Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Avoiding willful blindness in government

If you still aren't sure why we need credible opposition in parliament, this book will remove all your doubts. It is based on solid evidence. In fact it over succeeds at stating its case. We are simply wired to be willfully blind. The PAP claim that it can check itself is pure nonsense. It is almost saying they are not human.

I just read Chen Show Mao's speech in parliament today. He had successfully reinserted some of the intangibles of our values into his speech. He took to task the government for viewing  the care of our no longer economically as attractive citizens as a challenge.

Just as economists suffered from Physics envy, this government is blighted with private sector envy. Singapore is more than an Inc., it is still struggling to be a nation and they reduce it to a corporate wearing that badge proudly. Good grief, businesses have some of the shortest lives as organizations in the history of civilization. What a terrible paradigm. It is so shallow, it doesn't even qualify.

Sure investors love us because we flatter them by being like them. Did it ever occur to them to realize this? How can a country be reduced to a corporation? Anything that is not corporately is a challenge and distraction. They have been willfully blind. 

We need a good opposition to tell them that the emperor is not wearing clothes because they look themselves in the mirror and cannot see. It is a human limitation to only see what you want to see. Every credible psychologist can explain this.

Topping Science

If I am not wrong, half of the prizes are bagged by her classmates and her. Well it is an achievement for these girls but I hope they are not over rating it. During my time my parents couldn't understand, now among parents we understand too much and try too hard for them.

Prizes are nice but like I am starting to tell my elder girl, they are no big deal. Such competition for honors are endless. There is always another bigger and tougher arena and what do they bring you except perishable laurels. Seek wisdom, it is much better. And what's that? I am not saying here, they read this blog regularly. It will pop up here and there. Every learning point has its time and place.

Now to our younger child, congrats! Enjoy it for its brief moment and imagine how you are actually able to FAR SURPASS this if only you bother to discard the small pearls for better ones. However along the way, I hope you find that ONE BIG PEARL. This cannot be arranged by man.

If there is one thing the Christians can learn from the Muslims, it is submission to God.

Jan Berenstain has passed away

Good bye Jan Berenstain. Thanks very much for your books. Our children grew up with them. Even our dyslexic one memorized them all and I thought she could read. Most important all your books were filled with good old fashioned values. They were so well done, like it was hidden in the milk.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Response to my nephew...

My nephew wrote on FB:

i can imagine myself in the future, no house no car no money. wonders if it is a good or bad thing

My response:

Sounds like you will find something better and I don't mean just emotionally or spiritually. If you stay strong and grounded you would probably have luck on your side. You can't and must never plan it. Head in the right direction but think less of the destination. That place is not something you arrive, but along the way recognize.

Now I have to wait many years for the faith to bear fruit. The wait will likely be longer than this present incarnation of blogger isn't it?

Before my daughter went to bed, I asked if she can identify the source of what I had said to her cousin? If you can't completely rewrite them in your own way and words, you have not learned it well enough to live it.

Public Transport: We have been done in

S$1.1b spent on buses to include addressing operational cost issu...
The government's plans to spend S$1.1 billion on increasing bus capacity is not just for buying buses, but also address operational cost issues.


Richard Kong, who is a second year student at Nanyang Technological University, asked whether the S$1.1 billion spent on the purchasing of buses will result in an increase in transport fare over the next few years."

Mr Iswaran replied: "We're increasing the bus fleet by 20 per cent - ask yourself, do you think our ridership will go up by 20 per cent? If our ridership doesn't go up by 20 per cent, what it means is the buses would be less utilised, and there's a financial challenge there.

"When you buy a bus, the cost is not just buying the bus. It is also about operating. If you have 800 buses, you need at least 1,600 more drivers. And probably you need more because you need to plan for medical and other kinds of friction. If you want to bring in 1,600 to 2,000 more drivers, there's going to be other costs associated with it as well. So part of this funding is also designed to address some of the operating cost implications over the next 10 years.

"So it's not just about money to buy buses. It's also about how to address some of the operating cost issues over the next 10 years. The primary focus here is to ensure that by doing this, we're able to get a much higher quality of bus service for all Singaporeans. That is the objective of the exercise."

