Pizza. Vegetarian Pizzas.
- Thu 2 June. #LepakInSG internal meeting. Roma’s Deli at Shaw Towers. I think I had the Mixed Mushroom Pizza. Also had the Pastry Soup.. it was one of those, try once for the experience kinda item.
- Tue 7 June. #LepakInSG new members meetup. Roma’s Deli at Shaw Towers. Chicken Mushroom Pizza. (Roma’s Deli is a Vegetarian Cafe. Looking at the menu, sometimes I forget it’s a Vegetarian cafe.)
- Thu 9 June. SYCA internal meeting. Mel ordered the Vegetariana from Peperoni. Among others, it had Eggplants. I like Eggplants.
- Sat 11 June. I met Yi Han and had the Vegetarian Pizza from Pastamania. After a week of vegetarian pizzas.. ingredient wise.. the others fared better.
- On the Solar Industry
- Published on 2 June on Singapore Business Review- Ask the Solar Energy Providers what they think of Singapore’s solar power prospects and they tell you solar financing is a challenge. Article here.
- Shown on 5 June on News 5- Ask a Scientist what he thinks of the future of solar energy is in Singapore and he gives a lot of positive responses. Catch up video here. 19th minute onwards.
- On REIDS
- Heleen, whom I met in Bangkok in January shared Engie was organising a talk on 6 June in Singapore as part of #ENGIEInnovTalk week. I went I listened. And then I asked Teddy from ERI@N two questions; (a) When is the completion date for REID and (b) How he saw this project being implemented in the Southeast Asia region. He replied (a) There is no completion date and (b) REIDS in Singapore is a testing site, and when applied to specific countries can be adapted to local context. Of course, my questions and his answers were much longer. I just remembered going home thinking (a) Wow. EDB and NEA and the companies currently involved has a lot of money to pump into this. We’re talking billions of dollars. And (b) There’s a number of rural electrification projects in the ASEAN region, but what’s the financing mechanism behind each local projects, the policy framework in that country to support such a project, the capacity building workshops for the locals..
- On Advertisements
- My family subscribes to Singtel Mio package. Recently, I saw an advert which I thought was stupid. I remember the camera moving from bottom to up to her chest and focusing on her cleavage for some time. The advert was to tell customers something about the R21 content made available to us. Two thoughts came to mind- (a) Why is our national telco perpetuating this sexualisation of the female figure (I mean.. why not show a man with a bulging dick right? Why not?) and (b) Why can’t we just inform customers things as it is- that the R21 content is available and that’s it?
- Ever since Eva Longoria appeared on the Magnum ads, I’ve always had the impression that Magnum intentionally ensures its ice cream campaigns are sexual. But the latest one I saw from Magnum Singapore “Release the Beast.. Dare to go Double” with all the sexual innuendos irks me more because of the utilisation of big cats which were “walking around” with the models. I had no idea animals love ice creams too.
- On Universities
- Yesterday, it was announced that NUS was named the top Asian university for the third year straight. NTU was 3rd and SMU 60th. It reminded me even more how competitive the education system here is.
- Just using my profile for an example-
- In 2001, I was among the 43 642 pupils from the EM1 and EM2 course who sat for the PSLE exams (other students in my batch were EM3 students).
- In 2005, I was among the 37 400 students who took the SCGE O Level Examinations (other students in my batch were private candidates and N Level students). <Stress point: I was in an Autonomous school and was under slight pressure to make sure I could make it into a Junior College. Nationwide, 1 in 3 students got into a JC, but in my school, or at least my class, the norm was to go to a JC).
- In 2007, I was among the 13 053 students who sat for the A Level exams (other students in my batch had probably gone to polytechnics or ITEs and not junior colleges).
- In 2008, for NUS specifically, in the academic year 2008/2009, they accepted 6933 Year 1 Full-Time Students. And I was not one of them.
- With a base from 43 622 students (in 2001) to 6933 students (in 2008).. less than 16% of the students in my batch made it to NUS.. that says something about NUS students being the cream of the crop. And this also made me wonder what happened to the other 36 689 people = the other 84%.
