Sunday, May 31, 2015
I have many old and personal photos of this place. In fact I even got to visit the insides only staff could go. My friend made that possible for me just before he also had to give up his office there. Now this picture captures how I feel about the place which none of my photos could.
Posted by PengYou at 3:58 PM
I recall SQ once offered flights to no where, i.e., you take off from Changi and return to Changi. All just for the thrill of experiencing air travel for a few minutes. People took up the offer because so many of us had never ridden on an airplane before.
The first time wifey stepped on board a plane was when we went for our honeymoon. These days many kids took their first flights even before they are in primary school.
Recently I saw our former house cleaner Whatsapp profile showing her in winter clothing. Their financial situation must have improved a lot to take that holiday. So happy for her.
Posted by PengYou at 9:55 AM
Thursday, May 28, 2015
This was a story that was waiting to appear in our news except that we do not know when. We would like to think it was our Home Team that have tracked and nabbed them but no. We were saved by dumb luck once more. This is well and good but also make us nervous.
Don't we prefer stories where our security teams monitor and disrupt potential activities?
On the other hand the story has made us even more vigilant. Look at the number of likes in 2 hours.
Now if I were in charge of stopping terrorist acts, I wouldn't want them to know that security officers were successfully monitoring their progress. For the public consumption I would prefer an informer from the public to bring it to the Police's attention. Sure, the Home Team gets no credit and could even look bad in public but this is actually far shrewder and in the long run more effective.
Let the public think the public is indispensable for helping keep our home safe.
Posted by PengYou at 5:43 AM
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Our final visit to Alexandra Hospital yesterday. The next time we will see the doctor at NTF instead. Will miss the old world charm of this place. It has become such a quaint and beautiful place. There were also sad moments too when someone in the family got admitted and never left alive.
Posted by PengYou at 7:22 PM
We ordered this for dinner last night at Crystal Jade Cafe in Bedok Mall. The sauce is thicker and reminded us of what we sometimes have at Poulet. But at $8.90 it is so much cheaper than Poulet.
We will definitely come back for more.
Posted by PengYou at 6:55 PM
I quickly read the article trying to confirm only one thing. Best to quote from it.
The sum also included $3.88 million to make up for the loss of inheritance the dependants suffered. The amount was derived based on the wealth Mr Heng would have accumulated and left them had he lived.
So doctors now have to make their calculation who and what they take on to treat eh? The law was updated in 2009 and now they have an experience of how it could be dispensed.
Don't know enough about doctoring but surely the doctors must think up ways to find a new balance to make sure their practice still make sense for them. For sure insurance cost will go up and will MOH provide figures how much of each dollar we pay to doctors is the result of liability insurance?
I am always wary of runaway healthcare cost. We must not underestimate how easy this can happen. It usually creeps up on you unnoticed and it has been creeping upwards faster than many other items in our cost of living.
Posted by PengYou at 8:07 AM
Sunday, May 24, 2015
I read Dr Farisha Noor article early this morning. He explained why the Rohingyas have a natural right to be recognized as citizens of Myanmar.
Then I read the many responses and checked the number of likes the Myanmar people gave for disagreeing with Farisha Noor. I cannot but go away thinking many Myanmar folks, the sort with Burmese names really hate the Rohingyas. This is a big problem. They will never stop persecuting the Rohingyas. Who knows they might even get angrier and decide on genocide as a solution. I think only the international community is stopping them from such evil plans.
Since they can't kill off the Rohingyas, Myanmar is entertaining the next logical option of driving them to utter hopelessness. In other words, if it is unacceptable to kill them, pressure them to kill themselves then. The world and ASEAN must be prepared and plan on how to deal with Myanmar obvious solution to their Rohingyga "problem".
We could be seeing Myanmar applying Hitler's final solution on the Rohingyas in slow motion without the gas chambers and furnaces.
