ISSN NO. 0218-7310
NEW HALLS NEW WOES Concerns include safety and incomplete facilities
Feeling too cold in school?
Teo Ser Luck in NTU
NEWS | 5 南苑 | 21
Wear sweaters in style DAPPER | 18-20
NEWS | 3
The Briefing Room: Our editors’ pick of interesting news stories from around the world Brangelina tie the knot
Nailing the point
BRAD Pitt, 50, and Angelina Jolie, 39, got married on 23 Aug at Château Miraval in France. They wed in a small chapel in a private ceremony, attended by family and friends. Pitt, who proposed to Jolie in 2012, had said that the main reason for deciding to marry her was increasing pressure from their six children. “We're getting a lot of pressure from the kids. We didn't realise how much it meant to them and then, in getting engaged, how much it also means to us,” he said.
A NEW kind of nail polish — developed by four male students from North Carolina State University — that changes colour in the presence of date-rape drugs, has angered anti-rape activists. Women can ensure that there are no drugs in their drink by dipping their nail-polished fingers into the drink and stirring it. In an article on the Guardian, published last Tuesday, Jessica Valenti wrote: “Anything that puts the onus on women to 'discreetly' keep from being raped misses the point.”
Hello (not) Kitty
Charter more trains from us: SMRT
HELLO Kitty is not a cat, but a little girl, Japanese company and Hello Kitty designer Sanrio has confirmed. Christine Yano, an anthropologist who has studied the Hello Kitty phenomenon for years, discovered this when she was corrected by Sanrio after describing the cartoon character as a cat. Ms Yano was preparing a script for a Hello Kitty exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum this October.
Mother pleads with ISIS for son's release
SMRT encouraged more schools to charter trains from them in a statement on their Facebook page last Thursday, despite facing possible penalties from the Land Transport Authority (LTA). However, on Friday, LTA decided not to take further action against SMRT. SMRT had failed to obtain LTA approval before leasing five MRT trains to Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) for the school to ferry students, staff, and alumni to the Schools National C Division rugby final last Tuesday. The SMRT statement said: “We encourage more schools in the neighbourhoods located close to MRT stations to consider such charters, during off-peak periods, should they see a need to move a large number of students along our network.”
THE mother of captured American journalist Steven Sotloff — who appeared at the end of James Foley’s alleged execution video — issued an emotional plea to militant group Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) for her son’s release. Shirley Sotloff said that her son has no influence on United States (US) government policy and should not be held accountable for the country’s actions. In the YouTube video, uploaded on 19 Aug, the executioner from ISIS said that Mr Sotloff’s life hangs in the balance, depending on what US President Barack Obama does next.
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The Nanyang Chronicle is giving away 8 sets of Spotify premiums, which consist of an exclusive Spotify t-shirt and a onemonth premium account code. The contest will run from 1 to 7 Sep and winners will be notified via Facebook on 8 Sep.
Video Exclusive: Interview with Erinn Westbrook and Tina Treadwell
Opinions: The Ice Bucket Challenge
Glee star Erinn Westbrook and Disney Producer Tina Treadwell stopped by NTU as part of the #ErinnsAsiaTour to give a talk. Lifestyle Writer Ruth Smalley chats with them about what it takes to succeed in the industry.
The latest viral craze to sweep into town that has gotten everyone from Bill Gates to Charlie Sheen doing it. Opinions Writer Ng Yi Shu breaks down the trend and evaluates if it is merely an entertaining fad or a campaign for a good cause.
Video: Shuttle Bus Trial
Opinions: The Degree Dilemma
News Writer A Preethi Devi heads over to Tampines for the launch of NTU's one-way shuttle bus pilot, which was introduced to assist students who reside in the east to commute to campus more conveniently.
In this year's National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for employers to look beyond academic qualifications when hiring and promoting. Opinions Writer Lo Yi Min discusses the importance of paper qualifications in Singapore.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Giveaway
The Nanyang Chronicle is giving away 10 sets of $10 vouchers for you to try their latest Butter Pecan Latte and Ice Blended drink. The contest will run from 8 to 15 Sep and winners will be notified via Facebook on 16 Sep.
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Meet one of the oldest freshmen in NTU — Page 6
New halls, new problems “It’s quite dangerous, especially when students are distracted while rushing for the shuttle bus and they don’t see oncoming traffic. We shouldn’t jaywalk but there’s no other way to cross the road.”
NTU’s two new Halls of Residence face a raft of safety and maintenance issues, but some help is on its way Shaun Tan Gabrielle Goh
Tan Ren Jun, 21 First-year student School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
or residents of the new Crescent and Pioneer Halls of Residence, the most difficult part of their university lives is not waking up early for classes, but getting across the road safely. Arthur Cheong, 22, was one Pioneer Hall resident who almost met with tragedy. He and two other women pedestrians were in the middle of the road, waiting for a break in traffic when they were almost hit by a speeding car. “I was at the Hall 1 bus stop. I looked to my left and right, and was about to cross the road (with the two women pedestrians) when a speeding car overtook two stationary buses and almost hit us,” said the final-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). Cheong’s experience comes amid an increase in the number of complaints in the Pioneer Hall residents’ Facebook group over the lack of a pedestrian crossing along a segment of Lien Ying Chow Drive. That segment of the road is flanked by both Crescent and Pioneer Halls, and Hall 1 on either side. The Nanyang Chronicle also understands that students from Crescent and Pioneer Halls regularly cross the road in a reckless manner to get to the bus stop, as the nearest pedestrian crossing is more than 300 metres down the road, near Hall 6. “The hall needs to find a way to build a zebra crossing, because students will keep jaywalking with no fixed place to cross the road,” added Cheong. Similarly, Crescent Hall resident Tan Ren Jun, 21, was at the Hall 1 bus stop when he saw a pedestrian dash across the road to catch the campus bus and nearly get hit by a car. “It’s quite dangerous, especially when students are distracted while rushing for the shuttle bus and they don’t see oncoming traffic,” “We shouldn’t jaywalk but there’s no other way to cross the road,” said the first-year student from the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (SCBE). The growing concern over the safety of residents prompted Andy Chong, 25, a postgraduate
DANGER STRETCH: There is no official pedestrian crossing near Hall 1, despite the road sign stating otherwise. PHOTO: CEPHEUS CHAN
student from the National Institute of Education, to start an online petition for the construction of a pedestrian crossing on Lien Ying Chow Drive. “This petition was started to communicate this urgent safety issue to the relevant NTU authorities before anything tragic happens. We want to preempt this and not act only after an accident occurs,” said the Pioneer Hall resident. The petition has received at least 40 signatures at press time. In response to queries from the Nanyang Chronicle, Mr Jimmy Lee, Chief Housing & Auxiliary Services (HAS) Officer, said that “HAS takes the safety of all road users on campus very seriously”. “After assessing the situation, HAS will begin installing a pedestrian crossing and railings along Lien Ying Chow Drive next month, to improve road safety near Crescent and Pioneer Halls,” he added. Tan also questioned the defunct bus stop outside Crescent and Pioneer Halls, given that neither public nor campus shuttle buses stop there. To that end, Mr Lee said that HAS will be working with the NTU Students’ Union to see if there is a need to re-utilise the bus stop.
Incomplete facilities Since moving in at the end of July, Pioneer and Crescent Halls’ 1,200 residents have also experienced teething issues with
Crescent Hall Capacity: 659 Single rooms: 457 Double rooms: 101 Pioneer Hall Capacity: 591 Single rooms: 403 Double rooms: 94 Monthly cost per person Single room with AC: $375 Double room with AC: $280 residence facilities. Crescent Hall accommodates 659 students in a total of 558 rooms while Pioneer Hall accommodates 591 students in a total of 497 rooms. The food court, gym, and music rooms have not opened, as construction workers continue to put the finishing touches to amenities. Pantries in both halls only contained a hot and cold water dispenser up till mid-August, when microwave ovens and induction cookers were installed. Corridor lights on some floors also failed to turn on at night, though this was rectified after contractors readjusted the timer for the automated light switch. Crescent Hall resident Hijana Jalina, 20, told the Nanyang Chronicle that the problem began on 13 Jul, when corridor lights on
her floor failed to turn on “from midnight to the next morning”. The second-year student from the School of Biological Sciences added that the darkness could be “quite dangerous because of (the lack of) safety”. These issues left a number of residents concerned about the state of their accommodations. Ho Ka Onn, 19, a first-year student from HSS, said: “We moved into hall in late July, but now they tell us that (hall) facilities will only be ready in September. We’re essentially forced to endure substandard living conditions for two months.” “We are now using unfinished facilities and are being charged exorbitant fees. It’s absolutely unfair and (the school) hasn’t offered any form of compensation,” she said. At S$375 a month for a single room equipped with airconditioning, Crescent and Pioneer Halls have the steepest hall rental fees in NTU. A double room costs $280 per person for a month. The HAS chief officer attributed the incompleteness of hall facilities to the fact that both halls were “completed in less than 1.5 years, which is a breakneck speed by industry standards,” “The priority was to get the rooms ready quickly so students can move in before the start of the new academic year,” added Mr Lee. But he reassured that facilities in both halls will be ready by the end of August.
Some residents were also concerned that murky ponds surrounding the halls could become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Mr Lee said that pest-control workers carry out fogging every Thursday to keep a check on mosquito breeding. “The small fish that have been released into the water, such as guppies, are known to eat mosquito larvae. More of such fish, such as small koi, tiger barbs and mollies, will be added later on,” he added.
Mixed feelings Despite the inconveniences, some residents are appreciative of their new surroundings. Pioneer Hall resident Kimberly Phua, 20, a first-year student from SCBE, said: “I’ve been to many of my friends’ halls and mine is the nicest hall I’ve seen so far. Plus, our hall is really near the Sports and Recreation Centre and Canteens 1 and 2, so it’s a convenient location to be in.” Another Pioneer Hall resident, Vionna Lee, agreed, saying: “I think that Pioneer and Crescent Halls are architecturally speaking, the best halls in NTU,” “They have really tried to implement good design into this hall with greenery and the pond.” The 20-year-old undergraduate from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information also hoped that “everything will be sorted out by September, as promised”. However, Chong, who started the aforementioned petition, is not yet convinced of the hall’s merits. “I don’t think it’s fair to make a judgement yet, as most of the shared amenities here aren’t complete. But from what I’ve seen so far, I feel that I had a better experience in my previous halls,” “My previous halls had a more open layout and more public spaces,” said the former resident of Halls 1 and 15.
Doubilet's double bill World-acclaimed underwater photographer David Doubilet kicks off Asia's inaugural National Geographic Live series at NTU Chong Yoke Ming
n undersea world filled with colourful corals and wildlife may seem like an impossibility in Singapore, but National Geographic underwater photographer David Doubilet, 67, thinks otherwise. Speaking to an audience of 1,200 — comprising students, teachers, and members of the public — at NTU’s Lee Kong Chian Lecture Theatre on 26 Aug, Mr Doubilet said that Singapore is a gateway to the Coral Triangle — an area containing the "planet's highest marine biodiversity". The Coral Triangle is a region covering the marine waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste. “Many photographers like myself have to travel halfway across the world to reach this place. You people are very fortunate to be in such a location,” he said. “There are more fish, more invertebrates here than anywhere else on the planet. The coral reefs are probably the most visually diverse on the planet. I hope my talks here today can inspire your desire to learn,” he added.
SNAPPING STORIES: David Doubilet spent eight days in Kimbe Bay last year photographing undersea wildlife.
“Not only were the photos stunning, I was intrigued by the story behind every photo and I’m inspired to explore photography on my own after this talk.” Charisse Ong, 19 First-year student Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Aside from his main talk, titled Coral, Fire and Ice, Mr Doubilet also conducted two sessions on photography techniques earlier that day, in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI). The National Geographic Live series consists of presentations by leading explorers, scientists, photographers and performing artists, on topics ranging from geography to engineering. For example, as part of the se-
Politics is not a career: Teo Ser Luck Jo-ann Quah Sharanya Pillai STUDENTS hoping to enter politics in the future should first focus on a field of expertise of their choice, advised Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck. He was addressing about 100 NTU students at the Research Techno Plaza last Thursday. The hour-long dialogue is part of the Eminent Speaker Series — a platform created for politicians, Nobel laureates and industry leaders to share their success stories with NTU students. When asked how more talented youths could be attracted to the political scene, Mr Teo emphasised that unlike other professions, politics involves a change in lifestyle and the risk of losing one’s political seat at any time.
He said: “I can’t tell you that ‘it’s a good job, we pay well, please come and join us.' It must not be about the pay, and you must not see it as a career. You may end up disappointed, and if you do, you may not put all your passion and commitment into it.” Mr Teo advised students to build a steady income stream for themselves first, as obtaining funds to enter politics could bind them “to someone else’s interest”. “You must earn your own keep; put your own food on the table, so that you owe nobody a living and… just do what you are willing to do,” he explained. However, Mr Teo acknowledged that some may still choose to enter politics upon graduation. He said: “(There) will be some very knowledgeable, very educated (students) doing that... it may become mainstream for people to pursue politics right after school.”
The NTU alumnus entered politics only after making his mark in business. While he did poorly in university, scoring mostly Cs and Ds as an accountancy student at Nanyang Business School, Mr Teo voiced his passion for business and sports during job interviews, and eventually landed a job at a renowned auditing firm. “Life is not about your grades. You as a person, your relations with other people, and how hungry you are, are more important in your career,” he said. In response to a question about the pressure for graduates to conform to “traditional" success routes, Mr Teo replied: “Some are late bloomers and they find their passion very late in life," "But the freedom and ownership you have when doing what you love means you can work long hours and not be miserable," he added.
PHOTO: VICTORIA SIM
ries, Kobie Boykins — a mechanical engineer from the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration — will give a presentation on Mars exploration in Alaska next January. This is the first time that the series has been brought to Singapore and Asia. Mr Doubilet then showed the audience a collection of undersea wildlife photos taken on his assignment at Kimbe Bay, off the northern coast of Papua New
Guinea. The photos captured fishes and turtles in their natural habitat. He first visited the bay while on assignment 18 years ago and discovered an affinity for the place. He then returned last year and spent a total of eight days on his assignment. The underwater photographer — who started snorkelling at the age of eight — had already begun stuffing his camera into a rubber bag to take underwater photos by the time he was 12. Mr Doubilet has published nearly 70 stories for National Geographic Magazine, since his first assignment in 1971. Students the Nanyang Chronicle spoke to at the talk said that they were amazed by the photographs Mr Doubilet shared. Charisse Ong, 19, a first-year student from WKWSCI, said: “Not only were the photos stunning, I was intrigued by the story behind every photo and I’m inspired to explore photography on my own after this talk.” Deborah Rajaratnam, 20, a second-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, agreed. “The photos were extremely beautiful. After the talk, I feel that I can appreciate the beauty of nature more,” she said. The next speaker in the National Geographic Live Singapore series is extreme filmmaker and experienced kayaker Bryan Smith. He will deliver his talk, titled Extreme Adventure on the Edge: Vertical Feats and the Man Who Can Fly, on 9 Oct at the Esplanade.
