Saturday, November 28, 2009
This is a "no work" just plain relaxing (hopefully ) winter holiday.
Though we've been travelling to many different places in the world together, somehow we
have never been in Europe as one.
3 decades ago, while I was in Rome at the famous Fontana de Trevi ( featured in the movie 3 Coins in the Fountain ), I actually threw 3 coins into that fountain....and made 3 silent wishes which legend says " will come to pass".
Well, the legend must be really powerful for all my 3 wishes have come true.
For newer readers of my blog...you can find lots of TRUE stories under Blog Archives.
Check out some of these:-
# Gunung Tahan..S'pore's very 1st Expedition
# Heaven and Hell...almost!
# Meeting Princess Gunung Ledang ...face to face!
# My 1st train journey
# and many other exciting posts.
It is not likely that I will be able to post while travelling as we'll be on the move.
Until you hear from me again,
Best wishes to all for this holiday season...take care.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The subject of the interview was to get my views and feedback about video gaming and in particular the session that I attended at the Jurong Regional Library, last month. The article appeared in the paper on Tuesday 24 Nov 2009, page 9.
On the Saturday morning of 24 October, I drove my wife, 3 grand kids and their maid to the venue. On arrival, I was happy to meet up with James Seah ( Blog to Express ) who had forwarded me the invite and Ivan Chew ( the Rambling Librarian blogger) who was the host.
It is really wonderful to meet and speak to fellow blogger friends in person.
After the session ended at about 1 pm, we adjourned for a prepared lunch.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Unk Dicko has always had a special liking for Punjabi Bhangra. The music and rhythm is so lively, with the drumbeats, ankle bells and all adding to an unbeatable, heady dance mixture.
In 1988, when I led the Serangoon Gardens Sing Singapore group to emerge Champions of the island-wide inter-constituency Sing S'pore championships...one of my key strategy was to have 2 lead Bhangra dancers, male and female...whom I knew would not fail to captivate the crowd.
They not only did not fail but were simply superb. One was the daughter of our friend in Sg Gardens and the other my very good friend, Max Singh... a bespectacled young men then.
So in tribute to their "bhangra prowess" of 1988 and sending you all my early Christmas greetings in a non-traditional way.... enjoy " Nickmas with Bhangra!"
ps: Remember to switch off the JANGO Jukebox music which plays automatically.
Friday, November 20, 2009
This corner of the Waterina used to be the home of my friend " Mat Tikus" Ref# 23 on my map.
There were no road barriers in the middle rof the road and no traffic lights here in the past. Traffic was very light in the early days.
As I turned to the west, this is the scene. The Sunny Spring is to the right of photo. Further down the road, on the left is the Singapore Badminton Hall.
This is the Sunny Spring Condo. Just where you see a lady walking on the pavement was once the home of another family friend, Agnes. See Ref# 11 on my map. Their front door faced Guillemard Road.
This is the present entrance to the Condos. A friend of mine used to live here at the corner house. And it was from here that we watched the gunfight at Siang Lim Park across the other side ( the Waterina ), back in August 1965.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Well it depends....on your purpose of going there in the first place. Some are obviously working there within the judicial system.
Some are compelled to be there by the law as accused persons or defendents or witnesses.
The majority of those who turned up for the Adrian Lim trial were members of the public who came in large numbers. There were long queues for the limited seats in the public gallery of the court. People started queueing hours before the court convened each day...and still more came.
One reason for this other than the mere curiosity factor was the chief accused himself...Adrian Lim. As the trial proceeded, he was "enjoying" playing to the gallery more and more. Unafraid to describe in gruesome details the debauchery and the slaughter, he kept the courtroom engrossed and captivated with the very lively descriptions and answers to questions that were put to him.
The media and press coverage provided explicit reports of the day to day happening in the courtroom.
This kind of story is every newspaper's dream...it sells!
Just look at the photo with the large crowd of onlookers outside the courthouse. Every nearby road was filled with people and more people. Unbelievable!
