Thursday, February 25, 2010

MPS Volunteers Lohei

22 February 2010

Meet-the-People Session (MPS) Volunteers at Eunos Branch had a Lo Hei at close to midnight after all the residents had returned.

City Alive! 2010

20-21 January 2010

Volunteers arrived at the Singapore Flyer as early as 6pm. We then walked our way to the holding room at the Pit Building, as we awaited for Chingay Day 2 performances to end. There, we took a change of clothes to the City Alive! event tee that bore a big letter "A" at the front.

At about 8.30pm, the various teams of volunteers headed off to their respective locations to standby as the finale ends. My team was fortunate to be able to see the marvelous fireworks expends its life. As the event ended, the emcees Quan Yi Fong, Bryan and Gurmit Singh walked past us.

No time was wasted to convert the Chingay leftovers to City Alive!. Volunteers, with the help of CISCO police, emptied the premise of Chingay participants. I was the Volunteer I/C for Sector 4, which spanned the entire 350m of dance floor from one end of the seats to the other end. It was really an experience.

The Guest-of-Honour was Mrs Josephine Teo, MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC. She is also the Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC, as well as Chairman of the GPC for Education. She was accompanied by Mr Tan Boon Huat, Chief Executive Director of People's Association, as they made a grand entrance at the top of the Hippo Bus.

Celebrity DJs hyped up the crowd with their own varieties of music. Stilt walkers, electronic kite-flyers as well as dancers added vibe into the atmosphere.

Sector 4 volunteers worked through the night till 4am. While some sectors could stand down, sector 4 was the dance floor and practically couldn't stand down till the event was over.

When the event was finally over, some Caucasians turned rowdy and started hurling abusive words to the auxiliary police. They also snide the officers by using their mobile phones to video the officers as they usher the crowd out. I thought such acts were uncalled for, and that perhaps reflect how different nationalities view their police forces. Anyway, the event was a hugely successful one and the music would stay on in my head until...

PCF Eunos Sparkletots Openhouse

20 February 2010

Went over to the openhouse for PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Eunos Sparkletots after the weekly SLC meeting. The centre provides services such as childcare, nursery and kindergarten. On one end of the centre, there are baby prams, and on the other end, there are open-concept classrooms.

Children who accompanied their parents to the premise were also amazed and amused with the toys and educational materials.

Management committee members of PCF Eunos:

Chingay Day 1 & City Alive! 2010 Rehearsal

19 February 2010

TR2201 is getting more and more fun! It could perhaps rank #1 (in my fun list) among all the other modules in NUS. TR2201 is Entrepreneurial Marketing and taught by an adjunct professor who has amassed a lifelong experience in management and marketing and currently a consultant. To those who espouses the idea that "those who can't do, teach", this definitely is not the case.

The group met at Suvin's place.

The view from the 24th floor was awesome. One could see the Singapore Flyer and the other CBD buildings.

We came up with some secret concoctions of fruit juices until the juicer tripped on us. We appreciated our juices (made with our sweat, not literally of course!) but Joel would suffer from a bad stomache the following day.

Leaving Suvin's place, I dashed my way over to the Pit Building where City Alive! 2010 volunteers would be doing a rehearsal.

We entered the event ground during the Chingay day 1 finale. VIP cars ready to ferry the Prime Minister away:

This marked my first time seeing Chingay live, albeit just for the last few moments of it. As People's Association marks its Golden Jubilee, fireworks sprayed across the sky and a mega-birthday cake moves across the audience.

And the People's Association Youth Movement (PAYM)'s float, which won the most number of votes for the design.



Immediately after the end of the Chingay programme, volunteers and officials moved into the track and transformed the entire Chingay parade ground to the City Alive! 2010 dance floor.

HQ SCE Chinese New Year Lunch

17 February 2010

The Changi Beach Club has a perfect ambience for receptions. Standing in the restaurant, you can see the sparkling seawater, the occasional planes and ships.

Hock Rong and I arrived early to prepare for the HQ Singapore Combat Engineers (SCE) Chinese New Year Lunch. I happened to be from one of the units of SCE, and got to chat with some of my warrant officers.

