Saturday, November 29, 2008

Terrorists are nothing but COWARDS!

It was early today that I discovered that an innocent Singaporean hostage was killed by the Mumbai terrorists. The net was flooded by many reports. Some used the word "murdered" and some said "executed in cold blood !" Whatever word is used will not change the fact that a sweet innocent life has been cruelly snuffed out by.....COWARDS and "*#!!*#@ !!!" of the worst kind!
Mrs and Mr S Puhaindran, Michael and Hwei Yen, Mrs and Mr Lo.
For how could the taking of such an innocent life of a non-combatant contribute to the cause of these EVIL and DESPICABLE men who call themselves whatever.... terrorist, holy jihadist, freedom fighters, ad nauseum.
I was doubly shocked when I discovered who she was. D2 and I both were familiar with Mr S Puhaindran, her father-in-law. We knew him from our work in education a long time ago. Mr S Puhaindran was a teacher in R I. As for me, I had known him since my early scouting years when he was a scoutmaster at RI. They had 2 scout troops, the 2nd and the 32nd. Later, I was to meet him in my PE and sports work over the years. He was also very much a PE and sports person too. In fact, in 2005 November when I was warded at Changi General Hospital for my Achilles Tendon surgery, one young lady staff member attending to me had "Puhaindran" on her name tag. When I asked if by any chance she is connected to the S Puhaindran I know...she replied, " yes, he's my father!". I then requested her to send him my warm compliments. D2 has met him in many grassroot events too.

D2 and I would like to offer our sincerest CONDOLENCES to the family of Lo Hwei Yen and to
Mr S Puhaindran and family, especially Michael.
All Singaporeans share your tragic loss.
SINGAPORE will not forget!

Report by Leong Wee Keat of TODAY, 29 N0v 2008.

Mumbai Attacks - Special Report
SINGAPORE: When she met friends at a wedding two weeks ago, Ms Lo Hwei Yen told them that she was headed to India for work. She seemed excited about the trip, said the friends who met her. On Friday, Ms Lo, 28, was identified as the Singaporean hostage held in the Mumbai terror attacks. Her body was found on the 19th floor of the Oberoi Hotel. Friends whom TODAY spoke to expressed shock and sadness at the sudden loss. “She was so young,” said a former Victoria Junior College classmate, who declined to be named. Another who saw her at the wedding said: “She seemed very radiant the last two times I saw her. I was very happy for her.” Ms Lo, the eldest of three sisters, was engaged to Mr Michael Puhaindran in 2006 and they got married in Bali last year. Friends described Ms Lo — who also attended Methodist Girls’ School — as “bubbly”, “bright”, “confident” and “outgoing”. At National University of Singapore, she was an active student who took part in many activities. Friends from law school said she was popular and known by many, including her juniors. A former colleague who had known her since 2005 said: “She was bright and outgoing like any young lawyer entering the profession. It seemed the world was her oyster.” Ms Lo was at law firm Drew and Napier between 2004 to 2006. She left it for a brief stint at another law firm Rajah and Tann, before she joined international law firm Stephenson Harwood where she had worked since last year. Rumours of Ms Lo’s fate had been circulating since Friday afternoon. On Friday evening, as word about a media briefing was to be held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spread, one friend, who knew her, spoke for many when he said: “Many of her friends are still hoping there is some good news.” As friends turned to news websites about the Mumbai attacks, Ms Lo’s name stood out for some. Said a former junior college schoolmate: “Her name was quite unique among all those I knew. Most are Hui Yan or Hwee Yen. She’s Hwei Yen with an ‘I’, with a nice radiant smile. She will always stand unique in her friends’ hearts.” - TODAY

Friday, November 28, 2008

The ATC...part 4

The ladies in this photo are from Indonesia. We sang Burong Kaka with them.

Music always bring people closer together no matter what their colour, nationality, language, religion or beliefs are.
This has been my life-long experience and has once again been in abundant evidence last night at the ATC....with all these happy people.

Music to me not only adds spice to life but is a bridge that can link up people from many countries and therefore helps greatly in breaking down artificial barriers in people to people friendship and communication.
May I wish all the delegates at the ATC a fruitful and successful conference and do continue to...SING!

The ATC...part 3

Our friend from Myanmar, the music teacher, was introduced to us. I asked him," Would you like to join me in a song from Myanmar?"
"Yes!", he said.
So, without telling him a thing, I strummed and sang this Burmese song with no reference to any book.
Apo gi oh ka kon kon
Ma ta ba ne oh
Nau ga ni ga tau sa mon
Kyi ah chi pa ron
He knew the song too! And we sang with the others.

