Friday, May 29, 2009

40 years of NJC and G Tahan !

There were 10 of us original 1st Singapore Tahanners. However, at the 40th Dinner celebrations of NJC only 3 of us were able to make it.
Unk Dicko with Francis Lee and T Jasudason. It was 40 years ago that we stood atop Gunong Tahan after that historic struggle in the thick Malayan jungle.
Today, Francis heads DP Architects a very successful firm and Jasu is currently our Ambassador to Malaysia.
It was pure joy to be re-united again after such a long time...40 years!


Original 1st batch NJC students and their original teachers. Look closely and you should notice some well-known people.

Syon, an original PE staff waving to me as I captured the moment.

The who's who among the original sixty-niners.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Unk Dicko was spot on about Mas Selamat !

When Mas Selamat escaped from the WDC in February last year, almost everyone pointed out his likely escape routes. ...either in the direction of MacRitchie Forest or Bukit Batok forest and elsewhere. Many netizens blog about his possible escape routes too including seeing him so-called limping away along Thomson Road. Haha !

But when I shared my calculated reasoning based on what I know and have researched on the criminal mind ( include the terrorist mind ) and then posted how I thought he had escaped using the drains at the Bt Timah canal and even hoped that the authorities would have read my blogpost, I was actually not fooling. I was serious about my postulating! The trouble was who would listen to an old Owl even if he is wise. Right?

We could have save ourselves much embarassment, wasted resources, manpower and precious time if only the powers that be have asked for feedback from the public...of which I'm one.

Read my original post of 2008 by clicking HERE. You won't believe what I was bull's eye!

unk Dicko

Mon, May 25, 2009The New Paper

His four-day hideout

By now, it is well-known that Mas Selamat Kastari swam across to his short-lived freedom in Johor.
But how did the terrorist leader make his way from the Whitley Road Detention Centre to the coastline near Woodlands when there was a massive hunt for him?
A Malaysian source has now revealed that Mas Selamat, 48, managed to elude his hunters by hiding and crawling inside drains over three nights before he reached the coastline.
The unnamed source told Malaysian newspaper Berita Harian that the terrorist, who was recaptured on 1 Apr, relied on the drains as his main escape route.
The Singapore leader of terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah had been planning his escape for about a year before he executed his plan on Feb 27 last year.
He broke out of the Whitley Road Detention Centre by climbing out of a toilet window.
Another report in Harian Metro quoted the source as saying that each time Mas Selamat went to the toilet, he would gauge how long his wardens left him there.
Said the source: 'Mas Selamat would test how long his warden would leave him in the toilet. The longer he was left there, the brighter his chances of escape.'
All this went into his final calculations on the best time to flee.
The source told Berita Harian: 'He decided to rely on using the drains as soon as he realised that authorities had intensified security checks over the whole island.
'He crawled through the drains till he reached the coast near Woodlands on the fourth day after his escape from the detention centre.'
It was from there that he swam to Malaysia crossing the Tebrau Straits to Stulang near Johor Baru.
The Malay-language daily said he relied on the cloak of darkness to make his escape. It was not mentioned where he hid during theday.
When asked how the fugitive managed to swim across, the source said he used an improvised float fixed on his arms, like how a child's arm-floats would function.
Making his escape easier was the relatively weak currents in the straits and the short distance between the two countries.
The source was also quoted as saying that Mas Selamat had worn several layers of different sets of clothes to throw off his hunters.
Harian Metro said this tactic was discovered when he went to his brother's house for a brief refuge before going on the run again. It did not give details of the brother or the house.
Said the source: 'To continue his run, he successfully evaded authorities by using women's clothes in order to slip through the security checks.'
On Mas Selamat's recapture on 1 Apr, the source said the police found him hiding in a cupboard when they raided a house in Skudai where he had been taking refuge.
Ready for capture
Said the source: 'Police believe that he was ready to be captured because he no longer wanted to live a life on the run.'
Earlier reports quoted a source as telling Bernama that he only managed to make contact with two friends who are ordinary JI members. They were captured together with Mas Selamat.
Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng had earlier said that Mas Selamat had used an 'improvised flotation device' to swim across the Johor Strait from the north shore of Singapore.
He said that intelligence provided by ISD late last year helped the Malaysian authorities to make the arrest.
Mas Selamat's latest arrest is his third since 2003, and each time information provided by ISD proved crucial, noted Mr Wong.
Recaptured, thanks to close ties
THE recapture of Mas Selamat Kastari in Johor was the latest and very significant example of the long-standing cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this in a speech at an official dinner last night in honour of Mr Najib Tun Razak's first state visit here since becoming Malaysian PM last month.
Mr Lee thanked his counterpart for Malaysia's role in recapturing the Republic's most wanted terrorist.
'On security matters, and especially on terrorism issues, our security agencies have a long tradition of close collaboration,' he said.
Earlier in a joint press conference, MrNajib said Malaysia would make Mas Selamat 'accessible' to Singapore.
When asked when the terrorist would be handed over to Singapore, he said it would be subject to further discussions.
He added he had shared with Mr Lee 'in confidence' some details learned from Mas Selamat.
This article was first published in
The New Paper.
Read also:»
My one-hour hideout

