Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Apr 21, 2018

Only beggars wear torn pants with holes

I was told this story of a small family quarrel between a 60 year plus-old father and his 16-year-old son at home on a little street in Singapore.

The father was angry when he noticed that his son was wearing a pair of ripped branded jeans with holes. He told his son, "only beggars wear tattered and torn clothes with holes."

His son angrily replied in Mandarin :


[Dad, what I wear is my choice.  Why do I have to wear things I do not like?  I have my own rights and freedom."]

Different generations of the young and old have different sense of fashion.  In fashion, there is no right or wrong for the individual to wear what they like.

This father would remember that when he was young, the fashion of his times was the wearing of 'drain-pipe' pants, hair-style like the Beatles or "curry pok" .....

What is "distressed jeans" fashion today?

They were popular in the late 1980s during the hard rock/heavy metal era and in the 1990s and 2000s during the grunge era.  The punk culture also have been known to be fans of fabrics with various blemishes.

Pants that are showing natural or manipulated wear & tear are often referenced as distressed.

Worn and ripped jeans remain popular as they are still sold in stores and manipulated by consumers currently.  In the early 2010s, ripped jeans came back in style, as a 90s revival, but were sometimes introduced as Distressed - similar to ripped jeans, but the horizontal sewing point was occasionally removed to look like it was distressed.

Crazy Ripped Clothing is Hottest New Fashion Trend

Parents should understand the fashion and trends of their children.  Please do not quarrel with them because their taste in fashion and trends would change as they grow older and learn whatever suits them.  They know how to make themselves beautiful and comfortable.

Please check out the related blogs here and here.

Mar 14, 2018

Grand Old Dame of Beach Road in Singapore

Pioneer generation Singaporeans would remember an old place in Singapore to remember vividly. Over the decades, many heritage buildings at Beach Road have changed, including this landmark posted in my previous blog here .

Raffles Hotel at Beach Road

The Raffles is one of the must-see places for every Western tourist, but especially for the British when Singapore was once upon a time a colony under the Great Britain.  To the rest of the world unfamiliar with Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, who wrote "Feed at the Raffles when in Singapore", the Raffles is the home of the ubiquitous Singapore Sling.

The internationally famous gin sling was created by Chinese barman Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915, and served to British planters and merchants lounging in the marble-paved Cad's Alley, then the old entrance to the hotel.

Today, the same concoction of gin, cherry brandy, Benedictine, Cointreau and bitters topped with orange, pineapple and lime juice is still served in the cool dim Long Bar - by Ngiam's grand-nephew!

The Raffles dates back to the early 19th century when it was just a small tiffin room with a private bungalow.  It wasn't until 1886 that the restaurant and house were brought over by the Sarkies brothers, three Armenian hoteliers who came to Signapore in the mid-1880s.

In those days, the hotel business was concentrated at the Esplanade, High Street and Coleman Street (remember the old Adelphi?)

But the Sarkies obviously had foresight, and their site on Beach Road did have a terrific view of the harbour and the sea.

The brothers hired the architectural firm of Swan and Maclaren (the same architects who rebuilt the Sultan Mosque) to renovate the hotel, and it wasn't long before the Raffles became known as the "Savoy of the Orient".

Today, you can still enjoy a curry tiffin lunch every Sunday in the Tiffin Room, complete with soft-footed waiters in their crisply starched whites, ceiling fans whirling gently overhead, and dappled sunshine filtering through from high above.

You can explore the Raffles Hotel by yourself, or ask at the front desk for a free tour.  And, if you want old-fashioned high tea with cucumber sandwiches and scones, go to the Tiffin Room at 4 p.m. where they screen an audio-visual presentation of the history of the grand hotel daily.

While you're wandering along the cool corridors of the Raffles, don't forget to look in on the spacious suites facing the pool on the ground floor.

There is a whole row numbered 112 to 123 named after personalities such as Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, Herman Hesse, Somerset Maugham, and, more recently, Raymond Flower and Ilsa Sharp.  All of them have either written about the Raffles, or stayed and were entertained at this Singapore hotel which will be 100 years old in 1986.

Another reason, which reinforces our faith in human nature, might be described as literary although we see it as an appeal to the imagination.

For instance, Joseph Conrad was sitting in one of its varendahs when he read a report in The Straits Times of a crew which abandoned a sinking ship with hundreds of native passenters aboard, and the result was Lord Jim.