Korean stars grace NTU event NTU Students' Union organised NTU Fest 2014 on 16 Aug to raise funds for needy ITE students. The event — which featured Korean stars Jung In (third from left) and Kang Gary (fourth from left) — was officially launched by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and NTU president Bertil Andersson. Mr Heng encouraged students to apply the knowledge they gained from school at work, and praised them for giving back to society through the event. NTU Fest attracted more than 8,000 people. On page 29, Opinions Editor Louisa Goh talks about the nature of charity events. Missed our online and video coverage on NTU Fest? Catch it all at www.nanyangchronicle.ntu.edu.sg. PHOTO: CORINE TIAH
Meandering paths These two freshmen are not your average classmates; one's age and the other's height set them apart from the rest
Sticks and stethoscopes
Toh Ting Wei
he job of crane operator is not usually found on a freshman’s Curriculum Vitae (CV), but it is just one of many differences that separates Ken Tan, 28, from his university peers. It was also what inspired him to further his education, amid financial and academic difficulties. One of the oldest freshmen in this year’s intake of undergraduates, the affable first-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering entered the Institute of Technical Education’s (ITE) Dover Campus in 2003, after faring poorly in his GCE O-Level Examinations. Tan was retained in the firstyear of his Higher National ITE Certificate (Higher Nitec) Electronics Engineering course. He struggled through the next two years of his course, and was unable to qualify for polytechnic admission. “I had no aim in life, so I didn’t have the motivation to study,” he said. But enlisting for National Service (NS) in 2006 was the turning point in Tan’s life, akin to “Isaac Newton sitting under a tree when an apple fell on him”. “As my commanders did not bother me much in NS, I had a lot of time to think and reflect. I decided that I did not want to lead such a wayward life,” he said. He also revealed that he wanted to earn more money to live a more comfortable life. “I wanted to pursue a degree to get a better job upon graduation. My family is low-income, so I would love to break out of that cycle for generations to come,” said Tan, who has one younger and one older sister. After completing full-time NS in June 2008, his plan to return to ITE for a second shot at education was hampered as ITE’s academic year had started two months prior. It was then that he took up an eight-month stint as a crane operator at port operator PSA International, which strengthened his desire to excel academically. Tan said: “There, I met colleagues who had been in the job for a long time but still did not have bright prospects. I told myself to pursue a job in which I will not hit the ceiling after a decade in it.” Tan’s father disapproved of his decision to return to ITE, as he was worried that his family could not afford the school fees. But Tan insisted on not relying on his parents for money to fund his studies. “At my age then (23 years old), most people would have already
DELAYED GRATIFICATION: Ken Tan spent a total of eight years in two different ITEs and Singapore Polytechnic before making it to NTU. PHOTO: ANSELM SOH
TWIN DISAPPOINTMENTS: Ishwarpal Singh was rejected by both Raffles Institution's hockey team and NUS' medical school. PHOTO: CORINE TIAH
started university. But I was going back to ITE to carve a path to university, which was a little shameful for me. Therefore, I decided to self-fund my ITE and polytechnic education,” he said. Starting on the two-year Higher Nitec in Electrical Engineering course in 2009, Tan’s second stint — at ITE College West — was a far cry from his first. Besides consistently achieving much better grades, he also rose to the position of president in the school’s Community Service Club. “I was not the kind to take responsibility, but I had a second chance to pursue education, so I wanted to contribute back to society,” he said. However, it was not all smooth sailing. In his second year of the course, a gas leak caused a fire in his home and severely damaged the kitchen and electrical wires. Said Tan: “The cost of repair
was over S$10,000, and my insurance only covered less than onefifth of that sum. Furthermore, my neighbour claimed $3,000 from me in damages.” However, the incident only motivated him further. “When I saw the sum of money that was needed to restore the house, I became even more sure that I had to work to support my education,” he said. That was when he started working part-time as a service crew member at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). After graduating from ITE with a perfect Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.0 in 2011, he enrolled in Singapore Polytechnic (SP) to pursue a Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering. Tan has since gone from strength to strength, graduating from SP with a near-perfect GPA of 3.94 in April this year to clinch a
spot in NTU. He was also part of SP’s Outstanding Talent programme, in which he helped to organise inter-polytechnic conferences such as the Youth Model ASEAN Conference. By working part-time in RWS, he successfully self-funded his polytechnic education. For Tan, his inspiration to overcome such difficulties comes from within. “I do not actually have any role model or motto that I follow, so I try to see myself as my own role model,” he said. Having come a long way to fulfil his dream of achieving a degree, Tan is not taking anything for granted. “In university, everybody starts off at the same academic level. It has been a very different experience from polytechnic so far, and I hope to be able to achieve my goals in the future,” he added.
Ishwarpal Singh Grewal, 21, literally stands out from his peers. At 1.93 metres, Ishwarpal, a first-year student from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), towers over his schoolmates. In addition, he is a national hockey player who will represent Singapore next month in the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. It could have been a different story though, had Ishwarpal accepted an offer to study medicine at world-renowned Imperial College London. While most would have seized the opportunity, Ishwarpal gave it up for a spot in LKCMedicine. “The cost of education is much lower here, and I wanted to continue playing hockey at a national level for Singapore. But ultimately, I want to work as a doctor in Singapore,” he said. Ishwarpal decided to pursue a medical degree when he was 15 years old, when his grandmother, who brought him up, passed away due to liver failure. “I thought about doing something biology-related. My grandmother's passing consolidated my desire to be a doctor, to try and help relieve other people of their pain,” he said. The disappointments did not stop there. As a young and aspiring hockey player, Ishwarpal did not make the final cut for his secondary school’s hockey team. He counts it as one of the lowest points in his life. “I thought my talent would be enough, so I didn’t work hard on my fitness and that showed. From then on, I worked very hard and tried my best for hockey,” said the Raffles Institution graduate. He also faced rejection on the academic front. In 2012, Ishwarpal was turned down by National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. He subsequently applied to both LKCMedicine and Imperial College London, and even attended an admissions interview in London in February. “I was disappointed, but that is life. You need to have the mindset of moving on, working hard and getting what you deserve,” “When I found out that both my applications were successful, it was an easy decision to choose LKCMedicine, because I wanted to stay in Singapore,” he said. His determination to improve himself as a hockey player also earned him a call up to the national team early last year, and gave him a chance to play in last year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. After realising his dream of studying medicine, Ishwarpal is now eager to succeed in the sporting arena. “Making the SEA Games team next year and getting to play on home soil would be the peak of my hockey career,” he said.
NTU Students’ F&B Startup — Page 8
THE HOLLYWOOD SERIES
Two former Ivy League students who took the star-studded road to Tinseltown — Tina Treadwell, entertainment producer and CEO of Treadwell Entertainment, and Glee star Erinn Westbrook, were in NTU for a guest talk on the inner workings of Hollywood. Lifestyle Writer Ruth Smalley goes behind the scenes to find out more about their foray into the entertainment industry.
HOLLYWOOD CASTING DIRECTOR TALENT MANAGER IF YOU have already written her off as a typical money-grubbing, pencil-pushing Hollywood manager, you are forgiven. After all, Hollywood itself has perpetuated this notorious stereotype through characters like Ari Gold from Entourage and John Travolta in Get Shorty. Thankfully, Tina Treadwell, who graduated from Princeton University, disproves this cliché with her sincerity and a gentle, friendly disposition. As a former Disney casting manager, she played a pivotal role in launching the careers of stars like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and LeAnn Rimes. She oversaw casting for the hit series Lizzie McGuire, and she was also the executive producer on ELLE: A Modern Cinderella Tale.
CAUGHT: Fans taking a photograph with Erinn Westbrook.
evident in her singing, when she charmed the audience in NTU with her raspy voice.
Who was your biggest influence growing up? My grandmother. She was the matriarch of our family and had a lot of personal strength. I would go to Texas in the summer and live with her and that’s where my connection with God came from, because she taught me the 23rd Psalm when I was six years old, and it is something that I’ve carried with me my entire life. She lived till she was 107 years old. Why did you choose to work in the entertainment industry and specifically, to nurture young talents? My father was a pioneer in the music industry so music was always the soundtrack to my life. I still remember the day Christina Aguilera walked into my office — she had just finished recording the soundtrack for Moulin Rouge. Hearing her powerful voice, I thought: What would it be like to discover that (talent)? To be in an executive position and actually provide the framework for helping someone get there. I take a holistic approach towards nurturing talent, not just focusing on the end goal or any momentary setback. What do you look out for when discovering new talent? Usually, it’s a quality of humanity, of vulnerability and of empathy (that I look out for in my talent). If characters in the story are feeling pain or anger, they have to be able to access those feelings or have the courage to investigate those feelings within (themselves). How do young talents develop themselves considering that they do not have vast life experiences to tap into? Sometimes, they’re an old soul. For instance, when Drew Barrymore was on the set of E.T.,
Who was your greatest influence growing up? My parents. They raised me to believe in myself and encouraged me to do whatever I want in this world. Both of them are very successful, caring and supportive, which was very conducive to my success. What were some of the crucial tips that you picked up while doing your minor in Dramatic Arts at Harvard? The ability to focus and study. You become more comfortable with your body, and how to channel emotions to become a character. Crying was really hard for me in my first year in Hollywood, but now I’m able to go into a room and really be vulnerable and emotional. I had a good head start.
FROM HOLLYWOOD TO SINGAPORE: Tina Treadwell (left) and Erinn Westbrook (right) posing at NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information after their talk. PHOTO: LIM MU YAO
she couldn’t identify with the alien. But when Steven Spielberg said: “Do you have a little animal? What if he passed away?” Immediately, tears came pouring down. It was a beautiful moment. Her ability to have that vulnerability was unique. How do you think the advent of the digital age has changed the industry? It’s changed a lot! People can get millions of followers on social media by just being at home, and then all of a sudden, there’s a business mechanism to it. Now, you can make award-winning movies with just your iPhone. It just goes to show that if you have great ideas, you are not kept out of the industry because of monetary concerns.
ERINN WESTBROOK HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS GLEE STAR
GLEEKS will know her as catty cheerleader Bree, but few know that this new face actually went from Harvard to Hollywood. She graduated in 2010 with a major in English, American Literature and Language and a minor in Dramatic Arts. The spunky 26-year-old started out as a video jockey for MTV’s Spring Break from 2010 to 2012, and went on to star in several US TV serials, including Supernatural. Her big break in Glee has opened many doors for her, and she has appearances lined up on Bones and MTV show Awkward. Erinn’s larger-than-life personality is
What kind of role would you like to play next? I would really like to be involved in something more dramatic. I would love to play an action hero. I would love to play a strong, badass chick. I love Zoe Saldana’s work and her trajectory, especially in her film Columbiana. What do you do outside of your work? I love travelling. This is an amazing trip because I get to be in a part of the world that I’ve never been in. I enjoy wine nights with my girlfriends; I enjoy hiking and anything involving a healthy lifestyle. I go for Movies in the Park, where you bring your own picnic mat and food. You should have them here, they’re so much fun! Complete the sentence: ‘If I weren’t an actress, I would be a/an…’ An entertainment lawyer. My parents are lawyers so I was negotiating bedtimes and allowances from a very young age.
Feed(ex)ing the Crowd
Founders of F&B startup Feedex are so serious about their business that two of them took a gap year from NTU to focus on it. Lifestyle Writer Rachel Chia finds out how their dream of running a bar led to their promise to provide “the fastest takeout”.
hile their classmates attend tutorials, Ivan Yak, Ho Zi Hui and Kapilan Naidu, all 22, are busy handing food to customers over their Telok Ayer shop counter. The trio are behind the new takeout concept, Feedex, which offers a stress-free lunch experience in the Central Business District (CBD). Since its opening on 12 Aug, Feedex has enabled customers to order from a selection of 12 dishes by seven well-known hawkers via a smartphone application. Customers can make orders from 8am to 2pm on weekdays, and then collect their meals from the takeaway store between noon and 2pm. This removes the need to queue and find seats in crowded food joints. The menu includes Fried Carrot Cake from Longhouse Delight, Nasi Padang from Ayza’s Restaurant and Hainanese Pork Curry Rice from Loo’s Hainanese. Food is made fresh, collected from the hawkers each morning, and kept in warmers till it is sold. Ivan and Zi Hui, who have completed their first year of studies in NTU, are taking a gap year from their Communication Studies and Maritime Studies courses respectively, to run the business. Looming study loans, pressure to succeed and no option of returning to school were factors they cited against starting their business after graduating from university. Kapilan, however, will juggle work with his first year at the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM). Having already taken a gap year in between national service and university to work as a graphic designer at a local firm, he did not want to delay attaining his degree any longer.
The trio first met in the army, and worked in a team at a photo booth company last year. Ivan and Zi Hui also used to be roommates in NTU’s Hall of Residence 13. The three found that they had “good chemistry” while working and decided to start a business together. Going into F&B has always been their common ambition. Their goal is to open multiple establishments, which, Ivan jokes, must include at least one bar. “It’s every guy’s dream to own a bar. You can sit there with your friends and chill, (with) everything on free flow.” Feedex was inspired by a small supper service — the team felt that they could expand the idea and target the CBD area with more food options. The trio felt that a takeout concept, instead of a full-scale restaurant, was a better foray into the industry because of their limited experience and funds. Their diverse university specialisations have also proven extremely helpful in setting up the business. Ivan’s press writing module helped him craft the store’s press releases, while Zi Hui’s classes on shipping law assisted in ordering stock. Kapilan, in turn, designed the store’s interior, website and publicity items.
Although it is still in its early stages, the business has already been covered by writers from The Business Times, My Paper and Yahoo, with one particularly favourable review from the Vulcan Post. Their website received overwhelming sign-ups as a result. On opening day, the store was very crowded, but the three-man team managed to keep the line moving quickly. People have also been very supportive of the business despite their youth. Zi Hui shared about how a customer, after chatting with them about their concept, deposited $85 worth of meal credits into his Feedex account in one go. In addition, most stalls they approached were happy to collaborate, as the hawkers liked the idea of a collection of popular hawker foods available in one location. The owner of Adam Road Nasi Lemak even created a Whatsapp group to keep in touch with the trio, and visited the store to bring them supper one night. “The famous hawkers are so nice, and they have been really kind. I always feel indebted to them for taking their chances with us,” said Ivan.
EAT LOCAL: Feedex serves local food from seven famous hawkers.
BUDDIES TO PARTNERS: Army friends turned business partners Ivan (left) and Zi Hui (right), in their Feedex store.
For the team, entrepreneurship is a big step into harsh reality. Since startup capital was borrowed entirely from their families, they are working very hard to make sure that the business becomes profitable. And they have had their share of problems.
FEEDEX FOOD: Lunch boxes, custom-designed by Kapilan, are used to hold any one of 12 popular hawker dishes PHOTOS: LIEW YU WEI offered on the menu.
