[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Saturday, June 07, 2008

[Organically on Facebook]
I seldom do two posts in a day but this time, it's history in the making yet again.

Obama has it. So does Wen Jiabao. Very soon, our very own Foreign Affairs Minister would join the ranks of these politicians on Facebook. Yes, you heard it loud and clear.

I am not sure how well received this would be but it is worth trying. Anyway, technology moves at such a fast pace such that if it is not harnessed, one may end up lagging behind.

This idea has not been one that was crafted overnight. In fact, even before the mainsteam media had reported about the Facebook profiles of famous politicians in the US and China, this decision was already on the agenda. Just that it happened to only be confirmed last night after reaching a consensus on how this should be managed. I won't bore everyone with the details but would be glad to share if I am asked to.

It was good to see some regulars from the Youth Empire - people like Sheikh Haikal and those behind the scenes of the Kings of Freedom project such as We King, Sheryl and Steve. Sheikh Haikal, being his usual self, brought laughter to those present. Well, I guess once you are an entertainer, well, you entertain. He happily told Minister that he wanted to be the one and only rapper on the Facebook account.

Many felt that Minister should share a more personal side of him - which you often read about here. Throughout the night the conversations never stopped - there were questions asked in a no-holds-barred fashion. Each of us took turns to engage in face-to-face dialogue amidst good food and wine as usual.

In fact, such honest interactions are great food for thought and some were intellectual comments. Some were outright hilarious though.

Since it was my first time at House@Dempsey, I was quite priviliged to get a short tour of the various rooms on the second floor which is a combination of thematic spa rooms - quite an interesting and engaging canvas of artworks are showcased there. It was almost like an art gallery of sorts.

For those who have been there, you must know how the rooms are like. Each room has a special name (can't really remember what they were called) and when one enters, each presents a different experience.

I must say the hospitality of the staff at House@Dempsey deserve the thumbs up. That is what I call service.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Bernard Leong said...

hi I am in the sunshine state now, geting sunburnt and tanned in the beach facing alantic ocean. really a big challenge trying to re-tune myself back to the heat n humidity.

Hey Ephraim, let meet up again sometime when I come back. are u ok with it ?
As I predicted and wanted Obama to win the nomination, I was right. oh well, there are a lot of politcal punters who bet on obama to win ( www.intrade.com ). I admit that I nearly was tempted to place my bets too on Obama. This is efficient market hypothesis in action. in professional financial terms, this is trading of political futures to manage political risk. in a crude manner, this is betting like soccer betting.
I heard that Dr Vivian also has a facebook account as well. just that he has no pic, kinda surprised - considering he is minster for youth MCYS. Since the young singaporeans are more tech savvy, it is logical to draw leverage on technology as a "force multipler" to increase the visiblity of politicans as a public figure. I even see a facebook group calling for support of Dr Chee by sfdonline.org, if my memory is correct.

Saturday, June 07, 2008 1:50:00 pm

 
Blogger Ephraim Loy said...

I was rooting for Obama as well. On Friday, some of the regulars in camp were asking me about the Obama vs McCain face off. My superior mentioned that he feels that Obama is full of drive, all out to win.

One of the reasons why I'm rooting for Obama is because he is not white. I am not sure whether Americans are ready for a black president but the fact that Obama has clinched the nomination against someone like Clinton (who has chalked up so much experience over the years), he must be really good.

Some of the youths during the dinner with Minister last night gave the lowdown of the number of fans on Obama's Facebook pages. The figures are huge.

Now that both the Presidential hopefuls are in the running, the things that we should be looking out for are their campaign strategies and what they are promising the man on the street (i.e healthcare policies, internal trade policies etc.)

Perhaps from a Singapore view, it is important to look at whether any new policies on trade would be implemented or changed.

What do you think the Americans are most concerned with? Since you have been there you should have a feel. Care to share?

Saturday, June 07, 2008 11:21:00 pm

 
Anonymous Bernard said...

Yes, I spoke with many Americans to gather their sentiments regarding this coming presidential elections. From what I gather from them, Americans are becoming fed up with the Republician policies favoring the rich and big corporations - the big tax cuts. What about the middle class and the lower income or even the homeless ? More and more people are feeling that their American dream is being shattered. This is the economic factor- the economic slowdown, the unemployment rate climbed to 5.5%. The war in Iraq still dragging on- the second reason. The 3rd reason is the increasing oil price - a huge burden on the Americans. All these factors are the democrats' main attacking points.
For the republicians, I gathered that they argued the bush adminstration made America safer by removing Saddam. ( where are the WMDs ?? ), making airports safer at the cost of individual inconveniences and profiling suspects. the tax cuts will also benefit the middle class and poor as well.
Personally, many Americans that I spoke to don't really buy that from the GOP because it really favours the rich too much for the tax cuts. The filthy rich in USA really has too much money. Even Warren Buffet himself said so, probably why he is giving away his fortune instead of leaving for his family. The rich poor divide is really very big. I seen homeless people living out of cardboards in the NYC subway underground stations. Really pitiful ! Whereas the rich are living it up in Manhattan with vacation homes in florida. I heard that New Orleans is still dragging slowly for the rebuilding after Hurriance Katrina of 2005. The fed ,state and city govt bickering over the bill. The people suffer. Some are still living in camps. This goes to show that American democracy is not perfect. No surprise. Nothing or nobody is perfect.
Therefore, I predict and want Obama to win and be the President along with my American democrats friends. U see this is the thing about American politics being full of glitzy buzz. it is the ultimate reality show. really need a strong flair of showmanship to carry the message through.
Clinton lost because some people percieved she rely on her husband. Especially when cried trying to appeal to the sympathy of the people some time ago, especially women supported her.
I observed that Obama has conducted his campaign in a more point to point argumentative way like a refined gentlemen. McCain and Clinton attacked him for inexperience etc, but he responded very well. Now he is gonna to unify the democrats, I think he will likely put clinton as VP to placate Clinton 18 million supporters, very crucial to beat McCain. of course, he still do not mince his words when it comes to pressing issues like iraq. Spend more money at home like healthcare for the people. just tell it what he think it is that resonates with the american people. As for trade issues for Singapore, I do not think that obama will change much. For the matter, he is the son of diplomat who lived all over the world including indonesia, from I heard. He should know from young about the world outside america.

Sunday, June 08, 2008 11:44:00 am

 
Anonymous bernard said...

btw, I also have republican friends as well. really interesting to see the democrats and republician frens debate with each other at one time, while I act as observer.
Just to let u know that i make it a point to listen to both sides of the story before making my conclusion and decide what's my take on it? same thing that I do for singapore politics or anything similar .

Sunday, June 08, 2008 12:49:00 pm

 

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