Wednesday, July 28, 2010


18 July 2010

Finally, Toastmasters become Masters of Toasting. So many times, one would misunderstand a Toastmaster as a brilliant Toaster. Tonight, our Kg Chai Chee Toastmasters really began their Toasting!

We had potluck cum BBQ at the place of incoming President Andrew Kuan ACG/CL. Everyone brought delicious goodies to share.

Guess the BBQ session would be the last time I see my former VPE Adelene. She'll be returning to Malaysia to set up her family...

Aljunied GRC MPs Walkabout in Eunos

18 July 2010

The 5 MPs of Aljunied GRC conducted a walkabout at Eunos Constituency on a bright Sunday morning.

Many residents were surprised to see the MPs in full force.

The MPs also graced a grassroots event after their interaction with the residents.

National Youth Sector Conference 2010: "Transforming the Youth Sector from Good to Great"

17 July 2010

Was nominated by the People's Association Youth Movement to attend the National Youth Sector Conference 2010 at Grand Park City Hotel (the former Park Royal Hotel).

The mood of the participants was not dampened by the flash floods around the island due to the heavy rain at 4am.

Guest-of-Honour was none other than Mayor Teo Ser Luck, Chairman of National Youth Council. In his opening address, he called for youth organisations to tap onto the many funds provided by the NYC. Referring to the heavy rain, he mentioned that he could not go for his morning run and that his ceiling was leaking too.

After his address, he launched the refreshed logo for NYC.

Panel Discussion - Good to Great: Insights from Various Sectors

From left: Eric Teng (Adviser, The Tecity Group and Tan Chin Tuan Foundation), Willie Cheng (Chairman, Lien Centre for Social Innovation), Mayor Teo Ser Luck (Chairman, National Youth Council), Facilitator Tan Chi Chiu (Board Member, Lien Centre for Social Innovation), Ang Bee Lian (CEO, National Council for Social Services) & Douglas Foo (CEO, Sakae Holdings Ltd & Board Member, SPRING Singapore)

During the first panel discussion, the Facilitator poked the GOH with several pricky issues such as NYC being a PA body and the recent PA/PAP issue.

Panel Discussion - Good to Great: Transforming Youth Sector Organisations

From left: Morene Sim (Executive Director, Students Care Services), Usha Menon (Executive Chairman, Management Centre Asia), Facilitator Aaron Maniam (President, Mendaki Club), Wilson Chew (CEO, StrategiCom) & Leong Lai Fong (Managing Consultant, Blue Ocean Strategy)

The sharings from the second panel discussion were that in an organisation, we should ensure the light (vision) is not just carried by one person but by the entire organisation. Members should believe in the organisational values not because of the leader.

Brand Strategist Wilson Chew shared his research data pointing to about 87.5% of a population sample of 4,000 make purchasing decisions purely on perception. He then stressed the importance of managing public perception and the need for transparency in actions/deeds that the organisation carries out, which includes communicating the downside of policies.

After lunch, I attended the Break-out session for Volunteer Management. The other sessions were Fundraising, Program Development and Action Research. For Volunteer Management, the speakers were Mr Raymond Huang, Chief Heartware Officer, Heartware Network; Mr Tan Cheng Kiong, Chief Commissioner, Singapore Scouts Association; Mr Martin Tan, Executive Director, Halogen Foundation Singapore; and facilitated by Mr David Fong, Director, SG Cares & Marcom, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre.

The greatest takeaway is that organisations should not take in all volunteers. Mr Martin Tan shared that they should devise a volunteer management system and identify the types of volunteers required. Ultimately, it is not about how long the volunteers stay with you, but how much they would be able to benefit others after their stint with your organisation.

Mr Raymond Huang shared an interesting insight into the way he operates. He mentioned that if any staff or volunteer were doing the same project more than two times, that means there is no transfer of knowledge. In such situation, an elitist circle might form resulting in exclusion of others to the project. Hence, he never wants to see the same staff doing the same thing twice.

Mr Tan Cheng Kiong talked about the recognition of volunteers with long-service awards, verbal affirmation, distinguished service awards, thank you dinners.

NUS Commencement 2010

12 July 2010

Gave a miss to the World Cup Finals so that I can have ample rest for my BIG day.

Reached NUS pretty early and had the luxury of time to take photos.

The ceremony started with the Professors walking along the aisles in their "Harry Potter" outfit. The Presiding Officer then announced the beginning of the ceremony.

Assoc Prof Chua Fook Kee, Vice Dean Research, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences then introduced the guest speaker.

The Guest Speaker was Mr Adam Abdur Rahman, Director, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi (Singapore).

After his speech, Prof Chua called out the names of the graduands as they lined up to receive their certificates.

Prof Paulin Straughan then took over to call the names.

Buffet lunch was provided.

Cousin Luke's Wedding

11 July 2010

Went to Four Seasons Hotel to attend my Cousin Luke's wedding dinner.

Drawing the Line between PA and PAP

10 July 2010

I was quoted by The Straits Times regarding my views about the line between People's Association and the People's Action Party.

Although PA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Community, Youth Development & Sports (MCYS), it is not the PAP.

Under the PA's constitution, whichever political party which forms the government of the day will inherit the PA, i.e. Prime Minister will always assume the post of Chairman for the PA Board.

The PA's objective is to be the bridge between the Government and the people. PA Grassroots Leaders help to communicate Government policies to their residents while channelling feedback upwards.

This very objective and purpose would be nullified with the appointment of Opposition MPs as Advisers to Grassroots Organisations. They would have to choose between betraying their political parties by singing the Government's tune or betray People's Association by destroying the bridge.

Even though some PA Grassroots Leaders might take up PAP membership, it should not automatically mean that PA GRLs are all PAP members. That is as absurd as saying that your HDB is a PAP HDB flat because your neighbour is a PAP member.

What matters, to me, is that GRLs are those who have committed themselves to serving the community, sacrificing their family time and sometimes even money.

An Interactive Session to Understand the Perils of HIV/AIDs

10 July 2010

Eunos CC YEC held a workshop session to impart the knowledge on HIV/AIDs, together with NUS AIESEC and Standard Chartered.

Through meaningful games and activities, participants not only learnt more about the transmission of the disease, they also understood the social stigma that HIV patients face.

Adviser Zainul also dropped by to interact with the participants.

PA Constituency Dragon Boat Championship

4 July 2010

Rowed for Eunos Constituency at the Aljunied GRC CCC/CCMC Race at Bedok Reservoir.

Our initial burst couldn't be sustained and we ended 4th! (out of 5 boats)

After the session, went to Vicki's place where the PAYM Singapore - Hong Kong Youth Exchange Programme had a steamboat gathering.

Jewel of Muscat Comes Alive @ Kampong Gelam

4 July 2010

The Jewel of Muscat is finally in Singapore! Some of us had last went on board of the ship in Penang (see here).

Eunos Grassroots Leaders found ourselves at the Malay Heritage Centre where we'll welcome the Jewel of Muscat Captain and Crew.

Chairman of the Malay Heritage Foundation, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, gave an opening address to welcome our friends of Oman.

Jewel of Muscat Captain Al Saleh shares about his team's journey.

A Q&A session then took place where the audience posed many interesting questions to the Captain. I particularly like the question that Mr Zainul raised, on what gave Captain Saleh the energy and drive to persist on the journey. Watch the video here

An appreciation gift was also presented to the Omani delegates.

There was also a tour around Kampong Gelam for our Omani delegates.