Thursday, December 29, 2005

Journey back in Time

Hi folks looking forward to the New Year?
Some photos from our church event on 23rd Dec at Elder Hanson's house. Enjoy!

1. The welcome committee warming up for the 'herding in' of our guests

2. A busy day 2000 years ago...

3. "How would you know if cows didn't look like this 2000 years ago?"

4. Taking shelter from the rain and in God's word

5. An angelic visitation during the skit performance by our youths

I'm sorry but I couldn't take any pictures of the sumptious spread we had because I was 'indisposed' at that time (takes one hand to hold the plate and the other to grab the food yanoe)

Btw, Happy Birthday again Esther! You are a great sister-in-Christ!

Till later folks!!

A grumbling mood of discontent
Gives way to thankfulness
When we consider all God's gifts
And all that we possess.
- Sper

Monday, December 26, 2005

Joy to the world!

Thank God for Christ... the promise of freedom from bondage to sin fulfilled! Thank God for my baptism! Thank God for my Christian friends and family members whom God placed in my life!

Our Christmas sermon had an evangelistic-out-of-logic twist in it this time round - and I want YOU to consider the underlying message said - The Christian faith is either :

1) one big lie and that all of us Christians are believing in utter nonsense - salvation - Christ - God - and celebrating and proclaiming absolute foolishness all the time

2) the truth and thus for all who refuse to believe their damnation is just.

No halfways - your God is yours my God is mine what you believe to be true is true kinda Sophist reasoning...

There is no neutral ground. If you think its a halfway or here there not sure kind of thing then you just simply don't believe - you are saying that the Christian faith is 1) one big lie...

I know its unlike some other kinds of faith where oh... there is a way... but this way isn't the only way... kinda thing... so if you think another way is better for you then well and fine...

Because God isn't a liar when He says He is the only true and living God...
Because God isn't a liar when He speaks of the wrath and judgement waiting for us sinners after death...
Because God isn't a liar when He says He will send a Messiah who will save us from damnation...
Because Christ isn't a liar when He says that He is the fulfillment of this prophecy of salvation
Because Christ isn't a liar when He says He is the bread of life... the only way...

Because God is not a liar, I can be assured He is who He is and will do all the things He says He will do... both in judgement and in wrath and in mercy and in wisdom...

Will you consider this absolute truth?

Wishing you folks a meaningful Christmas!

Btw, I'm really glad to have met up with Guoliang and Shirley who came to attend my baptism... look at them feasting below!
yes I did it on purpose heeheeheehee...btw Shirley is a full-time very 'fierce' Chinese teacher now hohoho! Just what the doctor ordered for recalcitrants like me...

let's end off this post with another photo of other Christian friends who managed to make it yesterday too! Michelle, Shenzhi, Simon and Yongjie. Thanks for your prayers even those who couldn't make it and enjoy your holidays!
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Directions to Moriah Bible-Presbyterian Church

Hi all, my church christmas and baptism service starts at 9.30am.

I've posted a map here which shows how to walk to my church from Simei MRT because that's more convenient for most people . Ok so the green EW3 is Simei MRT station and the church location is on the extreme right side of the map next to block 231 (the partial building marked as 'MBPre'). Get off the MRT and just follow Simei St 3 and cut through the blocks to 231 and enter by the back gate.

Any problems or confusion please call me. Thanks so much!

For direct bus routes (I think only service no. 12 and 290) please visit my church's website at

Do dress appropriately for a place of worship and there'll be a lunch reception after service! See you all on Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Day off

My friends and people who read this blog I'd like to invite all of you on Christmas Day 25th Dec (Sunday) to my church at 9.30am for service and witness my baptism. It's located very near Simei MRT the exact address is 31 Simei Road. Do drop me a message if you can come!


Finally washed my car this morning.

Coolant is running low a bit. Must be the hard driving.

Had a day off to go back to school to see our internship supervisor. Planned to go swim before it but by the time I got there - pool was reserved for some practice. Bleah. Met SL and SZ on the way back to the car.

intern pay is a $540/mnth sighz

working hours is 8.30 to 6 (why s0 early??)

Sent LE home then went to book class 4 driving test scheduled for Mid-March.

Have to buy post cards - hope its not too late to send them out...

Next time when playing mahjong with Jan play slowly and talk a lot. Works wonders.

Seeya guys and happy interning~

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pre-enlistee scales CMPB walls and escapes from national service

The quiet of lunch hour was shattered on Monday afternoon when a pre-enlistee who was reporting for national service changed his mind and gave military personnel the slip. While talking furiously on his handphone, he inched further and further away from the soldiers who were preparing his paperwork and suddenly made a dash out of the building, ran towards the main gate, and scaled the wall and disappeared out of sight onto the main road.

As he is still a pre-enlistee, he is not under military law and has instead violated civilian law for failing to report for enlistment.

"He's all fit and ready for NS," somebody on the scene commented. "Rather weird to come all the way here and then decide to scoot off," observed another. "Perhaps he thought he was just reporting for paperwork and not actual enlistment," suggested a clerk.

Civilian police are handling this case of draft-dodging.

Next time, just be a world-class pianist *cynical laugh*


Talking about nation-hood, it seems that the Aceh issue is not that clear-cut. While the Indonesian parliament begins to debate laws regarding the province's special autonomy status promised in earlier peacetalks, there are 2 groups within that want further splits and are demanding their own independent status instead. These groups of minority Bataks and others seem not to want to be under "Acehnese" domination which may occur as the province gains more control over its internal affairs.

Are these groups transmigrants? Planted in by some people? The murky world of politics, ethnicity, and nationalism.


The uproar over the nude-squat videos of a supposed Chinese national in detention, with all the damaging of bilateral relations, other Chinese nationals speaking up and bringing lawsuits, racism charges, has taken a bizzare twist as a Malay woman admitted being the one in the video. Call it the media circus. WE ARE THE TRUTH! HAahHaAHa

This is an advertisement:
Travel like VIPs and heads of state. Walk on the tarmac! Just fly budget air and pay only $18 for this privilege previously reserved for people who could afford their own jets. Coming soon to Changi Airport.


I sat in my boss' new 7-series today. GPS. An aircon that feels like a fridge. OOdles of acceleration. WOOHOO~ But the boss' driver is very safe and slow. PS: my boss has a red Carrera 4 convertible too.


From the editor of this crap-news column: Been quite busy at work. Zillions of paperwork and things running about in and out. Had a few traffic close-shaves including a Need for Speed stunt on Nicoll Highway. The rest were due to horrible driving by women. Tell more later. And bridge is a fun game.

Need... to stay calm...

Friday, December 09, 2005

I wanna run to you

Woke up with this song running in my head:

I wanna run to you
I wanna run to you
Won't you hold me in your arms
And keep me safe from harm
I wanna run to you
But if I come to you
Tell me, will you stay or will you run away
- Run to you (Whitney Houston)

must be leftovers from my once-in-a-blue-moon ktv session mentioned below. (In which we didn't sing the above song but somehow I remembered it... SH's favourite) Btw, I also forgot to mention, EC has a great voice that suited most of the songs that were sung that day...

Church Camp
Just came back from my brother's church camp finale... can you imagine he actually did some form of physical activity during the games like, RUNNING?? Yes, this is the man who believes exercise shortens your lifespan (and has managed to convince at least half of his office at CMPB so) betraying his conscience.

2 of the skits by the teams were actually really good... especially the rhyme one... cool... some of them can really act too...

But I still dislike camps very much :)

Work's been really busy we're still clearing last month's stuff and the vouchers just keep piling in as I clear them...
I'm sorry CHY I still havent updated my links page at the side hee~

I'm looking forward to my break after mid-month before I intern!

I think blogger is scheduled for a shutdown about now. May the Lord keep you~

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dream job: tending the plants in the Garden of Eden

No, I did not take my car license plate off for some glamourous photoshoot. I was sending my brothers off to church camp that morning (as usual, the smallest one woke up late, middle one kept nagging, and all that last minute packing) and at the point of disembarkment somehow the smallest one managed to slam the boot so hard the number plate fell off. Apparently noone managed to tell me and I drove all the way home to prepare for work before my other brother messaged me about it.

