Archive | January 2008

A Long Overdue Meet-up

Over the weekend, I finally caught up with my defense lawyer, Ms Teo Soh Lung who represented me during my criminal appeal case. She is also my family’s friend.

This meet-up was long overdue since it has been 12 years since we last met. And now she has retired from law practice.

Ms Teo Soh Lung

Though looking petite and harmless, don’t mess with this spunky lady beside me as she packs a punch!

If she’s in the mood, she will sue your pants off until you pok kai (bankrupt in Cantonese)! Ha ha…

Oops… I think that description should belong to another retired lawyer who is now a MM =p

But on a serious note, it was over this session that I had learnt (for the first time) she actually took my case without asking a single cent!

I thank God that I was able to share with her my side of the story during the case and also to sincerely thank her for being an instrument of God in winning my appeal case.

Read the newspaper article on my appeal here>>>

My Doodling:

Announcements to Hope members ONLY!!! If you are working in Raffles Place area, there’s a sister- Jona, who would like to invite you to be part of a weekly Wednesday lunch CHIC fellowship group. If you are interested, please drop her an email at look4jonaphine@gmail.com  

Growing with God in His Church

Healthy RelationshipsRecently, I am attending a seminar called Healthy Relationships Essentials organised by Hope Church Singapore. This will be running for three nights within this week. 

Against a backdrop where I grew up learning to fend for myself in the real world for most part of my life, sometimes it is mind-boggling how I can actually put myself through such sessions to re-learn about doing life all over again.

But of cos I do know the reasons why I want to re-learn everything again lar…

My desire to follow God

After living my past life that was apart from God and now with my new life being a part of God, I just want to live it in His way and not my way.

Therefore, as I have experienced so far, understanding from scripture does provide the essential principles in which one can truly experience sustainable success in living a FULL life.

In the real world, we are pretty much left to grope through life in this dog-eat-dog world. Even if they teach it is to get something out in return.

And in my personal opinion, no other organisation/instituition besides His Church has the holsitic capabilities to teach us (regardless of background or education) how to succeed in life- from the cradle to the grave.

My love for His Church

I’m grateful for all the efforts invested in organising such sessions (even on holidays) for the members of Hope Church, in order that we might benefit in our personal development and being equipped to face life with God.

Hence, I am thankful and always amazed how God works through His Church (in Hope Singapore). In spite of Hope’s imperfection, at least there is one thing that she’s doing right which is the teaching of the word of God uncompromisingly.

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 3:10-11

Unit BBQ on 26 January 2008 

The Church is the Answer

Even though I came from a dysfunctional family background, God in His mercy and wisdom gave me His Church as a spiritual family where I can experience His love and learn about true life.

As a victim of God’s wonderful love,  I am convinced and convicted that His Church carrys the answer to all of mankind’s problems.

My prayer is for those who need a touch of God’s love be with His Church and for His Church to grow to her fullest potential to love more people even more.

Amen.

igod: Talking to “God”

Chanced upon this online igod thingy where one gets to talk to “God” via MSN chat.

I think this is perfect for those who need an immediate answer from “Him”. But of course, it is not real lar…

It comes with a caution though, that “igod is meant to be used for fun, a sense of humour is recommended.”

Try igod here>>>

iGod

Check out “God’s” answer when you type: Are you a male or female?

Ha ha ha….

Putting our Hope in the Lord

“He gives strength to the weary 
    and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, 
    and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD 
    will renew their strength. 
    They will soar on wings like eagles; 
    they will run and not grow weary, 
    they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)

Thinking Aloud: Growing Old in Singapore

StudentsMuch attention has been on Singapore’s greying population and it will likely remain as a perennial national challenge for the many years to come.

I read that according to the United Nations, population ageing will be most significant in Asia. By year 2050, 1.2 billion people in Asia will be 60 years and above- four times the number today.

With our higher life expectancy, Singapore counts as one of the fastest ageing countries in the world. Today, one in 12 Singaporeans are 65 and above. By the year 2030, that would increase to one in five of us being 65 and above.

Ageing in Singapore

Anticipating the ageing issues that will arise, our government has made substantial efforts to address these issues such as the recent organising of the SICEX 2008 Exhibition that was held at the Suntec Convention Hall last two weeks ago.

