Majulah Singapura

31 Mar 2015 – Onward SIN – Life Goes On


Will now try to follow the news with one of LKY grandsons, Li Shengwu, age 24 who has learned to speak and debate like his grandfather. So let’s hope he too is able to walk the talk like his grandfather…


Here is a good interview with Charlie Munger/U of MI. Worth watching where Charlie tells the audience to ‘study the life and works of LKY and you’re going to be flabbergasted’

Have neglected acknowledgements and other happenings for a week and now to pick up from the previous week.


Sat 22 Mar: belated Bday dinner for Sue. ‘Gravlaks’, salad and mushroom wile-rice pilaf since both of us are cutting down with the food!!


Sun 22 Mar: the sky opened up on my way to Les&Ivy. Thank you to Jessie&Frank for the 28+ingredients, the King of YuiSang/鱼生=raw fish which I miss out on in 2014. Somehow, this year’s pix are not good. The pic from 2013 are still the better ones


Details continue to emerge about the final moments of Germanwings Flight 9525. To kill oneself is suicide but to kill others is murder.



Sat 28 Mar: appreciations to Sue, Pat&David for Jo’s Bday lunch at Chui Huay Teochew Cuisine****my favourite place for their suckling piglet! Was first introduced to this venue a year ago by May&Albert. Thanks to Les&Ivy for good wines.


Forgot all about Earth Hour this year 😦

Sun 29 Mar: tkx to Clem for having me over to view LKY’s State Funeral procession on his TV. Dinner at IKEA.

Non-personal pix are borrowed from different sites.


Mr Lee’s Final Journeys

30 Mar 2015 – Parliament House – U Cultural Centre


Sun: the Sky above shed tears onto a nation in tears as we bid Mr Lee a final farewell. Safe journey to your final destination. You will be missed.


The Funeral Service for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was held at the University Cultural Centre (UCC), National University of Singapore on 29 Mar 2015, Sunday, from 2pm to 5.15pm. It was preceded by the State Funeral Procession from Parliament House to UCC.


The Procession covered a distance of 15.4km and pass significant landmarks, such as Old Parliament House, City Hall, the Padang, NTUC Centre and Singapore Conference Hall; as well as heartland areas.


Happy is the baby that the sun shines on and peaceful is the corpse that the rain falls on’ – thank you to Garry Rogers grandmother for that quote.

foreign-dignitaries-for-dataList of the foreign dignitaries.

Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings, op.11 and JS Bach’s ‘Air’ from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major were performed by SSO with Lan Shui conducting.

The Master of Ceremony will be Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service.


10eulogies delivered, in the following order:
◾Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
◾President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam
◾Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong
◾Former Cabinet Minister Ong Pang Boon
◾Former Cabinet Minister S. Dhanabalan
◾Former Senior Minister of State Sidek Bin Saniff
◾Trade unionist G. Muthukumarasamy
◾Tanjong Pagar community leader Leong Chun Loong
◾Former journalist Cassandra Chew
◾The late Mr Lee’s second son Lee Hsien Yang

11106284_10152858473107832_846866912_n.jpgSCDF Public Warning System siren sounded twice island wide to signal the start and end of a minute of silence for the late Mr Lee.

On the conclusion of the Funeral Service, the late Mr Lee made his final journey to Mandai Crematorium. The cremation service was private.

Dear Mr Lee, farewell and THANK YOU. Words are not enough and cannot justify what you have done to give our tiny island state world recognition. May you now forever rest in peace and not have to – ‘Even from my sick bed, if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up’ – LKY


Those of us who were not standing out in the torrential downpours were probably glued to the TV. Thanks to nephew Clem for his TV screen and for living on Bukit Merah Rd where the procession passed by. The 2 above pix are by Clem and me and the rest in the posting are downloaded from various sites.

I also noticed something in the air. The rain was over. The air was fresh. One era has ended. A new one has begun. Majulah Singapura – Bertha Henson


Many have written and shared about Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015), his wife Kwa Geok Choo (1920-2010) and their 3 children, Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang. Google and you will not be short of info and pix of this ‘orang besar’ (big man) and one of the world’s great leaders.

Credits to all the borrowed pix and info for the late Mr Lee.


Edited Monday 30Mar: a letter published in the New Paper today from my bro Leslie showing the more human side of LKY


Parliament House

28 Mar 2015 – Salute To Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Thu: decided to check into this backpackers’ place 5footway.inn Project Boat Quay***by SIN River and directly across from the Parliament House. Figured that it was the only way I am able pay my last respect to Mr Lee and attend my last Chinese class in Chinatown the next day!


That way, could follow the updates by popping over across the river to check out the situation or just do so from the 3rd floor. It was well worth S$40 (bunk-bed w another female) + breakfast!


At the lines 1600hrs and then was told  7-8hrs wait. Decided to head into Chinatown to pick up dinner.