This is the first time such a thing has happened - hope its not a precursor of more things falling off my car.

But happier stuff - I managed to go swimming today after the 2 pre-internship seminars! The sun was great but the pool rather crowded. Also, work's been super busy but after driving the van quite a lot I finally drove the 14-foot lorry yesterday on a midnight run! Surprisingly its actually easier to park because its empty and exposed behind unlike the vans although I still have to get used to revving diesel engines harder unlike how I normally drive the petrol car...

Class 4 here I come! :)

Also had a nice time at Mich's birthday function at ComCentre... nice lounge facilities with KTV too. CXY was like raving around like, drunk. Ok I'm exaggerating but still, she was kinda high.

Pondering working life

I wonder, how many people rush headlong into their careers and working life without ever stopping to think - what am I doing and why?

Through the pre-internship seminars we were drilled in stuff about networking, impressions, working hard, commitment, sincerity and so on. During the break I had the chance to lean at the side and just stare around at NTU's beautiful scenery while finishing my sugarcane juice. Today was indeed a fantastic break from full-fledged worklife, and with the internship nearing and eventual rest-of-my-life work approaching, I thought to myself - I'm really going to miss the university lifestyle.

But work is God-ordained and we need to work to support ourselves.

But do we 'become' our jobs? What if our jobs consume our lives and we become something we ourselves don't recognize? I would fail 100% in the networking game because I can't befriend people on false pretexts with ulterior motives. I find polite small talk really meaningless. I don't like to PR people and to be PRed. I just can't see myself doing all that for networking's sake because I'm not an open person.

Or is a job just a job that ends when you leave the workplace? Can there really be a separation between your worklife and 'the rest of your life' ? Should it always be our priority? What of the other more important things in this world?

Some people live to eat. Others live to work.

I pray to live for God, in all that I do. And He will surely see me through.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Being careful

Came back from work today at 1am, left for work at 6am...

NTUC Income insurance unhappiness

Happily, the van thing should be resolved (at some cost to myself, which is what I deserve), although sad to say the motorcyclist who accused and claimed against me for "causing" him to lose control and fall down and claimed INJURY and MEDICAL CLAIMS despite being an NSF has bitten me with a 1k insurance hike in premium for one time, and a reduction in NCD.

In the year during his case my premium went up by 1k and it was refundable after the case was concluded. But, apparently 2 years onwards after making me visit the lawyer several times, without consulting me or even informing me, NTUC Income had decided to unilaterally settle the case on my behalf (up till now I still don't know how the thing ended, none of the service staff are actually able to tell me) and hence without a fight and without any knowledge even I am saddled by a 1k penalty because of that ridiculous claim.

I am very unhappy that NTUC failed to consult or even inform me about their actions and just made the decision to forfeit the money for me. I suspect most of the money actually ended up paying the lawyers rather than the "injured" NSF.


There was a chap in the office who after a drinking session rode his scooter and got hit by a taxi. Thankfully he just fell on the floor and the scooter fell on his arm he's now in hospital. The taxi-driver knew that he was drunk so struck a bargain with him not to claim injuries and in return he wouldn't actually report he was drunk. The chap was left on the bus-stop until some other office people came to send him to hospital.

So, be careful now chaps, especially my friends who ride.

Ok ppl are streaming into the office now.

Take care folks and the Lord be with you in your thoughts, actions and daily life.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Exams are over

Not that it makes a huge difference... been working for almost 2 weeks by now.... its like everyday after a get home i'm so tired i just sleep after lying on the bed for a while...

But today was special, had my last exam - CSI! went swimming after that too - shiok. Got filmed by ChannelNewsAsia with Jeremy before that too. That's this tuesday 8.30pm on CNA. Something about Marine Engineering degree...

Got my brother from tekong (he has POC! Now ORD left...) Had lunch. Ran some errands. But quite tired now cause only slept 4 hours last night...

Got home, wanted a nice drink but... the ring tab broke. Nevermind. Use can-opener. Somehow all I do is crush the can. Nevermind. punch 2 holes and pour in cup. Then all the juice squirts all over the kitchen.

Seem to be driving faster nowadays. Maybe its because I'm rushing the errands as its for work. Or because I feel richer. My car's aircon actually feels really cold when you step on the accelerator real hard. Floored it through a red light camera junction when it was amber. Acceleration with aircon on: super fan-ying-chi-dun. The transmission kickdown itself already takes so long. Then still must wait wait wait. Sian. No Honda Integra. Ha.

Be back later... I've got lots of stuff to settle! By the way, if any are interested for a driving holiday to Malaysia lets do discuss!

May the Lord have mercy on all our souls! Amen!

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Wow its been a long while since I've actually downed a real blog entry. Work's been quite interesting and time really really flies when you're doing OT and all that...

Went out for a nice beer session with simon and some cs girls 2 nights ago... thanks for the treat! Haven't driven about at night for quite some time already... although I got really disoriented and took unneeded detours and reroutes...

Dropped EC and JK off after that... JK stays in Tampines just opposite where I used to live along the MRT tracks... all that nostalga came back and we lamented genuine tyre swings, playgrounds with real sand et al.

My brother booked out early this weekend on friday night... we had pizza in TM and lamented more of childhood days too... he catching stuff in the longkang

Dad called from Cambodia and I gave him an update of what's been going on...

Just finished watching "I am Sam" ... very long movie... but very touching... wanted to cry... go see it yourself if you want to know why... (saw the Alfred Hitchcock effect too)

btw, Huiyi's blog is coming online soon will link it when she's done.

Goodnight~and God bless

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


1st day of work : got fined $30
2nd day of work: scratched a van and have to repair it

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Cheesy stuff

Life without you would be like a broken pencil - ?

dies irae

Oh my goodness its a purple 'old man' S-class Mercedes! The paintwork, wheels and clear side indicators are really nice and funky too! Excellent 2 tone colour coordination with nice silver trimmings too. Can you say shagadelic :)

Anyway the 301 studying is progressing at a snail's pace basically its kinda like repeating itself over and over again... ... ... those vague management modules... and the textbook reads like the author was paid by the word... redundant... nice diagrams and charts and tables too (marketing / business people love using these)

Condolences to Jan... take care

Friday, November 04, 2005

Islam and the Bible

1 GE exam over... IC0103 E-Commerce... Wrote quite a lot of rubbish basically... I really should not have skipped any of the lectures. I ended up turning up half an hour early by mistake too...

and also, some wise-crack who sped up when i changed into his lane almost crashed into me when i braked because all the cars in front were braking just at the point he was tailgating me super-closely just to be childish... he panicked so much that he jammed the brake till i could see his car slide off half a lane to the side... well... hot-headedness....

WANT to listen to a sermon on Islam vis-a-vis Christianity based on their source of revelation?

Islam as described through the Koran...compared with Christianity through the Bible

its not politically correct but its honest so be careful... thought it'll be appropriate for this festive season... take note that he speaks in generalizations...

Thank God for seeing me through these weeks meanwhile....


Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday night

It's Friday night.

I'm in a happy mood. Have Class 95 playing over the Internet.

Am going to intern in a children's magazine next year.

Still have a presentation, feature article, photo essay to complete for this term.

Strange, this illusion called time.

It seemed like yesterday when I was in my army camp, living day by day and running about doing stupid things.

It seemed like yesterday when I was standing in line on the track outside my BMT barracks at 5.30am, waiting to march off for breakfast, and I stared into the sky as a plane roared past overhead, and I wanted to fly away from that miserable prison of an island.

It seemed like yesterday I passed my driving test, and I was so overjoyed I went back home to my original house, and told everyone I had passed on the first time.

It seemed like yesterday she put her head on my shoulder on the MRT, and I didn't know what to do.

It seemed like yesterday when I would reach VS 20 minutes before school started in order to copy homework.

It seemed like yesteday I would fight with my brother for the front seat in my dad's car.

