Never Miss a Good Deal!

So apparently in Aug 1949, there was a World Festival of Youth in Budapest where the Soviets used the Hungarians as hosts for this communist organised rally. The International Students Union in Britain invited groups in Britain to participate. Some Malayan and Singaporean students including Goh Keng Swee, Dennis Lee ( LKY’s brother) and Maurice Baker went because it was the chance for a cheap holiday (they only needed to pay for the cost of a return rail fare). 
They were somehow tricked into varying a banner which said, “Malaya fights for freedom”, and as a result, British Intelligence sent their names to the Special Branch in case they became troublemakers after returning home. 
I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read this in LKY’s memoirs. Going for something because it’s a chance for a cheap hol! Hahaha. That’s SO SINGAPOREAN! ROFL!

Ignorance Knows No Bounds

I had a very disturbing conversation with a young colleague this evening…

Colleague: OMG! I was going to vote for the PAP but looks like I’m going to have to change my vote! I just read this HUGE EXPOSÉ online! DID YOU KNOW that Lee Hsien Loong is the Chairman of GIC? And our Deputy PMs, Tharman and Teo Chee Hean are also on the board? 

Me: *Stunned* What’s the big deal? It’s on the GIC website what.

Colleague: Even then! That’s terrible! There should be separation of State and this kind of GLC! 

Me: *Lagi stunned* Do you know what the GIC does? It invests our foreign reserves leh! If Singapore’s PM doesn’t head it… Then who u want to head it?

The conversation died after that. 


Competition is part and parcel of a broker’s life. As the class of insurance I do is largely non-renewable, it has been ingrained in me that I am only as good as my last deal.

I recently had the opportunity to submit our value proposition and meet up with prospects to explain why they should switch brokers and use us instead of their incumbent brokers. The conclusion I got is that my company’s credentials, my background and all the marketing spiel in the world doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, what clients want to know is how you’re going to solve their problems.

And this is something I often tell my younger colleagues too – it’s no point highlighting problems to a client if you don’t produce a solution for it.

While showering tonight, I came to the conclusion that this is my expectations of the political candidates clamouring for my vote. I already know what the problems are. So please give me some practical and credible solutions. Don’t tell me things like you want to be voted in as a “check and balance” on the incumbent – I have never seen a deal won this way, and a general election isn’t all that different from a RFP.


From the book, From Third World to First, this is what LKY of his first visit to China in May 1976:

“They had officials in their team who spoke every language and dialect we did. Whether we spoke Hokkien, Malay or English, they had officials who had lived in Southeast Asia, or had served in Indonesia for many years, and spoke Malay, Bahasa Indonesia or Hokkien like natives, and could eavesdrop and understand us. So we could not switch language to cut them out.”

That’s why Singlish  is so important. Hahaha!

Lord and Saviour

The speaker said in church yesterday that Christians sometimes make the mistake by thinking of Christ only as our Saviour, and not as Lord.

Very true, very true.

Meetings and the Weather

Heavy rain is a true test of how I view the importance of a meeting. If it’s important, I’ll get up 10-15 min earlier to accommodate any travel delays due to the train. If it’s not, I sleep 10-15 min more in hope that the rain will lighten. Hahaha!

Tobias and Tris


We adopted 2 bunnies last week. Tobias was rescued from s breeder and came home with us on 17 Jun 2015. Tris was found abandoned near a dog shelter and came home with us on 18 Jun. Both bunnies spent the weekend at Little Bobtail Resort as we were at church camp.

Mon, 22 Jun, was the first day the bunnies truly came home with us. T & T seem to be in a love/ hate relationship. They were living peacefully most of Mon night and Tue but suddenly fought twice late into Tue night.

Today, things seemed to have improved as I saw both bunnies taking turns to groom each other. However, we are not sure what triggered it but they got into a scuffle close to midnight.

We had to put them both into the carrier as a punishment and it sort of worked though Tris was a lot more scared than Tobias.

