05 04.11.13 ISSN NO. 0218-7310
knock knock, go away Surprise checks by hall officials inconvenience students
NEWS | 3
Y E A R S OF NEWSMAKING
Cherian George OPINIONS | 38
Jerry Yeo, Lee Teng and Peggy Chang recollect campus life
杨伟烈 一语成谶 南苑 | 34
The Briefing Room:
Our editors’ pick of interesting news stories from around the world.
Cellphone thwarts bullet
Baby found in car boot
A CONVENIENCE store clerk in Winter Garden, Florida, narrowly escaped death during a failed robbery attempt. He was shot in the chest, only to be saved by his cellphone which was kept in his chest pocket. Emergency services workers discovered a bullet lodged in the HTC smartphone. The clerk only suffered chest pains from the impact of the bullet. HTC sent him a “care package”, including a new HTC One smartphone, after getting wind of the incident.
A BABY girl in Terrasson, France may have been hidden in a car boot since birth, said local authorities. A mechanic found the naked, dehydrated and malnourished child, reportedly aged between 15 and 23 months, in a car parked in a garage on 25 Oct. The mother, who had given birth in secret, wanted to hide the baby from everyone, including the girl’s father. The baby has been hospitalised with developmental and mental problems. Photos: internet
The Straits Times hacked after “misleading” readers
Possible shortage of iPad mini 2s
INTERNATIONAL hacker group Anonymous hacked into the Straits Times website last Friday to post a series of warning messages, one of which called for the resignation of a reporter within 48 hours. The group said that they were “invading” the website for the paper’s misinterpretation of their YouTube video message posted on 29 Oct. In the video, the hacker collective had threatened cyberwar with the Singapore government, protesting against the Internet licensing framework introduced in June.
APPLE CEO Tim Cook said they may not be able to meet the demand for the new iPad mini 2 with Retina display, after forecasting a slower sales growth for the last quarter of this year. Supplies of the tablet might be limited through the end of the year till early 2014, due to expected problems with production. It is slated for release in late November.
Orlando and Miranda call it quits
LORD of the Rings actor Orlando Bloom, 36, and former Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr, 30, have formally separated after six years together. They remain amicable despite the split, saying that they still “love, support and respect each other”. The couple has a two-year-old son, Flynn, from their three-year marriage.
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Video: NTU over 20 Years
In our special anniversary video feature, we present a photo slideshow from our archives to document how NTU has changed over the last 20 years.
Video: Up Close and Personal We speak to three alumni — Dorothy Ho, Communications Director of Acumatica, Alvin Lim, founder of blog Alvinology, and food blogger Daniel Ang — to find out how their newsroom experience with the Chronicle has shaped their lives and careers.
Lifestyle: Eight Korean BBQ Restaurant Review There is a new kid on the block amid the slew of existing Korean barbecue restaurants. Lifestyle writer Chandel Lim puts her tastebuds to the test at this sizzling new Korean barbecue restaurant. Find us at www.nanyangchronicle.ntu.edu.sg
Photo courtesy of: Denon
Denon Giveaway and Promotion Denon is giving away three sets of earphones and headphones worth $600. Look out for contest details on our Facebook page over the next three weeks. Denon is also providing all Chronicle readers up to 70 per cent off selected models of earphones and headphones. For more details: tinyurl. com/denonNYCpromo.
Movie Tickets and Posters Giveaway We are giving away five pairs of tickets to the 3 Peas In A Pod movie premiere on 14 Nov. Two lucky winners will also walk away with an autographed poster by director-actress Michelle Chong. Check out our Facebook page for more details.
Photo: Lim Mu Yao
Bus Accident Outside WKWSCI An NTU Campus Loop-Red shuttle bus collided into an SBS 179 bus outside the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information last Monday (28 Oct). Passenger Lin Sui Wen, 27, suffered a cut on his eyebrow after falling from the stairs leading to the upper deck of the SBS bus. An ambulance arrived within 10 minutes of the accident.
ADM Bus Stop Gets New Facelift The bus stop at the School of Art, Design and Media is currently undergoing renovation. The weekend Campus Rider bus service will continue to serve the bus stop upon completion of works around the end of February. Spot something interesting? Send us a photo at www.facebook.com/ChronNTU and it could be featured.
SPECIAL: The Nanyang Chronicle turns 20 — Page 7
Unwelcomed knocks The recent spate of hall checks has caused a stir among residents, who say the checks have invaded their privacy and disturbed their sleep. Elissa Teo Esther Lam
HEN Vanathy Nathan returned to her hall room on 14 Oct, she was shocked to find a handwritten note on her table stating: “This is to notify you that we’ve entered your room to conduct a spot check at 11.45pm.” The note was signed by officers from the Hall of Residence 15 office. Vanathy, 20, a second-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, said: “I think the hall officers don’t have the right to go into my room without permission, as I am the legal tenant of the room. “I have personal belongings I do not want strangers to touch or see.” Vanathy is not the only hall resident who has had her room discreetly checked in the past month. The Off ice of Housing and Auxiliary Services (HAS) confirmed that random checks have been carried out at five of the 16 halls since the start of October. HAS said the checks were carried out to “ensure that there is no overcrowding in hall rooms and that people who no longer need the rooms are not hoarding or profiteering from them”. Visitors who are not the rightful occupants of the room are not allowed in the rooms past 11.30pm, when official visiting hours end. HAS said that “hoarding" is when a legal tenant allows other people to use the room on his behalf. “Profiteering" refers to students subletting their rooms at a higher price than the hall’s rent. Any unauthorised person residing in a room without approval from HAS is regarded as an illegal squatter. Chief HAS Officer Jimmy Lee said: “It isn’t right when someone who doesn’t need a hall is withholding the room and even renting it out at a higher price to make a profit. “Those who no longer need the hall room should return it so that the next person on the waiting list can be allocated the space.” Under the Rules & Regulations Governing Residence in Halls, the hall offices reserve the right to
RUDE SHOCKS: Some residents have reported cases of hall officers entering their rooms in the wee hours without notice to conduct checks.
enter rooms at any time with or without notice, for the purposes of inspection.
Just a wild goose chase? But some residents like Chan Si Yong, 21, felt that hall officers should check only rooms suspected of housing illegal tenants, instead of “going on a wild goose chase”. “This way, the process would be more organised and efficient, sparing innocent hall residents from disruption,” said Chan, a Hall 15 resident. Most spot checks were conducted between 6am to 7am by hall officers, HAS said. Mr Lee explained the rationale behind conducting the raids in the wee hours of the morning. “It is pointless to conduct the checks during official visiting hours from 7.30am to 11.30pm as illegal squatters would give the excuse that they are just visiting their friends in their rooms,” he said. But Melissa Tan, 22, had her room checked much later in the night.
The Hall 4 resident was rudely awakened by loud knocks on her door at 1am on 10 Oct. Before Tan and her roommate, Lim Jiaxin, 22, could answer, two female hall officers had already opened the door using their master key and proceeded to ask them for their matriculation cards. “Before we took out our matriculation cards, the officers had already come into our room and were looking at the belongings on our tables.” “They didn’t touch anything though,” said Tan, a third-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The price for being nice The Rules & Regulations Governing Residence in Halls also state that if anyone is found to be an illegal squatter, both the illegal squatter and authorised tenants will be evicted. Contrary to recent media reports about students exploiting residential halls to make a quick buck, some students in NTU allow
their friends to squat in their rooms out of goodwill instead. One such example was with Katharina Bagurten, 23.
“The hall officers used master keys to enter our rooms. Even before we took out our matriculation cards, the officers had already come into our rooms and were looking at the belongings on our tables.” Melissa Tan, 22 Third-year student School of Humanities and Social Sciences
PHOTO illustration: VALERIE WANG
The third-year exchange student from Germany said she had been unsuccessful in applying for a hall room prior to arriving in Singapore. As it was difficult and costly for Bagurten to find off-campus housing, her friend, a legal tenant, agreed to let Bagurten stay in her room as an illegal squatter. But the consequences for being helpful were harsh. When Bagurten was found squatting illegally last week, both she and her friends — the legal tenants — were evicted and told to move out within 24 hours. She was also fined $280 on the spot. “Bunking in with my friend was the quickest and easiest option, and she had let me stay with her as a favour,” she said. “I didn't even have to pay a single cent," she added. After the episode, Bagurten remained grateful to her friends for allowing her to bunk in with them and felt sorry for having caused them trouble.
A delicate balancing act Meet the man in charge of food, housing and security for NTU’s population of over 30,000 people. Cynthia Choo News Editor
f it seems impossible for anyone to manage the needs of 30,000 students and faculty staff, think again. NTU’s Chief Housing and Auxiliary Services (HAS) officer Jimmy Lee does that on a daily basis. In fact, he is also responsible for the safety of students and staff in the university — ensuring that they have a roof over their heads, that they are given sufficient food and beverage choices, and have efficient transportation in and around school. But Mr Lee is rarely daunted, given his experience back at MapleTree Investments, where he was similarly in charge of commercial and residential properties. There was one new jobscope that Mr Lee had to learn though. And it was that his job often entailed bearing the the brunt of student grouses — be it expensive canteen food, long shuttle bus waiting times or late-night hall checks. So much so that the 59-year-old admitted that “dealing with students and faculty was tougher than dealing with investors”. He recounted the widespread student dissatisfaction after the internal shuttle bus routes were changed in August. He said HAS and NTUSU had jointly decided to reduce the number of bus stops so that buses can cover more ground faster, thus increasing bus frequencies. But students complained the
give and take: Mr Jimmy Lee tries to meet students’ demands with the resources the school has.
distance between bus stops was too long. “If students want the convenience of being able to walk to a nearby bus stop, then they would have to put up with the long waiting times, but if they want better bus frequencies, they have to make the sacrifice and walk a little further,” he said. Mr Lee has accepted criticism is inevitable: “Students being students, they will complain.” But this was not his attitude when he started work. Solving the housing crunch was the first item on Mr Lee’s agenda when he first assumed his position as Chief HAS Officer in January. “I spent a good year trying to
“I spent a good year trying to solve the housing crunch in NTU. But the real challenge was to find a balance between the needs of various stakeholders.” Mr Jimmy Lee, 59 Chief Officer Housing and Auxiliary Services Officer
PHOTO:LIM MU YAO
understand and solve the insufficient housing space in NTU,” he said. But he soon learnt that land sources were finite, and said the real challenge was not to keep building new halls, but trying to balance between meeting students’ demands with the amount of resources the university could afford. Despite starting construction work on a total of eight new halls in January, some housing demands still go unfulfilled. “This is why we cannot afford to have people misusing the privilege to stay in hall,” he said. He responded to the recent unhappiness among residences over hall checks, saying that the checks were done to weed out tenants that
allowed unauthorise persons to stay in their rooms, or even worse, renting their rooms out at a higher price. “The rooms could have been given to students who desperately needed a room to stay in. “HAS wants to send a clear message to students that there are rules to follow,” he said. Even though Mr Lee clamps down on students for violating hall rules, he still puts the students in priority when deciding on changes around the school. He revealed that students can look forward to a retail hub at the North Spine Canopy K area and a new medical centre in 2014. “The entire Canopy K area would be reconstructed to include more commercial eateries, banks, and most importantly, a post office,” he said. The post office will benefit foreign students who will need to do money transfers between Singapore their home countries. NTU students can also expect a refurbished medical centre. The centre, which is currently beside the Lee Kong Chian Lecture Theatre, will have more consultation rooms to reduce waiting time. X-ray services will also be available at the medical centre after the revamp. “By bringing services that are mostly situated outside of NTU into the school, it would mean errands like banking and postage will be made more convenient for NTU students,” he said. Despite having already started construction on eight new halls, deciding that Koufu would take over operations in the South Spine canteen in August, and changing the internal shuttle bus routes, it seems Mr Lee is not planning to slow down. “Improvements should never end,” he said.
Speaking out for what you believe Sheena Tan STUDENTS can speak up when they think the government is wrong, but they should also voice out when they think the government is right, regardless of the majority sentiment. That was the message former Cabinet minister Raymond Lim had when he addressed some 100 NTU students on 25 Oct. He was giving a guest lecture as part of a series under the Public Policy and Global Affairs programme. Mr Lim, who left politics after the 2011 General Elections, gave his speech, titled “The times they are a-changing”, which was based on his first book — Straight Talk: Reflections on Singapore Politics,
Economy and Society. Like the title of his book, Mr Lim stressed the importance of Singaporeans speaking from their hearts. Mr Lim said it was better to have citizens who take part in public discussion about Singapore’s political scene. That is in comparison, and as opposed to having people who are uninterested in engaging with their community. After all, it’s necessary for Singapore’s leaders to know whether or not they are headed in the right direction. “What is worrying is that people now are worried that if they speak up in support of an unpopular policy or against a majority view, they will be harshly criticised on the Internet,” he said.
Rather than be overwhelmed by the abundance of criticism about government policies on the Internet, people should instead find out the reasons behind the negative comments, Mr Lim urged. Although people with differing, minority views usually get sidelined in online discussions, he said Singaporeans should not give up on voicing their opinions. According to Professor Goh Nguen Wah, the organiser of the lecture series, Mr Lim was one of the “prominent industry people” he tries to get to talk on Singapore politics. Prof Goh said he tries to organise a keynote speaker every semester. “This semester, I wanted to let students understand how government policies come about and how they work,” the Public Policy and Global Affairs lecturer said.