It seemed like yesterday my dad took us for an MRT ride around Singapore when it first opened.

It seemed like yesterday my grandma would dab cold water over my chest before giving me a bath by scooping water from a red pail and pouring it all over me.

It seemed like yesterday when I went home after school, stopping to buy 10cents ice-sticks.

I could go on and on. Being thankful for the past. And hopeful for eternity. For God has always been there watching me. And the things of this world will not be remembered.

Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. - Job 14:1-2

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Do you believe in Hell?

I may have sort of guessed why some people insist they descended from apes, that the existence of life is merely a by-product of a chance chemical reaction that had a probability of 1 in 999999999 gazillion of happening randomly on its own, that they just simply cease to exist and have no eternal self-awareness after they die physically, and that there is no afterlife, eternity, heaven or hell.

Because they are terrified of judgement and being held accountable for their behaviour after they die! Of spending an endless time in the depths of hell burning in agony and pain, from this terrible all-consuming fire of God's angry wrath for the defiant, disobedient and ungrateful. I think people here, even Christians, forget the characteristics of God that are so revealed in the Bible.

No doubt, God is of love for He shows mercy by forgiveness of human transgressions through Christ, but don't forget, God is also just, holy, and perfect, without sin, and abhors even the slightest bit of a taint of imperfection. And He certainly is angry and there is clear description of the terrible hell that awaits damned souls that refuse to submit to Christ's saving grace.

And we like to think hell's a fun place. A joke of ancient myth, of superstition and human invention. Ouch is an understatement.

Because when you get there there's going to be no way out.

If you can't swallow that, then just continue to pretend that you just lose consciousness or self-awareness (for those of you who don't believe you have something called a soul) when your physical body rots, and you just become nothing.

At least this preposterous form of denial sounds better than burning in hell forever.

Monday, October 10, 2005


My lesson starts at 2pm so what am I doing in school at 9am?

1. I plan to go swimming at 11am.
2. I sent my brother to camp. He's booking in to go for Modified BMT recourse.
3. I've been sleeping too much these few days. Approximately 30% of my house area consists of bed / sofa. The rest is just really noisy. And yea, its 100% hot and stuffy.
4. I have the 301 report to finish.
5. I have the Falling Man article to critique
6. I have Photojourn readings to read
7. I have a feature story to mull over
8. I need to blog because I haven't done so for a long time.

The heartbroken realist

What is love but a foolish fleeting glance?

A thing to be enjoyed for as long as it will last?

A magic-carpet ride on foundations all so sparse?

But of faithfulness remaineth when the ecstasy has passed.

I don't usually rant. Is that because I store up all the stuff in my head, so that I may 1 day explode and become mad? No...

It is because some things I have learnt not to dwell on them. Some things I have learnt not to engage in flights of fancy. Some things I have learnt to forgive. Some things I have learnt to regret. And in all things I have learnt to have faith.

Do I get upset, am I unsure, do I feel like whining? Yes. Do I hope for some things to happen? Yes. But ranting only cools you off and then you start building all the steam again. And the permanence of writing is not always a good thing because you recall things you ought to leave behind.

What use have I of it then? Primarily to encourage others (I hope). An insight into human frailities and struggle, in a dark world not yet forsaken by God. That my friends may know the paradox, and yet the greater peace that comes with surrendering your life back to God.

In human eyes, it must have been divine foolishness to forgive horrible people like me - specimens preferred "well done" in hellfire. But that is the nature of God's love which is beyond even the wisest of all human understanding.

Hopefully you'd want to step out of the tossing sea of uncertainty too.

Monday, October 03, 2005


My soul teetering on the brink of damnation.

Don’t I always start from zero.

When you’ve lost your way return to the source.

Any object, any stimulant. Don’t dwell on it.

Don’t think it your right either, those wretched theories that distract you from God.

What of direction, aim, purpose. Ignoring the exhortation of brothers.

Are you near yet so far dear Father? Separated by this gulf.

Time is but an illusion to trap the sinful, but it sure is a long time down here.

I abhor myself.

I beg, take away those vile things whose use I desire to contort.

For I am filthy, an abomination. I wax iniquity.

Have continued mercy I pray – your faith is greater than mine own.

I cannot deny your glory.

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back.
Oh no, be strong.

U2 – Walk On.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.   – Rom 7:24-25

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


My heart is troubled by a foolish thing

A cacophony of voices over it does reign

What desires of my ruthless and vain conjuring?

Though never a thing does mere longing bring.

So I pray dear God, Creator of all things

Set my heart straight, that to You I might sing

All my cares, and needs, to Your wise dispensing

For indeed thou art, even of fools like me, King.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


My mom confesses Christ! Praise the Lord for His mercy! Thank all my brothers and sisters for their prayers! Amen!

Pray for the Lord's continued guidance and providence as He continues to transform our lives.

Great is the hope and the promise that we have and hold so dear! Indeed, things that are impossible with men are possible with God!

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. - Luke 15:10

Rejoice in His glory and the hope that He gives!

Hallelujah! Praise God Almighty!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Penny pinching

Some calculations on fuel consumption during the 800+ KL road trip.

Fuel used = 33.9 + 37.89 – 10 (compensation for ¼ tank) = 61.8

Fuel type : RON 98

Distance covered approximately 830km (Journey from Singapore Customs all the way to Kota Tinggi, then to KL, and then back to Johor at the end of the highway journey)

13.4 km / litre or 7.44 litre / 100km

This includes a 1-hour traffic jam in KL, travel by old highways in and out of Kota Tinggi, speeds up to 155kph on the return trip. All fully air-conditioned trips.

City-only driving (Taman Sentosa back to Singapore & 1 week of Singapore driving)

Total fuel consumption = 39
Total distance = 1377 – 830 = 547km

14 km /litre or 7.13 litre / 100km

Typical daily journeys are to school which is a 60km round trip usually without aircon. And small journeys around town and other places. I usually step about 5% of the accelerator or less…

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Post-KL writings

The sea
The sea is just a place gone by in ships from yonder shores
Its body hides in deep recess foul creatures of ancient lore.
Perchance one day you lost your way and sank till ocean floor,
Take heart you’ll share your grave with Nemo and Neptune, forevermore.

What is time, but a prison of fallen man?
A cruel lady, unstoppable in her wretched hand?
A unit of measure, by which mountain turns to sand?
Indeed, but also the manner, by which God works His plan.

In Prose
Back from KL! 800km plus round trip altogether. The driving was really fun and quite a different experience.

We went to the Kota Tinggi waterfall and it was simply beautiful. The water was super cold which was great compared to the blazing sun, but I was quite a pathetic weakling and felt really cold after a while and ended up sitting on the stones, which were by the way extremely slippery. We were also visited by some monkeys which were attracted to Simon’s snacks.

The drive to the waterfall itself was really fun with curves and winding roads with added challenge of avoiding potholes and puddles.

Getting ‘fined’ by Polis on the way to Kulai was not. But good thing there’s 4 people with which to split the cost.

Certain stretches of the highway around Yong Peng have beautiful scenery and we’re high up amongst the mountains snaking and bending through thick slopes of forests as far as the eye can see.

KL itself is a super-complicated place with lots of different areas and expressways. Needless to say by the time we reached Subang Jaya it was already nightfall and in order to avoid needless disaster we decided to look for a hotel near the Sunway Lagoon.

Later at night Emilie, Esther’s good friend came to drive us to Cheras which has something like a huge night market similar to Petaling Jaya’s Chinatown.

It was super-long and there are lots of snacks to eat, things to buy and so on. Got really tired walking it.

Next day we went to the CBD itself and the KLCC but there was no way to tour the towers or the skybridge because there were no more ushered-tour tickets. The Convention Centre is 1 huge shopping centre full of luxury goods. We spent almost an hour outside taking photos of the Petronas twin towers and the Menara telecommunications tower

The drive back began with a 1-hour jam out of KL due to some accident but the actual drive was actually about 2 ½ hours till we left the expressway and headed in circles for Taman Sentosa to find the seafood place.