Once, their delivery van broke down, and the trio had to scramble to rent another in time for the next day’s food collection. In addition, the number of customers still fluctuates day-to-day, despite a successful opening. Because both the store and concept are new, they currently have only a small number of regulars. The team feels that they need to give customers time to warm up to the idea, and in the meantime, strive to keep the business afloat. But unlike school life, the heavy consequences of failure mean no breaks from responsibility. With all the stress, Kapilan finds it tough to manage both his ADM course workload and the business’s demands. “Some people think owning a business is very glamorous, but it’s quite far from the truth,” he said. Ivan confesses that even watching videos on Youtube is now a luxury. He works
through the weekends, and he feels guilty with every minute he spends relaxing. Zi Hui, who works similarly long hours, misses his home and personal time most, though his loved ones have been supportive. Both Zi Hui and Ivan plan to return to university to begin their second academic year next August. They shared that there can only be one of two cases then — either operations are so smooth that they can afford to balance school and work, or the business goes under. But even if it is the latter, the team does not regret risking the startup. “It’s go big, or go home. Even if we fail, we know that we’ve built something that we can be proud of,” said Ivan.
Feedex HQ is located at 137 Telok Ayer Street. More information can be found on: www.feedex.sg.
Mooncakes may be all the rage during the Mid-Autumn Festival, but there is more to the occasion than this sweet treat. Lifestyle Writer Feline Lim sheds some light of its celebrated foods and traditions.
he Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as Mooncake Festival or Chinese Thanksgiving) is an annual harvest celebration for the Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese, held on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Origins of this highly-regarded festival trace back to the Shang Dynasty in China, where rice farmers, who worshipped the Earth God (Tu Di Gong), would rejoice over the end of the autumn harvest. The festival celebrates a sense of unity with families getting together. During this period, the moon is said to be the roundest and brightest. This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on 8 Sep.
To minimise food wastage, which is highly frowned upon in Chinese culture, many would use leftover mooncake dough to bake piglet-shaped biscuits. With their glorious golden brown sheen, the biscuits are individually packed into mini brightly coloured plastic baskets, representing pigs — a symbol of abundance, prosperity and fertility — being ‘caged’ for sale. Ranging from about 50 cents to a dollar each at most Asian bakeries and supermarkets, this timeless snack is inexpensive and popular among children.
The baby taro is a starchy, fibrous root vegetable that can be prepared in stir-fried, baked or soupy dishes. Due to its bland nature, it is often used in sweet and savoury delicacies. Some popular dishes include the Teochew taro paste and steamed taro cake. Taro symbolises good luck, growth and new offspring. Since the taro harvest coincides with the MidAutumn Festival, farmers in the past would relish it during the occasion, hoping for a good harvest the following year.
The ubiquitous traditional Cantonese mooncakes, with a brown crust, are filled with rich lotus seed paste. Contemporary mooncakes now come in a range of fillings, from unique to bizarre, with flavours like foie gras and even iberico ham. Chinese legend has it that mooncakes serve as a symbol of worship to the Moon Goddess of Immortality, (Chang’e). It is believed that till today, she resides on the moon after sacrificing her mortality and separating from her husband on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month.
Ling jiao, or water caltrop, is the seed pod of an aquatic plant. The ling jiao is boiled in salt water for about 20 minutes. This softens the shell, allowing access to the rich and starchy flesh inside, which is toxic if eaten raw. When cooked, the flesh tastes similar to water chestnut. The black and glossy ling jiao is often eaten during this festival as it resembles a bat — an auspicious symbol of prosperity in Chinese culture.
In the past, matchmaking was popular during the festival — a tribute to the Deity of Love (Yue Lao), whose birthday falls on the day of the festival. Young men and women would meet under the moonlight, in the hope of finding their prospective spouses. Though this is uncommon today, the older generation still regards this festive period as the most auspicious time of the year for courtship and marriage.
After dinner, families carry their lanterns out to gaze at the full moon and play lantern riddles (deng mi), a traditional Chinese word game. Some believe that lanterns are used to accentuate the brightness of the moon during the festival, while others refer to it as a symbol of fertility. Made of coloured cellophane with candles lit within, lanterns come in many shapes and sizes, be it animals or flowers. Battery-powered lanterns shaped like cartoon characters are popular too. GRAPHICS: ONG JUNHAO
MYANMAR'S NEW REALITY Lifestyle Writer Asyraf Kamil explores the country once closed off from the rest of the world.
hile exploring the streets of Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, on a two-week trip, I was pleasantly surprised when I spotted the neon red sign of Malaysian fast food chain Marrybrown. The familiar sight of fried chicken, an English menu and air-conditioning were a reprieve for my tired body, as I ordered my first meal in Myanmar after lugging my backpack around for the entire day. Marrybrown — the first foreign fast food chain to operate in the country — had Malaysian staff who were brought in to help manage and train the locals. Conversing in Malay with one of them, I learnt that he had chosen to work in Myanmar because of the low cost of living in this developing country. “Life is a lot simpler, and I get to save some money for myself,” said the service crew member. Prior to my trip, I knew very little about Myanmar, with my knowledge of the country coming solely from newspaper headlines. I only knew that the country had a poor human rights record and suffered under harsh military rule before it was abolished in 2011. Political leaders opposing the military government, such as Aung San Suu Kyi, were often imprisoned. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner is widely revered by locals as a heroine, and was featured in The Lady, the 2011 film starring Michelle Yeoh. However, throughout my trip, I realised that Myanmar is not the underdeveloped country I had envisioned. Instead, it is a country that is slowly opening up to the outside world.
I found myself on the tarmac waiting for a shuttle bus service to take my four friends and me from the plane to the arrival hall of Yangon International Airport. Our stay in the country began with a bumpy taxi ride into downtown Yangon, where we were greeted with colonial buildings.
I realised that Myanmar is not the underdeveloped country I had envisioned. Instead, it is a country that is slowly opening up to the outside world. Unpolished and left to decay after the central government moved the capital and its central administration to Nay Pyi Taw in 2006, these buildings were taken over by residents and vendors selling items ranging from food to books. Walking along the streets, I chanced upon a small protest brewing outside Yangon City Hall. Protesters clad in red were shouting slogans against the government, which had allegedly evicted them from their land over a decade ago, with the promise of affordable high-rise housing. The promises were not met and they were seeking restitution. Locals eyed the protesters warily and stayed out of their way, while inquisitive tourists snapped photographs. Despite the protesters, getting around Myanmar was simple enough. There were fixed bus routes and an abundance of
COLONIAL PAST: The Supreme Court of Burma is a symbol of Myanmar's past.
BUILT TO LAST: Dhammayangyi Temple is the largest temple in all of Bagan.
private bus companies that catered to travellers with varying budgets. The bus ride to see the famous U Bein Bridge in Mandalay — said to be the world’s longest and oldest teak wood bridge — was one of the most comfortable ones I’ve had. Blankets were provided for us as we lay down on fully reclinable, spacious seats. A bus attendant was on hand to provide beverages and finger food at any point during the journey, while the individual entertainment system attached to each seat ensured that I could catch up on the latest movie offerings. Despite these advances and developments, many restrictions are still placed on visitors to Myanmar. While Singapore passport holders do not usually require visas when visiting countries for a short holiday, Myanmar’s strict immigration policies require that Singaporeans apply for visas in person at its embassy. Not only that, United States (US) currency used for transactions have to be crisp and free from marks and stains. No exceptions were allowed and my friend, who was unaware of this rule, scrambled to find clean US dollars. On the sixth day of our trip, we visited Bagan — famous for its ancient ruins and beautiful scenery. We met Mgau Mgau, a nineyear-old boy at Dhammayangyi Temple during our tour of Bagan. Quick on his feet and fluent in English, he was selling postcards to earn extra money during the school holidays. It was sobering to see a child so
eager to support his family. Instead of resenting his situation, Mgau Mgau took the opportunity to learn other languages from tourists he met. He also developed a hobby of collecting currencies of different countries, which he keeps in a little pocketbook. “I want to be a tour guide when I grow up,” said Mgau Mgau, eyes gleaming with hope for the future. A ten-hour bus ride from Bagan brought my friends and me to Inle Lake, located in the Shan state of central Myanmar. The lake is famous for its long and narrow traditional boats — the main form of transportation in the region. It was here that we met Nyi Nyi, the 19-year-old receptionist at our hotel. Just like Mgau Mgau, Nyi Nyi was working to help his family, and to pay for his education at Taunggyi University. “I plan to continue working here because it makes me very happy to meet people that come here,” said Nyi Nyi, when I asked him about his future aspirations. Throughout our stay, Nyi Nyi went out of his way to recommend local eateries that served authentic Burmese food. He also allowed me to use the computer in the hotel office despite it being against company policy, and he sheepishly asked us for our Facebook accounts to stay in contact. Such hospitality was testament to the warmth that we experienced throughout our stay. Many locals were willing to help us out despite their limited command of the English language. Perhaps, to the locals, we foreigners were seen as
PHOTOS: ASYRAF KAMIL
sources of income and catalysts for change in their country. While Myanmar is still a diamond in the rough, it is a nation filled with generations of vibrant people who overcame hardship and oppression. With strong hopes and aspirations for positive change in their country, the future of Myanmar is looking bright.
INSPIRING: Mgau Mgau's maturity goes far beyond his tender age.
movies THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY
Comedy-drama [PG] Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal 122 min
n a scene from The Hundred-Foot Journey, the haughty owner of an upscale French restaurant dangles a flaccid asparagus in front of her kitchen staff and barks: “Cuisine is not an old, tired marriage — it is a passionate affair!” Indeed, this comedy-drama, directed by Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) and based on a novel of the same name, is certainly a modestly passionate dining affair. Coming on the heels of recent hit food flick Chef (released in May), The Hundred-Foot Journey falls right into the mould of feel-good cinematic fare. Gifted young cook Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) uproots his family to a quaint village in the south of France at Papa’s (Om Puri) behest. When Papa encounters an abandoned restaurant building, he decides to open an Indian restaurant, which happens to be exactly 100 feet across a Michelin-starred French eatery owned by the frigid Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). A heated clash of cultures ensues when the Kadam family comes head to head with Madame Mallory, who is determined to shut down their business. Unexpected relationships blossom along the way, with Hassan taking a romantic interest in local sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) and the duelling individuals Madame Mallory and Papa finding solace in each other. The Hundred-Foot Journey's showcase
TASTY TENSION: Helen Mirren plays Madame Mallory, the antagonist to a family-run Indian restaurant.
of the redemptive power of food whips up little surprise — this idea has already been explored by many other food movies. But what saves the film from becoming a bland, rehashed dish is a solid cast with enough charm and chemistry. Seasoned veterans Mirren and Puri bring depth to otherwise stoic and onedimensional stereotypes: the snobby advocate of haute French cuisine; the unapologetically traditional father. For the role of the austere yet goodhearted Madame Mallory, who has dedicated her entire life to her French restaurant, there is no one better suited than Academy Award winner Mirren, who has also played Queen Elizabeth on both film and television.
Puri is equally delightful as Papa, balancing his hardened countenance with just the right amount of softness. His soulful eyes evoke an impressive array of emotions — from wistful pensiveness as he speaks aloud to his deceased wife, to an unwavering determination in searching for a new home for his family. While Dayal does a satisfactory job as the young chef Hassan, he is rendered forgettable by his more experienced counterparts Mirren and Puri, both of whom exuberate palpable screen presence. Much of the comic relief in the film is provided by the snarky verbal sparring between Madame Mallory and Papa. Some of the best lines are delivered by Puri, his blatant dry humour making him
Action, Science Fiction [NC16] Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman 89 min
WITH a character wielding complete power over the human mind, director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Léon: The Professional) could have examined the endless possibilities of human consciousness. Instead, he turns Lucy into a movie that is all action and no heart. Imagine reading a book with some of its pages torn out. You are brought from one climax to another, but there’s a nagging feeling that the book’s important messages are lost on you. Walking out after watching Lucy gives one a similar feeling, only that Besson seems uninterested in delivering any message — just high-octane gunfights, stupefying visual effects and one invincible blonde bombshell. Scarlett Johansson plays Lucy, introduced as an exploitable young American in stilettos and a miniskirt. She gets sabotaged by a casual lover, who throws her right into the lion’s den — a hotel room occupied by the Korean mafia. When she regains consciousness, a bag of experimental new drugs, CPH4, has been inserted into her stomach. She is instructed to smuggle the drugs into Europe without getting caught. As expected, she never makes it there.
GODLIKE HUMAN: Scarlett Johansson as Lucy, who is able to manipulate electromagnetic waves. PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES
In transit, one of her captors takes his rowdiness overboard, rupturing the bag of CPH4 and causing its contents to leak into her bloodstream. The drugs allow Lucy full access to her cerebral capacity — contrary to folklore which says that humans only utilise up to 10 per cent – and she quickly transforms from debilitated victim to watchful vigilante. She exacts swift revenge on her captors, then sets out to retrieve the bags of CPH4 from victims subjected to the same abuse.
From here on out, Lucy turns into sequences displaying various superpowers, one after another, until all intrigue is stripped away from the the lead character. Lucy morphs into a combination of several superheroes: at 20 per cent cerebral capacity, her senses are enhanced like Spiderman’s; at 30 per cent, she achieves telekinesis like Professor X; at even higher percentages, she shapeshifts like Mystique from X-Men. Eventually, she transcends them all, gaining mastery over time and space.
PHOTO: DREAMWORKS AND WALT DISNEY PICTURES
bumblingly likeable. Aside from luscious close-ups of French and Indian cuisine — think sizzling pans of mutton and thick slabs of cheese and bread — the film is bolstered by stunning cinematography. Prepare for a visual buffet as the camera pans over rolling valleys in the picturesque French countryside, a bustling marketplace and the illuminating backdrop of Papa's loud and vivacious Indian restaurant. Despite an all too neatly-packaged ending, The Hundred-Foot Journey serves up an enjoyable feast — like a steaming pot of fragrant curry, it is spicy, warm and flavourful comfort food for the soul.
-Paige Lim However, she possesses none of the superheroes’ complexities nor tragic backstories to back up her dazzling arrays of power, leaving her as nothing but an omnipotent shell. When a protagonist can wipe out all enemies with a swipe of her hand and only keeps getting stronger — with no character development in sight — the movie wears thin. We follow Lucy on her unremorseful warpath, but see no reason to root for her. Granted, the lack of character development can be interpreted as Lucy's statement — the smarter we get, the less human we become. Even so, the conflict between humanity and intelligence is only briefly touched upon — Johansson’s excellent acting skills gives us a sense of this struggle, despite the rigidity of her role. In a scene with Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), a researcher of the mind’s capabilities, she says: “I don’t feel pain, fear, desire. It’s like all things that make us human are fading away.” Here, her eyes stare coldly into the camera but waver ever so slightly, a faint hint of what’s left of her humanity. Johansson’s acting aside, all attempts to draw meaning fall short: parallels between Lucy’s capture and footages of leopards hunting gazelles serve merely as eye candy; Darwinist theories raised by Professor Norman lead nowhere; and the rare warm social interactions feel scripted. Lucy’s plot has potential to tell a powerful story, but Besson chooses the indulgent low road, serving up a mindless visual spectacle that falls into the ranks of the most forgettable action movies.