VOICING OUT: In his guest lecture to NTU students, former Cabinet Minister Raymond Lim addressed the fear of speaking out against popular sentiments. PHOTO: SHEENA TAN
Leo? Lion? Leon? More than half of the 100 students quizzed by the Nanyang Chronicle were clueless about the identities of some of the university's most notable figures. Fiona Lam Sub-Editor
t was a case of mistaken identity. Despite much fanfare to mark its launch, 77 out of 100 students couldn’t identify NTU mascot Lyon in an informal online quiz conducted by the Nanyang Chronicle. One even identified it as “NTU Singa”. From mascots to presidents, students were stumped when asked to name eight prominent figures of the university. In fact, the results showed that only 12 students passed this test. Students were only provided designations, without any visual aids. A disclaimer against searching online for the answers was also stated. The test was done to see how wellinformed students were of key figures of the school. The Chronicle recognises the poll results may not be representative of what the rest of the NTU population may know. Even so, the most common score of the quiz was zero. And no one answered all eight
questions correctly. Chia Bingxi, 22, was one of the students who could not identify anyone on the list. He said it was because he didn’t see the need to find out more, and would rather focus on his studies and social life instead of university politics. “Playing my role as a student well is far more important than knowing who those people are by name and title,” said the second-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. But Koh Shumin, 23, who also scored zilch, attributed it to the lack of personal contact between students and the notable figures. “We seldom get to interact with them face-to-face,” said the final-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Students feel detached from those people because we don’t see them around school,” she added. This disconnection is also faced by students who have come in constant contact with the faculty. Jean Tan, 22, the President of the Art, Design & Media (ADM) club scored the highest. She was the only one with seven correct answers. The third-year student attributed her score to her position as a student leader. “At times, I am required to meet the relevant parties as it is part of my job,” she explained.
But she said that the average NTU student would likely be concerned with only the important people in his school, CCA, and hall instead of the NTU senior management, so it’s impossible for students to keep up. “Anything beyond that takes an effort to remember, unless it is heavily publicised,” she said. Among the eight personalities, NTU President Prof Bertil Andersson was the most wellknown, followed by Lyon, the NTU mascot. Of the 77 who couldn’t name Lyon, most knew he was a lion at least. Some suggested answers given for his name were “Leo”, “Leon” and simply “Lion”. Director of the Career & Attachment Office (CAO), Mr Loh Pui Wah, was the least well-known, and many respondents also said they didn’t know the NTU Council existed. As for what could make students more aware of NTU’s key figures, Cheryl Lee, 21, suggested the appointmentholders have more interaction at the ground level. “Perhaps the NTU spirit will be stronger if they are able to interact more with students, be it via dialogues, emails, or forums,” said the second-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, who scored five in the survey. “They can also pop by and show their faces at more school events, such as the recent school Halloween celebrations.”
INFOGRAPHIC: ISAAC TAN
20 years of Chronicle
CHANGE is a natural part of the newsroom. Every day, new stories are run on the newspaper’s pages. World trends and popular opinions of the day come and go, influenced by breaking events happening around the globe. One thing, however, remains the same. Newspaper editors, the core group of individuals who decide on the stories that make it to the pages every day, continue to be the main driving force behind
every paper. For the Nanyang Chronicle, it's no exception. Ever since its creation in 1994, the Chronicle has aimed to provide the most timely and relevant news to our readers, and to serve as the voice of the student population. Editors play a crucial role to its operations, overseeing the reporting of a wide variety of issues, from major events such as the staging of the Youth Olympic Games, to more perennial concerns such as tuition fee hikes.
The first dean of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), Dr Eddie Kuo, recognised the need for a campus newspaper to serve the students back when the idea was first mooted in 1994. “The Chronicle will be able to se r ve a s a foca l poi nt of shared knowledge and shared u nder sta nd i ng for t he whole university,” he said in an interview published in the first issue of the Chronicle. He added that the paper would
help to “increase awareness of campus issues not only for staff and students, but also for peripheral members of the university, like canteen operators”. He sa id: “I n t h is way, t he C h r on ic le w i l l he lp N T U to establish a unique identity." The Chronicle editors have tried as much as possible to stay true to this vision. As part of the Chronicle’s 20th anniversar y, we celebrate the paper's histor y by speaking to former editors and asking them
what some of the trending topics of their day were. Many different paths have been tracked by our alumni, ranging from a Communications Director based in Seattle, to a News Editor of Singapore’s main tabloid, The New Paper. With respondents from as early as the pioneer batch of editors to the more recent 2010 batch, it is surprising to see how much has changed in the Chronicle, and at the same time, how much has stayed the same.
Dorothy Ho, Managing Editor, 1994 Director of Communications, Acumatica (Seattle, WA)
Eugene Wee, Chief Editor, 1998 News Editor, The New Paper
Lim Wui Liang, Photo Editor, 2002 Southeast Asia Photo Editor, Microsoft’s news apps on Windows 8
Lester Chiew, Chief Editor, 2004 Technology risk manager, GE Capital
Agung SantOSO Ongko, Chief Editor, 2010 Communication and public affairs intern, Asia-pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat
What were some of the bigge st storie s the Chr onicle covered during your time? I r e me m b e r we c ov e r e d t he opening of the big Lecture Hall, called LT1, at the time. We also did a story on how students were gaming the points system to stay in Residence Halls, and I think the Student Affairs Office was quite angry. Any memorable moments while working for the Chronicle? The Chronicle’s first office was on the top floor of the old Museum Building on campus. It didn’t have the best ventilation — or any windows. I think it might have been the attic. And on those late off-stone nights, we’d be eating our takeout food and working, and the smell of our dinners would permeate the entire space. Photos courtesy of respective alumni
What were some of the bigge st storie s the Chr onicle covered during your time? I remember doi ng a stor y about N T U u ndergr aduates who were r u nn ing t hei r ow n bu si nesses. It wasn't a big stor y, but I remember thinking: “Wow. These guys can run a company and study at the same time." And there I was, complaining about having trouble getting out of bed just so I wouldn’t be late for lectures. Any memorable moments while working for the Chronicle? During my time, we did something quite ambitious. Instead of just N T U news, we e x tended ou r coverage to community news in Jurong extension as well. That took us out of our comfort zone in the campus to try our hand at being a heartland community paper.
What were some of the bigge st storie s the Chr onicle covered during your time? The MTV Asia Awards held in Singapore in 2002. That was quite a fun event to photograph. And a few car accidents on campus. Any memorable moments while working for the Chronicle? The long and crazy nights before every fortnightly off-stone. To destress, we would take out chairs with wheels and race around the corridor on them. Also, looking at contact sheets of photographers' assignments — we were still shooting on film then — and scanning the negatives into the computer. We had only one digital SLR then as the Chronicle was short of equipment — the Nikon D1. Getting to use it was a big deal.
What were some of the bigge st storie s the Chr onicle covered during your time? Somehow the one I remember best is when we reported that McDonald's was coming to NTU. Present-day students probably would not know this, but before the Golden Arches came to NTU in 2004, we had to get our fries fix from a very popular Western food stall in Canteen A. Any memorable moments while working for the Chronicle? My time at the Chronicle was by far the most memorable time of my university life. Looking out for stories, interacting with both st udents and facult y, editing and re-editing stories, countless overnight stays in the freezing Chronicle room during production week — all these remain fresh in my mind and close to my heart.
What were some of the bigge st storie s the Chr onicle covered during your time? One memorable stor y was the Japan earthquake, and the efforts of various members of the NTU community to lend a helping hand. Any memorable moments while working for the Chronicle? I think we are fortunate to have t he s pac iou s Ne ws ple x now, but there was something about working in that odd room on the third f loor, with its jumble of rust y, clunky metal cabinets a nd p o or l y a r r a n ge d de s k s , old , mu s t y s of a ; a nd h a r s h f luorescent lighting that stays with you. We got sleepy and agitated and enthused in such close proximity with each other that we became a family. -
CHRONICLE 03 NO.
16-17 LIFESTYLE travelogue
JONKER Craft. Antiques. Kitschy knick-knacks. These words are a silent protest; a throwback to the time before dull, mass-produced goods. Photo Editor Yeo Kai Wen takes a oneday trip down Jonker Street, Malacca and discovers historical treasures, dying trades, and cultural remnants of the colonial era threatened by urban development.
rmed with a DSLR, an audio recorder, and a notebook, I set off for foreign ground. This wasn’t for a school project — I was on a short break from the pressures of being holed up on campus for months. But somehow, I found my inner journalist instinctively trying to document the stories I found in Malacca, which plays host to a street with stalls selling just about everything. Sprawled along the streets are a motley of street fare stalls, art and antique shops, pubs and restaurants. As one of Malaysia’s oldest sultanates, Malacca has weathered countless storms. After being passed from one Portuguese conquistador to another, pillaged to the hilt, and regimented down to the ground, this city has acquired a unique blend of European, Malay, and Chinese culture. In addition to the old houses and large buildings left behind by the Europeans from the colonial times, private residential buildings and shops from a century ago line the congested streets. And it was at the famed Jonker Street — once home to many a Chinese clan — that I began my journey across cultures.
THE LAST BLACKSMITH My exploration began on foot — it was like walking back in time as the street unfolded its colonial heritage. Rusty shutters, peeling paint, and a hand-painted signboard drew my attention as I crossed the road to enter a blacksmith’s shop. Before long, I found myself deep in conversation with Mr Chin Sim, 66, a scruffy old man who was busy hammering a large piece of metal on an ancient well-worn anvil. His scarred, weathered hands told of his 54 years of toiling, since he joined the blacksmith trade at the tender age of 12. Mr Chin’s ancestors started the business four generations ago, crafting ship anchors for Indian ships that passed by. Mr Chin continues his family’s trade — almost a century later — in the very same shop where they first started out. Unfortunately, blacksmithing has taken a toll on his body. For one, the clanging of metal against the anvil has damaged Mr Chin’s ears. “I lost my sense of hearing when I was only 40. The
specialist at the local hospital told me to stop hammering if I treasured my sense of hearing. I ignored his advice and carried on,” he said. “Before I knew it, I was deaf in one ear. But I have no choice. Life has to go on,” he said wistfully. Moreover, using a traditional furnace to melt steel during the welding process means Mr Chin gets scalded every time. However, he explained that blacksmiths have no choice but to endure the pain. For Mr Chin, this pain is not only physical but also emotional. “There are times when I don’t have a single customer in a week. Life is pretty slow here. I guess when I’m dead, you won’t find another blacksmith here,” he said.
“The protests are good. When we conserve heritage, the younger generation will learn to treasure the older folks as well.” Mdm Foo Jing Juan, 45 Shopkeeper
THE CULTURE CRUSADER It wasn’t just Mr Chin who left me with a deep impression as I bade my farewell and ventured down the narrow street that led me to two heritage shops along Jonker Street. I met Mdm Foo Jing Juan, 45, owner of vintage collectibles shop Collections and a firm believer in the conservation of Malacca’s colourful heritage. As she offered me a seat on an old, battered rattan chair, she began to explain that recent political developments in the state had led to Jonker Street being opened up to traffic on weekends. “The Malacca state government wanted to help ease congestion in the town area, especially on weekends,” she said. The new ruling was expectedly met with extreme objection by the local community as opening up the road would mean that it would become inaccessible for pedestrians. Small protests were staged two months ago, with traders holding placards that read “Save Jonker Walk”. Human barricades were formed to prevent motorists from using the street, and business carried on as usual. The ruling was overturned. “The protests are good. When we conserve heritage, the younger generation will learn to treasure the older folks as well. They will see how much effort was needed to build what we see today. They become better people,” said Mdm Foo. According to her, conservation was the culture of the street itself, which was why it was included as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites in 2008.
True to her love for conservation, old radios and bicycles littered the shop space, reigniting my love for old trinkets and toys.
THE FINAL REFUELLING POINT After gawking at her amazing collection, it was time to leave. But Jonker Street did not let me go off that easily. The smell of food was irresistible, and my nose led me to Lorong Hang Jebat, a junction near the entrance to Jonker Walk. A long queue snaked along the street and being the typical food-loving Singaporean, I knew it must lead to something good. Yup Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice, known for its famous chicken rice balls, has been serving the rolled flavoured rice since 1985. The rice balls are rich in texture and full-flavoured, outstanding even without the chicken. I stepped into the cosy coffee shop and immediately understood why Yup Chung Wah is a must-go for the traditional atmosphere. The place was packed with workers hollering out orders and there is little time for dallying as customers wait around for an available table. Hunger satiated, my brief encounter with Jonker Street and its charms had come to an end. With my notebook full of scribbles and camera slung over my tired shoulders, I walked towards the bus that would take me home — my love for discovery satisfied.
5 1. THE CULTURE STREET: Most of Malacca’s tourist attractions are concentrated in the small city centre which Jonker Street runs through. The street was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with George Town of Penang in 2008. 2. A DYING TRADE: Mr Chin Sim, 66, is the last blacksmith in Jonker Street. He has been in the trade since he was only 12, and continues to do so despite severe hearing loss and scarring. 3. HANDS OF A BLACKSMITH: Mr Chin used to make ship anchors. Today, he does odd jobs for construction companies who pay him RM30 (S$12) per job. “The butchers and fishmongers used to send their knives to me for repair and polishing. Today, they prefer to just get a new one. Nobody needs a blacksmith anymore,” he said. 4. DOWN THE STREET: Although the Jonker Walk Night Market creates street life on weekends, it also faces criticism as locals have difficulty travelling home on weekends when the entire street is turned into a pedestrian mall. 5. A MALACCA STAPLE: Unlike normal chicken rice, the old Hainanese tradition is to roll the flavoured rice into little balls. This keeps the flavour and aroma of each ball intact until it is split open. The moulding also helps to change the texture of the rice, making it chewier.