As for my car, I’m terribly pleased as there isn’t anymore steering vibration at really high speeds. Don’t know if it’s the suspension work, the wheel alignment, or the faulty nut that was replaced, but it’s great! Cornering is also much more improved with the firmer suspension and the car feels much more planted to the ground.

Can’t wait for the next trip!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Me to NTU: Find your sense of belonging

The NKF affair was a scandal that rocked the nation. No doubt, there was a lot of soul-searching both collectively and individually when news broke about how funds in the organization had been used contrary to public expectation. But recently there surfaced another example much closer to home. School abandonment.

On one hand, our dear NTU is making painful efforts with new initiatives to change the way things are done, to take care of the student’s welfare, allowing more openness and dialog between students, student bodies, faculty and administrators, launching new programmes, increasing exchange opportunities and expanding and overhauling curriculum.

There’s a huge task ahead, but we have to start somewhere.

And here on the other hand, is an apparently not-so-grateful beneficiary of the new GIP initiative, saying that since he was not legally bound, he was going to leave NTU for another institution which he felt he liked better and not pay the S$8,000 NTU sponsored to send him there as an exchange student.

Does “stayers and quitters” come to mind?

The justification he offers is wanting. “I was not legally bound by any contract.” But the heated reaction from his departure, like the public response to NKF, is a clear indication that he was not behaving according to expectation. And he himself admitted that he knew people would be unhappy too.

Free choice in education is something we all cherish, which is why this person could have gone there for his post-graduate studies.

I seriously think that when NTU subsidies a student it is making an investment in that students would be exposed to other types of academic environments and bring back new ideas, suggestions and mindsets. That’s where the gamble is. It’s not a gamble in the sense as one student put it – that students might jump ship when they’re abroad. I am quite sure nobody on the administrative side was expecting something so audacious.

And in case anyone’s a bit hazy it’s not about the money – when you go on exchange you are expected to be an ambassador of NTU, as well as getting experiences to share with others when you return, so that you can make a difference in NTU, no matter how intangible. Don’t make a difference by leaving.

But how is the committee that selects GIP students going to gauge loyalty? Frankly, it’s hard. It’s clear from this and many other numerous ‘scholarly bond-breaker’ cases that the types of students worshipped by our society, already obviously over-represented in exchange and scholarship opportunities, have excellent resumes but lack values. Maybe there’s a larger issue here – but let’s not go there yet.

There will always be bond-breakers, quitters, fair-weather friends and people who jump ship whenever they legally can. But let’s not just follow others’ footsteps and make NTU some company, a place you’d leave if you find greener grass. Because that’s not going to help in building an identity and sense of belonging to our university, which is something we’re still searching for and is so fundamental to NTU’s continued relevance.

You do want NTU to be around for at least the next 100 years right?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

That's it

That's it. It's the final straw. It happened again. Type for half an hour and click publish and the whole entry just *poofs* into smoke. "blog not found" error. NOT funny. I'm not writing any more entries here as far as I'm concerned.

This really REALLY sucks. They expect people to finish their entries in what? 5 minutes? Maybe for xia*ue style blogs its possible. But not for me.

What a disaster.

What alternatives? Livejournal? Or worse, frienster? *gasp*
Or my own website. Seriously, my own website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I'd better make this post a fast one so the blogger won't crash on me.

Currently I'm grappling with internship selection. First stop is of course Reuters but then its the other two that will seem much more likely given how many excellent candidates will be applying there.

I'm toying with a few things.

MINDEF would be slack (hopefully) but I don't know if I can stomach all that nationalism. But I wonder... it could be a good time to learn how to be professionally detached from the subject matter of your work. (Is that really possible? Do I actually want to do that? - but there are no internships at car magazines)

Told EF how I wasn't interested in running around and hunting stories and all and she gave me a "oh you poor thing" look.

"Why did you go Journ then?"

Good question. Why? I like to write that's all. May not be best justification but I think journ's the lesser evil compared to the other stuff. Plus, the possibility of travel. And it exposes you to a lot of general things about the world too.

There's this really interesting children's magazine QUEST too but it'll probably have some events and stuff as well.

I might consider MDA's media literacy campaigns as well as that interesting TTSH event organization although that one seems more of event management.

There's a post for some golf mag. Why isn't there one for a car mag?

I'm whining over the cover letters and this really exciting feature on a China astronaut right now.

Btw, I really dig photojourn! It rocks! Walking about taking photos is fun... although... there's only so much a photo can say...

Let's see if I get any scoldings for the first sets of photos which should be coming back tomorrow.

Okay, time to scoot before the traffic gets heavy. Ciao.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Picture #1

Picture #2

Please vote in the tag board and tell me which photo suits the theme better! Thanks!

By the way Blogger ate my entry again. After typing in the article I clicked "publish" and it just said blog not found. Not funny.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

image splash

Darkness & Light
The couple were quarreling over who was late more often for dates.

What could have been the problem in the first picture? I realise Auto-ISO is not necessarily a good thing... and probably a little camera shake too.

The second auto-shot was at a much faster speed and with flash too.

No, I'm not the chap next to her. Who's she by the way?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Indian tennis star

I was arrowed to do some saikang on some major event in some posh hotel concerning President Nathan. The whole building's cordoned off for the purpose of security and there were to be lots of guests and famous dignitaries and foreigners coming to visit. It felt like NDP or something with lots of soldiers, police and volunteers and people milling around wearing different kinds of uniforms doing various things from security to ushering. Of course, I couldn't even remember what I was supposed to be doing, the only thing being certain that I had some nice fancy pass which 1 security personnel reminded me to put on when I arrived there and I promptly did, and it allowed me to swagger around the different levels and sections of the hotel.

I remembered milling around and having various dignitaries and even a famous Indian tennis star ask me tough questions about Nathan (what was the score of Nathan's recent tennis game?) through their indecipherable and thick accents and I'd be providing plenty of politically correct replies lest I heard their questions wrongly.

Security was extremely tight.

Then, alas. I wasn't on armed detail, and then suddenly there were loud sirens from outside the huge glass wall. I was at that point in time having a most heart-wrenching conversation with the Indian tennis star - looking all hot and sweaty after a game of tennis. There was a huge panic. The staff and security, which outnumbered the foreign guests, all started rushing about in a mad panic - yes, even the children volunteers (I had absolutely no idea what they were doing there - crowd fillers or flag wavers for national events I guess) and the sirens got louder and louder. Finally, they reached their loudest and I thought - ok we'll know what's going on now but then the sirens just stayed on but nothing happened. Suddenly, we heard loud voices commanding get down and everyone got down, including me. And then I woke up.

The siren was still on and it was coming from the carpark downstairs 2 blocks away. Probably one of the many old folk in the neighbourhood had an emergency. I heard lots of children's voices - it was Eunos Primary School nearby.

Weird dream. Hah.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

While waiting on earth

The difference between use and enjoyment - according to St. Augustine

For to enjoy a thing is to rest with satisfaction in it for its own sake. To use, on the other hand, is to employ whatever means are at one's disposal to obtain what one desires, if it is a proper object of desire; for an unlawful use ought rather to be called an abuse. Suppose, then, we were wanderers in a strange country, and could not live happily away from our fatherland, and that we felt wretched in our wandering, and wishing to put an end to our misery, determined to return home. We find, however, that we must make use of some mode of conveyance, either by land or water, in order to reach that fatherland where our enjoyment is to commence.

But the beauty of the country through which we pass, and the very pleasure of the motion, charm our hearts, and turning these things which we ought to use into objects of enjoyment, we become unwilling to hasten the end of our journey; and becoming engrossed in a factitious delight, our thoughts are diverted from that home whose delights would make us truly happy. Such is a picture of our condition in this life of mortality.

We have wandered far from God; and if we wish to return to our Father's home, this world must be used, not enjoyed, that so the invisible things of God may be clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, --that is, that by means of what is material and temporary we may lay hold upon that which is spiritual and eternal.

from Chapt. 4 "On Christian doctrine"

When the journey gets long and God seems so far away remember:

"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." -Rev 22:20

Thursday, August 11, 2005

For the person who thinks

1. According to the 10 commandments, all human beings are sinners. You may have never killed anyone - but hating is as good as that. You have never commited fornication - but looking is already enough. And I know we all have coveted something before. I think I should have covered everyone by now.