- Tuition fees was something I had to deal with, and many students still have to deal with. For comparison-
- For Academic Year 2016/2017, Singapore Citizen going to NUS, Business Faculty, one has to pay $9450 per year = $31 800 for 3 years. There’s also a list of financial aid provided if one needs it too. You can also pay using CPF if you need to.
- For the same period, a local student going to SIM-RMIT has to pay $42 372 for a 3 year programme. There’s 1 SIM GE Bursary, 5 Community Bursaries and 1 SIM GE Scholarship. In most cases, you have to consider taking up a bank loan. (SIM-UOL is lower and SIM-UB is much higher).
- Just the thought of thousands of local students having to compete to get to a local university or be burdened with finding ways to finance their tuition fees annoy me. Growing up, there was a part of me who was jealous of students in some European countries who had/ have free universities. And in that aspect, I think that is also why I have more admiration for local students who had to work their way through school and managed to juggle work and school.
- In Singapore, there is compulsory primary education. Globally, 59 million children of primary school age is denied their education rights, be it due to them living in area of conflicts or coming from rural communities and so on. Looking from it from that angle, I think what needs to be pushed out more to young children in Singapore is that they have most opportunities in life to take charge and create positive change worldwide. Additionally we need to keep asking ourselves “What is the purpose of our education?”.. because at the end of the day, if we are going to be just a cog in the wheel making the country run as efficiently or as productively, then I think we need to re-evaluate our existence.
- In the larger scheme of things, I think what we have is “options”. I met Siang Yu two weeks back maybe and we were catching up with each other. She was sharing she got some land for farming in Melaka and was intending to move there in the next few years. I was sharing what I was doing now. Then I remembered meeting Dot last week and she was sharing Min was moving to Mauritius as her husband was starting a hospital there. And it occured to me how lucky we were, how fortunate we were to have “options” to do what we want in life. Maybe these options are some things which were created due to our effort. I’d also like to think we have options like these because we grew up here in Singapore, we were born here, by luck, when we could have been born anywhere in the world. There was a study done which re-affirmed kids from richer families are more likely to attend better programmes. I think it works the same in this context.. young people from more affluent countries are more likely to do better in life.. because we had things given to us systematically. Whether or not we utilised those opportunites is another thing. And going back to this “options”.. I think realising that we always have options is key to our personal development. So yeah, doesn’t matter if you can’t get what you want either, there will always be something better in store for you.
- Singapore– Singapore Police Force interrogating Teo Soh Lung and Roy Ngerng over alledged cooling-off day breaches. Say what you want about local politics in Singapore. For this particular incident, I had been reading posts by Kirsten Han. Learning point for me.. when it comes to politics, of course there is differential treatment in Singapore.
- Maldives– “Five rival opposition groups announced today a united front to remove President Abdulla Yameen from office, urging supporters to bridge differences to restore democracy.” Article by Maldives Independent here. Learning point for me.. (a) If the opposition parties can come together to put you out of government, that says something about you as a leader and (b) Many small opposition parties coming together creates a larger impact. That’s something the local Singapore opposition parties can learn from, and what green groups in Singapore and learn from too. I think the whole idea of coming together to collaborate, coordinate and strategise is so important if we want to create and implement widespread changes.
- Malaysia– Fahmi Reza, whom some have dubbed as the Banksy of Malaysia, recently got called in and charged for depicting their Prime Minister as a clown. That was brave and creative of Fahmi. And probably a poorly executed move by the authorities because this second charge caused a number of mainstream media to pick up the image and publish it to their sites. I wonder if Singapore has our own Fahmi Reza. We do have Cartoon Press.. but in terms of outspokenness and flavour, it’s just different.
I’m also planning to be offline mostly Sun 19 June to Sun 10 July. Have a great mid-year everyone.
Since this is a personal blog, I thought I should record this memory as well.. (a) 28th May was when I had a sharing with Eugene’s sustainability mentorship programme and attended the Ci Yuan YEC CC event and then hopped over to this open mic session.. (b) Among the many memorable firsts, like travelling alone for most parts from Jogja to Bali, Indonesia in 2012, and Lima to Cusco, Peru in 2014.. this memory from 2016 shall be on par with the two.