Where you normally buy only one, many bought 2 or 3 different dailies to get more info and pictures or a different slant to the side stories.
Both these newsclips are dated 26 November 1988, Straits Times, page 21.
More to come...unk Dicko.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
It is well-maintained and has two basement levels for car parking. Everything there looks pretty new and modern as can be expected. Ditto for the Sunny Spring too...although I did not get to go in. I managed to see it from the outside although I would have loved to have taken a walk inside.
At the Security guardhouse, I told the 2 uniformed guards on duty that I was going out for a while, leaving my car still at the basement carpark. They had a quizical look on their face..must be wondering what this uncle was up to! So to pacify their curiosity I asked them, " Are you wondering who I am?"
From the guardhouse of Waterina, facing north, I captured this scene of the present Lorong 40.
At the top of the picture is Geylang Road. On the right is the boundary wall of the Waterina. Where the cyclist is...that used to be the corner house of the " bapoks" Ref# 25 on my map. And more or less where the lamp post ( left of picture, near road sign "AHEAD") now stands....was the humble home where we Yippies once lived for more than half a century.
I swiveled round to face southwards. This is the present view of Lorong 40 adjacent to Guillemard Road. Sunny Spring is on the right of picture while Waterina is on the left.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The movie is based on the real life story of a British widow, Anna Leonowens who in 1862 ,was appointed to tutor the many children and wives of King Mongkut ( Rama IV). Among those that she tutored was the young Prince Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who inherited the throne later when his father died.
Those of us who have seen the movie long ago may forget many of the details in the musical. But who can ever forget Yul Brynner's uttering the single suffix " HAH!" and that famous ending line to most everything he said...."et cetera, et cetera, et cetera".
I love the songs, the music and the lyrics. Getting to know you, Shall we dance?, Hello young lovers, I whistle a happy tune, Happy talking....etc, etc, etc, ( did you notice?...I have not forgotten what I learnt from the King and I, Hah! ).
About this newsclip of 10 December 1996 from the Straits Times.
It gives an interesting background about the Chakri Dynasty of Thai kings. The article was captioned most appropriately as the "Musical Dynasty".
From King Chakri (Rama I ) who ruled from 1782 to 1809 right to the present day king, King Bhumibol Adulyadej ( Rama IX )..this line of kings was very supportive of arts, music and culture and musically talented in their own rights.
This is the Condo block in the Waterina which faces the north. It was from there that I took some snapshots from Tim's open window to the west, north and east. Right below the block is the Geylang River.
I was facing about north-west.
Facing directly north.
This row of double-storey pre-war shophouses has retained its old facade especially the rooftop. You can see the existing backlane at the rear of the houses. The backlane of our Yippie home was similar. It was quite broad and allowed us to put up a string or a tattered badminton net tied across the sides of the fences for our regular kampong pastime.
Similar to above picture. To the right of the photo is the private Aston Mansions.
Facing north-west. Part of the Lorong 40 field or playground can be seen on the left. It is so different from the past where it was basically one big field with only a few swings etc at the edge.
The single storey houses are part of Lorong 38. They are quite different from those in our old Siang Lim Park which all had a common, empty space beneath our floor called "bawah rumah" ( under the house ).
An overview of the Lorong 40 playground today. Looking at it, one could not have imagined that 2 teams of any number of players were slogging it out in a game called football ...played regularly there. No bookings were required. First come, first served basis....kampong style.
Facing approximately west. This part of the river will continue towards the sea. In the early days, the river had no enbankments. Wild vegetation grew on the river banks...lallang, bushes, trees. Many hens,chickens and ducks roamed freely. Eggs could be found among the bushes, riverbanks and "bawah rumah".
I took a walk on that bridge later. In days of old, we could sit on the parapet [ Map Ref # 40, see SL Park map ]. Today it can't be done...just a railing, cement parapet has disappeared.
Facing west. That gate, footpath and boundary wall are part of the Sunny Spring today
If you look closely at the picture and follow that footpath from the gate, you come to a white rectangular patch ( top left of pic).