He then said he would like to try a native folk song to be played in the Key of G. Testing out the chord of G, C and D7 with him, he did that number with very great emotion. All of us enjoyed that soulful tune very much.
Btw, this is one of the ways I used to learn songs. Get the oversea chaps to sing, then I listen carefully and if I like the song, they will only be too happy to teach you. That was how I learnt so many native songs from Vietnam to Mongolia.

But to learn in this fashion, without a tape-recording and with my lack of formal music training to write the scores down, meant I MUST BE ABLE TO DOWNLOAD THE TUNE INTO MY HEAD ! AND TO BE ABLE TO RECALL IT...10,20,40 years later!
Fortunately, unk Dicko has been greatly blessed with this facility.

Next I asked if there was anyone from Laos or Cambodia present.
Out stepped these 2 gentle young men from Cambodia.
I offered,"Shall I also sing you both a Cambodian song which I knew from the '60's ?"
" Yes!"
And unk Dicko obliged them with...
Chap chap ma lai [ a Cambodian song]. I sang the full version of the song. Surprised looks all round!

This song has a very catchy beat too and in no time at all, everyone was clapping to the wonderful rhythm of the tune.
The 2 guys sang a Cambodian song with each group singing one verse in their own lingo.
Really good singing!

The ATC...part 2.

Most people love singing provided they know the songs. That's why when we moved from group to group, I asked them," Hi, where are you people from?"
The people from this table are M'sians. So, we strummed for them that ever popular.... Rasa Sayang.

This group was very quiet at first. They were seated at the end of the mess hall. I asked the same question and they chorused "we are from the Philippines! "

Wonderful, I responded because I know most Filipinos can sing very well! They laughed heartily whether in agreement I know not. But unk Dicko has many different ways to get people to join in and sing.
I announced to all of them,"I like to do a local Filipino song with you. Do you know the song Leron, Leron Sinta?"
" YES!
they chorused again. "

That song has a very sweet and catchy beat and immediately we were like an award winning singing team!

Leron,leron sinta
Buku ng papaya
Dalai dalay buslo
Si si dla ng sinta
padating sa duloy
Nabali ang sangka
Tapos kepalaran
Humanap ng iba.

Didn't I tell you in an earlier post that I was able to sing the songs in their native language of most of our ASEAN/ASIAN countries. ( See... Have Ukulele will travel )

This group was excellent. Their singing was melodious and really sweet. More participants soon joined in.

Richard soon led..."Planting Rice"and they were now really into it!

We entertained them with some super songs that always sounded good when accompanied by ukeleles.

Then, I asked, " anyone from Myanmar here?" "Yes," said this nice, handsome gentleman . It turned out that he is a music teacher.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Asian Teachers Christian Conference

This morning I received by email an invitation for my presence for dinner at the Asian Teachers Christian Conference. It was sent by a former colleague of mine Ms Lam L O.
The venue was the Girls Brigade Hq at Upper Serangoon Road. In 2006, I was similarly invited and because the Singapore delegates specially requested for my Ukulele accompaniment for their performing segments, I roped in fellow ukelelist Richard, a close friend of mine.

We were there today, in the evening. And the 2 of us, with much time on our hand, jammed together many of the oldies and tried out some newer

songs too. It was something that was easy and relaxing to do.

When the participants of the ATC came down to the mess hall for their early supper, Richard and I went from table to table to serenade them.

Besides Singapore, the other participants were from Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar,Cambodia etc..

At this table was the Director-General of Education, Ms Seah Jiak Choo and Dr Low Guat Tin from the NIE. We sang for them the very lovely, " Cindy oh Cindy"and "Just a closer walk with Thee".

Our DGE, listening and enjoying the beautiful sounds of our combined ukuleles to the music and songs of the '60's.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Unk Dicko's TALK... S'pore Poly, 22 Nov 08

I will not give too much away in this blogpost as my second public Talk will take place this Saturday 29th November at the same venue but at 10 am in the morning.

I had prepared some slides for my power point presentation on the topic,
" If I can Blog,so can You!"
This was meant to be an overview of my perspective on blogging.
However, about half way through my presentation in which I had covered the reasons for seniors to blog, a few hands were raised among the audienc.
When I prompted them to speak, more than a few responded by asking me to actually show them how to start a blog.
That was not my original plan. How to actually create a blog is best done when you have access to computers and I can be by their side to lead them hands-on.