My Everything Ariana Grande Pop Republic Records
ver the past year, we witnessed the birth of teen pop star Ariana Grande as she conquered the world of music and television — she released her Billboard number one debut album Yours Truly and co-starred in Nickelodeon hit television series Sam & Cat. But with Sam & Cat cancelled, and more time to focus on her sophomore music effort, the teen pop image that defined Grande has begun to unravel. The 21-year-old seems ready to step up to the next level. Grande uses this transition to her advantage in My Everything. The album opens with Intro, a short but sweet ballad reminiscent of her first album: a simple blend of R&B and pop, drawing inspiration from the 1950s doo-wop movement with the use of vocal harmonies and minimal instrumentation. “I want you with me on this road to the sky,” coos Grande, setting the supposed tone for the rest of the album. Just when listeners start to get comfortable, the wild jazzy horns in Problem ring out — the courteous introduction all but gone. The song was the first single from this album, and it features Austalian rapper Iggy Azalea delivering a goofy verse at breakneck speed. The expectations placed on Grande to be an innocent teenage star are now out the window, and she demands that her listeners pay rapt attention to what she has to say. It may be a calculated move, but it sure is a smart one. The change between her first and second album are noteworthy. There was a common musical thread running throughout Yours Truly — no sudden or drastic sonic shifts. In contrast, My Everything is Grande’s attempt at exploring different music genres,
like tasting hors d’oeuvres on an appetiser platter — a little bit of this and that. Fortunately, everything comes together as a cohesive whole. Grande seamlessly transforms from EDM sidekick in Break Free (featuring Zedd) to pop goddess on the drum-thumping Love Me Harder, before revealing a playful hip-hop side on Hands On Me, seducing listeners with pulsating synths. She also puts complete faith in hit-making producers such as David Guetta, Ryan Tedder and Max Martin, in songs like One Last Time and Why Try. They make full use of her dynamic vocals, and the dramatic shift from her previous material leaves Grande unfazed. However, fans of her first album need not worry about this metamorphosis. Her signature musical style, as heard on Yours Truly, still resonates in tracks such as Best Mistake (featuring rumoured boyfriend Big Sean). Lyrically, Grande has undergone another transformation. We now see more depth in her ideas on romance and heartbreak; she even dismisses the notion of being dependent on a man. Unfortunately, Grande makes a misstep in the album’s titular last track, My Everything. For an album that showcases her as a strong and independent woman, she ends the recording on a surprisingly weak note. The slow piano ballad comes off as a desperate plea for her man, telling him that “it's too much to bear without you”. Although the meaning behind these lyrics in her final song may be unintended, they feel somewhat like a letdown after the promising buildup of strength and freedom. That being said, it still does not change the fact that Grande has churned out a solid piece of work, engaging us with catchy tunes and irresistible hooks. She displays a mature confidence and willingness to try something new — no sophomore slump here. My Everything was released worldwide on 25 Aug, and can be purchased on iTunes for S$12.99.
-Kevin Nicholas Wong
Gentle Bones EP Gentle Bones Indie Pop Self-released
KEEPING in line with his style of penning relatable lyrics from the heart, singersongwriter Joel Tan belts out songs about the visceral sentiments of growing up in his new EP. Released under the moniker Gentle Bones, the self-titled EP is an unabashed attempt at sharing his life through song. The 20-year-old, who is enrolling in Nanyang Technological University next year, has been making waves in the local music scene since his first single, Until We Die. Its accompanying music video, which came out in December last year, has received an impressive 150,000 views on YouTube. Since then, the amateur singer has captivated fans nationwide with his charming smirk and mellow voice. He has performed at big venues in Singapore and garnered a large fanbase through gigs, including Mosaic Music Festival in 2012 and Ignite Festival this year. He also received much support from Singaporean tastemakers such as indie radio station Lush 99.5FM. After being in the works for six months, Joel’s debut EP — released 19 Aug — premiered at the top of Singapore’s iTunes chart. Gentle Bones features an eclectic array of genres ranging from pop to soul, and Joel croons mellifluously about topics ranging from love to making life decisions. The independent EP consists of two new songs, Settle Down and Lost, as well as three previously released singles: Elusive, Save Me and a re-recording of Until We Die, which features a stirring instrumental accompaniment by up-and-coming homegrown violinist Josh Wei. For fans who pre-ordered the EP, or are able to get their hands on a physical copy,
there are exclusive treats: four bonus tracks, two of which are remixes. That said, casual listeners who are not in the loop with Joel’s musical developments will not feel left out — his catchy earworms and heartfelt lyrics will fit snugly into any music player. “But is this where I wanna be, being lost in isolation in defeat, would you take me away from this please,” Joel sings in Lost, lamenting about staying adrift amid life's complications. Despite lyrics that are reminiscent of a teenager's soliloquy, Joel delivers them in an uplifting tone with soothing chords and gentle beats. On the other hand, Joel's third single, Save Me, aptly reflects the psychological turmoil one feels in a relationship. He stirs listeners into an emotional whirlwind with catchy upbeat guitar riffs as he cries out the refrain “save me”. Save Me seems to be a reflection of Joel’s personal experiences. In answer to questions about the song’s meaning, he tweeted: “The song is a reflection of my impulsive nature when dealing with emotions.” Indeed, with lyrics such as “quit using the sheets for the love that we lost”, Joel pours out the woes of the lovelorn from the perspective of a mature young man. Joel's version of a romantic ballad can be found in Settle Down. He serenades his listeners in this upbeat number, but also retains the simple acoustic elements that endured through his Until We Die days. With crisp vocals accompanied by a haunting background choir, he pines for a lover to “settle down” with him. His wide vocal range also becomes evident here, as he comfortably hits the high notes. With the emergence of self-made singersongwriters such as Joel, accompanied by punchy tunes comparable to those of big names in the international music scene, such as Kodaline and Ed Sheeran, dissenters of the local music scene are set to eat humble pie. Gentle Bones EP will officially be launched on 30 Aug, together with a one-night only concert at TAB, Orchard Hotel.
MAKING THE CUT:
TELEVISION SERIES THIS FALL From a law school housing dark secrets to a DC Comics origins story featuring a young Batman, Reviews Writer Kevin Nicholas Wong takes a look at four outstanding shows that will make their debuts in the coming weeks. DRAMA
How to Get Away With Murder (ABC) 25 Sep
THIS isn’t a guide for wannabe murderers — thankfully — though this concept might also be worth pursuing in a series. Instead, the story shines a spotlight on how lawyers can help clients, including the ones guilty of murder, build solid defences. Impressionable new students of Middleton Law School come face to face with Professor Annalise Keating, played by Oscar nominee Viola Davis. Davis has showcased her versatility in films such as Doubt and The Help. Her commanding on-screen presence is reason enough to keep your eyes peeled. Keating’s practical methods of teaching criminal law are refreshing, yet questionable.
IF you are still mourning the cancellation of the extremely underrated comedy Happy Endings, fret not, because its creators are bouncing back with a new project titled Marry Me. For the rest, this is a feel-good comedy sure to put a smile on your face. Actors Ken Marino and Casey Wilson play Jake and Annie, a couple with the uncanny ability to plan consistently untimely wedding proposals. Annie rants about not being proposed to on their vacation, refusing to even glance
Scorpion (CBS) 22 Sep
SCORPION is based on the life of Walter O’Brien, a computing expert with a startling IQ of 197. In this show, a fictionalised O’Brien (World War Z’s Elyes Gabel) leads a team of similarly intelligent peers in solving modern technological threats around the world. Homeland Security Agent Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick), the one who enlists the help of O’Brien, sums it up best: “Mechanical prodigy, world-class shrink, human calculator… brilliant minds at half capacity.” Upon receiving their mission, everything runs — or rather, flies — like clockwork. Her words of advice get severely distorted by students, who resort to cutthroat methods to win her favour. But behind closed doors, faculty members are teetering on the thin line between desire and danger, with Keating getting caught in her own sex scandal. To make matters worse, the students get thrown into a murder mystery of their own, further into the season. The plot is so over-the-top that it almost veers towards self-parody. To sustain this show’s absurdities, executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Peter Nowalk will have to keep the plot under control. But together with their team, they are also the masterminds behind the creation of groundbreaking dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal — so expect to be shocked by sudden revelations and plot twists.
Marry Me (NBC)
at Jake while he kneels behind her, waiting to pop the question. On a separate occasion, Annie inadvertently costs Jake his job after a mistimed counter-proposal at his workplace. The chemistry between comedic talents Marino and Wilson is undeniable. They appear comfortable with each other on screen and are unafraid of being placed in awkward and corny situations. Whether their relationship will progress to fulfill the show's title remains to be seen. Admittedly, the show seems to fall into a tired cliché. But some of the best comedies may not necessarily be the most originial ones, but the ones with characters that allow viewers to feel their warmth and familiarity.
The action sequences — whether the team is trying to find a small backup disk among one hundred large servers in 60 seconds, or chasing a commercial passenger plane in a Ferrari — are thrilling. Smash’s Katherine McPhee plays Paige Dineen, a waitress who offers to help O’Brien. We find out that her son, too, is a genius. These new characters look set to play significant roles, with the mother-son duo providing an anchor for the eccentric team. The quirky personalities that make up O’Brien’s team is also an attempt to balance the heart-stopping action with wry humour. If Scorpion can serve up a consistently good mix of the action, suspense and humour, as promised in its trailer, then we will be in for a real treat.
Gotham (FOX) 22 Sep
IT seems all too familiar, characters from the DC Comics universe — the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and of course, Batman himself — all make appearances in this new television series. But there is a catch — they all feature as their teenage selves. This spin-off shines a spotlight on a lesser-known character: James Gordon (Southland’s Ben McKenzie). In Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, Gordon (Gary Oldman) played an important but minute role as a commissioner in the main story arc. In Gotham, however, a younger Gordon becomes the main protagonist of the series. The rookie detective is assigned to
investigate the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents, and his partnership with the young boy (David Mazouz) and future Dark Knight begins here. The murder is also a turning point in Gordon’s quest for justice, with the city of Gotham acting as a battlefield between good and evil. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith plays Gotham’s first major villain. FOX describes her as a “sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner” who has “almost extrasensory abilities to read people like an open book”. Gotham joins the list of comic book television adaptations such as Arrow and The Flash, with the latter also set to premiere this fall. With the story told from Gordon’s point of view, it sets itself apart by humanising the concept of a superhero. It will also be fascinating to see if scriptwriters can do justice to the characters we so dearly admire.
Other noteworthy shows coming up 1. The Flash: The trailer for the spin-off of popular TV series Arrow looks simply fantastic — with the handsome Grant Gustin as its titular character speeding around airport runways in a blur. Premieres 7 Oct. 2. Stalker: With Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott joining forces as detectives to investigate stalkers of all sorts – voyeurs and cyber harassers included — Stalker looks to fight violence with brains and beauty. Premieres 1 Oct. 3. NCIS: New Orleans: Both military and police tactics will play a part in this exciting new crime thriller. Premieres 23 Sep. 4. Constantine: This comic book adaptation presents John Constantine, a reluctant hero who is both endlessly cynical and deeply sentimental. He also happens to be bisexual in the comics, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Premieres Oct 24.
SLICE OF LOVE
To many NTU students, he may just be yet another kitchen chef at one of the many campus cafés. But behind him lies a compelling story of his love for food and how food found him love. Photo Editors Clifford Lee and Tan Xiu Qi uncover the ties that bind.
warm blast of air rushed at his face as he opened the wood-fire oven. Inserting the long spade-like peel into the furnace, Mr Sowleh Koid, 35, lifted the piping-hot golden brown pizza out of the oven and laid it cautiously onto a waiting plate, where it would be served up to hordes of hungry café patrons. For Mr Sowleh, serving up his handcrafted pizzas have become a way of life ever since he became Pitchstop’s resident pizza chef. But it has been a long journey. Mr Sowleh first joined the café as a general kitchen staff, along with his two older brothers, after leaving his former job as a waiter in a Korean restaurant. “I’ve always wanted to be a chef; I like to cook. Western food is becoming more and more popular among Singaporeans these days, so it was good that I was learning how to make pasta and soup,” he said. But as fate would have it, the conscientious newbie chef would soon f ind himself distracted — he found the love of his life.
“Back then, she used to run the Malay food stall in the school’s old Canteen B, just a short walk away from Pitchstop. I would meet her after work for walks,” recounted Mr Saleh fondly, referring to Madam Hartini Solikan, his wife whom he affectionately calls “Tini”. “ B u t a f t e r K ou f u to ok ov e r t he management of Canteen B, Tini and her mother moved their stall over to the National Institute of Education canteen,” said Mr Sowleh. After a year and a half of general kitchen duties and waiting tables, one of his older brothers decided to equip him with the skills needed to take over the pizza station. Mr Saleh accepted the post readily, as it was a step closer to his dream — he hopes to one day work in a restaurant overseas. “But now that I’m married and looking to start a family, I guess it’ll be harder for my wife and I to move.” he sighed. For now, on the bright side, working at the pizza station does have its perks — his wife likes eating the pizza he makes, said Mr Sowleh with a laugh.
CHRONICLE 02 5
6 1. COSY CORNER:: Mr Sowleh Koid, 35, is the resident pizza chef at Pitchstop café, located within NTU’s Innovation Centre. His pizza station, which takes up a small, homely corner of the café, is fitted with a chalkboard menu and a special wood-fired oven in the wall. 2. LOVE IN NTU: Mr Sowleh picks up his wife, Mdm Hartini Solikan, from her Muslim food stall at the National Institute of Education canteen after she closes shop the evening. The couple, who got married last December, met in NTU while they were both working as kitchen staff in nearby eateries. 3. A FAMILY THING: Mr Sowleh’s brother (left) who works as a manager in Pitchstop café, visits him at his pizza station for a quick chat. Mr Sowleh says that his brother is a “jolly person” who lights up his long work days. 4. SERVED FRESH: A thin crust Pepperoni pizza, handmade by Mr Sowleh, is delivered fresh out of the oven using a spade-like peel. He recommends his personal favourite, a duo-flavoured Smoked Turkey Breast and Turkey Bacon pizza. 5. FEELING THE DOUGH: Mr Sowleh prepares balls of dough, which he flattens and spreads into thin crusts. The well-prepared chef keeps a few batches of dough balls on standby in a fridge each day. 6. BREAK FROM WORK: (Clockwise from right): Mr Sowleh has lunch with his brother, and colleague Amanda Lim, 18, a first-year Communication Studies student, who works at the café as a part-time waitress. 7. PIZZA PREP: The pizza chef sprinkles cheese on a tomato-based thin-crust pizza. He takes about 10 minutes to spread a pizza crust with ingredients and bake it in the wood-fired oven. Pizzas are made-to-order and served fresh to customers.
