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CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF CAAS collaborates with NTU to open Air Traffic Institute


08 25.02.13 ISSN NO. 0218-7310

NEWS | 4

Students flout “No-Eating” rule in NTU lecture theatres

学生不服讲堂禁食令 南苑 | 25








News Bites WORLD ChaNgE iN RulES foR thE PaPaCy

Pope Benedict XVI might change the Vatican Constitution to allow a new Pope to take office before 15 March. This follows the shocking retirement of the pontiff. Benedict, 85, is expected to stand down by 28 Feb. With existing rules of the constitution allowing only for the voting procedure to take place 15 to 20 days after the papal throne is vacated, voting is expected to start after 15 Mar. However, there is possibility the rule can be changed because Benedict is leaving through resignation rather than death, said the Vatican. BomBiNg iN damaSCuS killS 53

A car bomb exploded in the Damascus, Syria, killing at least 53 people and injured 200. Syria has blamed terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda for the blast which hit Mazraa neighbourhood, near the headquarters of Syria’s ruling Baath Party. It is also reported that two mortars were fired at military headquarters shortly after the car bomb. No group has admitted to the attacks yet.


As of 16 Feb, the World Health Organisation was informed of 12 confirmed cases of human infection with the novel coronavirus (NCoV), which caused five deaths. This new virus contains a similar strain found in Severe Acute Respitory Syndrome (SARS), which caused a pandemic 10 years ago. Persons traveling from or are residents in areas of the world known to be affected – UK, Saudi Arabia and Jordan – should have been advised by the WHO to get tested. B o dy f o u N d i N h ot E l WatER taNk

A woman’s body lay decomposing in a Cecil Hotel’s rooftop water tank for more than two weeks, police said. The body was found by a maintenance worker who was attempting to find out why the water pressure was low. Tourists who used the water described the it as having a weird taste and colour. The woman identified as Elisa Lam was reported missing by her family since early February and last seen at the hotel on 31 Jan. Police are investigating her suspicious death.



Ntu PRoVoSt joiNS thE RaNkS of toP uk SCiENtiStS


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will release a new series of coins will be in circulation by mid-2013.The new coins will be larger in size will be tagged with electro-magnetic signatures while retaining the current denominations. They will feature five of Singapore’s national icons and landmarks such as the Merlion, Port of Singapore, Changi Airport, HDB Housing, and the Esplanade. MAS has also said that former coins will still be legal tender. SiNgaPoRE’S jouRNE y to SPaCE

googlE maPS NoW WoRk iNdooRS

Singapore’s first commercial satellite is set to take flight into outer space in 2015. The TeLEOS-1 designed by Singapore Technologies Electronics is in its developmental stages and will be used as a earth observation satellite. It functions include disaster monitoring and management, mineral exploration, precision farming, environmental monitoring and climate change studies. The 400kg satellite will orbit around the equator at the height of 550km.

Singapore is the second city in Asia to receive the Google Maps indoor function. The software will allow users to navigate within shopping malls and large buildings. It uses Wi-Fi access points to determine one’s position and offers directions across different floors. The feature will be available on Android devices. Users can also access this function through web browsers, which enable only the single-floor view fuction.

What’s happening on campus? PVS Darkroom Photography Exhibition

Celebrate NTU!

News App Challenge

The NTU Photo-Videographic Society will hold its biennial Darkroom Exhibition with photographs that were developed and printed by its members in the Nanyang House darkroom. Film photography enthusiasts can look forward to the collection, themed ‘Adventure’, which features both exotic and familiar sights captured by members during their holidays. Where: Lee Wee Nam Library, When: 25 Feb-13 Mar

The inaugural event brings together students, faculty, and staff to celebrate NTU’s recent achievements. Programme highlights include the President’s State of the University Address, the Nanyang Awards ceremony, and dance and hall Jam Band performances. Hourly lucky draws will also be held, and DJs from The Butter Factory will be spinning through the night. Where: Nanyang Auditorium & The Quad When: 12 Mar, 2.30-8.30pm

The News App Challenge at Newsplex Asia will see students, media professionals, designers, developers, and entrepreneurs thinking up innovative journalism-related apps. The morning talk from 9-10am is open to the public. Participants can register individually or as teams at bit.ly/W28TKu. Registration closes on 28 Feb and places are very limited. Where: Newsplex Asia, WKWSCI When: 9 Mar, 9am-4pm

R3C Presents No-Mix Vacuum Toilet

Impresario 2013: Grand Finals

Residues and Resource Reclamation Centre (R3C) is introducing a new and patented toilet that allows for sustainable waste management. Students and staff are invited to experience the new invention. Users are encouraged to participate in a questionnaire and stand a chance to win a new Apple iPad in their lucky draw. Where: North Spine Level 2, toilet beside Lift NS1-1 When: Until 28 Feb

Twenty grand finalists will be taking the stage at the popular nationwide competition organised by NTU CAC. Impresario is a talent search with categories in singing, dancing, and song-composing, and has been well-received by turnouts of 1,000-strong audiences every year. Visit cacimpresario.com for details. Where: Nanyang Auditorium When: 17 Mar, 6.30-10.30pm Cost: $14

Runners’ Expo 2013 This event aims to promote running as a sport through sharing running tips and knowledge from experienced runners through a run exhibition. And to encourage running by offering affordable priced running equipment to the NTU community. External vendors like Yurbuds, ASICS, and many others have been invited to offer running accessories, apparels and shoes at discounted rates of up to 40%. Where: North Spine (Outside Cheers) When: 25 - 27 Feb

Eleganza 2013: Piano Ensemble Concert The concert by the NTU Piano Ensemble will feature a variety of exotic piano works in different forms — four hands, six hands, and two-piano duets. Composers showcased will include Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Arensky. NUS and School of the Arts will also perform in collaborative items. Contact 8515 3400 for tickets. Where: Lee Foundation Theatre (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) When: 23 Mar, 7.30pm Cost: $10

Professor Freddy Boey, NTU Provost was awarded the prestigious Faculty of Medicine Fellowship by Imperial College London. This was to commerate his contributions to the developments of innovative medical devices, including a customisable hernia mesh, most recently approved for sale by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). or aging. Ntu to uNVEil NEW maSCot

Come 1st March, the NTUSU will be revealing our very first mascot. Out of 82 application, the top ten designs have already been chosen. Online voting is ongoing and accounts for 45 per cent of each entry’s results. CoRRECtioN In the article “Supper Wars”, published last issue, it was mentioned that The Hotbox operated via both social media and mobile phones. This is incorrect. Promotions are done via social media while orders are placed on their official website.


CHRONICLE on the web

Beyond these print pages, find more stories on our website, and share your thoughts with us.

Talking Point

A few weeks on, and the confession craze is still raging, with the page now reaching more than 10,000 followers. But is it more than a passing fad? Should the page continue, and if so, how can it remain relevant? So, whether you like the page the way it is, or you want to see it go, confess your own take on the Confession page on our website.

Caught On Campus

Big bikes but no burly men in sight, only NTU students crowding around a motorcycle simulator. Our web writer checked out what the NTU Bike Club brought to campus to share their enthusiasm for riding. And just last Friday, we caught a group of students looking for the janitors all around the North Spine; what were they up to? Find out more on our website. Think with us @ www.ntu.edu.sg/chronicle.


Something new is brewing at HSS — Page 4

Have you confessed yet? NTU Confessions has given students much to talk about in the recent weeks. Still, many question its credibility and usefulness. Isaac Tan news edITor


ecret s spi l led , ident it ies preserved. It's been three weeks since the birth of NTU Confessions, but contributions are still streaming in. From stories of promiscuity to heartfelt secrets, anonymous contributions are keeping readers well entertained. The Facebook page garnered more than 3,500 followers within the first three days and has a following of over 10,000 to date. The anonymity allows users to share anything, subject to the page administrators’ approval. One post detailed how an individual joined a cheerleading squad to meet “pretty and sexy girls” and to be able to “touch them”. Another was a brazen confession that the individual worked as an escort last year. This revealed a previously unknown side of NTU and provided a refreshing perspective for students here, said Nicholas Ng, 22, a secondyear Mechanical Engineer ing student. “NTU Confessions is like an online Speakers’ Cor ner. You can use the site to talk about school issues or even national issues like the recent White Paper

DEEP DARK SECRETS: Anonymity has emboldened more students to tell it all on NTU Confessions.

debate,” he said. “As long as there are no insensitive topics like racial discrimination, this page can help students speak up more.” Associate Professor Cherian George from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information agreed the site can contribute to healthy discussion. “ W i t h t h i s s i t e , i t 's l i k e crowdsourcing peer advice. You get more diverse views, which means a higher chance of receiving good advice,” he said. “Of course, you will also encounter wacko views, so, like everything on

the Internet, a lot depends on your powers of discernment,” said Dr George, who is also a member of the Media Literacy Council. P rof G e or ge wa r n s t hat the site can potentially cause more problems to individuals “in vindictive and self-destructive ways”. Many different types of posts are approved on the site in order for the platform to serve its purpose of sharing stories. This includes 'troll' posts — where users masquerade as other users and post confessions that may be untrue or exaggerated. “When this happens, and I say


‘when’ rather than ‘if’, I hope friends will step in and save their peers from themselves, and if necessary seek professional help from counsellors,” he said. Then, there is also the problem of content curation. The site was originally set up in time for Valentine’s Day and anonymity was intended to help people build up the courage to confess their feelings for others. But it also has resulted in abuse of the site. T he page’s founder s, N US Computer Science students who go by the alias Brian and Richard, say

that self-regulation is necessary. I f e ver y subm i ssion wer e automatically posted wit hout moderation, there would be the serious problem of offensive posts flooding the page. “Without proper identification, we need to be socially responsible and remove inappropriate entries,” said Brian. Unfortunately, many students q u e s t ion t h e c r e d i bi l i t y of the posts. Ng Boon K iat, 24, stopped following the site because he felt that many of the posts were going overboard and most were fake. “Anyone can post and there’s no way to ensure credibility,” said the third-year School of Biological Sciences student. “It’s just a platform for people to talk nonsense and gain attention.” But while many may dismiss the site’s content, some agree with the administrators that the site is useful for making lost-and-found announcements and serves as a public forum to discuss sensitive issues such as the treatment of NTU’s foreign students. “U lt i mately, we hope t h is will remain a healthy and open confession page,” said Brian. However, they also warned others that it is not easy. Richard said: “My advice to those forming spaces for discussion online, will be to constant ly moderate the content. “A disclaimer may help but at the end of the day, do moderate with social responsibility in mind.” Additional reporting by Yebeen Ashley Kim

Master of teaching, friend of students

HUMILITY: Prof Vijay Sethi values bond with his students over teaching accolades PHOTO: NTU

IN A live “teach-off” happening in London on 14 March, Professor Vijay Sethi is set to contend in the world cup of classroom battles for the highest accolade of Business teaching. To become t he Economist’s Business Professor of 2013, Prof Vijay of Nanyang Business School has to fight off competition from three other professors from HEC Montreal, Universit y of British Columbia, and Insead. The prize may be US$100,000 ( $124,0 0 0 ) , a nd i nter nat iona l recognition, but Prof Vijay said the honour of being a finalist is a already a humbling one. After all, students are still the greatest motivation to extend his 20 years of teaching. Awards are

secondary, he said. “For example, one of my former students opened his own education consulting company, and came back to thank me even after his graduation, saying I was his inspiration,” he said. “It was a heartening moment when I realised I could change my students’ careers and lives, and could help them discover their true calling.” T h roug hout h is yea r s of teaching Masters of Business Administration (MBA) as well as IT and e-Business classes at the Nanyang Business School, he has become known for his style of cold-calling during classes. “I employ t rad it iona l ( met hod s ) whe r e I ca l l my

students out at random so they must be paying attention and come prepared to class with ideas to share. “At the same time, I believe t he r e mu s t b e a nu r t u r i ng , relaxed atmosphere, thus I mix moments of humour with serious discussions.” Steven Quimby, 29, a former student of Prof Vijay said that the Professor is great at finding this equilibrium. “He gets everyone to participate in class discussions, yet he is able to keep the discussion on track,” said the current Vice-President for bu si ne ss de ve lopment at HedgeSPA, an investment analytics company. Former students have also translated their moral support

into concrete nominations. A ndrew K im, a healthcare professional and current MBA student, nominated Prof Vijay for the award. After all, the professor is highly-respected and well-liked by all his students, and hence a good chance to win, he said. Pe r h a p s i t 's t h i s m u t u a l respect between Prof Vijay and his students, that may catapult him to the gold. However, Prof Vijay values their support more than the prize. “They pat me on the back and tell me that they are rooting for me,” he said. “That means much more than the actual result.”

— sIvanangaI ThIrumenI






Million-dollar makeover for hangar New air traffic institute will simulate and study conditions at Changi Airport with $72 million from a CAAS-NTU tie-up.

Students in full flight

Wong Pei Ting


ome hand-me-downs from the Singapore Air Force at the aircraft hangar in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) will be given away to make way for a multimillion aviation research institute. With the free space, the area will house a new research institute dedicated to the field of air traffic management, to simulate and study the actual conditions of Changi Airport. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the university will also pump in $72 million to service the one-year revamp of the hangar, which is the size of an Olympic-sized soccer field. An existing research lab in the hangar will also be relocated over the next few months. “As a national endeavour, the collaboration is big. Very big,” said NTU Provost Freddy Boey in recognition of the region’s robust air traffic growth during a media conference. “$70-over million over five years can make a big difference to the industry as it generates knowledge, know-how, and provides critical manpower needed for research in air traffic management for the region.” To kick off interest in the institute, NTU is enrolling more PhD students who will contribute to four primary areas of research: air-ground traffic, weather forecast and information, aircraft separa-

soaring high: nTU's collaboration with Caas has Prof Chua Chee Kai on cloud nine.

tion and human performance. Meanwhile, the task now is for the institute to recruit new faculty members and PhD students, and to carefully choose projects to fund, said Professor Chua Chee Kai, the Chair of MAE. And MAE isn’t the only school that will be involved. There will be possibilities for collaboration among the 1,200-strong team of professors at NTU. Whether it is engaging the School of Computer Engineering to look into management systems, or the Earth Observatory of Singapore to study weather issues, the institute will rope in professors who have the expertise required, said Prof Chua.

These research areas take on existing challenges at Changi Airport. They include high air and ground traffic volume, increasingly complex air traffic with the possible opening of a third runway, and weather disruptions.

CAAS and NTU tie-up

The institute, set to launch early next year, is the fruit of a tie-up between CAAS and the university. From testing the effect of weight turbulence, to reducing the area of separation between aircraft in the air, the institute seeks to validate new technologies, said Director-General of CAAS, Mr Yap Ong Heng. It will test solutions from foreign institutes to cater to

PhoTo: YEo Kai WEn

the regional market. After all, the expanding operations at Changi Airport have become too complicated for CAAS to just buy solutions off the shelves, said CAAS’s Assistant DirectorGeneral Mr Soh Poh Theen. “In our early days, the air hub had not reached that critical mass so we could afford to be an early adopter of established solutions. “But now, we have crossed a certain threshold in terms of airhub size and complexity of air traffic movements,” said Mr Soh. Addressing the needs of air traff ic management will enhance the safety and efficiency of t he a i r por t’s operat ions, a n effort to remain the region’s leading air hub.

The institute welcomes secondand third-year students of the U R ECA programme, f inalyear engineer ing st udents embarking on their Graduation Projects, and PhD students who wish to pursue a career in air traffic management. While no research has been done in this field yet, the interest is large, said Prof Chua, who heads the eight-yearold Aerospace Engineering programme. “Subsequently, these students form the pool that can be absorbed into the air traffic management industry,” he said. CAAS will also consider recruiting student researchers, so that they will have a know-how to undertake future projects, according to Prof Chua. If the work results in some commercialisable solutions, researchers can even consider starting their own company, or working abroad in the United States, Germany, and Japan. A memorandum of agreement was signed on 5 Feb at the World Civil Aviation Chief Executives’ Forum, in witness of high-ranking officers in the field of aviation around the world. Over the next five years, CAAS will pledge $50 million to fund air traffic research and development, while NTU will contribute $22 million in kind to prepare the facility that will house the institute and get the right expertise. T he i n s t it ute w i l l be t he main thrust of the new Centre of Excellence for A i r Traf f ic Management, which was launched last October.

New cafe opens in NTU CynThia Choo neWs ediTor

no BUBBlEs BUrsT: (From left) lin Ye Kai, lin Jin han, and ang Chin leng, bring the taste of artease bubble tea into hss PhoTo: Forlando TamBUnan

WITH its warm lighting, bar stools and wooden tabletops, Artease is easily mistaken for a coffee house. That's exactly the ambience the three entrepreneurs hoped to create when they opened the bubble tea store in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) last week. Located on the first level of HSS, Artease is tucked in the corner of the large foyer. NTU alumni Mr Ang Chin Leng, 33, Mr Lin Ye Kai, 30 and Mr Lin Jin Han, 28, brought the franchise to campus, with the intention to evolve the order-and-go concept of a typical bubble tea store into that of a cafe where students can relax and study. “We don’t see ourselves as a

bubble tea store, but as a cafe and bar,” said Mr Lin Ye Kai. “The layout is ver y cosy with ample ventilation. I'd love to stay inside and enjoy my drink if I weren't rushing for class,” said Tan Shu Wei, 19, a first-year student from Nanyang Business School. However, some feel the space is insufficient to accommodate the cafe’s growing popularity. “The last time I was there, there were only high chairs left, but such seats are not suitable for studying in groups of three and more,” said Neo Kai Min, 20, a first-year Sociology student. Artease is run with the student body in mind. The 10 per cent discount for NTU students and staff ensures prices are kept affordable. Even so, some don’t take issues with the slightly premium prices

typical of Artease outlets. “I don’t mind paying more because they have unique flavours like salted caramel,” said Lau Chong Wai, 21, a first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. The trio are also considering extending operating hours to cater to students who study late into the night. “We plan to open until 2am during the exam period, and are also looking into delivery to halls to make it more convenient for students,” said Mr Lin Ye Kai. Vincent Phua, 22, a first-year School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering student believes it will be a good move. “Students who stay in halls will most probably order it for supper when they stay up late to study since it will make a refreshing break,” he said.






Less ang, moh us Best known for partying their nights away, students on exchange here often go by the “you only live once” creed, making the most of their time abroad without worrying about their GPA. But these are five exchange students who are defying stereotypes by soaking up the life of a true blue NTU student. Sivanangai Thirumeni and Teo Ying En investigate.

Remi Reppert, 22, NBS Telecom Business School, France


Sokol Katarzyna, 21, SPMS University of Edinburgh WITH barely any knowledge of the Asian culture, it came as quite a shock for Sokol Katarzyna when she was placed in charge of training 500 performers for last week's Chingay. Yet, it was her proudest moment when the parade went without a hitch. Trainings were intense, she said, each session lasting three hours, up to three times a week. Katarzyna attended every practice. “My best friends in NTU were made during Chingay. I also learned a lot about the (local) culture and traditions, like the Lunar New Year,” she said.