Nevertheless, I decided to do as requested in order to be responsive to their needs .

So, I deviated from my prepared PPP and went into
Using the online tutorial at Blogger and from Youtube, I took the audience step by step to creating a blog account and a blogwebsite.

Towards the end of the Talk, I sense that many people still wanted to ask me lots of questions . So I told them that I was prepared to stay behind to attend to all their queries and questions.
That happened. What were some of the questions.
Here are some:-

1. Can blogs make money?
2. Tell us more about the difference between public vs
private,closed blogs.
3. How do you increase the visitors rate?
4.Are there dangers in blogging?
5. How do you delete a picture or post entirely.
6. Do you answer all comments? Why? And etc...

Theose present told me they enjoyed the talk very much.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Me on a Singapore Stamp...unbelievable?

This particular photo was specially done by the Canon Digital Camera stall. They were showing us some of their latest photo printers for home or personal use. This snapshot was done all in a matter of seconds..from snapping the picture image to printing it out as you see here. Amazing! They made just this ONE print and gave it to Minister Lui Tuck a souvenir gift. He held it, thanked them and turned to me beside him saying," Dick, I would really like YOU to have this picture! "
Thank you Minister Lui. I promised that I will use it for a you are seeing here.

This is one stamp I would keep for my grandkids!

Thanks Minister Lui!

Unk Dicko on a valid Singapore postage stamp?...I asked this in my title of this post. Unbelievable? Better believe it!

The evidence is right here.
As Minister Lui, myself and the other VIPs strolled on, we came to the counter set up by Singapore Post. They had a special partitioned backdrop decorated with some Mickey Mouse designs. They explained to us how any of you today can easily personalise your very own set of souvenir stamps. It does not cost much at all. If any of my readers are interested you can get further details online at this address:-

or visit any post office nearest your home.

Btw, I used to be a very keen stamp collector during my school days and still have my original stamp albums from the early '60s. And I have a most interesting, unforgetable but true story to tell on another day. How a schoolboy showed me a stamp one day, wondering if I could help him assess its value with my then "collectors' encyclopaedia ". Not only did I help him. He almost fainted when I told him about the"treasure"
he was holding in his hand. The value of that stamp was in 4 figures!! and that was in late 70's.

Silver Infocomm Day...official Opening 22 Nov 08

The official opening was held on Saturday 22nd Nov 2008 at the S'pore Polytechnic Auditorium.
The Guest of Honour for this mega event was Rear-Admiral(NS) Lui Tuck Yew who is also the Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications & the Arts, & Ministry of Education.

The auditorium was fully packed to capacity before the arrival of the Minister. Those present were all senior citizens above 50 years old.

I had arrived before 8 am to have a dry run of the morning's proceeding with the briefing conducted by staff from IDA. On the huge monitor screen I could see my blogsite page on display and later my Facebook photo pages. We had a number of run throughs when the hall was still empty of people. Everything went smoothly and soon the crowd began to saunter in. To keep them busy and entertained, there were a few performances by volunteer groups in guitar and songs.

The emcee soon announced the arrival of the G O H who was given a warm welcome. A short video-clip was shown highlighting various aspects of Silver Infocomm activities.
Then it was time for RADM Lui to deliver his opening speech. On a given cue, I walked up the stage to the right lectern where the laptop was connected to project some of the pages referred to by Minister Lui. The pages were of this very blogsite and my FACEBOOK albums. Minister Lui pointed to me to introduce me to the assembly. I nodded in acknowledgement. The laptop was working fine but somehow there was nothing projected on the screen! After a few seconds, IDA and poly staff reacted quickly by checking the laptop as well as some of the connecting cables. Despite everything they tried the screen was still a big blank. Minister Lui was absolutely good, remaining smiling all the while, patiently waiting to see if this most unexpected technical problem could be somehow corrected. After about 2 minutes ( my estimate ), he took the initiative to continue his address but not before apologising for this snag and telling them we can come back to the pages later if the problem can be corrected.
When he had finished his speech, he walked towards me, shook my hands and said," Hi Dick, I am so sorry that we couldn't show the audience your interesting website and FACEBOOK. This kind of things can happen sometimes at the most unexpected moments."
I told Minister Lui that I was not the least perturbed. How come? Such things have happened before...many times! Some can be "prevented", many can't. In fact, I told a few of the people directly involved not to be too demoralised by this as no one wanted this at all. It could be anything that triggered this snag.
We chatted about our common experiences of technical foul-ups. He had his share of computer crashes and glitches at home and I mentioned mine. My longest computer crash was 3 weeks!
Later, I had to change the entire motherboard of my computer! ( Not cheap! ).
We walked from stall to stall to see and try out the various new gadgets on display. We had much fun together. At the reception, I had hardly any chance for a cup of coffee before I was lined up for a series of "Live" interviews by reps of the Straits Times, MediaCorps 93.8 Radio
Station and the IDA in-house network.
My next post will be about my talk, that afternoon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Infocomm 123 3 renowned Bloggers

