Blog

Heritage Trial

For the Heritage trial, We went to two places. Namely the Singapore’s National Museum and Singapore’s botanic Gardens.

First was the National Museum.

 (Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Singapore)

 

We choose to venture into the Singapore History Gallery where we could view Singapore’s history. It was a place where we could learn an abundance of Singapore’s history and would make a great blog.

IMG-20160717-WA0005

In the Museum we went to explore Singapore’s past and its culture. We saw rickshaws, a common mode of transport  in the olden days. The rickshaw required a person to pull the rickshaw while the commuters who paid the rickshaw sat at the back to be pulled. The rickshaw eventually lost popularity as it was a very tiring job and the rickshaw pullers went well paid.

IMG-20160704-WA0015 (1)

There was also an exhibition about opium smoking. Opium smoking is considered a leisure and helps coolies to relax due to stress from work and also due to cramped living conditions. However, some got addicted and could not kick the habit.IMG-20160704-WA0011 (1)

We also saw a replica tank used in the movie, The Pacific. This tank was one of the tanks used by the Japanese during the World War II. The tank on display was one out of four used in the movie.

IMG-20160717-WA0004

It was indeed a memorable journey and I learned a lot about Singapore’s history. We should each play a role to ensure Singapore’s safety and that Singapore prospers over the years.

 

Next was the Botanic Gardens.

 


(taken from: http://travelinna.com/the-exquisite-singapore-botanical-gardens/)

Botanic Gardens is honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is founded in 1859. It has more than 10,000 species of plants and has around 4.5 million visitors per year. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Botanic_Gardens)

(Pictures of some of the flowers there)

We went to the Burkill Hall. This building was build around 1867 and its name originated from Isaac Henry Burkill and Humphery Morrison Burkill. Two former directors of Singapore botanic Gardens.IMG-20160716-WA0016

We later went to the National Orchid Garden and looked at the breathtaking flowers there.IMG-20160716-WA0012

The trip made me realize the beautiful of Singapore and the need to treasure these places. As active citizens we should ensure places of such beauty and historical significance not be destroyed.

In conclusion, the visit made me appreciate the way Singapore currently is and has taught me that we each play a role in keep Singapore safe. It is only because of our hard work can we enjoy the peace and prosperity that our country has.

 

Global Voices

The world is ever changing and as we proceed into the 21st century, new problems arises and old problems only seem to get bigger. Global voices (globalvoices.org) aims to make a stand to tackle the problems that the world current faces. I have chosen an article from the website to share and also to explain its importance.

The article I have chosen is (https://globalvoices.org/2016/06/24/take-a-virtual-reality-tour-of-west-papuas-coral-reefs/). The article talks about coral reefs as well as a movie being shown in the area. This article calls out to me as reminder of the damage we have done to our environment.

(Taken from: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Colorful-coral-reef.jpg.824x0_q71_crop-scale.jpg)

Coral reefs are constant being killed off by humans especially during land reclamation. Humans have also caused climate change resulting in unsuitable conditions for corals to flourish. In fact, there used to be an abundance of coral reefs around Singapore. However, as we reclaimed land, coral reefs got buried. (Read more about coral reefs in Singapore here: http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/cnidaria/coralhard/coralhard.htm) The article caught my attention as it reminded me of the damage we are doing to the environment. In the past, whales were killed and their oils were taken as fuels. We almost drove whales to extinction as a result. We also cut down trees for space to grow crops or to use wood to make paper. However, as a result, we caused global warming. Which in turn lead to the melting of polar ice caps and higher sea levels. We need to constantly remind ourselves of the damage we are doing to the environment and use only what we need.

So what does this have to do with active citizenry? Everything.

We need to realize we are all citizens of Earth and we must do what we can as citizens to preserve this planets beauty. However, we must first take ownership of this planet. Understanding that this planet belongs to everyone is the first step to achieving active citizenry. Next is to believe that what each of us does can make a huge difference to this planet. Finally, we need to carry out these steps to make Earth a better place for the rest of the citizens of Earth be it in the future or the present.

In conclusion, I choose this article as I feel it is of relevance to all of us to serve as a reminder that our actions have a huge impact on our environment. If each of us is willing to do our part to save the environment, we can shape the environment for the better. We are all citizens of Earth and we should appreciate the gifts this planet has given us.