The Ministerial Committee on Ageing (MCA) led by Mr Lim Boon Heng from the Prime Minister’s Office have been kept busy since last March by providing more care and concern for our ageing society. This has come in forms in advocating employment for older workers to annuities for old age and the tweaking of Eldershield and the CPF.

When explaining the reason behind the key changes of the CPF scheme, PM Lee cited how the government was concern for Singaporeans’ financial sustainability especially with the rise of life expectancy at 80 years old now.

From a glance, it looks like we do have a government that truly cares for their people with their plans to secure retirement for the ageing population. However, if we scratch the surface deeper, we might find another probable reason for this.

Tapping on human resource

It is a well-known fact that Singapore being deprived out of all other natural resources have only our human resource to tap on. That is why the role of education in Singapore is emphasised and is one of our nation’s core foundation.

This is also further explains and helps us understand on our government’s stance on certain policies or leadership approaches. For instance, we pride ourselves for providing WORKfare and not WELfare.

In Singapore, there is no “free lunch” and all of us are expected to work. If you want welfare, you got to work and contribute to CPF to receive incentives. That is our workfare.

Asset or a liability

Imagine when 500,000 Singaporeans retire at age 65 by 2010 out of 4-5 million as according to statistics. And couple that with the higher life expectancy and the need of healthcare.

Would the retirees have enough to survive?

Where would they get the money to survive if their savings are wiped out?

Would there be a sufficient workforce to sustain economic investments?

I believe some of these questions would have been our government’s primary concerns. And with the rapid growth of the ageing population, there is an urgent need to find solutions in keeping our economy going.

Not only does a retiree represents un-productivity, he/she also represents in economic terms, a liability.

Why?

Liabilities??Simply because by not working, one no longer contributes to the CPF. Not only does he/she not give, but he/she is taking.

Not mentioning that our economy being so dependent on consumer spending in bolstering it afloat would likely experience a big dip with retirees having less spending power.

So if a retiree runs out of money, where does he/she go?

Government lor…

If you don’t believe, you only have to look at our present situation with the rising cases of the poor and needy seeking financial assistance from our government at the Meet-The-People sessions.

Therefore, with the number of retirees expected in the years to come, that poses as a huge “liability” to our government. And this better explains the initiatives and measures for securing our retirement, welcoming of foreign workers to fill in those “gaps” and the recent means testing for healthcare.

Not sure if you agree with me, but all these care, concern and efforts, it seems are inclined more towards the sustainability of the economy, and not exactly for us.

Looking hard below the surface, I am faced with the hard truth that I am regarded nothing more than a mere number that contributes to my country’s population statistics.

Work till I die

But to be fair, I do applaud the government in carrying out a fine job in ensuring that our limited human resource in Singapore is fully utilised to his/her potential in contributing productivity to our nation’s workforce.

Putting myself in their shoes, this could be a bo bian (no choice in Hokkien) kind of situation.

However, as a working 30 year old Singaporean, my concern are the rising cost of living which would shrink the value of my CPF retirement nest in 30 years time.

Another concern is the affordability of healthcare as by that retiring age, healthcare would be a necessity for me to keep working in order to stay alive.

Against such a bleak bo bian backdrop, it is apparent that as a Singapore citizen, I will have to work till I die.

Abolishing Ageing: How to Live Forever

Jan 3rd 2008
From The Economist print edition

It looks unlikely that medical science will abolish the process of ageing. But it no longer looks impossible.

Overcoming Death

“IN THE long run,” as John Maynard Keynes observed, “we are all dead.” True. But can the short run be elongated in a way that makes the long run longer? And if so, how, and at what cost?

People have dreamt of immortality since time immemorial. They have sought it since the first alchemist put an elixir of life on the same shopping list as a way to turn lead into gold. They have written about it in fiction, from Rider Haggard’s “She” to Frank Herbert’s “Dune”. And now, with the growth of biological knowledge that has marked the past few decades, a few researchers believe it might be within reach.

To think about the question, it is important to understand why organisms—people included—age in the first place. People are like machines: they wear out. That much is obvious.

However a machine can always be repaired. A good mechanic with a stock of spare parts can keep it going indefinitely. Eventually, no part of the original may remain, but it still carries on, like Lincoln’s famous axe that had had three new handles and two new blades…. (cont’d)

Read the full article here>>>

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