January 29, 2011

MM and others

Every time a blogger is sued, people will worry about free speech and censorship. I say it makes bloggers more responsible. I don't think you would like it if others say you are corrupt or your chicken rice is the worst in Singapore. If you are sincere, I think there is nothing to worry about.

"Anything we do makes them unhappy" - MM Lee says of our neighbours. Looking at the comments by Malaysian politicians on his remarks about Malaysia, doesn't it prove that Lee is right.

Lee also said it is not easy to integrate Islam. From his answers I think it
means - In the past it is not difficult to integrate Muslims. But with the surge of Islam from the Arab countries, some Muslims are becoming more strict with themselves like not wanting to sit with non-Muslims when eating. Other Muslims who are not that strict may follow, otherwise they would be viewed as less Islamic. I feel Lee is right too.

"王金英 sounds so much like Lung Gim Saang" - a comment made by a viewer of the video in the previous post. I have never watched Long Kim Sung in a live performance. I have only seen and heard him on VCD and only about 3 or 4 shows, so I am not sure. What do you think?

January 27, 2011

yang si lang and yang ba mei

This video was taken with an ordinary camera with a zoom of only 7x, so don't expect very good quality.

A little about the story :

The Yang family were a patriotic lot and fought many victorious battles for the country. In this story, they went to a battle. The battle proved
disastrous for them. The father died and of the seven sons who went, only one returned. The fifth son became a monk at a temple, the fourth son was captured by the princess of an enemy state, married her and stayed in her land and and the other sons died.

In this clip, Yang Ba Mei, the 8th daughter, managed in infiltrate into the palace of the princess by disguising herself as a palace maid. She met her brother, told him how his brothers died and chided him for marrying the princess.

January 24, 2011

food with symbolic meanings

During Chinese New Year, Cantonese people like to eat fa cai and oysters because it means wealth and all good things will come to them throughout theyear.

Here are some other food with good meaning - sheng cai and fruits (生菜, 生果). They symbolize sheng sheng meng meng or sun sun maan maan in Cantonese (生生猛猛) which means energetic or having a lot of energy.

So I wish all of you sheng sheng meng meng. May you have lots of energy in your work or recreation be it preparing for an exam, performing opera or producing babies.

January 21, 2011


Last week I attended a performance by the Cantonese opera group of Guangdong Hui Guan (GDHG). In a speech, the president of GDHG said that the objectives of GDHG were to explore business opportunities in China, promote Chinese culture and do charity work.

He said they needed money because without it nothing much could be done. Members of its executive committee must have money and be willing to donate. Otherwise, you cannot be a member in the committee.

I was thinking why he told the audience this. Doesn't it make GDHG look money-minded. But he is not wrong. Maybe he wanted to say that you cannot promote Chinese culture or do charity with just passion or compassion. You need money to put up an opera show or to give ang pau to old folks.

I think it is the same for a country. You cannot govern a country with idealism alone.

If a country has no money, it cannot help its poor and unfortunate. It cannot have a strong army to defend itself.

Suppose Singapore were to become very poor, probably even our basic rights (housing and food) could be in jeopardy. Singapore would be unattractive and foreigners would not want to come to work here. Who would build our houses?

If the food crisis became extremely severe and other countries had to control food export, whatever food we could get in Singapore would be very expensive. The government of a poor Singapore would not have reserve fund to subsidize prices of some food like rice and sugar or give out free food vouchers to the poor. We would just have to eat less.

Making money is alright but you should not be so obsessed with it that you lose your heart and soul.

People who show a disdain for money are not necessarily more upright or of higher moral standard.

January 14, 2011


Nie Xiao Qian - performed at The Singapore Airlines Theatre on 9 January 2011.

Sabrina Chow as Nie Xiao Qian. Playwright - Norman Cheung, Music Director - Bu Can Rong.

聶小倩 : 周汶姿

周汶姿, 司馬祥

黄安妮, 周汶姿

胡桂馨, 周汶姿

卢少玲, 四小妖


黄安妮, 周汶姿, 司馬祥, 馬亦龍

January 12, 2011

Serangoon Road

I have not walked about Serangoon Road and its surroundings for a long time. One recent Sunday evening I went to a friend's house at Veerasamy Road, off Serangoon Road. When I left, it was already night. I decided to take a stroll.