 

5 dollar challenge

The 5 dollar challenge was indeed a difficult challenge to pull off as not many food comes cheap these days. However, I did manage to keep within my budget spending roughly 3 dollars.

IMG-20160625-WA0002 (3)

 

I woke up slightly late and thus had my breakfast and lunch together. I ate fish-ball noodles from a nearby hawker stall. The price for the noodle was $2.50. It was delicious and also affordable. However, I had only 2.50 left for dinner.

 

 

 

 

IMG-20160625-WA0001For dinner I decided to cook one small packet of Maggi instant noodles as it was quick and affordable. The packet costs $3.45 and contained 5 smaller packets of noodles. Thus one packet cost less than a dollar. Though it was indeed strange to be eating instant noodle for dinner, it did taste good. In addition, it only took me roughly 5 minutes to prepare.

 

 

 

Surprisingly, the people that run the hawker stall could have easily charged extra to gain more profit. However, they instead choose to keep it cheap so that people can enjoy food a a cheap price. This reflects their love for Singapore as these hawkers do their job to spread their love and passion for the food rather than earning more money. They spread their delicious food with others and make others happy. They also create an identity in Singapore as Singapore is well-known for our cheap and delicious hawker foods.

I felt that the 5 dollar challenge taught me to save money on food. It was indeed surprising that I could spend so little money on such good food. I never imagined that low-priced food could be so mouth-watering. I would most definitely eat at the hawker center again if I was given the chance instead of going to expensive restaurants to eat. Who knew such simple delights could be so cheap? In addition, this challenge has also made me aware of the poverty in Singapore. (According to the Department of Statistics, 105,000 families in Singapore are earning on average $1,500 per month.  This means that life is a daily struggle for some 387,000 Singapore citizens and permanent residents. After paying utilities, schooling, housing rental or loan instalments and medicals, they are left with about $5 a day for food and transport per family member.(Taken from http://sgagainstpoverty.org/5-dollar-challenge/)) Through this experience, I learned the struggles of these individuals spending only $5 dollars a day. It has taught me to be thankful with what I have. This teaches citizenry by showing us the struggles of many individuals in Singapore and hopefully encourage us to donate to these people. With each and every donation, we can change lives for the better.

 

 

An unusual occupation in Singapore

There are many unusual occupations in Singapore. However, the occupation that I am going to share is an occupation that I might actually consider taking up. This occupation is a sneaker customiser. It is indeed an unusual job and requires creativity to design these sneakers.

Not many people in Singapore take up this job or even know this job exists. Singaporeans tend to take up office and engineering jobs instead of jobs that require creativity. Office and engineering careers are more common as Singapore’s education system steers more to the gain of knowledge rather than creativity. Additionally, not much emphasis is made on the success of jobs that require creativity such are being an artist, designer or musician. This thus makes shoe designing unusual and unpopular.


(Taken from http://www.herworldplus.com/shopping/updates/taylor-swift-keds-sneakers-singapore)

I feel that I would take up this job as it allows me to express my creativity while gaining profit from my designs. For instance, if I were to given such an opportunity, I would create a new design that revolves around outer space. Through imagining and creating my own unique design, I am able to showcase my creativity. This also gives me ample opportunities to grow on my creativity. With such a chance to expand my horizons while earning money, I would most definitely choose such a job.

In conclusion, sneaker designers are not well-known in Singapore because of unconscious stereotype that such a job is low-paying in Singapore. I would, however, take on such a job as it is enjoyable and allows me to let my imagination run wild. (idea taken from: http://mustsharenews.com/unusual-jobs-in-singapore/)

Made in Singapore

Singapore is a small island with a relatively small population. Despite this, we are able to create some relative unique inventions that rocked the world. In the following paragraphs, I will be going through three of them. They are the thumb drive, the creative sound blaster sound card and the discovery of a new type of immune T helper cells.

