Tuesday, June 29, 2010
No wonder among the recent news from M'sia is a report that 7 well-known VIPs ( who are they as no names mentioned?) have run away to escape from the police raids on illegal betting syndicates. The bookies are raking in millions everyday of this W Cup action.
What about the situation here?
The last World Cup in 2006 saw punters betting to the tune of 1.8 billion Sing dollars! That's only the official figures and no one really knows how much the illegal bookies have taken in. The sum must be HUGE!
Recently, the press highlighted several stories about bookies making use of students particularly from the Polys and JCs to be runners for them. Many of the students interviewed said they make about 3 % of the bets collected ...averaging a few hundred dollars per day. One said he makes about $ 750 daily on average.
Of course...all the things they are doing are highly dangerous! The penalty for illegal betting and worse, for illegal bookie work is VERY SERIOUS!!! Enormous fines and jail sentence await those who are caught and convicted.
Thus to provide the public with an avenue for their obsession with gambling...the govt opened licensed betting shops initially for 4 D , TOTO and horse racing and later added sports betting as we know it today.
This was also meant to prevent the further spreading of illegal betting syndicates most of which are connected to criminals and "protected" by s s and other criminal groups.
Why do people gamble?
Is it in the hope of making "big" money?
Or is it just for the occasional tickle or fun of it all with a tiny, small output?
Those who bet in the hope of making "big" returns are in real DANGEROUS waters.
You will NEVER Win in the final analysis...if you continue to bet everyday, on most games,
and in increasing amount ( doubling, tripling, quadrupling etc..) . It's SHEER MADNESS!
There are countless genuine very sad stories out there told by people who have LOST EVERYTHING...their houses, homes, cars, family, jobs, every single cent they owned, worked so hard to save ...all GONE in the blink of an eye!
Let me tell you a real story that Unk Dicko know personally.
Took place about 6 years ago.
I used to buy fresh fruits from a fruit shop in AMK area. A quiet and pleasant young man of about 30+ by name of "Ah Seng" was working as a stall assistant there. He often chose the fruits for me..papayas, bananas, mangoes, guavas etc.. We got on well. The shop was just next to a Sg Pools outlet.
One Saturday, during the EPL season around February, there was a very long queue of punters at the Pools shop. Most of the punters were discussing loudly about that night's games.
I noticed Ah Seng ignoring all the "big and noisy betting talk". Some betters knew him well too.
Out of the blue, I said to him," Ah Seng...so far I've never seen you buying any 4D, Toto or soccer bets? So good...you don't gamble huh? ".
What he said and the way he replied to me ....I will never, ever forget!
He was literally a "still water runs deep" character! I could never have imagined it.
Pulling a stool for me to sit in and offering me a packet drink...he recounted his unbelievable sorrow and utmost regret over his addiction to gambling, particularly BIG TIME sports betting on the EPL.
Most of such bettors place their bets with illegal bookies because the bookies offer much better returns than Sg Pools. They could also bet by IOU...payable later, something which Pools can never offer. But there will always be a catch somewhere...if you lose.
Ah Seng said he once owned a nice 5 room HDB flat, a nice sports car, had a family and was doing well as a salesman. He had an income, savings and money to spend.
Initially, he bet small to medium amounts...a few hundred dollars per match. Then it was in thousands. When he lost "Big" he tried to recoup by placing even bigger amount on his next bet.
His losses multiplied till he had no more cash and savings to bet on. In fact, he was heavily in debt to the bookies.
With no way out of his self-made darkness, he made the singular, most terrible mistake of his life upto that point...listening to all the euphoria and almost " 100 % certainty of Charlton FC winning the night's match" at very good 1 x 2 odds.... he decided to bet a six figure sum ( the amount equal to the value of his car and house in total ) on just that ONE Match!
If Charlton had won....all his debts would have been cleared in one stroke!
But if Charlton should lose or draw...it would be the beginning of the End for him.
For the sad record...Charlton LOST !
And poor Ah Seng lost everything he had owned to the bookies...his house, car, job, everything...and was eeking out a living as a stall helper just to keep himself alive.
No wonder, he further told me that he will not work there for long as it was too PAINFUL
to be so close to the betting outlet.
And he added....do warn others about how " I came to be like this".
And so My advice to all these young studentsand others out there:
1. Do not bet in the hope of making big money. You'll win some but uncontrolled betting will lead you to be another "Ah Seng or worse.
2. If you do bet, do it for the fun of it. Small amount. Never chase your losses. Let it be..since it's
only a few dollars. Consider it as a contribution back to society.