WITH his muscular and tall physique, business student Remi Reppert, 22, has the ideal build of an athlete. Reppert has only been on exchange here for a month, but is already an active member of the Rock-climbing Club in NTU. Reppert was active in sports like judo, karate and basketball in France, and continues to pursue his passion for sports here in NTU. He attends the three-hour rock-climbing sessions twice a week. Rock-climbing was a new experience for him. “We don’t have climbing walls in my school in France, so it's nice to have the chance to practice it here in NTU,” he said. Reppert relishes the challenging aspects of the sport, which include the difficult body positioning, and the need to be fit and lean at all times.

Martina Coltro, 23, HSS Bangor University, Wales MOST exchange students take up to five modules here, and Martina Coltro did just that. The only difference, is that the Italian-born Welsh is involved with five different sports — squash, basketball, tennis, swimming and track — aside from her academic commitments. “It’s not easy for Caucasians to blend in. Sometimes it is really frustrating as we are so far away from home and we just want to be accepted as part of NTU. “Thanks to the Inter-Hall Games, I had the chance to meet a lot of local students from my hall and share my passion for sports with them,” she said. Born to parents who are former marathon runners, it’s no surprise that Coltro, 23, grew up loving sports. The sports fan played basketball and tennis back in her country, and she continued to pursue her active lifestyle when she came to NTU a year ago. She was then personally invited by the respective sports captains to pick up tennis, swimming and track. She trained weekly for squash and basketball during her first semester here. “Although my commitment was stressful, I felt accomplished and satisfied,” she said.

Fraser Hancock, 21, MAE University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Mohammad Baqir Khaki, 20, MAE Queen Mary (University of London) BRITISH native Mohammad Baqir Khaki got more than what he signed up for when he took up Silat here. It wasn’t just the Malay martial arts skills he picked up. The culture and camderiare of the team kept him attracted to the sport. Aside from his personal interest with the sport, what draws Baqir to each session is the opportunity to bond with the team.“I can recall many instances when I would feel drained the day after practice, but it's nothing compared to the satisfaction I gained,” he said.

FRASER Hancock stood on the damp gym mats, applauded by a wildly cheering crowd. Having just executed acrobatic cheerleading turns and throws with the Hall 12 team, the Scot said this will be the most poignant memory of his exchange here. “It was ner ve-wreck ing, yet exciting. I felt the adrenaline coursing through my veins,” he said. The Inter hall Cheerleading Competition (IHCC) was Fraser’s first cheerleading competition. Despite his inexperience, the 1.93m Scot was eager to jump onboard when invited to join the team. “At the start we had trainings twice a week, four hours each. But as it neared the competition date the sessions were longer, more frequent and more vigorous so I had to plan my time well,” he said. The IHCC may be over, but Fraser is still doing drills — in preparation for the Inter-varsity games with the NTU rugby team.






Money not enough? Jasmine Tay & Liu Ting Ting


enise Png joined a hall sub-committee at the start of Semester One in August. A f ter passi ng t wo rou nd s of interviews, she was asked to contribute a fee of over $50 to the Junior Common Room Committee (JCRC) as a prerequisite for her membership. She willingly paid the sum. While it wasn’t a small amount, especially for a student, Denise, 19, a first-year Humanities and Social Sciences student said she understands the need for collecting funds. “The JCRC needs the money to organise hall events,” she said. “Still, I have questioned why the halls are not given enough budget to be self-sufficient without relying on members’ monetary contributions.” Her comments follow a change in the St udent A ffairs Off ice (SAO)’s system for distributing hall funding. While SAO could not supply details of the new system to the Chronicle by press time, a hall financial officer gave some details on how the system has changed. In the past, SAO dispensed funds for hall events and activitities. Since this academic year, funding has been cut, and halls that need extra money for events a re asked to apply for gra nt money on an ad-hoc basis. If the money is given to them, it arrives after the event has been organised. This causes problems for halls paying for suppliers and venues in advance, and before the grant comes in. As such, JCRC leaders collect the money upfront because the allocated budgets do not give them the ability to plan events with better food, at better locations and with better entertainment. So they turn to their subcommittee members to fund these events, and usually return the money to them afterwards. T h is pract ice is preva lent although SAO does not give it official support. “Budget s a r e a l located to each hall, based on the number of residents in the hall,” said the Director of Students, Associate Professor Lok Tat Seng. “As good practice, all hall committees should be prudent and work within the allocated budgets.” However, Mr Chan Weng Hoo, a Fellow of Hall 5, understands the JCRCs’ difficulties. “I don’t have any objections for them to make use of another channel to source for funds to support their activities and events for residents in the halls” he said. “In addition, it’s always a challenge to get sufficient sponsors, donors and contributors.” This is a common practice, to

FUN, FUN, FUND: The success of hall events weighs heavily on available funding, and halls struggle to raise the money.

collect money from sub-committee and JCRC members to pay for an event, and then raise funds to reimburse them. The amount collected is usually only enough to cover 10 to 15 per cent of the cost of events. One JCRC member confirmed his hall committee collects funds to ease the lack of liquid funds at the start of an event.

“This is a problem faced by all 16 halls — it’s just that each hall solves the problem differently.”

Current JCRC member who wishes to remain anonymous

But he says they make it a point to reimburse the money immediately after receiving funding from SAO. “This is a problem faced by all 16 halls. It’s just that each hall solves the problem differently.” Halls 11 and 14 for instance, ask sub-committee members to make up the shortfall, and aim to reimburse them after receiving money from fund-raising. “It ensures we have a physical fund to ease the pressure of pre-budgeting, allowing us to

plan better events,” said a former JCRC member who declined to be named. “We spend around $1,000 to $1,500 per event.” He added that his hall makes the extra effort to meet the expectations of residents, and that additional entertainment such as dunking machines which can cost up to $200, are occasionally rented. Fur ther, he added that the JCRC members have already contributed a lot of money, often five times more than they ask from the sub-committee members.

Extra commitment

Each JCRC has 16 portfolios, each with a set of responsibilities that range from publicity to sports management. Sub-committee members are recruited to help JCRC leaders organise hall activities. Members get extra-curricular activity (ECA) points for their work, so they can retain a space in hall the following year. While most Halls of Residence recruit sub-committee members on a voluntary basis, Halls 1 and 5 require their residents to contribute to their funds as part of their membership. Hall 5 requires its residents to pay a blanket fee of $80 while Hall 1 calls for its residents to pay $10 per sub-committee.

Png added that some JCRC members made allowances to help those who could not afford the fees. Payment keeps people keen. Members who have contributed a nominal fee are more likely to remain consistently involved in hall activities, said the former JCRC member. He confirmed residents who do not pay may not receive ECA points, which determine if they can stay on for another year. This is only done to ensure it’s fair to those who do pay, he said. But Yeong Dong Lin, the social secretary of Hall 14, said whether their sub-committee members pay does not determine priorities and extra benefits. “We judge a member’s suitability based on his commitments and contributions, and never by the money they pay.” Not all agree with the rationale behind such a system. Sheena Tan, 20, previously from Hall 1, paid $20 in total to join two sub-committees, and was not pleased about it. “We pay money to do work in events and that just didn’t seem right,” she said. Tan no longer stays in hall as she did not enjoy her time there. The $20 fee she paid went to sub-committee shirts and other events, although she said she was never made aware of this.


“If they had explained where the money was going to before we joined the sub-committees, I would have been more willing to pay,” she said.

Improving the system

Though the issue looks set to stay, JCRCs are beginning to improve the system. A member of the Hall 11 JCRC explains that they understand the current system is problematic. “But it takes time and effort to change the system,” he said. He added that his committee has started fund-raising and are confident of leaving next year’s JCRC members with substantial funds for their first event. Even so, some halls find SAO’s funding sufficient. “We spent over $1,000 for a Chinese New Year event because we held the event at a restaurant,” said 22-year-old Emmanuel Goh, a Hall 12 JCRC member. “We have otherwise not exceeded that amount for other events held in the hall.” He added they not only kept within budget but also saved quite a sum. Have other solutions to combat the lack of liquid funds before events? Should there be more canvassing efforts? Share your views with us @ www.ntu.edu.sg/chronicle.






NTU scientist's flash of brilliance For the first time, mobile phones can be equipped with upgraded flashes like those used in professional cameras

CEO of Xenon Technologies. It could also lead to lower prices of related electronic products, he added. “We will have a competitive edge over other flash technologies in the market.”

Louisa sng


“Consumers can expect to see that the flash in today's camera will be in our smart phones.”

AY goodbye to dark, under-lit photographs. Mobile phones are set to be able to fire flashes as powerful as those in digital cameras, as a result of a collaboration between an NTU scientist and Xenon Technologies. Traditionally, flash capacitors from digital cameras are too large to fit into regular mobile phones like the Samsung Galaxy S and Apple iPhones. However, Associate Professor Lee Pooi See from the School of Materials Science and Engineering reduced the size of a nor mal camera capacitor, making Xenon's version compact enough to be fitted into mobile phones.

Mr Jack Tuen CEO Xenon Technologies

Small yet mighty

The newly-developed Xenon flash capacitors are at least five times smaller than current electrolytic capacitors and several times faster than ceramic-based capacitors. The newly-designed multilayered polymer capacitor also allows the f lash to produce the same results as those found in today’s digital cameras. The Xenon flash also imitates sunlight so that photos will not appear too warm or too cold. Prof Lee’s Eureka! moment came

FLASH EPIPHANY: New flash capacitor (held by Prof Lee; left) revolutinises flash technology and photography on mobile phones. PHOTO: ROY PEK

two years ago, when she thought of shrinking the heavy capacitors found in military equipment. “Coincidentally, Xenon was employing one of our students who was aware that her professor was working on capacitors,” said Mr Raphael Phang, Director of Marketing and Administration of Na nya ng I n novat ion a nd

Enterprise Office. “It was the right place and right time for the collaboration." he said. “Consumers can expect to see that flash in today's camera will be in our smartphones," said Mr Jack Tuen, CEO of Xenon Technologies. “I am confident this collaboration will be popular, not just in the area of flash technology, but also in

the world of consumer electronics. After all, all computers and devices require capacitors,” said Prof Lee. Prof Lee also confirmed the Xenon flash capacitor costs less to manufacture due to cheaper materials like polymers. “The cost advantage makes it feasible for us to mass manufacture the product,” said Mr Jack Tuen,

The task now, said Mr Tuen, is building factories capable of producing large amounts of these capacitors. Then only can it be made available to smartphones. NTU Xenon will unveil their commercial plan to the public by September 2013. Matthew Ng, 21, first year student from the Wee Kim Wee S c ho ol of I n for m at ion a nd Communication and photography enthusiast felt that the Xenon f lash will be an advantageous to amateur phtographers who might not know how to use flash properly. “Since the flash is so powerful, photographers can light up photos beautifully from afar," he said.

Soldering the future with nanocopper isaac Tan news ediTor N T U will soon be home to a joint research laborator y with an American aerospace giant, Lockheed Martin, the creator of Singapore’s F-16 fighter jet. The new facility, launched last month, will explore the science of nanotechnology commonly used in planes, trains and satellites. This venture will see NTU students and facult y working a lon g s ide L o c k he e d M a r t i n scientists in the development of “nanocopper” — copper that is broken into small pieces and hence able to melt industrial copper below 200 deg Celsius. With that, it could become a vital soldering component that can conduct heat and electricity 10 times better. The deal was inked by NTU Provost Professor Freddy Boey, and Dr Kenneth Washington, VicePresident of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Centre on 19 Feb. The new facility will see a

joint fund of $10 million spread over the next four years. This amount will also be used for the hiring of up to eight scientists who will collaborate on research projects. “This is a good example of how NTU can connect to global industrial partners to develop solut ion s to ma ny g loba l challenges,” said Prof Boey. This platform will facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge between both institutions to test commercial prototypes. “We look forward to working with our NTU colleagues to identify specific commercial target markets and applications for both Lockheed Martin and NTU’s intellectual property,” said Dr Washington. Beyond t his deal, N T U is not looking to slow down on collaborations wit h exter nal institutions. “We hope scientists from both institutions will continue researching on other topics such as satellite technology, interactive media and even deep sea mining,” said Prof Boey.

DONE DEAL: The launch of the NTU-LM joint lab signifies the start of a new collaboration between NTU and Lockheed Martin, which will uncover more scientific innovations in the field of nanotechnology PHOTO: NTU


A WORK OF GENIUS Driven by the simple motivation to make things work, these young researchers challenge the limits of scientific knowledge to engineer new solutions. Photo editors Lim Mu Yao and Yeo Kai Wen showcase the work of young researchers involved in projects that may potentially improve our lives.


odging flying propellers and racing down the Formula One Sepang International circuit in a self-built car are just some of the things students go through all in the name of engineering research. Research forms an integral part of academic life on campus, w it h N T U r a n ke d a s one of the top five universities in the world in citations, according to Thomson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators. Across campus, the hundreds of engineering research projects happening are led by aspiring researchers eagerly awaiting to break the next scientific barrier.

A versatile mind

Such research projects are filled with plenty of unusual challenges that demand the quick thinking and versatility of an engineering student. “If you want to be a great engineer, never restrict yourself to theory,” said Li Juekun, 23, a final-year student at the School of E le c t r ica l a nd E le c t r on ic Engineering (EEE). His super v ising professor, E r Me ng Joo, Fe l low of t he Renaissance Engineer ing Programme, agreed. “Scientists may come up with theorems, but engineers are the ones who apply them to real life problems.” From sec u r i ng f u nd i ng for research to f ixing broken prototypes after botched tests, the young researchers are constantly pu shed to overcome t hese problems. A spi r it of i mprov isat ion hovers at every corner of these laboratories, even with the multi-

m i l l ion dol la r gadget r y a nd scientific apparatus. Rolls of duct tape, blu-tack and cable-ties are commonly seen, holding halffinished prototypes together. Ong Kok Ping, 25, a final-year EEE st udent and creator of a glass-cleaning machine, said:“I drew a blueprint initially because I wanted to build it from scratch. But due to budget constraints, I had to scrape it and we ended up improvising by using everyday household items.”

Hard sacrifices

Their labourious and challenging work also removes the students from the comfortable reaches of family and friends. “ We s t a y b ac k on s om e weekends working till 10pm,” said Chan Peng Guan, 29, another final-year EEE student. “Of course, it hurts when you don’t get to meet your family and friends often. But this is the last chance I get to do a project like this, so I’m going to put in 100% effort to make sure I have no regrets.”

Making things work

Fueled by a constant drive to make things work and change the world, their strong spirit comes from a basic, practical sense of purpose — to simply make things work in the real world. Mihindukulasooriya Sheral, 22, a final-year student at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said:“Whatever we do here is done out of passion and to make our school proud. We are doing these projects because of our passion in design and engineering. We want to be real, practical engineers.”

“If you want to be a great engineer, never restrict yourself to theory.” Li Juekun, 23 Year 4 School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering





(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) FLYING MACHINE: Prof Er Meng Joo (left) supervises final-year EEE students Chan Peng Guan (middle) and Li Juekun as they carry out a test flight of their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in the Sensor Network Laboratory. FOUR-WHEELED WONDER: Yuan Sheng Hai, 23, starts up his four-wheeled robot. It was designed to carry out complex maneouvres such as navigating around outdoor obstacles. ROBO LION DANCE: Zhong Zhao Hang, 24, a final-year EEE student, works on a programme that makes his robot lion’s dance moves more life-like. He is proud that his robots can be used as a showcase of traditional Chinese culture. WIPING IT DOWN: Ong Lok Ping, 25, and Luo Yiwen, 21, test out their prototype of a glass cleaning machine, improvised from common household items. AN EYE CHECK: Yeung Jian Zheng (left), 27, a PhD student at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, takes a volunteer out on a test drive in order to collect data on driver’s viewing habits for the Land Transport Authority. MORE HANDS, MORE WORK: A team of students from NTU’s engineering schools come together as part of a volunteer effort to participate in the Shell Eco-Marathon, the worldwide challenge that sees young student engineers and scientists design, build and test ultra energyefficient vehicles.

Lifestyle foodsnoop


hey say food ref lects our society and life. The phenomenal influx of immigrants into cosmopolitan Singapore is reflected in the fusion of cultures in the Peranakan cuisine. Arising from inter-marriages of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian cultures, the Peranakan culture in Singapore is the lineage of Straits-born Chinese. While efforts have been taken to preserve this slowly disappearing heritage, some Peranakan chefs in Singapore have decided to embrace new influences by fusing other cuisines with traditional Peranakan dishes.


NYONYA From Assam Fish Head Curry to Assam Pork Knuckle — with the help of globalisation and changing tastes, traditional Peranakan food is being given a facelift. Elizabeth Tan embarks on a food trail in search of fusion Peranakan dishes that have been recreated with a modern-day touch.

WOODY FAMILY CAFE 12F Andrews Avenue Singapore 759930 Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 4pm to midnight Sun & PH 12 noon to midnight Telephone: 6758 1185 T UCK ED away amid massive residential estates in Sembawang, Woody Family Cafe is already rare not just for its location but also, its menu. The cafe resembles a beachside bar, with the huge draperies, long sofas and jazz music playing softly in the background. “We wanted to preserve the style of the old days and create a relaxing atmosphere away from city life,” said Jenny Ng, the chef and owner of Woody’s. The Peranakan food enthusiast mused about her love for experimenting with different cuisines, mainly Western and Eurasian, fusing them into traditional Peranakan dishes. “I usually try to create a new dish on every special occasion and then put it on the menu afterwards,” she says. “Duck rendang is next on my list for Mother’s Day.”

WINGS WITH A TWIST: Woody Family Cafe is well known for their Peranakan Style Buffalo Wings, which merges the Western and Peranakan cuisines in producing delectably spicy sambal-flavoured chicken wings.


Peranakan Style Buffalo Wings $17.90

Lamb Shank Rendang $27.90

Buah Keluak Omelette $14.90

While Western restaurants like Sunset Grill at Seletar Air Base mix Mexican chilli, vinegar and paprika into a blazing concoction of spiciness, Woody uses Peranakan styled sambal chilli instead. This lends a sweet flavour to the dish, which still exudes every bit of its spiciness. Topped with petai beans, Woody’s Peranakan fusion buffalo wings were more lenient on the taste buds, directing one instead to the sour tanginess of Peranakan spice that melded well with the crispy juiciness of the wings, making it a favourite among customers. “To us, buffalo wings is a leisure food — it should not be too taxing on your taste buds, and we are quite pleased to be able to enjoy the juiciness of the chicken amidst the spice.” said Amy Teo, a first-time customer.

Woody’s lamb shank is braised in Western style Guinness Stout with a Peranakan based rendang. Typical peranakan spices such as pandan leaves, belachan, lemongrass and a range of others all add to the fragrance of the dish. It was Jenny’s homemade sambal chilli that gave the dish its spicy punch. Upon first bite into the juicy lamb meat, the flavours of the two cuisines went well together, which was a pleasant surprise given the unusual concoction of ingredients. The slight bitterness of the lamb shank from the Guinness Stout blended well with the fiery piquancy of the Rendang. Do not under-estimate the spiciness of this dish — it increases after the first bite. Spicy food lovers should not miss out on this explosive dish.

