Archive for May, 2014

evolving a singaporean culture

The Straits Times recently published an interview with local dance pioneer Goh Lay Kuan. This part made me do a double take……

As a pillar in the arts community, do you think we have evolved a Singaporean culture as we approach 50 years?

Someone said to me: “I’m not Chinese. I’m Singaporean.” I asked for his name and said: “Sorry, that’s a Chinese name. Give me a Singaporean name.” Do you think by singing Geylang Sipaku Geylang, you’re a Singaporean?

When we first came back, we were proactive in working with Malays and Indians, to have a basic understanding of each other’s culture. This will create mutual understanding. Today, our “basic” is: “We all like laksa and char kway teow.”

Goh Chin Lian, The ballerina who overturned tables, The Straits Times, 3 May 2014 (available online in two parts, here and here)

But, what exactly is a Singaporean name?


none of them can be proven scientifically

Way back in 2006 (almost a lifetime ago!), local blogger Mr Wang wrote about delivering a speech on youth empowerment. In his blog post, he reflected on his speech, and ‘realised that if it had failed in some way, then a good explanation for its failure lies, once again, in Myers-Briggs (it’s uncanny the number of things Myers-Briggs can explain things)’.

He felt that it was because his MBTI personality type was INTJ, so his speech ‘turned out to be a classic reflection of the INTJ’s thinking patterns’. As an INTJ, he believed that it is possible to achieve great things, and constantly expect great things to be achieved. But few people are INTJs, and thus ‘there seemed to be students who seemed sceptical when (he) told them that they could achieve great things’.

That blog entry generated quite a number of comments, many about the MBTI. And I like this comment, by an unknown Anonymous, best of all:

Indeed there are some who regard Carl Jung as an idiot. Others regard him as the father of modern psychology.

I guess God, MBTI and the everyday phenomenon of falling in love have one thing in common. None of them can be proven scientifically.

(In another comment, freud’s friend writes: ‘Whenever you see big changes happening, there’s a good chance that an INTJ is there somewhere. Or an ENTJ. These two types are the Gods of Change in the MBTI system.’ Yes, dear reader…… I am an ENTJ! :D)

And personality tests continue to fascinate me.

forever 21

So I finally took the day off and hauled myself down to Phillip Investor Centre in Raffles City to set up a trading account this afternoon. The relationship manager attending to me was an older man. He handed me a whole ton of forms to fill up. I was filling one in, and hesitated slightly over ‘name of employer’. So he said, ‘No need to write current employer if you’re still a student.’ Barely stifling a chuckle, I replied, ‘Oh, I am not a student!’ And promptly wrote my company’s name and address down. :)

‘domestic cat’ smuggled on russian train

I first read a version of this article in the Straits Times on Thursday (22 May) and found it utterly hilarious……

Lion cub ‘runs wild’ after smuggled on Russian train
A Russian woman who smuggled a 50-kilogram (110-pound) lion cub onto a sleeper train claiming it was a domestic cat was being questioned Thursday, police said.

The big cat was exposed after it began behaving aggressively early Thursday on a passenger train heading for the city of Yekaterinburg 1,400 kilometres (850 miles) east of Moscow, police said.

The lion cub’s female owner “could not cope with the situation and it was necessary to urgently isolate the animal which was running wild,” police said.

Continue reading ‘‘domestic cat’ smuggled on russian train’

the time to begin is now

With regard to personal finance, I focused solely on saving money aggressively in the past couple of years, even though I kept resolving to read up on investments and growing my wealth. But I just lacked the motivation to do so.

Somehow, when 2014 came, and I realized I was getting really close to my 100k by 26 goal, my mindset began to change. I started to read blogs and forums on finance. Decided to give myself a year to figure out all the basics.

Meanwhile, I put some of my savings in one fixed deposit account in March and another in May, so that my money could earn a little more interest than in a normal savings account. One of my fixed deposits will mature in November.  Excited and looking forward to that day!

I’ve also gone for a few seminars on the topic. Yesterday afternoon, I attended a young investors’ forum (organized by the Securities Investors Association (Singapore) as part of their annual Singapore Investment Week), which finally provided me with the impetus to embark on my journey of wealth accumulation. No longer will I procrastinate! And so, here I go……

strive to excel

My junior college senior ZQ wrote this on his Facebook wall today……

I think we should start rethinking how we describe the limitations and aspirations of our small nation. Some thoughts:

Previously: we are a small nation without any natural resources. Our only resource are our people and we have to survive.

Proposed: we are a small nation which does not rely on the export or monetization of natural resources. Consequently, our people built great companies, produced world class thinkers and intellectuals, honest managers and operators which the rest of world sought to work for and learn from.

We can only strive to excel, for “surviving” is really very 1960s.

eastern health alliance

Eastern Health Alliance – now that’s a name straight out of a martial arts novel (translated into English, of course)!

Incidentally, they are called 东部医疗联盟 in Chinese, which (in my opinion) sounds a little way too modern to be a term that could be possibly used in a wuxia story…… :P

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