2. And mind you Christians do not suddenly become outwardly perfect - they just sincerely want to or try to.

3. You believe there is some form of a God or many Gods? Well, there is only God. To find out more about Him and also why He brought us here - go check the Bible.

4. You believe there is no God. So everything on earth is an accident. Everything is due to some environmental, cosmic or social causes. Who caused the first cause then? It was an accident. A freak of nature, physics, biology. Why do nature, physics and biology follow "laws" then? Things don't have to behave according in fixed laws. They just do. Why?

5. You throw your hands up and say "we can never know because we can never see or test for God and what He says (or we can't verify for sure 100%)"

That's why its called a faith.

6. "I don't care. I just refuse to believe anything I can't see or be sure of." So you'd prefer to leave all the answers to the questions in part 4 blank. You insist on denial or remaining ignorant. And you call people who have a faith unscientific.

7. Scientists will explain everything. We'll find the answer someday. Scientists explain phenomena of the physical world. Science does not answer questions on the meaning of life, on why we do things and what we ought to do. Only the Bible does. Philosophers take a shot too.

8. I'm perfectly fine I know how to behave and what to do. Yeap, so did I. Taking cues from TV, media, your friends, the latest fads, what other people do, what seems acceptable to the public. Don't ever believe in the media. They just want to sell you something. I should know. Even journalism is not truth or unbiased.

*insert other qns here*

I'll be back.


All steps, all moves, each spoon lifted
to the mouth, every said word, all thought

Kevin Benzer

It's easy to be rude and say the wrong things when you're in a bad mood or when you're upset or uncomfortable or feeling tired. I apologise again to the various people who've been on the receiving end.

Sometimes it just feels as though all your negative thoughts, feelings and disillusionment with people is just lying dormant in your mind, ready to burst out and explode at any moment. It feels really awful to know you are capable of such thoughts.

Sounds very un-PR doesn't it? Well the facts first. Nobody's perfect. Hardly the case. The more you know people the more peeves and flaws you'd see about them. Universal truth that everyone agrees with. So, first of all, recognition of people's flaws is about being honest.

If you ask me, I think just smiling and shoving what you think under the carpet and pretending everything's okay is even worse. And I realise that I do that with people I don't care about. Which is a horrible shame that's even worse.

Secondly, is to remember you're in the same boat, only thing being is you can't see your flaws by yourself. You depend on your real friends to tell you.

Thirdly, is not to dwell on them for too long, to use them to feed or justify your anger or bitterness. That would be hatred. But forgive. Easy to say, hard to do. But try. Every effort you make brings you closer.

People are to be encouraged to be honest with their own flaws. And after all for fellow Christians the imperative is from Christ to self-examine our actions and our value system.

For the rest... well maybe just try to be a better person? Although I cannot understand from whom or what source can you learn how to strive to that goal of being more like...
something's amiss here...

You don't even know what you want to become.

Sometimes when non-Christian friends talk to me I wish I could give advice and sometimes I do, but I realise they won't be able to follow it or it would be pointless to them because they have no real reason to - unless of course just to please me. Which doesn't work because the basis isn't right and when it isn't right, it either won't last very long or will last until something else more attractive-sounding comes along.

So there is a fundamental difference in value system and world-view. But nevertheless constant encouragement is still good. Love thy neighbour. You have to start somewhere.

There's a poem that illustrates what I'm trying to say. This is the second half of the poem, and the "him" refers to the kidnapper who has abducted and held hostage the author of the poem.

I know too well the darker urges in myself,
the violence and selfishness.
I've seen little in him I can't recognize.
I also know my mind would shatter,
my soul would die if I did the things he does.
I'm tempted to believe there really is
a devil in him, some malefic,
independent force that makes him
less or other than a man.
That's too easy and too dangerous an answer;
it's how so many evils come to be.
I must reject, abhor and fight against
these acts, and acknowledge that
they're not inhuman - just the opposite.
We can't separate the things
we do from what we are;
Hate the sin and love the sinner is not
a concept I'll ever really understand.
I'll never love him - I'm not Christ.
But I'll try to achieve forgiveness
because I know that in the end,
as always, Christ was right.

from "Satan" by Terry Anderson badly we need to be honest with ourselves sometimes...

Friday, August 05, 2005

It's the second time the blogger thing has eaten up my entry without posting it online. I finish my article and click publish and it disappears. But anyway here's a photo which my longtime readers will be able to recognize as its based on 1 of my previous articles.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Male papaya trees

'Male papaya trees'
Did you know there are such things as male papaya trees? My mom made that startling revelation unto me over lunch today!

In a papaya fruit, there are lots of seeds. These seeds will grow up to become male or female papaya trees. There's no way to tell when its still a seed, but after it has grown for a while and started flowering you'd know. How? Male papaya trees have flowers which grow out with a stem from the trunk, while female trees have flowers that grow directly on the trunk. Amazing. And male papaya trees have flowers and can be pollinated, but will produce no fruit. Strange huh and I thought trees were 'asexual'. Could this 'male papaya tree' actually be some mutation or variety of papaya tree? That somehow despite so much domestication its seeds still appear in the predominant 'female papaya tree'?

This is a question for...... Prof Benj!

Goodbye NSX
My schoolboy crush fantasy supercar - the Honda / Acura NSX is ceasing production soon - after 15 years on Honda's lineup. The end of an era... at least it retired with grace unlike being reincarnated into some monstrosity of a marketing gimmick like the current Skyline or Fairlady, which share only their namesake and nothing else with their illustrious predecessors.

Car shock absorbers - $800... to change or not to change in order to cure the dive/squat bouncy castle syndrome. Left filter light keeps coming off after a hit on the front skirt during an illegal U-turn. Super glue and good weather needed. I hope the springs will last at least another 3 years...

New school term
It's great to see good school mates again! 5-day week thanks to photojourn and my core media subject. Planned lots of extra-cirricular activities to motivate myself to go to school on otherwise 1 1/2 hour or 2 hour days!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Les Mundane

That's weird. An article I was working on halfway suddenly disappeared although I had saved a draft. What's going on here?

Went swimming on Wed and Fri. Am a little sunburnt now. Rainy season is ending. Second weekend in a row I have to go around Singapore counting lamposts for my mom. Awful for me and my poor car. And my mom is disorganized at planning routes. Heh. Can't make head or tail of the street directory. Recipe for disaster haha.

Got the car serviced. Finally changed the 2 rear tyres. The workshop replaced the tyre stems for me too. Cool. Now with excellent tyre grip my worn out suspension makes itself felt more when I corner hard. John says the front shocks (and I believe the rear) are leaking. That's why the dive and squat and wobbling keeps happening. $300 for front shocks replacement, up to $800 for the entire car including bushings and labour. $800. And I thought I could get the windows tinted. But this is much more urgent cause the car feels like a floating barge. And the springs are probably being massacred at a rapid rate with all that bouncing about. Or I could just corner real slowly. All the time. 6-year-old car, are you worth the money? Washed the car too.

Still haven't cashed my Citibank cheque yet. How troublesome. This coming Thursday there's gonna be a dinner with Ning Toh downtown. Maybe during then. Could collect my final one at the same time too.

I confess. Been doing guilty stuff recently. Felt horrid. My vile self, I could turn anything that's good horrible. Too much of anything. Obsession. Is bad. Bad for the soul. Clouds the light. Don't ever lose hope though, approach the Throne of Mercy in repentance. Even if you couldn't believe in yourself, believe and trust God and the Holy Spirit. Pray when temptations strike. I didn't, that's why I fell. Praise God for His mercy, that precious gift we handle with fear and trembling. Trust in Him alone - Him who keeps the universe in existence by His very Will.

Repent and thou shalt be saved:

What's repentance?