6. HERITAGE LOVER: Mdm Foo Jing Juan is the owner of two heritage shops along Jonker Street. She feels that things of the past were made with loving, tender care, unlike today. “Vintage items last longer than the things of today. I used to live in a generation where people still believed in repairing things instead of replacing them,” she said.
PHOTOs: VALERIE LIM, VICTOR LI & IVAN LIM
Lady M Singapore Marina Square Shopping Mall 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-103 S039594 Tel: 6822 2095 www.ladym.com.sg
With more cafes and bakeries offering the popular mille crepes in Singapore, it’s hard to tell ones that stand out from the rest. Serena Yeh puts the cakes from three stores to the taste test.
Opening hours: Daily: 11am to 9pm
t's all about the layers — and many of them at that. No, this is not about the hottest fall fashion trend, but another layered look that’s already setting many hearts (and tummies) aflutter. Mille crepes — “mille” means thousand in French — are made of over 20 layers of
FAMED New York cake boutique Lady M Confections, creator of the first mille crepes, opened its very first shop outside the US two months ago, in Singapore. Lady M Singapore pulls no punches in the process of creating each cake — with 10 hours of hard work put into every one of them.
paper-thin crepes delicately separated by light pastry cream, and topped off with a shiny caramelised crepe layer that adds a touch of elegance to the cake’s appearance. This French dessert has been gaining popularity with sweet-toothed Singaporeans in recent months, following in the footsteps of cupcakes and macarons.
FIRST LOVE PATISSERIE 2 Orchard Turn ION Orchard #B4-63 S238801 Tel: 6238 8006 www.facebook.com/firstlovesg Opening hours: Daily: 11am to 10pm
LOVE AT FIRST BITE: First Love Patisserie's Original Mille Crepes (front) is reminiscent of an ice cream cake with its icy crepe layers and fragrant vanilla cream.
CLASSIC CAKES 41 Sunset Way Clementi Arcade #01-06 S597071 Tel: 6762 8019 www.charlesclassiccakes.com Opening hours: Tues: 2pm to 9pm Wed-Sat: 11am to 9pm Sun: 2pm to 7pm FIVE years ago, the Original Mille Crepes ($7 per slice) at Classic Cakes earned itself the accolade of being the “yummiest cake in Singapore” according to The Sunday Times. Today, they certainly still live up to the title despite growing competition from other
cake shops. Its golden creme brulee-like caramelised top stood out from the other stores’ versions. It was crisp rather than soft — a result of it being freshly caramelised in the kitchen when ordered. The clear specks of vanilla beans between the layers also showed that the pastry cream was made with real vanilla beans, allowing for a strong vanilla flavour with every bite. The texture of the entire cake was smooth, soft and silky. Even after some time out of the fridge, the cake remained intact and didn’t crumble. It could be cut through without falling apart, making it easy to quickly devour the rest of the slice. Classic Cake’s Original Mille Crepes gradually softened in the mouth. It was sufficiently sweet and not overwhelmingly creamy, as opposed to Lady M’s version. The Chocolate Chip Mille Crepes ($7 per slice), with its chocolate bits in between the
IT WAS love at first bite with the Original Mille Crepes by First Love Patisserie. The cake is soft and light, and not too moist. The layers of crepe and cream balance each other well; the cream not overwhelming the slightly chewy crepes. But as the cream and crepe layers were
And that is what sets the confectionery apart from its competitors, said Mr Vijay Pillai, 27, Director of Lady M Singapore. Living up to its expectations, the Vanilla Mille Crepes ($7.50 per slice) melts in the mouth, with the light vanilla cream and paper-thin crepes combining to form an amply sweet taste. The caramelised top also added a complementary tinge of sweetness to the light vanilla fragrance of the cream. Unfortunately, the cake started to lose its shape after 15 minutes, and fell apart when cutting into it with a knife. The cake is definitely better for sharing — while the first few bites are light, the many layers of cream become slightly overbearing after a while. Other than the original vanilla-flavoured mille crepes, other flavours are available only during certain periods, including the store’s popular Green Tea Mille Crepes ($8 per slice). already a notch sweeter than other mille crepes, the caramelised topping made the dessert border on being overly sweet. First Love Patisserie’s cakes are handmade at a central kitchen, and then brought to the store and kept frozen. As such, the fine layers of crepe and cream appear indistinct from each other, making the cakes look less luxurious and intricate than expected. First Love Patisserie suggests waiting up to 15 minutes for it to thaw. Yet after 20 minutes, the Original Mille Crepes ($6.50 per slice) were still not soft enough to be cut through cleanly. It was more reminiscent of an ice cream cake, with the icy crepe layers and vanilla cream giving the cake a frosty, solid texture unlike most mille crepes. Aside from the Original flavour, which is the store’s bestseller, the Cappuccino mille crepes ($6.50 per slice) is another favourite.
SMOOTH AND CRUNCHY: The chocolate chips in the Chocolate Chip Mille Crepes add a delightful crunch.
layers, is also popular. Some may find it a tad sweeter than the original flavour, but the crunch from the chocolate chips still make for a delightfully crunchy treat.
Other flavours available are the Apple Mille Crepes ($7.80 per slice) and the Durian Mille Crepes ($8.50 per slice), although the latter is only available during the weekends.
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(CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT) WINE CONNOISSEUR: Li Shuo, 24, a final-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, holds a Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits, making him a qualified wine expert. He conducts wine knowledge and appreciation classes for his club, the NTU Wine Society. This helps the club save on teaching fees they would otherwise have to pay an external licensed professional for. BEATBOXER: Mervyn Ye (far left), 23, a third-year student from the Nanyang Business School, holds a busking licence with his three-person band HubbaBubbas. The trio’s licence is valid for two years instead of the usual one — just because the National Arts Council were so impressed with their music and charisma. They usually perform near Tampines MRT during the weekends. JUMP MASTER: Matt Cumming, 20, first gave skydiving a go as a freshman at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He enjoys the feeling of being able to control his movements in midair and looks forward to furthering his manoeuvring skills when he returns to the UK. AQUAMEN: NTU Dive Team members (from left to right) Matthew Tai, 23, Benjamin Quek, 24, and Daniel Foo, 24, don’t just use their diving licences for leisure — they also protect the ocean’s wonders. The trio have plans for the diving team to map out the biodiversity of marine life in Pulau Hantu off the southern coast of Singapore. HIGH FLYER: Natalie Tan, 19, attained her private pilot licence last October, just two months before her ‘A’ Level examinations. Prior to that, she underwent eight months of training at the Singapore Youth Flying Club at Seletar Air Base. The first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information is determined to pursue flying as a profession once she completes university.
LICENSED TO DREAM BIG All of us have hobbies, but not everyone takes it to the next level. Photographers Nicole Lim, Tiffany Goh and Allen Wang find out what some NTU students want to achieve with their licences.
at t Cumming, 20, took his f irst plunge at s k y d i v i n g i n a n airfield in Glasgow, Scotland three years ago, and has never looked back since. “It was absolutely terrifying, but t he mome nt I touc he d down, I knew I wanted to do it again,” said the British fourthyear exchange student from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The exhilaration of his first dive ignited his passion for the sport, motivating him to pursue a nd e v e nt u a l l y at t a i n t he British Parachute Association (BPA) A and B licences so he could skydive independently without a trainer and conduct his own jump sessions. Typically, the licences can be obtained in three to four months. But Cumming took two and a half years instead. The former Captain of the U n i v e r s i t y of St r a t h c l y d e
Skydiving Club was set back by knee injuries that rendered him unable to jump for 10 months. But t he long br e a k s d id not dampen his passion, and he e vent ua l ly at ta i ned t he certification for what he loved to do most — skydiving. To d a t e , C u m m i n g h a s accumulated 86 jumps. W h i le some people a re licensed to pu r sue t hei r hobbies, others take it further, using their licenses to bring about positive changes to the community. In the eyes of Daniel Foo, 24, his diving licence is more than a “ticket to explore the underwater [world]”. The final-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer ing and h i s fe l low N T U Di ve Tea m me mbe r s wou ld some t i me s come across the disappointing sig ht of l it te r e d r e e f s a nd faltering corals — a result of water pollution.
Fellow diver and president of the NTU Dive Team Matthew Tai, 23, thinks divers are in a good position to help the environment. “ We wa nt to be soc ia l ly responsible, and take things a step f ur ther to contr ibute back to what we are passionate about, and not just take from it,” said the third-year student from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Tai hopes to lead the team in conservation efforts, starting with the mapping out of the ma r i ne biod i ve r sit y at t he picturesque Pulau Hantu off the southern coast of Singapore. His other plans for the team include planting corals and picking litter from the reefs. A lt houg h t hey st i l l have to canvass for more f u nds, Ta i i s dete r m i ned to ca r r y out his plan, so that “future ge n e r a t i o n s c a n c o n t i n u e to enjoy ma r i ne life a nd underwater biodiversity”.
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Style Meets Sound
Gone are the days of having to decide between aesthetics or audio when getting new headphones. Jay Yeo puts four designer headphones to the test to see if form and function can truly co-exist.
PHOTOS: INTERNET, COURTESY OF SKULLCANDY, DENON
What is lossless music?
the setup Two audio setups were used in this review to test the headphones:
Average user’s setup: iPhone 4S with 256kbps AAC Audiophile’s setup: iPod Classic, Fostex HP-P1 DAC/Amp and lossless music (ALAC)
1. Skullcandy Navigator
$165.90 from Skullcandy Colours: Black, hot pink, white, royal blue and tortoise shell
chic, aviator-inspired design that sounds as good as it looks? You’d better believe it. Skullcandy Navigator sports slim, spadeshaped earcups, a pleasant change from the typical blocky or rounded contours of other headphones. For easy storage, it can be compactly folded to resemble a pair of pilot’s sunglasses — which gives the headphones its namesake. The Navigator has warm, forward-sounding mids and dominant vocals even without lossless music or expensive equipment. Its sound signature stands out for powerful vocal ranges and melodic reverb for
3. Denon AH-D320 $279 from Denon Colours: Red or blue accents on black
,,,,, THE Denon AH-D320 pulls its weight with a bass-heavy sound, but it takes an extra audio boost with a lossless setup to make this audio diva really sing. One of the bestsellers in Denon’s bassfocused Urban Raver series, the D320’s thick ear cushions and sound-isolating design block out ambient sound for an immersive music experience, even in crowded areas. The D320 has a distinct emphasis on the highs and lows of music tracks. Songs with heavy use of synthesisers, auto-tuned highs and deep bass like Marina and the Diamonds’s Primadonna sound well on it. However, on the average setup, discern-
instruments, perfect for songs like Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up. But the focus on the mid-range results in a bloated treble and reduced clarity on higher registers. On bass-heavy tracks, the Navigator delivers solid and punchy thumps while maintaining good balance between vocals and synths. But more bass-demanding listeners might find that the headphones lack deep bass extension and rumble, even on a lossless setup. Looks and sound quality aside, the Navigator has practical features too. An in-line remote on the cable allows for volume adjustment, play/pause and skipping of tracks, and also includes a built-in mic for phone calls. With its sleek look and delightful sound, the Navigator is a good choice for the fashion-conscious music lover. It also outdoes its rivals with its versatility by performing splendidly on both test setups, proving itself to be the best-in-class in this review shootout. ing listeners may find genres with acoustic music and soulful vocals flat and stifled, like with Set Fire To The Rain by Adele. Lossless versions of the same tracks unleashed the D320’s full potential, with the headphones expressing additional detail in the vocals and mid-range that was washed out before, resulting in a tremendous improvement in sound quality. The D320 takes a different approach to playback controls with a control knob on the right — clicking and twisting the knob will play and pause music, skip between tracks, fast-forward and rewind, and adjust the volume. The knob is a convenient feature when changing tracks or adjusting the volume on the phone would be difficult. However, its implementation lacks intuitive finesse. Overall, the Denon AH-D320 holds its ground with solid features and sound. It performs admirably on most genres but will benefit greatly from high-bitrate music and complementary audio equipment.
2. Marshall Major
$179 from Stereo Electronics Colours: Black and white
,,,,, A worthy contender to the throne, the Marshall Major’s strengths lie in its vintage appeal and pleasing audio performance, but narrowly misses the top spot due to its price and features. The Marshall Major’s design is a throwback to the legendary Marshall guitar amps made famous by 80s rock-and-roll, and features a similar styling of textured vinyl leather, brass trimmings and a bendy coiled cable. With its thickly cushioned and foldable earcups, the headphones provide a snug fit. The sound signature of the Major is balanced with a wide soundstage where vocals reverberate gracefully while extended highs
4. tokidoki x SOL REPUBLIC
$279 from Stereo Electronics Colours: Pink and black accents on grey
,,,,, THEY may be more flash than bang, but the tokidoki x SOL REPUBLIC headphones are such a treat for the eyes that their less-thanperfect sound can be excused. Colourful, kawaii cartoon characters of the Japanese-inspired tokidoki brand adorn the headband of the repackaged SOL REPUBLIC Tracks HD headphones. The tokidoki headphones have detachable parts which allow for a customisable appearance. Owners can easily sport a new look by mixing and matching accessories such as headbands and cables of different designs on SOL REPUBLIC’s online store.