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More on the MacRitchie Canoe Incident

The important details of this sad incident is still missing from most news reports out there. We can now confirm that he was coaching the NJC canoeing team. The incident took place in the late evening after 6 pm. The SCDF stated they only received a call at 6.45 pm and they arrived 15 minutes later which was at 7 which time, he was already past any help.
The 1st news report stated that his canoe sank. This is very different from just a simple capsize. Canoes do not simply sink when capsized. They remain afloat often in an upside down position. And most canoeists would have been taught how to cling on to the bow or stern of their craft until rescued or until help arrives. Or if they are not too far away from gently kick, breaststroke style, towards land. In addition, all must have on their life-vests or other flotation devices.
As a longtime canoeing coach and practitioner,I am still puzzled and mystified by this incident.
Unk Dicko

Straits Times online
Home > Breaking News > Singapore > Story
May 24, 2009
Canoe instructor drowns
By Lee Xin En

Mr Chua Ee Tuck had already stopped breathing when the paramedics arrived on the scene. -- PHOTO: CHAN FAMILY
FREELANCE canoe instructor Chua Ee Tuck drowned while coaching some secondary school students last Friday at MacRitchie Reservoir.
According to the police, officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force received a call at about 6.45pm.
When they arrived 15 minutes later, the 35-year-old Singapore Polytechnic graduate had already stopped breathing. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
At the wake yesterday, his mother, Madam Choong Kam Choo, 64, said she found it hard to accept his sudden death.
'He was such a good son, and he was always responsible. If he wasn't coming home for dinner, he would SMS me ahead of time. Whenever I fell sick, he would take care of me,' she said in between sobs.
She added that she could not understand how the tragedy had happened because he was always careful. He cycled and jogged regularly and was a good swimmer.
About 50 students from the National Junior College canoeing team, including some who had already graduated, attended the wake yesterday. Mr Chua had been coaching the team since last year.
One student, who declined to be named, said:'We're going to miss him. He was very patient, and like a friendly buddy to us.'

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Canoeing Coach Drowned in MacRitchie!

Man dies in canoe accident at MacRitchie Reservoir
By Julia Ng,
Channel NewsAsia
Posted: 22 May 2009 2159 hrs

A freelance canoeing instructor is believed to have drowned while coaching some secondary school students at the MacRitchie Reservoir.
According to national water agency PUB, which operates Singapore's reservoirs, the man's canoe capsized shortly after 6pm.
An eyewitness called the MediaCorp hotline and said he saw a canoe sinking and some school girls crying near the shore.

Officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) received a call at about 6.45pm.
When they arrived, they were taken across the reservoir in a speedboat.
The body had already been pulled onto shore.

Civil Defence officers found some people believed to be the victim's colleagues and friends attempting to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him.
SCDF officers took over CPR but the man could not be revived.
Paramedics pronounced the 35-year-old man dead at the scene.
Police are investigating how he fell into the water.
- CNA/yt

Unk Dicko says:
I'm extremely shocked by this report. If it's true as stated in the story then I am quite perturbed. Why?

Though the details are did say that the victim was a freelance canoe instructor.
And he was coaching some secondary school students.
It's a little puzzling to think that a qualified canoe instructor/coach falling into the water after
his canoe capsized should be drowned just like that. It may not be shocking to ordinary layman.
But in the context of the canoeing community hard questions would be asked, " how could this be? How can this happen?".
I myself have been conducting canoeing basic and advanced courses at the very same place, since the early 80's. And as part of my course content for my trainees they would all have to go through "capsize drill"...again and again, until it is 2nd nature never to panic when you suddenly capsize. More importantly, you know exactly what to do under water while submerged and also
very important ..what not to do.
The waters of MacRitchie Reservoir are fairly calm compared to the open sea.
I hope more details will be released as it is probably the 1st Canoeing fatality that I know of
at MacRitchie since we began using the reservoir more than 3 decades ago.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The 40th Anniversary Dinner of NJC

I had been advised to come early as parking within the college grounds was limited. NJC is still at its original location in Linden Drive. As I drove into the entrance, I could not resist thinking back and recalling how I was personally involved in any way with NJC back in 1969.
Early in that year, we had begun planning for the Tahan trip. And our plans included offering 6 places for any NJC male students who will be selected after our physical training and trials had been concluded.
Twang Peck Ee, Balbir and myself were always present for the Bt Timah hill climbs and our endurance treks in Mandai, Jurong and assess the aspiring and hopeful participants, of which more than 120 had been a part of. At the Dinner I met one of these hopefuls,who although he did not make it...still recalled those testing times!

The original 69 niners with their original 1st founding principal Mr Lim Kim Woon who is in his 70's now.


