[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

Sunday, June 08, 2008

[Karimun Links]
1. I did not expect that so many grassroots leaders and their family members were interested in our 2-day trip to Karimun. As it turned out, there were about 85 of us and we had a wonderful time.

2. The one and a half hour boat ride to Tanjong Balai was easy enough. We were greeted by the Deputy Bupati and committee members from the Karimun Yeo Clan Association at the jetty. The hotel we stayed in, Maximilian, was much better than I had expected. It was clean and comfortable with excellent reception of Singapore TV channels.

3. Tanjong Balai has the feel of Singapore in the 50's or 60's. The town itself has many Chinese, mostly Teochews. The contrast with Singapore made our visit a pleasant escape from the hustle-bustle of home. Everything seemed cheap. The food was good especially the seafood. Tanjong Balai is of course the place which gave the name to our best ikan kurau and pomfret. The steamed crabs we had on the first night was sweet and had lots of roe. The local durians were in season but those served at the Bupati's residence the following day to some of us were much better than those we bought for ourselves the night before. Before we boarded the ferry for home, a few members of the delegation, despite the heavy lunch, could not resist trying the bak kut teh and proclaimed it of high standard.

4. At the Yeo Clan Association, we were given a warm welcome complete with lion dance, three bows before the ancestors, tit-bits and lots of photo-taking. I had met some of the members two or three times before in Singapore at Mong Hing Teochew Restaurant where members of the Singapore Yeo Clan Association had given them advice and assistance. I felt as if I was visiting relatives.

5. The Governor of KEPRI Province, Bapak Ismeth Abdullah, came by fast ferry all the way from Tanjong Pinang in order to have lunch with us at the Bupati's residence and to accompany us on our tour of the new Free Trade Zone. He is an old friend from BIDA days. The Bupati, Bapak Nordin Basirun, and his officials facilitated our visit. His wife is Singaporean and used to a member of our Malay Activities Committee in the CC before. Halimah greeted her with a big hug like a long-lost sister. The Bupati's son was a schoolmate of my sons at St Stephen's School.

6 Looking ahead, I am quite sure the old links which connect Karimun and Singapore will become an asset. Sembawang Shipyard has a major operation in Karimun. An Italian shipyard, Saipem, will be opening in early 2010. Karimun FTZ status will help it attract more investments.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minister sir.

We write to you as concerned parents.

An office bearer from a youth group of the Kovan Community Centre has been charged with outraging the modesty of a 15 year old girl.

We do not wish to judge his innocence or guilt. That is a matter for the court to decide.

What gives us much worry is we do not want our children to be exposed to danger when they attend activities organized by the CCC and the sub-groups.

In government service it is standard procedure that any civil servant who has been charged by police will be suspended from duty pending outcome of court case.

In your appointment as the minister-in-charge of Aljunied GRC which Kovan is a constituency of, we plead with you to look into this matter. We urge you to suspend the office holder from all community centre activities until the court case is over. This person should also be banned from having any contact with the youth.

Kindly ensure our children participate in grassroots programs in an environment of safety. We respectfully urge you to implement checks to prevent predators from using the pretext of community activities to take advantage of innocent teenage girls to satisfy their lust.

Being a parent yourself, we trust you will understand our concerns. We have full confidence that you will attend to this matter without delay.

We are grateful to you for all your hard work in making Aljunied GRC a wonderful place to live in.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:05:00 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was informed of the case this morning and assure you that the MPs are very mindful of the concerns of parents like you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 12:52:00 pm


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