Unlike MP3s and other lossy formats where the sound is compressed, lossless formats contain CD-quality music that offer superior sound but at a much larger file size. and deep bass command equal presence on both ends. The bass on the Major delivers both punch and thud in perfect proportion, like on The Black Eyed Peas’ Where is the Love. On tracks featuring higher vocals, like Avril Lavigne’s What the Hell, the Major had no trouble with the highs, and was never earpiercing or distorted on the average setup. On the audiophile setup, the lossless tracks yielded a more balanced presentation to the music. The Major features a spring protector on the cable’s 3.5mm jack termination, which relieves tension from sharp yanks and repeated bending. But the cable is not detachable and in the event of cable damage, the entire headphone has to be sent for repair. Despite having play/pause functions and a mic, the Major also lacks the standard volume control. That said, the sorely missed volume control and price are merely missteps, and ultimately the Major still impresses with its look and sound. But the headphones’ practicality is sacrificed in favour of aesthetic appeal. Unlike most other fashion headphones, the one-piece headband cannot be collapsed for portability. Also, instead of a single-cable connector design, there are connectors on both sides of the headphones. The resultant Y-shaped cable increases the possibility of tangled wires. In the audio department, there is also much to be desired. When the headphones were tested with Glad You Came by The Wanted, the vocals lacked dynamics while the bass was boomy rather than punchy. Higher frequencies also sounded harsh even on a lossless setup. The uneven sound reproduction in the highs caused Alicia Key’s voice to break during her vocal crescendo in Girl On Fire. With a customisable, eye-catching design, the tokidoki x SOL REPUBLIC undoubtedly leads the way in looks — a suitable choice for those who prioritise style over sound.
MP魔幻力量新加坡演唱会 —— 刊33页
新馆长希望更多学生受益 唐淑仪●报道 上任的南洋理工大学社 会学系主任周敏（57 岁）于上个星期五正式接任华 裔馆馆长，成为首位身兼二职 的教授。她也设下目标，立志 在三年的任期中将华裔馆打造 成连接学校与社会的枢纽。
励学生们参与其中，也希望在 未来可以与校方合作，能够将 活动咨询第一时间告知大家。 周敏认为，华裔馆一直运行 的很好，虽然无需进行大的改 革，但某些方面仍需要改进， 例如需要建立健全的社会联 系，让更多人认识到华裔馆的 存在。因此，这也是她上任后 要着手改进的地方。
上任后的周敏会提升华裔馆 现有的运作方式。她希望通过 学生们的参与，拉近华裔馆与 南大学生的关系。 当被问到具体的措施时，她 特意提到“设立奖学金”，希 望以此激励学生对研究产生兴 趣。能拿到这项奖学金的同学 不一定要来自某个科系，只要 对中华文化和海外华人历史有 兴趣的人便可申请。 她重申，这是要在资金充足 的情况之下进行。获得奖学金 的同学可以选择他们认为有趣 和特殊的项目做研究，然后在 年终向社会人士报告他们的研 究结果。 为了加强与学生们的沟通， 她明确地表示将在华裔馆的网 站和刊物 《华裔馆通讯》 中设 立学生专栏，放入一些出自学
她向记者透露她选择到新加 坡的原因：“新加坡作为海外 华人社会的中心，它拥有非常 深厚的历史底蕴。”在美国生 活了三十年的她透露美国没有 像华裔馆这样的组织。 她说：“与美国相比，在这 里做研究，将会得到人力、物 力、财力、社会团体和学生等 支持”。
中华语言文化中心。 目前华裔馆与南大学生的联 系并不密切。华裔馆有自己的 交际网络，举办活动时会及时 同志他们，而不是通过各学院 通知南大师生。但他们非常鼓
当被问到对未来华裔馆的憧 憬时，她自豪地说：“现在的 华裔馆是全世界大学唯一一个 专门研究华人文化历史的研究 机构。不仅如此，我要把它打 造成海外华人、华侨研究这个 领域里的旗舰。我们是做全世 界华人研究，因此我们现在是 立足东南亚，面向全世界。”
马里奥》（Super Mario）当中 的配乐，全部都以华族乐器演 奏出另一番风味。 提到《马里奥兄弟组曲》的 由来，28岁的新加坡华乐团驻 团青年助理指挥倪恩辉向记者 透露：“这是我的一个朋友写 的。因为《超级马里奥》能引 起年轻人的共鸣，所以他想通 过这个方法来引起他们对华乐 的关注。” 表演歌曲《响宴》时，观众 被划分为左右两边，左边的观 众被指挥指到就要喊“呼”、 而右边则喊“哈”，互动相当 热烈。 生物工程系大二生余咏婷 说：“我最喜欢《响宴》因为 指挥让大家互动，这样让大家 可以有机会接触到华乐。” 她
也指出，免费入场的做法很 好，能吸引不同领域的人进 来，让他们了解华乐 。 主办单位表示，举办这样的 校园演出，为的是让新加坡华 乐团的活动以及音乐触及更广 泛的观众群。与南洋理工大学 合作，能够使南大的学生、师 长和他们的家人更加地接近华 族音乐。 今年的演出吸引了1200名 观众，比去年多了300人。当 中包括电力工程系的蔡生盛教 授。64岁的蔡教授平时就对华 乐有兴趣，所以这次在收到活 动的电邮后，就带着太太一同 来参与演奏会。 他说：“这是我第一次听到 用华族乐器演奏的卡门，我觉 得很神奇。”
周敏教授希望南大学生可以更加踊跃地参与华裔馆所主办的各种活动。 生之手的文章、照片等作品。 如有需要，华裔馆愿意资助学 生组织的文化与学术活动。不 仅如此，他们会开设毕业论文 研讨会，将作品刊登的同时， 也会给予奖励。
华裔馆的现状 华裔馆于2011年11月1日与 南洋理工大学合并，现在是主 要负责海外华人研究的自治研 究中心。馆内由三个部分组 成，分别是展览馆、图书馆和
新加坡华乐团演奏《马力奥兄弟组曲》，通过流行音乐吸引年轻 群众。 照片:新加坡华乐团提供
加坡华乐团在南洋理工 大学举办《喝彩SCO!》 演奏，演出了同时具有传统华 乐特色及现代摇滚节奏的摇滚 乐曲，立志要以流行音乐拉近 年轻人与华乐的距离。 今年是新加坡华乐团第八次 在南大免费举办校园演奏会。 为了吸引不同年龄的观众，曲 目也包含了各种不同类别的音 乐， 像是西洋乐曲《卡门》、 摇滚乐《摇滚2002》，甚至还 有风靡一时的电脑游戏《超级
博客平台揭露整容过程 李颖盈 白艳婷
年五月，博客QiuQiu接 受了本地整容公司的邀 请，进行免费隆胸手术。她对 术后成果表示非常满意，觉得 自己更有女人味，也不再像之 前那样自卑。 为 换 取 这 次 免 费 整 容，QiuQiu答应让网路电视 Clicknetwork 全程记录， 她事 后将经历刊载在博文中，间接 为整容中心达到宣传效果。 其实这不是第一次有博客 接受这样的安排。越来越多整 容诊所借由博客在网上的知名 度，邀请他们成为诊所代言 人，在网络上宣传， 以抵消整 容的费用。 本地的Privé Clinic就是通 过美容生活资讯平台MyFatPocket邀请博客到诊所接受微 整形。 Privé Clinic 的 Dr Karen Soh 认为这种宣传手法并不会 影响每个人。她说：“网络是 很自由的空间，读者有选择的 权力，有兴趣的人会通过各类 途径获取资讯，浏览博文只是 其中一种，自然也不会影响到 没有兴趣的人。” 虽然博客们的博文一般搭配 照片记载过程和自己整容前后 的心路历程，不过身为公众人 物，读者群当中很多的妙龄少 女有可能会把博客作为效仿对 象。博客们的言论、举止因此
都很值得关注。 曾荣获新加坡环球小姐第 四名的Peggy Heng及知名博客 Xiaxue也都曾经参与到类似的 计划中。 广受争议的博客Xiaxue已接 受新传媒5频道综艺节目《Girls Out Loud》 的邀请，将自己的 整容和微整全程以视屏的方式 记录下来。她也做出了大篇幅 的文字书写，提供了不少真实 的手术和康复过程照片。 常撰写关于自己生活、娱乐 等博文的Rachell, 最近也上载了 一系列关于自己割双眼皮的手 术经历。她受访时强调自己把 经验公开并不是鼓励年轻人无 知地陷入整容，而是提供一个 资讯丰富又可供参考的真实案 例。她补充说自己会鼓励读者 在手术前做足功课、征求不同 专家的建议，才做出决定。 对于博客们透过网路发表整 形过程的相关内容，南洋理工 大学商学院大二生杨沐霓（20 岁）表示：“要上传什么都是 博客的自由，但他们需要知道 读者群是谁，也要注意发表的 内容。” 同为商学院的大一生姚美玲 （19岁）受访时则说：“我觉 得博客这样的做法反而让更多 人不想去整容。因为照片都很 血腥，会让人们感觉整容很恶 心、很痛。” （右图）女性常见选择整容的 部位。
文学院首次举办专属职业展 刘亭廷●报道 中文编辑
洋理工大学文学院于11 月1日首次将职业展搬到 自己院内举办，目的是让雇主 能够直接接触文学院学生。该 展吸引了26家企业以及将近200 名学生到场参与。 文学院副主任司徒玮槟受访 时表示：“文学院学生过去的 考量范围只有年度职业展，但 参加这些大型展览的雇主都偏 于物色理工人才，因此我们想 要筹办属于自己的职业展。” 这次的展览花了近一个月的 时间筹备，主办方十分满意出 席率。 对于这次职业展并不在毕业 季前的2月份筹办，而是提前 至11月初，司徒玮槟说：“其 实把展览提前至旺季前举办，
我们可以制造双赢局面，不仅 让企业更直接接触文科系的学 生，也让更多同学向各个公司 了解就业以及实习机会，让他 们有更多时间做出选择。” 参展企业当中除了政府与教 育机构，还有科技公司例如新 加坡科技研究局（A* STAR） 和日本雅马哈机车公司。 虽然通常这些企业都普遍找 寻拥有科学或是工程文凭的毕 业生，但新加坡科技研究局商 业分析科技转译中心主任陈永 发说：“我们征求文科人才是 因为他们更有能力与周围的人 沟通交流，而且在分析理解能 力上也不错，因此可以跟我们 的其它研究小组相辅相成。” 雅马哈机车总公司的国际人 事部顾问潮见真辉也特别从日 本飞来南大寻找人才，并提供 让获选人到东京总公司工作的 就业机会。
他受访时表示：“南大学生 拥有宏大的国际观，而文学院 学生的强项就是整理资料以及 组织规划，我们非常重视这项 才能。” 张智绚（语言学与双语研究 系四年级）对于此次职业展的 举办感到非常高兴：“以往都 得参加学校年度职业展，跟其 它学院的人竞争，如今文学院 自己举办展览，让文科生有更 多机会优先跟雇主了解就业机 会，毕竟我们找工作都比其他 毕业生吃力。” 文学院也在职业展前三个礼 拜就开始征收学生们的履历， 帮助他们找出最适合自己的企 业，同时把履历投向各个公 司。他们收集了120份履历，也 做了将近500个配对。 然而胡镇薇（心理学系三年 级）表示：“我觉得这个配对 过程可以更完善，因为很多时
候我们没有得到回复，所以都 不知道对方是否有收到我们的 履历。” 对于这点，司徒玮槟表示履
历还是以各个公司的制度为标 准，因此希望学生在未来能够 积极地投函，好提高自己的就 业机率。
CHRONICLE 05 言论
天收到《南苑》现 任中文主编的电子 邮件邀稿，着实被科技的 发达与惊人的寻人能力所 折服，虽与她不相识，但 竟然也联络得上。原来报 上所写的茫茫人海中，失 散亲人靠社交媒体或电子 科技寻获至亲并相认的报 道，是真有其事。而素未 谋面的人，也可以单凭科 技开启很多机会，缩短很 多距离。 回首二十年前开办《 南苑》，当年的很多采访 都是先以手稿完成再找电 脑打印，而插图还是纯手 绘，相当粗简。虽然成品 不算最专业，但过程中大 家参与得开心、乐意，互 相共勉之的精神是让人难 忘的。后来，步出校园后 的我们这一小撮热爱中文 新闻采访的同学，还真有 好多位是从事中文传媒领 域的，也算是学以致用。 我有幸参与当年的《南 苑》编辑，后来工作中没
限 限 制 级 电 影 入 家 门
有继续选择新闻，反而落 实了儿时爱看电视的梦， 进了电视台中文节目部， 为娱乐大众尽一份棉力。
电视绝对可以被替 换成另一个呈现模 式，出现在我们日 常生活里。在硬体 经历改革后，软体 也必须顺势改变， 推陈出新。 近年冲着电视而来的 变化，犹如决堤猛洪挡也 挡不住。置身其中者若跟 不上爆棚科技所带来的 快速多变的步伐，唯有牺 牲，被猛洪吞噬。电视行 业必须走在时代尖端，虽 然我们前不久才目睹韩流 崛起、台湾乡土长剧进驻 本地电视黄金时段，但几 年下来，这些曾经所谓的 热辣新鲜货，如今也一样 面临收视率猛跌的事实。 互联网让观众以最快 速度、最短时间接触到全
