My Read of the Month:

Title: A Nation Cheated
Author: Chee Soon Juan
Published: 2008
Genre: Singapore Politics
Ratings: 3.7 out of 5 stars

Without a doubt Dr Chee Soon Juan cuts a very controversial figure in Singapore politics. Some respect him while some or most loathe him, especially for his confrontational antics with civil disobedience.

However, we cannot deny that this man’s fortitude in standing for his democratic beliefs in spite of the constant hammering dished out by our PAP leaders baffles many of us. And it did provoke me to consider about this man’s intentions and aspirations for Singapore and to read this book.

This book surmises Singapore’s political history (based on historical records) and how the PAP came into absolute power that it is today. And unlike what we were mostly told by the media and in schools, Dr Chee attempts to present the untold version of the PAP’s unscrupulous mannerism in usurping power using the ISA to detain political opponents.

Many of these political opponents were imprisoned without trial as long as 25 years. One notable character whom should have been Singapore’s first prime minister was the late Lim Chin Siong. He was a respected leader of the masses who valiantly fought for the rights of Singaporeans and their desire for independence from the British rule.

Interestingly, he was against the meager with Malaysia. That allegedly led him to be detained by the ISA on grounds that he was a communist. He was locked up twice on accusations for his communist links but was never trialed and convicted. He was subsequently banished to London in 1969 and only allowed to return 10 years later.

With Lim and an opposition out of the way, Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP took control of the independent press and active trade union movement. And they say the rest is history. In 1996, Lim passed away unceremoniously.

Not everything in this book is about the late Lim, but his story and his fate is pivotal in how the tide turned in favour for the PAP to reign. The rest of the book recounts the history of the degenerating of our labour laws; the dependency of MNCs and use of GLCs; and the transparency of our sovereign wealth funds with Temasek Holdings and GIC.

Overall, this book appeals even to the average man on the street. It shares the other side of history which has been blacked out. So one ought to read with an open and discerning mind, and conclude for yourself the true Singapore story.

And the truth is important,  for history defines who we are as a people, and don’t we wonder why there is no true identity or true sense of belonging as a Singaporean?

Who should read it: All Singaporeans and anyone who’s interested in the making of Singapore’s success.

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Protest FAIL

A group of protestors seen here protesting against protesting in Malaysia. Read more about this here>>>

Saluting a true champion

After his team was defeated by a sensational Barcelona team during the recent European final, many expected Alex Ferguson to throw in the towel and retire.

But he did not.

Instead, this 70-year old manager has been busy getting his team ready to mount another challenge in the new season.

“You shouldn’t be afraid of a challenge. We’ve got better and better. We want to improve. Of course, next season, we must improve even more,” said Alex Ferguson after the defeat.

Indeed, champions are not those who do not fail but they’re those who do not quit.

It is safe to say that Manchester United are the champions they are today because of their manager’s winning mentality.

Alex, is one person that readily admits that he does not enjoy being second best and his team not only understands that but adopts his winning mentality.

If his 24 years at the same club and winning 12 championship titles is not convincing proof of his insatiable appetite for winning, I do not know what is.

I truly take my hat off and salute this true champion of a man.

Top 5 regrets of the dying

A lady who worked with the dying for years posted a list of the top 5 regrets she has heard from people on their deathbeds. I’m reproducing parts of the post here and hope it encourages you just as it has for me; to take action in living a life without regrets.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives.

Read the full article here>>>.

Emerging stronger thru trials

“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
    who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
    it will become a place of refreshing springs.
    The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.

They will continue to grow stronger,
    and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.”

Psalm 84:5-7 (New Living Translation)

My state of “crossover”

It’s been almost 3 years since my personal “crossover” in heeding the call of the cultural mandate.

As expected, it has not been an easy ride. In fact, it has been tough to the point of frustration.

However, I must acknowledge that most of the frustration stems from me being impatient in wanting to see results.

At these moments, I have to constantly remind myself that I’m following God’s timetable, not mine.

I’m His beloved

I’m also tempted many of a times to just settle for less and be ‘contented’ at where I am. From a humanistic viewpoint, I know I’m doing reasonably okay, especially taking in consideration of my past.

So why even bother to press so hard and make my life so difficult?

Everyone’s just cruising through life, why must I be different?  

But in the face of such derailing thoughts, I’m reminded that I’m His beloved. If He only desires the best for me, then why should I short-change myself by forfeiting my rightful inheritence?

I’m His follower

Another reminder or factor that has anchored in holding me steadfast is His vision given to me.

I’m truly convinced that God has launched an all-out mission to reclaim what has been lost- territories in the marketplace.

And I don’t wish to be a spectator. I want to be in the thick of the action!

But with all that has been said, I’m learning that obedience to a call or fulfilling His vision is not just about accomplishing a task, in this case the Great Commission.

It is also becoming the person God has destined us to become. Therefore, I’m hanging on and pressing onwards.