Traditionally, Buah Keluak, the black, sticky bitter paste extracted from the seeds of the Pangium edule tree is braised either with pork or chicken, to produce the famous Ayam Buah Keluak — a rich gravy-based chicken dish. However, Woody’s fuses the paste with spices, cooking it as a Western-styled omelette. As simple as it may sound, cooking this dish requires experience. The Nyonyas take an entire day to prepare the Buah Keluak due to the nut’s tendency to turn bad quickly and become poisonous. Native to the mangrove swamps in Southeast Asia, the buah keluak seeds contain cyanide, which could be dangerous if not prepared properly. But trained chefs who know their way around the delicacy will present you with a savoury delight.

Roaming the streets of Ho Chi Minh – Page 15

MELTING POT OF CULTURES: Assam Fish Head curry is now modified with the addition of Indian curry leaves, giving the traditional Peranakan dish an added dimension.



101 Thomson Road #B1-02 United Square Mall Singapore 307591

47/49 Armenian Street Singapore 179937 Opening Hours (Monday to Sunday) Lunch: 11am-2.30pm (last order at 2pm) Dinner: 5.30pm-9.30pm (last order at 9pm)

Opening Hours (for United Square Mall): 10.30am to 9.30pm daily Sitting in a squalid corner at United Square’s Food Junction, My Peranakan Spice Box may have a relatively humble outlook, but the quaint eatery prides itself in serving both traditional and fusion Peranakan dishes such as the Deep Fried Buah Keluak Toast, Nyona Mee Siam and its Fish Maw Soup.


Buah Keluak Toast $9.50

Assam Pork Knuckle $19.90


Originating from German cuisine, pork knuckles are large joints of tender meat hidden under golden brown, crackling crispy skin. Mirroring the Germans, Woody’s Assam Pork Knuckle remains crispy despite being cooked with the strong, fiery spiciness of rendang gravy. Upon arrival, the meat satin was a shocking red gravy — an indication of its level of spiciness. The pork knuckle was also considerably small, but it made a good portion for consumption alongside other dishes in a single meal.


ORIGINALLY inspired by the traditional Ayam Buah Keluak, My Peranakan Spice Box decided to come up with their own ‘toast’ version of Buah Keluak. “Our shop aims to provide more affordable and delicious Peranakan food for the masses, and thus Buah Keluak toast came to mind as it costs less to produce, as compared to Ayam Buah Keluak,“ Dale, the chef and owner, explained. “It also offers a fresher taste to Buah Keluak.” Mainly made with Buah Keluak paste served like Asian caviar on toasted baguette, the Buah Keluak toast does not appeal visually. But where the dish lacks in appearance, it makes up for it in its taste. A perfect base to fully relish the delectably bitter flavour of the Buah Keluak paste, the mild tasting crispiness of toast lent a fresh touch to the dish. With its numerous spices involved, the Buah Keluak paste leaves a strikingly spicy after taste that gets stronger over time, leaving a slightly bitter residue on the tongue.

Telephone: 6440 0449 SET up in a beautifully restored shophouse in the heart of Katong, the Peranakan enclave, the cafe’s quaint interior brims with a collection of Peranakan antiques which give this place a homely atmosphere — a refreshing change from the slicked up interiors modern restaurants adopt. The many awards and accolades adorning the walls of True Blue can be attributed to the works of Peranakan chef and owner, Benjamin Seck, and his mother, from whom he got his inspiration. The preparation of authentic Peranakan food is no mean feat. Traditionally, the Nyonyas will begin their preparations at the crack of dawn — a practice adopted by Seck and his mother .

Curry Leaves Prawn $15.00 per person Often, traditional Peranakan restaurants serve Fish Head Curry — as adopted by the Chinese and Indians as a typical national dish of Singapore. Influenced by the Indian culture, True Blue included Indian curry leaves into the dish, changing the usual fish to prawns. Interestingly, the crunchiness of the fried curry leaves combines well with the savour of the prawns and assam curry broth. W hen quest ioned if such ex per imentat ion and modification of original Peranakan recipes goes against his motive of preserving the Peranakan heritage, Benjamin said that doing so does not actually subvert the authenticity of Peranakan cuisine, because in the Peranakan culture, there is no absolute way of preparing a dish. “Every household prepares the same dish differently,” he said. “It’s more about preserving the recipe of the household and the typical taste of Peranakan dishes, rather than a comparison of the dish’s authencity.”







ZERO TO WILL W Eclectic and distinct, The Sam Willows have made a name for themselves despite being less than a year old. Russell Chan speaks to the rising band preparing for their big North American tour.


ut together a mix of pear, rosemary, peanut butter, and hazelnut, and you get The Sam Willows pie, a creation named after the local band by artisan cafe Windowsill Pies. Much like the band itself, all the ingredients together to create a strong, wholesome flavour. In the quaint Windowsill Pies cafe along Horne Road, the band — comprising Jonathan Chua, 23, Sandra Tang, 22 and siblings Benjamin Kheng, 22, and Narelle Kheng, 19 — gathered for the afternoon to discuss tour details and upcoming events. For this young quartet, success has been sweet. Though relatively new to the Singapore music scene, The Sam Willows have already launched their EP, and are embarking on a North American tour in March — all of which they achieved within a year of their formation. They are a spirited, eloquent group, giving candid answers to interview questions while teasing and joking with one another. But it wasn’t their friendship that led to the formation of the band. Instead, it was a one-off performance in early 2012 for a local music collective called Black and White that brought all of them together. “We were all doing music on our own before that, but when we came together to do Black and White, everything seemed to click,” said Narelle, a first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. “It sounded good and it was fun, so we decided to take it a step further.” It has been close to a year since they played that first show together “We haven’t looked back,” said Chua, a second-year Sociology student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

THE NEXT BIG THING: The Sam Willows will be the youngest Singaporean music act ever invited to play at the two prominent North American music festivals.

“Music's like food. You don't eat the same food every day," said Tang. To which Benjamin pointed to his plate of crumbs and added: “Unless it’s this pie!”

Sweet success When asked how they rose to prominence so quickly, Benjamin replied jokingly: “Through money laundering.” But he added in a more serious tone: “It was a good combination of luck and the band’s collective mindset towards this — to take The Sam Willows seriously and do everything properly, from the music and the videos, to the write-ups and marketing peripherals.” Luck has indeed been on the side of these four musicians, who were recently named 987FM's Rising Stars in January and m:idea's Youth Choice Award winners in the band category, “My Rock and Roll Rumble". They also performed at the nationally televised Mediacorp Countdown Party

over the new year, sharing the stage with notable acts like the Jersey Boys and Korean hip-hop quartet M.I.B. The band attributes part of their success to YouTube, but they describe the local arts community as tight-knit. “Everyone is helpful, it's a very supportive industry,” said Chua. “We had all kinds of people in the music scene guiding us throughout the entire process.” The lead guitarist added that the wellconnected nature of the industry led to them receiving plenty of support from other bands, producers and arrangers. They received vocal coaching from Eugene Yip of local acapella band MICapella, and worked with Singaporean filmmaker Josiah Ng, who directed the band’s music video for their song Nightlight. The group also collaborated with other local stars like Shigga Shay and Charlie Lim, both of whom performed with them for their EP launch concert last October.

An unexpectedly good mix But in reality, the individual members of The Sam Willows differ in their musical tastes and influences. “Jon loves country and blues, and wants to be the next John Mayer. Sandra has a lot of soul and identifies with the lovely Joss Stone,” “Ben is very influenced by folk right now, so Mumford & Sons are at the top of his playlist. Personally, I love classic and modern jazz,” said Narelle. Though their varied musical preferences may seem like a potential cause for conflict for the band, it's quite the contrary. “It's a blessing that we are so diverse. The more different we are, the better, because then we come together and something crazy and unique is formed,” said Benjamin.

DIVERSITY WORKS: Their contrasting personalities are reflected in their diverse musical tastes and contribute to a comprehensive mix.


“One of the most important people to us is Bang Wenfu, the co-producer for our EP,” said Benjamin. “He's been a mentor, introducing us to people who have really helped our development.” Said Chua: “He’s the one that really gave us the push and the confidence to start the EP."

realising big dreams In three weeks, The Sam Willows will set off on their North American tour, which will take them to California and then to Texas for South by Southwest (SXSW), one of America’s biggest music festivals. They complete their tour in Ontario, home of the Canadian Music Festival. In fact, the band has Chua’s spontaneity to thank for this opportunity. Asked to recount the story behind the conception of the tour, Chua said, “We were preparing for the EP launch, but I decided to be adventurous and applied for SXSW.” “Without telling us,” Narelle added. And they had been so close to missing the opportunity — Chua almost deleted the acceptance email. “I didn't expect it at all,” he said. “I almost brushed it off.” Their streak of luck continued when the band was invited to play for the Canadian Music Festival a couple of weeks later. Grinning, Chua said, “I was trying to think hard, did I actually apply for that?” A spoonful of craziness, an ounce of sobriety, and a double dose of charisma — just like their pie, when you put these four with contrasting personalities and a shared love for music together, you get The Sam Willows.

To listen to their music, watch their videos and find out how you can be part of their journey across North America and beyond, visit http://thesamwillows.com







In the land of scams, it would be inherent to keep an eye out for yourself. However, as Wong Pei Ting finds out, letting your guard down may surprise you in getting some of Vietnam's best shots.


lad in muted tones, I touched down in Ho Chi Minh City with an “X-men outfit” — the X sign made up of a DSLR camera slung around one shoulder and a Diana Mini over the other. Declaring my purpose of visit before touchdown, I ticked “Holiday”, but it would have been more accurate to pick “Others” and fill the accompanying blank with “Photography”. Street photography, to be exact. I was determined to freeze in time Ho Chih Minh's roving scooters and capture its people's wrinkled sunburnt profiles. And it turned out easier than I thought. Scenes out the taxi window from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to my hotel was a validation of my expectations of the rich street life of Vietnam.

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. A place with little regard for privacy; people wash their dirty laundry in public.

I sighted a scooter transporting several big billboards, twice its size. Young ones— one cradled in between the arms of a parent, another clinging onto his waist from the back—travel on scooters to school. Another woman had her face wrapped in thick cotton cloth, her leg on a bandage. Plastic toy airplanes displayed on the tip of wooden sticks on sale for other scooterists on the go. A woman in power suits and tight skirts riding a Vespa. Makeshift tailor shops line some roads. All these noticed within a 20-minute ride from the airport. I sought to an explanation for every unfamiliar phenomenon I saw on the street. Communication was the only barrier.


FREEZE THREE SHOTS PER SECOND: Scenes to capture alongside the bustling streets of District One in Ho Chi Minh City were plenty, similar to the heavy volume of scooters it carries. PHOTOS: WONG PEI TING

So for all five days, I lived in the street with my “X-men outfit”. From the crow of the rooster to the booming sound of the night club right opposite the budget hotel I was staying in, I was out there taking advantage of the liberal street life, snapping away. Around a popular shopping district, the Ben Thanh Market, a mother of three sat idly on pavements, as her children took turns to have their nails clipped. In the market, teenagers arm-wrestled beside a snack store. As I walk in the aisles of the market, the incessant physical touches of some shop owners vying for attention were common. At the district’s wet market, a pair of siblings cradled themselves in leafy fallen branches, playing with thread, probably taken from a roadside tailor down the street. Weclome to Ho Chi Minh City. A place with little regard for privacy; people wash their dirty laundry in public. Here, they do not practice restraint; what you see is what you get. Scam “unicycles" demanded double the fees from me at the borders of the Reunification Palace, the old communist quarters converted into a bustling historical attraction. Ripoff taxis carrying signs of renowned taxi brands Vinasun and Mai Linh trick tourists by carrying fake telephone numbers and tinted windows. Others gave obvious alarm bells by donning dubiously designed signs, “M.Taxi” or “Taxi Mai Linh”, often lining themselves outside the popular Ben Thanh Market in wait of clueless tourists. Ho Chi Minh City is a place where few want to appear like a clueless tourist and carry branded cameras around. But the case is the opposite if the trip were to be for street photography. After all, street photography is stalking without seeming intrusive. The more interested I seemed in street life, the less guarded my subjects would be. The more clueless I seem, the better.

How to work in StEALtH take the easy way out with a 1 Don't long telephoto lens. It also makes 1 you a creepy stalker. a friend as a decoy. Pretend to 2 Use be taking a picture of your friend

when you're actually shooting what's behind her.

you don’t have a friend to work 3 Ifwith, after getting a shot and while

your eye is still on the viewfinder, continue to get other shots of the place without the subject in focus. It will create the illusion that you're photographing the entire place, not just that person.

up your camera in a spot and 4 Set wait for interesting people to walk into the frame.

down when walking to observe 5 Slow your surroundings. Make it a point to

stop in your tracks once in a while. Sometimes, things can happen when you're just standing there.

assertive. But not aggressive. If 6 Be you want to take a photo of something, don't hesitate.






my quIRky ImpERatIvE Donning one of Ian’s loud headpieces is sure to get you noticed. Carolyn Dali chats with the filmmaking major about what exactly goes into his wearable art pieces.

WALKING EXHIBIT: Using nondescript materials like cable ties and paper, Ian expresses his creativity through making one-of-a-kind headpieces.

Kong Yi-Jun, Ian, 22 second-year ADM student Digital filmmaking major

Wearable art: cerebralchastity.carbonmade.com Films: vimeo.com/user11066197


able tie, embossing tape, buttons and two huge headpieces are piled on the table. Ian is dressed smartly, with a touch of quirkiness in his shirt’s unusual stripes. T he 22-yea r-old’s a r ray of elaborate wearable art attracts stares aplenty. His headpieces, inspired by Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen, are loud and eccentric — a far cry from Ian’s soft-spoken personality. The digital filmmaking major started experimenting with wearable art during National Service. Designing dramatic eyewear and headpieces became a way for him to express his thoughts and emotions. Besides devoting his time to wearable art, Ian is also part of Freight, a multi-disciplinary creative team. The group is made up of eight individuals from ADM who are versed in visual communication, packaging design, film, photography and illustration. Freight’s debut project, Halfway Home, is a short film produced in collaboration with local bag label Uyii — and the centerpiece, a large paper boat, was designed and made by Ian. Given his flair in both designing and filmmaking, Ian hopes to become a multi-

disciplinary artist. “I like exploring how multiple forms of art can be merged and how narratives can be built through different mediums.” “For example, when I create a wearable art piece, I think about how I can also feature it in a film or another media,” says Ian. Ian is currently taking the Technology, Art and Fashion course, where he learns how to incorporate lights, sensors, and other electronics into the design of a wearable piece. After some experimentation through the course, he intends to create works that interweave different mediums and elements. Coming up with pieces that are more sophisticated and polished is also part of his plan.

Who are your influences? When I first started on my wearable art project, my main influence was Lady Gaga. Her daring fashion sense fascinated me.


Since then, I’ve witnessed my generation wearing bolder statement outfits. Philip Treacy is another of my influences — his hats are always elaborate and surreal. He has designed hats for Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Valentino, and the British Royal Family.

What’s your annual Lunar New Year headpiece like this year? I made a snake headpiece out of materials such as paper mache, aluminium foil, and also spray paint. The snake eating its own tail is a reference to the Ouroboros symbol. At the same time, it represents renewal that also comes with pain from your own thoughts metaphorically gnawing on yourself. A more dramatic Lunar New Year piece is the Chinese Nian monster I made during the Year of the Tiger. I even wore it for last year’s Halloween celebrations.

What was the most interesting collaboration you had? I designed wearable art for two Butter Factory events. The first was for Fash Mob — I designed 25 pieces that were used for photo-taking to spice up the clubbing event. The theme I chose was on religion and superstition. Many clubbers continued wearing the pieces while partying the night away. For the second event, I made 20 eyepieces along the theme of Dreaming Robots: Technicolour. I gave them away in Butter Factory. They were challenging collaborations as I handmade all the pieces. Nonetheless it was a rewarding experience, especially when I see people happily posing with them.

What do you hope to achieve through your wearable art? It’s a potent means of self-expression, hence making each piece is cathartic for me. My most recent inspiration was the movie Cloud Atlas, which uses six story arcs to portray the struggle of existence. It sparked off my interest in both dystopian and utopian elements.

What do you think of the fashion scene in Singapore?

CONCRETE IDEAs: The eyewear (left) named sodom was created for Butter Factory’s Fash Mob, while the bronze serpent headpiece (right) was made for the recent Lunar New Year.


Initially, I felt we didn’t have a definitive fashion scene, as Singaporeans are usually clad in slippers and shorts, which comes across as sloppy. But with time, I realised that such dressing was just practical given the local weather. Now, I alternate between conventional clothing and bolder attires for events or special occasions.







HAIR AFFAIR Pink, punk or simply wild, funky hairstyles get ahead on campus. Aisha Lin trawls the campus and finds out who made the cut.

PETriNA dE SOUZA, 22, SChOOl Of ArT, dESiGN ANd MEdiA yEAr 2


Who was your inspiration for getting dreadlocks? When I was 16, I watched a show called Rockstar Inxs. There was an American rock singer, Jordis Unga, with dreadlocks. She looked really good so I decided to adopt the look.

how long does it take to style your hair? Styling takes less than two minutes. I just apply wax and reinforce with hairspray. But the downside to permed hair is that you can't blow-dry it, and it takes around an hour and a half for my hair to dry naturally before I can style it.

how long does it take to style your hair? There is a misconception that people with dreadlocks don’t wash their hair. When I do, the time required depends if I want to tighten up the loose hairs, because some hairs loosen from the dreads after washing. That takes two to three hours.

do people treat you differently because of your hairstyle? I get a lot of stares. Sometimes when I talk to people, it seems like they are looking at my hair rather than at my eyes and sometimes it annoys me.


CONSTANCE NG, 20, SChOOl Of ElECTriCAl ANd ElECTrONiC ENGiNEEriNG yEAr 1 PATriCiA liM yiNG yiNG, 23, SChOOl Of hUMANiTiES ANd SOCiAl SCiENCES yEAr 4 Why did you dye your hair green? I change my hair colour once every two months. Previously, I had red and pink hair. This time, it was supposed to be blue, but something went wrong and it turned green. how did your family react to your green hair? My mother thought I look like a witch while my sister was influenced and went to colour her hair hot pink.

Tell us about your hairstyle. I got the boyish cut with shaved sides because I wanted an uncommon look for short hair. The reason for the pink hair was Chinese New Year, but red is too mainstream and of course, not crazy enough. I’m a loud person, so I think loud colours suit my character. how long does brightly coloured hair last? Generally after about two months, the colour will lose its vibrance then slowly fade to a dull shade, depending on the original colour of your hair. how did your family react to your pink hair? They have no objections to my pink hair and my mother is highly supportive. She tells me how much she loves my pink hair every time I’m home, and I’ve even become her inspiration to get a streak or two of brightly coloured hair. do people treat you differently because of your hairstyle? Definitely. I’m always mistaken for a boy wherever I go, although I didn’t get this style so that others would see me as a boy.

JOyENE NAZATUl, 21, SChOOl Of ArT, dESiGN ANd MEdiA yEAr 2 Who was your inspiration for getting blonde colour? I was inspired by Pink in her music video for the song Try. how did your family react to your blonde hair? My mother said I looked old. Everyone else was like, ‘‘Blonde, really?’’ They were really shocked by the choice of colour.