It’s just after 3am now and the bunnies have made up. Saw mutual grooming again. I suspect Tobias is somebun who needs a lot of space so I removed this lotus grass slipper house from their playpen and I saw Tobias binky for the first time. What a delightful sight!

I’m going to bed now. Certainly hope their relationship will stabilise!

A Quick End

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now but wasn’t sure how much detail to include.

Pinky passed away on Tue, 28 Apr 2015. He seemed to have fully recovered from GI Stasis and only had some remnant snuffles. In fact, his appetite had improved to the extent that he was eating even more than before he came down with snuffles.

However, one week before his death, Pinky suddenly started rejecting food again. We boarded him at Little Bobtail Resort so that he could be force fed but it was a real struggle.


On Friday, 24 Apr, he had to be put on 24h oxygen to aid his breathing. An x-ray showed that there was fluid surrounding his lung cavity which was preventing his lungs from expanding fully, causing the breathing problems. A chest tap was this done about noon on 27 Apr to draw out the fluid.


Tests showed that the fluid had a high percentage of white blood cells as well as some red blood cells. The vet thus believed that he had a tumour that was bleeding into the lung cavity. As Pinky was too weak, we couldn’t do an ultrasound to see where the tumour was located. The only hope was to get his body stronger and to do follow up treatment after that. Sadly, on 27 Apr evening, the fluid had filled his lung cavity again and Pinky had to be put on 24h oxygen to aid his breathing again.

Pinky left us around 6am plus on 28 Apr. My dad and I were devastated but I was relieved that he didn’t suffer for too long.

We still miss Pinky and as Jennifer from Little Bobtail said, he as a very special bunny.

Pinky was with us physically for 9 years, 3 months and 10 days. But he’ll remain in our hearts forever.

Infamous Amos

I remember some years back, a friend of mine said her daughter used markers and scribbled on the walls of their flat. Her conclusion was, “thank goodness for water soluble markers”.

I don’t think the child was punished and I was quite disturbed by what she said. How would the child learn that every action has its consequences?

Back to the infamous Amos Yee. I haven’t seen the allegedly offensive YouTube video but if it was offensive enough for 20 police reports to be lodged, then he needs to face the music. Let the due process of law take place and if he’s guilty, and let him suffer the necessary punishment.

Anyway, he’s a minor so hopefully he learns from this episode and this doesn’t escalate to something more serious in future.

The “Mexicans”

I always thought it was natural for Singapore to approach Israel for help in setting up our army after we were thrust into independence, because of the geographical and political similarities between Israel and us.

What I didn’t know was that as far back as 1962, Mordecai Kidron, Israel’s ambassador in Bangkok, wrote to Lee Kuan Yew about the setting up of an Israeli consulate in Singapore. Kidron assured LKY that Tunku Abdul Rahman had agreed.

LKY’s initial reply was that if Tunku had indeed agreed, then there should be no issues setting it up after Malaysia was formed.

As LKY expected, Tunku didn’t agree to this after Malaysia was formed.

When Singapore was expelled from Malaysia, Goh Keng Swee contacted Kidron for help in setting up an army and Kidron flew in from Bangkok a few days after 9 Aug 1965.

LKY listened to Kidron’s proposal on military training but didn’t accept immediately due to the political and religious sensitivities it would cause.
LKY then wrote to Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s then prime minister and Nasser, Egypt’s then president seeking a naval advisor and a military advisor respectively.

Both extended best wishes to Singapore as a newly founded country but ignored the request for help. I guess no one wanted to bet on this horse.

Singapore thus proceeded with the Israelis but in order not to offend any Muslim sentiments, Singapore called the Israelis, “Mexicans”. In LKY’s words, “they looked swarthy enough”. ROFL

Israel continued to press Singapore to allow it to set up an embassy in Singapore but Singapore rejected for fear of angering the Malay Muslims in Singapore and Malaysia. There were concerns that Israel would withdraw their assistance but Tel Aviv sent a message stating that they understood Singapore’s position and it was not till 1969 that the Israeli embassy was allowed to be set up in Singapore.

A friend in need is a friend indeed!

November 2015
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