Posted by PengYou at 7:21 PM
Ireland is the number 19th country in the world to recognize gay marriage. What separates them from those before is that they decided with a national referendum, and the results was an astonishing 2 to 1 for gay marriage.
Christian friends like the one above had expressed their dismay. For me, I view this with an unhappy inevitability. Christians especially the Roman Catholic Church should look back and understand how Church failure and hypocrisy have landed Ireland in this place today. We cannot discuss homosexual unions when the church do not even understand marriage between heterosexuals.
Sure it is about free to love, but what is love?
St. Patrick is turning in his grave.
Posted by PengYou at 6:46 PM
I saw this at Popular yesterday and wondered if it was worth buying when I haven't even open that heavy photo book on LKY I bought sometime back.
I picked up the book, flipped to the content page and see if I could find anything from former minister Jek Yuen Thong - nothing. Then I turned the pages to George Yeo contribution. Yeo wrote about LKY confirmed and yet open minded view about India. I decided this book is not worth the money or time. I think I am better off just reading LKY in his own words or smart people who had previously interviewed him.
Posted by PengYou at 6:37 PM
Friday, May 22, 2015
Meanwhile the humble sugar cane drink had doubled to even tripled in price at some hawker centres.
Posted by PengYou at 8:05 PM
They have a product comparison video and I was tickled that two of the fans featured I had owned them.
We like quiet fans and this is the quietest we have found thus far.
Posted by PengYou at 8:01 PM
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Dr Wei Liping had this experience, I quote from the article.
She recalled that at a meeting of autism intervention centers in 2012, she gave her usual one-hour research update to a “politely nodding audience” — but when she spent the last five minutes demonstrating a prototype of an app with eight icons, the crowd burst into applause.
Posted by PengYou at 12:44 PM
Monday, May 18, 2015
So is the same with Peter Ho's article to the ST. You can't disagree with the three big trends he had shared with us but what he and us cannot tell are the elephants in our room that we are still missing.
Always better to have a sense of ignorance and vulnerability than a sense of knowledge. I ranked his predecessor Eddie Teo ahead of him because he is a wiser man. Peter Ho on the other is a techno geek.
Posted by PengYou at 9:05 PM
Now they are using the regulatory hurdles as the scapegoat but if you have good performance that is never going to be a big enough reason for failing to perform. That is why some lucky ones are still in the business waiting for their turn to become unlucky.
Posted by PengYou at 7:55 AM
Saturday, May 16, 2015
This morning I was thinking of which nice picture to use to send him birthday greetings when I decided to check his Facebook page only to learn that he had passed away!
This is the risk you run when the friendship is long distance and you do not have a common friend to know and tell you. So sad.
I have so many friends overseas who started out as partners or customers. Jim was my earliest foreign partner. He helped me write my user manual for a program (these days we call it app) in the late 80s. I wrote one of the earliest PIM (personal info manager) for Windows. That was Windows 2 and the development environment then was primitive and buggy.
Over they years I have lost quite a few foreign friends to death. Seems like I had a knack for striking up such friendships with people much older than me. But Jim and I failed to stay in touch because we started on Compuserve and then went on to different things. Had it been the internet age already we would have stayed in touch more regularly.
I lost Lloyd Jenkins first, almost a decade now. I didn't actually know when he was gone but he told me he was going to the nursing home soon as his Alzheimer's become more advanced. Then shortly after he was unreachable. It was sad to read his email as they gradually get more confused and finally quite incoherent. In the last few years Glenna passed away from kidney failure and her husband told me about that. Recently it was Anne N. which I got to know from her daughter. She had written to me of her impending surgery and told me she might not survive. The operation was a success but her body was too weak to make a recovery. Glad she was well enough for a while to say goodbyes to family.
Posted by PengYou at 4:42 PM
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Well said Tommy Ong and Eddie Fernandez.
Vincent Ong took on a case that was beyond him. This experience must be quite revelatory for himself.
I sometimes tell my children you can't sit under a tree to think and discover who you are. Life will reveal your true nature. Indeed we don't know ourselves.
