Friday, 25 May 2007
had. My all time favourites, Liverpool, did not clinch the Champions League title. AC Milan won it for the 7th time.
I woke up as early as 2am in the morning to catch the match. As usual I sat on my favourite side of the sofa and gave the black-squarish box in front of me 100% of my attention. Together with me was my father and sister. Very soon, the match kicked off with the Reds being the better side. They had total control of the game but did not capitalise on their chances.
Then came the first goal from AC, which looked like a deflected hand-ball to me! I was telling myself..cool down, second half the lads will show them what the Reds are capable of. The whistle blew and the 2nd half begun. This time, AC Milan bucked up and they made sure that they are not going to repeat the same mistake they made during the final in Istanbul 2005. Both Gerrard and Riise made some great chances but.... The 2nd goal from AC came at about 86mins, probably because its AC thats why every goal seemed so wrong to me. This one appears to be an off-side for me.
Exasperation was the word to describe my feelings. My sister went to bed. My father and I continue to watch, hoping that a miracle can happen again. Guess what? On the 88min, Kuyt scored through a set-piece! No joy of jubilation were seen on the boys' faces instead they hurried off to continue with the game in hope of a great come-back. And YES, I was chanting...COME-BACK!, COME-BACK, COME-BACK! As if my calls were being answered, 3 mins of extra time was added to the game.
I cannot sit still, I was excited. AC knew exactly what to do to ensure their win this time, that is to keep possession. But what was frustrating was on 90 mins + 2mins 44secs, pardon my language, the bloody referee must have brought with him a stupid stop-watch that was not battery operated and he had forgotten to wind it!!! I shouted..KELONG! KELONG! KELONG! Its so unfair.... You know what I mean...On the soccer field, anything can happen. The 20 over seconds would had enabled Liverpool a draw!
I switched off the TV, I cannot bear to watch the boys' expression. However, I had to say that they put up a good fight, great sportsmanship and of course the fans were over-whelming.
To Rafael and the boys........ Thank you for another great European Night!
Thursday, 17 May 2007
Ngiam, is one of the men behind what Singapore is today. He had served in the Singapore’s administrative service for more than 40 years retiring in 1999. In this book, he mentioned his admiration for both Dr Goh Keng Swee and Mr Hon Sui Sen. He had learned a great deal from these 2 men. These were great politicians whom students nowadays are not exposed to. They also contributed to the economic stability of the country. However there was little mention of them in any political books found in the library, book stores, etc.
Ngiam was asked, ‘With all this pessimism surrounding Singapore's prospects today, what's your personal prognosis? Will Singapore survive Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew?’
What an honest reply from a civil servant, ‘Unequivocally yes, Singapore will survive SM Lee but provided he leaves the right legacy. What sort of legacy he wants to leave is for him to say, but I, a blooming upstart, dare to suggest to him that we should open up politically and allow talent to be spread throughout our society so that an alternative leadership can emerge………. I think our leaders have to accept that Singapore is larger than the PAP.’
With this, it prompted me to write this article. What exactly does the right legacy means to me?
Our current government, the Peoples’ Action Party, has been ruling for the past few decades. Singapore leaders must have a heart of a lion in order to thrive and survive in the new era. An alternative leadership or even party has to emerge.
In the last GE, there wasn’t any increase in the number of opposition in the Parliament but there wasn’t any decrease too. On top of that, there was a percentage increase in votes for the opposition party. Mr. Low Thia Khiang won 62.74% while Mr. Chiam See Tong won 55.84% as compared to 54.98% in Hougang and 52.43% in Potong Pasir during GE 2001 respectively. This is indeed a very encouraging sign.
From this GE, we also saw certain solid examples why we should not allow our current government the luxury of a strong mandate without putting up a fight. Below are certain changes made during and/ or after the GE:
-Promise of upgrading was used during the GE if PAP wins. Certain blocks in East Coast GRC was promised lift upgrading during the campaigning period. If East Coast GRC was a walk-over constituency, will there be a lift upgrade?
Take a look at the areas that were walk-over, what happen to them? No lift upgrade, no upgrading of flats, etc. Of course I’m not referring to all but those that really needed it did not get it.
