Keep at it. Don’t give up. Keep banging away and the day will come!


One of the reasons why Biddy Low, Han Thon and I took time to speak to three of our most respected and well-known musicians – before went online on 1 September this year – was because we believe in the talents of our Singaporean musicians and wondered what could be done to help them in whatever ways we can. (You can watch the video which resulted from that interview here.)

Often, Singaporeans shy away from our own talents – especially our musicians, until they make it big elsewhere first. It is a crying shame, really, that we seek validation from others for our own talents before we support them. Continue reading “Keep at it. Don’t give up. Keep banging away and the day will come!”

Putting things in perspective

Just posting this two videos here as a reminder to myself to remember always that there are others who go through more – and keep going despite the odds and obstacles.

Stories like these two put things in perspective. There are people out there who are going through more struggle and heartache than perhaps those of us who are bitching constantly about the smallest, tiniest things.

At five years old, Juliana has already been through thirty operations to mediate the severity of her affliction: Treacher Collins syndrome. Juliana was born with one sealed eyelid, a complete lack of cheekbones, no nasal passage and almost no upper and lower jawbone.


Lizzie Velasquez is an Austin, Texas girl who must eat every 15 minutes to stay alive. Her photo would give the impression that she is anorexic, but she’s not. In fact, her medical condition is a mystery. She is unable to gain weight or store fat in her body.


And the story of Mdm Tan, from Yahoo Singapore:

Sixty-three-year-old bridge player Tan Yoke Lan had one of the toughest decisions ever to make before the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia – to take a gamble and postpone her chemotherapy treatment for her breast cancer or stay in Singapore and start treatment immediately.

Her doctor at the National University Hospital was not exactly pleased when she decided to take the risk instead and said it’s not clear if the postponement will have an impact on her overall condition.

But that hasn’t deterred the grandmother of six.

“I had to take part in the SEA Games because I was already committed to my bridge partner and the team. It wouldn’t have been nice to do otherwise,” said Tan in an interview with Yahoo! Singapore.

She’s already undergone an operation and will be heading straight to the hospital for chemotherapy the day after she returns to Singapore on 23 November.

“My husband and family have been very supportive of my decision. My daughter was not happy at first but later on she was OK with it,” said Tan.

Her love affair with the game started in the early 1980s when she followed her husband to a job posting in Taiwan. A friend introduced her to bridge and she’s never looked back since.

“I loved it immediately. Bridge isn’t all about yourself. You have to understand others as well,” said Tan.

She started playing bridge competitively in the early 1990s and has travelled all over the world from China to Portugal, taking part in numerous tournaments.

Having already overcome her opponents and winning gold at the SEA Games, Singaporeans will no doubt be hoping for another clear and sound victory for Tan– over her disease.

Relocating memories – to save drivers 5 to 10 mins

The government has announced the acquisition of the Rochor area which will affect four blocks of HDB flats, 187 rental shops and eating houses at the Rochor Centre as well as 21 private properties which will have part of their plots acquired. (Yahoo)

Ostensibly, the exercise is to make way for the construction of the new 21.5 km North-South Expressway (NSE). Continue reading “Relocating memories – to save drivers 5 to 10 mins”

An endless march

Picture by Shawn Danker

Modernity is an endless march. One which is relentless as science, technology and economic progress take the human race further. Yet, it is not all a smooth ride. In its wake, progress (here I mean moving forward rather than the other notion of “positive development”) will leave a trail of questions – about identity, about sense of belonging.

In Singapore, a tiny city where 5.5 million are crammed into, modernity always throws up such questions. In the past, it was the government (and indeed it is still the government) which makes the decision and we move on. Some say this is one reason why Singapore has been able to modernise in such a short period of time. Singaporeans would feel hapless, helpless and fatalistic. Nothing we can do, we would say. Continue reading “An endless march”