We are screwed. We helped pay for the buses then now we will soon pay for the higher running cost. We pay for everything extra. That's easy isn't it? If we don't pay, who pays? It can get very complicated but in the end the buck stops with us.

But we also pay the shareholders of the listed transport entities. What have they contributed to deserve the dividends? Have they helped us saved more than the profits that is going to them? Of course not. How could it be when management was maximizing annual returns but we are paying the long term consequences?

Privatization was a mistake the government isn't willing to admit. We should either nationalize it or lease it to the private sector. Whatever, we should own it so that we have control and the lease to tug on to get the behavior and services we want.

I am not complaining that we will have to pay more. I am only asking the government to explain how all these is value for money. As it is, it has made more sense for me 9 out of 10 to drive than use public transport, i.e., the fares are too high adjusted for time and quality. Anecdotally something is not right here.

Now we can expect in time to have the most expensive transport systems in the world regardless public or private. The government will have to bump up private transport or at this rate public transport will become more expensive than the more comfortable, convenient and even prestigious alternative. The first step in this direction is COEs inflating in a hurry. The government is always in a hurry. So when you see something changing quickly in this society, I bet you can trace it back to them.

There is one more train of thought I want to record but I am running out of time: the work culture of these transport firms. I am worried that the only trick the government know is to bump up pay. They need to work on their culture or we are paying for their under performance.

Closer to 2016, I shall refer to this and many other posts to help me decide who I should support. This line has the keywords since I am not willing to spend more than the minimum time to blog. Tagging is too time consuming.

Unimpressed with our OpenLectures.sg

I just made a quick visit to openlectures.sg. I had emailed my daughter about this promising site earlier after reading it in today's papers.

To be fair to them, I only have time to look at three lectures. The first two videos on Economics, and the first lecture of their Chemistry series.

One word: Unimpressed. They can't even speak properly. Very distracting. Completely unfamiliar with effective communications 101, much less teaching. Perhaps they can take a leaf from Khan Academy, the closest and more established site I can compare them to.

Many of our school teachers can do much better. Why don't we get the best of them to grace these sessions instead? These talented young people can set up and market them better than the school teachers as they are more familiar with the target audience.

I have discovered their YouTube channel and found a guy who is quite good after going through several less sterling ones. Unfortunately I am denied the courtesy of crediting him with his name. Comms 101, you are on video, the audience may not be familiar with you; it would be a good idea to always write your name on the board before you continue.

At this point, I think the quality of the site is patchy. Some of the clips I have seen and I wouldn't like to highlight them here, I think you are better off just reading your text or reference books.

Suggestion: Rope in some of the media guys from the polytechnics. You will be surprised what tremendous value they can bring to the effort, otherwise keep it simple like Sal Khan.

A Traffic Jam to remember

Bad traffic this morning. Heavy rain causing flooding at Ulu Pandan (We missed that). Traffic jam, the cause we discovered later was due to an over turned vehicle. Afterward it was a smooth drive :-)

Saw others putting up similar pics on facebook. They were certainly not amused and also not that patient.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tai Chi on MS Kinect

Tai Chi on the Kinect as shown in my Kindle Fire running the YouTube app.

Wifey wants to buy the Kinect but her research has shown that we have a space problem. Too much clutter and the LED TV is placed wrongly for it. We have the Nintendo Wii for more than four years now. Hardly used and I am afraid the Kinect might also turn out to be another white elephant.

Games are fun but where's the time for them? Well at least for me. I wouldn't even blog anything that takes too long to write!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Christian Shark Symbol?

I don't know what to make of this 'fish symbol'. Looks like a Christian Shark or Orca to me. It is probably anti-Christian like the Nazi Swastika was by making a travesty of the Cross.

Here are some "Jesus Fish" I found with Google.

I wonder if the driver of this beemer would not end up causing offence to Christians and bringing unnecessary trouble to himself or herself.

