Sunday, March 29, 2015

From Mr Lee Kuan Yew

“His journey, his physical manifestation may have ended, but I think his legacy will live on forever”: Bhutan King His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who was at Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s State Funeral Service today.
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Sunday, March 29, 2015

"It's not how you begin a journey, it's how you end it." —— This is advice from Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew to His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Bhutan.

“旅程的关键不在你如何开始,在你如何结束。” —— 这是建国总理李光耀,曾给不丹国王旺楚克的忠告。

Speaking to the Singapore Press Club in 1996, Mr Lee Kuan Yew said:

“Thirty years ago, my colleagues, younger and more dreamy eyed, settled the words of our pledge. We did not focus our minds on our navels or we would have missed the rainbow in the sky. We pursued that rainbow and that was how we came to build today’s Singapore.”

“For the young, let me tell you the sky has turned brighter. There’s a glorious rainbow that beckons those with the spirit of adventure. And there are rich findings at the end of the rainbow. To the young and to the not-so-old, I say, look at that horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it.

Not all will be rich, quite a few will find a grain of gold. Dig it up.”

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Awakening - LKY

Aranda Lee Kuan Yew - A Singapore Botanic Gardens orchid hybrid named in honour of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, 
former Prime Minister and Minister Mentor of Singapore. 

When most were on our way to work on a Monday morning, breaking news of the passing of Singapore's first prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew came. The media was quick to release old videos and speeches of our once vigorous prime minister, he canvassing for votes, debating on government policies, chiding and correcting us like little children. We recalled our fear for him. Laughing and sobbing at these old memories that came flooding back. Realizing, our founding father is now no more.

Like most Singaporeans, we are pragmatic, shy and acting cool. Nobody discuss our grieve openly, but you sense it in the unusual silence of the workplace and neighborhood. We carried on our day work; quietly planning around our schedule, so we could visit the laying in states when the Parliament House opens to public mourning on Wednesday.

The Parliament House, lighted up with people in queue, under tentage.

Many interviewed confessed their restlessness till respects have been paid at the Parliament House. I then realized, i'm not the only one. Clearly not. Multitude queued through hot day and dark night to enter the Parliament House. Public response was overwhelming.

Everyone grew anxious by now, discussing when was the best time to go down and how the office does not get affected. We had to defer our visit till Friday morning, just a day before the end of public mourning. It was sleepless in Singapore this week.

Arriving at 5am, Friday. We were taken aback by a bustling Central Business Distinct - hurrying pedestrians, heavy traffic and long car queue outside various car parks displaying the "Full" sign! No. It was not a scene of disorder and chaos. On the contrary, i was struck by an air of solemn. I have never seen a crowd this large, yet this quiet.

Hurrying pedestrians gave way to drivers who waved back with a smile. Patient drivers waited in line of the parking queue, nobody horned at anybody. Everyone is here for a common cause. I feel my eyes welling up. The stirring emotion of standing around here is beyond words.

Anyone who has been here, understand what I am talking about. We see a nation united; like never before. Living in an era of comfort and riches, our desire to stay together has never been this intense. We would have made Mr Lee very proud. If only he could see us.

Are Singaporeans muddled? They forgot the ISA detainees who were jailed and suffered? They are not aware of the history of Operation Coldstore? They enjoy living in high costs Singapore? What about free press? Human rights?

I would say Singaporeans are a fortunate lot who traveled widely. And books published by ex-ISA detainees are readily available on the internet. We would not have wished things to happen otherwise. Mr Lee Kuan Yew is a blessing to Singapore, to us. He did his best, given the circumstances. And his best is enough for us.

To you who are harping and complaining, what have you done for Singapore?

Thank you, Mr Lee.
For making us a nation of proud Singaporeans.

We know you didn't need all this sentimentality about your passing - all this overnight queuing at the Padang field to pay our last respects to you. You resisted the cult of personality too. We are getting back to work. We are reading up your books. And we will look after Singapore.

R.I.P Mr Lee.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Soup Spoon - too hungry for soup

 Velvety Mushroom Stroganoff  (regular, $7.30), Tokyo Chicken Stew (regular, $7)

Maybe it's my high expectation for The Soup Spoon; that despite my hunger, the soup doesn't seem to rouse the appetite nor satisfy it. I was simply scooping in the warm soup to fill the void in the stomach and trying to finish the meal.