Seah Lye Huat autographing Julia's copy of the special Book.
Mr Seah Lye Huat was the 1st PE/CCA head of NJC. We were seated next to each other at our guest table hosted by the bubbly Julia d'Silva of the Project Sweet Sweet who co-ordinated the production of the Commemorative Book on the founding year of NJC.
Lye Huat is featured prominently in the book.
There were original 1st batch students as well as teacing staff present too.

Monday, May 18, 2009

EPL 2008/2009 Champions...Manchester United again!

There were many moments and occasions that the thought had crossed my mind ...that Man United may not make it a 3rd consecutive Win of the current EPL trophy. Their early season form was abominable to say the least. By sheer good fortune, the early pace-setters Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal then inexplicably began to drop points, either drawing easy games they should have won or worse still suffering the loss of 3 points in defeats to lesser opponents.
It was a roller-coaster ride for the top 4 teams but with one major difference when it happened...all of a sudden, Man U's defence became an impenetrable fortress! For over two months or an 11 match streak, no EPL team could score a single goal against the Red Devils! Unbelievable? Believe it. That purple patch was to end at United's home soil at the hands or rather feet of a spirit-sapping, gut wrenching 1-4 defeat. Something almost unheard of in the modern era under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Earlier at Anfield, Liverpool had duly beaten the Red Devils 2-1. That was different. This is Old Trafford. So, can't really blame me for feeling it was an ominous and perilous time for Man U. However, the saving grace is this fact...that Man U have been through such a scenario many times before and came out victorious. As for me, I wasn't that confident they will pull through this time. But a few defining moments and matches changed my later perspective.
" When the going gets TOUGH, the tough gets GOING!"
1st Defining moment:
Aston Villa were cruising to a 2-1 win. With less than 10 minutes to go, C Ronaldo equallised making it 2-2. There was euphoria all round at Old Trafford. In came Federico Macheda a 17 year old youth team player in his 1st ever debut at the senior team level, in injury time and with practically his first touch of the ball, this boy scored what must be the most important goal of his young career. It was a beauty as I recall his exquisite shot. Man U won 3-2!
2nd Defining Moment:
Tottenham was leading 2-0 going into halftime. A transformed Man U tore them apart in the 2nd half with the final scoreline of 2-5! It was an exhilarating, stupendous comeback from near defeat!
3rd Defining Moment:
Man U had just returned from Japan with the Club World Cup. They were tired.
The match between them and Stoke City was heading for a goaless draw as the minutes ticked away. Then, super sub Carlos Tevez was released into the fray. He scored the only goal of the match.
So, overall I think Man Utd had the better endurance and consistency...right until the draw with Arsenal on Saturday that won them the Title.
This did not happen by sheer chance.
They had the mental toughness of a bulldog to fight to the very last second if exemplified by the bulldog himself, Wayne Rooney...who was an inspiration for doggedness!

How United won the title
[ AFP report ]

AUG 08: Manchester United start their title defence with a flat display in the 1-1 home draw with Newcastle, setting the tone for the first two months of the campaign. Chelsea justify their status as bookmakers' favourites to reclaim the title by setting the early pace.

SEP 08: Liverpool claim first league win over United in four years with a 2-1 success at Anfield, helping the Merseysiders join Chelsea at the top of the table. United winger Cristiano Ronaldo returns from ankle surgery at end of the month.

OCT 08: Liverpool end Chelsea's 86-match unbeaten home run in the league to pull three points clear at the top. United continue to stutter and end the month eight points adrift of their rivals, albeit with a game in hand.

NOV 08: United's poor form against the other members of the Big Four continues with a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal but the champions remain in touch with pace-setters Chelsea and Liverpool

DEC 08: United undertake the gruelling trip to Japan to claim their first trophy of the season, the Club World Cup. Despite looking jaded on their return, they grind out 1-0 wins over Stoke and Middlesbrough to take advantage of points dropped by Chelsea and Liverpool in their absence.

JAN 09: Chelsea are humiliated as United romp to a 3-0 victory that secures their first win of the season against a Big-Four rival. United's defence looks impregnable at this stage and they don't concede a league goal all month. Not so Liverpool, who are held to draws against Stoke, Everton and Wigan.

FEB 09: United are in record-breaking form now as goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar shatters the British mark for consecutive minutes without conceding a goal during the 1-0 win at West Ham. Liverpool stumble, drawing against Manchester City and losing at Middlesbrough.

MAR 09: Liverpool end United's 11-match winning run as Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard inspire a 4-1 victory at Old Trafford. United then slump to a 2-0 defeat at Fulham as Liverpool underline recovery with a 5-0 win over Aston Villa.

APR 09: Liverpool keep winning but cannot close the gap as United get two crucial breaks. A stoppage-time winner by Italian teenager Federico Macheda secures a 3-2 win over Aston Villa and a mistake by referee Howard Webb results in the penalty that triggers a comeback from 2-0 down to a 5-2 win over Spurs.

MAY 09: With the finishing line in sight, United rediscover their form but still need a late Michael Carrick goal to claim a 2-1 win at Wigan that leaves them one point from retaining the trophy. A third straight title is wrapped up at the first attempt as Arsenal are held to a goalless draw at Old Trafford. -- AFP.

