Tuesday, November 30, 2004

tea with President

Well, a tea session with the President. Much more fun than I thought it would be.. Let's see, two of the more meaningful incidents..

Firstly, a short dialogue (not really verbatim) between him and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan that went something like this:
President: "One day you'll have a female president or prime minister. (pause). The spouse will be male."
Dr Vivian: "Hope so!"

Eh.. that was just funny. more meaningful was his reply when asked by one person "Who was your role model in your youth?" and when asked by another "What were your dreams?"

His reply? "I had no dreams, no role model. I was living hand to mouth. We were not afforded the luxury of dreaming." He went on to say, "Even now, in schools and in workplaces, you see these people, preoccupied with tomorrow. But things come. You have opportunities, or people lift you up."

To me, that seems to say, that we should not be thinking about trying to encourage people to dream. Uplift them and naturally, they will dream? This is still a thought-in-progress.. Cos many people don't dream, even when they don't live hand-to-mouth... It's more like how people live day-to-day, not considering the journey, but looking down at each brick in the yellow brick road.

Funniest thing was when the forum organiser (names shall not be named to protect the not-so-innocent) ended with a closing summary and misquoted the President... Trying to bring his comments in line with NYC's "Dare to Dream" slogan, he said that the President had said that in those days they didn't have dreams, but times are different now.."

What happens when reality meets a slogan?

e-accountability? bollocks!

wired news article about e-accountability for government

A feel good article about, oh, how the internet allows the public to keep track of government and keep them to the straight and narrow. But it's not really the case! If an issue ges raised, its inevitably because of an interest group which has that vested interest in seeing an issue blown up, brought to the public, packagaed in a manner calculated to overcome public apathy. In the end, it's not about the public as a whole doing anything, it's about concerned inividuals who are willing to sacrifice some time and energy to promote their individual causes. These causes may be self-serving, or they may serve the community, but they are causes nevertheless.

Mail conspiracy?

I'm now at key's place, and just discovered that her whole house is unable to access yahoo mail, unable to reply on gmail, unable to access blogger... The suspect? The recently (yesterday?) installed Windows Service Pack 2. I mean, Hotmail works fine.. Seems like a standard Microsoft tactic, right? I always thought Google's "Don't be evil" alluded to someone else.

Anyway, finally managed to access, using a combination of switching off various XP SP2 default "protections" and installing Firefox as browser. Until now, IE still doesn't access blogger. Anyone else facing similar problems?

Anyway, if your yahoo mail is down after windows xp service pack 2 (sp2), try installing firefox and reading through internet options, and maybe turn off the xp firewall and rely on your own firewall.

On a side note, discovered an interesting website that just talks about yahoo stuff. Was searching for any news of a down, but noone seems to have realised anything.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

well obviously the date is wrong. 2004, Nov 21, actually. But that's group Nehru!

UN World Youth Forum reference


Note... the aim was stated as follows:

"The World Youth Forum, which was hosted by the Government of Senegal, had as its central purpose the empowerment of youth to participate more effectively in every aspect of society. "

Report says,

The special annex eloquently states that the responsibility lies not only with Governments and civil society, but with youth themselves in taking action to fight the epidemic”, stated Mr. Charumbira.


The Forum’s recommendations cover youth concerns in the ten areas addressed by working groups, namely education and information and communications technology, employment, health and population, hunger poverty and debt, environment and human settlements, social integration, culture and peace, youth policy, participation and rights, young women and girls, and youth, sports and leisure-time activities. The meeting’s recommendations were regarded by observers from United Nations agencies, bodies and organizations as reflecting the vision of youth empowerment as seen by young people and as demonstrating their desire to participate in shaping policy on youth matters.

So what does this mean?
Forum = medium of open discussion of ideas (Dictionary)
My hope = discussion leads to action!
Areas = youth concerns over various aspects of our country
Purpose = empowering youth to participate more effectively


National Youth Forum Phase II is just over, a 2 day course at National Community Leadership Institute. Good and bad points, now...

So far, most of the people are getting along well. Consider that we were interviewed and picked from a pool of youth who applied for the program, it's understandable that the level of energy, enthusiasm and commitment is high.

there are no slackers. but then, I'm concerned, because the end products don't seem very appealing. I had thought that we would be formulating policy, but now we're doing debates. Debates on policy issues, yes, but debates on ideas not actions. So, "This House believes Singaporeans rely too much on government social welfare provisions" or "This house will welcome foreign talent with open arms".. seems like a diversion of energy to me.

And community projects.. this is something that has me worried, but is WITHIN my circle of influence...will we be doing one-offs? or building something of permanence, that will continue to work for good within our community? What direction will it take? Is it community service in welfare? Or promoting awareness in youth? Macro? Micro? And something no-one is thinking about. The pace is just too urgent for us to consider where we are going. The organisers say, think about debate now, so we think about that, and forget everything else..

Sunday, November 21, 2004


i've been at Outward Bound for the weekend... for the National Youth Forum. Haven't been separated from my phone for such a long time since Hong Kong! anyway, quite fun, met a lot of interesting people.. But now I'm so tired I wish I could die... and I stil have to book in later. sigh...

Anyway... Jon, Irwan, Eric, Alex, Penelope, Josephine, Imran, Larissa, Coral, Jefferson, Karima, Ling, Aisya.. Thanks for a great weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Prof Ong as Nominated MP!

Wow.. read today's newspaper, turns out one of the new NMPs is Prof Ong Soh Khim, she was my project supervisor back in NUS year 3. Can't say that I saw her as the type, but my memory was of a very sweet lady who was very happy to share about her own exchange programme experiences.. Good natured, knowledgable, and caring.. So I'm glad she's representing Singaporeans out there too!

Basketball is better than filming!

So says Shawn Lee, teen star of the hit Singaporean movie, Home Run...

He prefers playing basketball to filming! That's my kind of man!!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Holiday soon

Well, the holidays are coming soon! hahaha... long weekend this week, should be quite shiok! Heading up to frasier's hill for a short break.

I bumped into dallas at aljunied today. Turns out he was waiting for his wife.. surprised? I was! Especially when she turned out to be a Russian lady.. :>