So what should Vincent have done? He should have ignored that miscreant and stay safe. At the very least have the self confidence to brush off and ignore that miscreant molest allegations. This whole episode feels like an analogue of a story from the Acts of the Apostles. Easier and faster for me to borrow from somewhere than write my own story right?
Update: May 16 4:55 pm
I will not be wasting my time reading his 6,000 word rant. That would be one of the stupidest use of time.
But Amos has also turned out to be surprisingly useful for revealing the true colors of some people, especially the thoughtless free speech advocates. Amos hasn't vindicate them one bit but only proved that they were quite wrong.
Now Amos is too radioactive for anyone to handle except the Law. Punishment is the only counseling he will understand. Prior to that he cannot be successfully educated.
I feel deeply sorry for his parents.
Posted by PengYou at 8:36 PM
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
It was lucky for Amos Yee he didn't pick on Islam to deride in his videos. Even if the Muslims here said nothing others in the region will and knowing that our Muslims will definitely have to respond to him.
If Amos had insulted Christianity at a different moment in history like he did, he might have been executed. But Christianity is in a different phase today.
The more we succeed as a secular state the less religion is a sensitive issue because we do not allow it to run our public life. However this is neither realistic or possible in the long term. From time to time personal religious values will enter the public sphere especially for Islam and to a lesser degree Christianity.
We cannot tell in advance with any precision when religion becomes a sensitive issue. You only know when a seemingly innocuous incident leads to a wider conflagration. It might be too late for a small place like our by then. On the other hand, America is a big place. They can and in fact in the longer term benefit from spots of burning over any issue. From natural fires in their national parks, to the latest racial riots in Baltimore and so on. Because for them the country is too big to go up in flames at any one time. Their worry and they have learnt the hard way is that financially they could go up in flames but not over race, religion or acts of God in nature. So just as as the battled and raced toward passing laws to secure their financial system, should we be stupid not to do the same for racial and religious harmony here?
The PM's message fails to reach and persuade me. I had already thought through this long ago and feel that to help our people understand you have to repeat why others could take the risk and we can't. Expose their hypocritical preaching to us too and demolish the arguments of the fools telling us that the sky above us will also hold up.
The government also do not seem to appreciate the difference between forms of religion within a religion. As always some religious followers would be inclusive of outsiders and other exclusive to maintain purity. The former is tremendously good the latter is a time bomb. The former emphasize love the latter their religious laws. Such an internal dichotomy is most obvious today in Islam.
Posted by PengYou at 8:59 AM
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
It is worse elsewhere but looks like Asia is also infected with the disease of failing to produce great leaders that can carry their people along with difficult but right decisions. With the passing of LKY I also think differently.
In HK your have the feckless CY Leung. At home the PAP government seems to do better but not as good as before.
Tony Abbott is an Ah Beng in Australia, Jokowi struggles not to be a puppet. Malaysia's Najib is becoming a joke. In the Philippines a worse person is likely to succeed Aquino who must leave office soon. Thailand is a mess if you want a quick description.
Today leaders are missing that spine that help them to be courageous and stand tall. People are always looking for real leaders. The question remains is if they are even there.
Posted by PengYou at 9:03 PM
I happened to read the excellently written back story to this a few days ago which must have prompted the governor to act.
Over there despite their often mistrusted press they still managed to get involved with keeping the government humble and also getting them to act on their neglect. This is not new but we are trying to do the same here too with the many social political blogs. I am not among them as I am blogging for myself.
This is no bad thing as long as the government of the day can handle this constructively and successfully. A terrible idea if the media and public constantly set the agenda for the government. The masses never have the big picture and therefore do not know hot to prioritize. What the masses often do well is as guardian of public and national values. For too long this government had ranked financial again too highly and that is now still being fixed.
Posted by PengYou at 9:29 AM
When I saw this last night I went to find out if there is not an alternative place to site the High Speed Rail (HSR) station. I think if the station would to be in Jurong that is the best site.