世界的电视节目，无论在 哪里，只要懂得如何上网 搜寻，便一览无遗。“新 闻”很快升格为“旧闻” ，应验这句话的一次经 验，让我印象深刻。 话说有一回我们电视 台播了一个韩国大型歌唱 颁奖典礼，著名韩星满 满，所以十分受韩流粉丝 关注。因为本地的播出被 安排在韩国首播日后的三 个星期，所以这“迟来” 的播出决定，引来了许多 粉丝的不满，纷纷投诉 我们动作慢，干脆上网看 好了。观众其实无法了解 的是，电视作业繁复，背 后需要许多时间允许节目 母带寄送、节目审核与剪 接、翻译、上中英文字幕 等的后制工作，所以我们 虽已尽力在最即时的情况 下推出节目，不过速度还 是不及格。 相比之下，网络的世 界限制少，天马行空的空 间大，所以传统电视为了 跟上时代的步伐，避开被 观众投诉动作慢、迟等， 唯有转型或衍生出电子
版，将平台触角发展到新 媒体上。就当时的韩国颁 奖礼一事件来看，若以今 天电视台结合新媒体推出 新节目的作业模式，应该 可以做到在新媒体平台上 抢先由传统电视播出该节 目。新媒体甚至能够与韩 国同步联播或稍迟几小时 后播出，所以就当时的观
众投诉和不满，在今天看 来应该会减少至最低点。 电视无法再像从前一 样做到阖家共赏的功能已 经成为千真万确的事实， 它变成非常自我的一项工 具，每一个人透过各自拥 有的银幕随时随地收看自 己喜好的东西。最近一位 年轻人就告诉我他家里客
断青少年与成人世界接 触是不太可能的。因此 要如何从中取得一个平 衡，将信息爆炸的今天 所可能带给青少年的不 良新闻转换成教导他们 的工具，从小培养其正 确的世界观，才是当务 之急。
制级电影从去年10 月悄然进入本地住 家。由新电信Mio TV首 先推出，之后星和付费电 视也乘胜追击，于今年1 月一起推出服务，用户可 以轻易通过购买家里的机 上盒付费观看。其内容包 括色情、暴力、恐怖以及 同性恋等多种在电影院被 限制的电影。 为了实行新的服务， 两家媒体还在此前对160 户住家进行了测试，其结 果显示针对预防青少年观 看限制级电影的措施有效 可行，并得到了媒体发展 管理局的认可。 影片设有针对青少年 安全的限制措施，例如所 有影片都自动上锁，必须 用密码才能解开，而新订 户必须亲临零售处，以证 件证实自己的年龄。此外 现有订户拨打客户服务热 线领取密码时，须与对方 确认个人资料。另外，订 户账单也会将显示曾进行 过的R21影片交易，让用 户监督自己家中是否有孩
子偷看电影。 虽然有层层防护 网，在服务已推出一年 之际，还是频频看见许 多本地媒体对此与民众 展开讨论，这让笔者不 得不去思考此项服务实 行的必要性以及它对整 个新加坡社会，尤其是 青少年教育的影响。 虽然青少年要逃过
成人监管，偷偷观看限 制级电影并不是件容易 的事，但是在家中开放 给用户自由订购影片， 感观上很有可能把错误 的信息与价值观传递给 青少年，让他们误以为 本地政府支持并鼓励观 看R21电影，这无疑助 长了他们“理所应当” 的心理。
而笔者认为面对这 样的情况，家长其实无 须过于担忧。因为在信 息业发达的今天，每个 人都可以通过各种各样 的手段去观看限制级内 容：网络、书籍以及报 刊，甚至非法光碟可谓 防不慎防。 因此我们必须清楚 地认识到想要彻底阻
在家中开放给用 户自由订购影 片，感观上很有 可能把错误的信 息与价值观传递 给青少年，让他 们误以为本地政 府支持并鼓励观 看限制级电影。 这不禁让笔者想起 了前两年的赌场事件， 政府有意修建赌场发展 商机，这举措对于促进 经济发展是无可厚非 的，但却在新建初期引 起了社会非常广泛的关 注和讨论。 不过值得欣慰的
厅的电视不知多久没被扭 开了，老早尘封的它已变 成摆设品，随时可以被卖 掉也不觉得可惜。 电视绝对可以被替换 成另一个呈现模式，出现 在我们日常生活里。在硬 体经历改革后，软体也必 须顺势改变，推陈出新。 往后的世界就是舞台，但 要在世界舞台、万千选择 中脱颖而出，绽放异彩并 吸引眼球，谈何容易。 所以电视内容仍需要 用心经营，以后的电视人 要有八爪鱼的能耐，除了 要制作出好节目、想出独 特的创意点子，还要具备 独到眼光帮观众赛选，组 合节目，让忙碌的观众在 资讯爆炸的年代，可以快 速方便有效地做出他们要 的电视选择。这项工作说 来简单，其实不然，需要 智慧与不可磨灭的热忱与 恒心，希望承接有人，本 地电视事业蒸蒸日上。 作者为《南苑》第一任中 文编辑，目前任职新传媒 电视台节目部高级总监。
是，除了政府以门票制 限制本地人进入赌场以 外，主流媒体和学校也 都抓住了这一次“机会 教育”，提供青少年发 言的平台，从而纠正价 值观，在接纳赌场的同 时大力宣传了正确的新 时代教育方式。 事实也证明，给青 少年发声的机会，在他 们犯错之前先予以纠 正，比一味禁止打压可 能引导他们犯错的事物 更是个有效教育方法。 因此我们可以说， 政府对付费电视的放宽 也可以被看做是一场对 于社会教育方式试探， 在与时俱进的时代，我 们的社会的确无法再墨 守成规，因此对于“机 会教育”的要求就会更 为严格。与其一直反对 类似R21入住家这样前 所未有的措施，不如好 好思考一下如何在接纳 这些措施的同时，防止 因教育不当而产生的社 会问题。这样不仅不会 阻碍国家经济和人民思 想的发展，也同时能够 保有应有的道德底线。
娱乐 MP魔幻力量“射手”新加坡演唱会 说廷廷走路的姿势像僵尸，让人想到万 圣节，非常应景。 虽然脚伤并没有影响廷廷的卖力演 出，但他还是在演唱会结束时对歌迷深 鞠躬致歉，并坦承因为无法呈现最好的 演出而感到难过，也因此紧张到破音和 忘词。 不过也正因为廷廷的脚伤，让歌迷看 到MP团员之间的兄弟情。廷廷作为乐 团核心，演出不仅需要嘎嘎时刻在旁搀 扶帮助，还要所有团员重新练习复杂的 走位。但这些不仅没有让团员们觉得麻 烦，还集体大赞廷廷伤后的演出精神就 像他们心中的superhero一般让人感动。 演唱会结束时，激动的团员们还一 人一只手抓住了廷廷的双手双脚，将他 抬到半空中，试图像搬家具一样搬下台 去，这突如其来的举动让很在意可否帅 气离场的廷廷大声尖叫着要团员们不要 再整他。
湾乐团MP魔幻力量六位团员化身 从外星球来到地球的超级英雄， 以一袭红衣亮眼登上圣淘沙名胜世界 The Coliseum的舞台，劲歌强光为“射 手”演唱会新加坡站掀开序幕。 乐团将台北场声光设备全套搬来狮 城，加上八成的劲歌热舞以及与歌迷的 互动配合，展现了他们出道五年来的热 情与努力。10月19日的演唱会不仅是 MP的新加坡首演，更是他们“射手” 巡回演唱会的最后一站。
变换闪烁，强光更是打在了舞台以外的 观众区域，将整个场地包围，让人如同 置身一个大型舞池。两位主唱在台上卖 力演唱，其他团员更是天衣无缝地演 奏配合，几乎将所有快歌都改编得更电 音，更劲爆。两个多小时的演唱会，全 场歌迷又唱又跳，几乎都抛弃了座位， 站完整场。 演唱会场地虽然没有如台北场一样的 四面舞台，但主办方也尽最大努力搭建 了一个伸展台，让团员和观众的距离相 差不到两米，做到真正的近距离互动。 演唱《血腥玛丽》时，另一主唱嘎 嘎笑称当晚的打扮像个吸血鬼公爵，正 在寻找美丽的女孩玛丽，想要吸走她的 血，引得台下女歌迷惊叫连连。而他们 演唱俏皮歌曲《hush》时，更和台下歌
迷玩起了角色扮演，大家被要求演唱原 合唱者丁当的部分，与MP深情对唱。 一直让人期待的《射手》作为压轴歌 曲唱到一半时，MP排排站，现场教歌 迷们跳起射手舞，将演唱会结束在如同 舞会一般的高亢情绪之中。
廷廷是superhero 主唱廷廷在演唱会前不久不幸跌倒， 导致右脚肌肉扭伤，被医生下了“禁跳 令”。演唱会当天，廷廷被团员搀扶出 场。本来被安排坐在舞台中央椅子上的 他，因歌迷的热情，克制不住表演欲， 硬是要一拐一拐走到伸展台最前端领 舞，可说是一位非常“好动的伤患”。 团长贝斯手凯开带动全团调侃廷廷在 厕所门口跌倒的糗态，嘎嘎更是开玩笑
演唱会中自然少不了MP为新加坡歌 迷准备的专属节目。廷廷表示自己很喜 欢夏天，一直希望可以住在一个四季如 夏的地方，所以很高兴认识了新加坡。 因此他们把歌曲《Summer》改成了新 加坡版本，加入了与新加坡相关的词 汇，引起狮城歌迷的共鸣。 廷廷事前在facebook开放让新加坡歌 迷点选英文歌，表示会选出一首献唱， 当然他也兑现了这一承诺。先是自弹自 唱了一小段师姐丁当的《冷血动物》， 正当大家以为他将呈现和台北场一样的 弹唱时，音乐突然转换成了耳熟能详 的《Call me maybe》，让歌迷惊喜不 已。不仅如此，MP还将这首朗朗上口 的英文歌改成了深具MP特色的电音饶 舌版，显示了他们超强的改编能力和乐 团特色。 DJ鼓鼓还深情回忆了他们刚出道时 来新加坡领的第一个奖就是第16届新加 坡金曲奖优秀新人奖。当时名不见经传 的MP虽然只有零星的歌迷到场支持， 但他们卖力尖叫的欢呼声让团员们声势 完全不输其他知名歌手。 最后，筋疲力尽的六人还是不忘牵手 一起感谢新加坡歌迷一直以来的支持， 并且承诺会更加努力，让歌迷看到他们 更多更好的表演。在高亢整晚之后，演 唱会结束在一片温馨感人的气氛中。
剧组青春洋溢奔走澳洲 周慧敏 张健俊
资175万，带领了将近30名剧组 人员，身兼导演的本地艺人庄米 雪为了拍第二部电影《他她他》大阵仗 飞往澳大利亚取景，拍摄了自驾旅游的 场景。 谈到澳大利亚的美景，庄米雪赞不绝 口：“澳大利亚很漂亮，大自然的美景 太壮观了，新加坡肯定找不到这样的一 个景。而且那里天气很好，没有新加坡 那么潮湿。” 此次花费相较于耗资90万的处女作《 一泡而红》多出一倍，并在维多利亚和
南澳大利亚两州进行拍摄。由于团队人 数庞大，电影拍摄过程面对诸多困难， 对时间的控制尤其具挑战性。 那里地域辽阔,有时遇到适宜拍摄的 光线与天气，演员却无法立刻到达，之 后天气骤变或有游客进入，导致拍摄无 法继续进行。 庄米雪知道选角结果受某些网民批 评，但仍觉得演员们的角色非常适他 们，对自己的决定不后悔。电影讲述三 个来自不同国家、背景和文化的亚洲学 生，来到澳洲念书成为好友，所以演员 必须具备以英语流利表达的能力。 庄米雪片场观察演员，称赞三位主角 默契一拍即合，也非常专业地入戏。她
说：“亚历山大外表帅气，非常上镜。 辰亦儒虽然内敛但演技很有说服力，与 他在以往偶像剧中的演出很不一样。而 柳胜美很有灵性，很多技术性的东西她 都十分了解。” 目前她专注于拍摄事业，计划自导自 演名为 “The Barbarella Movie”的伪纪 录片（mockumentary），相信到时很多 新加坡人会支持观看这个倍受喜爱的角 色。她也透露正与新传媒协商是否会回 去《绞索》 (The Noose）参演。 至于未来是否会重返演艺事业，庄 米雪直言：“要看是否吸引我，让我有 发挥创意的空间。”她表示不只想当位 演员。
李腾｜ 曾佩琪 ｜ 杨伟烈 《南苑》在过去20年采访了校园内的无数风云人物，这 一期为了庆祝创刊周年，中文编辑刘亭廷重访三位南大 校友，道出他们的校园生涯和今后的发展计划。
李腾 29岁 新传媒电视中文节目 主持人 2006年毕业于商学院
杨伟烈 27岁 新传媒艺人 2012年毕业于黄金辉 传播与信息学院
腾过去在南大念书 时就经常投稿，过 去撰写关于校园戏剧经验 的文章曾刊登在《南苑》 内。但他印象最深刻的是 因参加本地电视台主办的 《超级主持人》大赛而接 受的相关访问。 他在2012年荣获红星大 奖最佳资讯主持人奖，更 在上个月被颁发“南大杰 出青年校友奖”。 获得不少殊荣，李腾可 是始料未及，他表示自己 感到非常意外：“毕竟我 出道的星途可不是如此的
伟烈2008年第一次 接受《南苑》专访 时所说的一句话，没想到 竟一语成谶。当时才刚荣 获《才华横溢出新秀》比 赛亚军的他，夸下海口 说：“我想要演坏人！” 接下来，他就真的接 演了许多反派角色，更在 2010年凭着《双子星》的 奸角叶仁德荣获《红星大 奖》所颁发的“最难忘电 视大反派”奖项。 但是对于当年的一番 话，他说：“其实我觉得 自己目光狭窄，因为后来 发现其实有更多的事情需 要考量，并不只应该专注 于想要演绎某个角色。”
平步青云，也是一步一脚 印做出个成绩来。”但是 他也觉得这是个压力，毕 竟开始有人会在街上认出 他来。 以李腾在新传媒的当红 程度，很难相信他在考上 南大之前从来没有想过进 入演艺圈。他说自己当初 并不知道未来想要从事什 么行业，但因为不喜欢物 理或经济学，因此决定到 商学院修读个专业的会计 文凭。 他笑称道：“我想说读 个会计系，未来应该可以
做个审计师，至少应该不 会饿死。” 李腾在学生时期就非常 活跃于校内的各种活动， 也在机缘巧合下也成为 校内司仪社（The Emcee Club)的第一届会员。因为 当时能通晓中文的学生司 仪不多，所以他就把握许 多机会上台主持，让他累 积了不少经验。 他感性地说：“南大肯 定给了我在主持方面上的 基础和洗礼，这些经验都 造就了我日后往演艺圈发 展的路途。”
他然坦诚演坏人较容易 出位，也有更阔的空间发 挥演技，但他饰演的正反 派角色的比例虽然几乎各 占一半，但观众还是把目 光集中在他的反派角色。 谈到未来星途的规划 时，杨伟烈说：“演坏人 的愿望已经达成了，所以 接下来我希望可以主持综 艺节目。” 但他也承认自己还没 有找到属于自己的定位， 他说：“演员可以躲在角 色背后尽情发挥，可是主 持人就必须要有自然又独 特的风格。” 然而大学生活在杨伟 烈的记忆里却并不是一般
人想像的多姿多彩。他 说：“其实校园生活对我 来说至今还是一个遗憾， 因为我没机会完全享受校 园生活。” 而原因就在 于他急忙于课业，同时又 得拍戏，因此常常请假， 无法和同一梯次的同学上 课学习。 杨伟烈记得念书时最担 心自己繁重的工作量会被 教授误以为无心向学、没 有专心读书。但他也感叹 很怀念校园里很单纯、正 面的气氛，他说：“因为 只要一毕业出来工作，就 会知道社会环境的不同， 在外头，真的没有这种优 良的环境了。”
曾佩琪 28岁 The Tiramisu Hero 咖啡厅老板 2010年毕业于 土木工程系
（上图从右起顺时钟方向）曾佩琪、杨伟烈和李腾在 学生时代时所接受《南苑》的采访报道。 摄影:林慕尧， 图片：网路下载
佩琪于2007年荣获 新加坡大专院校校 花头衔，而她对于自己参 赛的决定从来没有后悔， 甚至觉得是一个难得的经 验。然而她表示如果还有 比赛的机会——她不会去 参赛。 她感慨地说：“我毕业 后就立即忙于工作，而且 我觉得很多事情只能趁年 轻而且还有时间精力时尽 量完成、尽情体验不同的 人生。” 她于2008年接受《南 苑》专访时表示自己很想 要主持节目，而被问到她 觉得是否有达成目标，曾 佩琪说自己的确有参加一 些演出以及节目，但是她 觉得目前自己的人生目标 改变了。 曾佩琪表示：“当年的 比赛让我能够体会到有别 于校园课业的生活，因为 我遇到来自不同领域的人 士，同时更了解传媒业，
也交了不少朋友，但是如 今我更希望可以在别的领 域上发展。” 她说自己不再把传媒当 作正业，反而当成一个好 玩的经验，所以对于是否 要成名就已经不在乎了。 回忆校园生活，她觉 得最难忘的就是住宿的时 光，而她当时就都住在二 号宿舍。 她记得常和室友以及邻
居聊天聊到半夜，甚至会 大伙一起出去夜游到学校 附近吃宵夜。 课业方面，她最想感谢 的是土木工程系的林少洋 导师以及毕业作导师陈廷 辉副教授。 她受访时表示：“我非 常感谢他们的帮助，因为 没有他们我的院内生活一 定会很不一样，而且会更 艰难。”
“All the best!” —杨伟烈
“我觉得时间过的很快，也希望《南 苑》的编辑可以越做越大，有一天能 够发行属于自己的专刊。 生日快乐！” —李腾
CHRONICLE 03 NO.