That's the approximate location of the old ancient keramat which I had earlier described in previous posts with Ref# 4 on the Map.
As I walked right to the river's edge, I did not detect any objectionable odour or smell. Except for the inevitable litter, flotsam and some other rubbish...the river today is infinitely cleaner than it was in my days.
Walking around, I did not see a single fruit tree of note.
Friday, November 13, 2009
The story of Siang Lim Park on my blog actually began in January 2007 at our private Yippie Blogsite. I was then a complete newbie to blogging but having found the new experience fascinating, I started to blog in earnest.
Taking my old photo albums with pictures of S L Park and family members, I recounted real life stories and happenings of our childhood, of the people who lived there, of our friends, of the friendly hawkers, our neighbours, of unforgettable incidents and experiences...and more.
You can check his comments at the gunfight post.
It seems so incongruous to the very images that kept appearing in my mind's eyes. As I drove past the bridge, I slowed down staring to the right where our corner house used to be...expecting to somehow rather foolishly "hoping it's still there". Instead I saw a pinkish perimeter wall of the SUNNY SPRING and the adjacent condos within.
To my left was the bright white wall of the WATERINA condos. I stopped at the Guardhouse and stated my purpose of visit. It took a few minutes to security check. Again I felt alien and strange! We used to run around all over this place with no barriers to our freedom, fifty years ago.
Where today is the approximate location where the Gunfight at S L Park took place?
Pl refer to my map in previous post on the gunfight with Ref #29.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I had described on my blog...that offending pop-up box window. It's over now as I have squashed it just like that. But it entailed 2 days of solid painstaking detective work on my computer.
I had tried the following steps, all without success:-
1 Restore computer starting point to an earlier date before last Sunday.
2. Do a full McAfee Scan and keyed in " fix the problem". ( Took Hours )
3. Went to Internet Options to choose the programme " start computer without add-ons"
4. At Internet Options chose and set the various settings to "highest filter level".
5. Tried all kinds of options at "Tools" and Internet Options.
By carefully reading up about these offending malware, spyware on Google...I discovered something really important. That our fully paid for anti-spam, anti-virus protection service provider like McAfee etc...CANNOT STOP ALL virus, pop-ups, malware etc..from invading and surreptitiously creeping into our computer.
They can stop most but not ALL.
I was very disappointed to learn about this.
If expert companies with all their advanced training and brains cannot prevent such offending nonsense, then WHY ON EARTH are we paying them for so-called "protection" of our systems?
One very important line I read and re-read again was this: the only sure way to get rid of the problem is to trace the offending file or files, cookie or cookies ( so called add ons ) then disable it and if possible REMOVE it.
It took me 2 days to locate the offending files ....yes, more than one! The reason it took so long was because I am not a trained I T expert or IT engineer. Even my computer shop owner friend told me over the phone, with his fully trained partner beside him, that it not an easy thing to solve or overcome! They gave me no solution.
I located the suspicious files by clicking one by one, all files downloaded on the "add on" system.
The details of each file pops up in a box. I scrutinised carefully. The offending files are camouflaged by so -called proper names like Google, Microsoft Corp, etc..
There were 3 that I confirmed were invaders and removed.
1) A Google Toolbar Notifier
2) An " XML DOM" Document
3) Microsoft Corp Silverlight - Activex Control
Here is the actual details of one of these "invaders". I copied them down.
Adobe PDF Reader Link Helper
Publisher: Not available
Type: Browser Helper object
Version: Not available
Date installed: Not available ( highly suspicious to me !)
File: Acro IE Helper. dll
Class: ID: 0684.......followed by a long string of letters and numerals
Folder: C/program Files/adobe/acrobat 7.0/Active X.
I hope our Govt and global IT authorities can take some action against the website/s that produces such nonsensical attacks on our computer systems.
Many of these spammers have been traced by FBI and other agencies and arrested and are now in jail. What about here in Singapore?
I do not have any idea where the offending website comes from.