 

8 tech creations you didn't know originated from Singapore

 First is the thumb drive. Did you know the famous and widely used thumb drive was made by a Singapore-based Trek Technology? On 2000, Trek Technology sold the first flash drive commercially and had a space of 8 megabyte. (Credits and photo from: http://www.stuff.tv/sg/features/8-tech-creations-singaporeans-can-be-proud/3-thumb-drive)  The thumb drive have certainly revolutionized the way we save and transport our data. It is certainly a great accomplishment made by Singapore and we can certainly be proud of Singapore.

 

8 tech creations you didn't know originated from Singapore

 Second is the creative sound blaster sound card. This Singapore invention actually contributed to the sound from computers today. On 1989, the company, Creative, from Singapore, sold the original Sound Blaster expansion card. Despite not being the first audio expatiation card made it was a better audio card at the time. Under 12 months, Creative became the top-selling expansion card for the PC. The audio systems were later improved and thus became what is is today with huge help of this product.(photo and credits from: http://www.stuff.tv/sg/features/8-tech-creations-singaporeans-can-be-proud/5-creative-sound-blaster-sound-card) It is indeed amazing that a Singapore invention contributed to the computer that we have today.

Third is a breakthrough discovery by NUS. A research team from the NUS made a discovery of a new type of immune cells that may help in the development of a future treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). The cell was new type of immune T helper cells named TH-GM cells play a crucial role in the immune system and pathogenesis of neuronal inflammation. This will help to treat many people in the future with such an illness. The fact that Singaporeans have discovered such a immune cells may also paved the way to future medical breakthrough. (http://news.nus.edu.sg/press-releases/8358-breakthrough-discovery-by-nus-researchers-contributes-towards-future-treatment-of-multiple-sclerosis-and-autoimmune-inflammation)

  In conclusion, Singapore has indeed created many innovations that improved the world today. We should thus be proud of our small, yet successful country that has shaped the modern world as it is today.

 

 

We kind of caused the haze

On 21 June 2013, Singapore’s  Pollution Standards Index (PSI)  reached an all time high of 401, a 101 PSI above the hazardous level. There were many work disruptions and schools had to be canceled due to the haze. However, what exactly caused the haze? Many of us, Singaporeans, blamed the haze on Sumatra and Borneo for the mass burning for plants to make space for the next planting season of palm. These palm were grown to supply oil to many parts of South East Asia. One of those countries were Singapore. It can thus be argued that us Singaporeans did in fact play a role in causing the haze. Our extensive use of palm oil contributed to the haze situation.


(Taken from: http://sg.theasianparent.com/singapore-haze-facts-and-precautions/)

We can first reduce our consumption of palm oil. We can do this through checking for labels on products or reducing our consumption of oil. Using vegetable oil instead of palm oil and eating less oily foods is also another way of reducing palm oil usage. For example, milk powders that contain palm oil should be avoided. There would therefore be a lower demand for palm oil and therefore the burning will be reduced.


(Taken from: https://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj5nLiQm8fNAhUJKo8KHfUxDcAQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmypalmoil.blogspot.com%2F2014%2F12%2Fpalm-oil-free-labels-damaging-to.html&psig=AFQjCNEtTWMRzlvVca538gIpD1Nf_InCvg&ust=1467082568774392)

Another method is to reduce, reuse and recycle the use of paper. Since paper are made of trees, reducing paper use also reduces the cutting of trees. We can save forests through this method and therefore reducing the burning of trees.


(https://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwijpOORo8fNAhWBrI8KHX8yBGIQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ibidworld.com%2Fpaper-products-online.html&psig=AFQjCNGwdFZmqxzWWAb0ppa_WK4Wg08XSQ&ust=1467084804883553)

 

In conclusion, the haze situation was a portion of our fault. The haze was started to supply energy to SEA and Singapore included. We should thus try our best to save on palm oil on our own personal scale to avoid another haze crisis. Simple acts such as checking labels and reducing use of paper can reduce the haze. Each of us are responsible in stopping the haze and it is each and every of our little action that brings about change, either for better or worse. We reap what we sow and only by each of us doing our roles as citizens of this planet can we make a change for the better. (Credits: http://pmhaze.org/be-a-haze-fighter/5-ways-to-fight-haze/)

 

AEC Week 6 reflection

What lessons can we learn from Houshi Ryokan?