There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.)
The verb "metamelomai" is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or
even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word
is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3).

(2.) Metanoeo,
meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.
This verb, with (3) the cognate noun "metanoia", is used of true repentance, a
change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and
sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred
of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and
(4) a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way
of his commandments. The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of
pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21, 22). Thus he
apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares
him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an
apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1;

Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

A change of purpose in life. What's your purpose in life?

"...I once was lost
But now am found
was blind but now
I see..."

Amazing Grace! Amen!

Saturday, July 16, 2005


This photograph is from a 202 assignment I had last semester. I coloured off a few distracting elements but otherwise everything else is untouched. Yes, including my unprofessional flash and the slight reflection on the glass window. What do you think? Any suggestions for improvement? What's the point I'm trying to make?

Occupation : something to occupy you with

Work ended yesterday! HAhaha! I've been slacking at the office as there's literally nothing left to do and the workflow is very messy and confusing. I'm instructed to gather so-and-so document number and then it turns out like 90% of them are useless and can't be used to retrieve the invoice. And their filing is a horrendous mess some labelled by months, entities, and journal numbers...

The other temp keeps pinning me down trying to make me look slow and saying I am making mistakes up till my very last day. I wanted to give him a piece of my mind since I was leaving but I forgave him. For Christ's sake. Next Friday I'll be back to collect my cheque while I send my mom to Chinatown. So much for SGX Tower 1. Byebye, till next holiday perhaps. Between this and DBS, can't tell which is the better. But this one is a lot less stressful.

1 last week of break... tai-tai lifestyle of swimming, cycling, movies, books, waking up late and chauffering mom around. Fantastic. Oh yah I've got to wash the car and send it for servicing.

Praise the Lord for all blessings that are given us! Amen!

NKF - reality check

NKF "saga"

Long term
I had some strong reactions, but I guess in the end what's of utmost concern in the long term is whether the system in place that is supposed to regulate how public charity collections are utilised is sufficiently accountable. It's quite disappointing that it takes an ironic and extraordinary twist of a defamation suit gone wrong to expose all these details of bad practices. Granted, NKF is not your typical local charity in terms of size and amount of collections so I guess we can take this as a lesson and set higher regulatory standards. Another sound idea mooted by PM is that perhaps excess funds (if you ask me, the temptation of the millions stuck there was just too great) be redistributed to other charities under various umbrella organizations.

NKF board resignation
It's a wise move for the board to resign as this will salvage the NKF name which has been built with much hard work. At least in this move we know the board and government, which I'm sure played a significant hand in the decision, have the interests of the NKF charitable cause at heart and don't want it being pulled down utterly together with these revelations.

Dishonest? Criminal?
The revelations were a a public shocker for understandable reasons. For the typical man-on-the-street, the image of golden taps paid for by public donations is something that will stick. Most people have an expectation of a charity. And those revelations were definately not what they expected.

A charity is a business is a charity is a business
Some people I spoke to think that it the perks were alright. After all, top dollar for top talent. Perhaps we're forgetting that this is not a business or company and that money raised from charity is a COLLECTION and not an EARNING. If you ask me, there's something terribly wrong about pegging Mr Durai's 10-month bonus to his 'performance' of having raised lots of money. Don't get me wrong, efforts should be lauded and rewarded no doubt, but how do you draw the line? Seems like the board drew it at 10 months. Civil servants get 1 or 2 month bonus and everyone nags. 10 months. Come on. I FORGOT, DID ANYONE SHOW THE DONORS WHO DONATED MORE ANY APPRECIATION?

The terminology is disturbing though and is a reflection of what WF put it as "the blurring of the line between a business and a charity".

What change is this? For example, we need to pay the top management top dollar to generate as much donations as possible. The consideration of NKF as a "brand-name". I'd rather call it the spirit or ideal. To me, this is evil (yes! hahaha) marketing terminology and mindset taking over everywhere, even in how charities are run.

Mr Durai talks about how he built up the brand name etcetc and I know he has worked hard. Proud that you donated because you had a chance to win a condo or car? Entralled by the dangerous and exciting stunts that you decided to donate to help a needy kidney patient? Excellent marketing tactics don't you think? What's more the product you're selling is... without competition and based on sympathy! Sometimes I get carried away by the prizes and end up with heaps of guilt when I realise that SMS was actually from NKF.

I hear echos of "so what?" As long as we get the money pouring in, patients getting help, who cares what really motivated people to donate? You come down from your idealistic cloud high up there and wake up, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS!

Well, but I would never know your motivation to donate right? So I'd not comment and just take the money. I suspect that's what Durai and Co were thinking. Fine. After a while, the money swells up so rapidly beyond what they need and instead of distributing it to other charities (hey, they don't even have to be related - social causes, halfway houses, orphanages), they start to develop a sense of ownership over the funds (my talented marketing and promotion genius caused all these collections - they're mine!), and do all these guilt-ridden things.

How did we know they were guilt-ridden things? Because they tried to hide them! Lied about them. And arragont they were. Sued those who spoke out against them. Got away with it twice. Their head swelled. They tried it again against a party that always covers its back - the press. And SPH just replies with some casual blows and now the whole world knows their little secrets.

Moving on
1 thing that is clear is... there's lying and coverup going on. And no way is the public going to stand for that with their donations. I recommend an audit. Bring all expenditures and perks to light. They say they've done nothing wrong? Then be ready to be cleared and declared innocent, or else to face disgrace, or possible criminal litigation. They should come clean with the books - rather than let this cloud linger over the rest of their public life.

I think they learnt something the hard way - they're a charity, not a business. And its clear from public reaction that most people still distinguish a charity from a business. They didn't only donate to win that condo. Amen to that.

And government regulation regarding charities should be revamped. For charities beyond a certain size, more transparency.

As for the use of stunts and lucky draws to entice donors - I leave that to whichever is the source of your moral guidance.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Birthday Boi

My first birthday cake in a very long time! And I wished for my mom's salvation. If they had asked me I've have violently rejected but they actually sprung a birthday cake on me! And they arranged it on the day itself when I told SS! How nice my church friends are its been years since I've had any sort of party...

Climbing that Bukit Timah is no joke, the steep incline is so incredible the park actually puts a "no running" sign on the downslope.

Later went for dinner with my mom and brothers at No Signboard Seafood at esplanade! The fish cost $50 but was great.

Hmm... I'm already fully booked next week except for monday for dinners.... great! eating eating and more eating!

Thank God for all my friends who have touched my life in whatever ways! Amen!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

you're not a Bible authority just because you're ang moh

Cai featured such a fascinating article by Oscar Wilde that I had to go read it for myself.

But oh well... its quite a weak case...

First of all, he thinks "charity creates a multitude of sins." He's trying to theorise some cause and effect relationship and thinks that charity is a means of the rich keeping the poor in their place. Hmm... I wonder, how many of you agree with this?

And mind you, here we speak of charity for its absolute own sake, in obedience to Christ's commands, rather than to chalk up a 'goodwill account' or to make people in debt to you or owe a favour.

Want an example of something that masquerades as charity? Just look at all the Aussies who said they wanted to withdraw the tsunami aid after the conviction of an Aussie drug trafficker by an Indonesian court. I'm not here to argue over the facts of the case presented, nor about religious bias (of the 3 judges 2 were Hindus and 1 was Christian I think - none were Muslims) but to show the hearts of some of them who said "let's take back the aid".

There's no such thing as realist "I scratch your back and you scratch mine" charity. It's not charity. Period. So, he hasn't actually proven how charity is the cause of evil except when its not charity.

And the second, more intellectual part. How Wilde believes that private property is the root of all evil. It is unfair too.

He says the ideal is the removal of private property (with Socialism) followed by the Individualism that would result. He 'predicted' correctly that if Socialism was Authoritarian it would result in Industrial Tyranny.

Finally, the part which actually appeared in cai's blog. So after private property is abolished, "true" Individualism will flourish, -

The true perfection of man lies, not
in what man has, but in what man is.

