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.