传统月饼飘香 —— 刊23页
张思乐：不应该视政治为事业 角色，尤其是在发表内心的想 法或讨论自己关心的课题时， 更不可或缺。”
贸工部政务部长张思乐（左）鼓励学生在毕业前找到人生目标。 相关政府部门肩负政治职务和 王立倪● 报道 中文编审 责任。 他觉得学生不应该把从政当 做是一种事业选项，而是为国 工部政务部长兼东北区市 人服务。 张思乐补充，政治家需跳 长张思乐认为，有意从政 的学生应该先在自己的专业领 脱固有的思维模式，对议题提 域里有出色的表现，才能够在 出诚实的看法，不应该哗众取
摄影: 林佳琪 宠，因为政治是攸关掌握行政 的权利。 他在上月28日出席由南洋 理工大学举办的杰出学人讲座 系列（Eminent Speakers Series）时发表上述看法。 他说：“一个人参与政治 时，其价值观扮演举足轻重的
张思乐在讲座上分享自己的 从政经历。他表示，自己最初 没有从政的意愿，直到参与接 见选民会（Meet the People Session）后，想要帮助更多的 人，才开始踏上政治道路。 他说： “我们必须先确保 自己在擅长的领域里尽己所 能。一旦在其领域表现优异， 参与政治的机会可能就会找上 你。” 他强调，学生们无论决定选 择往什么行业发展，都应该趁 求学时期依照对未来的憧憬和 自由找寻属于自己的定位，并 为人生做好规划。 对此，银行兼金融业科系二 年级学生陈婕仪（20岁）感到 非常鼓舞。 她说：“我们应该坚持自己 喜欢做、乐意做、和有热忱做 的事情，然后把它做得最好。 因为有能力做好这些事情，未 来才能有杰出的表现。”
这场讲座吸引了将近100名 学生参与，他们也积极向张思 乐发问，以轻松的互动方式了 解他对学业、家庭观等课题的 看法。
“一旦在其领域表现优 异，参与政治的机会可 能就会找上你。” 贸工部政务部长张思乐
另外，对于校方在学科计 分制度上的调整，张思乐表 示：“这样的安排可以让学生 空出更多时间和机会勇于挑战 自己。” 张思乐以自己在南大商学院 读书的日子，鼓励在场的学生 们把握机会参与学校的各种活 动，而不只是专注于学业。 宇航工程系的二年级学生陈 弈斌（22岁）从这次讲座会上 也有所启发。 他说：“从部长的分享中， 我了解到，我们的将来并不局 限于我们现有的成就，而是对 未来有多大的抱负。”
齐柏林光临南大宣传《看见台湾》 林佳琪● 报道
湾导演齐柏林亲临南洋理 工大学，透过影像和现场 访问，与学生分享制作《看见 台湾》纪录片的点点滴滴。 这部荣获第50届金马奖最佳 纪录片的影片，以高空角度进 行拍摄，向观众呈现台湾环境 的现况。 齐柏林于上月19日光临南大 出席《看见台湾》电影分享会 时表示，尽管拍摄过程十分不 易，但还是想要把台湾美丽的 一面呈现给观众，并传达保护 环境的重要性。
拍片过程困难重重 从策划、拍摄到剪辑，齐柏 林总共花了5年时间才完成《看 见台湾》。 为了完成空拍台湾的梦想，
他选择辞去公务员的铁饭碗工 作，并不惜花光积蓄来支付制 作纪录片的费用。 他透露电影费用最终超出五 千万台币的预算，总资费高达 九千万台币（约375万新元）。 除了资金问题，齐柏林也分 享在高空工作的挑战性。他一 天在直升机内至少待上10个小 时，400小时的拍摄过程也是精 神和体力上的考验。 他也补充说长时间待在小空 间里工作并不简单。变幻莫测 的天气如连绵不断的雨天、突 然刮起的大风，不但会耽误拍 摄进度，也对机上的工作人员 造成一定的生命威胁。 这种坚持不懈的态度感动了 投资商和各业界人士。除了台 湾知名导演侯孝贤和著名广告 配音员吴念真，新加坡知名音 乐家何国杰也参与制作这部纪 录片，帮忙谱写背景音乐。
呼吁关注环境问题 齐柏林透露自己在过去二十 年担任业余空拍摄影师时，通 过飞行的视野看到了台湾日益 改变的景观。 人类的欲望以及科技发展牺 牲了环境，他感慨说：“我们 在这土地上掠夺了太多东西， 但回馈的实在太少。” 环境问题让他萌生了从高空 拍摄台湾土地的梦想，希望以 不同的角度让台湾人，甚至所 有人意识保护环境的重要性。
此外，他也呼吁学生多关怀 社会，积极参与弱势群体或生 态保护等有意义的活动。 参加讲座的陈贤馥（22岁， 中文系四年级）对于导演在环
境保护方面的执着感到敬佩。 她说：“导演的热情和坚 持，是很难在我们身上看到 的。这种爱国、爱家、爱环境 的精神让我非常感动。”
鼓励学生勇敢追梦 虽然制片过程困难重重，但 齐柏林仍强调“有梦最美”。 他鼓励学生应该趁年轻就勇敢 地追逐梦想。 他说：“在追梦的过程中， 也许会满布荆棘，遍体鳞伤， 但是我相信你们（年轻人）的 复原能力非常快。”
齐柏林（左）对台湾环境问题的关心造就了《看见台湾》这部第 50届金马奖得奖纪录片。 摄影: 沈向英
CHRONICLE 02 言论
手机钱包普及化 需留心其潜在风险 王敏丽 中文编审
地银行近期陆续推出手机 钱包（Mobile Wallet）应 用程序，颇受国人欢迎。 其中两个较受瞩目的应用程 序包括星展银行的DBS PayLah! 以及渣打银行与新电信联合推 出的Dash。 虽然手机钱包正处于初步发 展阶段，但从银行逐步推行的 方式来看，电子付费有走向大 众化的趋势。
操作简单且使用方便 手机钱包也称为“电子钱 包”，言下之意就是用户无须 用现金付款。 它的操作方法简单方便，用 户只需下载该应用程序，链接 至现有的个人银行户口，再经 过一次的验证手续后就能开始 使用。 之后，用户可以从户口里分 配金额到手机钱包，输入对方 的手机号码便能付款。 与 行 动 银 行 （ Mobile Banking）不同，使用手机付款 或汇款并不需要经过输入密码
的验证步骤。 这有助于提高使用者进行货 币交易的效率，因为手机钱包 可以输入正确数额，省下找零 钱的麻烦，对付款者或收款者 来说都十分方便。 值得一提的是，为了吸引更 多人使用这类应用程序，星展 银行和渣打银行给予用户5至10 元的“现金”，让用户在指定 商店里尝试用手机钱包付费。
本地日趋普遍化的现象 银行纷纷推出手机钱包应用 程序，或许与本地手机用户习 惯有着密不可分的关系。 今年初，本地公司We Are Social的调查显示，在新加坡约 540万的人口中，72%的国人拥 有一台智能手机，其中44%的国 人有利用手机上网购物，或者 进行货币交易的习惯。 为了普及化手机钱包，各 家银行也正积极与不同商家合 作，让用户能够采用手机付款 方式来缴付德士费用，购买旅 游保险以及购物。 然而，手机钱包的概念早已 在国外，例如中美两国广受使 用者欢迎。 中国知名支付平台“支付
宝”自去年起推出了相同应用 程序，促使更多消费者和商家 开始接受以无现金、无刷卡的 方式进行交易。
理想的处理方式就是得到父母 的允许，并在他们的监督下谨 慎使用手机钱包。 笔者相信，只要人们懂得
理智和谨慎地使用手机钱包， 就能降低手机钱包存在的风险 性，为人们的日常生活带来真 正的方便性。 插图：黄怀娇
与国外不同的是，本地的手 机钱包没有规定使用者必须持 有信用卡，只有存额999元的上 限规定。 这意味着没有独立经济能力 的学生族群也可以随意使用， 增加手机钱包的风险。 当人们在期许手机万事俱备 时，自己也必须确保手机已做 足安全措施。手机失窃和资料 盗用的案例层出不穷，往往出 自于使用者的疏忽。 除此之外，人们应该养成 良好的手机使用习惯，在付款 后立刻登出账号和退出应用程 序，防止在遗失手机时，钱财 被盗的不堪后果。 虽然手机钱包带来许多方便 的用途，人们还是不能忽视其 存在的风险性。 在依赖于手机钱包时，用户 也应该同时注意私人资料和手 机的安全性。 对于思想尚未成熟的学生族 群，若决定使用手机钱包，最
保留新谣 传承本土文化 王立倪 中文编审
今年国庆群众大会上，李 显龙总理提到本地再次掀 起“新谣”风潮，并指出这是 本地独有的文化，承载着许多 新加坡人美好的集体回忆。 他也分享了自己在1987年参 加新谣演唱会的深刻回忆。 因为新谣反映了独特的新加 坡文化色彩，能够引起大家对 歌词的共鸣，因此笔者认为， 我们有传承新谣的必要。 这也让笔者想起7月初旬举 行新谣主题长篇纪录片《我们 唱着的歌》分享会的盛况，吸 引逾千人参与。 分享会的参与者多数是中年 歌迷，其中也有少数和笔者年 龄相仿的年轻人。大家不分年 龄，一起大合唱。 当时，巫启贤、梁文福和黎 沸辉等新谣歌手演唱近3小时的 新谣名曲，与大家一同回溯新 谣的全盛时期。 然而，单靠举办演唱会远远 不足以长久传承和保留新谣。 新谣指的就是“新加坡的歌 谣”。一首首耳熟能详的《我 们这一班》、《麻雀竹枝》，
谱写了父母辈的校园和本土生 活情节。 对他们而言，他们的青春是 曾在新谣歌唱会上，充满着欢 笑和泪水度过的。 在80年代，年轻人只需要 一把吉他，还有无限的写词能 力，就能尽情依照他们所追求 的理念和梦想，进行创作。 “新谣”歌曲虽然谱写的是 简单的校园生活和坚固友谊， 却充满了对未来的各种理念和 憧憬，远远偏离了多数现代流 行歌曲对爱情的伟大宣言。 笔者小时候常常听梁文福的 歌曲，因此也和新谣结缘。其 中一首《细水长流》谱写了三 个朋友之间的坚固友谊，朗朗 上口的歌词和轻快的旋律一直 在我脑海中荡漾。 后来，小学毕业典礼上播放 这首歌时，笔者才真正领悟到 歌词中对友谊最初的感动；而 停办了近30年的新谣演唱会如 今重返，更能让人感受到青春 最初的激昂。 然而，新谣在90年代起开始 没落，逐渐被流行音乐取代。 许多本地年轻人知悉日韩欧美 音乐，却对新谣没有太多的认 知，因此无法产生共鸣。 独特的文化也似乎在渐渐走
入历史，实在令人惋惜。 笔者认为，传承文化的工 作不能止于前辈，必须薪火相 传，年轻一代也有责任保留本 土文化。
支持本地作品 近年来，有些新加坡人扛下 保留新谣文化的重任，以“新 旧合并”的方式让年轻人通过 全新角度认识新谣。 例如，实践剧场从2007年 开始举办的音乐剧《天冷就回 来》，就结合故事情节和梁文 福多首歌曲，让年轻观众认识 和了解歌词的深刻含义。 除此之外，本地去年推出的 《我的朋友，我的同学，我爱 过的一切》描写“一段从新谣 开始的爱情与成长故事”，而 电影也改编由巫启贤所演唱的 《星空下》，以轻快的曲调展 现年轻人对梦想和生活的热情 和魄力。 除了支持以新方式演绎的新 谣作品，笔者认为年轻人必须 慢慢熟悉新谣，才能学习欣赏 其纯朴曲风。 或许年轻人只有创作属于自 己的音乐，寻找对家园和生活 的热忱，才可以做到传承新谣 文化，完成薪火相传的工作。
02 CHRONICLE 生活
坚守传统 手工月饼庆中秋 中秋佳节将至，市面上处处可见各 种不同口味的月饼。记者李玥玮和 蔡欣颖走访本地老字号品牌大中国 饼家，了解传统月饼的制作过程以 及品牌的经营理念。
进老字号品牌大中国饼家在牛车水的总店铺时， 店里折射出“新旧融合”的主题。明亮整洁的空 间，保留着古色古香的店面设计。 放眼望去，店里洋溢着浓浓的中秋节气息，除了挂 上画有脸谱的彩色灯笼，柜台后面也叠摞着层层月饼 的木制柜子。 大中国饼家的第一代掌门人来自广州，并且从1935 年开始在牛车水设立门户，专门制作与售卖广式月饼 和年糕。 作为本地其中一间历史最悠久的饼家，大中国能够 挺然走过80年的岁月，传承至第三代接班人，与老板 坚持的传统和手工制作有着密切关系。
每粒月饼都是“真材实料” 从饼皮到馅料，店里的每一粒月饼都是手工制作， 仅按照祖先辈传下来的食谱，没有添加任何防腐剂。 一般来说，月饼在室温下能保存长达一个星期，放进 冰箱则最多能存放一个月。 第三代继承人谭永成受访时表示，大中国饼家每天 会在工厂制作上万个月饼，之后再分发到分店销售。 他补充说，大中国在几十年前便开始制作类似冰皮月 饼的“水晶糕”。 目前店内售卖15种类的月饼，以莲蓉馅料为主。 其中最受欢迎的口味包括：金华腿月（材料为金华火 腿、杏仁、瓜子仁、橄榄仁和芝麻仁等）、双璜莲 蓉、豆沙月饼以及冰皮莲蓉。 在大中国饼家担任五年营运经理的黄莲晶透露，白 莲蓉全由老板亲手制作，从选购和清洗莲子，到煮成 莲蓉馅，其中繁琐的步骤都不假手于他人。 黄莲晶也提到，大中国使用的月饼配料并不是许多 顾客以为的瓜子仁，而是价格比瓜子仁贵上20倍的橄 榄仁。一般上，瓜子仁的价格是每公斤约11元，橄榄 仁则是每公斤约230元。 她指出，使用橄榄仁的秘方自第一代创始人起便沿 用至今，而作用在于让白莲蓉更有香气，并且更带出 白莲蓉的味道。
走进老字号大中国饼家店里，便会看到柜台后边叠摞着的层层月饼，以及画有脸谱的彩色灯笼装饰，让店里洋 溢着浓厚的中秋气息。 摄影: 陈湲婷 包装，而店员也会依照要求照办。但她透露，比起去 年，今年的要求已减少，改而使用方形纸盒。 此外，大中国的纸盒也一直沿用过去的图形设计。 由于之前的图案有些褪色，因此老板便安排专业人士 再度上色，没有做出任何更改。 她说：“尽管第三代继承人曾提议换掉纸盒和纸袋 上的设计，但却遭第二代拒绝，因为他们认为，一旦 对包装进行改变，顾客就不认得这个品牌了。”
除了坚持不更改月饼的食谱，在牛车水和乌美一道 的分店也提供传统的包装月饼方式，仅使用蜡纸包装 月饼。 黄莲晶解释，有些年长顾客希望用以前的方式进行
制作月饼方面，大中国饼家一直沿用祖先辈的秘 方。但在营运方面，品牌已经做出相应调整，以适应 现有的市场需求。 例如在包装方面，虽然还保留原有的包装，但去年 起大中国也增设三种需额外付费的礼盒，以适应不同 顾客的要求。 黄莲晶表示：“部分大公司曾向我们反映，希望 在送礼给客户时，可以有更加精美的包装选择，因
此我们增设三款礼盒设计，而原本的传统纸盒则是免 费。” 此外，大中国饼家也积极拓展生意，把触角延伸 至全岛各地。现在，大中国分别在高岛屋百货公司 （Takashimaya）、西城购物中心（Westgate），以及 乌美一道设立分店。 黄莲晶说：“由于年轻人对大中国这个传统品牌的 认识度不高，因此老板决定在不同地方设立分店，好 让年轻一代注意到这个老字号品牌，吸引他们到店里 消费。” 除了在中秋节期间只售卖月饼，大中国也售卖其如 老婆饼、七姐饼以及为婚庆制作的四色饼等的广式月 饼。 尽管时代变迁，周遭的一景一物已有所变化，但大 中国饼家坚持着把传统口味带给本地人。几年前的内 部整修，并没有掩盖老店所散发的浓浓怀旧气息，而 阵阵的月饼香气，也不禁让旅人放慢脚步，拿起相机 留下这一瞬间。
CHRONICLE 02 娱乐
剧评 电视剧热映 电视剧：《没关系，是爱情啊》 导演 ： 金圭泰 主演 ： 赵寅成、孔孝真、成东日、 李光洙、都暻秀
心理医学为题材的韩国电视剧《没 关系，是爱情啊》，通过人气推理 小说作家张宰烈（赵寅成饰）和精神科 医生池海秀（孔孝真饰）之间的相处，
描述在21世纪这个现代化社会里，有关 心理疾病患者的人生和爱情故事。 池海秀和同样是精神科医生的赵东 民（成东日饰）以及妥瑞症患者李洙光 （李光洙饰）同住一个屋檐下。 阴差阳错下，张宰烈入住他们的房 子，与他们三人成为宿友关系。张宰烈 和池海秀这对欢喜冤家开始擦出火花， 两人之间的爱情关系是重头戏之一。 除了感情故事，剧情发展也逐渐揭露 男女主角的心理问题。鼎鼎大名的张宰 烈身边总是跟着一名年轻小伙子韩江宇 （都暻秀饰），但这号人物似乎不曾存
在，只是张宰烈幻想的角色。另外，剧 情一开始也透露了张宰烈和囚犯哥哥张 宰范之间的复杂关系。 张宰烈和这两个人物的相处不禁让观 众开始怀疑张宰烈本身是否也患有心理 病。哥哥当年被控杀父的案件也似乎另 有内情，增加了剧集的神秘和紧张感。 另外，池海秀在童年时期目睹母亲与 其他男子接吻，导致她非常抗拒与异性 亲密接触。因此，她和张宰烈之间的相 处总是带有种微妙的化学作用，让观众 期待他们的进一步发展。 四名宿友之间的相处，尤其是由成东
日和李光洙所饰演的逗趣角色，无非为 剧情增添不少搞笑气氛。 （文／陈祎婷）
影评 电影播映室 电影：《四大名捕3》 主演： 邓超、刘亦菲、邹兆龙、郑中基 类型：奇幻、武侠、爱情
照片：Encore Films提供 据武侠小说作家温瑞安的作品改编的 根 《四大名捕3》，是该系列电影的终 结篇。 情节继续围绕四大名捕：无情（刘亦 菲饰）、冷血（邓超饰）、铁手（邹兆龙 饰）、和追命（郑中基饰）各显神通为神 侯府侦破案件的故事。 在《四大名捕》和《四大名捕2》中交 代到从小与无情一起长大的铁手被发现是 杀害无情一家我32口的元凶之一。 另外，四大名捕的师傅诸葛正我（黄秋 生饰）也隐瞒了12元凶还在世的事情，让 无情绝望地离开神侯府。而掌管另一个侦 查部门，六扇门的捕神则被如烟杀害,幕后 指使还是个谜。 电影开始,无情离开了神侯府，而冷 血为追查捕神死因选择回归六扇门。此时 的“四大名捕”已分崩离析，名存实亡。 这时，微服私访的宋徽宗（苏有朋饰） 突然遇袭后失踪，冷血、铁手、与追命再 次联手追查，无情则选择冷眼旁观。追 查过程中，前两部电影铺下的谜团一一揭 开，而隐藏着的惊天阴谋也浮出台面。 饰演帝王的苏有朋丰富了剧情，不仅让 人看到帝王将相之间的明争暗斗，也与他 昔日在电视剧《还珠格格》中青涩的五阿 哥形象形成强烈的对比。 另外，饰演诸葛正我的黄秋生延续一直 以来的智者姿态，每开口都少不了掷地有 声的金句。同时，他与娇娘（邓萃雯饰） 逗趣温馨的感情戏，不时引起观众们会心 一笑。 美中不足的是剧中需要交待的事物过 多，以至于剧情发展的节奏太快。观众还 来不及进入一段戏的情绪，镜头却已经被 切换到下一个场景。 值得一提的是，四大名捕之间的友情在 大结局中也有了终极的提升。四人合力对 抗恶势力的画面，足以让人为之动容。
The $200,000 Question
WORD had first reached our newsroom on 12 Aug, that the NTU Students’ Union (NTUSU) had passed a motion to use $200,000 from its Reserved Fund to support the NTU Fest — an initiative to raise money for needy Institute of Technical Education students. We were taken aback by two things. The whole sum of money involved, and the mysterious “Reserved Fund” that none of us could identify with. The next two days, our reporters and editors worked hard to verify the story. We contacted other sources and scoured the Union’s Constitution and other legal documents that might shed light on the reserved fund and the money involved. We found that the reserved fund was accumulated from the one-time entrance fee of $10.70, paid by all NTU students when they first matriculate. However, the NTUSU Constitution had no mention of how the Reserved Fund was to be handled. As NTU students, we would be putting our university under public scrutiny if we ran the story. However, as student journalists, we are trained to be impartial and to report the news as it is. Our decisions are largely based on accuracy and timeliness. Staying true to our mission to report objectively, we decided to break the story. But as the story spread on social media, the public became concerned about the large sum of money involved. It was a piece of shocking news involving a large sum of accumulated money from the NTU student body. Suddenly,
everyone was interested. We were not faultless in our execution of the report. Truth be told, we made statistical errors and erroneously referred to an unrelated clause in the NTUSU Constitution in our initial report. We corrected the mistakes on our website as soon as we could. But importantly, we raised critical questions—what exactly was the nature of the NTUSU Reserved Fund? How much money was in this fund? What are the protocols governing the use of this fund? As our main representative body, NTUSU has a responsibility to account for how the union fees are utilised, and the processes through which these funds are dispensed. Perhaps it is time for the incoming NTUSU Council to consider introducing provisions to govern the Reserved Fund and guide the future decisionmaking process concerning its use. NTUSU should also consider giving the student body a clear explanation regarding the use of the fund. The NTUSU has promised to respond to our queries after the new management committee has been sworn in. The new leaders would do well to remember that the goals of their office is to provide services, facilities and representation. Financial transparency will go a long way in building trust among the student population, for them to carry out their duties effectively.