But I do believe it is not an unknown thing to those in the know.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
suddenly appeared on this blog of mine. As soon as I clicked on my Owl blogsite and the latest
homepage opens up, within a few seconds...this parasitic pop-up box window appears. Then nothing more can move...even my cursor can't respond!!!
To access my other folders on the computer, I had to switch off the whole system and restart again...avoiding my Blogger dashboard.
I spent the last 3 days studying all the protocols and settings, all the controls and access plus googled about such unwanted malware, spyware, add-ons etc... .
Won't say the time is wasted as I have come out "learning" alot more about many of these technical stuff that confronts bloggers and computer users, from time to time.
This parasitic and devilish unwanted box window then added an advert on my blogpage with scripted letters...a thing I have never seen before. I wonder if any of you my regular visitors saw it. It was below the separate INFO COMM widget. There were a few tiny rectangular boxes with a red "X" in them...and a scroll-down page for Qs and As...in a broken and incomplete format.
In my attempts to get rid of this REALLY PESKY browser DEVIL, I tried everything ( almost )
that was possible with my limited I T knowhow. It obviously did not work 100 %...but slowly I was gaining the upper hand. At least, the cursor can respond.
Then pressing "Alt + F4 " will close it for a short while...then it comes right back again.
Whoever created such a DEVIL to frustrate and irritate ordinary peace-loving and upright people like Unk Dicko and countless others....just let me say you are rather fortunate to be hiding behind your asses.
I wonder if you have the courage to come face to face with just me.
I reproduce the actual wordings in the "Devil's" window below. It reads:-
" Connect to josiah.mavenm,com
The server josiah.mavenm.com at Josiah Staging User Realm requires a user name:_______ and password:_________ . "
In the pop-up box was also Windows own warning about this prompting!
This server ( mavenm.com) is requiring that your username and password be sent in an insecure manner( basic authentication without a secure connection ).
I urge all of you if you have faced such a devil's time as I did to share and REPORT this matter to our GOVT Infocomm and MEDIA CONTROL authorities.
Those of you reading this post ...if you are from IDA, MDA or INFOCOMM 123, may I gently invite you to kindly look into this matter.
Help prevent such nonsense from happening again.
Pl also check the background of the website mentioned.
What are they up to???
I was tempted throughout these past 3 days to divulge my confidential details just to end the stalemate!
But I NEVER did.
Unk Dicko never ever run away from bullies...even cyber types.
I MANAGED to clear that damned thing on my very own a short while ago!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
This news report which appeared in the Straits Times on 24 December 2003 tells a touching story of how the family members of then Malaysian Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, discovered they had living Chinese relatives in Hainan Island, China. They stumbled about it by chance when an American lady researcher was in Hainan Island studying the Chinese Muslim community there in the late 1980's.
Salleh, the Chinese Muslim in Hainan had 4 sons named....Hassan ( Hah Su Chiang), Alibaba( Hah Su Hiang), Amin (Ha Fu Kong) and Hussin ( Ha Hun San). The first 3 named brothers left Guangdong in the middle of the 19th Century and came to Malaya, settling in Bayan Lepas, Penang. Only Hussin remained in China.
Abdullah Badawi is the biological grandson of the first named Hassan (Hah Su Chiang).
In December 2003, more than 600 descendents of Hassan Salleh came together for a big private celebration and Hari Raya gathering. It included 2 of the grandsons of Hussin who came over for the first time.
Click on the report to enlarge and read.
Does any of this news surprise anyone here reading it?
It does not surprise me at all...as the title of my post tells you.
Surely most will be able to figure it out by sheer logic !
You can't go wrong if you start with Adam and Eve...the first 2 humans created.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
If you have googled the net about this long-forgotten top criminal you would have been disappointed. There is practically nothing very much out there about him and a few of his infamous brethren in crime...top wanted killers and gunmen such as Oh Kim Kee and Lim Ban Lim. But much have been reported about their legendary misdeeds mainly in the press of those years.
Unk Dicko is certain he has news clips about some of these chaps...but have not located them yet. The reason I am so certain is I knew I had over the years, collected news reports of major crimes committed and their aftermath.