To me Christians should wear their cross with their lives and not their fashion or decorations. Since we have too much pride and leave no room for the Christ, we rather display him on or outside ourselves than emanating from from our inside. Religion is the ultimate substitute for God, the greatest menace to civilization.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Second McDonald's at East Coast Park

There is a new McDonalds located in the seafood center compound. We had a quick bite here this afternoon.

I wonder if this is their response to the impending closure to their first outlet which the SLA is taking back to redevelop. This outlet is much smaller.

We should go like doctors

This article was reproduced from a blog: www.zocalopublicsquare.org

The macro and policy consequence on healthcare costs would be huge if many people choose to go like doctors.

At the micro level, how each family deals with death probably reveals more about them than anything else. I have had to face this up close too soon and too many times. My children no longer have any grand parents. It is a blessing that in Singapore we have far less over treatment than in America.

I had decided against reading a book I found very intriguing: How We Age. I took my copy from our public libraries, read a little and returned it thinking that I would get the kindle version instead. As old age is still too far away and there are so many unread books, I had let it be. Yet another issue had rekindled my interest in that book: it has become a GP or PW (I can't remember) topic for my JC girl. I haven't told her the book could prove to be very insightful. She will learn about it from reading it here. That book could have another use for her: helping her enter another world which her disability makes it very tough. I hesitate as I thought old age is almost always wasted on youth. Therefore I had not mentioned it to her before.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

If you love something....

I never expect to see this on a poster. These words meant a lot to me but the one I got was slightly different. I was only nineteen when someone shared it with me.

A few years later I came across the Serenity Prayer and I will always remember it.

WhyMobile prices

I discovered on the Web WhyMobile.com offer great prices especially for Samsung smart phones. Unfortunately I was early. They open from 2pm to 9pm.

I would like to see for myself if there is any catch. The price differential is simply to big.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Social Work: The last calling

My thoughts on this morning Talkback.

Social work is the last frontier to the called. Teaching, nursing, doctoring and politics have all become professional.

We don't have enough social workers. That's what happened if it remains a calling. Once you pay up and professionalized the service it cease being a calling. Sure, some are still heeding the call but they will be lost among many professionals.

The end of the good old days. It has to be.

Mixed up shoes

It happened again to my old friend this morning. Fortunately he discovered the mistake before it was too late and could go home to set it right!

Unless there is a huge color contrast, I think most people wouldn't have noticed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jumbo Jet Nostalgia

Our happiest flights were on the Boeing 747B jumbo jet. The first time wifey flew in her life, it was a 747B. We were going Down Under for our honeymoon. When we took my mom to Floriade, it was this plane. Some of our most memorable holidays the 747 took us there.

We are going to miss this plane.

Took this shot from SIAJourneys.com

I agree that this is a beautiful aeroplane.

Educators damaged reputation

Our educators reputation is being chipped away faster than it can be repaired given the frequency their errant members have been uncovered.

How many rats are still in hiding? How many are confident that they would not be caught? And how many are unfortunate cases that need more help than punishment.

Sexual predators go to where they can find easy and abundant targets. Where else but schools?

I think we need a more holistic appraisal and solution to this problem. Clearly ad hoc response isn't working.

I have this uncomfortable hunch that we have become an over sexed society. Now at the tipping point, the situation has become patently clear. We have debased the sexual and lost its beauty. As typical of us we had foolishly traded our precious intangibles for the silly superficial and transient.

Man is addicted to destroying everything that God has made beautiful.

Budget 2012

For several days now a feature of this Budget has graced the front page. 

The PAP government has finally began to listen to the voice of the people. They listened to nothing but votes. This is bad. This is brinkmanship.

Since the world has no new thinking in the political economy, there cannot be novel strategies. We just simply take out what was rejected earlier, give it a polish and deploy it as I suggested in, "PAP and Riding the Tiger of Globalization to ruin" in April last year.

I think they should either overhaul and make the feedback the REACH channel independent or just get rid of it. MPs should be collecting feedback, but as part timers how able are they?

I don't care how and what you do but if you lose touch with the ground, you run the risk of becoming history even if you have the protection of a GRC.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hibiscus at the Healing Garden

Pretty hibiscus spotted at the Healing Garden this morning.