A game of Scavenger Hunt was played. The rules of the game were easy but the items had many twists to it.

The lunch was graced by COL Alvin Kek, Chief Engineering Officer. One of the things I like about the Engineer formation is that salutation is not practised, and everyone is part of this big family.

At the end of the lunch, the Commanding Officer for HQ SCE led everyone in the Huat la! cheer.

The walk to Changi Village brings back memory. We walked past the bungalow chalet where the hustings of Temasek JC Photographic Society was held. I remember presenting myself as a candidate to the Chairman position. And how I cooked noodles for everyone the next day. Not forgetting the night visit to the Old Changi Hospital.

An enterprising lion dance troop roamed the food centre, going to every stall to perform (and most importantly, collect red packets).

Perhaps due to the long hours of lion dancing, I thought the standards weren't there.

And it seems this lion is everywhere:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Preference vs Sacrifice

In a recent conversation, someone lamented that he cannot understand why he has to live his life for others, always sacrificing himself for others. I'm particularly skeptical when someone is painted with such a heroic label of "sacrificing" him/herself for others.

In Economics, there is a term called the "utility". Utility can be defined as a measure of the relative satisfaction from, or desirability of, consumption of various goods and services [Wikipedia's definition]. Simply put, among various choices, a rational individual would seek to maximise his utility by committing himself to the choice that pleasures him most and pains him least.

When one "sacrifices" oneself for another, in actual fact, one is maximising one's utility. He made a preference to "sacrifice" over not to "sacrifice". Such a "sacrifice" could really be a sacrifice in the eyes of others, but to the "sacrificer", it cannot be said to be a sacrifice. By "sacrificing", he actually derive satisfaction.

Putting it into context, when you "sacrifice" yourself for the nation, you derive joy because you met your obligations as a citizen, unleashed your boiling patriotic blood and lived a good life. To a third party who doesn't appreciate the extent of your patriotism, then of course you would have been seen to be "sacrificed".

That said, I would prefer to use the word "Preference".

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


14 February 2010

A piece of land was left vacant after the factories on it were demolished. During weekends, foreign workers would be seen playing cricket there. In the afternoon of some weekdays, golfers can be seen practising their strokes.

And on the first day of Chinese New Year, my family and I decided to fly our kites!

This is my first time flying kites with family. I first flew a kite when I was back in TJC LEP Club.

Mother said that perhaps Father could see the kites as we flew them up.

Time flies when flying the kite...

Reunion Dinner

13 February 2010

Had a simple reunion steamboat dinner with my family on Chinese New Year's eve. This is the first CNY without Father's presence. I still remember when we ate from the same steamboat last year, Father was so ill that he had to eat porridge.

Following Chinese tradition, we won't be celebrating CNY for the next 3 years.

Bingo & Treasure Box Nite 2010

12 February 2010

2 days before Chinese New Year, markets will be open till late night to allow for everyone to do their last minute shopping. To draw crowds to the market and to entertain the residents doing their shopping, the Eunos Bingo & Treasure Box Nite is held annually. A brainchild of Hock Rong, this year's event was jointly organised by the Eunos CC YEC, Zone '1', '2' & '3' RCs.

While the event was held from 8pm till late night in the past years, this year's was held from 5pm-7pm, as the shop merchants association had other programmes after 7pm. It is a working day (Friday) and most people might still be on the way back from work. We were worried about the attendance.

Fortunately, everyone loves Bingo! At 5pm, the crowd started to fill the seats. As we started playing the first round of Bingo, more and more passers-by started to buy tickets.

Took a rest after the 2-hour gameshow, before visiting the market and neighbourhood with the MP, Mr Zainul, and fellow grassroots leaders. Residents were greeted with mandarin oranges by the MP.

It must be more than a decade since I toured the market 2 days before the Chinese New Year. There were jolts of memories as we walked around the neighbourhood.

One of the shop owners even called for a lion dance performance to entertain the residents.

YEC members also got to talk to some of the youths who expressed interest in joining us in community service work.

The visit ended past 1am. It was a fruitful night.