep cavity filled with pitfall trap liquid. Tiny flying or crawling inserts are attracted to the cavity formed by the cupped leaf.  The sides of the pitcher are slippery and may be grooved in such a way so as to ensure that the insects cannot climb out. The small bodies of liquid contained within the pitcher traps drown the insect and the body of it is gradually dissolved. Like all carnivorous plants, they occur in locations where the soil is too poor in minerals and/or too acidic for most plants to be able to grow.


Discovered these plants growing wild by our Changi beach house in the early 1950s. On the way down (about 100 steps of concrete stairs) to the beach, these Monkey Cups (was what they were known) flourished where the stairs made a right-angle turn. Being a curious and mischievous child, emptying the liquid seemed fun then, not realizing that childish game probably killed off a few of these wonderful creations. Unfortunately, the house no longer exist (not repossessed but sold and redeveloped in this case).  Being no fan of insects makes me a fan to these plants. If and when they cross my path, they will only be admired with the eyes. The hands will only be on the camera 🙂

Off all the traps and pitfalls in life, self-disesteem is the deadliest and the hardest to overcome, oft it is a pit designed and dug by our own hands, summed up on the phrase: ‘It’s no use; I can’t do it’ – Maxwell Maltz


14 Sep 2009 – Time & Tide wait for no one (proverb)

Time has flown by quickly. It was 10 years ago since I moved back to SIN and 5 years ago we were in the National Museum of Ireland-Country Life in Co Mayo/Ireland, for Brother Joseph MCNALLY’s (1923-2002) Inauguration of Counsellor II, a bronze sculpture erected by the people of SIN in his memory.


The weekend is usually for family & friends. Sunday was spent walking parts of the Changi Park Connector and watching the planes. Started about 1000hrs, a bit too hot for me but Jane TAY prefers to sleep in during the weekends. Fortunately there was pleasant breeze under the tress by the sea’s high tide and no crowds.  A refreshing cold drink at the Sailing Club was a nice break and good way to cool down.

Lunched at #1-57 Changi Village Market & Food Centre, known for it’s  nasi lemak/malay (literal translation rice fat). Traditionally, this comes as a platter of food wrapped in banana leaf, with cucumber slices, small dried anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and hot spicy sauce. As a more substantial meal, nasi lemak can also come with a variety of other accompaniments such as chicken and otah-otah/malay, mixture of fish paste and spices wrapped up in banana leaf and grilled.

Ended the day to celebrate Ivy‘s excellent angiogram’s results with Jo‘s delicious home-made prawn noodle soup dinner, French hand-made chocolate and durians at Leslie & Ivy’s… what a day of scrumptious eating! And I really have to go on a diet from today or none of my clothes will fit 🙁

DIET is DIE with a T – Jim Davis’s Garfield



10 Sep 2009 – Hawthorn-Singapore

Another AT Thru’ Hike talk hosted by Dr Amy RASHAP, General Manager/Director of Studies at Hawthorn. (Amy & I met when we were stuck at Shanghai airport in July). The ages of the students ranged from 18 and above; from China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and one French lady. Was not sure if they were just shy, or was I talking too fast, this was a large group but no Q&A to conclude the talk.

A school teaching English with a tag line like What should you LOOK for in a SCHOOL that teaches ENGLISH? Perhaps the subject was boring to them or perhaps they were unable to understand my English… (always a first time!). But does it mean that the audience has no interest when communication, feed-back or questions are lacking? Have spoken to smaller high school and boys’ scouts groups and had to spent over 15mins on Q&A!

It was educational to give a talk to a group of ESL/English as a second language. Thank you Amy for the opportunity and safe trip to Poland. In future I will use more pictures if I do another talk to any ESL groups.

I AM is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that I DO is the longest sentence – George Carlin

Awesome Anagrams


8 Sep 2009 – Scrabble with Letters

This has got to be one of the cleverest E-mails I’ve received. Someone out there is deadly at Scrabble. Wish I could be that clever with letters and words! When you rearrange the letters:

A DECIMAL POINT – I m a dot in place

ANIMOSITY – is no amity

ASTRONOMER – moon starer

DESPERATION – a rope ends it

DORMITORY – dirty room

PRESBYTERIAN – best in prayer

ELECTION RESULTS – lies, let’s recount

ELEVEN PLUS TWO – twelve plus one

GEORGE BUSH – he bugs Gore

THE EARTHQUAKES – that queer shake

THE EYES – they see

THE MORSE CODE – here come dots

SLOT MACHINES – cash lost in me

SNOOZE ALARMS – alas no more ZS

And for the grand finale: MOTHER-IN-LAW – WOMAN HITLER

Yep! Someone with waaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands… probably a son-in-law 🙂

Calvin and Hobbes are playing Scrabble.
Calvin: Ha! I’ve got a great word and it’s on a Double word score box!
Hobbes: ZQFMGB isn’t a word! It doesn’t even have a vowel!
Calvin: It is so a word! It’s a worm found in New Guinea! Everyone knows that!
Hobbes: I’m looking it up.
Calvin: You do, and I’ll look up that 12-letter word you played with all the Xs and Js!
Hobbes: What’s your score for ZQFMGB?
Calvin: 957 —
Bill Watterson

Filial Piety

7 Sep 2009 – Asian Civilisations Museum


YeeSang LEUNG, Frank WELTEN, KK & I met for dinner Sat night after their last day of the dental conference. Was most privileged to have KK as our personal tour guide at the ACM on Sun. After the tour, he made us a delicious lunch at his house (built in the 1930s, the two-storey house won the 2004 Heritage Award). Met up with Auntie KWOK (age 95 who has known me since I was born), KK reminded her that I was the mischievous one… was there an acknowledgement glint in her eyes or was my imagination playing tricks on me 🙂


Over the years, it has been so touching to observe how KK treats his mother with such unconditional love, care, compassion, consideration and calling everyday during our trip. Anyone who practices sincere filial piety has my highest respect and admiration. ACM’s Gallery6/China, there is the Confucian ideals, filial piety (孝) where one of the virtues to be held above all else: a respect for the parents and ancestors.

Built in the 1930s, the two-storey house at 92 Cairnhill Road belongs to Dr Kenson Kwok
(above), director of the Asian Civilisations MuseWe met up with Auntie Kwok (age 95) where Kenson reminded her that I was the mischievous one; did her eyes showed a glint of acknowledgement or was it my imagination?Have observed over the years how Kenson treats his mother and it is touching to see such care, compassion, consideration and love from a son to his mother.

In a society which is structured the wrong way, piety has no effect –
Friedrich Durrenmatt