This is the official JINGLE sent to me by INFOCOMM 123.

Hope you enjoy it.

There is more at their website. See the top right oh my homepage.

Youtube video...of 3 Top senior Bloggers together !

Hi folks,
This is the Youtube video from INFOCOMM 123 which I had blogged about in my
earlier posts.
The three of us, Laozhabor, Lam Chun See and unk Dicko appear in a candid interview
about seniors who are actively Blogging.
For even more info and interesting stuff you should visit the official INFOCOMM 123 website ( widget at the top of my homepage ).
Have FUN!


Hi folks! If you are aged 50 and above and have a blogsite of your own...YOU just might be the proud owner of a LCD-TV worth more than S$1,500! Read on for more information.
All that you need to do is to submit ONE blog entry on the theme " FAMILY " to participate. This contest is organised by the Infocomm 123 Portal and it starts today till 16 December 2008.

The winner will be selected based on the highest number of votes garnered from the public and a panel of judges for the contest.
Three renowned senior citizen bloggers will be on board the portal during the Contest period as official SILVER AMBASSADORS.
Lam Chun See [ ], Mdm LaoZhaBor [ ] and Uncle Dick Yip [ ].
The 3 of us will be blogging on INFOCOMM 123 blog platform for two weeks to connect with the seniors and the 'senior' seniors. We will be sharing some useful tips on blogging and other things which should prove helpful to one and all.
Chase Ng and Mdm Laozhabor

If you get into the INFOCOMM 123 portal, you will be able to learn interesting tid-bits about the 3 of us as we give our frank and candid anwers during the interview segment...about blogging, how we started out, why, when, what...etc.
Was it really difficult for each of us?
How did we overcome some of the initial problems and obstacles we faced?

Chase Ng, Alvin Tan [staff], Laozhabor, Lam Chun See, Unk Dicko, Esther Puah [staff].

Our main objective is to help encourage and motivate the large numbers of senior and elderly folks to come on board with us on this learning journey. The ship has set sail for the new ocean called the Digital Age. We do not intend to leave anyone behind!
Whether we like it or not, the Digital Age has already descended upon us. We can't simply wish it away. It won't happen. So as the saying goes..." if you can't beat them...MIGHT AS WELL JOIN THEM! "
Welcome on Board!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today, the 20th of November 2008 marks the official launch of a major event hosted by the "hot" community portal What is the big event I am talking about here? What is this event of which I am to play a Big part in? What is so important an event that besides unk Dicko here, another 2 famous bloggers have been roped in to do their part?
The event is the official SILVER BLOG CONTEST for senior citizens which will run for about a month till mid December 2008.
The 2 other veteran bloggers are none other than the well known Mdm Yu of LaoZhaBor blogsite fame and Mr Lam Chun See of Good Morning Yesterday blogsite.

We were invited to the office of Atomz i! Pte Ltd, a Singapore based creative agency acting for IDA for a briefing, film session and interview on 5 Nov 2008 and to offically sign the 3 of us in as SILVER AMBASSADORS for Infocomm123.

We actually signed a contract, believe it or not! But the contract explains the mutual agreement between the 3 of us and the contest organisers...and specify the role we are expected to perform.

It was the 1st time that I have met with Lam Chun See and Mdm Yu though we have somehow appeared in the same New Paper article, in April last year.

With fellow bloggers like these, I was very relaxed and felt in good company.
A string of questions were posed to us by Chase Ng, the Marketing manager
running the show for the interview segment.
Mdm Yu answered in mandarin, with some translation thrown in here and there. Chun See and I spoke mainly in English.

At the end of the session, we helped them by doing an official video jingle together.

