Come 1 September, publichouse.sg (PH) will be one year old. For me personally it has been a very eventful year – one where we made a small difference, and one which took me to many different places in Singapore and allowed me to meet with various groups of people. 2012 also opened up doors for me and gave me new opportunities.
It has been a year when I met the poor in rental flats, reported on court cases, participated in forums (as a panelist for the first time), got nominated for an award, engaged young students in the schools, covered an election, helped get a provision in law struck off, got a job handling http://ipscommons.sg, started http://publichouse.sg with several friends, got involved in an ongoing forum, met with ministers and MPs, participate in the campaign to remove the mandatory death penalty, writing for Yahoo Singapore and InSing, and currently working on some new projects as well.
It has been, in all honesty, the most fruitful and fulfilling year of my life.
I could list down all the things the team at PH have done this past year but it would be quite a long list, as there were many behind-the-scenes activities which we were involved in too. I am proud that we broke new grounds, as far as the blogosphere is concerned – we interviewed a minister (for the first time), and as mentioned above, helped remove a provision in the Evidence Act pertaining to sexual assault.
Behind all these which publichouse.sg has done is a group of volunteers who seems determined to put paid to the claim that Singaporeans are apathetic. One of the joys of doing what I do is to work with young volunteers – many of whom are students – and see them blossom and shed the cloak of fear in speaking out. It is quite an amazing thing to behold – that ordinary people, when given the opportunity and encouragement, are able to take courage and do what they feel is right for our society.
And if you think this is the domain of the men, think again. The majority of volunteers at publichouse are female.
We also have a truly awesome editorial team – Elaine Ee, Biddy Low, Han Thon, Raymond and Ding Yong. It is, without doubt, the best editorial team I have worked with, and I have learned much from each of them.
I am very happy where I am right now – quite an improvement from a year ago when, after leaving The Online Citizen, I was contemplating what next to do. As it turned out, opportunities came knocking.
There is one particular person I have to thank – M Ravi. Despite what anyone may think of him, he is someone whose friendship I will always treasure and appreciate. I guess in a way, I take after him, or he takes after me – we both believe in the bigger scheme of things. And we have talked much about our view of the world, the universe, in fact, and the spiritual meanings to our lives and the purpose of what we do. Simply put, we are just doing the best we can, the best way we know how, for whoever crosses our paths and need our help, while we serve out our time here on this earth. It is, really, as simple as that. PH would probably not be here if it were not for M Ravi’s support and encouragement. I owe him much.
But this past one year was made possible and made so much easier because of Jann. There are no words to say how many times she has carried me when I needed help, and the many ways she has been a comfort to me. Most of all, she has been such a great support to me in encouraging and supporting what I do. I hope I have also been able to do the same for her.
The road ahead looks promising, as publichouse.sg embarks on various projects, and partners up with different people. It will be another exciting year, I am sure.
So, stay tuned and join us for the ride. It is a momentous time in Singapore.
Thank you for all your support and more good years ahead!
And yes, I love where I am and what I do. 😉