Not all the literati were complimentary.  Rudyard Kipling said:  "Feed at Raffles Hotel and sleep at the Hotel de L'Europe (formerly the City Hall building)."

Noel Coward, who was found naked in a corridor after a wild party, said that Singapore and Raffles by inference, was a first-class place for second-class people.  He was, of course, snipping at the colonials, but it must have hurt at the time.

On the other hand, Somerset Maugham, who spent much more time in South-east Asia, said Raffles stood for all the fables of the exotic East.

His short stories, such as The Letter, described a Singapore no longer recognisable, but its departed mystery lives on in the imagination of millions of people around the world.

In other words, man does not live by bread alone - or by satay or Peking Duck for that matter.

Modern Singapore looks like an Asian Manhattan, only cleaner, more efficient and orderly, but Raffles still conjures up the colour and excitement of the Orient which Conrad and Maugham helped to generate.

Raffles is a living reminder of the days when men lived dangerously and colonial wives were not as good as they might have been.

The architecture helps - white stucco of vaguely classical proportions softly corrupted by tropical vegetation and humidity.

We sat contentedly for hours in the Palm Court, with its traveller's palms and white balustrades, drinking and talking with old friends.

The Palm Court at Raffles Hotel in 1906, when the sea could still be viewed across Beach Road.

The curry served in the Tiffin Room has been modulated for the tourists, but with the many slow-turning ceiling fans.

It is a handsome and evocative room.  One can believer the story that a tiger was once found in the nearby billiard room.

One can also believe the story of how the staff buried the huge silver beef cart when the Japanese invaded Singapore.

A fifth-columnist, who turned out to be a senior Kempetai officer, questioned the waiters about its disappearance, but it remained buried until the British returned in 1945.

You can still order roast beef and Yorkshire pudding from that cart.  And many friends advised not to be deterred by the temperature and humidity outside; the beef and pud are always excellent.

They are as much a part of Maugham's exotic East as the trishaws in the forecourt, and the pirates who still haunt the waters of the archipelago.

Ilsa Sharp has captured this and more, but has not surrendered to nostalgia.  She knows there are more modern and better-equipped hotels.

But its atmosphere is incomparable.  Tourists who stay at the hotel do not say:  "It's Tuesday.  I must be in Singapore."  There is only one Raffles.

This is not to say that the management should not continue to improve its food and services.  The pursuit of excellence is now part of Singapore's way of life, and cannot be ignored.

That said, the romance of the past cannot be recreated, and tourists do not come to Singapore only to sample the air-conditioning.  The island would be a poorer place without Raffles Hotel.

[Source:  The Straits Times, 11 November 1984 with courtesy of NewspaperSG, NLB]

Raffles: Remaking An Icon

This is the behind-the-scenes story of a grand hotel undergoing the most extensive restoration of its 130-year-history.  The staff struggle daily to maintain the "Raffles standard" while the hotel is pulled down around them.  This is an extraordinary chronicle of a national monument and its makeover.

Please watch the video here , courtesy of MediaCorp Singapore.

About the show:

In the heart of one of the world's most modern cities stands an iconic structure synonymous with refinement, elegance, and service - unchanged for more than a century.

Raffles: Remaking an Icon is an exclusive invitation to this grand hotel in Singapore as it undergoes the most extensive restoration and renovation in its 130 years history.

Over the course of an extraordinary hour, we'll meet devoted staff - Bernd the poster boy - handsome front-of-house manager who manages guests disgruntled by the construction work, and an exacting general manager; Roslee, the gentle and quirky duty manager; Kaeley, the bubbly assistant had of housekeeping; and Chef Pierre, a volatile French man.  The staff struggle daily to maintain the "Raffles standared" while the hotel is pulled down around them.

This is a never-before-seen chronicle of a beloved institution that is both a luxury hotel, as well as a treasured national monument.


Feb 14, 2018

First favorite Chinese New Year Song

This is my favorite Chinese New Year song in Mandarin in the 1950s.

I listened to this song the first time although I did not understand the meanings of the lyrics.  I heard it over Rediffusion every Chinese New Year when everyone turned on the Rediffusion the song full blast for everyone to hear.  Even though I did not understand what it means, I love it.  Later, the Chinese teacher taught us the song at Kai Kok Public School at Bukit Ho Swee.

I am pleased to share the original Chinese song and singers, '恭喜恭喜' with thanks to the contributor at YouTube here


Good Wishes, Good Wishes for Chinese New Year Song(English)

On every street and lane,
On everyone's lips,
The first thing we say is,
"Good wishes, good wishes."