I can see how he brings the Bible into his idea, for Jesus taught many times about how a man's earthly possessions were like nothing and a useless measure of what he really had. I agree whole-heartedly that possessions hardly define a man. But when Christ spoke of perfection in God's eyes, it had absolutely nothing to do with what we did or could possibly do to make ourselves perfect, for we can do nothing about that. Christ was the only man on earth who lead a perfect, sinless life.

The problem here is the same, we keep blaming something else, we always keep blaming something else when we do bad or when we suffer and things go wrong. Here Wilde, using Socialism, attacks private property, saying it suppresses personality. What does he mean by personality? I can't actually pinpoint it from his article but it sounds like being totally self-expressive in everything.

And in the end, Christ is just someone who is telling you to "be thyself"... to express your own personality.

But that's a serious misreading. "Know thyself" - is to ask you to examine your soul, to realise your state of wickedness, your ghastly, greedy, selfish self and denial of truth. Jesus did not exactly mean it to be like, "discover the real you" or something likedat, he meant it for you to discover that the real you is wretched, selfish, sinful and going straight to Hell.

So, don't borrow words from the Bible to legitamise something you have to say. Even if you are Oscar Wilde.

And the account of the rich man who was sad when Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and follow Him, is not to show that private property is evil. It's to show that this guy was simply too attached to his worldly possessions! Instead of his possessions it could have been his wife, his family, his country, anything.

The fundamental mistake is Wilde attributes causation of evil to the wrong things!

And the account of the woman who anointed Jesus's feet with costly perfumes is not saying we should throw away all our possessions, but rather that we should be extravagant when praising God. Take note, she wasn't "developing her personality" but praising God!

Another serious error in this account is a misreading. The woman was not forgiven for the intensity of her love that caused the adultery, but for her repentence in washing of the feet with tears and wiping the feet with her hair.

It's obvious Wilde just skimms through the Bible and makes so many errorneous interpertations, so I think he's hardly someone who should (mis)quote it and mislead others.

Friday, June 24, 2005

sleepless in eunos

Haven't updated for quite a while, so here goes.

My bro just treated me n my mom to starbucks & I had tiramisu and some coffee... we actually chatted like 2 hours altogether with seafood and drinks... haha.

Encouraged my brother of how he should aim for his professor ambitions. And how I wanted to be a car journalist. Haha. He said he'd make me his driver when he's reached professor level. Yay I'm gonna have a job! We were also relating our working experiences. Small firm, big firm, government department. Similar and different in many ways.

Oh yes, I like my new job! Although I'm still terrible at small talk. I don't even know when people are making small talk and I just unknowingly cut them off. So lame man... Have this other temp from NTU also who's simply obsessed about doing OT... sometimes. And its not as brain-dead as I thought just keying in stuff you gotta do quite a bit of detective work when you see the invoices too.. yeah and as it goes things are still quite messy now. I don't know how but I became the filing person too so my table has lots of space taken up by files... top and bottom... and there's this huge conference room filled with boxes of files that we have to enter once in a while to dig out files... incredible.

There are also 3 NTU Business school interns... Biz Finance majors... 1 of them is trying to enter SMU, the other never turns up for lessons but still gets As and the last one... don't know much about him.

Took a walk to the Esplanade today during lunch. The weather was surprisingly clear and windy, and I had a great time staring into the sea (well, its not really the sea, just the bay, but you get the idea.)

But being a corporate rat is quite something. Thousands of people rushing in and out of the MRT. All walking rapidly. And during lunchtime the who place is simply crowded, which is why I tend to go for the 1pm lunch instead. YS msged me suddenly so I msged back and it seems she's working at some tour agency in Chinatown...

Also met BT for dinner last week at this ramen place... not bad... and they didn't yell 'maseh maseh' when we entered.

Madagascar was a disappointment. That's 1 great example of what I'd call a technically flawless but empty movie. Ok I know its just a cartoon but the story is like, ultra weak, the selection of songs was in terrible taste and jokes were absolutely lame. The dancing furry things with that king were like, urgh. The only thing I found cool were the penguins. And so what's the whole story about? Lions can eat sushi? I love New York? who knows? Let's have world peace and love, even the lions don't have to kill anymore! Yay!

Oh yeah, btw, iTunes sucks but iPod Shuffle is great. No battery issues although it's having problems with my buggy USB hub. But I really detest having to use iTunes. What a pain. But the Shuffle is REALLY portable and convenient so you won't regret it.

There's really so much to be thankful for, though the struggle continues. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? But live and walk in the Spirit, for though we may fall, He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1

May the Lord be with you always. Amen.

Monday, June 13, 2005

When all the world is young

When All the World Is Young

When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green,
And ev'ry goose a swan, lad,
And ev'ry lass a queen,
Then, Hey! for boot and saddle, lad,
And 'round the world away!
Young blood must have his course, lad,
And ev'ry dog his day.

When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown,
And all the sports are stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down,
Creep home and find your place there,
The sick and maimed among.
God grant you find one face there
You loved when you were young.

I sure miss blogging!!

May you be able to enjoy God's peace and Christ's hope in our trials and tests on this earth. Amen.

where is NTU going

Thinking back to the recent attempt to change NTU's name to 'Nantah', one can't help but speculate that its just the tip of the iceberg in a larger identity crisis our dear institution is facing.

NTU's mainstay used to be in engineering. Well, it still is, but a main problem is that much of Singapore's economy has moved on. There'll always be place for engineers in any industrialised nation, but the number of such local jobs is definately falling in line with global trends and relocation of industries across borders.

Nanyang Business School, one of the pillars of NTU, is facing stiff competition from SMU, especially now that it no longer has a monopoly over locally recognised accountancy degrees.

NUS also already has a head-start in the bio-sciences arena. And now, NTU, anxiously trying to find a new niche, is launching a no-holds-barred replication of humanities and theoretical science courses in order to have a wide-enough spectrum of courses to be considered a 'full-fledged' university.

Do we really need to go there? I know that the universities have been granted independence in most of their management and decision matters but is a head-on collision and replication of courses necessary? Is NTU trying to be the jack of all trades, having lost its past niches in providing practical education to the masses?

The stark reality of the open market is here to stay. Isn't it better to focus on our strengths and defend or build upon our existing core competencies rather than keep taking new shots in the dark at the next 'big-thing' in the market?

As much as a university is an entity grounded in practical considerations, it ought to transcend the mere economics of job prospects and qualification marketability. We all know how uncertain the economy is. One moment its the bio-sciences, the next its the hospitality industry, after that its the transport and communications and then its the integrated resorts. As a country we need to put our eggs in as many baskets as possible to ensure the populances' economic survival.

However, that is not the way a unversity ought to decide or chart its path of growth.

Ask any potential undergraduate where he intends to go. SMU is now the choice for most business aspirants, while a 'liberal arts' person would go for NUS's FASS. Theoretical sciences also belong in NUS (apart from a recent transmigration of staff into our School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences). People seeking a industry-specific, practically oriented education in engineering will choose NTU.

But the recent plethora of changes in curriculum reeks of confusion.

An all-rounded education isn't going to happen by making students take more general modules or expanding the different types of degree programmes offered. It only happens when internal core curriculum are overhauled and methods of assessment and teaching are re-oriented towards thinking, understanding and application. And where best to start than in its core competencies, pushing them to higher levels of engineering, R&D, and industry applicability.

We need to focus on our strengths and our practical orientation, in which we're losing badly to SMU amongst the business faculty. Otherwise, whichever way you look at it, NTU will just always end up playing second fiddle to some other entity.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

My monitor and I : quit!