18-19 DAPPER




Photographer: Charis Chai Assistant: Wilfred Lim, Liu Ying Hair & Makeup: Annie Ng Model: Louise Arild (Basic Models) Layout & Design: Wilfred Lim, Phyllicia Wang Stockist: Love, Bonito. www.lovebonito.com









1. Neiman Blouse, $28. Hogan Peplum Skirt, $28. 2. Frankford Dress, $32. Gold Necklace, Photographer’s own. 3. Caitlin Cheongsam Dress, $35. 4. Waverly Dress, $34. 5. Prudence Shirt, $27. Covet Penelope Pants, $42. Black Loafers, Model’s own. 6. Garance Peplum Dress, $34. 7. Milan Peplum Dress, $32.

20-21 LIFESTYLE spotlight

MONDAY NIGHT Great music on Monday and Tuesday nights in town — who knew? Reviews Editor Charmaine Ng digs out some of the best live acts to start off the week on a right note.

(THIS PAGE: Clockwise from top left) VERSATILITY: Lead vocalist Sara Wee and drummer Irwan Shah of 53A perform Top 40 hits with ease. (Top right) CODESWITCH: The Switch Gang, pictured here with two out of six members, is proficient in both English and Mandarin pop songs. Kueo Miao Ru takes the mic while Bryan Tay supports the sultry singer with his keyboard and backing vocals. (Bottom) CLASSIC ROCK: Rock band Good Question evokes nostalgia with their rock and roll tunes. Pictured from left: Lead gu Clinton Carnagie, singer-guitarist Jason Siriwardene, and bassist Francis Chan. PHOTOS: TAN PEI LIN, OLIVIA NG






d uitarist

(THIS PAGE: Top right) BIG VOICE: Diwi Aishah, 30, performs with Live Conclusions at Octapas in Clarke Quay. Her full voice is similar to that of Adele and Jessie J. (Below) UNDERRATED CHARM: Alvin Khoo, 34, takes lead vocals in a few songs during the set, such as Oasis’s Don’t Look Back In Anger.

GOOD QUESTION (Rock) Crazy Elephant

Where: 3E River Valley Road #01-03/04 When: Mondays, 10pm to 12am


espite the sign by the bar cashier that reads “No requests please” in bold, frontman Jason Siriwardene and his band acceded to a customer’s request for a 70s rock tune. Perhaps in appreciation of the audience’s attentiveness, the band seemed to hit their notes with more conviction and energy than they did playing their own setlist. But that’s not to say Good Question fared poorly covering other rock and blues classics last Monday. Lead guitarist Clinton Carnagie, a music teacher in his mid-forties, mostly picks all the right notes in his solos, while Francis Chan, a full-time gigging musician in his 60s, bobbed along to the music while plucking fingerstyle grooves on his bass. Due to a technical fault during the live show, Jason was slightly pitchy, but managed to pull off a decent performance with his archetypal rock and roll vocals with drummer Varatharaj, in his 30s, supporting the band. Commenting on the band’s versatility beyond rock music, Jason revealed that the band plays their own rock arrangements of Top 40 hits on request — including Jason Mraz, Cee Lo Green and U2. With their slicked-back shoulder-length hairdos and Jimi Hendr ix tees, Good Question is the band to rock out to after a long Monday.


(Pop) Timbre @ The Arts House Where: 1 Old Parliament Lane #01-04 When: Tuesdays, 8.30pm to 11.30pm PERFORMING barefoot isn’t reserved for Joss Stone — Sara Wee, 27, removed her blue canvas shoes before starting 53A’s first

set last Tuesday with singer-guitarist Alvin Khoo, 34, and drummer Irwan Shah, 30. The band also has a fourth member, bassist Bani Hidin, 26. Citing comfort and practical reasons — particularly the ease of stepping on the right pedal when needed — the simple gesture shows how the raspy singer is unafraid to be herself. With Sara’s amiable personality and the band’s humorous interactions with the audience, 53A charms with their laid-back attitudes and playful acoustic arrangements of radio hits including fun.’s We Are Young. The band is also equally proficient at delivering emotional ballads like Pink’s Try or Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy. Noticing the quiet and unusually unreceptive crowd, Sara occasionally slips in some popular dialect phrases to loosen up the mood for a relaxed night out by the riverside. Having performed at Timbre for eight years, the experienced musicians definitely know how to relate to their audience while preserving the band’s character.


Where: Blk D River Valley Road When: Weekdays, 9pm to 12.30pm; Saturdays, 10pm to 2.30am WHEN Step Up 2: The Streets actress Briana Evigan asked the four-piece band if she could take a picture with them, Live Conclusions couldn’t believe their ears. “A Hollywood star asking if she could take a picture with the band? It should have been us asking her instead,” said lead vocalist Diwi Aishah, 30. The actress walked past the Spanish bar in January, and entered the cosy venue when she heard Live Conclusions playing. Impressed by the band, she uploaded snippets of their performance on Twitter. Indeed, the quar tet stopped a few passers-by last Tuesday during the band’s rendition of Adele’s Chasing Pavements, one of whom couldn’t resist videotaping the touching performance.

Comprising Aishah the powerhouse vocalist, lead guitarist Azmi Osmal in his 40s, bassist Hisham Osmal in his 30s, and percussionist Timothy Patrick, 24, the band prides itself in performing with emotion. Also impressive was Timothy’s collection of percussive instruments, including bongos, agogo bells, octobans, cowbells and a standard six-piece drum set. Sitting less than 10m away from the quartet, it was even more evident from their faces how it wasn’t just another routine show that day. Although it was just their second night at Octapas together since Sham and Timothy joined the band, it hardly sounded like it. As seasoned pros, Live Conclusions played to their strengths and delivered soulful versions of Top 40 hits like Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning and The Zutons’ Valerie in their own soulful style. In fact, the name “Live Conclusions” carries this spirit of creating new arrangements, as the band would typically conclude their songs live and improvised.

THE SWITCH GANG (Mandopop) Switch

Where: 73 Bras Basah Road #01-01/02 When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 8pm to 11.15pm FEATURING jazz-influenced vocals and a piano for accompaniment, The Switch Gang was stripped down from their originally six-piece band. Instead, it was a musical duet between singer Kueo Miao Ru, 23, and keyboardist Bryan Tay, 32, that took the stage last Monday night. Switching f luently between English and Mandarin, the duo performed soothing acoustic versions of songs from both languages, including hits from Jason Mraz and Taiwanese band Mayday. Upon request, the band can even perform popular dialect songs.





singles of the month MIRRORS



JUSTIN Timberlake brings familiarity to his latest track Mirrors, borrowing beatboxing elements from his 2006 single What Goes Around...Comes Back Around. Released right after his well-received Grammy performance, Mirrors is proof Timberlake hasn’t lost his musical touch even after a six-year hiatus. After the triumphant synth and guitar introduction, familiar drum loops begin — clear rhythmic imprints of producer Timbaland. Although the song stretches eight minutes, it hardly feels like it thanks to variations in arrangement. Midway through the fifth minute, distorted vocals are inserted, as Timberlake chants in the outro: “You are/ You are/ The love of my life”. If Mirrors is the singer-actor’s way of priming us for his upcoming album The 20/20 Experience, we’re certainly looking forward to the album’s release this March.

PERHAPS thanks to Patrick Stump’s poorly received solo debut album Soul Punk, Fall Out Boy is no longer on hiatus after two years. But don’t be fooled by the characteristically long song title the boys are known for — the single might mark a change in musical direction for the band. Unlike the heavily-layered electric guitar parts in Thnks fr th Mmrs and Sugar, We’re Going Down, sonorous drum beats dominate the track. Thankfully, the band does cling on to some of its past, flaunting Stump’s distinctive punk rock vocals in a brief screamo during the phrase: “I’m on fire”. Fans hoping for another Folie a Deux should not have their hopes up. Although, until their fifth album Save Rock And Roll is released, there’s hope that the dance-influenced music was deliberately packaged for an easier break onto pop charts.

SHE may be in her mid-thirties — too old for lighthearted pop tunes — but Nicole Scherzinger definitely knows what makes a radio hit. Greatly dependent on bass-heavy beats and synths to carry the tune, the ex-Pussycat Doll sings about overcoming her harshest critics with the lyrics: “You can break my heart but you can’t scratch my name/ I can take the hit cause I’m a boomerang”. Though boasting a catchy tune, the cheesy lyrics and forgettable melody may prevent Boomerang from being a charttopper like how Don’t Hold Your Breath did two years ago. However, considering the level of success Scherzinger once enjoyed in the now-defunct girl group Pussycat Dolls, listeners may just give Boomerang a chance.




RIHANNA may be reputed for the provocative lyrics in her songs, but the piano-backed Stay is her most decorous effort yet. The song is an extreme departure from the 25-year-old’s recent dance club releases. Her sultry rich vocals embedded in smooth piano riffs make Stay undeniably seductive from the start. Coupled with co-writer Mikky Ekko’s soothing vocals and self-seeking lyrics (“Funny you’re the broken one/ But I’m the only one who needed saving”), the duet draws an intimate connection with listeners. While some critics may deem the down-tempo song boring, Stay is a heartfelt power ballad that gives the Barbados pop-princess a chance to shine by merit of her vocals alone.

AT MORE than nine minutes, The Knife’s latest single may be a little lengthy, but Full of Fire is a sign of the Swedish brother-sister duo’s musical maturation. Full Of Fire is a far cry from their 2006 single Silent Shout. The siblings are now bolder with layers and contrasting sounds. The dissonance gives the song a dark, anxious semblance missing in their previous works. The track first lures listeners in with catchy, repeated electronic beats before revealing lead vocalist Karin Andersson’s trademark groaning vocals. Unfortunately, the song advances slowly and soon sounds like a cacophony of contrasting and rumbling rhythms thrown together in haste. The returning duo may be full of renewed fire, but fans may need some time to adjust to their new direction.

TYPICALLY, music collaborations combine artistes’ distinct styles to create a new sound. However, Pink’s duet with fun.’s frontman Nate Ruess, sorely misses the mark. Initially, Pink’s vocals are unusually gentle, but when Ruess starts singing the second verse, listeners may be thrown off by his distinctive high voice backed by the toofamiliar drumbeats of fun.’s hit, We Are Young. Regrettably, their voices don’t exactly compliment each other — both have gritty vocals when hitting the high notes, sounding screechy consequently combined. There is no doubt about Pink’s strong and wide vocal range, yet, she oversings with some unnecessary bellowing. Coupled with Ruess’ strained high notes, the track quickly becomes jarring to the ears — sometimes, less is really more.

Justin Timberlake (R&B)

Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko (Pop)

Fall Out Boy (Alternative)

The Knife (Electronica)

Nicole Scherzinger (Pop)

-Charmaine nG


Pink ft. Nate Ruess (Pop)

-Goh Chiew TonG





08 CHRONICLE reviews


ALBUM HEARTTHROB Tegan and Sara (Electro-pop)



ll Tegan and Sara Quin want is to get a little bit closer — and that’s the spirit of Heartthrob. The Canadian twins’ seventh studio album beckons listeners from the get-go, with opening track and first single Closer, an upbeat pop number about romantic infatuation. Power-pop beats meld into a ballad-like progression and the alternating tempo parallels the emotional rollercoaster of a teenage crush. The same can be said for the rest of the album. This time, they forgo conventional instrumentals for a digitally manufactured sound — even the drums are replaced by relatively softer percussion beats. But no one’s complaining — Tegan and Sara have always prided themselves on having a distinct nasal vocal quality while the rest of the sounds complement the tone of their lyrics.

Taking turns on lead and backup vocals, the sisters have a way of making typically shrill pitches sound snug and fitting in the bassheavy tracks. The rest of the tracks follow the album’s relatable theme of intimacy and relationships: Drove Me Wild digs at the exhilaration of first intimacy between lovers, while Goodbye, Goodbye laments the staleness of a jaded relationship. Despite their electronicallydriven sound, the duo includes numbers that will please longtime fans. I Was A Fool features a piano prelude and sparse, muted percussion beats. Its similarity to tracks from previous albums still leaves listeners with a sense of empowerment from the vocal harmonies. Older fans may appreciate How Come You Don’t Want Me and its sharp percussive sounds reminiscent of 80s dance music. With Tegan leading the vocals, and Sara providing the harmonies, listeners can expect both aural senses and raw nerves to be tingling at the end of the song. They carry that nostalgia into Now I’m All Messed Up, which calls to mind 80s singer Cyndi Lauper. The power ballad starts off

TWO OF A KIND: Twin sisters Tegan and Sara experiment with their inner Cyndi Laupers in the album.

slow, but picks up tempo with tighter drum beats in the twostanza chorus. The duo is likely targeting a younger demographic this time. Hitting all the right emotional

notes, the album is a dedication to the teenager inside all of us — the part affected by an object of affection or desire — and it’s noteworthy how the 32-year-olds make such intense emotion catchy yet poetic.


Listeners who want an emotional connection with their favourite tunes and won’t turn down a chance to dance, Heartthrob is definitely for you.

-Russell Chan


BIOGRAPHY, DRAMA Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson 98min

,,,,, BEFORE Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Psycho, no American movie had featured a toilet, let alone one that had been flushed. However, screenwriter Joseph Stefano included the shot of actress Janet Leigh flushing pieces of paper to unsettle viewers for a subsequent jolting scene. Determined to break out of the industry’s expectations, Hitchcock self-financed the 60s thriller even as Paramount Pictures stated Psycho was “impossible to film”, and refused to fund production. Hitchcock narrates just how the suspense film attained success with four Academy Award nominations (among other accolades). The movie reveals the littleknown details of what went on behind Psycho’s iconic shower stab scene — in that sequence, out of frustration over his marital problems, the unpredictable director took over the role of the murderer from Anthony Perkins. The resulting brutality effectively scared actress Janet Leigh, played by Scarlett Johansson in Hitchcock, into a perfect take.

PSYCHO-DELIC: Biopic Hitchcock reveals the acclaimed director’s struggles filming the acclaimed 60s thriller Pyscho.

I n t h i s biolog ica l d r a ma , 75-year-old Anthony Hopkins plays Hitchcock, kicking off the film by speaking straight to the camera, establishing intimacy with the audience. The veteran actor impersonates the late director with carefully articulated speech and a measured tone, which balances out Hitchcock’s acerbic self and his incomprehensible demands. T he f ilm reveals a lesser-

known side of the acclaimed director — beneath the deadpan face and protruding belly lies an ageing man harbouring insecurities about his craft and unfulfilled fantasies. Hopk i n s cr eates a h idden ner vous w reck who obsesses over high-profile killer Ed Gein (Michael Wincott), the inspiration behind Psycho. While Hopkins gives his character tartness and wit when dealing with fastidious censors, he also


injects some vulnerability with a voice of desolation. “Everyone in Hollywood resents me,” he confides in Gein. Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren is spectacular as Alma Reville, Hitchcock’s wife, who suppor ts her husband silently and faithfully. Blissful and absorbed in his own creative process, Hitchcock pays little attention to Reville, except when he suspects an affair between her and screen-

writer Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston). Mirren’s skillful raw depiction of the pain and exhaustion borne of Hitchcock’s long-suffering wife allows audiences to feel the hidden strength in an otherwise docile woman. However, there’s too much dabbling into Reville’s relationship with Huston, with droning moments of starry-eyed infatuation by the beach. Although there’s nothing complicated in the film’s cinematography, the choppy editing leaves audiences wanting more. The use of parallel editing, for example, results in relationships not fully explored — drastic jump cuts pull audiences from one location to another, resulting in a lack of coherence and connection between subjects. Hitchcock is straightforward and enjoyable, but the uninspiring emphasis on the possibility of an extramarital affair slows down its pace. With an experienced and talented cast, Hitchcock is a no-frills piece packed with dry humor and endearing moments. While it is light-hearted, it may have simplified the enduring process of making a film far too much — much less one which is a well-known classic today. Alfred Hitchcock was and is “The Master of Suspense”, and his craft deserves more attention than his domestic duties.

-Goh Chiew TonG







ACTION Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville 107min



rnold Schwarzenegger is back after a decade’s brea k f rom t he mov ie scene. This time, the former California governor takes on the role of a hardheaded law enforcer who is forced to defend his town. Schwarzenegger plays Sheriff Ray Owens, who is looking forward to a quiet weekend ahead. Instead, he gets word from his superiors back in Las Vegas that an escaped drug lord is heading towards his town, Sommerton, with plans for sabotage in mind. The movie then chronicles the sequence of events through a high-speed chase across the United States highways. It constantly intercuts to the events unfurling with the sheriff and his band of cops. Yet, the constant switching of focus from the FBI headquarters to the high-speed chase and then to Sheriff Owens in Sommerton lends the movie a great sense of urgency. Kudos to Korean director Kim Ji-Woon (The Good, The Bad, The Weird, 2008) for producing a winning formula in The Last Stand. The

strength of the acting chops of the cast also makes up for the lack of creativity in the plot. Putting back on his acting hat as the Sheriff, Schwarzenegger delivers an enjoyable and likeable performance with his memorable one-liners like “You make us immigrants look bad”, and his cheeky responses of “old” when asked by the diner’s owner how he felt after crashing through the diner’s window. Even after a 10-year break, he still packs a punch as the Sheriff. Schwarzenegger’s intense facial expressions and man-of a-few-words persona brings his character forward as an honorable fighter who puts the safety of his cops and the town ahead of his own. Joining the ranks of high-tiered actors is Forest Whitaker (A Dark Truth, 2012), who takes on the role of Agent John Bannister. Whitaker’s portrayal of the agent was seamless, bringing across Bannister as an uptight and hot-tempered agent. Another notable presence is the eccentric Lewis Dinkum, played by Johnny Knoxville. Well-known for his crazy stunts from Jackass, he doesn’t disappoint in this film. The cinematography is seamless, and Kim fully utilises his wide shots. These were used largely for firefight scenes, showing the positions of all the characters involved. Juxtaposing the yellow cornfields against the black and red cars, it serves up a visual feast. The movie also includes some old-fashioned fist fights, which are largely entertaining and it allows the audience to take a breather from the mass of explosions and gunfire.

I’M BACK: Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to the big screens as a sheriff after a 10-year break.


This action-packed and fast-paced film proved itself to be more than just an overcommercialised Hollywood film. With a strong yet predictable plot coupled

with reliable actors, and infused with witty humour, The Last Stand makes for an enjoyable watch.


Methods to change the course of destiny and the possible benefits of being a madman are provided by Moore. For example, an extract from The Pickwick Papers answers the latter saying that it’s a fine label, curiously going on to imply that title should be taken with honour. Although the book adopts an unconventional take on Dickens’ books, it offers a comprehensive study of his characters in just one sitting. If one is facing Hard Times, trying to deal with others’ Great Expectations or going home alone to a Bleak House, the book offer solutions to these issues with some tonguein-cheek humour. Readers that have never chanced upon Dickens can take Moore’s book as an introduction to the characters in a light-hearted and humorous way, without the need for deep reading. The book also creates a new voice for these characters, giving them a breath of life apart their original roles in Dickens’s novels. The advice penned by Moore also includes extracts from the novels, which sometimes come across as feeble attempts to draw a relation. The chapter on practical advice for social situations such as the best time in a day to people-watch is answered with full-page quotes. These extracts tend to lose their appeal after a few pages. Moore makes up for that by using Dickens’ style of satire in her book, which is a humble and successful attempt to celebrate Dickens’ own wit. She keeps it relevant to today’s context, providing laughs and also a platform where Dickens’ work can still be appreciated in this day and age. By answering elusive questions such as the secret to happiness, What Would Dickens Do? is essentially a self-help book with a Dickensian twist.