Houshi Ryokan has been open for 1300 years, since 1718, and has been a relatively successful business. It has even earned a Guinness world record for the oldest inn in the world. What kinds system within Houshi Ryokan has kept it going for such a long time? What kinds of values do the people running the place have?
Houshi Ryokan has a strict system whereby the inn is placed as a priority over personal interests. For instance, the spouse of the heir to the Houshi family is choosen by the head of the family. With a proper heir to the inn, the management of the inn is also assured. With the inn always being in proper hands, the guests would be well catered too. It is this system that have kept the inn running for so long. However, it is at the expense of the families freedom.
The values of the Houshi Ryokan involves discipline, loyalty, responsibility and tenacious. The workers at Houshi Ryokan are extremely disciplined especially around their guests. For example, during dining, the family is seen on their best behavior, even going to the extent of bowing their heads. The family must also be loyal and responsible. This is key for a long lasting inn. Each family member must be loyal and committed to serving the inn despite setbacks. For example, their daughter, Hisae, came to work at the inn more often after the heir to the Houshi family passed on. This shows great loyalty of the Houshi family to the inn. The family must also be tenacious. Despite major setbacks, they must continue maintaining the inn and not give in. For example, after the only son of the Houshi family at the time passed on, the family continued on the business despite their loss. This is essential to maintaining the inn for such a long time.
The values of the Houshi family are what we can and should learn. In order to have long and lasting careers and family, one should  follow the values of the Houshi family. Their system can also be followed but not to such a huge extent. Having a strict system is essential to having people in check and to get things done efficiently. However, one should not be too strict on these kinds of system.

AEC weekly reflections week 5

 

2.
What is needed to create a ‘perfect country’?
-A perfect country is one which has a leader who can foresee of the country’s future and lead the people into crafting a Utopia
-Working towards a more renewable energy such as creating a hydroelectric pump to harness electricity from the movement of water. This could create a greener community as well as preserving the fauna and flora of the area. Therefore working towards a perfect country
-Of course the community also has to be driven. In order to create a perfect country, citizens must be willing to give up certain aspects of their luxurious life.

What can you/Singapore learn from this?
-I can learn that I must do my part in working towards this perfect country. From even the simplest act such as to picking up rubbish from the ground I can help Singapore become a cleaner city.
-Some Singaporeans do complain as they jump to conclusions quickly. For instance, the Population White Paper  was never meant as an aim to reach a population of 6.9 million but instead to cater for such a population if it were to happen. However, Singaporeans had a negative response to the White Paper as they deemed that the paper was meant to further increase the population. If we feel that a policy or anything else is unreasonable, we should first fully understand the issue and view it from another point of view first before jumping to these conclusions.

Reflections week 4 aec

1. What are Singaporeans concerns?

Singaporeans are concerned on Singapore’s growing population. We are afraid that if the population continues to rise there would increased competitions for jobs. The problem of shortage of housing and living space would be jeopardized as well. We would need to cramp ourselves in more crowded public transport. This therefore poses a really huge concern on the growing population.

What are our migrants concern?

Migrants concern is the fear of being ostracized. The do not want to feel left out just because they are different. They want to make the best out of their time here while still being able to fit in. In terms of economics, migrants also need jobs to earn money for a living.

Can there be a happy marriage between these concerns?

Yes there can. However we must understand that both parties must learn to accept each other first. Even if it means there must be a compromise. There must also be an increase in living space for both parties so that these competitions do not occur. If both parties are patient and learn to accept each other, this can work out.

Money Management HBL week 3

What I know about money management:

1: Money management involves making do with needs instead of wants to ensure money is saved

2: Understanding the importance of money and how to use them wisely

3: One should save money to ensure sufficient money during a crisis in the future

 

Why I want to know about money management:

1: So that I can plan for future endeavors if one may arise

2: Learn a skill that maybe helpful in the future

3: Learn how to make do with the current money at hand

What I’ve learned about money management:

1: Saving money at a young age helps in the future (http://goo.gl/3Zc6zh)

2: Instead of using the whole income you have on expenditures, save an amount of income in savings and use the rest of the income on expenditures (http://finlit.sg/learning-videos/)

3: Tips on money management is bite sized income. For instance getting weekly allowance than monthly allowance will allow a better money management. People who receive monthly allowance tends to spend it all in a few days.