This is a tsunami never seen before. All governments are busy bailing companies, priming local economy, keeping and finding new jobs. A friend who works for RBS tells me she is now a civil servant after UK govt nationalized the bank owning 70%. Now they are getting a smart civil servant on a meagre salary to regulate. It’s like getting a sheep dog to herd wolves. Latter set aside close to 2 bil pounds for purpose of bonus from 20 bil pounds of taxpayers’ money.
In the Middle East, I am told many projects are on hold. Expatriates would leave the country by driving to the airport and simply leaving their cars behind. There are no buyers! On the home front, we are not exempted. We just have to hold tight, ride it out. Thankfully, we don’t have added elements of snow in London, flood in Queensland, fire in Victoria and earthquake in Sumatra.
Our HPA AGM is scheduled for 10Mar09 Tue from 6.30pm onwards. As is our tradition, members get to attend meeting and dinner for free. Registration is required. Please register with our Secretariat at email@example.com In the event that you cannot attend AFTER registration, we ask that you inform our Secretariat 48 hrs before hand.
To encourage existing members to co-opt new members, we are offering a 1 time gift during the AGM. Bring along an ex-HPite who wishes to join HPA and both of you will be entitled to a CD each. Each member is entitled to a maximum of 2 CDs. As we have limited copies, CDs may be substituted by something else on a while-stock-lasts basis! Hope you understand.
In Apr09, we are planning a field trip to Pulau Ubin. Experience Ubin’s wonderful nature through your different senses along the Sensory Trail. The walk is easy-going and takes about 1.5 hours to complete. This is an excellent introduction to the rustic and natural character of the island. You will be able to touch, see or smell fruit trees, spices and herbs for cooking, plants used in traditional medicine and native plants of the mangrove forest.
After the walk, we detour to one of the scenic view point at Pekan Quarry. On the way, you will be shown one of the hornbill’s nesting sites. No refund for no show. This is no Jurong bird park!
A boy in every man
A friend commented that wash rooms in T3, Changi are immaculately clean. He attributed this to the ‘fly design’ in which there is an imprint of a fly carefully positioned within urinal. His theory is that upon seeing the fly, any man would take careful aim, fire a sustained shot and therefore not dribble all over the floor!
I was on transit in Moscow recently and their version is more enticing. The urinal within is ‘butt shaped’ with a ‘fly’ on the bum!
As we age, we lost muscle mass, strength and flexibility. This leads to loss of mobility and independence. Regular aerobics, strength (load bearing) training and stretching exercises, especially if started early, can delay or prevent physical abilities into your 90s and above.
Evidence shows that exercise becomes more important in terms of quality of life, independence and mobility. The key is to start slowly, build gradually as ability and strength improve. If you don’t work, stress and push those muscles as you grow older, these will atrophy.
“I can’t exercise because I don’t have time” is a favourite excuse. With some planning, you can make time for fitness. Most people have more free time than they realize. Remember; exercise is more important for your health than most anything else in your day.
Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness Edward Stanley
Should conscription be extended to girls?
Over the CNY, I decided to conduct an informal straw poll. Every parent (especially men) I spoke us thought it is a good idea to send our girls to some form of conscription, perhaps for a shorter duration. Their arguments are quite persuasive. One man suggested we emulate Israel’s model by extending our men citizen army to include women. That way, they may develop a deeper
meaning of ‘rootedness’ and an appreciation of the ‘fragility’ of peace especially when we are a puny nation.
Another said today’s girls enjoy a higher standard of living, well-travelled and in an YouTube age, the world is their oyster; they are comfortable to call any part of the developed world home. Anchors of bonding, mostly in schools, may not be sufficiently broad based. With same mindshare, they land up progressing from same kindergarten to junior college.
For the boys, at least NS offers a mixed bag of ‘Hokkien peng’, Ah Beng, poly graduates and the nerdy making nation bonding achievable. Today, each boy treats NS as the rite of passage to manhood serving 2 to 2.5 years.
Another man complained bitterly about how sloppy our girls are when it comes to housekeeping, no thanks to those with domestic help. When we are poor, we all huddle in 1 common room and housekeeping is necessary. Everyone chipped in. Nowadays, girls get priority in getting their own rooms. In his opinion, they then become more ‘self centred and selfish’. At the slightest tremor, they take flight.
I voted yes too. They can be deployed to manage more of home land security and free up the boys to more front line duties. We are already shorthanded. In the unlikely event of combat, they should never serve front line duties but drawn back to provide valuable support functions.
NS was introduced in Mar67, well over 40 years. It is an accepted practice and well grooved into the psyche of us all. Maybe it’s time to re-examine.
About National Service in Singapore http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_692_2005-02-01.html
Note: I don’t profess to know details of Israel’s implementation for woman conscription.