Photos: [ source BBC sports ]

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The 40th Anniversary of NJC & 1st Tahan Expedition

Exactly 40 years ago, in April 1969, 4 very adventurous gung-ho teachers decided to do the unthinkable...attempt to scale the highest mountain in West Malaysia. As they were all teachers representing the teaching profession, they made the 2nd decision to train a small party of students and make it the first student-teacher group to climb a reputable mountain outside Singapore.

Read the FULL story of Singapore's 1st Gunung Tahan Expedition 1969 in the pages of this blog

There were just 10 of us. The 4 teachers and 6 students that we picked after a gruelling selection process. The 6 students all hailed from the only Junior College then in existence...the National Junior College ( NJC ).
The principal of the JC was then Mr Lim Kim Woon and the Head of the PE Dept was Mr Seah Lye Huat, a known badminton player.
Today, May 16 2009, NJC is having a big celebration in their college grounds.
They are celebrating their proud 40 year history and achievements.
They have much to celebrate about...being the country's 1st and premier college in the early days.
Many of our top leaders in government and industry hailed from there...including
our Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong.

Unk Dicko has accepted a Dinner invitation by the Project Sweet Sweet Team for the function. This team, comprising some very devoted and dedicated members of the 1st batch of NJC students from 1969, got together 5 years ago and made a promise to write a special book documenting their student life and the founding of the college. It was no empty promise. The special Commemorative Book titled," And they called us car park attendants "documenting the "original " people of the founding year 1969, has been produced and will be officially launched at the grand dinner. Inside will be a featured account of the "1st NJC Tahan" story of 1969. Most of the photos came from my personal archives...which I had enhanced
before sending to the key members of the Project team namely Wong Moh Keed, the Editor and the Project Co-ordinator Julia d'Silva ( aka Pau Ka Liau ).
It was Moh Keed who first contacted me after she chanced upon my blog while doing some research on Gunung Tahan and NJC last year. The rest as they say is history.
I am looking forward to meet some of my fellow Tahaners and others.
I have not seen some of them since 1969!
40 years ago!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Warren a Ukulele Player !

He is the 2nd richest man in the world.
He has a personal fortune of more than US$40 billion.
And he has been playing the ukulele for decades.
I did not know that Warren Buffett is a ukulele player until
I saw this Straits Times report of Saturday 9 May 2009.

Not only does he play the ukulele, he took the trouble to
go down personally to teach a group of young girls age around
10 whose ukuleles were provided by him.
What a wonderful man Warren Buffet is!
A billionaire who still live very simply and enjoy helping
others through his many foundations and now this.

If any of you readers and visitors to this blogsite are in touch
with millionaires in Singapore or elsewhere who are willing to
sponsor free ukuleles to similar disadvantaged kids here...
Unk Dicko is ready to teach them.
Just drop me a note here and see the music flow!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mas Selamat recaptured in Skudai,Johore !

Finally, after escaping from WDC in February last year and on the run...Mas Selamat the J I leader who had triggered the largest manhunt in our history and caused huge embarassment to our government, has been caught while asleep in a safe house. [ Read the full story from ASIAONE...source: "The STAR"paper]

He is currently being held in Malaysia under the ISA. The Malaysian intelligence branch hopes to elicit from him as much information they could get before they hand him over to Singapore side. Our side may also be hoping he will "spill the beans"on his incredible escape and reveal his network in S'pore.

Here's my perspective on this new development.

MS [ Mas Selamat ] may have been recaptured. But he is no fool! As leader of JI, a leading terrorist organisation, he has proven himself time and time again that he can outwit one and all..including trained security officers and intelligence officials. He may already have succeeded in his first concoction [ his first of many " truths" which may be all lies] to protect his network. Both sides of the causeway as well as experts interviewed in the press have said he must have an existing network to have accomplished his escape and remain active and undetected for more than a year.

Yet, all the headline news say that he swam across the Johore Straits with a flotation device...soon after his escape. This was repeated by PM Najib and our ministers too. My question is simple..."how did they come to this conclusion since no one had seen him doing so?!"
No camera had captured him.
The answer must have come from questioning him...right?
MS had more than a year to prepare for the day in the event he is recaptured again. He must have known in advance what sort of questions would be thrown at him such as...

" How did you escape detection after escaping from WDC?"
" How did you get out of S'pore?" [possible answer... I used a float and swim across at night].
" How this and how that...?."

Let us consider just 2 scenarios for his escape ( there can be many more!). Assuming scenario (A) was how he actually did it while scenario (B) is what he has prepared in his mind to answer under questioning, which are all lies .

A) He could have remained hidden in a safe house,place in Sg until arrangements were made
to ferry him across in a disguised fishing boat. The boat does not cross over to the other side(Johore) but transfer him to another Johore boat in mid channel under cover of darkness. Once on land, a waiting vehicle scoots him to his new hideout. This scenario can only happen with an existing JI network. Timing is important. He could afford to wait for weeks or months until our coastal alert for him has been downgraded.