Moving Computers

This Acer Aspire AS3810TG I got almost two years ago will now be my work horse. Will now use the faster desktop sparingly.

Invested in a powered USB hub ($35.90) to make the transition practical. The Notebook PC has only 3 USB ports.

When I buy the next machine, I would like a USB 3.0 for faster hard disc access

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Economics of Good and Evil

Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street.

Another best book I am reading. Can tell from the blue dots I am about one third into the book.

The book explores the moral and philosophical foundations of our present economic system. I wouldn't be surprised that the author is critical of the pragmatic approach to Economics at the end of the book.

Sure as Keynes is fond of being quoted that in the long run we are all dead, but does it justify creating a situation where problems become too hard to solve. What is too hard to overcome will depend on the cultural and social reserves of a society. Without the balance that Raja and Toh Chin Chye could have brought to LKY excess, we are pawning our intangibles, i.e., our cultural and social reserves.

I bet when a reader is done with this book, he/she will vote against the casinos.

JC life

My daughter is absolutely peeved that school days will only end at 6pm for the whole of next week. I have heard older parents complaining to me that they lose their kids to JC for piling them with so much work and activities. My children would hate this as they love to come home. They are always in a hurry to get home from school.

Do we lament that family ties are weakening when we are torn away from each other by duties and responsibilities. This is a society that wants it all but not wise enough to know that there is no such thing. In the end many people get home late and tired. Few people have the knowledge and self confidence to make the trade offs resulting in them trying to have it all. The failure rate could rise as the ALL in having it all gets larger all the time. They had always look to the government; a by product of  how we had gained independence and gotten here on what is the smartest thing to do. Very bad idea.

Like the years before I realized I need to help her navigate school independently. I was hoping she could cope on her own. She is making steady progress but it is inevitable that we often need to measure progress by testing how far we can stretch a rubber band until is breaks. Very challenging for a special needs child who does not learn like others. It is a marvel that despite all the handicaps she had done so well.

I hope she gets her exemption from CL. The free periods would be very helpful.

All our disabilities and weakness are opportunities for display the Lord's grace.

Friday, February 17, 2012

First Visit to Bedok Point

We visited Bedok Point after picking up our girl from her JC near by this evening. First time here. Not a very big place but I think almost half of the space are occupied by food outlets. Many familiar names.

We had dinner at Paradise Inn.

Discovered a Challenger store in the basement and bought a new micro SD card for our girl's Galaxy W phone and a powered USB Beikin hub for my transition to a Notebook.

We eat like bird, so three dishes were good enough. eggs/prawns, Eggplant and beef.

Spam from Far East Organization

Not appreciated especially when Far East Organization keep sending this. I am leaving it on my shoe rack for a while. They also twice inserted this on my car windshield. Once I didn't realize it was there and drove away with it. So inconvenient when you need to use the wiper.

Altogether I have had four copies of this spam. One more and I am going to pick up the phone to tell them off.

Educated about Tan Jee Say

We are lucky again, thank God.

Today we receive a good education in electoral politics: the character of ambitious men. You thought he was tested and proven many years by the PAP as a senior admin officer. No problem in the character and motivation department. Not true. He is more in love with his economic plans, feeding his ego than seeking the welfare of Singapore.

I am glad that Singaporeans are fast learners. The social media are now filled with diatribes against Tan Jee Say. As for Frankie Low, he is not worth mentioning. Voters are familiar with his kind.

When I get the time, I must look back and my earlier postings about Mr. Tan and see what lessons I must draw for myself.

Assessing people's character and motivation is the hardest job in the world. The track record everywhere especially in times of prosperity and success, including the history of civilization is bad.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Arc Keyboard Batteries

The first set of batteries (2xAAA) lasted seven months, which came with the device. The second set (Energizer type) were good for nine months.

How long would these fresh batteries I just put in last?

Warren Buffett: The Speculative Bubble in Gold

As usual the Sage of Omaha Warren Buffett is a great teacher (Everyone is dsylexic about spelling his name!)