Pleasant stroll by the river and ate my take-out dinner by the riverbanks at UOB. By 2200hrs, there was still no change in the waiting time, so went to sleep and had the alarm set for 0300hrs.


Fri: was at the lines by 0345hrs to discover that it was not the priority line. Must have looked rather distraught, tired and helpless!! A kind young non-uniformed man accompanied me straight to the security line bypassing all kind of lines. 0350hrs thru’ security checks and after that was app 20mins line to get into the Parliament House. Paid my respects 0415hrs and was out by 0418hrs.


Thank you Mr Lee for taking care of me even as you lie peacefully in the Parliament House!


Back to the room to continue with my sleep. Nice views at breakfast on the 3rd floor.


Last Chinese lesson for this time round. Appreciations to two excellent teachers, YONG WaiSeng (left) & LIM YuenTee (right) who managed to keep me interested in this class and willingly want to return for more!


Istana to Parliament House

26 Mar 2015 – Last Trip


Wed: oh no no no, not another one! Condolences to family and friends and RIP to those who lost their life.


Singapore founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew dies at 91 As the carriage comes to a stop at the Istana Plaza, a bag piper from the SIN Gurkha Contingent played Auld Lang Syne before the carriage passes through the Istana guard house and gate. Gathering in thousands by the road side to pay their respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew as his coffin was transported on a gun carriage from the Istana to to Parliament House for public viewing.


gun-carriage-route-lky-dataWed 25 Mar 0900hrs – Mr Lee’s last trip from the Istana to Parliament House on Orchard, Bras Basah and North Bridge Rd. Passing by the site of his old school – former RI, now Raffles City opposite to my old school – former CHIJ, now CHIJMES on North Bridge Rd.


Public viewing started 1000hrs today and due to the overwhelming crowds, you can now pay your respects around the clock from Wed, Thu and Fri for 24hrs and Sat until 2000hrs. The MRT will run for 24hrs today according to CNA & ST


Above panorama pix credits to Zhang Licong.

Even before the lunch break, the queue was already snaking for up to 2k (1.2 miles) as SIN awaited their turn to enter the viewing hall. Many umbrellas to shield from the scorching sun, with temperatures in the humid tropical island hitting 33C (91F) at midday.


Acts of kindness with serving water and drinks to the public in line:  Fullerton Hotel, UOB, National Taxi Association, New Shah Alam Restaurant, Japanese eatery Takumen at Circular Road. Raffles Place MRT station florist gave out free flowers for people.

Hope that Mr Lee is now proud of his people…


All pix downloaded from various sites.

Tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

23 Mar 2015 – Singapore’s First Prime Minister


spore-flag-at-half-mast-for-dr-toh-chin-chyeMon: saddened by the news that Mr LEE Kuan Yew (1923-2015) passed away 03:18hrs 23Mar 2015. He was the first PM of SIN, governing for three decades. He is recognised as the founding father of modern SIN, and the only leader known to bring an entire country from third-world to first-world status in a single generation. Without him, SIN would not have been what it is today.

Condolences and prayers to his family and may he now RIP.


Having lived and experienced SIN before and after LKY days, I humbly lift my hat off to him with admiration and respect for making SIN a place which I enjoy returning for my visits and stay.


The only politician I admire and respect. Thank you for what he has done to make me proud to be a Singaporean. Even when he is physically no longer with us, he will always be in many of our hearts.


Said my farewells at my first and only and probably my last NDP/2014. Wanted to attend to salute and pay my respects to LKY then, and am glad that I did. Usually not in SIN during NDP. Last pix I took of him alive and the last time I saw him alive.


What is there to write about LKY that is not already written? Just check the media, websites, etc. Also the books, especially his own memoirs.


What touched me most is his devotion to his wife KWA Geok Choo, in life and now for eternity. Not only a good leader but a real MAN and those are rare to find, one in a billion!

For reasons of sentiment, I would like part of my ashes to be mixed up with Mama’s, and both her ashes and mine put side by side in the columbarium. We were joined in life and I would like our ashes to be joined after this life – LKY


They say the man who dies in the wee hours of the morning leaves all three meals for his family. It is the mark of the true Chinese gentleman – overheard


Thank you Mr Lee for everything you have done for SIN and for being a true gentleman in every way. May he now rest in peace together with his beloved wife. He will be greatly missed.


Edited Tue 24 Mar: paid respect early this morning outside the Istana Gate by signing a note of condolence to the family. Quite overwhelming with all those cameras and media people just sitting, waiting for VIPs. Was there early to avoid crowds. Took me longer to write the note than standing in line! Fighting the emotions and feeling so lost for words…

11080937_882110248518349_3114966372966525239_nNParks has named a new orchid in honour of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Transforming SIN into a Garden City was an enduring passion of Mr Lee.