B) He says he swam across with some floats...and within a few hours of his actual escape.
That way of explaining, and if they buy it hook,line and sinker...his JI network will never be revealed neither compromised. No one else has been fingered. He acted alone. No further arrests
possible since he swam across alone. He had no outside help.

I can postulate on and on. But my main contention is this...this man is an avowed terrorist out to destroy Singapore and established society. Do not be taken in by whatever he says.
Perhaps our government and those in ASEAN can come together and formulate new laws to tackle this kind of avowed terrorist. Make them pay the ultimate price. One strike ( once captured) and you are permanently OUT.

We have one of the toughest anti-drug laws in the world. A few miserable grams of heroin will get the trafficker HANGED! Compare the two scenarios...a man or woman convicted of a capital trafficking charge will be hanged. He or she may not have caused a single drug addict death yet as the heroin has been seized...right? But sure as day and night, the hangman's rope awaits!
Now, terrorists such as MS, Hambali etc..are actively planning to kill hundreds and thousands.
They have caused more disruption to our normal life, increased costs by the millions in airline security, airports, public buildings, schools, etc..etc..even without firing a shot.

Do we wait until they have actually crash a plane into our airport and killing thousands before they face the rope?
Remember ...the heroin trafficker whose powder has not "crash" the streets yet.
He will be hanged!

I leave you with this poser.

Between the two, who is MORE dangerous and MORE deserving of the death penalty?

Read my original posts on Mas Selamat's escape here.


Sat, May 09, 2009The Star/Asia News Network
Mas Selamat JI leader nabbed in Skudai


Fugitive Mas Selamat Kastari, one of the region's most wanted terrorists, was nabbed while he was sound asleep in a secluded kampung house in Skudai, Johor.
The Singaporean terrorist who captured world attention when he escaped from the republic's maximum security Whitley Detention Centre in February last year, could barely put up a fight in his shorts and T-shirt when caught during a dawn raid in April.
Described as highly dangerous, the 48-year-old Mas Selamat who was trained in firearms and explosives, was said to be masterminding "unrest" in several countries in the region.
The Jemaah Islamiah (JI) leader of the Singapore chapter, who had a S$1mil (RM2.4mil) bounty on his head, had been living the life of a simple villager without arousing the suspicions of villagers there.
(The radical JI movement with key figures such as religious scholar Abu Bakar Basyir and Hambali was linked to Al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden.
While Abu Bakar, who was jailed and then freed had denied any involvement in terrorist activities, Hambali is still being detained at the infamous Guatanamo Bay.
The movement, which aimed to set up a Pan Islamic state comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and the Philippines, was said to have carried out several bombings in Jakarta, Bali and Manila).
Regional intelligence sources said Mas Selamat, who escaped the maximum security detention centre by climbing out through the toilet window, fled to the northern part of Singapore before swimming across to Johor.
Mas Selamat managed the feat despite having leg injuries.
His escape greatly embarrassed the Singapore Government which then launched a massive manhunt, described as the largest ever in the republic, for him.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan confirmed Mas Selamat's arrest and detention under the ISA.
"He was planning something and that led to our arresting him," Hishammuddin told a press conference.
He said Malaysian police were working with Singaporean and Indonesian authorities on the investigations, and declined to say when exactly the fugitive was nabbed.
"There are certain things of national interest that do not just involve Malaysian intelligence but can affect our work with the other two countries like in this case and with Germany, the United States and Britain in the case of Al-Qaeda," Hishammuddin said.
Musa said the arrest was made possible as police in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia had been sharing intelligence reports over the past year.
"We have been in contact with our international counterparts who were informed about the arrest as well as what we have gathered from Mas Selamat since his arrest last month.
"Our officers are still investigating his activities and networking," he added.
It is learnt that Special Branch officers had been working on various leads since March and upon confirming his whereabouts planned the dawn raid that resulted in his arrest.
Mas Selamat who was arrested in 2006 in Bintan, Indonesia, was accused of wanting to crash a plane into Changi International Airport's control tower using either an American, British or Singapore Airlines aeroplane.
He was deported to Singapore where he managed to escape.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What would you have done?

Littering is an offence not only in Singapore but in many other countries as well.
Do not litter or no littering signs have been put up in public places, void decks and elsewhere.
If we want to improve the situation not only must we set a good example ourselves but take citizen's action when we witness blatant, outright acts of defiant littering as oppose to so-called "accidental" dropping of say a piece of tissue paper by someone.

Just last month, on an SBS bus, a secondary schoolboy in full uniform from a school in the east, deliberately left his litter ( a paper cup he was drinking from ) on the aisle of the bus.
Whenthe bus driver told him gently to pick it up, he ignored him.
As the bus door opened at the bus stop, this recalcitrant chap with his friend rushed off, scolding and cursing the driver.
The driver, intent on righting a deliberate wrong in public, came down and approached the duo. In the ensuing argument, this 14 year old 'samseng' punched the driver on his face and ran off. He even turned around and taunted the poor driver to come after him while using foul expletives directed at him. The driver did the correct thing...not to give chase as he had a busload of passengers still, witnessing this unbelievable act of hooliganism.