Example: Flats along Jurong West Avenue 1 is easily more than 15 years old and Kreta Ayer estate too. However no upgrading of flats or lifts was offered to them. What could the reason be? The residents there are not in need of better living environment? The population of older people there is not as much as what the other estates had that’s why there is not a need to upgrade lifts? Or was it because election after election it was a walk-over ward?
-Senior residents of Hougang were given free sumptuous breakfast. Again if this is a PAP ward, will this happen? Well, even if it does, there wasn’t much mention of it. Most importantly, what happen after the GE? When Mr. Low the Secretary General of The Workers’ Party won Hougang Constituency once again, the breakfast stopped coming so did Mr. Eric Low who temporary ceased his Meet – The – People Session (MPS).
-Thinking that his presence and offer to upgrade the estate will bring PAP to victory, our Senior Minister, Mr. Goh Chok Tong went to both Potong Pasir and Hougang during campaigning. Instead of winning the ward, they lose by a bigger margin!
-The same tactics were used for the Aljunied GRC too. Upgrading of those flats was promised. Although The Workers’ Party did not win Aljunied it was enough to threaten and frighten Mdm Cynthia Phua and her helpers!
After the GE, we saw that residents were better aware of when and where is their constituency’s Meet – The – People Sessions (MPS) are. Instead of the existing 1 session, some constituencies have increased it to twice a week. Residents benefited the most from these changes. With competition, people are working and this will make the country better and more competitive.
I, for one was really elated to see that the PAP was not return to power on Nomination day. That is, more than half of the parliament seats were contested.
From the examples that I had cited earlier, it shows that competition is good. Only when there is competition then improvement will come. It’s healthy to have competition, in whatever things that one is doing. Monopolization will only make leaders more complacent. Very soon we will have a bunch of ‘Couch Potatoes’ ruling from their ivory tower, passing their judgment over the citizens as if they are mere digits to be manipulated. There is no doubt about this, it will happen!
This GE saw younger people voting and there were a lot of first-time voters and that includes me. Singaporeans are thinking and looking at what the leaders are doing. They visited blogs, forums, read papers, attended rallies, etc to find out and learn more. I have to say that Singaporeans also show it in their votes that they know what they are doing because in this GE, our government got a 66.6% win. It is a decrease of 8.4% from the last election in 2001. So what does this tells us?
Lastly, I would like to sum up the above. The right legacy that Singapore should have to survive is to be open. Accept new ideas, new people, and new leadership. Open to the idea that the ruler is not always right and that they can also learn from the ruled.
Sunday, 13 May 2007
A few months back, he was found asking for opinions on the forum, mycarforum.com, contemplating which car model to buy? Fortunately, one of the forumers recognize him as the guy who was let off leniently 18 months ago! Immediately after that it sparked off a series of discussions, unpleasantness and complains on the forum.
With that it was brought to the attention of the police. This is really bad, why is it that Regan Lee was not charged 18 months ago? Why only do it now? There was an article in the Straits Times under Forum asking about this issue. The police then gave the reply saying that investigation was being carried out during this 18 months. What an answer!
What a disapointment...Was it a case of ineffective investigation process that took so long when all evidence and eye-witnesses are present and obvious? Or was it a case of over-look? You judged for yourself.
Thursday, 10 May 2007
May is the month of awareness for Cervical Cancer. This type of cancer is commonly found in women. During this May, a handful of General Practitioner participated in this exercise whereby all ladies will be entitled to free pap smear test.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer:
-Unusual heavy discharge
-Pain during urination
-Bleeding between regular menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, douching or pelvic exam
I would like to encourage all women to go for this FREE test.
Saturday, 5 May 2007
It was 27th April 2006 (Nomination Day).
For the first 25 years of my life, I was residing in Lorong Lew Lian. If you were wondering where this place is? Well, it is opposite the former Braddell Heights Community Centre, along Upper Serangoon Road and now about a 5 minutes walk from Serangoon MRT station. Before my 21st birthday, that area was under Aljunied GRC. Ironically when I turned 21, the area came under Marine Parade GRC! I was bewildered, how in the world did we end up under Marine Parade?