-tan PEi lin


Kenny Png and Jeremy Fernando $20 at BooksActually

Published by Math Paper Press

BUSY grappling with the many demands of life, we often neglect our own happiness and forget what it means to us. On Happiness features Kenny Png’s play Boxes, a highbrow reading of our search for happiness, and Jeremy Fernando’s theoretical essay that attempts to explain Png’s work. With both writers coming together, the collage of their logic and positivity offers an eye-opening perspective on what happiness truly is. The book starts off with Boxes — the play explores the concept as a choice with two characters pacing in circles proclaiming: “I am happy because I should be happy.” Responsibility, choice and one’s surroundings determine happiness. While Png’s work may appear to make a mockery of the government who says we should be content with our lives, the theatri-

cal piece extends beyond politics. This is where renowned literature and thought researcher Fernando steps in with his essay: On The Winter of My Discontent: Happiness in Four And A Half Gestures. Through his work, he then moves to associate happiness with our interaction with others. In clear and simple fashion, he analyses and explains the intention behind Boxes, comparing it to famous fables such as The Emperor’s New Clothes — a much-needed effort to simplify the text. Together with other references from novels, philosophies and modern art, Fernando reveals the possibility of finding happiness in every situation. While the two authors may seem to contradict each other, their intelligent musings lend fresh perspectives to the otherwise profound reading. The book also features light-hearted and simple contemplations in poetry and quotes by literary artists, such as academic Lim Lee Ching and American musician Eugene O’Connor, providing a different flavour to the intellectual dilemma readers may face while ploughing through the book. The famous song Happiness in Slavery by singer-songwriter Trent Reznor is also quoted in the book, citing suppression as the bigger killer of happiness. In fact, this clever elucidation is a direct rebuttal against claims by self-help gurus that we can motivate ourselves to happiness. Overall, the book may be laden with philosophical jargon, but the pursuit — or explanation, at least — of happiness is at least enlightening as much as it baffles. Juxtaposed against our stress-addled lives, On Happiness is a reminder that joy is pervasive in every aspect of our lives — within our reach as long as we shift our perspectives and look harder.

-ElizabEth tan


Constance Moore

$29.29 at Books Kinokuniya Published by Summersdale

TO CELEBRATE Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, What Would Dickens Do? brings together the thoughts of the author’s bestloved and most-maligned characters, such as Ms Havishman from Great Expectations, the Scrooge from A Christmas Carol and Sam from The Pickwick Papers. With your favourite characters reunited, the book answers questions that readers might have, including those involving family, work, fashion and beauty. An English writer and social critic, Charles Dickens created some of the world’s most memorable fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period by critics and scholars. Moore adopts his writing style by cleverly rehashing famous quotes from notable characters in Dickens’s novels to address both age-old questions and everyday dilemmas.

-Carolyn Dali


妆艺大游行幕后直击 —— 刊28页





日来有网友把南大学生在讲堂里 大喇喇吃面的照片上传至公民记 者网上,而爆料者也说食物的飘香味令 他无法专心听课,直呼那名学生实在没 有公德心。 其实南洋理工大学有明文张贴告示 牌规定不准在讲堂内饮食,然而这其实 并没有严格地执行,多数则是由讲师自 由规定。 许思琳(化学系一年级)觉得学生 会如此违反规定是为了要节省时间。 她说:“午餐时间食堂都人挤人, 通常很难找到位子,所以迫不得已得在 讲堂内填饱肚子。可是当然食物的气味 不要太过浓烈,且在不影响他人听课的 情况下,我认为在讲堂内用餐还是可以 接受的。” 但是对于学生为了要节省时间而选

择在讲堂内吃东西,机械与宇航工程学 院的林文钦教授觉得这是一个不合理的 说法。 林教授说:“讲堂不是食堂或戏院, 它是一个让学生学习的地方,同学应该 有基本的社交礼仪,必须知道何时何处 做何事,所以在讲堂内用餐是不正确的 作法。” 他强调虽然社交礼仪不是法律,也没 有所谓的对与错,完全要靠学生自己的 家教和品行,但是既然有学生因为别人 没有公德心的行为感到困扰,那就应该 要直视问题,否则这样子影响他人是不 对的行为。 除此之外,他也建议学生若时间真的 不够,大家就得向校方反映情况,而学 校可以考虑改进学生的时间表或改进食 堂的设施。 除了时间不足的问题,有些学生解释 选择在讲堂吃东西是为了要提神,好让 注意力更加集中。

虽然明知道有规定不能这么做,可 是多数同学承认自己没有遵守这项规 定,况且有些讲师也让学生在课堂上吃 东西。 既然如此,校方是否考虑废除这条 校规呢? 记者走访校园却发现有些学生认为 虽然周遭同学在课堂上面饮食,但是对 于废除校规却抱着不支持的态度。 林舒荣(会计系一年级)说:“我 认为应该保持现状,因为如果废除了, 学生可能会变本加厉,更加肆无忌惮地 在课堂上用餐,这不仅会干扰旁人,也 会影响学习环境以及讲堂的整洁。” 对于现在的课室环境陈惠嫔(中文 系一年级)觉得目前的情况还算干净, 因为学生都有把垃圾丢进垃圾桶里,但 是她说:“大家都在同一间讲堂,互相 体谅、为别人着想是应该的,但是千万 不要把垃圾丢在地上。” 黄金辉传播与信息学院的拉维山家

构图:林慕尧 夏尔马讲师 (Ravishankar Sharma) 则 认为校规是否应该废除并不是讲师所能 决定的,因为校规的存在只是个指导方 针,学生则应该学会自律。 他说:“若食物的味道影响他人就得 马上停止用餐,而同学应该调整自己的 心态,凡事以他人为优先、以不要影响 学习环境为上策。” 在南洋理工大学任教超过30年的林 文钦教授则觉得因为没有人提醒学生正 确的学习态度,造成同学们的素质一年 不如一年,他觉得院方必须适时提醒学 生,因为大学除了是一个传授知识的学 校,更应该是一个教导同学们待人处 世、礼貌修养的地方。 师生对于不应该废除讲堂禁食令的想 法一致可谓难得一见,但是学生仍盼校 方可以继续柔性规定,让同学们在不要 影响课堂的前提下吃些东西,然而用餐 是否会影响个人学习的专心程度却不得 而知了。






新春嘉年华 校园变身唐人街 郑欣●报道

大中文学会于春节期间 举办了别开生面的“新 春嘉年华”活动,旨在让各地 各种族学生对华人文化有更多 的了解,同时让离乡背井的国 外华族同学体验新加坡的农历 新年,以此促进种族和谐。

校长逗趣模仿舞狮 当天的活动在一阵锣鼓喧天 中由醒狮团揭开了序幕,他们 的精湛表演把醒狮扮得活灵活 现,而作为特别嘉宾的校长贝 蒂尔·安德森教授也上前模仿 起舞狮的步伐,并随着节奏跳 起舞来,展露出他俏皮逗趣的 一面。 安德森教授也在致上新年贺 词后,带领各位嘉宾进行南洋 式的新年庆祝方式—捞鱼生, 一同呼喊着吉祥贺词,预祝今 年大吉大利。 随后由二十四节令鼓打头 阵,一连串的精彩表演鱼贯呈 现,表演学生多才多艺,呈现 了许多中国传统才艺,例如扯 铃、传统舞蹈,但是也有同学 表演了魔术、街舞等现代表 演,节目顺序紧凑,让观众看 得目不转睛。 而登台表演的学生大多都是 外地人,他们利用假期空档彩 排,就希望呈现精彩的演出。 其中卖力表演的就包括来 自马来西亚的醒狮团团长吴康 维(数理科学学院二年级), 他说:“我觉得这次新春活动

成想 绩要 为 为游 主学 要? 考 量 因 素

举办得不错,因为既能充实自 己,又能给节庆增添气氛,而 且能让很多无法回家过年的外 地华人学生和我们感受春节的 气氛。”

美国人登台演唱中文歌 别以为表演的学生都是华族 同学,表演中让人印象最深刻 的就是来自美国的三位交换学 生,他们现场唱起了马来西亚 歌手巫启贤原唱的《团圆》。 虽然他们发音称不上字正腔 圆,但弦律中欢乐的气氛,让 在场的人听得如痴如醉。 表演者之一的孙天福(生物 科学学院准毕业生)表示自己 因为非常喜欢华族文化,所以 正努力地在学习华语。 他也透露美国校园鲜少有华 人农历新年的庆祝活动,因此 来到新加坡看到活动正在招募 演出者后,感到非常有兴趣, 所以便决定参与其中。

会场像唐人街 今年的活动会场布置得别具 匠心,除了主要的表演场地, 旁边还设有了许多摊位让大家 参与同乐,其中包括了欣赏挥 春、品茗以及民间游戏,让人 好像进入了传统的唐人街。 来自中国黑龙江的学生李鹏 飞(电机与电子工程学院一年 级)就参与了“筷夹乒乓球” 的游戏,还获得了奖品。 他受访时表示自己觉得活动 很有意义,能让无暇回国过春 节的学生也能感受到浓浓的春

当天的活动在一阵锣鼓喧天中由醒狮团揭开了序幕,他们的精湛表演把醒狮扮得活灵活现。安德森 教授也上前模仿舞狮的步伐,并随着节奏跳起舞来。 摄影:吴琦琦 节气氛,虽身处异地也让他有 了家乡的感觉。

校长对活动赞不绝口 记者也在活动结束后对安德 森教授进行专访,他对于这次 活动表示:“南大是个国际性


了帮学生更充分地应对未来 的世界,同时了解他国的文 化,南大成立了GEM explorer等游 学平台,提供了大家一个可以到国 外大学交流的机会。 可是游学机会本应秉持着“读 万卷书不如行万里路”的精神,但 记者发现学生必须先把万卷书先读 好,才有可能出国游学。 GEM explorer的审查官Rajakumar Bagavathi女士向本报透露他们 最基本的要求就是学生的成绩平均 积点(cGPA)必须达到3.6或以上 才会纳入考量范围。 因为国外大学的考试采取“及 格-不及格”制度,所以就算国外 的成绩无法达到标准,这对于成 绩好的学生并没有太大的影响,相 较之下成绩处于中下的同学若去游 学,很有可能就会被这种制度拖累 造成成绩下滑,同时也浪费了一个 可以在本地用功念书从而挽回成绩 的机会。 陈贤馥(中文系二年级)表示自 己当初被落选的原因应该就是成绩

大学,是应该有更多互相了解 文化的机会以及庆祝节日的活 动,所以我觉得这次的春节活 动也筹备举办得非常棒!”

活动人数不及预期 中文会会长张钰贤


其中成功申请的Jonathan Cherian Samraj (计算机工程学院 四年级)说:“除了成绩优异之 外,我也私下打听有多少人申请我 理想中想要进修的国外大学,结合 各所大学能够接收游学生的空位进 行了统计,计算出哪间大学成功率 比较高后,才提出了申请。”

“成绩处于中下的同学若去 游学,很有可能就会被 “及 格-不及格”的考试制度拖 累造成成绩下滑,同时也浪 费了一个可以在本地用功念 书挽回成绩的机会。” Rajakumar Bagavathi GEM explorer审查官

插图:Tran Tran Thi Huyen

不佳,而有一些南大生也透露因为 担心自己的成绩不够好,因此就直 接放弃了申请。但是学生当中也有 人是衡量自己的成绩后,做足了功 课之后才提出申请。

然而成绩优异的学生当中也不免 有相互竞争的情形出现,况且游学 机会往往都是僧多粥少。 对此Bagavathi女士表示审查官都 会考量申请者是否过去曾经有游学 以及旅游的经验,并且会先把机会 分配给那些从来没有外出游学或未

学与工程学院三年级)说:“我 们半年前就开始筹备活动,来 自不同社团的工作人员与表演 者的跨团合作非常成功。” 但 是她也透露或许因为学生上课 行程满档,场地的设置也不够 理想,参加人数不及预期,日 后举办活动时会加以改进。

曾去过那些国家的学生,好让他们 也有机会到那里交流。 除此之外,校方也会让持有新加 坡公民身份的学生享有优先权,而 永久居民以及国际学生则将被排在 较后的位置。 成功申请游学机会的学生也向本 报透露一些申请的技巧。 陈光勇 (中文系二年级)说:“ 我当初选择的大学是提供文学院学 生申请,因此竞争人数应该少了很 多,这也大大增加了我申请成功的 机率。” 吴慧婷(黄金辉传播与信息学院 二年级)则透露自己是因为系所学 生齐力一条心,在网上设立了一个 表格,每人则写下了自己的成绩以 及想要申请的大学,让大家可以清 楚地了解及计算自己被选上的机率 有多大后,再来填写提交表格。 学生本身的成绩固然影响自己是 否能够出国游学的因素之一,但是 如果能够事前做足功课后才提出申 请也许会大大增加获选机会。 游学的竞争一向十分激烈,如何 体现自身的长处,弥补不足,在众 多佼佼者中脱颖而出,就要取决于 有多大的决心和付出多少努力了。






言论 编辑室 >>青春语录


插图: 范威杰

洪媛 中文编辑

日在社交网站上开设的 大学“告白专页”在短 短的一个月时间内就吸引了上 万人按“赞”,可见其关注度 颇高。

此类告白网站在国外早已不 是新鲜事物,但在本地却造成 了如此大的影响。身为南大的 一员,笔者也关注了此专页, 结果在一天内就被长期刷屏, 五花八门的帖子,内容“丰富 多彩”。 在浏览了大量帖子之后,不 难发现,内容大多是暗恋者对

于爱慕之人的告白,又或是对 学校某些人事物的不满,当然 也不乏一些敏感话题,如同性 恋、各族群间的歧视等等。笔 者发觉帖子的过滤标准并不明 确,主页负责人应该清楚列出 标准细节,并放于网页醒目的 位置,方便大家阅读。 不可否认,告白专页确实给

大家提供了一个开放的平台, 这种匿名制发表帖子的方式, 使许多人将平时不敢说出的真 实想法的发表出来。 但笔者认为,或许说者无 心,但听者有意,毕竟这是一 个公开的媒体,许多帖子针对 的是某个族群,那些带有歧视 的话语杀伤力不容小觑。 因此建立一个信息过滤系统 还是必要的。近年来在网络发 表种族歧视语言的事件在新加 坡屡见不鲜,但都因为发布者 的信息公开,可以迅速对其采 取法律制裁。 然而,如今告白网站中,以 匿名发表的带有歧视色彩的言 语映入了人们的眼帘。当社会 上的弱势群体因此而遭受到攻 击和伤害,告白网站甚至成为 了掩盖错误行为和观念的“避 风港”。 另外,笔者也时常见到揭露 校内丑闻的帖子。虽然知道网 络信息的可信度并不高,尤其 是这种匿名发表更是如此,但 还是不禁感叹原来校园内黑暗 的角落有许多,多少感到有些 失望。 但与此同时,笔者也深思, 揭露事实并没有错,只是大家

在一片骂声中似乎没有去寻求 解决的办法,只是把事件摆在 阳光下,根本问题依然存在。 除了发布者,观看者的心态 又是如何呢?不难发现,那些 涉及敏感话题较少的帖子会得 到比较多的“赞”和评价,毕 竟这项操作并非匿名,所以要 注意自己按下鼠标、敲打键盘 的那一刻后将要承担什么样的 责任。 归根结底,就是因为此类网 页采取了匿名发表的形式,利 在于为大家提供了一个开放而 透明的平台,让大家没有后顾 之忧的畅所欲言,反观弊就在 于因为太过自由,反而让一些 心理不健康的人有机会发表歧 视言论,破坏各族群间的和谐 关系。 如今,告白网站上的讨论 依旧热火朝天,言论也愈加大 胆,相信短时间内,热度并不 会散去。真实勇敢地表达自己 的想法值得表扬,但是言语中 不应该带有歧视的言语,伤害 了其他人。 在主页负责人采取任何过滤 信息发布的措施前,我们应该 懂得如何才是真正意义上的“ 告白”。


不要让人口问题变成政治角力 黄逸凡

月终,工人党赢得榜鹅东的补选 战,原想工人党与人民行动党的 对抗会因此而告一段落。没想到两天后 发布的人口白皮书,再次引发了两党之 间的争执,而争论的焦点,无非是当局 规划本地人口将在2030年时,达到650 万至690万之间。 很多本地民众都表示在如今这个约 500万人口的城市里,人们已经明显感 受到街道的拥挤与纷扰、生活成本上 升、社会竞争压力越来越来激烈,甚至 怪罪地铁时常因为增加运行而频频故 障,使得人们对政府计划即将要增加到 700万人口的这个方案表示担忧。反对 党更是借此火上浇油,把问题的矛头直 指向新移民。工人党秘书长刘程强更直 截了当地说:“种种民生问题,主要是 太多外来移民造成的。” 由国民团结党党员吴家和在芳林公 园发动的集会,更是把民间这种反对 移民政策的情绪煽到了最高点。在这场 以“向政府提出的六百九十万人口说 不”的示威集会中,吸引了超过四千人

冒雨参与,人们举着抗议标语宣泄对移 民政策的不满。 新加坡真的可以不需要外来移民 吗?且不论在金融界以及科技领域的专 业人士,仅就受争议的外籍劳工,随着 本地生育率的逐年下降,早就出现断 层,让很多服务业、建筑业都出现缺工 情况,还好有愿意领低廉薪水做本地人 不愿意从事的蓝领工作的外劳们,但其 实还需要填补中阶层级的人力资源,才 能维持本就脆弱不已的新加坡经济体。

“人民必须睁大眼睛牢牢地 盯着这个事件,更不要以爱 国之名盲目排外,才不至于 让人口问题成为未来新加坡 发展的绊脚石。” 人民行动党宣称,政府正积极在为 日益增长的人口改善公共设施,增加新 的地铁路线以及推出70万套住宅单位, 都让人看到当局在规划引进新移民的同 时,也加紧建设基础设施。


回归正题,这一次利用民粹主义为 主打的工人党及其它反对党,其爱国言 论颇似日本公共知识分子加藤嘉一在他 《爱国贼》一书中,描述了这样的一群 人:他们处处打着爱国的旗帜,却不知 自己发表有损害国家利益的言论。 看来反对党运用这样的政治手段来

壮大自己,争取与执政党抗衡的筹码, 这也无可厚非。正因政府与反对党之间 的角力关系全体新加坡人的共同利益, 所以人民必须睁大眼睛牢牢地盯着这个 事件,更不要以爱国之名盲目排外,才 不至于让人口问题成为未来新加坡发展 的绊脚石。





CHRONICLE 08 生活之幕后大直击

磨练性格 磨合差异

南洋理工大学每年都会有一批学生投入妆艺大游行的舞台,亲身参与其中,连同其他队伍为观众带来多 姿多彩的演出。记者刘施驿首次深入后台,到彩排现场访问到了表演者,了解他们在光鲜亮丽的花车、 浓妆、鲜花与掌声的背后,付出了多少心血。