The JCC members were simply unlucky. Instead they thought they were unfairly treated. To me most of them have the means to be members of JCC and play golf they were just lucky. Sure we run a meritocratic system but even more people get to where they are because of luck.
We always revert to the mean in the long run. Their lucky run is over, that's all. The really smart ones would have seen it coming and sold. Of course few people can predict when something like this would befall JCC, so the clever ones sold early.
I hope most of us aren't like JCC members or as a nation we are finished. Their sense of entitlement was incredible.
Posted by PengYou at 9:09 AM
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Just read this incredible article and I was incredulous. Please give the Chinese credit for some brains. I don't think they are that stupid to do something like this. The Washington Post bureau chief Simon Denyer had put this up. He is probably just biased which made him an easy target for disinformation.
Give it some time, perhaps a very long time for the truth to emerge.
Chinese government brutal yes, stupid? No.
Posted by PengYou at 6:33 AM
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Friday, May 8, 2015
I just shared this with some friends and decided not to wait for their feedback before blogging
To me Home is way better. I think Dick Lee tried too hard and missed the target with this one. What a pity when this is for SG50. I think he labored under too much pressure. He wasn't the right Dick Lee when he composed this. Sigh!
This song did not pass the test of resonating with our hearts. It was a difficult challenge.
Update: 1:25 pm
About 5,000 views now with likes beating dislikes 2:1. Guess I am in the minority.
Posted by PengYou at 10:57 AM
Finally Samsung upgraded my Note 4 to Lollipop yesterday. The experience wasn't as smooth as my Tab S though. Well my phone is a lot more complicated than my tablet.
So often in a hurry I didn't notice until now that the memory available would fall so much! Anyway no impact on me. Now I want to see what is Lollipop edge over KitKat. On my Tab S battery performance seems to have improved.
Posted by PengYou at 8:57 AM
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Finally the Chinese are going to embark on a project that would defeat them. Pity Xi Jinping and his PSC cannot code like some of our leaders, so they don't get this. Software never dies, they only get supplanted. It is almost infinitely easier to start with nothing and build then to construct an alternative and throw out what you have. It just isn't going to happen. Period.
I remember sitting in my cubicle as a young IT guy. My senior colleague came over to look at what the PC group was doing and saw a simple Quattro Pro spreadsheet on my display. She told me they have a mainframe app written in COBOL to do something similar and it is impossible to change. She was right. Years after I left they were still using that program. Finally it was gone but only because the business was completely reorganized.
Software is like the soul, it never dies except the machine died and it has no place to live. Then they become ghosts.
Posted by PengYou at 10:28 AM
It didn't say and we aren't the perfect country to be a mum, only the best and by a certain way of scoring and ranking which may or may not be meaningful to some. That few though can make a lot of noise online and if you are a poor reader go away with the impression that we are really short in too many ways But with time people gain experience and reappraise their conclusions.
We are not perfect and never will be but we can always do better. We can suggest ways to improve on what we have or our preferred way is to complain.
Leaders shouldn't take most of our complaints negatively. They are just suggestions for improvement that aren't properly dressed up and presentable. This is because too many of us are busy with our own lives to understand the increasingly complex issues to make considered suggestions.
We have become silos of expertise and experience as the knowledge intensity of our jobs and roles increase. We are getting closer to the point where two mathematicians cannot understand each other because they specialize in different fields.
So look beyond suggestions and complaints and think in terms of new ways to engage and bond. That is why in an earlier post I suggested that more than very smart thinking which is impossible to sell we must do everything under the umbrella of wisdom. Mostly I only need to know why a policy or decision is wise. There is simply no time to understand and accept why it was smart and right. Explaining policies well have limits but building trust is limitless.