3 years ago, my family and I shifted to Buangkok Crescent. Again you may wonder where is that? It’s right next to the Institute of Mental health and opposite Hougang Street 91. By the way, it’s under Ang Mo Kio GRC.
On 27th April 2006, I was determined to find out more about the alternative party that I could cast my vote on. Know about the candidates that were contesting and how they can make a difference to our lives before deciding which party should get my ‘virgin vote’.
After attending several rallies and having spoken to the candidates personally, I realized the lack of information and wrong perceptions the public have with regards to having another alternative party in Singapore. I saw the way volunteers, members, candidates, election agents, etc working so hard with their heart and soul. And on 4th May 2006, 2 days before the GE, I expressed my interest to volunteer as both polling and counting agent for the party. My parents could not understand why I am doing all these nevertheless they supported my decision and trusted me.
On 6th May 2006, I was at the polling station at 8am to witness the empty polling boxes being carried into the polling station. And at 8pm, we got to witness the sealing of the boxes after which I made my way to the counting station. By the way, I was both polling and counting agent for Aljunied GCR. It was filled with intense excitement and I felt really great that I was part of this unforgettable experience. My only regret was why didn’t I volunteer my services earlier? I could have experience even more excitement!
After the GE, everyone who had helped out during the GE was cordially invited by Workers party to a ‘Thank you Dinner’. Yes! Everyone who had helped out, that includes the aunties, ah mas, ah peks, ah cheks, etc. During the dinner, I got to meet Mr. Low Thia Khiang and Perry Tong. After a short discussion with Perry, I went to one of the Open House and made up my mind on the spot to join as a member of The Workers’ Party.
The first activity that I involved in as a member was the sales of the ‘Hammer’, which you are holding onto. We have a great turn out of about 30 members to assist in the sales. How wonderful! I thought. These people from as far as Queenstown, Clementi and even some Bukit Batok, took the public transport to reach Hougang, 8am to participate in the sales! I was amazed by the commitment and responsibility they have towards the party’s activities.
The Hammer sales is an on-going activity which takes place every Sunday morning. We will go to different areas to sell our Hammer newsletter and it also gave us the opportunity to reach out to the public. Both Mr. Low and Sylvia are involved in the sales too.
Slowly, I got myself more and more interested in the events and ideas that the party has. Very soon I see myself being very involved. The next thing I know I was nominated as a Youth Wing executive committee. There were a total of 9 nominees. 6 will be elected from there. My campaign speech was by far the shortest, probably about 2 minutes or so.
My objective: Create greater political awareness among the women.
Women are contributing more and more to the society and are playing a fundamental role in our country’s economy. Therefore, we should have a say in politics, express our views, have our thoughts and ideas heard! We must increase the number of female members in the party! With that, I was elected into the Youth Wing Exco.
Our first activity was the Hari Raya Collection. We collected old clothes and Baju Kurong from Malay families in Opera Estate and donated them to the Malays orphanages. I would like to take this chance to thank the residents of Opera Estate. A Bowling session was organized whereby all members and friends were invited. It was a heart-warming session with very positive feedback that we should have this on a semi-annual basis! We have 2 other upcoming projects. They are the Breast cancer Awareness forum and movie screening, both to be held in October. We will also be planning a BBQ at the end of the year. Exciting huh? We would not be able to do it alone without the help and participation of the members.
Our Youth Wing President, Perry Tong, gave us lots of freedom and space to organize our activities. However, he also pointed out that we can have all the fun for the next 2 years, after which we would be doing ground-work for the next General Elections! Due to the fact that I missed it the last time, I am looking forward to the next one to help out in the ground-work. I know it’s going to be something fresh, interesting, fun and tiring.
I would like to take this opportunity to urge and welcome anyone who is interested to find out more about Workers’ Party, The Youth Wing, our goals and our activities to come down to our weekly Open house on Monday from 8 to 9.30pm. Location of open house (http://www.wp.sg/contact/contact.htm)
To all new members: WELCOME ONBOARD!