Nevertheless, the answer to what eventually happened to Morgan the Kidnapper must be told. My recollection is based entirely on memory of the events as I can recall today.
Morgan Teo and his gang had been involved in a string of high profile kidnappings where ransom was paid for the release of those he captured. He was known to skip in and out of Singapore to nearby Indonesia. He was considered very dangerous. Besides the guns he always carried with him, he was also known to have quite an arsenal or cache of smuggled arms and weapons, such as hand grenades. That day in Siang Lim Park, he threw 2 of these grenades at the police ambush party. After fatally shooting Inspector Allan Lim of the CID, he eluded capture and made his escape from my kampong.
Whenever a police officer has been killed by a criminal, a no-holds barred response from the police is expected. Morgan has to be captured dead or alive! The police intelligence went into an overdrive mode in an all out attempt to pin-point his whereabouts. Was he still on the island?
Or has he slipped away again to Indonesia or M'sia?
By making the fatal mistake of shooting dead a Singapore Police Officer, Morgan had in a way, signed his own death warrant. The heat was on! It wasn't very long before the police confirmed his whereabouts. He was still hiding out on the island. The police knew precisely where he was. They also knew from past experience he was likely heavily armed. This time, the police probably realised they cannot afford to be embarassed a 2nd time. The police raiding party was led by then Superintendent Goh Yong Hong ( CID ), other police officers and a crack team of police snipers from the Gurkhas Police. All of them were to play a decisive part in bringing an end to the reign of terror by Morgan Teo.
Where was the location of this shootout?
It was in the heart of Serangoon Gardens Estate itself....a house in St Helier's Avenue.
The house was surrounded by the crack police team, with Gurkhas snipers from hidden vantage points, covering all windows,openings, doors and possible escape routes. There was no fairy tale escape this time for Morgan. In the ensuing firefight, he was shot and killed.
Thus ended one of the most unforgettable chapter of the criminal story in Singapore.
Supt Goh Yong Hong was eventually promoted to the highest rank in our police force...
Commissioner of Police.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
What a fantastic year 2009 has been for Singapore and especially for the ladies of Singapore in the world of adventurism!
In May, 5 out of 6 members of Singapore's Women Mount Everest Expedition made spectacular and awesome history when they stepped on the summit of the highest point in the world....Mt Everest. I remember proudly calling D2 to break the news to her as soon as I found out. As a member of Singapore's 1st Gunung Tahan Expedition team 1969, unk Dicko and certainly other fellow members, share a great sense of pride, joy and satisfaction with the success of this women team. Our heartiest Congratulations!
And in March this year, in a brave and bold move, the Singapore Cabinet appointed our first full woman Minister in the person of Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, MP for Serangoon Gardens. Previous to this, she was a Senior Minister of State, holding two portfolios. It has taken nearly 50 years to see this 'psychological barrier' broken. As a result of this, more and more women will be able to step forward confidently and take up new challenges that once were thought unthinkable. I had blogged about this historic breakthrough appointment. You can read it HERE.
And one person, one super lady who has stepped forward confidently to 'take up a completely new and unimaginable CHALLENGE' is the subject of this blogpost...SOPHIA PANG, S'pore's team representative to this all women polar expedition. Having met and spoken with her, Unk Dicko is confident that come 1st January 2010, SOPHIA will go into the history book as the first Singapore woman to have conquered the South Pole.
Let us all as fellow Singaporeans wish her and her team "a Safe and Successful expedition". Between now and her return, you can read up interesting details about the expedition on their official website which is "live" with tweeter etc.
Those of you who might be wondering about how they would cope in those harsh and extreme conditions with regards to their food, water, health, sleep, hygiene, toilet, communication, direction finding, travel, pulling sleds ( 80 kg! ) etc..., just click on the link to their website below. There are lots of photos too.http://www.kasperskycommonwealthexpedition.com/
I hope readers will send their good wishes or messages in the comment box.
Sophia is aware that I will be blogging about her journey and we will keep in touch.