The Aranda Lee Kuan Yew orchid hybrid (left) was chosen by NParks officers who staffed my father when he visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and knew what he liked. This hybrid is vigorous and robust. It also matches an earlier hybrid – in colour, form, stature and lineage – that was named after my mother, Vanda Kwa Geok Choo (right) – LHL

All pix on this posting are downloaded except the bigger size NDP of LKY and the ones outside the Istana Gate which are by me.

Celebration Of Food & Places

21 Mar 2015 – At URA & CBD


Enjoy visiting Urban Redevelopment Authority/URA to see what is new but this time round, it was also to ask as to what is becoming with the corner site on Marine P Rd now that the former Republic Theaters is demolished? Dreams and hopes down the drains for it being a MRT station. Another commercial 5-storey building with 3 basements is the reality 😦

Food plays a major part here in SIN where one is able to taste world-wide cuisine on this tiny red dot! Met 4 delightful young students who explained their creative accessories for certain local food. Thank you for their patience with my questions and comments.


‘Nasi Lemak Serving Plate’ by LIM CaiJin, made this meal more attractive to digest. Different decorative presentations can be placed in this see-thru’ tray to accommodate the creative juices.

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‘Satay Sauce Dipper’ by Marcian Emil Ignatus. Good idea for those who eat satay and can relate to how we all have different techniques when the meat is no longer near the tip of the stick!

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‘Tulang Marrow Extractor’ by Muhammad Amirrul Afig. On first sight at a different angel… !! Anyway, now one can taste the marrow of the bone in a more delicate and graceful manner than sucking.

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‘Food Packaging’ by Samuel TOO ShaoKai. Eco friendly and hope that more people are mindful about the environment. The best is still the old-fashioned metal tiffin-carrier where you can wash and reused. Unfortunately in today’s fast pace rat-race, very few bother.

15588_10153212692965681_1680939121365818373_nSaw a nice one that I would like to have – a bamboo carrier with ceramic bowls by Jenggala. Made in Indonesia. More appetizing and healthy to eat straight out of these bowls. Seeming you can find it on the website and order online.

Tkx Michelle for sharing this.


The Big Picture by Stephen Wiltshire drawn from memory last year at Paragon in now in place on the 2nd floor.


Some nice exhibits, especially this tree-trunk table.


Decided to continue to the Central Business District/CBD since it was still not yet rush hour and also it has been awhile since I was last there. Marina House on Shenton Way and Dapenso building on Cecil St where I worked in the early 2000s are no longer. Interesting exterior decor at Maple Tree on Anson Rd – giants’ hearing aid for my senior ears and years 🙂


Cecil St

CapitaGreenc CapitaLand600x9001capitagreen_gallery_1capitagreen-building-details

CapitaGreen at 138 Market St with unusual red petals on the roof is the latest eco-friendly building but not quite completed yet, nearly there. Looking forward to seeing and visiting this building.


Designed by Toyo Ito, it will be the greenest CBD office building. Decked with greenery on every floor, crowned with unique wind funnels on the rooftop, channeling air into a void to help cool the ACMV system in the building. More than half of the building façade will be covered with living green plants. CapitaGreen pix downloaded.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world – John Muir

Spring 2015

20 Mar 2015 – Tropical Plants

Fri: Spring officially falls on today. Meteorologically speaking, however, in the N Hemisphere the official spring season always begins on 1Mar.


There will be a total eclipse of the sun for two minutes over the North Pole on Friday, March 20, the day of the Spring Equinox which coincides with the beginning of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the first month in the biblical calendar year, a solar occurrence that has likely never happened before in human history…


Could this be why the Aurora Borealis lit up one of the strongest solar flare last night…??? Pix downloaded from BBC


Mimosa Pudica is considered a herb in South & Central America, my apologies for calling it a weed! Thanks to readers in FB Nature Society I now have Touch-Me-Not, Tickle-Me-Not, Humble-Plant, Sleeping-Grass, Sensitive Plant etc, and also in other languages in my list. Playful childhood memories from what we kids called ‘Shy-Grass’ must have given me positive energy to like this plant.


Delonix regia/Flame of the Forest introduced into SIN in the mid 1900s. It is planted as a shade tree in parks and open spaces due to its broadly-spreading crown. However, it is primarily seen as an ornamental tree species recognized for its exuberant scarlet flowers when it is in bloom. There is even a postage stamp here in SIN for this magnificent tree.


Antigonon leptopus, commonly known as Mexican Creeper, coral vine, bee bush is a fast-growing climbing vine that holds via tendrils, and is able to reach 25 ft or more in length. I like the pretty delicate pink flowers

72bf2da75e_500x670_ae1f7d52d0The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel***is the sequel to 2012’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. Sonny soon to be married to Sunaina dreams of owning a 2nd hotel following the success of his 1st,  The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful.

The 1st hotel has only one room available now, making it a problem for new arrivals. Complications occur and the co-manager of the hotel, Muriel might be the one who knows how to fix them as she is the keeper of everyone’s secrets.

springAnd Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘The Sensitive Plant’