When this report first came out, I asked myself, " what would I have done if I were there either as a passenger or a passerby? ".
The answer is simple for me as I know myself well.
I know what I would have done as you will soon see in the next real incident below.
What will you have done?
Fortunately, someone on the bus had captured the incident on a handphone and it was shown publicly on Stompers. Many people wanted the strongest action to be taken against the "samseng kia"preferably by the law.
The school, as usual talked about counselling etc...for the two students.
For goodness assault of a bus driver had taken place! It is a crime whether done by an adult or a 14 year old who must be taught a lesson he won't ever forget again!
Possibly as a result of soft or no punishment for such un-civilised behaviour...there has been a recent spate of students in different schools doing similar or worse things to their teachers, counsellors, vice-principals by throwing chairs at them, throwing files, using expletives and yes punching them too.
The outcome of all these cases are still unknown.

The most recent case involved a 17 year old youth who could have injured or killed someone when he grabbed a metal chair and whacked it very hard against the glass door at Blk 125, Serangoon North Ave 1. That incident happened during the MPS when caretaker MP Cynthia Phua was in attendance as Mrs Lim H Hua was away. The incident was fully covered in the main media and press.

So back to the littering incident and the questions I've posed.
Two nights ago, I happened to be at the Serangoon [ CC] around 8 pm. I was chatting with Mr Chua K Soon, Wilson and Daisie just outside the CC entrance door....when a middleage Indian man walked past. Mr Chua noticed he had thrown down a piece of " receipt size" paper right where we were standing around. I did not see it as I was facing Mr Chua as we chatted.
Mr Chua then asked the man politely to pick up the litter he had deliberately thrown.
That chap just uttered something under his breath and with his hand gestures dismissed Mr Chua's request!
He proceeded to walk away from us as if nothing has ever happened or as if to make an unsaid statement " who the hell are you to tell me to pick up litter even if I had thrown it myself?".
As I've asked earlier, " What would you have done in such circumstances?

Here's what I did exactly...that produced the desired effect and outcome I would like to see, you too would love to see.
Me: " Hello there! ( in a loud authoritative voice and command ) Come back here!"
He: He stopped in his tracks turned around slowly to see who has called out to him
so daringly. Before he could say anything else... I spoke directly to him as he bravely
walked back towards me.
Me: " Hello my friend! You know it's an offence to litter, yet you throw that piece of paper here
in front of us. And when Mr Chua here ask you to pick it up, you just walk away. Are
trying to be funny or what?"
He: 'How you know I throw? That paper got no my name ?"
Me: "Mr Chua saw you and that is good enough for me! Do you want to pick it up or not?
Otherwise I would like to check if you are a Singaporean or foreigner or illegal
He: Submissively, he bent down to pick it up without saying a word more.

[ Lesson learnt! He was afraid of what I may do next. Note that I did not get into any
argument with him at all. Avoid arguments. I gave him a choice whether he wanted to
playhard ball or soft's up to him. I am glad for him he chose wisely.]

Unk Dicko

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The 1977 Malaysia Cup Victory!

This was the front page of the Sunday Times edition of May 29 1977...32 years ago.
Photo showed an estactic Samad Alapitchay lifting the Malaysia Cup which we won. He was surrounded by his team mates. Super -sub Nasir Jalil was next to him. Goalkeeper was Edmund Wee.
If any one reading this needs more info on the line-up
or anything about the match, just let me know and I can fill you in.

This news clip was from page 19 of the New Nation daily of May 30 1977.
The photos showed how Nasir Jalil scored the equalising goal to make it 2-2 at full time.
In extra time, our local darling and crowd favourite Quah Kim Song headed in a diving goal to give us the Cup and victory at last!
3-2 was the final scoreline.

Bottom photo showed a very happy Trevor Hartley, adviser to the FAS hugging our much-beloved coach Unk
Choo Seng Quee.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

That Unforgettable Malaysia Cup Win in 1977!

In my recent post I blogged about old news clippings from my precious archives collection. I showed a portion of a front page colour photo and posed some questions.
Here are the full details:
The excited crowd of loyal supporters was at the Singapore Airport to welcome home our Malaysia Cup heroes of 1977.
They were all hoping to get not just a glimpse but a touch of the most coveted soccer trophy in our local history...the glittering Malaysia Cup.
I was there as well among the crowd.
As a matter of fact I was also at the Merdeka Stadium for this most incredible Cup Final on Saturday May 28 1977. It was the only Cup Final across the causeway that I ever attended. So much happened that day that unk Dicko will relate more in another post. Back to the main story for now.

All of Singapore waited 12 long years for that day to happen, for their collective dreams to be realised in the 105th minute of extra time when our "speed demon" Quah Kim Song headed in the winning goal after the score was deadlocked at make it a historic 3-2 win over our arch rivals Penang.