To see this you must get into the infocomm website.

Photo: Laozhabor, me and Chun See

Me, Chun See, Laozhabor and Chase Ng.
Top 2 photos:
The camera lady is Esther Puah, an
I T designer with the company.
Notice that I have just added the Infocomm123 widget at the top of my homepage.
It is a very useful device.
I strongly suggest that all you readers from Singapore add this on either at your website or on your desktop.
I have tried it out and found it extremely USEFUL...full of surprising things,gadgets,add ons, games,contests, Q and A, weather updates, etc., etc..,.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RAGGING, HAZING,"Taupok treatment"..,my take!

Recently, for all the wrong reasons, some well-known schools and JCs have been put on public spotlight. Reports and video clips have surfaced on popular websites portraying the incidents of ragging, hazing and the so called "Taupok treatment". All these news have made it to the main stream press and online news website such as Asia One.
Below, I have reproduced a portion of the separate news report for perusal and discussion.
I wonder what your views, to these seemingly innocent, childish nonsense, are?
In many countries, many permanent and serious injuries have resulted form these immature "pranks".
Deaths have also occured...250 or more in the USA alone.
In all my years in schools and the JC, I have never permitted anything such as these nonsense
outlined. So no one was traumatised, no one was injured, no one died. That's the way it was and should be.
But not so fortunate was the JC student in the 2nd story below. He suffered a permanent slip disc requiring surgery which altered his entire life after that. This is only the "tip of the iceberg".
Many incidents and happenings never made it to the the one I will now relate.

Unk Dicko's story

Time/Location: Back in the mid and late '60s, S'pore University.
S'pore University used to have a "Rag and Flag" day...whatever that meant, it did not
mean condoning outrageous RAGGING pranks by the admin. The problem was not many victims dared
to report the abuse of ragging for fear of retribution. So, majority of newly admitted undergrads submitted to their so called "seniors" to avoid a more "hellish time"if they do not do so.
That included a very close scouting pal and schoolmate of mine, the late Tan Ah Moo. He was my senior in school and in the Scout Troop...where we were both very active in.
One fine day, Ah Moo asked for my personal help...quite in desperation.
He was accepted into Sg Univ and was later instructed by his " S U seniors"to turn up at an
appointed place and time, in the old SU grounds.
My good friend Ah Moo was a very sharp and smart chap. He had done his homework and knew beforehand that the appointed occasion was for the sole purpose of "RAGGING" the freshshies.
Moreover, he had some knowledge of some of the "nonsense" they would subject the hapless victims to. He did not tell me all but I clearly recall this one which frightened him to no end.
Among other pranks, he was fearful of his head being forcefully pushed into the toilet bowl
and flushed with the wc water. Apparently, that was one of the many physical abuses practised.
After listening to him, I told him "No problem, have no fear...I will accompany you there myself.
And leave the rest to me !" I was very indignant indeed and wanted very much to see for myself
who these"bullies" were.
Btw, Ah Moo had a slight physical deformity in one arm. But no one can escape their Ragging ( he was told) ! However, they did not reckon with Unk Dicko here!
On the appointed day, I accompanied my dear friend A Moo to the room/hall where the ragging
was to take place. He didn't know them at all. Neither did I.
I asked to speak to whoever was in charge. A proup of guys, key seniors probably, came forward. After I introduced myself,this was what I told them:-
" My dear friend here A Moo has been told to come here. I hope the purpose is not to abuse
him physically or any way "rag" him. I will not interfere with what you all do so long as he is left
untouched. I hope you people take this friendly advice kindly to heart as I do not wish to visit you
a second time! "
That was about all I said.
My friend A Moo was NEVER Ragged throughout his university days.
He graduated, with Honours, and went on to join the Police Force rising to the rank of
He asked for my help once in a while, while serving the Force, to look for missing persons, to check on some follow up cases. I was also serving in the Police Special Constabulary, later in a
special plainclothes unit.