The way Buffett explain the Gold Bubble is perfectly explained in a NaviMap. Can't believe that it has been so many years since I worked on this stuff.

Here reproduced from a presentation I gave to the now defunct Swiss startup ThinkTools. It is normative for a counterbalancing loop to form between Box 2 and Box 3, but in the presence of Box 1, a reinforcing loop is created....

Remembering Uncle Jimmy Chew

A letter to the Forum in this morning papers. This is indeed a gift for the family, a wonderful way to remember a good husband and father who had lived an extraordinary life in the service of others at every turn. And to think that there are others like him is most heartening.

Out of the crucible of war, heroes are born.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WP expelled Yaw Shin Leong

WP bit the hard bullet to expel Yaw Shin Leong. They had done the right and courageous thing. Yaw could have kept his job if he was willing to be transparent and accountable about his alleged wrong doing. Unlike America who do not mind allowing the skeletons in the closet to fall out and even polish them, people here cannot survive the massive loss of face from such confessions. There is no room for grace. Meanwhile the WP has regained their moral high ground again.

The school principal's hypocrisy

This principal never imagined that he could be found out and had to resign.

My thoughts on him goes way back to the former CAD chief Glenn Knight. It took agonizing long years, but he made a comeback. Will this principal be able to after he had suffered?

Drug traffickers are never given a second chance. We should learn and try to do better. Everyone deserves a second chance even if they have to suffered and earn it.

Samsung Galaxy W for my daughter

Bought the Samsung Galaxy W for my daughter today. 3 Mobile was selling it for $468. Two other shops were asking for $498. On the Web you can get it from a shop in Far East Plaza for as low as $405 but I am suspicious. There had been too many bad stories.

Right now we are conditioning the battery. It should be ready early tomorrow morning for her to take to school.

The roses one day after

How lovely the roses are one day after I bought them!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love in Action



Or in English:

When he proposed to her, he only said three words: Please trust me,
When she gave birth to a daughter, he said to her: you have suffered (thank you so much),
On the day their daughter got married, he put his arm around her shoulder and said: I am still here,
When she was very ill, he repeated to her : I am here,
Moments before her departure, he kissed her forehead softly said: Wait for me,

In this life, he has never said the words "I love you". But "love" has never left.

Valentine's Roses

Some of the roses for wifey before they are prep. $3 per stalk and you are your own to make something out of it.

This day has become a money making scam. There is even one gift of roses, ok so many that you despair counting at Far East Flora which is priced at $5,000. This is definitely a show off gift. The smallest bouquets (no baskets here) mostly start at $100.

They are really running ahead of themselves. Up to a point Singaporeans become practical. Beyond that you are sending the wrong message suggesting that you are a spendthrift with the wrong money values. Translated it reads that you are bad spousal material.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pricing eBooks

This book at Amazon.com is going for $12.99. It's paperback version costs $10.99. To me it is priced to lose. Good luck to you Simon and Schuster. Amazon just can't resist pointing out that the pricing was yours.

This book isn't expensive, but I am not going to fork out $13 when I am only interested in not more than 30% of the book. I will take a copy from the library, read the parts I want and return it. The publisher and distributor make zero from me and others who are similarly interested.

Come on, how many books are so good that you read it thoroughly from cover to cover? The assumption that we value the book as much as they do is a myth. Had they price it better, e.g., never above $9.99 and much less if they understand how most readers might use the book they would have made a lot more money.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Song: For Those Tears I Died

Facebook brings surprises far more often than I had expected. "For those tears I died", I first heard it sung by the trio Esther, Lily and Nancy so many years ago in church. Now that building has be completely torn down and from the debris a larger and more imposing building will arise. Ah memories!

Don't discriminate or stereotype

Early today I was reading an article, "Sports and Asian Americans". It tells a story how Asian men were derogatorily stereotype. Coincidentally a few hours later a friend sent me this. How fitting!

It is human nature to stereotype others based on our ignorance and prejudice. Only the open minded and big hearted people have any chance of not committing this grave injustice to others. There is just too little respect for those who aren't like us.



This is hilarious  --  but  meaningful discrimination!!

A Chinaman goes to Woolworth's in Australia .