Coach, the late unk CHOO SENG QUEE will never, ever be forgotten by the grateful fans of that generation.
Dollah Kassim the "Gelek King"hugging his then girl-friend with one hand on the cup and S.S. Dhillion [ sec-gen SNOC ] holding on too. Dollah was made captain in the 2nd half after Captain Samad Alapitchay was substituted by Lee Teng Sai. It was super -sub Nasir Jalil [ crazy horse] who came on for S Rajagopal [ banana kick specialist...aka the Camel] who equalised for S'pore in the 71st minute for a 2-2 scoreline.
The last time before that day when we won was way back in 1965 when Lee Kok Seng was the captain fantastic who motivated his team mates to snatch a great victory in the last 15 minutes of the game...winning 3-1, after trailing 0-1 for most of the match.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lessons from the AWARE saga

Lessons from the AWARE saga

March 28 2009 will be a date many people will now remember. That was the Saturday when a majority of "unknown new faces" brushed aside the existing old guards and incumbents at AWARE's AGM to set themselves up as a new Exco.
A chain of dramatic incidents and events developed fast and furiously over several days and weeks in the life of this new committee.
The newly elected president resigned as she was sidelined by the newcomers...who became bolder day by day, sacking long-time staff, redoing office security systems, etc..etc. And when confronted by the members of the press and media gave conflicting accounts to simple questions asked viz...their background, their agenda for action, their inter-connectedness, their links, what they stand for etc.
Much later, on Tv, the public were shocked to discover they all along had a "feminist mentor" in the person of Dr Thio Su Mien who was the coach and shadow behind the "takeover" ploy. [ Photos: Source S T Breaking News, 3 May 2009 ]

Much has since been revealed about the background of at least 6 key members of that new Exco plus their coach. They all belong to COOS, an Anglican church at Margaret Drive whose senior pastor Derek Hong had himself "crossed the thin red line" when he openly urged his flock to support this new Exco in the great face off with the old guards.

It is not too difficult sometimes, to mount a "takeover" of an association, especially when the constitution is not strong on who can vote. Newly registered members can immediately vote too! Unbelievable!
That was what happened at AWARE.
Many organisations will now be having more than a serious re-look at their own constitutions in the light of what had transpired recently.
But really, I consider it shameful for any group of people who did not put in any ounce of effort when the organisation was formed and slowly developed to the success it has become and attempting to hijack the organisation for their own ulterior purposes.
If they are so capable and so outspoken on specific issues...then go found your own association.
What is there to stop them?
Leave the original association alone.
Otherwise there will be another great showdown...and the public will win again, handsdown.
The so-called new Exco may be well-meaning people but truly they have much to learn about

doing such James Bond stuff.

AWARE EGM...Bravo to 1414 brave women! really was as I had described it to be " the mother of all women battles" in Singapore. Starting at 2pm and it went on until after 10 pm [ the venue was booked from 2-5 pm for the EGM]. At around 7+ pm, I had finished my swim with my grandkids and all and were settling down to a nice dinner at my club when my daughter D4 updated me "live" on the latest happenings at the Showdown in Suntec City.
D4 was receiving sms or twitter updates from her close friend who was a participant there.
" They are counting the votes ", she said.
"And who won?"I asked.
" Looks like the new committee will be kicked out according to the votes tallied so a big margin!"
After dinner, we all went home and I left my TV set on to CNA news channel for updates. The coverage and "live" reports were quite extensive. I was particularly impressed by the large turnout, the long queues of mainly women who had to wait a mighty long time just to register themselves for the EGM. The scenes reminded me of those good old days when we were still in the Malaysia Cup soccer competition and long queues formed during ticket sales at the National stadium. Except that this was no soccer match and this was no way a game. Something unusual and historic has taken place at this event.

This was and still is serious business concerning the alleged hijacking of an association by a group of fundamentalist people from a particular church and imposing their self-righteous views on others. There is basically nothing wrong with having your own views. But using those views as a springboard to "capture" a secular organisation and then to use that same captured body to further propagate your beliefs and views to the exclusion of others....well, that is simply unacceptable in a multi-racial, multi-religious Singapore.
It may even be dangerous had it gone unchecked!
Unk Dicko salutes all those who turned up to make their voice heard loudly and clearly.
Unk Dicko salutes the 1414 who posted a no confidence vote in the new Exco.
To all others who may be planning similar hijackings...take notice.
The backlash and anger of normal, sane, sober, rational Singaporeans are greater than any misguided group or individuals.

Breaking News > Singapore > Story
May 2, 2009
Josie's team quits

Josie Lau (left) and the new executive committee of the beleagured Association of Women and Research (Aware) has decided to step down, while the Ex-Aware president Dana Lam (far left) was nominated the new leader. --ST PHOTO: MOHD ISHAK, MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
THE new executive committee of the beleagured Association of Women and Research (Aware) has decided to step down.
Said its president Josie Lau, after a marathon extraordinary general meeting lasting over seven hours on Saturday:' We have decided to graciously step down. We wish Aware all the best.'
The announcement came after members at the EGM passed a vote of no confidence on the new exco by a margin of
1,414 to 761.
Ex-Aware president Dana Lam was nominated the new leader, and Ms Chew i Jin the vice-president. The honorary secretary is Ms Yap Chang Wi, assistant honorary secretary is Ms Corrina Lim, treasurer is Ms Tan Ju Hin, and assistant treasurer is Ms Lim Xiaoyun.
The EGM was attended by some 2,000 members.
Read also:New Aware team grilled Consider stepping down No confidence on new team New exco spent $90k
Read LIVE blog updates by Teo Wan Gek and Elizabeth Soh on the Aware EGM at the Suntec City Convention Centre here.