Mon, Nov 17, 2008 AsiaOne

'I don't want to go JC anymore'

Hot on the heels of the Anglo Chinese Junior College (ACJC) birthday hazing incident, more shocking videos of junior college (JC) students being violently ragged have surfaced on the Internet.
This time, the students in the spotlight are the rugby boys from St. Andrew's Junior College (SAJC).
A video submitted to STOMP showed the students throwing the SAJC birthday boy into a bin, rubbing his genitals with toothpaste and then slamming his private parts into a pole.
According to the online citizen journalism site, the clip had been uploaded onto a popular online video channel in April this year. The video clip also links to other similar videos of birthday kids being ragged in SAJC.
Such forms of ragging - a British slang for the act of playing a rough practical joke - are a common practice in most JCs among the male students.
"We saw it happen once in awhile, but always with boys, and nobody got seriously hurt," shared an alumnus of a top JC located in the northern part of Singapore who declined to be named.
"No one batted an eyelid because we all thought it was boys being boys.
"Just male testosterone acting up in acts of brainless 'fun'," continued the current postgraduate student who graduated from his JC seven years ago.
'I won't go JC'

Wed, Nov 19, 2008 my paper, Asia One
Fun needn't get out of hand
By Dawn Tay

THE recent outcry over a string of hazing incidents struck a personal chord.
It evoked memories of something that happened to my family 11 years ago.
In the prime of his youth, my older brother suffered a slipped disc when he was tossed into a swimming pool by schoolmates, during a birthday celebration in junior college.
I still remember seeing him lying on a hospital bed, teary-faced and in great pain – he eventually had to undergo surgery to remove the disc.
It was a tough time for him. Gone were his favourite activities: soccer and tennis. And his army years were vastly different from those of his peers: While they underwent military training which they would boast about, he was filing papers as a clerk.
To this day, he avoids lifting heavy objects in case he aggravates the injury.
Remembering that incident and seeing the recent uproar by indignant Singaporeans, I'd say that it's time to introduce some guidelines on hazing.
Hazing – which ranges from harmless teasing to even sodomy with objects – has been around for ages.
It entered the spotlight only when clips of ragging in junior colleges and the Singapore Civil Defence Force were posted online recently – the latest being the "taupok treatment" of a junior-college student .

Bintan Lagoon Resort

This resort in Bintan is probably the largest one on the whole island. It is situated on sprawling grounds, with lots of greenery and on high ground overlooking the sea front.
There is a sort of private road that leads all the way to this beautiful place. The rooms are good and service is even better.
As for the food, we are spoilt for choice.

The waters in the lagoon are sparkling clean and excellent for a dip or a swim.

It was such a peaceful setting at the beach front that I could not resist pulling a deck chair under a shady Casuarina tree and simply let myself go.
Within five minutes, I did not realise at all, I had fallen into a peaceful nap.
And what a long nap I had..3 hours!

D2 and I relaxing at a shop at the Oleh-Oleh Shopping Village after we had lunch, on the last day of our recent trip.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NATIONAL DAY AWARDS 2008 Investiture

Last night, I accompanied my wife D2 for the Investiture of the 2008 National Day Awards held at the Suntec City Ballroom. The awards were presented by the President of Singapore, Mr S R Nathan.
We left our home at about 5.30 pm. I decided to use the new KPE tunnel for this trip into the city. It was really a good drive all the way in the jams, no traffic lights, no one speeding, no mad motorist zig-zagging in and out of was a breeze !
But there was a slight bottleneck at the entrance to Carpark E at Suntec City as most cars were headed for the same event at about the same time. Security was very tight with armed Gurkha guards patrolling vantage points. On approaching the Ballroom there were more security checks.
The presentation started at 8 pm sharp with the arrival of the President and the singing of the National Anthem. Without further ado, the ceremony began with Prof Walter Woon, our Solicitor General reading the citations for the top 4 awards. Leading the field was Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong awarded the Order of Temasek 2nd class, followed by Prof Tommy Koh, Justice Chao Hick Tin and then S Tiwary. They won the case for Singapore in the Pedra Branca Issue vs Malaysia's claim.
When it was announced that the next category was the Public Service Star or BBM ( Bintang Bakti Masyarakat ), I stood up as I was seated right back and captured these 2 shots of D2 walking towards the President to receive her much deserved award.

She has put in a lot of her time,energy and sacrifice to serve the community for near 3 decades!
Unk Dicko, SALUTES her !
She's easy going, effective and very popular with the grassroot bodies of S Gardens.
After the mighty long ceremony ended, there was a delicious buffet spread of our local cuisine...satay,laksa,roti prata, noodles, pulut hitam, etc...for all guests. I bumped into quite a number of old friends and former colleagues and former MP friends of mine.
Photo: Left to Right
Unk Dicko, Mr Andy Lim, D2, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua ( Minister of State and MP for Serangoon Gardens), Mrs Cynthia Phua, Chairman Aljunied Town Council and MP).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Unk Dicko entertains at Bintan!