He finds cat food at special prices. He picks a dozen cans of cat food and  goes to check out.

The Manager gets  suspicious. He thinks that this guy might not have a cat and will probably feed cat food to his kids.

He asks the Chinaman to show  him his cat before he could let him have cat food.

The Chinaman goes home and  returns with a cat and gets to buy the cat food.

Next week the Chinaman finds dog food at special prices. He picks a dozen cans of dog food and goes to check  out.

The Manager again gets suspicious. He thinks that this guy may have a cat  but he cannot have a dog and he will
probably feed dog food to his kids.

He asks the Chinaman to bring and show him the dog before he can let him have dog food.

The Chinaman goes home and returns with a dog. He gets to buy the dog food.

The following week the Chinaman comes to Woolworth's with a bag.

He asks the manager to put his hand in the bag.

The Manager puts his hand in the bag, feels some thing slimy and immediately pulls  it out.

He shouts at the Chinaman,  "What the hell ! This is shit, you idiot !"  

The Chinaman calmly replies,  "Yes, now may I  buy some toilet paper?"


Saturday, February 11, 2012

PC acting up more often now

I hope this is the final PC incident of the day. As expected it has been acting up more often. Earlier today, it had restarted itself after messing the display with lines thrice.

I have started shopping for a replacement. Should I stick with Acer? Has Dell gotten back its mojo. My last Dell was a lemon. Is Asus any good? I was disappointed with theirs and Lenovo's SG site. They were still touting Windows Vista!

Wonder when Windows 8 would be released.

Healing Garden @ Botanic Gardens

Took this pic at the Healing Gardens of our Botanic Gardens this morning.

Usually we are too early and it was still too dark to notice small flowers like these. Curiously pretty.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Terminating my WSJ subscription

Today my WSJ subscription runs out. I have decided against renewing. The newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch News Corp isn't the paper it was before. It has become less professional and too keen to promote the ideology and agenda of Murdoch.

Returning to Golden Shoe Food Centre

I haven't been to the Golden Shoe hawker centre in years. Used to be a regular lunch haunt. I can recognize many of the stall holders. Looking at how age had caught up with them, many of them are should be retiring when CapitaLand decide to tear down the building and rebuild. What a waste to see yet another place existing only in our memories.

Vehicular traffic in the city was really bad. Really makes one stupid to want to drive here.

Get Together at TCC

Afternoon tea yesterday with some old friends I got to know from my kids' primary school. We haven't met up for a while.

TCC at Shaw House. They are trying to promote their Valentine's set.

I had to leave early, no such luxury like the rest.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Six Screen Protectors for our Nokia X3-02

Six pieces of screen guard for our Nokia X3-02. I can't buy even one in any retail outlets here but I can have six for about $2.50 from Hong Kong. Beat that!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Caught in Traffic over Thaipusam

Was caught during peak hour on the way to the office yesterday. Auxiliary Police had blocked the traffic creating a jam. Then I saw the procession cross the street ahead of us. It was Thaipusam.

Later in the evening I heard that carrying the Kavadis were done in honor of Lord Muruga. I thought I had learnt it was Lord Subramaniam in Lower Secondary History?

SQ Jumbo Farewell

Sorry to see this plane model exits SQ service. I had always preferred to fly the Jumbo. Was quite happy when we traveled on holidays recently with China Airlines, they offered the 747B

I still don't feel comfortable about the A380. Perhaps we have watched too much NatGeo Air Crash Investigations.

MP Yaw resigns as WP's Treasurer

This may be perhaps as close as we will get to his "No Comments" over the alleged adultery with a WP woman member.

To err is human. That is not the problem. The real problem is what follows. Will he behaved like King Saul had? Will he eventually decide King David was the better example, which is what Bill Clinton had done.

We ought to respect others privacy. Going public is not for our sake. It is for his sake. King David had to publicly confess because he was king. Ditto Bill Clinton because he was President. If you keep it in the dark it remains shameful and Satan will always retain the right to accuse and destroy you. If you confess and accepts the Lord's grace, you will go free. Then he will realize that nobody has the right to cast a stone at him.