CHRONICLE CHIEF EDITOR
Liu Ting Ting
DAPPER EDITOR Goh Ye Ling Lydia Teo
Kerri Heng Abigail Ng Alfred Chua Ang Hwee Min Clarisse Tan Isadora Ong Nazri Eddy Razali Ong Lynette Parveen Maghera Renee Poh
PHOTO EDITORS Clifford Lee Tan Xiu Qi
Nanyang Technological University 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637718 Tel: 6790 6446
GRAPHICS EDITOR Pamela Ng
VIDEO SUPERVISORS Daniel Neo Kelly Phua Wu Bing Yu
Aqil Haziq Louisa Tang
Justin Kor Serena Yeh
Wong Li Yan
CHINESE EDITORS Camelia Ting Choy Xin Ying
Lionel Lim Ho Xiu Xian Sheena Wong
Lisa Oon Saeful Hakim
Joe Tok Kenny Wong
Amir Yusof Louisa Goh
A students’ newspaper published by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI)
Lau Joon Nie Roseline Yew Zakaria Zainal
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 WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
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frankly, my dear
A column by Chronicle Editors on issues close to their hearts
Receiving through giving Liu Ting Ting Chief Editor
was pleasantly surprised when my father offered to throw a party to celebrate my 21st birthday last year. Although I was grateful, the concept of a birthday party was slightly foreign to me. I have neither thrown nor attended one in my life, and the prospect of planning one was troubling. Worried, I consulted some friends who were more in the know, and they suggested that I come up with a theme. That got me thinking: Should I have my guests dressed in the 1950s New Look fashion, or perhaps revive the 1930s Shanghai Tang style? Or instead of going retro, why not go crazy and do a Despicable Me theme? Surely yellow bespectacled minions trotting up my door would have been a hilarious sight. However, I was not convinced that my friends would be game enough to adhere to whichever theme I chose, as they all had different interests. After all, getting a 1930s-style dress would have been tough. With just a month away from the big day, I told my mum that I wanted to cancel all plans for a party. I simply could not think of an appropriate party to throw. Her reply: “Think harder.” And then it struck me. I wanted to fundraise. I wanted to commemorate my coming of age by giving back to the society that brought me up. When I was just 13, I was a student correspondent at Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), for the Chinese News Division. During those teenage years, I spent hours learning from experienced editors who gave me the opportunity and freedom to prove my worth, despite my young age. They ignited my passion for journalism and I felt that I wanted to give back to this corporation. I wanted to use my 21st birthday to repay all that SPH has taught me over the years, and for moulding me into the aspiring journalist I am today. So instead of a dress-themed party, I decided to make fundraising the main purpose of the gathering. Instead of buying me presents, I requested that my guests put the
GRAPHICS: PAMELA NG
money they intended to spend into anonymous envelopes. They then dropped these envelopes into a box I prepared beforehand, and the money went to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF), a subsidiary beneficiary of the SPH corporation. The SPMF provides pocket money to children from lowincome families, easing the burden of parents who are struggling to make ends meet. My father was surprised by this decision and asked repeatedly if I was sure that I did not want any gifts for my 21st. I explained that there were people less fortunate than me, who could not even afford a birthday. celebration.
“Hold the cause close to your heart, and it will motivate you to lend your hands to those in need.” With a clearer direction in place, the party planning became smoother. The party passed with great fanfare, as my guests enjoyed the catering, cake, decorations and champagne. If anything, the fundraising theme only boosted the atmosphere. Importantly, I was glad that many of my guests donated to this cause. Even those who could not attend passed me some cash before the party. I collected the sum and my friends counted the money on the spot, which totalled $274.80. The next day, I gave it directly to the SPMF. But what really made me happy
was the effect I triggered from my idea to raise funds for a charitable cause. Those who attended my party decided to incorporate the same idea in their birthdays. Some collected money for animal welfare centres, others donated to disease research funds. I was ecstatic that the kindness has been passed on. Many times in secondary school and junior college, I participated in mandatory communityinvolvement programmes where I chatted with the elderly and played with children. I also launched a drive to raise money for the victims of the Japanese Tohoku earthquake. Now that I was 21-years-old, I felt the need to do more to help the less fortunate in our society. Finding a charitable cause you believe in is one way to help out. Hold the cause close to your heart, and it will motivate you to lend your hands to those in need. There is also a sense of fulfillment when we give to the less fortunate among us, and see, for ourselves, their lives change for the better. So here’s my call for action: Please take the initiative to start a personal fundraising drive, or organise an event for the needy. More importantly, do this annually. Not only will your contributions help, you will push others to follow suit as well. This is a sure-fire way to spread the kindness that our society so desperately needs. I hope to continue this initiative to donate to a good cause. Do join me in my wish to lend a hand to with those who need it most.
When it pays to stay neutral With the 15th military operation involving Israel and Palestine in full swing today, maybe it is time to move past the blame game.
ARMED AND DANGEROUS: Israeli soldiers carry their assault weapon when traveling to and fro their military camps.
Daniel Neo Video Supervisor
n January this year, I chose to spend my exchange semester in Israel, for I longed to take a path less travelled. And right from the start, I wasn’t disappointed. A massive applause of relief broke out among the passengers as my flight touched down the tarmac of Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. I turned to the couple next to me, perplexed. They explained that Israelis are so accustomed to airplane bombings that they are just glad to be alive whenever their flights land safely. “Surely this is an overreaction,” I thought to myself. But over the next few months, I began to understand the true meaning of living in a war-torn country — how surviving each day is a blessing.
Horrors of War
The feeling of watching Israel on the news from afar was a far cry from being in the thick of the action. As sirens blared through the streets every hour, residents in buildings squeezed themselves into small bomb shelters — the size of a typical room in a HDB flat. Everywhere in Israel and the Occupied Territories, lives have been drastically overturned by the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Since 1948 when the state of Israel was internationally recognised by the United Nations, the struggle to share the land between Israelis and Palestinians have been ongoing. Today, the conflict continues to rage with greater ferocity than ever. Whenever I discussed the conflict with an Israeli or a Palestinian, a blame game took place. Each
would point a finger at the other party for ‘starting it first’. Last January, I ventured into the West Bank, which is an Israeli-occupied territory with seven million Palestinians. As I reached Bethlehem, about 18 kilometres south of Jerusalem, I came across a fierce protest by Palestinians who were rioting against unfair employment in their United Nations refugee camps. There was a clear element of danger, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that I was a foreigner, with no clear allegiance to both Israel and Palestine. Luckily though, the Palestinian protesters were on friendly terms with me, with one man even calling me aside to vent his frustrations. But if I were to guess, they would not have been as friendly to me if I were a Jewish Israeli.
Whenever I discussed the conflict with an Israeli or Palestinian, a blame game took place. Each would point a finger at the other party for 'starting it first'.
STARTING FROM YOUNG: Young Palestinian children attending a demonstration against the United Nations at the West Bank PHOTOS: DANIEL NEO
Everyone's taking sides
On the one hand, my Israeli friends shared “anti-Hamas” sentiments. They cited ‘evidence’ showing that Hamas, the militant organisation that is co-administering the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian Authority (PA), is to be blamed for failing to resolve the conflict. On the other hand, many of my pro-human rights and Singaporean Muslim friends pointed out how Israel has indiscriminately killed innocent Palestinians under the pretext of destroying Hamas. But is taking sides wise? It has been 60 years of ongoing war between Israel and Palestine, with no peace in sight. Perhaps, for it to stop, all parties need to share perspectives. The mainstream media has, more often than not, perpetuated the conflict. They pledge objective reporting, yet some outlets label Gaza casualties as Israeli civilians in photographs and videos. Others report that Hamas is merely defending the innocent Palestinians when, in fact, the militant organisation safely stores their weapons in schools and hospitals.