Opinions EDITORIAL A MESSAGE TO THE FUTURE TO the future editors in 2033, congratulations on the 40th anniversary of the Chronicle. It is hoped your mix of news has moved past the trifecta of the shuttle bus routes, oncampus accommodation and S/U issues. Don’t get us wrong; these are legitimate issues that the NTU community we serve has continually faced for the past 20 years. It does, however, get a bit old — the ‘new’ shuttle bus route that is causing so much ruckus in 2013? The school had already tried to push through the same thing six years ago, without much success — that route lasted just five months. Frankly, it is a little scary to think that the brightest minds have for the past 20 years, been trapped in an intellectual limbo, where these issues face an endless cycle of discussion, implementation, and re-evaluation. T he c onte nt t h at f i l l s this newspaper has come to r epr esent t he i nte l lec t ua l n a r r a t i v e of t h e 2 0 - t o 25-year-olds navigating the gulf between idealism and pragmatism. In other words, journalists have a further role to critically ref lect on the current state of affairs in our system and society, and bring attention to issues that matter. Too often, while trying to carr y out ideal, “objective”
repor ting, we unwit tingly perpetuate a socially acceptable version of events. This at times results in us thoughtlessly reinforcing the current state of affairs that we are supposed to critically reflect on. The journalistic cycle, like any well-implemented system, is one which enforces and replicates its function. But are we, as journalists operating within the system, eventually only tools fulfilling the system’s needs — and thus somewhat responsible for the intellectual stagnation of our peers? Or are we instead agents that are able to actively identify important issues that we should draw attention to, and aim to inspire discussion about? M u c h of t h i s w i l l b e determined by how much we are able to critically examine our roles as journalists within the system of the school, and indeed the wider society. The key is to understand and accept any existing structural limitations, while never losing sight of our initial goals — to think critically, report truthfully, and inspire meaningful conversations on important issues among our peers. It is an unconventional train of thought — but one that is relevant to bring up as the current Chronicle team celebrates two decades worth of achievement.
CHRONICLE chief editor Wong Pei Ting
opinionS editor Andrew Toh
Managing editor Wan Zhong Hao
Chinese editors Hong Yuan Liu Ting Ting
sub-editors Alfred Chua Eunice Toh Fiona Lam Han Hui Jing Lim Yufan Steffi Koh Tiffany Goh DIGITAL EDITOR Benjamin Lim COMMUNITY EDITOR Matthew Ng News editors Cynthia Choo Isaac Tan
sports editors David Lam Nazri Eddy Razali photo editors Lim Mu Yao Yeo Kai Wen VIDEO PRODUCERS Miranda Yeo Sim Yu Ling INFOGRAPHIC EDITOR Jonathan Chan ART EDITOR Celeste Tan
Lifestyle editors Bernice Koh Nicole Tan
business managerS Lionel Lim Ho Xiu Xian
Reviews editor Charmaine Ng
production support Ng Heng Ghee Ong Li Chia
dapper editors Felicia Quah Rebecca See
Teacher advisors Debbie Goh Lau Joon Nie Zakaria Zainal Wibke Weber
A students’ newspaper published by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) Nanyang Technological University 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637718 Tel: 6790 6446
frankly, my dear
A column by Chronicle Editors on issues close to their hearts
Wong Pei Ting Chief Editor
urning buildings. Billowing smoke. Unrest. As I stepped out of the plane, I saw none of the harrowing sights that I had half-expected to see. Instead, East Timor has gradually managed to rebuild itself over the years. T he mou nta i ns were now clothed in dull green, stubby vegetation. Traditional palmfibre-roofed huts have been rebuilt alongside newer makeshift concrete-walled settlements. The rest, as they say, is history. Most of East Timor, however, st i l l rema i n s i n t he nat u r a l and undeveloped state it had regressed into as a result of the war. During my time there, I had no access to money changers, credit cards, or a stable Internet connection — but neither was I left completely bereft. After all, I had traded the comforts of familiar urban landscapes to experience nature in full — unspoilt by development and pollution. There, corals grow to just two arms’ length away from the shore, fresh waterfalls flow at the backyard of my lodge, and constellations crowd the Southern Hemisphere at night. But the raw and untouched beaut y of East Timor always seems under threat, for it lies in the shadow of one political war, and on the cusp of another impending capitalist one.
Countercapitalism When I popped the news a few weeks ago that I was going to East Timor on a media trip, one of my friends exclaimed: “Are you serious? People die there!” Quite the contrary, however; there is no longer any real physical bloodshed in East Timor. Rather, what is more appalling is the post-war invasion of opportunistic businessmen who take advantage of its struggling population. The villagers had gradually abandoned their crops over the 24 years of Indonesian occupation.
What is more appalling is the post-war invasion of opportunistic businessmen who take advantage of its struggling population. Today, cheaper mass-produced foreign produce fill the markets as the main source of food, and enterprising foreign businesses have set root on the people’s land. Timorese children are now fed a staple diet of dr y squares of SuperM i and Pop M ie instant noodles, sprinkled with
Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board of The Chronicle and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of Nanyang Technological University, its employees, the students or the Council of the University. Signed opinion columns, letters and editorial cartoons represent the opinion of the writer or artist and are not necessarily those of The Chronicle. Printed by KHL Printing Co. Pte Ltd, 57 Loyang Drive, Singapore 508968
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MSG — their only affordable food, albeit one that contributes greatly to the widespread malnutrition of both cit y and village children. Another war is also being fought over at the southern Timor Gap, where oil and gas reserves are worth billions — attracting unwanted attention from neighbouring Australia that shares its border, and also encouraging corruption from within. As of now, 40 per cent of the Timor oil reser ves have been exploited by Australia without Timorese permission. Even some Singaporean profiteers buy organic Timorese coffee ($3 per 300g) to repackage and sell them at $20 for export to other countries. It seems that ever y potential corner of development is a trap for Asia’s youngest nation, because foreigners set out to gain either way — leaving the Timorese people stranded in a state of constant poverty. Having spoken to many locals on the cusp of rebuilding East Timor since the United Nations left last year, I came to the realisation that I am against rapid development that only feeds the interest of capitalists. I sha r e t he sta nce of M r Francisco Kalbaudi Lay, East Timor’s Minister of Tourism, who had expressed his concerns of East Timor turning into another Bali, burdened by over-development. He opted instead for the country to take it slow. Perhaps it is wiser for East Timor to keep to that pace for now. And even if there’s development, it needs time to take its course. W hen development is introduced so prematurely, its effects are as detrimental as war — but it is much more subtle and intrusive. A slow-paced village isn’t necessarily asking for development. So rather than thinking that whatever doesn’t meet our eye requires action (like t he building of more shopping malls), I’ve learnt to appreciate whatever there is. On hindsight, I should have stopped by the roadside stalls to get one of the pickled red-hot chilli packed in used glass bottles, or the wild honey stored in recycled Aqua plastic bottles.
38-39 OPINIONS conversations with...
On the side of right In conjunction with the Nanyang Chronicle’s 20th Anniversary, Opinions Editor Andrew Toh engages Associate Professor Cherian George on his views on the Singapore media scene, and the changes he foresees.
e often courts controversy for his views, having been lambasted in the past by ministers for his pointed writing on governmental press controls. But that hasn’t stopped Dr Cherian George, arguably Singapore’s most prominent media academic, from continuing to study and speak out against the perceived media controls in the country. He feels it is vital for Singaporeans to voice their concerns on policies that strike close to home. As he points out: “Any citizen in a democratic state has an obligation to speak out on issues that matter to the public and affect them directly.” The 47-year-old was the subject of nationwide attention earlier this year after he was denied tenure by NTU’s Academic Affairs Council. Dr George has not given any hints on his plans after leaving NTU, though he said that he would remain in WKWSCI until February next year. In the meanwhile, we speak to the director of the Asia Journalism Fellowship for his thoughts on Singapore’s rapidly evolving media scene. What made you choose to stay and work for the Singapore press despite your credentials? I think the choice, both as a journalist and as an academic, was between working in a freer and more professionallyconducive environment, but one where I was not really invested in the outcomes, versus an environment that was more professionally challenging, more restrictive, but where I deeply cared about the issues and about the people around me. So up till this stage in my life, at least, my answer has been that I would rather work in a society where I grew up in, where I feel for the people and the students around me as fellow Singaporeans, despite the obstacles. Of course, if the obstables become insurmountable or I am no longer welcome — that’s another story. What motivates you to speak out against press controls in Singapore despite the negative attention you’ve received? I think as academics, we have a greater obligation than most citizens to contribute to public debate because we are in a very privileged position. An academic is supported by public funds to inhabit this world of ideas. There are not many professions that are given the time and resources to read, think and share ideas. It is a great blessing to be able to do so, and with it, there is an obligation to be mindful of the responsibilities one has. Working in the world of ideas isn’t a luxury for selfindulgent purposes. It’s really to serve your society. So that’s the big answer. As someone who was and is a journalist, and who lives and breathes journalism, this is an issue I care about. When I sense through my own direct experience, and through my research, that the media situation in Singapore could be a lot better for its citizens, there is no choice for me but to speak out on these issues. (Continued on facing page) Photo: MATTHIAS HO
canteen talk What kind of changes would you like to see made in Singapore’s media laws? The most important task is to review the licensing system, which is an extremely backward law from the early 20th century that doesn’t belong in the 21st century. In a modern democracy, the executive branch of the government shouldn’t have the right to dictate who gets to publish a newspaper and who doesn’t. This is not to say that media regulation is not necessary. The media need to operate within the law, and when they cross the line, they need to be held accountable. But what we have in Singapore is a system of prior censorship whereby not only does the government have the ability to punish bad speech, it also has the ability to make sure the speech doesn’t take place in the first place – by deciding who gets to publish newspapers and who doesn’t. How much effect have your studies had on press freedom in Singapore? I’m not driven primarily by any sort of end-goal in mind, but by the sense of responsibility that there are certain rights and wrongs in this issue, and that one must place oneself on the side of right. I don’t see it as a completely futile exercise, even though there have been few encouraging signs. These are difficult issues, so it is a very long term process. If I can contribute in some way to a better public understanding of these issues, and to a more reasoned and rational debate, perhaps better decisions will be made and better policies developed. Singaporeans tend to be apathetic about press freedom. Why do you think this is so? Singapore is very unlike the other countries ranked around it in the press freedom tables. In most countries with a press that lacks freedom, the people really feel it. They feel it because censorship is used to conceal governmental crimes, cover up major human rights abuses, and mask massive poverty. None of which is true in Singapore — the government just wants to make its job easier. So in most countries where there is a lack of press freedom, the public demand greater freedom because they see it as contributing directly to a better quality of life. Here in Singapore, many rightly feel that any greater media freedom is not going to have that much of an impact on their quality of life, in the material sense. Instead, it will have an impact on their life in a less tangible way, such as having active debate on issues that matter, developing the mind, in and so on. But I think the majority are not too interested in such intangibles. But I would say that this sense of indifference towards
press freedom is changing. More Singaporeans are observing that the government is making mistakes and formulating policies that are misguided or don’t fully take into account the public interest. Over the last five years or so, you do see more Singaporeans joining the dots and making the connection, that maybe the government’s mistakes are partly due to the lack of a robust, fearless press that stands up for the people. Do you think the government’s current model of press control is sustainable? Over the last 25 years or more, you’ve certainly seen the government avoid more overt and sensational types of censorship and government control. It no longer detains journalist without trial, or closes down newspapers and so on. Since the 80s, we have had a very different press model largely based on self-censorship – it is based on a very close relationship between the government and the national media. There is no real demand from the news organisation themselves to remake that relationship with government. So that is a source of great stability in the system. The losers in this, though, are the broader public, most of whom would like to have more choice; in particular a media that does a better a job of speaking up for the public in those instances where there is a divergence between the government’s will and the people’s will.