Since the W Cup started, I have bought just 3 bets for fun.
1st was the S Africa vs France game. I took advantage of the "French revolution" and bet a home team win. I guessed rightly. Just $10.
2nd was the psychic tip from Octopus Paul ( see my previous post ). I took Germany to win.
Just $15....not 15 K !
Paul was spot on!
3rd was Ghana vs USA. Actually I did not plan to buy this for $20.
At the Pools outlet, it was near closing time when I presented my slip for the Ger vs Eng game.
The machine had a technical problem and kept rejecting my betting slip.
Then the Pools lady gave the printer a hard whack and out came this 3rd slip...a remnant bet placed by a previous punter.
This piece of paper was jamming the machine and caused a 5 minute delay. It was a valid bet option.
To help her out, I said "no problemo...I'll buy that! "
All 3 positions were winners.
Did my winnings make me rich like Bill Gates? No.
If I had lost will I be as poor as a church mouse? No.
Will I ever end up like Ah Seng? No.
That's the message I will like to portray for those who indulge in a bet or two.
Do not end up like the majority of bettors who have not only turned their lives upside down but
also end up doing great damage and harm to their own loved ones and family.
Just click on the link below for a sample.
Be responsible. Have control. Have fun.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
But do remember that the World Cup only come round once in 4 years. And in that short space of barely a month of non-stop football action happening at odd hours of our time zone, daily..there is so much for the World Cup soccer followers to see and not to miss. And Unk Dicko has been following the World Cup since the 60's...every World Cup without fail!
I may have missed some matches here and there in previous championships but those would be few and far between.
For example, when this 2010 W Cup started with the opening game between host country South Africa and Mexico...I was actually at Ho Chi Minh city ( former Saigon ). We were staying at the 4 star Kimdo Hotel which is opposite the Sheraton Hotel in the heart of the city.
From my own hotel room, I was able to catch all the opening games of the first 3 days of the competition. Unfortunately, the commentary was all in Vietnamese but it was really not a big problem as it was also drowned out by the horrendous noises that came from the 'vizvuzela' or whatever thery are called. It was probably ok for the atmosphere in the stadium where the games are played. But on the tv and internet feeds it was quite,quite irritating.
I have not missed a single game of this W Cup yet. Seen everyone of the game. Read hundreds of pages of news, reports and gossips about all the ups and downs of each team as they either faltered or progressed in their search for the ultimate prize and glory...the Winner's Cup!
There are far too many matches for me to blog about but I thought that I'll just focus on one monumental match taking place in less than 2 hours from now as I type.
This is the "Do or Die" match between 2 of the most watched teams in W Cup football...Germany and their eternal nemesis....England.
In all their 5 previous meetings at the W Cup knockout stage, all have ended in draws even after extra time. Then followed by penalty kicks.
What were the results then? Did England WIN any of them?
Before I give my answers...here is a famous quote from one of the best English strikers ever that puts things in perspective and nice humour.
He said, when asked to define England vs Germany football games....
" Football is a simple game. 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end,
the GERMAN wins. "
( Gary Lineker )
So who will win the match tonight?
Who will we say goodbye to?
In a short while we shall soon find out unless, unless you are a very clever octopus called Paul.
You have not heard of my undersea friend called Paul?
He lives in Germany and has correctly predicted the outcomes of Germany's games so far.
He does this by opening one of 2 boxes placed in his tank. The boxes represented by the flags of the 2 teams are closed. The one he opens is the "winner"!
And for tonight which box has he opened?
Unk Dicko knows.
If you don't please click on this Link below.
The German World Cup team
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The organisers were led by Raffles JC student Eden Li and his able team.
Our Dialogue session focussed on Promoting Active Ageing.
The 3 others present with me are Ms Judy Low and Ms Tan Chiew Kim from NTUC Eldercare and Ms Elizabeth Njo from Council of Third Age.
The session began on the dot at 9 am with all 4 of us introducing ourselves and giving our background briefly.
Once past that, the very 1st question was directed at me.
A participant asked, " Mr Yip can you tell us what sort of obstacles and difficulty you faced after your Achiles tendon injury?"
Me... laughing : " How did you know I was injured?
Participant: " We have been r_e_a_d_i_n_g your Wise Owl blog. "
So...I went on to answer his question as well as many others that were raised particularly on
how to engage the oldies, seniors and elderly effectively and wisely.Elizabeth provided a useful gist of what the C3A is doing and promoting. Judy and Chiew Kim touched on the the needs of the elderly.