Good wishes, good wishes to you,
Good wishes, good wishes to you!

Winter has come to an end,
That is really good news,
A warm spring breeze is
Blowing to wake up the earth.

Good wishes, good wishes to you,
Good wishes, good wishes to you!

The icy snow has melted,
See the plum tree blossom!
The long night is past,
I heard the cock crow.

Good wishes, good wishes to you,
Good wishes, good wishes to you!

After so many difficulties,
Such so many experience grinding,
So many children in their hearts,
Look forward to the news of Spring!

Good wishes, good wishes to you,
Good wishes, good wishes to you!
Congratulations Gong Xi Gong Xi

恭喜恭喜 (Gong Xi Gong Xi)Chinese New Year Song(Chinese)








Pinyin (Pronunciation):

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ

Měi tiáo dà jiē xiǎo xiàng,
měi ge rén de zuǐ lǐ,
jiàn miàn dì yī jù huà,
jiù shì gōng xǐ gōng xǐ

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ ya,
Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ

Dōng tiān yǐ dào jìn tóu
zhēn shì hǎo de xiāo xī
wēn nuǎn de chūn fēng
jiù yào chuī xǐng dà dì

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ ya
Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ

Hào hào bīng xuĕ róng jiĕ
yăn kàn méi huā tŭ ruĭ
Mànmàn cháng yè guò qù,
tīng dào yì shēng jī tí

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ ya
Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ

Jīng guò duō shăo kùn nan
jīng lì duō shăo mó liàn
duō shăo xīn ér pàn wàng   
chūn tiān de xiāo xi

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ ya
Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ

The modernised version of the song did not bring me back to my childhood in Bukit Ho Swee kampong.

Great fond nostalgic memories to share with my pioneer generation Singaporean friends.

Related blog from Mothership.SG

Chinese New Year song Gong Xi Gong Xi was written in minor key to celebrate defeat of Japan in 1945

It was never intended to be a Chinese New Year song.

Please check out Mothership related blog here .

Related blog from Andy Young

Composed during the Sino/Japanese war.

It was written by a man who was imprisoned by the Japs for being patriotic.

Thanks to my heritage blogger friend Andy Young here .

Dec 3, 2017

National Library Board Mobile App

The National Reading Movement, which was launched in 2016, is a 5-year campaign by the National Library Board (NLB) to encourage Singapore residents to Read More, Read Widely and Read Together. It aims to encourage people to Read More by getting them to set aside some time to read regularly, Read Widely by going beyond the usual genres and read in mother tongue languages, and to Read Together with family and friends.

The Movement's key priorities are to reach out to new audience segments such as adults and seniors, promote reading in mother tongue languages and galvanise the community via collaborations – all with the aim to build a vibrant reading culture in Singapore.

The slogan, 'Reading for Life' is apt, at least for me.

Since I started to read as a child, I have not stopped reading books to educate, to gain knowledge, to learn useful stuff, to entertain, to improve myself from books.

As a "Friend of the Library" and volunteer of the National Library Board, I am pleased to be a member of the National Library since I was a child. Please watch the video clip of "On The Red Dot - National Library at Stamford Road here . Courtesy of MediaCorp Singapore.

The traditional way of reading books and other publications in printed forms has changed the lives of everyone.  The smartphone is a new "toy" not only to play but to live and work today.

With the advent of computer technology, Internet, wireless communication over the decades, we found that almost everyone, young or old, holds a smartphone while walking, while eating or drinking, even while in the toilet when the phone rings.

Users of smartphones for many purposes - simply to communicate as voice phone or as text messages in any language; use as a camera to share still photos or short videos, watch YouTube video.  More popular online media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Online games on the smartphone as a time-killer when bored, surf on Internet without the need of a desktop computer.  As a smart nation in Singapore, wifi is free and available everywhere.

Keeping up with the rapid development of wireless technology, the National Library Board has created the NLB Mobile App (Applications or software for use on smartphones).

I am pleased to attend the training session of NLB Mobile App on 2 December, 2017 at Bedok Public Library, Level 2 Learning Hub at 10:30 am.

What have I learnt from the 2-hour session, with thanks to Norlin Naim, my good friend of Singapore Memory Project?

The 3 apps I needed on my handphone are:

1.  NLB Mobile App

To use the NLB Mobile App, you must be a registered member of the National Library in Singapore.