Likewise I cannot afford to study the merits and demerits of the PAP vs WP over AHPETC. I am forced to be practical about the WP. You come into this with you eyes open. If the PAP have made life hard for you, that is just life and it happens all over the world. WP just have to take responsibility and figure a way to succeed. You do your job to run the town council well and leave the job of fixing the PAP to the voters. If the voters fail to do that, perhaps you don't deserve each other.
People have to grow up and I believe they are growing up.
Posted by PengYou at 10:17 AM
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Winston Churchill as I recently found out had suggested that the truth is so precious it must be protected by a body guard troop of lies. Now they are all dressed up to look alike to offer the maximum protection. Just like Churchill also had his double, just like senator Amidala.
Sigh! unless you have nothing else better to do, where do you find the time to keep up with these?
Heck, for a long time I am not going to care what is the truth here is. To me the PAP and WP have and will come worse off from this saga.
The PAP town council act was a lame piece of legislation which assumed no non-PAP members will run a GRC. It must also hint they are prepared to play dirty but not illegally successfully to forestall such an outcome. If so, they clearly failed.
The WP is a mess. Their residents deserve better. There might be extenuating factors but all grown ups must learn to take responsibility too. If they run out of money in June, town council services I assume must cease because they can't pay. Such a scenario must never happen. If it does, that is an epic fail for WP notwithstanding the reasons they might offer.
In the worst case the government will have to step in and take over the running of the town council. The law might not compel this but I don't think it prevents this either. If this is what finally happens, the WP will probably lose more than the PAP. In elections to win, you only need to lose less right? On the other hand other opposition parties might win elsewhere against the PAP. There should be enough people who believe the PAP set up the WP to fail. Is that fact or fiction, how does it matter? Like I said earlier, the truth is so precious it needs a security force of lies to protect it.
Posted by PengYou at 5:02 PM
When it is so cheap you got no respect. Cannot remember its name unless I go and take a closer look at the box once more.
Let's see what she says when she gets back and start setting it up.
So much cheaper than the Martian Notifier I got her last year.
Posted by PengYou at 4:44 PM
Monday, May 4, 2015
On the other hand the regulator would hate to see self regulation. Every day they don't act against you is another nervous day for them. Every day they ask if they are doing their job. In fact higher ups probably had to restrain them to make you becoming unreal.
Yet on the other hand our financial regulator are not regulating enough because they have become promoters.
This place is getting curiouser. Keep this up and you are going to confuse people and foreign investors. This is the result of smart people running the show without compensating wisdom. Sadly I didn't know how to explain it quickly and succinctly without using a technical metaphor.
Really you have to explain why the policies are wise more than smart. Smart is too difficult for most but everyone can appreciate wisdom. In that way you reach out to as many as possible.
Really, the Real Singapore was so unREAL.
So it is not real anymore.
Posted by PengYou at 7:58 AM
Saturday, May 2, 2015
I recall many years ago my boss told me the PAP was interested to get her into politics. We both laughed at the idea and this has been a longstanding joke over the years. I even have email evidence LOL!
Time has only served to confirm over and over again that she is not suitable for politics. Voters are unhappy that only a few MPs and ministers can connect with the masses much less make the right speeches without which you cannot persuade the people. They can be very good one to one but that is not good enough in politics.
I am sure in the PAP traditional, safe and proven hunting grounds they can find some good guys e.g., Tharman, many that are able administrators but can't carry the ground and one or two they failed to stop who cheat on their wives or worse steal money.
So where are the able people? I think they are everywhere but not in large numbers. Why don't they offer themselves to serve? Because it doesn't work like that. You can tell this is true over and over again from China's history. A qualifying hurdle blocks them from getting in. These hurdles were lower during the period of Warring States and so that epoch offered many sterling examples of outstanding leadership. Mind you China's population was much smaller and even fewer people were educated.
My favorite metaphor of why good people do not get into politics comes from Chemical Energetics.