He is a Christian right? The offer of the Lord's gracious love is always available as long as he lives. The ball is in his court. It was never in the public's side. We can only react as appropriate.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First Cockroach of the Year

First cockraoch I smashed in the new year. The last one was in August last year.

There were at total of four incidents last year. This is the second time since last year one was spotted in the same bathroom.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Exemption from Mother Tongue

I just completed filling up the application to MOE for exemption MTL for my daughter. In return I suggested that she does not get extra time for exams any more. This will be helpful for her to adapt and function like a normal student.

Some people, even her sister envied her extra time but these ignorant kids don't understand the struggle. On the other hand disabilities are opportunities to forge strong character.

I am encouraged that unlike previously, this school is so responsive and quick. This is a very good start. I am encouraged.

Half Time in America

A truly inspiring message from Clint Eastwood for America. That's optimism! That's spirit. Go make it happen!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Toh Chin Chye vs Lee Kuan Yew

Quoting LKY,

"I will confine myself to my recollection of him as a man of strong character. He was a redoubtable fighter for equality for all peoples, regardless of race, language or religion," Mr Lee said, sending his condolences to his son-in-law, Johnny Ng.

Stingy old man, so ungracious. Members of the Old Guard brought balance to the excess of LKY with Dr. Toh as a heavy weight. (An example of the balance from Dr. Toh)

He disagreed too much with LKY and so he dropped  him from Cabinet isn't it? If you disagree with LKY too much, he thinks you are wrong and dumb. What conceit.

Toh Chin Chye would have helped to create an Athens out of us, but LKY has made this place into a Sparta and is forever getting us to "eat bitterness". He did it again yesterday as a broken record over the need to accept immigrants.

Toh Chin Chye and Rajaratnam were pragmatic idealists; a difficult balance only achieved by those with deep insight. LKY was a cynical realist who would only be imaginative when his back is against the wall, otherwise he always feared and act on those fears from materializing, creating a kiasu Singapore culture. All that mattered to him is the economy and defence; all material and nothing spiritual. The others, including Goh Keng Swee had a more holistic view of life.

The passing of Dr. Toh is a good time to remember what was left out in the development of Singapore and how we might make a better mix with better regard that man does not live by bread alone. At minimum there would be more humanity and compassion.

Fortunately, Lee Hsien Loong was far more humble, gracious and generous than his pugnacious father.

Quoting from the PM's letter to Dr. Toh's family:

During the Budget debate in 1985, Dr Toh made a passionate speech criticising the Central Provident Fund contribution, then 50 per cent of wages, as a heavy imposition on employers. I had just entered politics, and as a minister of state in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, I stood up and rebutted him vigorously. But as it turned out, Dr Toh was right. The economy soon went into a steep recession, and by the end of the year, the Government had concluded the CPF rates were too high and indeed needed to be cut.

See also: Dr. Toh Chin Chye: He fought his own party

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dr. Toh Chin Chye dies

Yet another founding father of modern Singapore has left us. Raja, Lim Kim San, EW Barker and Goh Keng Swee are all gone now.

The report said Dr. Toh died early this morning.

Uncle Jimmy left too soon.

One of the most remarkable fellow I know personally. I knew him through his son for more than three decades.

He might be nearly 88 but in this instance he had left too soon.

I watched the throng of visitors who had come. Many were elderly and emotional too.

I had helped his sons keep the vigil for the past two nights by popping up at the moments when I think was the hardest. If I am up to it, will try to do so until the day of cremation.

Note that they had not forgotten Evelyn. I haven't come across an orbit like this.

Uncle James had left too soon because Aunty Mary needs him badly.

Compromised Email Account

Had read this first off my mobile early this morning but found the way the story was crafted highly suspicious. I do not know how I can contact Nelson about this. This has been my only way of reaching him over the years.

When I opened it on my PC, Gmailed flagged  warning which wasn't present on my mobile. So my hunch was right.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Temasek JC Bear

A cute inclusion in the Temasek JC orientation pack my daughter brought back today.

You can't go wrong with teddy bears