The User Name and Password based on the records in the library.

The rules and regulations according to the National Library.  The personal information in the library is private, safe and secure to prevent from abuse of offenders.

Find an available title to borrow:

Browse your library’s featured collections on the homepage. Search for a specific title, author, series, or subject. Open the menu near the top-right of the homepage and browse by Subjects, Collections, or reading rooms (like Kids & Teens).

A toddler playing with an iPad in his pram.  Ebook for kids are available to read the eBook too.

When you find a title you're interested in, tap Borrow. Or, tap its cover image to learn more about it.

You can find borrowed titles on your Loans page. You need to download (or add) borrowed titles from your Loanspage to your app bookshelf before you can enjoy them.

You can get to your Loans page by tapping from the top of any page.

2.  Overdrive

The Overdrive app is used for the National Library eBooks.

Your OverDrive account syncs progress and bookmarks across all of your devices, but it does not yet sync your bookshelf. So after you borrow a title from your library, you'll need to go to your Loans page and add it to the OverDrive app.

For help and support, check out OverDrive Help for getting started guides, how-to articles, and more, or contact your library.

More info about Overdrive app here .

3.  PressReader

PressReader is on a mission to give you the best news.  It delivers an endless stream of top news stories right to your pocket.

It delivers the world's newspaers and magazines to millions of readers the way they want to receive them - in print, online, or on their mobile device, tablet or eReader - wherever they live, travel, work or play.

The National Library Board Ad on the MRT 


National Library Multimedia Stations at the libraries

Presently, Singaporeans and PRs aged 50 and above are able to enjoy their one hour of free internet by logging in with their myLibrary ID at the library.

For the convenience of those who are unable to visit the libraries physically or are wheelchair bound, may I suggest the National Library Board to offer the one hour of free internet from their NLB Mobile App. I hope this will enhance the features of the NLB Mobile App for the benefits of the senior members of the National Library if my humble suggestions would merit the respected considerations of the National Library Board.

Oct 10, 2017

Registration To Attend An Event - Smart Nation Way

The Singapore Univeriity of Technology and Design ar 8, Somapah Road, Singapore

Who says that the new computer technology stuff are not relevant as one grows older?

Pioneer generation friends and I found that we have to learn the "new thingy" to adapt the changes in computer and IT technology to survive as the conventional old ways are no longer done.

At the Changi Simei Grassroots Organisations Appointment Ceremony on Saturday, 7 October 2017 at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD),  I was informed that registration will be carried out via QR Code.  Please ensure you have QR Readers installed in your phones prior to registration.


What is QR Code and How Does It Work?   The information is found here .

This is the second time for me to register by QR Code.  I had the first experience at the Changi Airport T4 tour and the blog is posted here .  So I am now seasoned and no longer a 'newbie"  :)

Registration To Attend An Event - Smart Nation Way

Changi Simei Senior Citizens Executive Committee (SCEC)


Aug 28, 2017

Inter-Religious Places of Worship in Singapore

The Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple at Loyang Way, Singapopre

History of the Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple

The history of Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple (luo yang da bo gong) can be traced to the early 1980s when statues of Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu deities were found on the coast near Loyang Way. A modest hut was built on the beach to house and worship the deities. In 1996 a fire destroyed the hut and with generous donations by its devotees a new temple with brick walls and tiled roofs was bulit in 2000 at Loyang Way. In 2007 the temple moved to the current location, which is less than 2 km away from its previous site.

The former Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple facing the sea.

The new Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple at Loyang Way.






Sequence of praying at the Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple

Self-service praying items

There are also vending machines for the exchange of Singapore currency notes and coins for the convenience of the devotees.

Coins and currency notes exchange machines 

 Community service at the temple

The mobile medical service provided by SATA at the temple.

Different religions under one roof

The Taoist, Hindu deities and a Muslim 'kramat' (shrine) of different faiths worshipped together in one location.

Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple is one of the few temples in Singapore that has Hindu deities worshipped alongside Chinese deities, reflecting religious harmony in Singapore. Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple is one of the few temples that is opened 24 hours for prayer. [Source: Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple website here .]

Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple is one of the few temples in Singapore that has Hindu deities worshipped alongside Chinese deities, reflecting religious harmony in Singapore. A related blog "On a little street in Singapore for worshop" here .

The temple owes its existence to a group of friends, who on finding figurines of different religions abandoned on a beach, brought them together and housed them under a unique mixed-religion temple.