We must take care not to over use a metaphor. Basically good people could not overcome the green hump to get from the left to the right side, and during the period of China's Warring States, the hump was effectively the purple one - more could go over from the left to the right. However most people are not even at the energy level of the "Product" and so they could never do the job. Good people are like "Reactant" and they "sacrifice" themselves as they served and are exhausted to "Product" energy level when they are done. So such leaders must not only be able but also able. It is a huge sacrifice. If you commit yourself to the task and succeed the millions they pay you is meaningless. If you fail the damage is so great you feel you owe a debt to everyone even after you have surrendered every cent you were paid. That is why we could never come up with pay formula we are truly happy with.
What should we do then? In severe times, the humps are lowered naturally until they are at the "Reactant" level. At the same time the environment also require "Reactant" to move up even as the hump is coming down meeting each other at a high level. Suddenly men and women offer themselves to serve seemingly from out of nowhere. This is Singapore's unplanned plan of salvation. This is very risky and the track record of success elsewhere is low. Such a crisis could happen in two ways. We stupidly do ourselves in or more difficult to overcome, from extremely adverse external circumstances. History tells us that the former scenario is much more likely.
How could I have forgotten to add this, i.e., how the PAP help candidates get in? Well they lower the hump to below the "Reactant" level but still above the "Product" level. Riding on the coattails of ministers via the GRC route into parliament is one way.
Update: May 3 9:05am
Again why didn't I put this down earlier? I should have added I was looking for wise men and women to be ministers and MPs. Not just supremely rational or smart because that is what you expect and nurture in the middle management layer.
Clever policies are almost always hard to explain in an increasingly complex world but wisdom is easy.
Posted by PengYou at 8:31 PM
I understand we are going to teach all our kids in school how to code. The Americans and I am sure elsewhere are also toying with similar ideas. Everyone reads the writing on the wall and it is a no brainer that kids must be taught this skill on top of reading, writing, math and science.
What nobody bothers to discuss is how this will change the way the next generation consume simply because they will interact with any product or service very differently. Quite a few products could end up trading user friendliness for more power and flexibility because customers with coding background can put them to far better use.
Coding skills won't be something you put to use at work but at home and play too. This is not new as we have taken for granted how our interactions with the world and each other is different simply because we are literate. If we could raise one person who had died a hundred years ago, you would know what I mean. Well not need for that. Hollywood already tried imagining this experiment in some of their movies.
Posted by PengYou at 7:40 PM
Friday, May 1, 2015
I am sure it isn't just falling wages but worse. Jobs will disappear as well but at the same time there will be many jobs that cannot find the people to fill them. These jobs will have to go to places where they can find the bodies.
The PM is not politically confident to tell you like it is. You have to go away and give some thought to what he says and then fill out the missing bits.
In Singapore business will not do the right thing. Business will just be as business anywhere and will even do the illegal for short term profit if they are confident of getting away with those acts. Sure there are exceptions but they are too few to shape the business character we want.
Even those who wants to think long term can't because the distant future has become too hazy. What was the long term is now the short term because of accelerated change.
Government want business to invest in their workers but most would not because they claim they can't afford to. The trick is to make sure that if their employees fail, they also fail. Any other way their interests will not be aligned. Tripartism becomes mostly a show. You can parade a few examples to the exception but they are not replicated across the economy.
The productivity conundrum cannot be solved satisfactorily head on. It must be achieved as a by product. Business must be provided with the right carrots and sticks to get the right behavior which will cause workers to stop being so disengaged at their workplaces.
Sure I am blogging for myself and family. If you are the regular employee reading this you will understand what I meant. If you don't most likely you are also working from some corner office. Those types by and large have never got it.
Update: 1:55 pm
Our inability to "set terms and prices" makes it very challenging for us to restructure. Others can slow or even stop to fix their problems but we are like heart surgeons operating on a live heart. Business must still go on successfully even as we are making the necessary changes. We need to invent our own ways to go about this. We cannot borrow from others. If we can't figure this out, we would have to use our reserves to buy time. People must be told what we are up against but on this score the PM is not up to the mark telling it as it is.
Posted by PengYou at 9:59 AM