加坡年度艺术盛事妆艺 大游行汇集了舞蹈、花 车、舞狮和舞龙等精彩表演, 是本地规模隆重的街头游行。 南大的队伍是游行开场后第 三个节目。 名为《Poppera》的表演, 杂糅东西方风格的舞蹈,前半 部分在《歌剧魅影》哥特式的 华丽音乐下,舞者身披暗红底 银色花纹披风,戴着冷艳面 具,一边舞蹈一边行进,他们 踩着高贵的舞步,乘风而来, 声势惊人,而一举手一投足, 身上的披风旋转间展露了优雅 奢华,让现场观众恍然置身于 十九世纪的法国巴黎。 但是令人惊喜的是随着音乐 变换,舞者们把身上的披风翻 转,转眼变成了黄色,而且还 带有中国式的戏彩图案。手掌 划过眉目之间,待放下来时, 脸上的面具便瞬间换成了京剧 脸谱。 背景音乐采用了周杰伦的《 霍元甲》,舞者们的舞步随着 节奏变快,跳出了嘻哈舞蹈, 舞姿尽显青春和活力,帅气十 足,把中国元素和现代舞蹈结 合得天衣无缝。 今年参加妆艺大游行的南大 学生人数比去年多出了两到三 倍。表演者演出时光鲜亮丽, 其实精彩的舞蹈背后,都是他 们辛勤的汗水。 由于妆艺大游行的现场并不 是在室内舞台上进行,反而是 户外演出,所以表演方式是许 多人从来没有体验过的,这当 然也增加了难度。 虽然才加入大学不到一年,

表演者之一的李岳(电机与电 子工程学院一年级)受访时告 诉记者:“我们从去年十月就 开始了彩排,这期间一直没有 间断过。排练当然很辛苦,由 于户外彩排时阳光曝晒,我们 戴着面具、披着披风,更是汗 流浃背,可是我们都只能咬牙 坚持。” 另一名表演者古颖佳(国立 教育学院一年级)也表示:“ 每个周六早上都要早起前去彩 排,有时候还得淋着雨排练。 虽然觉得很疲累,但是团员们 都觉得这段经历十分宝贵。” 演出游行能够成功,除了表 演者得尽力演出,幕后功臣的 努力也很重要。 这个幕后团队得确保舞者们 有如期前来出席彩排、跳舞时 队伍井然有序、休息的时候也 有食物和饮料的供应。 此外,他们也身兼替补的角 色,和其他表演者同时排练舞 蹈,以防当天有舞者身体不适 无法演出。 幕后人员当中除了本地学生 之外,来自国际学生以及交换 生也参与其中,而且还占据了 半数以上。 来自英国爱丁堡大学的交换 生Sokol Katarzyna就负责组织 以及帮忙训练舞者,她受访时 表示能够参与新加坡妆艺大游 行是一项非常独特的体验,因 为这让她对华族文化有了更深 层的了解,此外她也学会了更 多艺术表演上的技巧。 她最高兴的莫过于从活动中 认识了更多的新朋友,让自己 在新加坡的生活更加充实。

由于妆艺大游行的现场并不是在室内舞台上进行,反而是户外演出,所以表演方式是许多人从来没 有体验过的,这当然也增加了难度。 摄影:黄俐文 来自中国的南大学生张楚清 (计算机工程学院一年级)表 示排练虽然辛苦,但是活动中 也碰到许多开心的事情,例如 在休息时间时逗一逗同为表演 者的小朋友,而且大家脸上都 顶着大浓妆,真的是又夸张又 好笑。 表演者辛勤排练,数月的 彩排不仅磨练了性格,也磨合 了之间不同国籍以及文化的差 异,让舞者们能够自信登台, 以最完美的姿态展现自我,他 们现场挥洒青春和活力,让观 众感受到了听觉及视觉上的享 宴,数月的辛苦耕耘成了值得 骄傲的经历。

妆艺大游行的由来 华人在农历新年时都会 放鞭炮,以此庆祝新年的到 来,可是因为容易酿成火 灾,新加坡政府于是禁止国 人放鞭炮。 既然春节少了鞭炮,热 闹的气氛也就减少了,因此 政府决定举办妆艺大游行, 以游行花车的队伍为农历新 年增添色彩。 “妆艺”这个名字起源 于本地的福建方言词语,意

为“服饰和装扮的艺术”。 1973年,新加坡举办了 第一届妆艺大游行。从此以 后,每一年的华人农历新年 都有妆艺大游行。 当时的游行通常只有华 人参与,可是近几年来妆艺 大游行的节目也欢迎不同种 族的国人和外国团体共襄盛 举,成为不同年龄、职业和 团体的国人都可参加的大型 艺术表演活动。





08 CHRONICLE 生活之中医保健

失眠?心神不宁?如何一觉到天明 日益增加的课业、考试都给学生带来越来越大的压力,随之而来的失眠问题也如影随形,相信这困扰着许多 人。因此怎么样才能够一觉到天明似乎成了失眠族群的奢望以及所关心的问题。记者孙嘉汐、黄逸凡访问到了 南大中医诊所的王晓兰医师和白伟良医师,他们利用自己过去丰富的经验帮助读者做出了详尽解答。


要睡得安稳?透过 食疗便可以轻松达 到安神的效果,以下几种 常见的食物有助于睡眠, 让你一觉到天明: 莲子(lotus seeds)是 睡莲科植物莲的干燥成熟 种子。莲子做成粥或甜品 食用有助于人们更好的睡 眠。王医师还特别指出, 莲子中间的莲子芯性寒味 苦,对于心烦燥热的人群 有特殊功效,有清心火, 沟通心肾的作用。 百合(lily)是指人们

南 苑 与 中 医 诊 所 合 作

经常食用的茎部,将百合 炖汤或与其他鲜蔬,例如 西芹、西兰花一起烹制, 清爽可口,还具有养心安 神的功效。 龙眼(longan)除了新 鲜食用外,其实果肉还可 以加工晒干,变成桂圆。 这对于脑力劳动、气血不 足、心气虚损的人来说, 食用龙眼肉不仅补血养 气,对心悸、健忘、失眠 等症状也有良效。可是注 意食用时必须适量,因为 新鲜的龙眼肉容易引起上

火,体质虚热的人群应谨 慎食用。 酸枣仁(sour jujube seeds)磨成粉泡水服 用,能够帮助养肝宁心。 另外在睡前喝一杯热牛奶 或蜂蜜水也可以帮助人们 拥有更好的睡眠品质。 除此之外,中医学中 还有很多穴位对我们的睡 眠大有裨益。 王医师也主要介绍了三 个位于头部的穴位,透过 按压的方式即可舒缓头 痛,达到安神的效果。

百会(DU20)位于我 们头顶上最凹陷的地方。 民间有谚语称“百会头顶 能容豆”。百会穴的四 周——前后左右各一寸( 大约拇指关节之间的长 度)有四个穴位叫四神聪 (EX-HN1)。通过按压 百会以及四神聪可以起到 醒脑安神的效果。 如果你时常头痛眩晕, 按摩位于双眉中间的印堂 (EX-HN3)能有效缓解 症状。因此长时间使用电 脑后的学生可以在休息时

摄影: 詹道政

间按摩此穴位定神解压。 安眠穴位于耳垂后的 骨头,时常按压对于治疗 失眠同样有帮助。 虽然食疗和按摩穴位 对于睡眠有一定的辅助作 用,但如果想要拥有高品 质的睡眠,南大中医师建 议最重要的是养成良好的 作息习惯。 根据中医理论,白天 因为有阳光所以阳气盛, 但夜晚因为黑夜而造成阴 气比较多。 王医师提醒大家:“

书籍:《当我谈跑步时, 我谈些什么》 作家:村上春树 译者:施小炜

若想知道其他保健方法,欢 迎您投函到nanyuan@gmail. com,我们将选出部分问题 寻求中医师帮您解答,并在 下一期专栏刊登。


中医诊所讯息 地址:SBS-01s-68, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 6357551 电话:65921732/65921733 网址:ww.ntutcm.com


常说,读一本书,就像在和作者 进行一场心灵的对话。那当你遇 见一位志同道合的作者时,你会发现读 书是一件如此享受的事情。对我来说, 村上春树先生的《当我谈跑步时,我谈 些什么》便是这样的一本书。 虽然村上先生的《当》只有两百页 的篇幅,当中写出了自己跑步的随笔感 想,其实村上春树的跑步生涯和写作生 涯一样,都是从三十岁开始。 《当》最吸引人的地方是因为这是 一本自述,不再是写故事,而是写作者 自己开酒吧的经历,但是某个晴朗的下 午,他听到一声清脆击打棒球声,这启

最好的入眠时间应该在午 夜十二点之前,中医认为 睡眠的机制是:阴气盛则 入眠、阳气盛则梦醒,所 以最好是能够在晚上9时 到11时之间上床睡觉,在 子时(23时至1时)进入 最佳睡眠状态。” 长期失眠会导致精神 上的损害、容易脾气暴 躁,甚至免疫力下降。虽 然平日课业繁重,想要夜 夜安眠的学生还是得切忌 熬夜,腾出休息时间,养 精蓄锐。

书评 Literature 发他走上了写作的一生。 内容叙述自己跑马拉松,从备赛到 冲过终点的一刻对比着从考爱岛到波士 顿,跑步不再单单是有益的体育锻炼, 还是有效隐喻他的人生。 书中也透露着村上先生别致的生活 美学,亦如同跑步,在漫长的写作道路 上,逐字逐句累积成这本随笔集。此 外,比较特别的是书中没有了其它小说 中的忧伤颓靡气质,反而让读者看到了 一位坚持忍耐、独处自律的村上春树。 最后,对于如果没有读过此书的你 们,如果你热爱读书,来体会一个不一 样的村上春树,隽永的的文字将陪你度 过一个安逸的下午。 如果你热爱跑步,你会在书中找到同 为运动者的共鸣,甚至找到知己。 如果你只是想随便找一本书消磨时 间,那你将在这本书中重拾内心的平静 与安宁。 (文/黄逸凡)






F.I.R. 2013光合之旅Light Up The Way演唱会新加坡站

乐团十年 感谢歌迷给予光合能量 歌迷们听到专辑中熟悉的 旋律,所以他在歌曲改编 和串接部分下了很大下功 乐界往往都是长江 夫,还重新编排了歌曲的 后浪推前浪,但是 曲风,让听众能够有新鲜 飞儿乐团已成立了十年, 的感觉。而且为了迎合歌 发片八年,团长陈建宁老 迷们的喜好,飞儿乐团也 师接受采访时表示:“很 在演唱会前设立网站,让 多人说我们的音乐带给大 歌迷们投票选出自己当天 家能量,但其实倒过来, 想听到的曲目。 演唱会当天,F.I.R以 歌迷也给了我们很多继续 成名曲《Lydia》开场, 走下去的动力。” 飞儿乐团于2013年1月 三人以酷炫的服装造型登 2 6 日 , 在 新 加 坡 博 览 中 台,在耀眼的灯光效果和 心The  Max  Pavilion为首 火花四射的艺术特效中, 场“光合之旅  Light  Up  舞台上三人相视一笑,仿 The  Way”全球巡回演唱 佛时光倒退到多年前刚创 办乐团时的模样,但如今 会热情开唱。 他 们 并 没 有 选 择 台 北 褪去青涩,十年的旅途却 或北京为首站的地点,反 让这三个人紧密相连,默 而特别选择了新加坡,建 契十足。 建宁老师、阿沁和飞 宁老师表示本地拥有丰 也 在 舞台上各自独唱歌 富的音乐人才、出色的音 曲,每人的嗓音和爆发力 响设备以及良好的观众素 养,因此觉得本地是极佳 让台下观众惊艳不已。 飞演唱了英国知名实 的开场地点。 力 派 女唱将阿黛尔的经 其实主唱飞在不久前 典歌曲《Someone  Like  曾在健身中心不慎摔伤脊 Y o u 》 , 音 色 像 极 了 原 椎,直到演唱会前一周才 唱,高深的唱功加上十足 可以站立。建宁老师和阿 沁考虑到飞的身体情况, 的欧美风范,令现场粉丝 曾商议是否要将演唱会延 激动不已。 阿沁则独唱《让爱重 期,但飞为了不让期待很 生》,歌曲悲伤唯美配上 久的歌迷们失望,坚持新 他优雅的声线,如王子般 加坡演唱会如期举行。 吉 他 手 阿 沁 也 第 一 次 在台上深情演唱,开口第 担任了演唱会音乐总监的 一 句 就 赢 来 大 片 的 尖 叫 职责,他在开场前一日的 声。歌迷也被伤感的歌词 记者会中表示不希望只让 打动,台下一片寂静,细


细地欣赏他的演出。 建宁老师则是选择了 《婚礼的祝福》,歌声浑 厚真挚,深沉感人,韵味 十足。 歌迷们也在演唱会上 听到了飞儿乐团今年预计 推出新专辑中的一首歌曲 《Light Up  the  Way》全 球首唱。歌曲节奏明快、 有独特的舞曲风格,将全 场氛围拉至最高点,大家 更是随着音乐舞动。 演唱会命名为《光合 之旅》的灵感来源于光合 作用的原理。光合作用的 三大要素是阳光,空气和 水,而这分别由F.I.R三 个人代表:飞自信耀眼就 和阳光一样,建宁老师如 同空气包容深阔,而阿沁 则像水一般的自由而沁人 心脾。

他们总共演唱了25首 歌曲,包括《Fly Away》 、《亚特兰提斯》、《斑 鸠+雨樱花》以及《千年 之恋》等,而全场歌迷们 和偶像齐声合唱当晚的压 轴安可曲《我们的爱》, 观众们手中握有印着三人 名字的牌子在茫茫人海之 中随着旋律左右摇动,舞 台上三人抱着勇气和梦想 联袂表演,舞台下又有歌 迷相陪,气氛温馨,令人 动容。 一场视听盛宴华丽地 谢幕,绚丽的灯光舞台效 果配上活力四射的乐团以 及反响热烈的观众,相信 飞儿乐团的歌声已在新加 坡歌迷心中撒下光的种 子,并且茁壮成长,由音 乐激励更多人勇敢去冒险 的力量。

三人以酷炫的服装造型登台,在耀眼的灯光效果和火花四射的艺术特效中,仿佛时光倒流到多年前刚创办乐团 时的模样,但如今褪去青涩,十年的旅途却让这三个人紧密相连,默契十足。 摄影: 韩蕙璟、黄俐文

乐评 音乐Jukebox

功转型为歌手的张根硕,将“ 玩乐”音乐风格进行到底。新 专辑中包含了电音嘻哈摇滚各式多元 化的音乐风格,是他觉得“最开心的 音乐”。相信这些节奏欢快的歌曲很 容易把气氛炒high,未来将会成为派 对中的热门点播曲目。 首波主打《What Is  Your  Name》 描绘男生遇到心仪女生时迫切想知道 对方名字而步步靠近的歌曲。歌词浅 白直接,表现了现今都市人表达爱慕 之意的大胆。这首有些“狂野”的舞 曲,融合了DJ的元素,让人想要不自 觉跟随节奏摆动.《Beautiful  Change》 是专辑中风格较为特别的歌曲,虽是 中板节奏却很鲜明,开头单纯以吉他 加架子鼓作为背景音乐,完全呈现出 张根硕的音色,此外这首英文歌曲也 专辑:《I Just Wanna Have Fun》 展示了他不俗的语言能力。 歌手:张根硕 此次造型时尚感十足而且多样化, 推荐:《What Is Your Name》 不论是视觉还是听觉,这张专辑都展 《Beautiful Change》 现出了一个更加多面的张根硕,值得 一听。                          (文/洪媛)  


专辑:《黄色夹克》 歌手:梁文音 推荐:《慢一点长大》《月光地毯》 《爱是什么》


文音的第四张专辑,和以往不 同的是,这次的专辑主打可 爱,俏皮的曲风。


但是过去善于演唱抒情歌曲的梁文音 唱起可爱的歌曲似乎有点适得其反,高 分贝嗓音让人听了有些刺耳,况且专辑 里甜蜜的歌曲大同小异,并没有特别出 色的。尤其一首《我一定会爱上你》的 肉麻歌词更是令人措手不及。 庆幸的是,专辑里头收录了温暖温 馨的歌曲:《心里的孩子》、《月光地 毯》、《慢一点长大》都是可听之曲, 尤其《慢一点长大》的歌词讲述人们不 想长大的心境,很容易引起听众的共 鸣。然而拿过去的专辑相比较时,这张 CD的抒情歌还是缺乏了感染力。 《月光地毯》在抒情歌的旋律底下铺 上的电音节奏和多重和声,让这首歌充 满了力量。《爱是什么》里面那种随性 慵懒的语气,也是在之前梁文音的唱片 中从未听到过的,虽然歌词在不断重复 几句相同的话,却让人觉得贴切自然。 看得出梁文音试图转型,但是可爱 的曲风一点也不是她最拿手的,反而东 施效颦,白白浪费了一把好声音。有“ 星光一姐”之称的梁文音具备一定的实 力,不过这张专辑却没能让她发挥所 长,实属可惜。                              (文/张颖恩)






娱乐 新加坡华艺节2013

思忖古今的黄粱一梦 梦》呈现出的中国传统元 素繁多复杂,演员个个十 八般技艺傍身:京剧、昆 曲、三弦、苏州评弹、秦 腔、水袖功、圆场功、太 极、刀剑对阵、正楷草书 书法等等。 整场演出也亮点频 频:水袖功的展示象征开 凿运河;挥斥方遒象征指 点江山;蟒袍更换代指官 路浮沉;京剧勾脸喻示年 岁渐长。将中国传统艺术 放进故事叙述当中,并不 显得拖沓,亦能配合情节 的合理发展。 但是导演的企图心过 于明显,过多的元素糅 杂,不够简洁与精准。这 样的呈现方式,摆在西方 观众面前,很可能是目不 暇给,惊喜连连;但对于 有东方艺术底蕴的新加坡 观众说,符号有时难免成 为无谓的摆设与堆砌,平 添观剧的负担。


当卢生意识到高官厚禄不再是他想要、一味地留恋高位未必就是“如意”的时候, 他决绝地选择了放下。 照片:滨海艺术中心提供


盈工作室在滨海艺 术中心一年一度的 华艺节中带来的中国戏剧 《黄粱一梦》, 由导演 黄盈执导,故事改编自唐 代沈既济的传奇《枕中 记》,主要围绕读书人卢 生进行。 不得志的读书人卢生 渴望建功树名,某日在客 栈偶遇道士吕翁,向他哀 叹自己的穷困潦倒。在等 待黄粱饭煮熟过程中,卢 生躺在在道士赠予的瓷枕 中入梦,经历多番人生高 低起伏的故事。醒后不禁 感叹:一觉黄粱梦,多少 人生事。

传统戏曲配西方话剧 成语“黄粱一梦”对 于不少熟知中国文化的本 地观众来讲,可谓耳熟能 详;但对这部作品将中国

传统戏曲和西方话剧形式 融合,形成“现实主义新 国剧”,可谓是艺术上的 创新。导演也试图通过打 造一出“今古跨越千年的 对话”,带给观众一场视 听嗅味觉上的盛宴。

戏剧穿梭古今 乐师在暗黄灯光的映 衬下奏起古朴浑圆的乐 音,随着纱幕的揭开,四 位身穿古时常见的黑布素 衣的演员随三弦单音的悠 扬节奏,踩着小碎步徐徐 登场,并现场开始煮起了 黄粱米饭。 演员们跪坐在舞台中 间的凉席上,一舀黄米一 舀水,缓缓将它们倒入锅 中;待一切准备妥当后, 再将饭锅移送至观众席 前,盖上竹制蒸笼盖,通 电开煮。 在源自古代的谷粮和 现代科技的结合碰撞中, 故事便如行云流水般展

开。观众也在小剧场内升 起的袅袅炊烟中,不断地 穿梭于古代与现今的对话 当中。

舞台引导扰乱视线 始终坐在舞台一角 的,是一位身穿西装的的 现代人,不时摆弄桌上的 iPad。可以理解导演的良 苦用心,是希望通过这位 现代人的存在,起到疏离 效果,时时刻刻提醒观众 要活在当下,从现代视角 审视古代故事。 可惜这样的做法显得 突兀而刻意,不仅没有起 到引导的功效,反而有扰 乱观众视线之嫌。观众完 全有能力在演出进行当 中,通过演员扎实的表 演,立足当下,与1200年 前的故事展开联系。

传统艺术融入剧情 纵观全场,《黄粱一

值得欣喜的是,演员 通过细腻而又真挚的演 出,依然成功地将全剧主 题传达出来。 最打动观众的一幕是 卢生终于醒悟,洗去一脸 油彩,换上粗布素衣,还 朴实真身之时。这需要多 大的勇气!当他意识到高 官厚禄不再是他想要、一 味地留恋高位未必就是“ 如意”的时候,他决绝地 选择了放下。 在全剧结尾,卢生醒 来,梦中一切荣华富贵 皆不复存在,唯有妻子崔 氏,仍伴在一旁。此时观 众也在思考:什么才是“ 如意”?要荣华富贵功名 利禄为哪般?还是平平淡 淡才是真?