Media doesn't help
There were signboards on the streets of Bethlehem that warned Israeli Jews against entering the Palestinian territory. This merely illustrated the animosity between the two groups of people historically opposed against each other. It was déjà vu when I returned to Singapore in July, just as the Israeli military launched the Operation Protective Edge into Palestinian-occupied Gaza. Passionate discussions about the conflict erupted on my social media platforms as Israel and Hamas traded gunfire.
Some media organisations also sensationalise content, triggering heated opinions among media consumers. The fact that everyone consumes media differently means that viewpoints may be skewed. With a multitude of news sources, it is hard for media consumers to get a balanced opinion on the conflict. Some news just seem juicier than others. Often, killings of children, women and the elderly are dramatised without context, simply because stories are more interesting that way; such as Palestinian kids tied to the front of Israeli military
vehicles on the battlefield. This shows that no matter how much we try to seek balanced coverage, there is always a chance that we may be misled into taking sides. It is only human to be confused by logical fallacy and cognitive bias. We consume information that we already have rooted beliefs in,
While it comes to us naturally, taking sides just fans the flames of hatred between both camps.
resulting in polarised views. This is why I always choose to be issue-oriented, instead of taking sides. In April, the latest peace talks between Hamas and Israel, backed by the United States, had failed, with neither parties willing to take a step back. Both Israel and Palestine must realise that without compromise, there can be no peaceful solution. And the same goes for us Singaporeans, who are geographically far from this conflict, but emotionally invested in it. We have seen cases of Singaporeans displaying the Palestine flag on Housing Development Board parapets. Some of us have spoken at the Speakers’ Corner last month about freeing Palestine, in the name of human rights. Yet, even when a week of Syria’s casualties exceeded the total number of Gaza’s casualties, it did not receive much attention, if there was any to begin with. So is it pro-human rights or really, it is just anti-Israel?Meanwhile, those who claim that Hamas are the only terrorists in this conflict are simply pro-Israel.
In Israel, I took a CounterTerrorism and Governance course, taught by Israeli professor Dr Amichai Magen. He explained that Israel’s hightech weaponry allows for targeted killings, through micro-explosives embedded in devices such as mobile phones. These only explode after detecting the voice of the intended target. Despite this, Operation Protective Edge has seen a disproportionately large number of Palestinian civilian casualties. While it comes to us naturally, taking sides just fans the flames of hatred between both camps.
Lessons from a Palestinian
Perhaps we should take to heart the words of Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian surgeon who lost three of his daughters to the conflict in 2009 from Israeli tank fire during the Gaza war. Despite suffering the pain of burying his children, Dr Abuelaish wrote in his bestselling memoir, “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey": If I could know that my daughters were the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, then I would accept their loss. With the causes of the conflict so intertwined with complications, we might not want to investigate who started it, but rather, find out what can be done for each other.
Writer's Box Daniel aspires to become a war journalist as he believes that frontline stories need to be told to make the world a better place. He was on an exchange programme at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel for six months.
Mega charity events:
Why should we give?
The NTU Fest carnival was recently organised by the university, with all proceeds donated to charity. What do you think of such events?
I prefer individual donations because it feels more secure that my contributions will go straight to the people who need it. Muhammad Faiz Mohammed Fawzi, 25, MCE, Year 4
WHERE IS EVERYBODY? During the recent NTU Fest, many carnival goers preferred food, games and shopping booths, and tended to avoid the centre area of volunteer stands.
GRAPHICS: PAMELA NG
WHERE IS EVERYBODY? During the recent NTU Fest, many carnival-goers preferred food, games and shopping booths, and tended to avoid the volunteer stands in the centre area. GRAPHICS: PAMELA NG
Louisa Goh Opinions Editor
housands thronged the NTU Fest three weeks ago, with long queues for snacks snaking past rows of tables. With tickets in hand, reluctantly purchased for a bottle of water, I circled the festival tent — once, twice, thrice. I desperately wanted to spend my tickets and be gone, but there was hardly anything I was interested in purchasing. In a move that my friends considered to be a waste, I eventually stuffed my tickets into a donation box collecting them. It was rather ironic, given that I was there to support the fundraising for needy Institute of Technical Education students. It would appear that some of us may have come to expect fundraising to be an experience for personal gain, where we attend charity events not in aid of others, but to enjoy ourselves.
Mega events dazzle Mega charity events like NTU Fest are common these days, and no cause is complete without celebrities headlining the occasion. It appears straightforward — a large turnout would mean heightened awareness of a social cause and more wallets potentially opened for the fund-raising organisation. The 2013 Commissioner of Charities report notes that an unspecified number of individuals donated $325.3 million to charity last year, slightly more than twice the amount a decade ago. Greater prominence of social causes here, through carnivals, marathons and interaction with the general public, could have led to the increased support. This can be seen through Charities Aid Foundation's World Giving Index 2013's finding that 55 per cent of Singaporeans had donated money to charities that
year, almost twice the 29 per cent a year ago.
For personal gain As individuals, we might also expect to be rewarded for contributing to fundraisers. We may support fundraisers with good intentions, but there is an unspoken agreement that our experience has to be worth the time we spend there. I attended the NTU Fest hoping that it would raise sufficient funds, and yet I also felt disappointed when the things on ‘sale’ at the event did not meet my expectations. There were food, drinks, games, clothes and jewellery available for shopping — but I was hoping for ‘pasar malam’ (night market) staples like tea leaf eggs and more uncommon items like macarons. And this runs contrary to the true spirit of charity, where we give willingly without expecting anything in return.
Skip "middle man" events
I am certain that our NTU Fest organisers had good intentions to draw crowds and raise funds for needy students. But I suspect that the NTU Fest’s large turnout had more to do with enjoying the carnival and meeting Korean superstars Kang Gary and Jung In (who graced the event), than with donating to the needy. It is strange that organisations may sometimes have to spend large amounts of money to bring in big crowds and raise funds for their causes. Even if a charity event were sponsored by a corporate entity, that sponsorship is money that could have been directed straight towards helping the intended beneficiaries. And yet charities could be mere vehicles to fame for sponsors. Corporations in favour of a charity will come and go as they please, making each sponsor hard to find.
Make involvement personal Where mega events have been focused on monetary transactions, we could also shift our attention towards building personal commitment for a cause. For instance, Hair for Hope challenges individuals to understand a part of the ordeal faced by a cancer-stricken child. Individuals pledge to shave their heads, and they raise donations from the day of their pledge. The brainchild of nine volunteers who organised the event and had their heads shaved in 2003, Hair for Hope grew to involve 6,656 participants this year. Shaving one’s head is a strong statement that can last several months, and it represents an individual’s commitment towards a cause. In fact, we can also volunteer our time and effort. As charities grow, they need more hands on the ground to reach out to the needy. We can join the NTU Welfare Services Club to provide free tuition, volunteer with Food From The Heart to distribute unsold bread from bakeries to beneficiaries, or provide free meals for low-income old folks who live alone. This way, our direct and personal participation in charity work goes beyond attendance at flashy one-off events that do little to engage individuals in long-term involvement. With charities reaching out through the Internet today, it is easy to identify a cause that we are passionate about. Going the extra mile, we can shortlist charities we want to support, and set aside a little money, time and effort for them. Our days and hours are limited; there is only so much we can do to support the disadvantaged in our community. And when the main attractions are food, entertainment and fun, I doubt that we will realise the true spirit of charity.
I think NTU Fest combines having fun with raising awareness for the needy. That makes attending the event more meaningful. Nicholas Tee, 22, MAE, Year 1
Volunteers for NTU Fest were paid a small amount, which makes the event less meaningful as a charity campaign. Jimg Yun, 19, IEM, Year 2
Sponsors are more likely to pay for the cost if it is a large event, and NTU Fest boosts the reputation of the school. Ang Jia Li, 20, SCE, Year 1
I think NTU Fest makes it easier to raise money for charity because there are many people who will attend it. Xaria Tan, 19, NBS, Year 1
TEXT: LOUISA GOH, AMIR YUSOF PHOTOS: SHERRY WONG
Don't fall into the terrorist trap Amir yusof Opinions Editor
hat struck me as the most chilling aspect of James Foley’s execution was how quickly the video went viral on many newsfeeds. The video of the American photojournalist’s execution by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) surfaced online late last month, and spread quickly on social networking sites. It was the first time he was seen after being kidnapped in November 2012, while he was working in Syria. The sheer number of times the gruesome footage was shared on Twitter and YouTube raises key issues. Despite prior knowledge from news reports and descriptions about the clip, many are still drawn towards watching the video. A disturbed few are entertained by watching such executions. Others use the catharsis of the episode to reflect upon the inevitability of death. Most are just plain curious. But wouldn’t succumbing to these temptations mean playing right into ISIS’s trap? The video was meant to inject fear and raise the profile of ISIS on an international scale. By viewing and sharing the video, we inadvertently pass it on
BRAVE JOURNALIST: Foley must be remebered for his courageous feats on the frontline
to others who may be shocked at the power these extremist militants seemingly have over human lives. Some individuals may have pre-existing sympathy for these terrorist groups, and this video could enhance their support for the groups as they agree with them. Al Qaeda posting the murders of businessman Nick Berg and journalist Daniel Pearl (both
Americans) are cases in point — they can be seen as publicity stunts that aim to recruit sympathisers and scare opponents. Under the pretense of retaliating against America’s invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the same old tactics of fear mongering are still being used today. If your sole purpose of viewing the Foley video is not to aid
Louder than words: Ice Bucket Guide
military intelligence agencies in finding the perpetrators, then you may be complicit in spreading the message of these terrorists. You sharing the video within your network of friends, and they disseminating it to others in their social circles may bring about an unspoken consensus that these terrorists should be feared. Eventually, the message may
reach someone with extremist predispositions, who could be roused by the video and be inclined to join the militants in spreading terror. I personally chose not to watch the video when it first erupted across social media platforms. Fortunately, others will find it hard to do so now. The video has been pulled off from common social networks since 20 Aug. But unfortunately, the vastness of cyberspace would mean that the video is likely to resurface online. Nonetheless, the responsibility must fall on us online users — we must take care not to fall into the trap of becoming terrorist mouthpieces. Curb your yearnings to watch these videos, and if you happen to do so, resist sharing them. In the case of James Foley, his family, friends and colleagues have, instead, chosen to share funny anecdotes of him online. Some even related how unflinching he was on the frontline, when he reported on child victims of the war in Aleppo, Syria. That video of Foley’s final moments is not what he should be remembered by. It will be a shame if we honoured Foley — a journalist who fought so hard for peace — in a manner that advocates violence.
GRAPHIC EDITOR: PAMELA NG
ILLUSTRATION: DARRYL LIM
Ethics at the medical frontline When deadly diseases reach our shores, Singapore has to be ready to act. Lo Yi Min
ith more than 1,400 confirmed deaths since the heightened outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in March this year, frontline healthcare workers face increasing difficulties and risks in treating Ebola patients under their care. With mounting civilian suspicion and insufficient resources, medical centres have denied treatment to suspected patients. In stark contrast, the United States of America specially flew two American aid workers home to undergo treatment at an advanced medical facility. Yet, the fears of these medical centres are not unfounded. With healthcare workers severely affected, we could face a situation of having fewer workers treating the infected. More than 100 doctors and nurses count among the rising Ebola deaths, as healthcare providers struggle to safely manage patients with the disease.
Question of ethics
By refusing medical care to suspected Ebola patients, these healthcare workers have exercised their ‘right’ to decide whether to risk their lives. But from an ethically altruistic standpoint, doctors and nurses are the only ones with the expertise to aid a community during an epidemic. Some would argue that healthcare workers are well-aware of occupational hazards when they enter the profession, and have chosen to commit themselves despite the risk. Many take the Hippocratic Oath, which calls them to have a duty to the public, patients and profession. And occasionally, this duty involves prioritising the lives of others over their own.
Entering the medical profession does not mean the removal of one's right to ensure one's health and safety.
We can demand for healthcare institutions to serve their purpose of providing medical help to its best ability. But I believe that an individual should also have the freedom of choice to extricate herself or himself from a high-risk situation. Entering the medical profession does not mean the removal of one’s right to health and safety. This runs contrary to the Hippocratic Oath. It is a struggle for healthcare workers to fight their instinct for self-preservation, in order to care for a person stricken with a deadly infectious disease. Just as our loved ones are im-
GRAPHICS: PAMELA NG
PATIENTS MUST COME FIRST: A pair of doctors treats a patient suspected of having Ebola in West Africa.
portant to us, some may decide that safely returning to and taking care of their family are more important. This is a decision that should be respected as they, too, are human. Nevertheless, there are many healthcare workers who continue to risk their lives for their calling. Nigerian doctor Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, who passed away two weeks ago, is credited with curbing the spread of the Ebola virus when she insisted that patient zero, Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, be placed in quarantine. Patrick Sawyer passed away on 25 Jul, a few days after he collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport. In Sierra Leone, Sheik Umar Khan, who died on 29 Jul, was his country’s only expert on haemorrhagic fever and had treated more than 100 patients before he contracted the virus. Khan is seen as a hero in Sierra Leone for leading the fight against Ebola.
Back home In Singapore, we expect the same from our healthcare professionals — be on the frontlines regardless of the risks. Despite the danger faced with treating life-threatening diseases, medical staff are expected to continue fulfilling their duties. In 2003, many healthcare workers knowingly risked their lives to care for patients during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak.
Our society applauded them for their courage, and commemorated the five workers whose lives were taken by the disease. A medical doctor from Tan Tock Seng Hospital, who requested to remain anonymous, made up her mind to help colleagues combat SARS without consulting her husband and three children. She wrote in a letter to her family: “Forgive me for my decision to help my colleagues fight SARS, which may hurt you or bring the possible risk of disease back home ... I hope you remember that I love all of you very much.” During the SARS outbreak, many other frontline healthcare workers in Singapore isolated themselves from their loved ones to prevent the possible spread of disease, and they were also ostracised by members of the public. The threat of Ebola is never far from our shores, with about a million passengers arriving at our airport each week.
Social values and priorities
With more than 47,000 doctors and nurses in Singapore, many of us probably know someone in the medical industry. All across the world, healthcare workers are greatly respected because they have the skills to make a difference in an epidemic. These workers are given medical priority, raising concerns over fairness in the administration of
medical treatment. For instance, there was a recent outcry over two American aid workers who were flown back home to treat Ebola and given experimental drug Zmapp, while the patients in West Africa had no such access.
It is a social exchange — in return for their courageous response to a crisis, healthcare workers will enter the fray knowing that they are well -protected.