All of us recounted personal incidents and shared some absorbing anecdotes of our experiences with our elderly parents and others within the family.
I must say the participants were most lively and positive and we found the interaction with all of them a meaningful and enjoyable one.
We were each presented with a Raffles token of appreciation before the session ended.
During the informal tea that followed more of the young and eager participants gathered around us to further "pick" our minds.
I believe some of the tips we gave them should serve them well in their follow up activities.
Below are some comments and messages that were in the common email loop ( post-dialogue ) which I think is
worthwhile putting here as they convey our thoughts on this project.
Hi Eden, Kailin and others,
Thank you for your wonderful feedback. I feel greatly honoured to be able to share and contribute to your inspiring project and especially interacting with such a bubbly and positve group of young participants. They make me feel young again in their presence!
The effort, the energy and the vibrancy of your project is clearly evident to me and the other speakers. I came away with another huge impression of the 'Raffles' brand updated.
Please convey my thanks to your team and Keep up the excellent work!
Thanks for the wonderful photo.
You can bet I will give you all coverage on my blog very soon. That's a promise!
Yes, do keep in touch too.
Hello dear speakers,
Thank you once again for a brilliant, engaging and thoroughly meaningful session today! I had great feedback from the participants about the session; they really did enjoy it! It was extremely helpful in giving them ideas on how they could help advocate for active ageing. I'm sorry that we did not really give you all the time you wanted to speak - maybe next year? Haha! In any case, I hope we stay in touch :)
Attached is a photo from today! It's not the best photo (some people got cut out of the photo!) but it's the first one that appeared on Facebook... we are the computer generation after all!
Once again, GREAT BIG THANKS!
P.S. Ms Tan, can you do me a favour & forward this to Ms Judy? I don't have her email address.
P.P.S. Mr Yip! Don't forget to blog about us okay!
It was my pleasure to have had the opportunity to share with you guys...Jun 10 (6 days ago)
Tan Chiew Kim - ElderCare
EldercareSubject: RE: THANK YOU!
It was my pleasure to have had the opportunity to share with you guys yesterday! It was such a positive experience for me personally, and I hope that your forum does successfully produce a whole new generation of youth advocates for all forms of social issues, including active ageing of course. Best wishes to all of you for the rest of the year ahead – studies, health and happiness!
In addition, we are currently organising the annual Active Agers Awards, which recognises seniors aged 60 and above who are role models of active ageing. The 2010 Awards are now open for nominations. Attractive prizes await both winners and their nominators. For more details of the awards, please do visit http://www.activeageingfestival.com.sg/awards/. Please do help us publicise this within your school mates and get them to nominate the senior role models in their lives – grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. The nominations can be done online, via hard copy or via our hotline at 6796 9346, and the deadline for submissions is 6 July 2010.
Dear Mr Yip, Judy and Chiew Kim – pls do help us spread the word out on the awards, and help nominate the active agers that you know as a form of encouragement.
Thanks very much!
It's good to know that all of you found it a useful session as well & we gave you a good impression of the Raffles brand.
For your reference, this event was actually the 3rd Raffles Community Leaders Forum (3rd RCLF), organised by Raffles Community Advocates. The 3 day event was targetted at youth in Sec 3 and Sec 4 to teach them more about advocacy and community issues. The segment of the programme that you were invited for was called the 'Dialogue Session: Interaction with Stakeholders' and each Special Interest Group (SIG) invited different speakers, who could speak on their SIG's topic.
Thanks, and hope to work with all of you again!
Friday, June 11, 2010
It is time once again to recognise and honour the most outstanding senior active agers in Singapore. Every year since the Awards were first given out in 2007 by the Council of Third Age, more popularly known as C3A, 6 -7 outstanding active agers were chosen from among the hundreds of nominations received.
It is truly wonderful that the Government through the various ministries, stat boards and private sector partners have focused much of their attention on the active ageing population. More and more organisations are also coming on board to do their part.
Even the schools are chipping in.
For example, just on Wednesday 9 June 2010, I was invited to be a speaker at the Raffles Advocate Community Forum/Dialogue which was held at Raffles JC.
The forum that I and 3 other invited speakers were involved in had the theme " Promoting Active Ageing ".
The student participants, coming from various secondary schools, were very enthusiastic, bubbly and most positive about their involvement.
I came away most impressed by their honesty and sincerity and enjoyed the two-way interaction tremendously. It always make Unk Dicko feel young whenever I am surrounded by young people!
The organisers and the team from Raffles must be commended highly for doing a great job.
Will have a special blog with more details about this event...soon as I return from Vietnam shortly.
