[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

Monday, June 29, 2009

[Being Visited By My MP Abdullah Tarmugi]
I was in the toilet shaving on Sunday morning when my wife exclaimed that our MP was outside! Although there was a sign posted at the T-junction in the last few days that MP Abdullah Tarmugi was visiting the estate, I had forgotten about it. Wiping off the shaving cream on my face quickly, I put on my shorts and T-shirt and rushed down to greet him and his grassroots leaders. I'm used to visiting my own voters in Aljunied GRC but being visited by my own MP was a different experience. My wife wanted them to come into the house but I told her that we should not detain them too long because they still had many houses to visit. But there was time enough to serve glasses of ribena and to take pictures. I assured my MP that all was well in our estate and thanked him and his good people for a job well done.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

[Changi Bistro]
At Changi Point, there is a new food outlet on the beach called Changi Bistro. Opened earlier this year, it serves excellent food. I went there with my wife and two sons on Saturday night, my third visit in less than a month. It is only 5 minutes from where I live. With the tide high and a light breeze blowing, it was a pleasant dining experience. We were casually dressed, wearing our flip flops. I've gotten to know Chef Ho. He now has a charcoal grill which improves the flavour of the food. The oxtail stew is a signature dish. The grills are very good. We've given him feedback about his spaghetti vongole which is one dish we order every time we are there.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

[Installation of the 25th Singapore-China Business Association Council]
Installation of the 25th Singapore-China Business Assn Council

I was invited by Dr K K Phua, an old friend, to witness the installation
ceremony. The Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Xiaokang, was also present.




2 新加坡中国商会成立于1970年,是历史最悠久和与中国经商合作最为广泛的社团之一。在过去近四十年中,新加坡中国商会见证了新中关系、商贸活动在各个阶段的变迁,同时也见证了新加坡的成长历程、中国的改革开放所带来的巨大变化。

3 面对这次金融海啸的冲击,我相信新加坡中国商会已经号召新加坡企业与政府共同携手,对抗逆境。这些都充分显示了新加坡本土企业与新加坡政府一起并肩努力,共同抗衡金融危机。

4 据我了解,新加坡中国商会在政府援助配套计划正式出炉前,就多次联络贸工部,协助政府推行援助配套计划, 并邀请专家学者为本土企业进行商务辅导、咨询、解说等等工作. 这显示了新加坡中国商会在新加坡商务领域为中小企业所做出的努力和贡献。

5 这次金融海啸对于新加坡企业冲击很大,新加坡政府也拨出了近205亿的援助配套。我鼓励我们的企业充分把握机会,利用政府的援助配套,在此时多参加商会组织的各类展览会、博览会等商务活动,向外宣传新加坡企业,对内团结一致,并肩作战,争取在14亿人口的中国市场建立新加坡品牌,借助新加坡商人的良好形象,以及新加坡的地域、人文、语言等优势,登陆中国市场。我们的企业也应充分利用中新自由贸易协议和亚细安中国自由贸易协议。我们也要从传统观念的中国低成本制造,转变为学习在中国这个庞大的消费市场建立自己的品牌形象,适者生存。这些将锻炼新加坡企业领导人的灵活应变、坚毅不屈、虚心学习的精神。

6 新加坡中国商会于本月组织了新加坡企业家到中国浙江和东北考察,并藉此次机会带领会员企业考察了中国、俄罗斯边境的贸易状况, 开拓新的商机。据我国企发局的数据显示,俄罗斯与新加坡去年的双边贸易总额达38亿元,比前年增长一倍,成为新加坡的第30大贸易伙伴。这些都显示新加坡中国商会敏锐的商务嗅觉,并积极协助会员开拓市场,拓展商务领域。希望新加坡中国商会能吸收更多的新移民,与中资企业进行更多的合作,举办更多关于企业和文化的讲座,组织更多代表团前往中国交流、合作。

7 在过去的数十年,新加坡经济经历了很大转变,也经历了多次不同的风浪。这些经验告诉我们,同心协力是战胜困难的先决条件。新加坡中国商会第25届理事会在这个背景下就职,更显现各位理事的承担精神及为业界出力的无私奉献精神。我衷心祝愿会长潘国驹教授及第25届理事会能够带领商会企业开拓新商机。

8 谢谢。

* * * *

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

[Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen]
I am not a Transformers fan but I may have been hooked after watching the second installment of the movie. On Monday, omy.sg had invited me to attend the VIP Premiere.

The movie is awesome and one feature throughout it is the explosive action - the robots descend to earth from outer space and make their way up from deep down in the sea.

Overall, I found it seemingly hilarious. The interaction between humans and Transformer robots can be quite funny at times. There are also the emotional bits ( especially when Optimus Prime "dies").

The plot for the movie is very straightforward and apart from the flashback from the opening scene, the rest is very much in chronological order. Several important lessons in the movie were played out - the trust between humans and robots, and the trust amongst humans.

I also felt that the movie had parallels to the Da Vinci Code - mysteries and riddles to solve along the way and the travels to different countries to solve the mysteries.

Towards the end, there the usual "good versus evil" battle. No prizes for guessing the final scene.

For someone who is not a Transformers fan, I am convinced that future Transformer movies will continue to be awesome. That is provided it is another collaboration between Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg.

[Visit to KL]
Following PM Najib's visit to Singapore, Malaysian FM Anifah invited me to KL to discuss the implementation of the Points of Agreement regarding Malayan Rail land in Singapore. We had a good meeting at Wisma Putra on Tuesday morning agreeing on the general approach to take.

Meeting with Malaysian FM Dato' Anifah Aman

In the afternoon, I met PMO Minister Nazri, my old colleague Syed Hamid and Tpt Minister and MCA Chief Ong Tee Keat. In the evening, I was hosted to dinner by Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng of IOI Group whom I've known many years. He invited Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, former MCA Chief, with whom I had an interesting discussion on Malaysian politics.

Meetings at the Malaysian Parliament

With Minister (PMO) Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz

Meeting with Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat

Dinner Hosted by Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, IOI Group Executive Chairman

Do read my posts on Beyond SG and link up on Facebook if you have an account

Saturday, June 20, 2009

[Golf at Pulai Spring]
I went for a short vacation in Johor with my family, celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary in the Rompin-Endau National Park and playing nine holes of golf with my two sons the following day at Pulai Spring. To my pleasant surprise, I played quite well and the video clips which Billy took of me looked quite pro ; )

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Monday, June 15, 2009

[Singapore Blog Awards 2009]
Please support and vote for this blog under the Most Insightful Blog category. Please vote here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

[Working on the Youth Olympic Games]
For two weeks now I have been working at the Singapore Youth Olympics Organising Committee.

I am in a very dynamic division and work has been hectic but fun so far.

Behind the closed door

Some cool Workforce initiative

My division

This is where I sit

And here is a teaser for CAN! Click, the next CAN! festival. CAN! stands for create action now and it is a series of four festivals to celebrate the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The theme for the upcoming CAN! festival is Digital Media.

So stay tuned and be surprised on 11 July.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

[Calling on King Sihamoni]
Ministers from the EU and ASEAN calling on King Sihamoni in Phnom Penh. The King spoke beautiful English with charm and dignity.

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