影评 电影播映室 电影:《西游·降魔篇》 主演:文章、舒淇、黄渤、罗志祥 类型:奇幻、喜剧


星驰19年前主演经典电影《大话西游》后, 又一次亲自操刀制作最新影片《西游》。可 是这回不同的是,主演不再是以往的星爷和达叔, 因为星爷担当起了《西游》的导演,日前也宣布不 再演戏,所以主演的角色交给了中国演员文章(饰 演唐僧),故事的内容以及角色形象不同于往。 《西游》是一部贺岁片,内容主要是叙述青年 时期的唐僧与他的三位徒弟相遇的历险故事,故事 偏离之前的《大话西游》和传统的《西游记》,当 中少年唐僧一心想要成为职业驱魔人解救大众追求 大爱,但因为功力不佳又单纯,多次失败又被打得 遍体鳞伤。 幸亏他在冒险的道路上,结识了武功高强的驱 魔人(舒淇饰演),并和她有段朦胧凄美的感情, 并在她和和孙悟空的协助下,唐僧收服了猪妖(后 来的猪八戒)和鱼妖(后来的沙僧),然而孙悟空 却用诡计逃离五指山,现出了小齐天大圣的原形, 逢人必斩,如此不堪的结局该如何收拾,还是请大 家自己到电影院揭晓吧。 影片的特色之一就是采用了全新的人物形象, 唐僧不再是唱“Only You”的啰嗦罗家英,反而成 了顶着一头蓬松乱发、看起来呆呆的爱哭鬼唐僧。 孙悟空(黄渤饰演)的造型更是“笑”果十足,因 为它不再是帅气爱捣蛋的毛猴,反而变成了头发快 掉光的颓废中年男。齐天大圣逃出五指山与佛祖对 立,它也不再是唐僧的忠心徒弟,反而还恶整他, 甚至把他那头乱发给扒光了。 电影除了采用了西游记的主要人物,星爷也添 加了一些特别的角色,例如与唐僧有感情戏的痴情 驱魔人和一直被婢女奶奶气到肾虚的空虚公子(罗 志祥饰演)等精彩人物。同时,影片也采用了大量 的科技特效,画面真实震撼人心,其中“鱼妖”攻 击人类一幕更是栩栩如生,甚至因为惊悚血腥还吓 坏了一些观众。 虽然电影《西游》强打为搞笑片,可惜笑点并 没有预期中的那么多,唯独让我印象深刻的笑点是 唐僧对着两个大汉大跳艳舞,星爷的电影若有更多 笑点想必会更好。许多人会将此片与原来的《大话 西游》来做比较,可是毕竟经典是无法超越的,因 此建议想要前去观赏的观众以一种新的观念和眼光 去欣赏此片。 (文/郑欣)

简单就是幸福 想着这些问题时,黄 粱米饭也煮熟了。观众步 出小剧场外,吃着黄粱饭 时,是否也是在梦一场? 认认真真活在当下, 就像黄粱米一样平实简 单,未必就不是幸福。但 的确,每个人对幸福与如 意的定义,总是不同的。 想得到幸福,可以容易, 也可以很难。 一锅饭熟了,一个梦 结了,一场戏终了;观众 尝完黄粱饭,一场思考开 始了。


Opinions EDITORIAL IF THE Chronicle were to start a radio newscast today, our first news briefing will sound like this: “Around the world in 30 seconds. “Shaking is the new dancing. No Superman found in meteorite that hit Russia. Penn State scientist discovers zombie virus; scenes of Resident Evil not a distant reality.” All of these are made possible only because scientists and engineers have some of the wildest imaginations. Or perhaps, facts and figures convince them of conclusions no ordinar y man would make. Before I became an undergraduate, the university existed in my mind as a mystical place where ‘Eureka!’-shouting professors with thick-rimmed spectacles roam the corridors, fiddle with naked mole rats in labs, and inflict unsolvable questions upon Sheldon-like students who rationalise theories in seconds. In reality, naked mole rats and thick-rimmed spectacles aside, the scientists and engineers I have encountered on campus so far do not deviate much from the above. While studying in the Lee Wee Na m Libra r y, I ca n’t help but notice the number of d r oopy head s i n de e p thought. One occasionally would look up in a moment of sudden revelation with one hand tightly fisted, and the other scribbling mathematical figures in heavy strokes. In a business elective class,

the five engineering students I was grouped with unanimously agreed to market raw steel for a final marketing project. When I took issue with it, the decision was quickly switched to marketing washing machines that can spin clothes at a perfect angle to minimise damage — a new invention that well spun off their minds after five minutes of brainstorming. Scientists’ and engineers’ oddball obsessions can make them seem outlandish at times, but that’s the new cool. Geeky spectacles have made their way into fashion, together with the popular TV series, Big Bang Theory. Last issue, we covered breakthroughs in laser technology as cooling agents, and a new glaucoma treatment. We went a step further this issue and peeked into the lives of engineers and their creations in our photo showcase. This is in addition to the coverage of NTU’s newly forged commitments to research with industry giants Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Xenon Technologies, and Lockheed Martin. A sign that even more brainy folks are joining our community. So, the next time you walk past a lab, stop and peer through its tinted windows at the engineers manically at work. Rather than judge them for their unconventionality, realise it is what makes them extraordinary and NTU worthy of recognition.


CHRONICLE ChieF editor Wong Pei Ting manaGinG editor Wan Zhong Hao sub-editors Fiona Lam Ronald Loh Steffi Koh Tiffany Goh online editor Agung Santoso Ongko neWs editors Cynthia Choo Isaac Tan Miranda Yeo liFestyle editors Bernice Koh Nicole Tan revieWs editor Charmaine Ng dapper editors Phyllicia Wang Wilfred Lim opinions editors Dipshikha Ghosh Redzwan Kamarudin

Chinese editors Hong Yuan Liu Ting Ting sports editors David Lam Nazri Eddy Razali layout editors Carolyn Turgeon photo editors Lim Mu Yao Yeo Kai Wen GraphiCs editor Chin Li Zhi business manaGers Lim Pei Yi Vivian Lionel Lim Ng Wei Ying Ho Xiu Xian produCtion support Ng Heng Ghee Ong Li Chia teaCher advisors Andrew Duffy Debbie Goh Zakaria Zainal Lim Hai Yen

A students’ newspaper published by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) Nanyang Technological University 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637718 Tel: 6790 6446 Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board of The Chronicle and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of Nanyang Technological University, its employees, the students or the Council of the University. Signed opinion columns, letters and editorial cartoons represent the opinion of the writer or artist and are not necessarily those of The Chronicle. Printed by KHL Printing Co. Pte Ltd, 57 Loyang Drive, Singapore 508968


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frankly, my dear

A column by Chronicle Editors on issues close to their hearts

Diva behind the camera

Lim mu Yao Photo Editor


he next time a photographer tells you to stand up straight, you’d better listen. That’s what I told Dr Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee. Some shutterbugs have a bad reputation for being unbearably insistent on doing things their way. Others, like myself, cannot accept anything less than their notion of perfection in creating their images. Once, I got into a shouting match with a model who insisted my painstakingly crafted poses made her look fat. The photoshoot didn’t turn out well. Against the well-meaning intentions from every moral fibre of my body, she insisted on her contortionist poses that made her look like she was suffering from an intense bout of constipation. Of course that drew nothing but plenty of eye-rolling and raised eyebrows from me. The result was an animated exchange of expletives that will rival any gangster’s vocabulary. The argument ended when I told her I quit, returned her money, and finished off with my killer death stare that left her mouth wide open. I also conveniently threw in a last dig by telling her that no amount of awkward posing was ever going to remove those love handles. I’m also unintentionally but unapologetically rude at times when covering events — by ‘accidentally’ stepping on other photographers’ feet with my Dr Martens boots just to get the perfect shot. I may have gained some ill repute in the local photography scene for being downright obnoxious. Perhaps that would explain my mother’s constant refrain of: “Are you sure you know all your 1,383 friends on Facebook? I doubt you have that many friends.” There is a reason to my madness, however. Every photograph is an act of

Adventure time Adventure time


giving the photographer’s voice to a world that has none. Ansel Ada m s , a fa mou s A me r ica n landscape photographer, once said: “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” Since every picture I produce is a representation of myself, it should be the best of what I have to offer. I see no reason why I shouldn’t do things my way to produce the exact image I want. My ruthlessness is a result of my hunger for perfection. After all, a good photograph is like a good song. If it’s well

crafted, its original rendition w i l l a lway s be r e me mbe r e d as the benchmark for f ut ure covers — just like how I Will Always Love You will forever be Whitney Houston’s ballad, no matter who covers it. Similarly, a good photograph that showcases the photographer’s heart and soul will forever be remembered as his. In this light, I make my pictures for no one but myself, even if they’re part of a paid assignment. So next time, when a photographer ‘accidentally’ stomps on my cherr y red Dr Martens while covering an event, I’ll understand his madness. After I’m done stepping back on his Converses, of course.






The modern meaning of parenthood Gillian Seetoh


or years, Singapore has faced the problem of low birth rates — well below the replacement rate of 2.1. Consequently, the government recently announced enhancements to the Marriage and Parenthood Package to persuade Singaporeans to marry and start families at an earlier age, with the goal of sustaining the economic vitality. Now, more than ever, this issue has become more pressing, given that there will be fewer working adults supporting every elderly person within the next 10 years. Compared to previous years, the measures this time are laudable, as they have diversified beyond financial incentives to include more non-monetary benefits, and expanded their target groups. There is new emphasis on giving married couples with children priority in securing new flats, defraying healthcare costs from childbirth and reducing childcare costs. But would these measures help? “Although financial benefits help in coping with the costs of having a child, there are other factors like tuition costs and the stressful education system,” said Ms Fengyi Liu, 27, a moth-


er who is expecting her second child. “The government should deal with these issues instead. Moreover, I would rather have fewer children so it is more manageable for me and my husband and allows us to maintain our current standard of living.” Her statement highlights the changing meaning of marriage, and the shift in the value of having children — both of which the government needs to acknowledge to tackle the worrying problem of couples not having children. In our parents’ generation, the traditional family form with traditional gender roles, was prevalent. More importantly,

louder than words : crunch time

many at the time felt it was their duty to continue the family line. Children were seen as investments, with each newborn raised to help support the family. But the concept of family has since evolved from the formal hierarchy in the household to more egalitarian modes, with emotion as the main basis, as theorized by family historians such as Stephanie Coontz and sociologists like Jan E Dizard. The modern family is based on husbands and wives as lovers and equal partners. Most couples have children out of love and personal fulfillment, no longer out of duty.

As a result, the Government’s policies and emphasis on monetary benefits are no longer in line with what young couples today would like to see. While financial incentives help, Singaporeans are more concerned with the living environment and whether it is conducive for settling down and starting a family. So, what might encourage couples to do just that? For parents, there is a need for greater emphasis on worklife balance, so that they can spend more time with their children as they grow up, bringing about a fuller family life. A survey by Jobstreet.com in 2012 found only 30 per cent

of respondents had initiatives at the workplace that promoted work-life balance. In the same way, there should be policies that allow parents to ask for flexible work arrangements, without facing negative repercussions. Since some employers might protest against these measures, the government ought to bear a portion of the cost, to help pursue the greater goal of ensuring there are enough Singaporeans to sustain the workforce in the long run. As for children, schools need to place less emphasis on grades and the rat race, and focus on instilling a love for learning instead. This would help in producing more creative and versatile employees for today’s dynamic work environment. Perhaps then Singaporeans might be more inclined to settle down and have children. The recently introduced raft of measures introduced by the government recently is a good start, but they need to be supplemented by a broader recognition of marriage and parenthood. This means a change in work culture and school environnment. After all, I wouldn’t want to bring up a child if I can’t even cope with my own excessively stressful lifestyle.

Chin li Zhi GraphiCS editor






Laptops: aids or distractions? associate Professor

tan seng chee


walk into any university lecture and it would be no surprise if the ratio of students and their laptops were one to one. Gone are the days of pen on paper — replaced by the tapping of fingers on keyboards. While the sound of rapid typing may be music to the ears of lecturers who think their students are diligently taking notes, to others, it means the students behind the screen are somewhere other than the lecture. I teach the science of learning and the use of technologies for education. I’m used to an environment where students use computers during lectures. My students construct concept maps to represent their understanding of the topics; they go to a discussion forum to discuss their ideas and post their opinions; they co-construct a document using Google Docs — you’d have to buy me a cup of coffee to get the full list. In fact, I feel handicapped in a normal classroom without computers, and I think my students feel the same way. To learn effectively, we need to search for relevant information about a topic, represent our ideas visually, and see how others view the same topics through deep dis-

cussion. Laptops are tools, very powerful tools indeed, to achieve that. But at the same time, laptops can also be powerful distractions. Truth be told, it’s so tempting to check your email accounts, to visit Facebook, edit photos, post tweets, to read the news, or even

Right in the childhood

make video calls during lectures. I do occasionally notice some students emailing or visiting unrelated websites. When that happens, it usually means they’ve finished their work, or that I need to make my lectures more engaging. Either way, I learn to make my lessons more interest-

using their handphones during lectures. What’s worse is that phones can be used more discreetly. With that in mind, are we succumbing to a new culture of using laptops in lectures? My take is that new technologies bring new possibilities, coupled with new threats. We don’t ban people from driving cars just because there are road accidents. Likewise, there are potential hazards of using laptops during lectures. It‘s the joint responsibility of the lecturers and the students to make this work. The lecturers could design engaging learning activities with the laptops, and the students play their roles as active participants. After all, university students are mature adult learners who can and should take responsibility for their own actions.

Associate Professor Tan Seng Chee is the Head of Learning Sciences & Technologies at the National Institute of Education. His research work focuses on enhancing the knowledge creation capacity of students and teachers, supported by computer-supported collaborative learning technologies. GRAPHIC: DERRICK FUN

The Health Promotion Board announced plans to increase physical activities in pre-schools by 2015. But is replacing unrestricted playing with routine excercise better for children’s social growth? Lysandra Liu


ing and plan for bonus activities that will keep students constantly participating. After all, students will get distracted with paper and pencil. Just look at the doodling on their lecture pads. We can ban the use of laptops, but we can’t stop students from

TAG. Hopscotch. Kicking a ball around. These are the games we think preschoolers would be playing, yet schools islandwide are having to throw dance routines into the mix now, just to get the kids exercising. Last month, the Straits Times released an article on the Health Promotion Board’s plans to promote exercise to 500 pre-schools by 2015. The move seeks to help children below seven meet its new guidelines of three hours of physical activities every day. Schools are also considering a walking incentive whereby parents, volunteer s and st ud e nt s a r e e n couraged to walk to school, instead of taking the bus — assuming they live close enough.

But I highly doubt pre-schoolers would be willing. W hy do pre-schoolers have to be encouraged? Aren’t c h i ld r e n of t h e i r a ge s u p posed to love running around? Perhaps parents are protecting their kids too much, if exercise today has to be novelised to get kids moving.

But is this counterproductive, given it may lead to children who may grow up “too soft”? Comments on that Straits Times article say kids should not be treated like glass and allowed to get some sun. They may have a point. I have memories of a sandpit playground but my younger siblings only know of the ‘safer’ rubber mat playgrounds in the 1990s. Fast for ward to 2013, and most of these playgrounds are monopol i sed by af ter-sc hool couple s , or i nd iv idua l s who want time to smoke or think. Meanwhile, the kids are kept within indoor playgrounds so that they remain safe and under parental surveillance. But is this counter productive, given that it may lead to children growing up “too soft”?

Kids used to the air-conditioned env ironment might be disinclined to exercise simply because they don’t want to perspire. As such, parents have to find other options, and technology provides an alternative: the Wii and Xbox Kinect. Play it in an air-conditioned room and you no longer have to break a sweat while exercising. It even comes with a reduced risk of injury. Kids can play basketball without worrying about a stray elbow to the face, or damage to their braces. They can play football on their Playstations without breaking an ankle from a ruthless tackle. But at the same time, these virtual games take away the joy in scoring, given there is no team to celebrate with. The adrenaline rush pales in comparison. And there is no such euphoria as that of achieving something with your friends after a rough tumble. After all, the social advantages of on-field games are numerous. Playing and winning with peers not only stabilise friendships at a young age, but also improve their social interaction as adults. Dance routines? Perhaps when they are a little older. Children should be allowed to enjoy the sunshine on their skin; they are already living in a concrete jungle as it is. For now, I prefer “Tag, you’re it!”






canteen talk Regarding the recent rally on the White Paper, do you think it is better that Singaporeans are getting their grievances out in the open?

Speaking publicly encourages responsibility. Unlike anonymity on the Internet, people can now directly voice their concerns.

Tiger, tiger burning bright Rakhi Singh


Valerie Tang, SBS, Yr 2, 21

When people are given a designated channel, and a medium to voice their opinions, they should take advantage of it. Nasren Begum, SBS, Yr 2, 22

Voicing one’s opinion is good, but not at the cost of others’ sentiments. The cause should be worthy. Shubham Goyal, SCE, Yr 2, 19

If a fully democratic society is what we are aiming for, then people should have their right of expression. Foo Yong Di, NBS, Yr 1, 23

I don’t see the point in rallying. If the government has not responded before, why would it now?

harp hooks pierce and gouge deep into their flesh, nailstudded whips are used to violently beat them, and they’re repeatedly shocked with electric prods. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) such is the life of circus animals — fraught with cruelty, and in sharp contrast with the peachy tale of Alex the lion, who found joy with a circus troupe, in the movie Madagascar 3. Most animals are under the whip of circus trainers who routinely mete out harsh punishments during training sessions. It is not as though there is still a need for this kind of entertainment. Circuses started in the 16th century, and people were enthralled to see animals from distant lands they could never visit. But now we can travel, watch the discovery channel or visit zoos. Circuses have changed too, and the runaway success of Incanto at Resorts World Sentosa shows that people are as happy to see humans performing death-defying stunts as to see animals performing stunts that just defy the natural order. A not he r s ucc e s sf u l ( a nd animal-free) circus is the Montrealbased Cirque du Soleil, a troupe that describes itself as bringing a “dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment”.