I walked along Serangoon Road, Rowell Road, Kapor Road, Desker Road,
Lembu Road and to Syed Alwi Road where Mustafa Shopping Centre is. Then I walked back along Serangoon Road to the bus stop outside Tekka Centre.

Everywhere there were throngs of people. Probably because Sunday is an off-day for our foreign workers. Most were dark-skinned.
I remembered one former MP mentioned that the place was dark. Some people thought it was a racist remark. Maybe he was just being cheeky.

Some were in groups, just standing around talking. Others sat on the ground or pavements drinking tea in paper cups and chit-chatting. Those at the
back-lanes in the red-light zone were drinking beer at the stalls.

All were well-behaved. I didn't come across any rowdiness or anyone getting drunk. Perhaps it was still early in the night. One common offence I saw was jaywalking - people dashing across
Serangoon Road.

Outside a massage den in Rowell Road, a man was announcing its services "massage, massage". I saw a bored-looking woman inside. Further up there was a woman in a low-cut dress sitting outside a staircase. At the back-lane were the brothels with older women.

In the olden days there were numerous stalls peddling medicinal products, sex toys and drugs, and blue video tapes. That night I saw only one stall open with a man sitting beside it. I don't know what it was selling. At another point I saw a board displacing pictures of drugs but the seller was not around. I guess he was not far away watching.

Along Serangoon Road were shops selling clothing, VCD, gold ornaments, mobile phones .... It was a hive of activities everywhere.

Little India has a buzz that attracts people.

January 10, 2011


to Read-my-mind quiz.

The reasons mentioned by Victor and Chun See are among the reasons when I choose shows to watch or buy, but they are not the reason in this case.

The reason is economics - The Diviner has the most number of episodes. Of those Titles on display, the minimum number of episodes is 5 and the maximum is 11. The Diviner is the only one with 11 episodes. With the same price, isn't it more economical to pick the most?

After watching the Diviner I didn't learn any divining skills, only how to act like one ...

Put on a Taoist robe or a just a white one, look as if you are deep in thought, raise one hand to chest level and slowly use your thumb to touch your fingers one by one.

January 07, 2011

watching shows

Clod - I learned this word from watching a show. If people call you a clod I guess you would be angry. A clod is a lump of mud or earth, or a stupid person.

Husband fans his wife - a Cantonese phrase I learned from watching another show. It means desolate. You see, the wife will feel cool when her husband uses a fan to fan her. 'wife cool' and 'desolate' have the same pronunciation in Cantonese. In Mandarin it is qi liang.

There is a HK drama serial about gambling and casinos. I have watched a few episodes while I was in HK. Later it was shown here on television and I think there were two or three repeat telecasts - the last just ended not long ago. I did not follow them regularly. Somehow I missed one or two episodes towards the end and now I still don't know how one of the main characters died - an effeminate man who is a very good friend of the two protagonists.

I didn't know that for some of you there was an annoying pop-up window when you visited my blog until Victor mentioned it and he also found out what could have caused it. Victor is a very resourceful man. The culprit was the C Box at the right column. I have removed it.

January 03, 2011

The Diviner, and a quiz

I bought this DVD, a case story of Justice Bao. This story is quite long - 11 episodes. It comes in a thick rectangular box. But there is only one disc inside. A lot of space would be saved if they just put it in a square envelope.

The English Title is The Diviner. I don't know what a diviner is. I think it is something like a soothsayer or someone who could predict a person's destiny or the outcome of an event. Or maybe someone who could read people's mind.

Here is a Read-my-mind Quiz for you ...

There are more than a dozen Titles in this old series of Justice Bao, each with a different story in several episodes. All look quite interesting and cost the same price. I have also not watched any of them before. So, why do you think I chose The Diviner?

Never mind if you think your reason sounds silly. Answer will be published in the second post after this.

January 01, 2011


Do you know what FRANCE stands for? - friendship remains and never can end. It was one of the acronyms used by schoolgirls in the olden days. That time there were only real live friends, no Facebook friends.

For that to happen, friendship needs to be nurtured. If you have no contact with each other for a long time, the bond will weaken. I also believe you should not take friends for granted. For example, a word or a gesture of thanks is not redundant when your friend has helped you.

I have a few long-time friends who still send me hard copy of greeting cards with scribbled messages and delivered by the postman. I think it is a case of old habits die hard. Apologetically, I did not send them back any cards.

Here is one from someone who is very proud of the motto of his Alma mater.