Hi everyone. It’s good to be back. No matter how busy my schedule gets, I always make it a point to submit my weekly article. But last week was a different story. I had flu that wouldn’t go away. I was too dizzy and weak to write anything. I was also reserving my energy so I could get well for meetings already set for the week, a morning wedding where I was a godmother, and the speaking engagement for the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival (PRWF) at the Raffles Hotel on Aug. 10, 2018. Unfortunately, as you get older, recovery gets harder. I missed the wedding, and I had to reschedule the meeting. Fortunately, I was able to make it to the PRWF engagement, thanks to my sons who were such big help. Saved by the boys As I look back at how Friday afternoon unfolded, I could not help but feel so blessed to be able to count on my sons to help me out. To hold your audience for one and a half hours when you just recovered from fever that same morning is not an easy task. … [Read more...] about Can you count on your kids to the rescue?
The raffles conversation
SINGAPORE: The sun was blazing down on Camp Christine, where schoolgirls were using sticks and twine to make racks for their bags, shoes and for drying their towels.In one corner of the grounds, one group in pink were laughing, waving to the Boy Scouts at the campsite next door, and chatting about their most recent camping trip to Switzerland."We kept getting scolded," Yvette Cheak said, gesturing at Anna Tham next to her. "We had such a good time.""We were the clowns," Petrina Giam chimed in. "We brought the house down."Their laughter echoed through the grounds. Their conversation, filled with a yearning for adventure – their next camping trip is to Melbourne – sounded typical of young women. But, in fact, these lively ladies were approaching their 70s and into their 80s.They have known each other for more than 50 years, and their friendship has remained the same, even now as proud grandmothers.They are former Girl Guides who belong to the Trefoil Guild, the adult branch … [Read more...] about A sisterhood among friends for over 50 years, and the Guiding legacy they’re passing on
SINGAPORE: For years, policymakers in Singapore have been focusing on ways to narrow the income gap, as countries around the world seek to mitigate the side effects of globalisation.Social inequality has become a buzz phrase among national discussions, and the issue remains a work in progress.Of late, however, a new phrase has entered the government's lexicon: Social stratification.It refers to an institutionalised system of social inequality — a dire situation that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned about in February, but one which is starting to take root and risks becoming entrenched, as several Cabinet Ministers and other Members of Parliament (MPs) highlighted during the five-day debate on the President's Address earlier this month."The issues of mitigating income inequality, ensuring social mobility and enhancing social integration are critical," PM Lee had said in a written parliamentary reply. "If we fail – if widening income inequalities result in a rigid and … [Read more...] about The Big Read: Social stratification — a poison seeping into Singapore’s housing estates and schools
SINGAPORE – Hawker heritage, pilgrimages to Kusu Island and Malay weddings are among 50 items that feature in Singapore’s first intangible cultural heritage inventory. Comprising traditions, rituals, crafts, expressions, knowledge and skills, it was released by the National Heritage Board (NHB) on Saturday (April 7). It is hoped its publication will start a conversation about what the Republic’s nomination should be for its first attempt at making Unesco’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Malaysia’s Mak Yong theatre from the villages of Kelantan, Belgium’s beer culture and Italy’s Neapolitan art of pizza twirling already feature on the almost 400-strong Unesco list which sets out to demonstrate the diversity of world heritage. Singapore’s bid, which comes after the Botanic Gardens was inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2015, is aimed at raising the profile of the country’s rich … [Read more...] about Pilgrimage to Kusu Island, Malay weddings, hawker culture among the first 50 items identified for Unesco listing
Singapore has to ensure its top government leaders - whether political leaders, civil servants or Members of Parliament - come from a wide range of sectors, with different expertise, outlooks in life and views about Singapore's future. "And I think if we have not done well enough, then we need to try harder," said Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung yesterday. He added that this has to be the direction going forward, as diversity will help Singapore in the long term. Mr Ong was responding to a question from a participant during a youth forum on the theme "Thriving in a disruptive world". She had observed that Singapore's top graduates tend to come from similar backgrounds - which she said can lead to the same views, and asked what could be done. Mr Ong suggested that she may have been referring to the very top level of government, and was asking whether they are all from the same mould. "We do our best," he said, in reference to the Government's efforts to … [Read more...] about Singapore needs to have diversity at the top: Ong Ye Kung