[ Source: Straits Times Breaking News 9.29 pm, 2 May 2009 ]

Saturday, May 2, 2009

AWARE EOGM...all out war today?

Today, Saturday 2 May 2009 at 2pm...somewhere in Suntec City, the biggest "battle" between two women factions belonging to the leading women's advocacy group AWARE, will take place. The AWARE saga, with all its salacious twists and turns and jaw-dropping revealations, has managed to be in the thick of all the daily news for the past several weeks since that fateful March 28 day when a new committee, comprising mainly new and relatively unknown faces, staged a reported " coup-de-tat" over the old guards.
As far as I can remember, there has never been such a gripping see-sawing battle between two groups of opposing women in our local context that has attracted so much heated exchanges from a wide cross-section of our population in the press, radio, tv and especially online forums ...where the postings have exposed raw emotions and incited anger, ridicule,hatred, accusations and counter-accusations, threats and counter-threats, warnings, name-calling and even worse things.
Unk Dicko has been following the saga very closely.
I will not be surprised at all if the " Mother of all women battles" in Singapore ends in more chaos and shame [ and that is putting it mildly ].
Why and how come?
In any game, match or contest... you must play by the rules. To enforce the observation of rules, you must have a referee or umpire empowered by an accepted body of authority to not only arbitrate but make instant, final , binding decisions that must be accepted by both sides. Sometimes a draw is the preferred result.
At other times, there is a clear winner and a clear loser.
No match can proceed without a referee.
However, it is likely that the AWARE EOGM today will not have an accepted referee.
So is it going to be a free-for -all argument and "fight"? No one can really tell for sure.
The police has already advised S'pore EXPO not to accept their place as a venue for fear that "law and order" may break down ! I presume from this that even our police fear that they may not be able to handle or contain the expected large turnout of women who may bring along their male partners and friends for support or.....?
This AWARE saga has degenerated to such an extent that judging from all the over-heated comments coming from all quarters from those directly involved to others who have taken sides...the scale of the battle has escalated and may eventually break into open warfare.
That scenario is so alarming that several govt ministers have come out in the open to voice their concerns and to remind one and all that we are a multi -racial, multi-religious society and no one group should impose its views on others. Kudos to that!
The NCCS...the National Council of Churches of Singapore has come out in the open to state that churches should stay out of the AWARE tussle issue.
This was likely in response to the way that the Church of our Saviour, an Anglican church in Margaret Drive to which several members of the new AWARE Com belong to, was perceived to be openly "supporting" the cause of their 5-6 members in the new Exco....with regards to their
public stance against gays and lesbians and other non-traditional positions.
I wait with anticipation for the outcome of today's battle royale.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Old News clippings...the New Nation, 1977

This was the front page headline news of the 2nd major English newspaper in Singapore over 30 odd years ago.
The date: Monday May 30 1977.
The headline: "The sweet taste of success..."
Does anyone recall this famous occasion? Where was this picture taken? What was the success that drew such a huge crowd of adoring fans among which was yours truly..
unk Dicko?
Perhaps the younger ones will draw a blank. However, the old-timers should recall why there was such a huge fanfare in all our papers and in the streets of Singapore that unforgettable weekend.
Anyone like to make a guess?
The answer will be in more pictures soon.

Nursery Rhymes...the Shocking Truth!

Remember this nursery rhyme which goes like this?:-
" Ding dong bell, pussy in the well
Who put her in, little Tommy Thin
Who pulled her out, little Tommy Stout
What a naughty boy was that
Who tried to drown a pussy cat."
Well, according to this report..nursery rhymes such as we have known
since young and learnt during our schooldays under the British colonial times...had very interesting but somewhat gory beginnings!
Read the article to find out more....!

Punchlines...a favourite of many!

Another of the cartoons which I enjoyed even till today is Punchlines. It always has only one picture in a box much like "Sun Tan"with the wit and humour in the last punchline! The one I have posted here is one of my favourites. For younger readers of this blog who may not be familiar with who Yasser was...just go and google with his full name, Yasser Arafat.
There is much out there on the internet about this famous leader of the arabs in the PLO.

Sun Tan The Asia Magazine.

How many of you still recall the "Asia Magazine" that always came with the Sunday Times free of charge?
Well, I not only do but enjoyed reading it so much that I kept clippings of articles and stories and especially the witty and humourous by Colette.
The Sun Tan series was one of my long time favourites.

After reading the magazine, I took out my pair of scissors and cut out that cartoon portion for my archives.

Each cartoon represented one Sunday weekend.
They always made me chuckle in glee!