This year, the NE grassroot retreat was again held Bintan Island,Indonesia. The 3 day retreat was held from the 7 - 9 November 2008.,at the Bintan Lagoon Resort.
Our group from Serangoon Gardens was a close knit bunch led by D2.
There were the usual seminars and presentations but unlike the previous one last year...I decided that this time, just this once, unk Dicko would get into the thick of things and make an impact!
I have been through many seminars and serious workshops during my working years. But never once did I witness a guitar or ukulele as part of a seminar session proper. But there must always be a first time for certain things away from the norm. Why do things the same old way every single time?

So...while each team was finalising their mini-presentation of the given topic and D2's team was about to do their part with all the charts etc.., I whispered to her an instant idea that hit me there and then: I will do a special song with my ukulele at the end of her team's presentation as part of it.
The topic they were attacking? To
showcase "their" wonderful township.
The song I sang and played on the uke....."What a Wonderful World " by
Louis Armstrong.
It went down very well as I was told and caught all there by surprise!

So...if anyone ever ask whether a ukulele ever played any part in a presentation all have the answer right here.

One of the highlights of the stay was the beach barbecue set up for all of us by the resort's F and B.
It was a very nice set-up with a goodly spread of seafood, the sea breeze, lighted fires, scent of woodsmoke and pleasant camaraderie of our large party.
As no live band was present, it was left to unk Dicko to entertain the beachcombers with the all important Ukulele.
A night of lovely singing of some long-forgotten songs by the beach at,no sorry, by the beach at Bintan Lagoon.
[ In case you are wondering...yes, unk Dicko has been to Waikiki Beach,Hawaii. Has also walked into a number of their unique Ukulele shops and actually played on some of their ukes, including a heavenly 8 stringed ukulele! For a ukelelist like me, going to the legendary beach of Waikiki is like a personal pilgrimage of sorts. See photos and story at my post " PA...Hawaii, Honolulu! " dated Nov 13 2007 at Archives link. ]

Unk Dicko entertains at Batam!

In August last year, D2 and I were at Batam Island Indonesia, for a 3 day retreat. She was there for a grassroot seminar in which she was to do her share of presentations.
As for me, I had a much more relaxing time doing some inshore fishing from the jetty and other spots near the resort.
At dinner time, the 4 piece resort band made an appearance to entertain all diners from table to table.
When they reach our table, those at my table called for me to join them with my ukulele. The band members were surprised but very happy when I pulled out my Kamaka Ukulele. " You play the Ukulele? BAGUS! (good)." It took only a few seconds for me to tune my uke to their rhythm guitar and we were now a 5 piece band!

This band was quite versatile and could do most of the requests called out, including hokkien and mandarin numbers.
For me, it was a breeze strumming along to whatever the song was.
We had a very very good sing along when we did the keroncong numbers they all know and love so well.
Burong kaka Tua, Bengawan Solo, Chan mali Chan, Loy Krathong and some Calypso and cha-cha numbers.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It only takes a SPARK !..part 2

These pictures were forwarded to me by Benedict who was one of those who attended my last "Learn to Blog" session. Thanks Benedict! I hope you have picked up enough to start your blogging journey.
As the aspiring newbie bloggers were setting up their blogs, I told them to give some thought to their Blog Title.
But for the time being, they could just name it whatever they preferred.
One called his," The FATMAN !"
I think he has a good reason for that.
Another was named," American LOST in Singapore"... which to me, is excellent as it will invite those who are curious to find out more by visiting his blog.
In my very well accepted session, I made reference to some of my blog links ...Camel Dairies, Good Morning Yesterday and also LaoZhabor. I covered enough ground for most of them to be able to handle the beginning aspects of blogging on their own.
Things like: Settings, Layout, Comments, Fonts, Colours, Scan, Edit, Delete,Save, etc..
After the session ended, I received immediate thanks,
Feedback and Comments from them.
Here are some:-
" You are a GREAT teacher ! "
" You have made it look so easy!"
" You have just rekindled my interest in the computer again"
" I will try the things you showed when I go home"
Each of them received the SILVER INFOCOMM Day flyer. They are aware that
I shall be giving 2 talk/presentation on the topic " If I Can Blog, So Can You! ",
at the S'pore Polytechnic...this Saturday and the following one.