So folks, if you know of someone whose age is 60 or over, is fairly active and has a passion for living that inspires...please take the trouble to nominate him or her. He may be within the family circle or someone you jolly well know outside. Doesn't matter. What matters is that someone must take a little time to do the nomination. No self-nomination is allowed. The nominated one will certainly appreciate what you have done!
By now, regular visitors to this blog will know that Unk Dicko was one of the Active Agers Award winners of 2008. My being awarded with the inaugural Top Award...the Active Agers INFOCOMM Champion Award 2008 was something so unexpected, so unbelievable, so unreal that the story ought to be told. And it is not fiction. Yes, it has been taken up by most of the newspapers, some magazines and made TV and radio news too.
For those who want more detailed information on that story, there are many posts in my blog. Do check out my archives column.
How did it happen for me? From a "dead and gone IT" dinosaur to winning the 1st ever Award from IDA for this category of active agers.
Who nominated me? Did I know about it beforehand? Was I consulted beforehand?
I was shortlisted for the final interview round ( only one ) at the C3A and did a blogpost when I came home. That was in Sept 2008. To read that most interesting blogpost ...Click here: The answers to those questions are in the post.
This message is from my friend Elizabeth from the C3A
We are currently organising the annual Active Agers Awards, which recognises seniors aged 60 and above who are role models of active ageing. The 2010 Awards are now open for nominations. Attractive prizes await both winners and their nominators.
For more details of the awards, please do visit http://www.activeageingfestival.com.sg/awards/. Please do help us publicise this within your school mates and get them to nominate the senior role models in their lives – grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.The nominations can be done online, via hard copy or via our hotline at 6796 9346, and the deadline for submissions is 6 July 2010.
Dear Mr Yip, Judy and Chiew Kim – pls do help us spread the word out on the awards, and help nominate the active agers that you know as a form of encouragement.
Thanks very much!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
This is a strange but true case of a 3 year old boy who was the unintentional ( or maybe he intended it? ) whistle blower responsible for his father being arrested for drug possession.
Here are 2 interesting news clippings from hundreds found in my "odds and ends" folder.
The one below was from the Sunday Times dated 23 April 1989. On my previous travels to Indonesia I have seen such jamu pedlars in the market place, by street corners and along sidewalks selling their so-called "potent" magic. They are more common in Indonesia than Malaysia. Jamu is also sought after by women, not only men, for cosmetic reasons.
This is no fiction. It actually happened!
It is a pity that the name of the photographer of this snapshot below was not in the report.
The occasion was the National Day Preview Parade at the Padang held on Sat 29 July 2000.
This picture appeared on the Sunday Times the very next day...30/7/2000.
If I had my way, I would have awarded him a top prize for capturing a one in a million image!
Not the skirt lah! Though it plays a huge part in what the viewer may perceive.
The beauty of it all is in the different way this old couple took to the dancer in mini-skirt gyrating
so close to them.
As they always say...behold the eyes, they do not lie!
Mr senior here, probably recalling the days of Rose Chan, was enjoying the spectacle so much he had a wide grin.
Mdm senior with the killer eyes...wow, what do you think was in her mind? Whatever it was, one thing is certain...her husband was clearly on cloud nine and enjoying the bonus spectacle!
As they say...behold the eyes, they do not lie...lah!
Monday, June 7, 2010
Thanks to my good friend Eddie, from Hong Kong, who sent me this clip. Buttons and Bows was a very popular song that was first recorded in 1947 by Dinah Shore. Music by Jay Livingston and lyrics by Ray Evans. In 1948, it received the Academy Award for Best Original Song when it was featured in the movie "The Paleface " ...starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell.
This particular Youtube version is excellent ! It comprises 3 separate singers of the same song. The 1st is in Mandarin with nostalgic images of the late 40's and 50's. The 2nd is as good showing clips of the actual movie and Bob Hope's rendition as he was playing the accordion on a covered wagon. The 3rd was that original version made famous by the late Dinah Shore...most popular of all versions.
Such a good song must be in Unk Dicko's old songbook right? Certainly, it's on page 108 as reproduced here with the ukulele/ guitar chords shown.
Remember to turn off my auto Jukebox player first before playing.
Happy listening! Happy memories!
Friday, June 4, 2010
I do not really have the answers to those questions but can venture a pretty good guess if I were asked.
The answer should be a " No".