Both were in West Africa to treat Ebola patients, but were flown back after they contracted the disease. They have since fully recovered. Under normal circumstances, medical treatment should be given indiscriminately. However, exceptions are made in an epidemic, especially when medical supplies are limited. Having a fit and healthy member who can safely handle the sick and deceased will the successful control of an epidemic. The World Health Organisation has explicitly stated that this is why protecting health workers is a priority in the Ebola outbreak. In a similar vein, Singapore's Pandemic Response Framework
lists priority groups for receiving some protective measures such as vaccinations and medication, in the case of scarce supplies. One such priority group comprises workers in public healthcare institutions. The rationale: a larger, robust pool of trained medical staff can treat and contain the spread of disease more effectively. Singapore’s ethical review of the H1N1 pandemic, published in the Annals of the Academy of Medicine last year, suggests that this is both a rational and reciprocal move. It's actually a social exchange in return for their courageous response to a crisis, healthcare workers will enter the fray knowing that they are well-protected.
Much we can do
One could argue that rewards reduce the significance of making sacrifices. But it is the least we can do for those who courageously stay on the frontline. The public should stand by their healthcare workers, particularly because there is a public perception of ‘duty’ imposed on them. This may be in terms of giving them priority in medical care, but emotional support is just as important. Healthcare workers are also living individuals with families and loved ones. They are just human beings who have been placed in a critical situation at work.
they said that? “Manchester United were so poor it beggared belief. Staggering in their ineptitude, they were beaten in every facet of this game.” BBC Radio 5 live pundit Steve Claridge describes United's 4-0 defeat by League One side Milton Keynes Dons.
“I went into the match thinking it was going to be such a great experience, but I never thought I would come out on top.” World No. 1,208, 15-year-old American Catherine Bellis (above), on her win over No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova at the U.S. Open on 26 Aug.
Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 Formula One Champion, claims that Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg deliberately crashed into him at this year’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Serving up a storm Neo Jie Yao
or the first time, a tournament organised by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) will be coming to Singapore, and NTU is set to be at the heart of it. The WTA Championships, the association’s largest event, will be held from 17 to 26 Oct at the Singapore Sports Hub. The event will feature the top eight singles players and doubles teams in the WTA rankings, which include household names such as Russia’s Maria Sharapova and Li Na from China. In the lead up to the event, the WTA will be collaborating with the NTU Tennis Club to hold two events, which includes an exhibition to increase the sport’s exposure to students through a virtual game of tennis on a Nintendo Wii gaming console. On top of this, a Tennis Clinic will also be held. The WTA will also be giving away items such as WTA Finals tickets, on top of promoting upcoming events such as the NTU Tennis Open. Ms Melissa Pine, Vice President of WTA Asia-Pacific, said of the partnership: “In addition to being a well-recognised university globally, NTU has a very vibrant campus life.” “It has strong participation in tennis and sports across the levels of recreation and competition, which can be seen through the various activities organised in NTU,” she added. When asked about the significance of this collaboration, President of NTU Tennis Club Zhang Han Yue said: “This will be the first
THE ROAD TO SINGAPORE: Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is one of the big names to expect at the WTA Championships. PHOTO: INTERNET
time we are cooperating with an international organisation.” “We are using this as an opportunity to communicate with WTA staff to gain valuable advice and learn more of the upcoming plans WTA has in store,” said the 21-year-old, a second-year student from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. On top of the aforementioned activities, the WTA also plans to organise a sharing session by Ms
Pine. It will be open to institutions with sport-related programmes such as the Sport Science and Management (SSM) programme offered in NTU. This session seeks to share insights into the WTA Finals. Topics such as management, branding, fan engagement and operations key aspects of sport management, will also be addressed. Additionally, the WTA is going to extend internship and academic
research opportunities to the students in the SSM programme. Lynn Chia Jing Ying, 19, a firstyear student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, feels that the collaboration with the WTA would bring about valuable opportunities. "It's a rare chance as the WTA is a world famous organisation and opportunities for internships are rare,” she said.
No Suarez, no bite Nicholas Tan
“He said he could have avoided it, but he didn't want to. He basically said, 'I did it to prove a point.”
SELLING your best player for a club-record fee, then spending the funds on a substantial number of players to build a better squad. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez was sold to Spanish giants Football Club (FC) Barcelona from Liverpool FC for £75 million (S$155 million) before the start of the season. Capitalising on his sale, the English club proceeded to splurge on reinforcements. This is reminiscent of Tottenham Hotspur’s reaction to Gareth Bale's departure to Real Madrid for £85.3 million in 2013 - splashing the cash on numerous signings. Tottenham’s subsequent run of wretched results last season, which led to the sacking of then-manager
Andres Villas-Boas, should serve as caution. One cannot help but feel a niggling sense of déjà vu. Like Bale, Suarez often singlehandedly carried the team on his shoulders. His 31 league goals were integral to Liverpool’s second place finish, with the Merseysiders pushing favourites Manchester City FC down to the final game of the season. Manager Brendan Rodgers has moved swiftly to make several acquisitions, including proven BPL players such as former Southampton FC captain Adam Lallana, as well as talents from foreign leagues, like promising Benfica midfielder Lazar Markovic. However, it remains to be seen if the new signings can complement England striker Daniel Sturridge, Suarez’s regular strike partner last
season. Arguably the league’s best strike pairing, Sturridge and Suarez yielded an impressive 54 goals last season, contributing to more than half of the club’s total goals scored. Then, there is Mario Balotelli. While Liverpool’s latest signing is undoubtedly talented, his league form under previous employers Manchester City, as well as his eccentricity on and off the pitch leaves much to be desired. However, given these new additions, to describe Liverpool’s new-look attack as toothless would be a massive insult to Rodgers’ work ever since his arrival two seasons ago. Players such as Sturridge and Raheem Sterling have shown that they can rise to the occasion without Suarez. While the Uruguayan is certainly prolific, his disciplinary
problems are well documented. He was banned for ten games for biting Chelsea FC’s Branislav Ivanovic when the two sides met in the 2012/2013 season. Following another biting incident during the recent World Cup, he was banned for another four months. Selling Suarez relieves Liverpool of the unnecessary baggage he carries. However, the recent 3-1 loss to Manchester City last week serves as a reminder of what Suarez had brought to the team — goals when it mattered. The biggest question is whether the rest of the squad can perform consistently enough to fill the void he left behind. Will it be Liverpool’s season? Or have they bitten off more than they can chew by selling Suarez?
Foreign and homegrown Matthew Mohan
ingapore looked on as table tennis paddlers Feng Tianwei, Yu Mengyu and Lin Ye posed triumphantly with their medals on the podium. Though their impressive victory would have delighted those back at home, ensuing celebrations at this year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games were muted. Despite them donning Singapore’s red and white colours, the trio was born in China. The foreign born paddlers became a target of criticism locally.
Abdul Wafiy, 22, who is a secondyear student at the Nanyang Business School, as well as a member of the NTU floorball team, said: “Personally I feel much prouder of the Singaporean athletes as compared to the Chinaborn paddlers. I’d rather our local born and bred players be the ones to fly our flag high.” Concerned by the large number of foreign players representing Singapore, Facebook user Richard Jang shared: “We love to see our local players win and even if they lose, we know they have done their best. No outsourcing please.” During the Commonwealth Games, Australian table tennis veteran William Henzell had accused Singapore of tarnishing the spirit of the Games by bringing in a professional team with only two “token” Singaporeans.
“Personally I feel much prouder of the Singaporean athletes as compared to the China-born paddlers. I'd rather our local born and bred players be the ones to fly our flag high.” Abdul Wafiy, 22 Second-year student Nanyang Business School
Singapore's Foreign Talent Sports Scheme (FST) has come under fire again. Since 1993, the FST aimed to improve Singapore’s sporting standards with talent from abroad. However, it has faced setbacks, with several athletes renouncing their Singapore citizenships for reasons such as homesickness. Other foreign sporting talents have been embroiled in disputes with National Sports Associations (NSAs) over their salaries — and some of them were labelled mercenaries. I believe that the blame lies with the collective overemphasis
NOT MADE IN SINGAPORE: The national table tennis team, which consists largely of foreign-born players, has been at the centre of a long-standing debate on the issue of foreign talent in local sport. PHOTO: INTERNET
on academic prowess. Incidentally, this is also the reason for our thriving economy.
Not a viable career
Our society is firmly rooted in the belief that a career built on good education brings about greater financial stability. A sporting career may thus be less valuable in our eyes, as compared to an executive job in a corporation. Despite being exemplary, our education system hardly accommodates youths’ full-fledged pursuits in the sporting arena. The lack of regular income also hinders our youths in their sporting careers. NSAs are still unable to offer some athletes monthly salaries due to budget constraints, forcing promising athletes to choose financial stability over sporting excellence. However, the launch of the Singapore Sports School in 2004 underscored the government's intention to integrate academics and sports. This has been further complemented with the recent unveiling of Vision 2030, a 20-year road map by the Singapore Sports Council that helps Singaporeans lead healthier lifestyles through sports.
battle against North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi in the semifinals of the 2004 Athens Olympics. There should be no distinction between local and foreign born athletes — we are all Singaporeans. Lambasting our foreign players creates divisiveness that is detrimental to the various national
teams as a whole. Nonetheless, the development of local talent should remain our main priority. Parents should fully support their children’s sporting endeavours, with the government paving the way for this acceptance of sports as a full-time career.
Despite complaints about the influx of foreigners in Singapore, the notion of foreign talent in sports must be assessed separately. Their successes are the bedrock of our sporting culture, and a change in our mentality is crucial. At the end of the day, the ball is in our court, not theirs.
NTU Rugby Trials: Preparations begin
Yet, we still are far from our goal to excel in sports. And this is where foreign talent becomes crucial. Foreign born athletes are key to Singapore’s success in sports. These athletes can effectively enhance the country’s prestige, raise the local sports profile and become our youth mentors in a short span of time. I remember how inspired I was after watching Li Jiawei’s ferocious
PHOTO: LIM MU YAO
Last Thursday, the NTU Rugby team held their trials for the upcoming Singapore University Games. About 40 rugby players attended the trials, according to team captain Daniel Chua, 24, a final-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Mattias Chia (middle), 21, who has had 11 years of experience playing the game, was among the hopefuls. The first-year student from the Nanyang Business School said: “We have not played many friendly matches together, hopefully we can gel as a team. I feel that we have the potential to go far and do well this season.” Their first game will be held on 12 Sep in NTU against the defending champions, Singapore Management University. TEXT: LISA OON
Life after Suarez — Page 27
YOG, four years after
The recently concluded Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG) saw the Republic’s youth athletes measuring up against budding stars in the sporting world. For two of NTU’s freshmen, the event also brought a tinge of nostalgia. Sports Writer Toh Ting Wei talks to Lim Wei Hao and Jabez Su about their experiences as student athletes in the 2010 YOG, and life after the games.
Being the country’s flag bearer at a major sporting meet is the ultimate dream for most athletes, and it represents a career highlight for the select few athletes who are bestowed with the task. But Jabez Su, a first-year student at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, already achieved that at the tender age of 17, during the 2010 YOG. “It was an honour to represent Singapore. I love how our local supporters cheered for us while we were competing,” the 21-yearold said. “It felt like everyone had immense trust in us, and I really appreciate them.” Driven by his desire to live up to the expectations of his family and friends, Su is persistently encouraged to step out of his comfort zone to excel in both basketball and his studies. That being said, preparations for the YOG were no walk in the park. He had to miss numerous lessons in school, including his mid-year examinations during his first year in junior college at Hwa Chong Institution. “With strenuous and almost daily training sessions, student athletes like myself struggle to balance our remaining time between studies, family, rest, and our social lives. Ultimately, sacrifices are essential,” said Su. “With help from my mentors and close friends, I was thankfully still able to achieve satisfactory grades for my final-year exams,” he added.
Playing against the best in the world in his age group has been invaluable in his development as an athlete. “Great players from the strongest nations displayed respectable sportsmanship and it was so inspiring to witness how passionate and hungry they were to improve,” he said. The passion and hunger he witnessed has no doubt rubbed well on Su, and he is still making progress in the sport, having helped Singapore clinch the bronze medal in basketball in last year’s SEA Games — the republic’s first medal in the sport since 1979. Su is currently recovering from a fractured leg and would thus be unable to compete in the upcoming Singapore University Games. However, he is looking forward to representing NTU in future competitions. “The most valuable lesson I learnt during the YOG was to remain humble, hungry, and passionate, regardless of how formidable you are as a player or a person.”
GAME FACE ON: Jabez Su is constantly motivated by friends and family to excel in both basketball and his studies .
PHOTO: LIM MU YAO
said with pride. Lim’s exploits came at a cost though. He struggled to juggle the demands of schoolwork and YOG during his first year at Catholic Junior College in 2010. With his academic results taking a plunge, he barely scraped by his first year. “I gave so much to fencing in JC that I sacrificed my studies. Thankfully, I had the support of the school and the people around me,” said the 21-year-old. Despite this, being able to participate in such a global event has allowed him to gain a better perspective of Singapore’s place in the world. “You get the feeling that the world is very small, as you get to appreciate the different cultures of different countries,” he said. Lim is currently not part of the national team, after his fencing career was hampered by national service commitments. The rigours of serving as a combat medic in the Singapore Armed Forces’ Commando formation brought about fatigue, which meant that his weekends were dedicated to recovery, rather than training.
Sports Council is doing a great job, with schemes being drafted to allow elite athletes to continue competing during NS,” said Lim. “Some athletes are even allowed to defer their NS,” he added. Despite these setbacks, Lim is not resting on his laurels and is making an effort to get back into the national team. He shared that he will start by representing NTU, and work his way up. “At the end of the day, fencing is still my passion, and I hope to be back on the (national) team soon,” Lim said.
“The most valuable lesson I learnt during the YOG was to remain humble, hungry, and passionate, regardless of how formidable you are as a player or a person.” Jabez Su, 21, First-year student School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Lim Wei Hao
Lim Wei Hao was poised to strike, as he stood on the piste, facing a familiar foe. Having lost to the same opponent in the group stages, they squared off again — this time in the round-of-16 match, where the stakes were higher. With the home crowd cheering him on, Lim, a first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, matched his opponent point for point, and even managed to secure an early lead. “I could tell that the crowd appreciated my efforts. It is quite cliché, but it felt like they were behind me all the way,” Lim said. He missed out on the semi-finals after a narrow 15-13 defeat to his Canadian counterpart; a commendable feat nonetheless, given that he competed against 13 other fencers from around the world. Being at the top of his game, competing in the YOG held a greater significance because it was hosted in Singapore. “There is no other greater feeling than representing your country on home soil,” he
More leeway for athletes
As a result, Lim could not attend enough competitions to accumulate the ranking points necessary for national team selection. He feels strongly that more can be done to support athletes serving National Service (NS), as these years coincide with crucial formative years in an athlete’s career. “Why not let these athletes train full time?” he asked. “Is representing your country in a sport or the arts scene not a form of national service? I hope to see more flexibility in this area in the coming years,” Lim added. “That being said, I think that the Singapore
FOR SINGAPORE: Lim Wei Hao remains committed to represent at the national level. PHOTO: AUDREY KWOK