• Mr M, 47, was a former senior sales and marketing manager at an electronics MNC for nine years before he was retrenched in 2009. Married with a wife and twin teenage sons, he tried his hand at being a financial advisor for a year before deciding to become a taxi driver. He has been running his taxi service since 2011. He survived a heart-attack in late 2012 and now has four stents in his heart. His philosophy on life is now to live well, stay healthy and to share his real-life experiences. In his latest post on Taxi Talk, he shares the plight of PMETs (Professional, Managers, Executives & Technicians) who suffered job losses but picked themselves up and made good in life.

    #1 : Engineer turned Principal

    Recently, I attended my kids’ Speech Day. I was very impressed with the guest-of-honour, who was their ex-teacher, so humble and well regarded by his former colleagues and friends. He is Mr Tan, aged about 45 years old, now the principal of a neighbourhood school in the North. He was an

    Read More »from Six Singaporeans who’ve bounced back from the pain of retrenchment
  • Mr M, 47, was a former senior sales and marketing manager at an electronics MNC for nine years before he was retrenched in 2009. Married with a wife and twin teenage sons, he tried his hand at being a financial advisor for a year before deciding to become a taxi driver. He has been running his taxi service since 2011. He survived a heart-attack in late 2012 and now has four stents in his heart. His philosophy on life is now to live well, stay healthy and to share his real-life experiences. In his latest post on Taxi Talk, he shares the plight of PMETs (Professional, Managers, Executives & Technicians) who suffered job losses but picked themselves up and made good in life.

    #1 : Engineer turned Principal

    Recently, I attended my kids’ Speech Day. I was very impressed with the guest-of-honour, who was their ex-teacher, so humble and well regarded by his former colleagues and friends. He is Mr Tan, aged about 45 years old, now the principal of a neighbourhood school in the North. He was an

    Read More »from 6 tales of PMETs who suffered setbacks and bounced back
  • COMMENT

    Not since Singapore's independence have there been so many parties interested in Labour Day. Traditionally a celebration for the NTUC, the rest of us use Labour Day as another chance to do a long weekend. Unless you're a shopping mall, there has been little impetus for any organisation to actively pull crowds together.

    This year, on the 1st of May 2013, we are saw three very interesting events. The morning started off with the Stand Up for Singapore picnic at Hong Lim Park, where cupcakes were raised in solidarity. Concurrently, at Down Town East, it was more pomp and ceremony. The Secretary General of the NTUC together with the Prime Minister belted out their May Day messages, calling for a stronger Singaporean core and laying out their plans for the pursuit of happiness. The evening saw ex-NSP candidate Gilbert Goh's sequel protest to a government population paper.

    Goh hailed his event as "Singapore First Labour Day Protest" (sic) and intended it as a part two of the last

    Read More »from COMMENT: A tale of two May Day events in Singapore
  • COMMENT

    After the first protests against the population White Paper on 16 February at Speakers’ Corner, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said that he was “happy that Speakers' Corner is serving its purpose.”

    However, he added, "Cannot say that I think much of [the] speakers' rhetoric. Too political, too one-sided, appealing to emotions only and not shedding light on important issues."

    Although some 5,000 people had turned up that day to register their unhappiness over the government’s 6.9 million population figure for 2030, there was hardly any reaction – besides Goh’s – from government ministers over the event itself.

    Two and a half months after that first event, an even larger crowd descended on Hong Lim Park on Labour Day to support what organisers called the sequel protest against the White Paper.

    “I think we want people to know that we are not here just once,” said Gilbert Goh, the man behind both protests, “but we will be here for a long time.” He promised to hold such an

    Read More »from Hong Lim Park protests: What’s wrong with being emotional?
  • Have you ever wanted to have the body of your favorite actress/actor, model or athlete? That's not a bad thing, and looking like actress A or sportsman B is quite a common "request" that we get during our initial consultations at Genesis Gym.

    However, we need to know what we are wishing for! Here are some reasons that may not be the best idea.

    Reason 1: We are looking for the fake version of the person

    In case you didn't know, photoshop and make-up are pretty magical. So we need to be aware of what the real person actually looks like. Here are some examples of this.

    Miss Korea Contestants. Mostly attractive ladies, but quite normal without makeup.

    Bodybuilders on stage (a few days a year) vs the rest of the time. That is the nature of the sport at the professional level, but that's just not the look most guys are going for. And we want to look great all year round!

    So we need to understand that for most of us, we need a long term, sustainable goal, not an ideal that is manipulated, or only

    Read More »from What we shouldn’t learn from models, actresses and pro athletes
  • Leslie Chew a Singaporean cartoonist was arrested last week. (Screengrab from Facebook)

    COMMENT

    In order for Singaporean society to deal with race, religion and other sensitive issues in a mature way, they have to be discussed and debated publicly, not suppressed. Singapore needs to learn to talk honestly about race.