Switzerland and many others. Hopefully, the rest of the world will follow suit. It’s is not a matter of choice for these animals, but awareness is now spreading, and organizations are working towards protecting their rights. The website Born Free (USA) points out that, during travels, animals may be caged or chained for long distances and hours, standing in their own excrement under extreme temperatures. While leaps through a ring of fire may enthrall audiences, it isn’t as thrilling for the beasts performing them. “Animals don’t perform these and other difficult tricks because they want to; they perform them because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t,” said PETA. Besides, the routines and tricks at circus performances are highly unnatural behaviour forced upon the animals. Wo r l d - r e n o w n e d c i r c u s troupes Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey go a step further by g lor i f y i ng t he “f r ie nd sh ip” between a wild animal and its whip-wielding trainer.

T he circus declares t heir routines are tailored to each animal’s natural abilities. That’s right — they claim that elephants doing headstands, bears riding bicycles, and tigers leaping through rings of fire do so because they enjoy it. Circus audiences tend to be unaware of the suffering of these creatures. But a closer look reveals cuts and injuries caused by training devices such as collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks and whips. Many of the animals also display noticeable frailness from food deprivation and laxatives. Is this the kind of ‘amusement’ we want our children to enjoy? Fortunately, animal circuses in Singapore have been replaced with shows like Incanto that feature human performers instead. Circuses used to be a popular form of entertainment but with the advent of different kinds of visual entertainment today, they should have become a thing of the past. I can only hope society will progress from such primitive and inhuman means of entertainment.

“Animals don’t perform these and other difficult tricks because they want to; they do it because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.” People for the Ethical Treament of Animals (PETA)

So why do people need a scared chained animal dancing for us, when graceful and char ming per for mers can entertain us just as well? Singapore joined the list of countries that restrict the use of animals in circuses, along with Austria, India, Sweden,

Amrit Kaur, WKWSCI, Yr 1, 19








Tchoukball woes Nazri Eddy razali SportS Editor


hen t he f ina l wh ist le ble w, Tc hou k ba l l capta i n Kelv i n A ng sh r ug ge d h i s shou lde r s a nd trudged off the court. His disappointment was evident, and the state of his team in NTU continues to hang on a thread. Both the Men’s and Women’s t e a m s f a i le d to q u a l i f y f or t he k nock-out rou nd s of t he I n t e r -Te r t i a r y Tc h o u k b a l l Championship on 3 Feb. But failing to progress in the competition is the least of their worries. “After this semester, many of our core players will be graduating. It’s going to be tough for us to br ing in new player s,” said Ang, a second-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. “It wou ld help if we were recognised as an official sport in NTU,” the 23-year-old said.

Lack of recognition

Tchou kba l l i n Si ngapore has g r ow n by leaps a nd bou nd s since its introduction in 2006 with more than 50 primary and secondar y schools par ticipating in competitions today. It i s a l so a r eg u la r f i x t u r e i n t he Poly te c h n ic-I n s t it ute of Technical Education Games since 2011. Si ngapor e a l so i mpr e ssed internationally, with its national team ranking first in South-east Asia, and third in the world. “Tchoukball first started off here in 2009 when a few pioneering national players were studying in NTU and NIE,” said fourth year NIE student Khairulharis Karem, 25, one of the founders of the club. “But interest dwindled quickly and only a few players stayed on, since there weren’t many competitions held then.” Given the university’s constraints in resources, priorit y is given to the more recognised s p or t s s uc h a s s o c c e r, ba s -

What is Tchoukball? Tchoukball is a strictly noncontact sport that doesn’t allow interference with another team’s passes or movement. A team is allowed three passes before a shot has to be made. To score a point, an attacking player must throw a ball against a small “rebound frame” at either end of the court. The ball must bounce out of a restricted zone of 3m radius from around the frame and not be caught by the opposing players.

ke tba l l a nd vol le y ba l l , s a id Mr Chiang Chai Liang, assistant director of N T U’s Spor ts Excellence Programmes Support and Management. “First, it has to dislodge another sport in the endorsement list, especia l ly t hose requ i ring t he same facilities,” said Mr Chiang. “Even though Tchoukball’s been knocking on our doors over the past few years, there is little we can do.” A s suc h , it s stat u s a s a n unofficial sport has stunted its growth. For e xa mple , pr os pe c t i ve pl a y e r s m a y de c ide a ga i n s t joining the sport as it will not contribute to their Hall accommodation points. Facilities are also hard to come by, with the club making do with minimal training infrastructure.

“It would help if we were recognised as an official sport in NTU.” Kelvin Ang, 23 Captain NTU Tchoukball

“We normally hold training sessions outdoors at Hall Two’s mu lt i-pu r p o s e c ou r t s ,” s a id Khairulharis. “Even then, most of our competitions are indoors and held on parquet f loors. There will be certain drills we won’t be able to carry out or replicate the actual playing environment. “If it rains, we won’t be able to train.”

still hopeful: An Ntu tchoukball player aims for the frame at the inter-tertiary tchoukball Championship held in ite simei. Despite the challenges faced, the Ntu tchoukball team remains optimistic about their future. photo CouRtesY of ZheNG WeiliANG

Razor-thin victory for cheering glory

Gaining support

Despite these setbacks, the club’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. “NTU’s Tchoukball is doing well with regard to training and remaining competitive. Despite the lack of support, the students show passion by dedicating time and effort into the club,” said Mr Jeff Ang, the General Secretary of the Tchoukball Association of Singapore. “T he A ssociation is doing its best by providing them with training equipment, occasional coaching and pointers on the administrative side of running a club.” Me mb e r s of t he c lub a r e also optimistic about the club’s future. Yap Teik Lynn, 20, a first-year student from the Renaissance Engineering Programme hopes the university will come to learn of how fast this sport is growing and how dedicated the team is in training hard for the school. “Hopefully, we'll get the recognition we deserve,” she said.

hAll of Residence 10 edged out hall 1 by less than a point to win the inter-hall Cheering Competition (ihCC) title on 6 feb at Ntu’s sports and Recreation Centre. hall 8 won the other categories in the competition, hoisting the ‘Best Banner’ for the second year running, as well as winning ‘Best Mascot’ with their representative dressing up as one of the Na’vi, a fictional alien race from the 2009 movie Avatar. formerly known as the hall olympiad opening Ceremony (hooC), the event had its name changed by organisers this year as it is held at the end of the hall olympiad season this month. teXt: JACQueliNe liM ; photo: liM Mu YAo

38 SPORTS they said that?


bpl talk

Money talks, fair play walks I

“And what sport will then be added to the Olympic program? What sport is worthy of replacing ours?” 2004 Olympic Greco-Roman champion Khasan Baroev of Russia, following the news that wrestling will no longer be an Olympic fixture after 2020.

“On one occasion, a Liverpool fan had nothing better to do than pull my hair — once, twice, five times — and it got annoying. ” Everton player Marouane Fellaini on the problems he’s had with being easily recognised by his big afro hairstyle.

“Between the two, you know that it’ll be a tough choice. But five (rings) beats one.” NBA legend Michael Jordan, when asked to compare Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. “Rings” refer to the number of championships won by a player in the NBA.



Nazri Eddy razali SportS Editor



t’s a cruel world we live in. One where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But this may soon change, for the BPL at least. This comes after a majority of the English Premier League clubs voted in favour of Financial Fair Play (FFP). An initiative by UEFA , it works to improve the financial health of football clubs across Europe. This is done by encouraging clubs to operate within their own incomes and avoid being in debt, or risk facing sanctions. T h i s i s i n r e s p on s e to a t rend where bi llionaires li ke Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich and Manchester City’s Sheikh Mansour pump exorbitant amounts of money into their clubs — akin to “financial doping” — suggested by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, known for his prudent spending in the transfer market. With the Fair Play system in place, these rich owners are no longer allowed to exclusively fund a club’s expenditures. Any revenue earned must be through a club’s own means — merchandise, stadium tickets or corporate deals. W i t h m or e t h a n h a l f of European clubs ending 2009 in deficit, this move could not have

come any sooner, as the long-term survival of football clubs is in great danger. You need only look at the meltdown of Leeds United in the early 2000s, and more recently, Portsmouth, to see the warning signs. Both were Premier League clubs that went into administration after spending too much. The move towards FFP can also be seen as cultivating a level playing field. No doubt its objectives are noble, but with three years for clubs to make changes and correct their balance books, the effectiveness of the FFP is questionable.

Spending big

The prevailing spending habits and wage structures of football clubs will not go away in such a short time. The overarching belief of spending big to win big is something that even the FFP will have trouble correcting. Based on recently published financial results, only Wenger’s Arsenal — out of the league’s five biggest sides — meet the new financial requirements. Given that English clubs earn £101 million ($192 million) per year on average — the highest in the world — you can only wonder just how much they are spending to still be in deficit. Inevitably, smaller clubs are also compelled to spend. Such is

the case with otherwise-frugal Everton, who coughed up a record £15 million to sign Marouane Fellaini in 2008. A level-playing field is ideal, but maybe nothing more than an enviable dream. As clubs are urged to spend within their means, those with bigger stadiums and a stronger global presence will still retain their greater spending powers. After all, revenue from ticket sales and merchandise currently form a large portion of a club’s income. F o r e x a m p l e , S w a n s e a’s Liberty Stadium, with a capacity of 20,500, can hardly compete with Manchester United’s Old Trafford, which draws on average a crowd nea rly fou r times more. United’s biggest revenue, t houg h , come s f r om c or p or ate sponsorships and bra nd placement s — a result of their worldw ide standing — somet h i ng that Swansea and smaller clubs don’t enjoy. A not her s p e c u l at e d clause is that

owners are allowed to cover some of their clubs’ losses. This is perhaps why Chelsea, a club guilty of gross overspending, is willing to back the FFP. If this were to come to pass, it would make a mockery of the initiative set out to curb such financial doping. That said, the financial “arms race” has been characteristic of European football for years and it will definitely take more than the FFP to put a stop to it. But at least it’s fair play in the right direction.


sports talk

Confession of an S-League fan With the S-League returning for its 18th edition, Amir Yusof highlights the problems faced by the ailing competition. SINGAPOREANS claim to live, breathe and talk football. Yet the fact is our football scene has less support than the bigger foreign leagues from England, Spain and Italy. It is not just to do with the fans, as playingV standards have stagnated over the years. Even though the national team were recently crowned the kings of ASE A N, we didn’t f u lf ill t he ambitions of Goal 2010. Looking on, how long more will the S-League remain in a rut? Will we ever shine on the field of global, or even Asian, recognition? Mor e t ha n a ny t h i ng , t he problem of dw i nd li ng match attendance is more serious than it seems. On average, only 932 spectators turned up last season, the lowest number since the league started back in 1995. Football fans are moving away from stadium terraces, leaving behind punters only looking to make a quick buck. Whenever I sit in the stands and

watch the teams play, I hear the frustration boiling from the crowd armed with betting slips. This gambling market also increases the likelihood of matchfixing here. The scandal involving a large number of players from Liaoning FC of the Chinese Super League in 2008 only weakens the league’s reputation. But at the same time, it is heartening to note players like Yazid Yasin, Geylang International’s former goalkeeper, standing up against corrupt teammates. And with authorities clamping down on match-fixing, hopefully it will become a thing of the past. The LionsXII’s participation in the Malaysian Super League will also reignite the passion for our local brand of football with support trickling back to the S-League. Med ia agencies a lso have t he power to create posit ive anticipation and excitement for our S-League. T he M a lay sia n pr e s s , for example, prioritises their national league.

TACKLING THE ISSUE: Apart from players and fans , the media also has a huge role to play in reviving interest in the league, says the writer. PHOTO: INTERNET

Just look at their newspapers and you’ll see pages covering Kelantan or Terengganu instead of Arsenal or Chelsea. But more than anything, the S-League simply cannot do without its fans. It pains me to see Singaporeans watching BPL games even while the rival derby match between Singapore and Malaysia December’s

Suzuki Cup was ongoing. I believe that Singaporeans still love their local football and want to see the Republic prosper as a footballing nation. For this to happen, it’s going to take a concerted effort – both from the players and the fans. And what better way than to start by supporting our own S-League.






getting physical with...

Riding the wake Being strapped to a wakeboard and towed across the open sea is no easy feat as Jacqueline Lim finds out during a session with the NTU wakeboarding team.


quat till your knees are close to the chest and wait for the boat to pull you up. Keep your body weight even — buttocks in, chest out, look straight ahead — just as I've been taught. I chant “Hold on tight, hold on tight” as the boat’s whirs become more distinct. So far, so good. But the towline I’m holding on to suddenly becomes taut, and in an instant, I fall forward. As my vision of the boat in front warps out of focus, I catch a glimpse of the board strapped to my legs before plunging face-first into the water. I swallow a large gulp of salty water while floundering around in the murkiness. My life vest pulls me to the surface, and brightness surrounds me once again, as the cool breeze blows sea spray onto my face. “Get up and try again,” yells Donova n Ta n f rom t he N T U Wakeboarding Club, amid laughter from three other club members on the boat. The crew of Donovan, 24, Charis Chai and Lesley Low, both 23, and Claire Liem, 27, demonstrated their finesse earlier on the wakeboard, and I don't want to lose out. First, though, I have to get the basics right, and at least stand on the moving wakeboard. On my third attempt, I do exactly as I had practised by the side of the boat before entering the water. With my toes up, heels down,

cALL HER MAYBE: near the end of the session, writer Jacqueline Lim musters up enough courage to strike a pose with one hand on the handle.

and body curled into a ball, I let the momentum from the boat lift me into a standing position — while shifting my right foot forward as the board skims over the water. To w a r d s t h e e n d of t h e 30-minute session, I’m finally able to wakeboard with one hand on the handle, with help from plenty of shouting and encouragement from the team. Vanity also helps — once I realise photographs are being taken, I quickly release my grip to strike

a pose for the camera. With my newfound confidence at the end of the session, I return to join the chatty foursome on the boat. Their ongoing conversation is enlightening on the rugged lifestyle of wakeboarders. They endure sunburns and body aches from wakeboarding trips during curriculum time. Yet, they remain dedicated out of sheer passion for the wind in their face and the water beneath their feet.

Also, the fact that many hold reser vations about the sport’s exorbitant costs is telling of their financial challenges. The fibreglass-coated wakeboard alone costs a fortune. Prices range from a few hundred dollars for a secondhand board to more than a thousand dollars for a new model. Custom-made equipment is also necessary, thus explaining the steep cost. Wit hout much subsidy from the universit y, the NT U

pHotoS coURtESY oF cHARiS cHAi

Wakeboarding Club members fund their practice sessions by holding part-time jobs. From the layman’s point of view, wakeboarding might seem like an adrenaline-induced sport full of speed and fanciful tricks. But not many see the patience, an essential ingredient in the sport. A lack of bodily control leads to frustration, and a whole lot of falling into the water. After all, wakeboarding isn't only about conquering the waters. It's about disciplining your body.

How to get up on tHe wakeboard Step 1: tuck into a ball

With your arms around your knees, grasp the handle and your board.

Step 2: get on top

Rock forward with momentum once the boat runs at a slow speed and begins to pull you. Keep your arms extended and let the boat pull you up. When coming up on the top of the water with your weight forward, keep your toes up and heels down.

Step 3: plane on the surface

Allow the board, still perpendicular, to skim on top of the water. Don’t stand up too early to avoid falling face-first into the water.

Step 4: Stand up

Stand up and shift your foot, usually the left, forward. Turn your front hip to the handle to get into a straight riding position.

Step 5: enjoy the ride AnticipAtion: Strapped to her board, Jacqueline prepares to enter the water.


Walking on water — Page 39

Sprinting ahead of the paper chase

beyond academic burdens: sprinters Lee cheng Wei and calvin Kang do not let their studies hold up their track-and-field ambitions.

Colin Tung


t i s 8.30a m on a c loud y Tuesday morning. Sprinters Lee Cheng Wei and Calvin Kang, both NTU undergraduates, a r r ive at Si ngapor e Spor t s School’s track for their third of 10 training sessions in a week. “Hey, did my biceps grow any bigger?” the 22-year-old Kang asks, as he f lexes his arms. After starting on a fulltime training regime this year with the 26-year-old Lee, the second-year Sports Science and Management u ndergraduate feels stronger and fitter now. They were both granted a leave of absence. Ahead of the athletics World Championships in Moscow in August, both Lee and Kang are not holding back any ounce of effort to qualify. They are among the three

national 4x100m relay studentathletes who have taken a year’s break from academia. The third i s Si n g a p or e M a n a ge m e n t University’s Gary Yeo.

Breaking the record

To make the trip to Russia, the team must first break their own national record — set together with NUS graduate Muhammad Amirudin last year. Kang said: “Our 4x100m relay national record of 39.58 seconds is just 0.38sec shy of the World Championships qualifying time.” “In the past, sub-40sec was rare [for a Singapore team]. But, last year, we had four races in which we clocked sub-40sec. We are fortunate to have achieved this.” The pair trains twice a day on four weekdays for t hree hours a session, with Sunday as the only rest day. “The training is more intense

now. T h i s i s on ly pos sible b e c au s e we h ave ade qu ate physical and mental recovery, and don’t have to worry about a s s i g n m e nt d e ad l i ne s a nd projects,” said Lee, a trainee teacher at the National Institute of Education. Af ter training in the morning, the duo have lunch and then rest in one of the rooms at the Singapore Athletic Association office before the next round of training sessions that end in the evening. W h i le t he spr inter s may focus on training and recovery e ve r y day, t he y i ne v itably worry about falling behind in their studies. Lee said: “It’s a sacrifice. While I’ll graduate and start work a year later than my peers, I’ll not regret this decision.” Kang agreed. With an opportunity to compete against the world’s best in Moscow, the national junior 100m record

PHoTo iLLusTraTion: yeo Kai Wen

holder isn’t going to let his studies hold him back.

“While I’ll graduate and start work a year later than my peers, I’ll not regret this decision.” Lee Cheng Wei. 26 Athlete NTU track-and-field

“I would not be satisfied if I did not try [by training full time],” he said. The sprinters receive $2,000 from the Singapore Athletic Association each month. Bot h at h letes a re a lso

grateful that their families and friends are supportive of their decision, even if it means less time spent with their loved ones. “What I miss about school is hanging out and studying with my friends, especially my NIE classmates,” said Lee “I also miss spending time with my girlfriend. Now that I’m not in school anymore, we meet up less often.” T heir year-long t raining could also put them in a better position for December’s SEA Games in Myanmar. After missing out on the gold two years ago, Lee and Kang will try to emerge champions this campaign. After all, their chances at Moscow and the SEA Games gold medal rest solely on whether they make the qualifying time of 39.20sec. Perhaps then, Kang’s bicep size will not be the only thing to show for.

Profile for Nanyang Chronicle

The Nanyang Chronicle Vol 19 Issue 08  

The Nanyang Chronicle Vol 19 Issue 08