If I read a news from a blog, I will try and verify how true it is with other sources. Yuan Yi Yang, 21, SCE, Yr 1
I guess you have to use your own bulls**t detector because it is the Internet. Ling Mei Ying, 19, HSS, Yr 1
What are some of the challenges facing journalism at the moment? Journalism everywhere is facing financial sustainability problems. We are confronted by this paradox, that the social need for quality journalism is greater than its ever been – simply because life is more complex, societies are more crowded, and there is more potential for confusion and conflict – but at the same time you have an erosion of journalism’s ability to support itself financially. Quality journalism is something any reasonable person would say we desperately need, yet most people are unwilling to pay for. This is the major challenge facing the profession in Singapore, across Asia and around the world. Unfortunately, the way it’s been resolved by most in the news industry is to compromise on the public service mission and focus more on entertainment or on journalism that is valued by business and advertisers, and try to be financially sustainable that way. But this means less of a focus on the kind of journalism that is needed for the public interest.
About Dr Cherian George WHEN he was just nine, Dr George spent his holidays producing his own newspaper for his family, handwritten on paper taken from his exercise books. Woodsville News, as he called it, was named after the street where he lived, and carried headlines such as “Mother goes to the market”, or “Sooty taken to the vet”. He obtained his Master of Science degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and his PhD in Communication from Stanford University, before going on to join Singapore’s flagship newspaper, the Straits Times, in 1989. While there, he wrote mainly on domestic politics and media issues, and briefly served as the art and photo editor. He was twice awarded the company’s Feature of the Year award which
Do you think the news from alternative media sources is credible?
recognises reporters for their journalistic excellence. Dr George has been known to be a critic of the government, often speaking out against media controls in Singapore. During his time as a journalist in the Straits Times, he had on several occasions run afoul of the government, having been accused in one incident of contempt of parliament, after writing that the speaker was overly strict in his time-keeping during the budget debates. He was subsequently given the chance to retract his statement, which he accepted. Dr George has also written three books on press and politics in Singapore, with the most recent one published in 2012: Freedom from the Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore.
It might not be credible but sometimes it gives an interesting perspective that’s not in newspapers. Grace Lau, 21, ADM, Yr 2
I think The Straits Times has more credibility. But I would treat sites like The Online Citizen as a good alternative. Sherry Goh, 21, WKWSCI, Yr 3
It is one-sided. It is based on the author’s opinion and doesn’t show the whole picture Samuel Wong, 22, NBS, Yr 1 PHOTOS: COLLIN WANG
CHRONICLE 05 NO.
louder than words: Into the Future Graphic: Chin Li Zhi
With exciting developments currently taking place in NTU, such as the new learning hubs and the university’s focus on clean energy, Huang Caiwei imagines what the university might look like in 20 years.
he year is 2033. College is no longer, as Mark Twain puts it, “a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either”. NTU is now among the first u n ive r sit ie s i n t he world to we d it s e d uc at ion w it h t he advancement of social good. In an age where technological innovation is of the essence, NTU has realised its importance in civic society. The more powerful our grasp on technology, the more we need to ask: “To what end?” Historians have established centuries ago that science and technology are never value-neutral — they can be used to harm others or to serve the needs of society. To d a y, N T U ’s e d u c a t i o n s y stem adopt s a foc u s on innovation, as well as on its relation to ethics and society. Indeed, technology has always
existed to benefit society. Thus, what the new curriculum seeks to do is to scale up such efforts and cultivate a moral awareness of science.
In an age where technological innovation is of essence, NTU has realised its importance in civic society. For instance, this is done by educating students not only on the theories of science, but also on its utility and practical implications. The university understands that when the goal is to change Si ngapor e, t he u n iver sit y
5mm apart from story
must not engender a lear ned helplessness but instead create a sense of empowerment. Towering “farmscrapers” now dominate the N T U landscape. Fir st designed by Belgian a rch itec t Vi ncent Ca l lebaut , these are classrooms, off ices and canteens that have been integrated and stacked into one gorgeous skyscraper. T hese fa r m scr aper s, w it h their translucent glass dorms and indoor planetaries, are not on ly a rc h itec t u r a l feat s but also exemplars of clean energy building design. The scrapers give testament to how the school has managed to achieve one of its five peaks of excellence: Sustainable Earth. Through intensive research, the school has finally come up with ways to ease off its reliance on coal energy. Groundbreaking innovations in solar technology, that has improved the energy carr ying capacity of solar cells by 60 per cent, now allows the sleek solar panels on each scraper’s facade to provide fully for the building’s energy needs. A separate revolution has also taken place in the classrooms. Lectures are now redundant due to the increasing popularity of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Whilst it might have seemed unlikely two decades ago that
OPINIONS 41 online courses would grow in popularity, eight out of 10 of the world’s universities have jumped onto the MOOC bandwagon. The digital sphere is now used as the optimal medium to teach difficult concepts. But that has not spelt the end of student-professor interactions. A lt houg h lec t u res a re no longer held, students are still expected to come for tutorials where they can discuss concepts and clear any confusion they might have with the professor. There are cross-discplinary projects between the different fac u lt ie s , fac i l it ate d by t he building of the learning hub two decades ago. This was also made possible through changes in the school cu r r icu lum, wh ich placed students from across faculties into the same classes, and gave them simulations of important real-world problems to solve. Technolog y has also been used to solve bus congestion problems in the school. Irregular bus timings and crowded bus stops are now a thing of the past. Dr iverless, sola r-powered shut t le bu se s t hat r u n on fixed intervals of five minutes transport the students, faculty and staff to and fro around the school. These changes are the result of the revolution in 2021. The old
system, a long outmoded legacy of t he Industr ial Revolution, was rendered obsolete in the 22nd centur y, to be replaced by the Information Revolution. Educat iona l leade r s t hu s sought to push the benchmark of achievement, giving creativity the same importance as literacy. O u r educat ion s y stem wa s restructured to focus on diversity and dynamism.
Educational leaders thus sought to push the benchmark of achievement, giving creativity the same importance as literacy. It is a modern utopia that the school would only have dreamed of 20 years ago. NTU students are now at the forefront of the education cur ve, ar med with the creativity and initiative that the school has taken years to cultivate. T he f u t u r e of e d uc at ion continues to look bright. If so much could be achieved in 20 years, who knows what more could be done in another 20.
44 SPORTS they said that?
“He couldn’t put on a coaching session to save his life. I’ve spoken to people about him and he can barely lay out cones.” Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton (above) on recently-retired Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“She changed coaches more times than I changed wives. And that’s true, right now.” Tennis coach Nick Bollettieri on British tennis player Laura Robson’s decision to split with her coach of six months.
“Yes, I think it’s far too early for them. They are kids and you need to be a grown-up man here in Formula One.” Force India driver Adrian Sutil on Russian teenagers Daniil Kvyat and Sergey Sirotkin, who are both set to make their Formula One debuts next year.
Honouring NTU’s finest athletes Carol Lim
It was a night to remember for NTU athletes after a bountiful season at this year’s Singapore University Games (SUniG). Athletes and sporting alumni converged on 18 Oct for the 10th Annual Sports Award Ceremony to celebrate their sporting achievements. The guest-of-honour for the night, Associate Provost (Student Life), Associate Professor Kwok Kian Woon also revealed that plans were underway for a new sports complex to replace the present one, signif ying NTU’s commitment to improving sporting excellence in the university. The proposed complex would complement the ongoing renovations to equip the Sports and Recreation Centre field with artificial pitches that will be ready early next year. The Sportsman of the Year award went to Lee Cheng Wei, 26, for his contributions in the track relays. After enrolling in NTU in 2009, the National Institute of Education (NIE) undergraduate started training with the senior national relay squad. That same year, Lee captained the men’s national team to an unexpected silver medal in the 4x100 metre relay at the SEA Games in Vientiane, Laos, and broke the 40-second barrier, with a new
national record of 39.45 seconds. Lee is presently training to qualif y for the SEA Games in December, and the Asian Games next year. Absent that night, though, was NTU’s Sportswoman of the Year Bernice Lim. The 21-year-old was competing in the World Bowling Tour.
“Without the tremendous support of NTU, I wouldn’t have been able to make full use of the opportunities given to me.” Bernice Lim, 21 Sportswoman of the Year Sport Science and Management
She dominated t his year’s SUniG by winning two gold medals, and was named Overall Best Female Athlete for the games. The final-year student from the Sport Science and Management programme also won first place in this year’s Singapore National Championships, the doubles gold at the Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, and both the doubles and mixed team gold at the Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling
TOP OF THE CROP: Sportsman of the Year Lee Cheng Wei (left) receiving his award from Associate Provost (Student Life) Associate Professor Kwok Kian Woon. PHOTo cOurtesy of LEOW TIEN LENG
Championships. At the World Youth Bowling Championships, she won the doubles bronze, team silver, and even scored a perfect game en route to the Masters Final bronze. Given the number of competitions she had to take part in, Lim had to forego a whole semester. “Without the tremendous support of NTU, I wouldn’t have been able to make full use of the opportunities given to me,” she said
in an e-mail interview. Lim applied for a leave of absence to participate in competitions. Apart from the 147 bursaries and awards presented to NTU athletes, the NTU Spirit Awards were also presented to Mr Alvin Tay, the coach for the NTU’s floorball team, and Ms Serena Yeoh, the coach for the touch rugby team. They were awarded for their contributions to the respective sports.
Gunner be their year Amir Yusof
hen Jack Wilshere slid in that sumptuous team goal against Norwich City last month, Arsene Wenger skipped for ward and pumped his f ists gleefully. At that instant, the 64-year-old wily Frenchman looked like a child who had just been given ice-cream, all dignity forgotten. It was a goal fashioned on the A rsenal training ground, and the result of countless years spent sticking to a fluid brand of footballing philosophy. But recent years have not been kind to Wenger and fans worldwide. The 2003/2004 Invincibles season, in which Arsenal went an entire year unbeaten, was followed by a stark decline. Star players, including the likes of Thierry Henry, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, all left for greener pastures. Many reasoned that the club lacked the ambition to chase for honours, and to some extent, they
LOFTY AMBITIONS: Arsenal have been performing with all guns blazing, with Olivier Giroud (above) playing at top form as well. PHOTO: INTERNET
weren’t wrong. Arsenal’s trophy cabinet has not been touched since 2005, when the Gunners beat Manchester United to clinch the FA Cup. But this year feels different. Departing from its longstanding penchant for frugality, the club signed Mesut Ozil for £42.5 million (S$84.4 million). And midfielder Aaron Ramsey,
23, appears to have finally shaken off the nerves sustained from his horrific leg injury in 2010. The midfielder has started this season with such power and guile that football observers have chided Real Madrid for spending £100 million on the wrong Welshman. Up f ront , Ol iv ie r Gi roud , dismissed as the next Marouane Chamakh last year, has developed
his goal scoring prowess to the point that countryman Karim Benzema of Real Madrid is no longer France’s first-choice forward. On top of all this, Arsenal is in a position to challenge for title honours, after making their strongest start in five years with seven wins out of their first nine games. But Arsenal’s season could still fall flat. Midfield aside, the squad’s depth looks razor-thin. Whenever Giroud so much as pulls a muscle during a game, Arsenal fans cringe with fear, becau se t he y k now t hat t he alternative would be the muchmaligned and increasingly tubby Nicklas Bendtner. But while the depth of their squad pales in comparison to t hat of Manchester Cit y and Chelsea, they have a quality first 11 and a manager that is the most experienced in the league. What’s for certain is that if the Gunners win the title come May, they’ll do it in their trademark s wa shbuc k l i ng st yle — w it h Wenger’s triumphant fist pump, no less.