In the 1980s, a group of fishing buddies, including Paul Tan and Huang Zhong Ting, stumbled across statues of Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist deities strewn across the beach at the end of the Loyang industrial area. The friends built a small hut made of bricks and zinc sheets to house the figurines. This humble construction served as a makeshift temple. It also includes a kramat to honour a holy Muslim man.

Soon, scores of people, mainly those working in the Loyang industrial area, were visiting the temple. Miraculous powers were attributed to the temple as devotees claimed that their prayers for prosperity and wealth were never denied. Unfortunately in 1996, the hut was razed to the ground by a fire. The Taoist statue of Tua Pek Kong, the god of prosperity, was the only one that was not damaged by the fire. New premises to house the deities and the kramat had to be built. Through public donations that poured in, a new temple complex was built on a 1,400-square-metre area at the same site. The temple was named after Tua Pek Kong, the god whose statue had miraculously survived the fire.

Around 20,000 devotees visited the temple per month despite the fact that bus services were limited to week days and the nearest bus stop was half an hour’s walk away. 

One of the temple’s claims to fame was its two-metre-tall statue of the Hindu god Ganesha, said to be the tallest Ganesha statue in any temple in India or Singapore. 

Another attraction was the lighting of non-hazardous fire crackers on weekends.

In June 2003, the lease on the land on which the temple was situated expired. The temple authorities procured a new site nearby for the construction of a new complex. 

In August 2007, the temple re-located to its new premises at 20 Loyang Way. The new temple cost S$12 million to build and its construction was completely funded by public donations.

The temple holds yearly celebrations in conjunction with various festivals, such as a celebration to welcome the God of Wealth on the eve of the Chinese New Year. 

Animals are sometimes brought in to heighten the atmosphere. Other events include the celebration of the birth of the Hindu god, Lord Ganesha, on the 5th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.10 The two-metre-tall statue of Ganesha, which was moved over from the old temple, attracts Chinese devotees as well.

[Author: Naidu Ratnala Thulaja.  Courtesy of eResource, Infopedia of the National Library Board]. 

Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple consist of 3 wings with different architectural designs linked alongside each other.

While the Chinese deity Tua Pek Kong, the small centre wing contains a Datuk keramat shrine while the right wing with Hindu deities Ganesha and Dunga.

Da Bo Gong (Tua Pek Kong) 大伯公

The right wing of the temple for worship to the Hindu deities.

The Muslim 'kramat' where non-Muslim devotees pray.

There are clearly no physical boundaries within the Loyang Tua Pek Kong temple which allow devotees to cross freely  between one another with due respect and devotion.

Every Singaporean is entitled to freedom in Singapore, regardless of race, language or religion.  The multi-racial, multi-religion and multi-culture Singapore is an unique country in the world.  

Chinese devotees pray at the foot of Hindu deity Ganesha with flowers and lamps, while Indian devotees were seen carrying joss-sticks in front of Tua Pek Kong and the Datok keramat shrine.

Such are signs of cross-cultural, cross-religion interactions in a distinguished yet assimilating religions hybridized space for the peace and harmony of Singapore.

In November 1990, the Singapore parliament passed a 'Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act' with the aim of further enhancing religious harmony.  Under the provisions of the act, the Minister for Home Affairs may issue a restraining order against any leader, official or member of any religious group or institution who causes or attempt to cause ill feelings between the different religious groups.

The Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore (IRO) was founded in 1949. The date of registration is 18 March 1949. Since its humble beginnings, IRO has worked quietly to promote peace and religious harmony in Singapore.

With the passage of time IRO organized more activities in line with its objectives and participated in local and international forums to learn more about what is being done in the region to promote religious harmony. It networked with organizations like the World Council on Religion and Peace (WCRP) and the Asian Council on Religion and Peace (ACRP).

IRO also regularly conducted inter-faith prayers and blessings at launching ceremonies of public and private institutions. 

Increasingly, IRO became recognized as a force for good. It was invited by the Government to conduct prayers at the passing out parade of the Singapore Armed Forces and for the victims and their families when the SIA air crashes happened in Taiwan and Palembang.

Photo courtesy of the Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore

Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) Singapore promoting peace and religious harmony in Singapore.

Today, 10 major religions are represented in the IRO. IRO will build on the momentum already generated and continue to promote inter-religious peace and harmony in the next decade and in the years to come.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs Lee pay respect to the mosque, church, temples and shrine in multi-racial, multi-religious Singapore here .