Goodbye DBS

It's been slightly more than a month and one week since I began my DBS job. Guess what. I quit it. Somehow I feel that I'm wasting my time on one hand. On the other, it's been getting more and more stressful ever since I got switched over to another task which I have to handle by myself with little proper transitional training. Sulk at the office all day. So many things to handle and keep track. Honestly I don't know what's going on much of the time. It's like I discover so many new things that I'm supposed to do everyday. And I'm like, super-ultra disorganized at that, because I don't know what to do first (ie : the work never stops flowing and somehow I need to know what can be delayed and what can't in order to maintain some semblance of coping)

My supervisor's really nice and I did speak to her at on 2 occassions about this, but really, she's quite helpless as to putting me elsewhere, as she's already out of people herself. I guess that's a consequence of the high staff turnover due to use of excessive amounts of temps. After all, if even their problems and feedback and suggestions take a year to be addressed, how about mine :)

Of course, almost noone apart from my supervisor and my immediate colleages really have any idea of what's been going on, like my aunt's friend LaiKuen and LeeKiao, who gave me sad looks. I must be generating don't-know-what new gossips and suffering image re-evaluations. Whatever.

At least I haven't reached a point wherein I don't have a choice but to stay in such a job out of financial commitment.

It's something I paid for though. The employment agent "Success", which only made a lot of noise at me not serving 1 week's notice, deducted 1 week's pay as per the silly contract which I signed. Never even bothered to ask why I quit. Just called me to keep scolding me. In the first place, it wasn't even the agent that got me the job, I only had to sign on with it as a formality as DBS probably has some contract that all its temp staff must come through this agent though we were actually recommended directly from DBS staff themselves. But legally I did sign that paper. So there's nothing for me to feel indignated about. After all, it's just money.

This has been one experience. Don't work in such a place if you can help it. It's very unfortunate if you land a responsibility that's overloaded and the person who's supposed to help you transition is like, uh, can't be bothered and leaving you to chaos with an attitude that resembles "what, you mean you still can't understand how to do this? how come you're so stupid?"

But God's providene is really wonderful. My supervisor actually gave me another job recommendation on the same day after I quit! Amazing! It's a no-brainer data entry with some interesting perks I can't mention here...

Maybe I should just stay in peasant work. Come to think of it... next holidays I should go get a real education... a Class 4A license...

Well done, thou good and faithful servant

I'd promised jan i'd do an article with this heading. This is to pay tribute to my monitor the Philips 107S. It finally died, as in, there's no longer a screen image. No not one, not even the picture that pops up while you're adjusting the contrast and settings. I thought it must have lasted a good 10 years considering that so many changes in my life have happened yet it hasn't changed. I looked behind and saw its "date of manufacture" to be 1998. So it's only slightly older than my car. But nevertheless, as a victim of hardcore gaming and internet surfing and on-off nonsense courtesy of everyone in the house it has held up a pretty long 6 years.

I remember when my dad bought it. 17" was a big thing back then and it cost $439. By today's 17" CRT monitor standards its footprint is huge and long, probably because newer CRTs need a shorter depth and more integrated electronics. I remember it couldn't fit in the car boot of the Honda because the box was super-huge and had swaths of styrofoam and it had to go into the backseat. And I remember there was also once within 2 years that the on-off switch suddenly spoiled and my dad kept grumbling as he had to carry the whole thing to the repair centre to get it fixed. By the way he did drop it somehow and it has a nice scratch in the center of the screen which you'll notice from a canted angle.

It's now quite yellowed from its original beige colour and has been faithfully shifted in our last 2 housing relocations. Looks like its last stop is with the rag-and-bone man.

I was in Simlim yest with ol'Vanz and CTs looking at new monitors and CTs bought a new 17"Philips CRT @ $209. I was actually interested in a 17" LCD but the $399 models had no DVI input which I reckoned would be needed since I do expect my monitor to last at least 5 years and it'll need some "future proofing". But I think I should research more on things like response time, luminance, contrast ratio as these are new LCD specific display technology terms.

Anyway, the spare monitor from my mom's office is still working fine so there's no hurry.

I'm beginning to miss my old laptop already. Something's really weird about this HP notebook's keyboard. It somehow, impedes my typing. It's always like, lagging or something. Argh.

Sometimes I do look at myself and can't help but think I'm such a lazy selfish incompetent moron. How could I possibly be a good person? But though I doubt myself I never doubt Christ, to whom I attribute whatever goodness and gifts I could possibly ever have.

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
Before the second you turn back
Oh no, be strong
- U2 "Walk On"

To all my brothers and sisters in Christ, don't despair when you're down, or when the world thinks insignificant of you or when you feel yourself unworthy, miserable and downtrodden, and just for a moment, you feel lost and helpless in this life. Presevere in your struggle by faith, and with the eternal hope that is in Christ. Amen.

We love him, because he first loved us. - 1 John 4:19

Monday, May 30, 2005

Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. - Eph 5:14

How are we today?

I'm really glad I got the subjects I wanted, although it's a 5-day week but I have no choice with regards to that, if I really am going to take photo-journalism I'll have to come to school everyday. None of my days starts before 10am heehee. But I think I'll have a serious problem with my tuition as I'll no longer have any free 2.5 hour blocks... I'm still contemplating giving it up... anyone want to take over Pri 1 & Pri 5 tuition job in Bedok? Contact me.

Thanks be to the Lord for my subject registration and this short little break from my work, its a welcome relief - although when I get back I'll be at a new post which has more data entry...

I had a long time friend who's now an air stewardess talk to me over MSN with regards to my Good News article - well... it's not that I like being complicated for the sake of it... the matter of the fact is that the truth is very simple...

God is the Creator of the Universe. As for us human beings we live and die but once on earth, and after that will go either to heaven or hell - and that's for eternity (can you actually fanthom such a 'timeframe'? eternity? forever and ever and ever. Wow.)

Technically no human that has lived on earth has been perfect. Sinless. And I'm not talking about breaking the law here, but not ever having done anything you know shouldn't have. Yes even the mere thinking of it. Anger. Hatred. Scheming. Unethical things. We all are like that, be it Christians or not. And born selfish in the heart are we, yes even as babies unfortunately.

Only 1 person who's ever been on earth can say otherwise. Jesus Christ. And you know why? Because He is God in human form! The only 1 who ever lived every single day of his 30 over years of life perfectly.

And yes, He died in our place when it should have been us perishing in hell with eternal torment. Because God is so ever perfect, he cannot tolerate our sin so the only way is through Christ paying on our behalf, only if we believe.

Why do I need all this? Ain't I happy with things the way they are now? That's because we live in a blinded shroud of half-truths, each having his own philosophy and reason and explanation for living. Even Confucious himself said that he didn't know enough about this life, let alone the next.

But this which you have just read is not some human's idea, it is the revelation of God Himself. Who but our Creator who created everything in the universe is fit to tell us what we're here for?

Will you take the leap of faith and believe? Or just continue searching on your own, subscribing to other theories and notions that change with the ebb and flow of the tide? Or just throw your hands up, say we'll never know for sure, and satisfy yourself temporarily from distraction to distraction? Now haven't we all been there before?....

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Dad visiting

Took a break from tuitions today. Sometimes I just feel so lazy. Had breakfast with mom. Going down to the airport to pick my dad up later.

Washed my car. Haven't done so for almost 3 months I think. One of those things that you keep procrastinating. You think "wah the pails of water are so heavy" or "it's going to rain anyway" - but it has been raining quite a lot recently, to justify my laziness a little.

There are SO many dings dangs and knocks and paint scrapes on my car its starting to look pimpled, if you stare up close, that is.

Hai... tell my brother not to eat so much cause we're having lunch in 1 1/2 hours time and then he runs to the room sulking wif teary eyes without saying a thing... I really don't know what to do... generation gap or something... or he's just like that... clam up and sulk and cry when he doesn't get his way... hai... really leave him in God's hands

At least after sulking he's packing his table now... to make way for another computer he intends to salvage from my mom's office. So many computers in the home network... wow... should I get a wireless LAN card or wireless USB adapter? Would USB have that irritating bottleneck or high CPU utilization? I doubt the office PC is USB 2.0 anyway...

Its interesting to know that the NTU PC loan repayment is 200/month after graduation interest free. And CPF payment for tuition fee has 1 yr grace period after graduation before start paying back. But this one charges interest right from the moment you draw it. Study loan leh... its considered a personal finance loan from DBS bank...

looks I won't be backpacking anytime soon after graduation. But nevertheless, be thankful for all that we have.