Keeping of dairies was not a fashion in the past of yesteryears. It was the only logical thing to do if one wanted to record and keep whatever information, details, tidbits, etc..in such a way that they can be easily retrievable anytime. So there was nothing really fashionable about keeping a diary although today the dairies on sale at the malls are very attractive to look at. Many are bound in leather and come with all kinds of sub-sections within the high quality pages. The ordinary ones cost around $ 10...and much, much higher for the "professional" -looking ones.
For myself, I must apologise to the book printing industry. Unk Dicko has never bought a single diary in my life! All the copies of my diaries that I have used had been given to me by either kampong friends( in the 60's), by fellow colleagues and other friends. They cost me nothing, not a cent.
However, when I first started keeping a very simple diary..it was only on pieces of leftover exercise book pages which I then kept folded in another exercise book cover. That was my first attempt at diary recording back when I was in Primary 6 in 1960.
How did it all started? Did anyone influence me to start one?
As far as I can recall clearly...no one influenced me. But it was something within me that prompted me to jot down even briefly, a recollection of the day's or the week's happenings, and even certain highlights or momentous events. Nothing fanciful...just recording the end of a day, the ups and downs, the movements, the emotions and with that the essence of the times that we live in were somehow also captured in the pages.
Over the years, since that starting point, this extremely fortunate habit of mine kept going right to the 80's. From about that time until the arrival of computers, I had a minor switch. Instead of keeping personal diaries, I used my work diary for the same purpose as well...since my 2 daughters were no longer kids and would be able to record things for themselves in their own diaries.
What are inside my diaries?
Do they contain any historical or social significance?
What is their condition today?
Who has seen or read them?
This pile of My diaries stretching back more than 10 years.
The 2 at the top of the pile are among the oldest...1963 and 1964.
The pages have come unstuck and are falling off.
Unk Dicko's dairies contain personal, family, school, working
and social life, and snippets of history.
Much can be gleaned about Singapore in the 60's
These are some of the surviving dairies which I have faithfully kept.
A few may be tattered and torn but the entries within are 1st hand accounts
of some of the most important happenings in Singapore, Malaysia and the World
like the 1964 Racial Riots. I lived through that period.
Like the the day I felt completely devastated when news of President John F Kennedy's assasination reached us...on the morning of November 23 1963 ( It was still 22 November in USA ).
It made such a HUGE impact on my 16 year old mind back then. I remembered shedding some private tears quietly as I assimilated the meaning of that terrible tragedy.
President John F Kennedy, 35th US president was assasinated on
November 22 1963 in Dallas, Texas.
Showing 3 of my diaries. At top is my 1965 diary. In the centre is my
1964 diary partly hidden but with the very 1st entries for January 1964.
Then at the bottom is my 1963 diary open to the page dated 22 November 1963 where
I had forever memoralised that tragic day in my own style, my own way.
No one had read any of my diaries other than my dear wifey.
Last week, I allowed a writer/researcher who was interviewing me for an upcoming article
to have a very close peek into some of these pages. He is the only outside person ever to see the inside pages of my diaries. In good time, I will state who he is. ( No, I've not met him before the interview ).
Now, I am putting them up here so that you and others may get a chance to see and read too.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
A tiny portion could be disgruntled fellow citizens with many an axe to grind against our NSAs or SSC or even the government. Some may even be foreigners most jealous of our success as a tiny, respectful country.
Others have ulterior motives in this unending castigating of Singapore.
Sports and especially the sporting success of a nation is a very important psychological objective for any country, not just Singapore. Sports and sporting success, especially on the big stage, jell, bond and pull an entire people much closer together that can have major impact on other sectors of our economy. This is not theory. Neither what I'm saying here is conjecture.
We are dealing with REALITY here!
To all those who are tired of hearing the same old nonsense from these online detractors... I say just ignore them. Let them vent their unknown frustrations and hot air. Instead of engaging in unfair and senseless criticism, why don't they come out with a concrete blueprint for bringing success to S'pore sports? Perhaps, they could start doing so for their own kids and charges...like what some of our sailing and bowling parents did. Started them young, spent a lifetime with them...with no guarantee of the outcome or success. Some succeeded, many did not. But at least they tried rather than act like these unknown flamers.
I think the majority of Singaporeans are down to earth, practical people. Many of our fathers and forefathers came from ( or imported ) overseas. Quite a number of our former top leaders in government also came from abroad. They had talent and skill and the passion and desire to contribute to Singapore's development and survival. These are strengths we should always welcome....same as the Table Tennis heroines.
Let us therefore as Singaporeans celebrate Triumph over adversity...for big countries like China
can afford to celebrate such occasions every year, in may fields of sporting endeavour.
We simply can't.
So better enjoy and remember it while we can.