    In that light, the most disturbing thing about the arrest last week of Leslie Chew, a Singaporean cartoonist, is that he appears to have been targeted for asking, through his cartoons, a very pertinent question: is there institutionalised discrimination against Malays in Singapore?

    This is not a new assertion, yet it rarely gets the proper treatment it merits. Those who believe that Singapore has succeeded in building some multiethnic utopia might balk at the suggestion. And yet there is plenty of fodder to support it.

    Consider the views of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister, on genetic determinism. In a meeting at the University of Singapore on 27 December 1967, Chandra Muzaffar, a Malaysian political scientist, recalls Lee Kuan Yew sharing this

    Read More »from COMMENT: Cartoonist’s arrest stems honest discussion about race in Singapore
  • We know dogs are incredibly loyal. One lay at the foot of Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's coffin during his funeral and a German Shepherd attended mass every day for months at the church where his owner's funeral was held.

    Now we are seeing a video showing a service dog named Wiley "crying" at the grave of his handler's grandmother.

    [ More Daily Buzz: B.C. teen caught speeding in parents' Cadillac, wanted to meet girl ]

    While dogs can get emotional for a number of reasons including the loss of a loved one, it's hard to imagine a dog crying. The video has received more than 130,000 views and YouTube after it was uploaded by user sarahvarley13 and reaction varies.

    "This is why I love dogs more than humans, dogs are loyal and will never back-stab you," writes one commenter on YouTube.

    "So sad...I hugged my dog something like 50 times after I watched this video," write another. Many of the more than 200 comments extol the dog's loyalty. But not everyone sees it that way.

    "Looks like an allergic

    Read More »from Wiley the dog weeps at owner’s grave, but is it actually crying?
  • During a medical emergency, always make a quick assessment of the situation first. (Thinkstock photo)During a medical emergency, always make a quick assessment of the situation first. (Thinkstock photo)

    The A&E (Accident and Emergency) departments of public hospitals have been seeing a continuous rise in the number of patients for the past five years – going up by approximately 5.4 percentage or an additional 36,000 visits per annum.

    However, the main cause for this increase isn’t a rise in the number of actual emergency cases in Singapore.

    On the contrary, based on recent studies conducted at public hospitals including Singapore General Hospital (SGH), more than half of the cases that the A&E sees are for non-emergencies or what hospitals classify as P3 (Priority 3) cases.

    Hence, if you require medical attention, before you head straight for the nearest emergency department, quickly assess the situation and see if it warrants emergency treatment.

    “Doing this simple initial step can help save lives as it frees up A&Es of non-emergency cases. Plus, if you have a non-emergency condition and visit a GP instead, you’ll probably get treated sooner,” says Dr Jeremy Wee, Consultant,

    Read More »from Cuts, fever and headaches: When to go to the A&E
  • This is the worst I’ve been laughed at in recent memory.

    Last year, I was having lunch with four friends a couple of days after news had broken that a prominent man in his 40s had decided to step down from his position for “personal reasons”.

    At lunch, my four friends discussed possible reasons for his departure.

    “There must have been some kind of corruption going on!” said one of them.

    “He must have been having an affair,” said another.

    “Maybe he stole money,” suggested yet another.

    I’m an optimistic guy, so I was troubled by all of this cynical talk. Surely there must be another explanation, I thought.

    Do all dreams die by the time you’re 40 years old?

    Innocently, I asked: “What if he quit so he could pursue his dreams?”

    After all, as a successful man in his 40s, he was probably doing well financially. Maybe he’d decided that it was finally time to do what he was most passionate about.

    That’s when the ridicule began.

    My friends’ response was both simultaneous and unanimous: “Come on,

    Read More »from Let’s not crush young Singaporean dreams
  • Nizam Ismail (right) was one of the speakers at the Workers' Party Youthquake Seminar (Yahoo! photo)Nizam Ismail (right) was one of the speakers at the Workers' Party Youthquake Seminar (Yahoo! photo)

    A Muslim civil society leader in Singapore resigned from his posts in two charitable organisations on Monday after allegedly receiving government pressure to curb his critical views.

    In a post on his personal blog Wednesday, Nizam Ismail explained why he decided to quit as board director of the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) and chairman of the Centre for Research on Islamic and Malay Affairs (RIMA) effective earlier that Monday.

    Nizam said that AMP chairman Azmoon Ahmad called him on Saturday to say that he received separate phone calls from two government ministers expressing concern over Nizam's participation as a speaker at next week’s May Day protest at Hong Lim Park.

    The protest, organised by Gilbert Goh of transitioning,org, is to be a follow-up to an earlier protest criticising the Singapore government’s top range projection of a 6.9 million population by 2030.

    The ministers were also said to be concerned about Nizam's participation as a panelist at a Youth Wing

    Read More »from Singapore protest speaker resigns from posts after alleged govt pressure

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