The mushroom stroganoff had a better texture and taste than the chicken stew; and it being less salted than the stew.

For the same price we paid, i guess a bowl of dipping hot fish soup or double boiled herbal soup would serve better.

Main ingredients: Vegetable stock (water, root vegetables, herbs), button mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, cream, 
rice flour, onions, butter, red cooking wine, vegetable oil, herbs, salt, sugar and garlic.

Main ingredients: Chicken stock (water, chicken, root vegetables, herbs), marinated chicken leg, carrots, white radish, celery, shitake mushrooms, leek, lotus roots, onions, bamboo shoots, enoki mushrooms, mirin, sake, 
soya sauce (water, soya beans, wheat, salt), corn starch, sugar, ginger, salt, garlic and vegetable oil.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Saboten Treat

Saboten Signature Special ($28++), Tenderloin Katsu ($24++)

Planned a good dinner at Saboten Changi Airport to reward the man for work. The thought of getting away from the city crowd, and imagining we were boarding a plane to somewhere, elevated that sense of liberty. To reach the safe haven, we braved the unexpected island-wide torrential rain.

Good things are worth the effort surely.

As much as we were assured of enjoying their signature Tenderloin Katsu, i couldn't get pass their oleaginous salmon fillet and large shrimp. Thus a Saboten Signature Special set to share seems befitting.

(A phone call interrupted our dinner, leaving it cold - the company might just land itself a renewal of contract. That kept the tired man, happy. And possibly a good night sleep :)

Saboten Signature Special - breaded Salmon, breaded shrimp, a half-size loin and a crab cream croquette

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Srisun Express - If not here, where else?

Mee Goreng ($4+)

Roti Prata, plain x2 ($1+ per piece)

Location is kind of perfect at Srisun Express, a quiet and windy corner just off busy Hougang-Kovan central. A place that you enjoy your kopi session with a prata, watching the slow turning traffic.

Still, they don't serve the best goreng around. And almost nothing for the less oil and lighter palate. The prata is quite enjoyable though, being lightly fluffy and happily stretchy. We however wished they improve their less-spicy and powdery-tasting curry sauce that was served together.

If not here, there's other place else.

Nasi Goreng ($4, takeaway) 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Yogurt Diet - It Works!

Yoplait low fat yogurt, 1kg ($7.85)

Objective - Rest the digestive system, feeding it with good bacteria and improve bowel movement. Weight-loss that comes with this exercise is an added bonus!

Returning to work in a new office; the initial rush and anxieties are putting a strain on my digestive system again - the embarrassing Constipation, you called it.

Chinese medical program Xdoctor, 《我是大医生》 by China Beijing BTV Channel, gave the idea to start this 2 days Yogurt diet. If you are really determined, repeat the diet of Day 2 for Day 3. Hosted by real doctors, the informative program is available on tv.Sohu website.


Day 1 Menu - 1 bowl yogurt, with 1 banana (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

On a non-working day, my ordeal began. Quite amazingly, i don't feel hungry, just a tad weaker than normal. Does my morning Qigong and Taiji exercises, full laundry, light gardening and cross-stitches craft. In between meal time, drink some water shall you feels hungry. After my 2nd cup of yogurt for lunch, i began to fart frequently and foul-smellingly; which are evident that the good bacteria are fighting against the many bad bacteria in my system! If you've got a balanced digestive system, this wouldn't happen. So i advise you stay home for the day.

Total intake today is 1kg of yogurt and 3 raw bananas. I rested early for the night, no hunger pangs, feeling just right and light, with a flattened tummy!


Day 2 Menu - 1 bowl yogurt, with 1 banana (breakfast), 1 bowl of rice and vegetable salad (lunch), high-fiber mains and vegetables (dinner)

After my morning exercises and breakfast, my bowel starts moving (and spontaneously for the rest of the week!). The gases in the tummy are less and they don't smell so badly anymore. Therefore, after breakfast i could go out with friends! And that's when i noticed my easily satisfied appetite, both today and the many days that follow! I am eating less, effortlessly!


You are advised to perform the yogurt diet once a month, or more frequently on alternate weeks. But feeling so bright and freshen up with an emptied bowel, i'm going to do it again this weekend! This is so much safer and healthier than any starving diet or expensive detox juice!

You've got to try this, ok!