Sports is their business
Four entrepreneur students made sports their field a year ago. Now, the management team at Top Sport Group share their insights with Sports Editor David Lam.
hat began as a committee to organise a sports event for homeschoolers grew into a full-time business for four enterprising NTU students. In just a year, Top Sport Group ( T SG ) , heade d by M a na g i ng Director Lee Quanlong, 25, has expanded its business beyond event management to include a sports academy and talent management ser vices — a big leap from their earlier days, when they star ted out under N T U’s Minor in Entrepreneurship (MiE) programme. TSG Communications Officer Dylan Mah, 24, recalled facing f u nd i ng i ssues a nd r ed tape from the schools that they had approached. A l t h o u g h t h e s e c on d a r y s c ho ol s a nd j u n ior c ol le ge s were interested in TSG’s event management workshop — which teaches students how to organise their own sports events — they had not set aside funds for it at the start of their financial year. “Some other schools we approached were just not enthusiastic,” said the final-year student from the Sport Science and Management (SSM) programme.
Song Lili, 23, and Sales Manager Tan Hui Ming, 24 — decided their business was sustainable and decided to take it beyond MiE. They then registered their business, officially forming TSG. T h i s yea r’s HSSD w i l l be la r ge r-sca le — a s T SG look s to include new events such as tele-matches li ke t ug of wa r and spr int events, and traditional games like tops and five stones. They also aim to be better prepared in terms of logistics and scheduling, said the management team. The event that is to be held at Si ngapor e Ma nagement Universit y will include sharing sessions by Team Singapore athletes too. TSG has also signed national sprinter Calvin Kang as part of their talent management service, and they aim to increase his profile drastically. “We made the call to have him on Cleo magazine’s ‘50 Most
Eligible Bachelors’ feature,” Lee said.
Business in their blood
While the quartet counts themselves lucky to come across the opportunity to organise HSSD, Lee’s vision to set up a sports events management company came from even earlier on. Calling entrepreneurship his “natural calling”, he recalled wanting to start his own business a few yea r s back , even settling on the company’s name. “I have always seen myself as my own boss, as I believe that passion comes from putting work into something that you own,” Lee said. Lee then signed up for the MiE programme to find partners who shared his belief. “ To meet people w it h t he same vision and drive to move ideas along is ver y diff icult. “Fortunately, I found my partners through the programme,” he said. And share his vision they did. Song said, “Entrepreneurship isn’t just about making money, it is also about solving problems in society and benefiting the lives of others through your business.” The recent Nanyang Business Sc hool g r aduate ha s a la r ge breadth of industrial experience with her partners, having been part of numerous social enterprises such as Project Gourmet Gur u, an initiative by N T U’s St ude nt s i n Fr e e E nte r pr i s e (SIFE) to help homemakers monetise their culinary skills. Both Lee and Mah have done internships and jobs in sporting institutions that taught them the different aspects of running a
sports company. Beside ga i n i ng i ndu st r ia l knowledge from completing a diploma cou r se in Spor t and Leisure Management at Republic Polytechnic, Lee also has practical experience from working in sporting companies like ESPN. “Interning at ESPN gave me the opportunity to experience international events by playing different roles within different divisions throughout the firm, Lee said. Having seen all the works, I’ve gained insight on how I should run my own business.”
“Running a business requires you to work doubly, or even triply hard compared to your peers who work the nine-to-five.” Lee Quanlong Managing Director Top Sport Group
But Lee’s experiences were not all fancy, as he recalls having to do grunt work as part of his learning process. “I’ve done voluntar y work like giving out drinks and marshalling. Been there, done that,” he said. Meanwhile, Mah learnt about his field during his exchange programme with Rice University and Univerist y of Houston in
the United States, where he did sports marketing. During his time abroad, he also did a stint with the management team of Houston Dynamo – an A mer ican Major League Soccer club. He sa id: “I obse r ve d a nd learnt from how they organised t heir car nivals, gar nered t he crowd at matches, and delivered what they promised sponsors.” “The way they handled such a huge sports group was a huge learning point,” he said.
The next step
TSG aims to bring its present services to a point where they benefit each other. “Through inviting athletes to promote events, we raise the profile of both the athlete and the event. At t he sa me t i me, we get to train the next generation of sports event planners by roping in students we’ve taught previously for hands-on learning at our events,” said Lee. While the TSG management understands that the road towards growing and sustaining their business is long and arduous, they profess to have the passion and tenacity to persevere. Lee said: “Running a business requires you to work doubly, or even triply hard compared to your peers who work the nineto-five.” For Mah, running TSG is an endeavour that yields personal rewards in and of itself. Mah said: “I’ve always had the mentality that whether the business succeeds or not, there are many lessons that I can gain only in this field.”
The big break
It was then that Lee, also a finalyear student from SSM, came to know of the Homeschoolers’ Sports Day (HSSD) event through his sister, who homeschools her children. He also learnt of the organiser’s difficulty in juggling the event herself, handling both the planning and the logistics. L e e i m me d iate l y s aw t he potential of the event and offered to collaborate wit h t he organisers. “T he largest diff icult y we faced was the ser vice vendors not having enough equipment for the participants, and managing the schedule to face this shortage,” Lee said. After the completion of the event, the quartet — Lee, Mah, Marketing and Finance Manager
FULL TIME PASSION: Song (left) has taken on her role in Top Sport Group full-time since her graduation in August. Lee (middle) and Mah (right) look forward to join her in driving their business ahead at full steam when they graduate later this year. PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO
Passing the baton They have all represented NTU at a point in time. Some have graduated, others still compete. Redzwan Kamarudin sits down with three pairs of current and alumni athletes to talk about their experiences in the sporting scene back in the day and now.
RELAYING AMBITIONS: Sprinter Calvin Kang made a choice to put his studies on hold for a full year to pursue his athletic dreams single-mindedly, a decision that Dr Saravana Arjun believes every Singaporean athlete must inevitably face. PHOTOs: JEREMY CHAN
Dr Saravana Arjunan, NIE teaching fellow Calvin Kang, Second-year student in Sport Science and Management
r Saravana Arjunan, 43, has an outstanding sporting resume — five gold medals from representing NTU in the Inter-Varsity Games in the 800m, 1500m, and 5000m, and an NTU Sportsman of the Year award. His younger counter par t’s profile is not to be sniffed at eit her. Ca lv in Kang, 23, has represented Singapore at major competitions such as the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Guangzhou. But the current NTU sprinter admits the preparation is anything but easy. “I usually have a training plan
to chart my performance, and for each semester in university, I would set my calendar and plan my schedule in advance,” Kang said. “So it requires great discipline to not only come up with a plan but also stick to it,” he added. But it is academic obligations such as Kang’s that are exactly what Dr Saravana sees as the main hindrances to athletic development in Singapore today — instead of a lack of passion. “I think the athletes are all passionate. They all want to do their best, but there will be times when it’s a challenge,” Dr Saravana said. He added that when he was
teaching junior college students in PE, he noticed their academic commitments kept them busy until evening. “There are definitely higher expectations on athletes to be more well-rounded now, so there’s a trade-off between sports and academics that an athlete has to decide on,” he said. Having deferred his studies to concentrate on athletics training this year, Kang seems to be of the same mind as Dr Saravana. Rema rk ing on young and driven athletes like Kang: “I think the calling comes from within, whether you want to follow your heart or not.”
“There are definitely higher expectations on athletes to be more well-rounded now, so there’s a tradeoff between sports and academics that an athlete has to decide on.” Dr Saravana Arjunan, 43 Teaching Fellow National Institute of Education
Ms Joanne Loo, Netball coach for Under-21 Singapore team Ng Si Ying, Second-year student at School of Art, Design and Media
EYES ON THE BALL: Ng Si Ying (left) and Ms Joanne Loo (right) see passion and experience as the two main factors in deciding a sports team’s success going into a competition.
These two athletes have a lot in common, other than going to the same university. Both were trained by the same coach in the NTU netball team, wished they could spend more time out of their busy sporting schedules with their families, and are involved in the Under-21 Singapore netball squad. But that’s where the similarities stop. For one, Ms Joanne Loo, 34, is the coach of the Under-21 team, whereas Ng Si Ying, 20, is a player within the team. Also, in Ms Loo’s day, competition was fiercer and players trained harder, she said. Although NTU was dominant in inter-ter tiar y competitions when she was a player, her team had to fight hard for their titles. “If you look at scores, our matches were all closely fought,” Ms Loo said. “If you want to excel, you need your team to be disciplined, and to commit themselves to hard work. However, I find that nowadays you don’t see the same fire and drive,” she added. Ms Loo knew that she wanted to go into full-time netball coaching even before she entered NTU, and
pursuing a business degree was but a back-up measure to her main goal. While Ng agrees with Ms Loo on the lack of passion in some athletes nowadays, she does not think this is the case for the current NTU netball team. Instead, she believes her team is merely undergoing a transition where the senior players have graduated, leaving a fresh team of inexperienced players. Ng also added that students nowadays have a lot more to handle than in the past, in terms of their commitment to co-curricular activities on top of academic pressure. While Ng still thinks that the passion in today’s athletes could be stronger, she believes that NTU will get over their championship drought as the team accumulates more experience, and foresees the netball team returning to its winning ways. “Sooner or later we’ll take off, in a couple of years. Because then the senior players at NUS who are great netball players will be graduating, and our junior would have amassed enough match experience,” said Ng.
Mr Leslie Kwok, owner of health and massage spa Sheree Lim, final-year student at Nanyang Business School Many know Mr Leslie Kwok, 39, for representing Singapore at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, but most won’t know he found his passion for swimming only in his first year at NTU. While he was in NTU, Mr Kwok didn’t put too much pressure on himself — whether it was to be a straight-A student, or to beat his own time in the pool. “My philosophy is just to have passion for what I do, and results will follow,” said the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate. And passion is something that Sheree Lim, 22, also possesses. Lim said: “I feel that the pool is where I belong. And the pool is where I am happiest.” I n ter m s of t r a i n i ng a nd support while he was in NTU, Mr Kwok mostly relied on his club. He also trained with part-time coaches — the most prominent being Singapore's National Head Coach Ang Peng Siong, who was once the world number one in the 50-metre freestyle. Similarly, Lim also fulfills most of her training needs from her swimming club outside of
NTU, as she has an external coach there to help her with her personal training. “I’ve thought about pushing myself after I graduate, maybe even taking a gap year to focus on my swimming. “But as much I want to focus on swimming, my priority to enter the workforce makes the option that much less appealing to me,” she said. Mr Kwok himself recalls how his urgency to get a job led to his diminished time in the pool, and, ultimately, his retirement from swimming. “I retired not because I wanted to, but because I felt that I had to become more financially stable after graduating ,” said Mr Kwok. Recalling his university days, Mr Kwok implored Lim to treasure the relationships and experiences gleaned from representing NTU in swimming. “When I look back at my time as a swimmer, all the friends I’ve made, competitions I entered and places I’ve traveled to — all these are precious to me now,” he said. “It’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
WATER BUDDIES: Although Sheree Lim (left) and Mr Leslie Kwok (right) both faced their fair share of doubts towards their swimming careers, they agree that they will look back fondly upon their days in the pool for a long time to come.
Sports Jacq in a box Sporting a business outfit — Page 45
getting physical with...
Talk about closing a year of sporty pursuits with a punch. In the final instalment of Getting Physical With, a Singaporean boxing legend teaches Jacqueline Lim how to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
ike invisible strings, coach Syed Abdul Kadir’s words tugged at my arms, pulling them taut, then loosening their pull to let my arms retract. “Left. Right. Left. Left. Right. Right.” I clenched my fists — wrapped tightly in cloth to prevent wrist injuries — inches from my cheeks, and tucked my elbows close to protect my ribcage. I was in the Singapore Judo Fe d e r at ion’s c a r p a r k b e i n g tutored in the art of boxing by the legendary coach Kadir, the champion boxer of 60s Singapore. Coach Kadir enthusiastically welcomed me to the club with the excruciating jabbing drill, even before I could catch my breath af ter t he gr ueling war m-ups that comprised a 3km jog and 20 minutes of skipping rope. Pe r s pi r at ion beaded ove r my body a s I bou nced bac k and for th on the balls of my feet — to “loosen up and get the momentum”, according to coach Kadir. H is fat herly gr i n had me fooled into thinking the threeminute drill would be effortless — he had called it a “simple exercise”. T h e 65 -y e a r- ol d b ox i n g veteran had me keep my feet a
shoulder-width apar t and my knees slightly bent, with my right foot behind my left.
Method to the chaos
T he d r i l l t r a i ne d boxe r s to strategically jab with their nonmaster hand during fights, while waiting for an opening in the opponent’s defence, or to lean their weight in for a hard blow with their master hand should their opponent’s concentration falter. Around me was a motley crew of fighters — counting among their ranks a teenager and a company director — who did their drills in an unnervingly synchronised fashion. I became more comfortable in the boxers’ company as I spoke to them and found out about their diverse backgrounds and motivations to lear n boxing, eventually enjoying the homely vibe they brought to the spartan car park. Secondar y school st udent Prithiv Raaj, 16, started learning boxing under coach Kadir four years ago, while Kevin Matthew, 31, has been boxing for 14 years, since his brother introduced him to the sport. “ I ’ v e t r ie d m a n y s p or t s , but not h ing is as physica lly
ONE-two punch: Legendary coach Kadir (left) teaches Jacqueline the right way to jab without compromising her defence during a fight.
SHADOW-BOXING: In the most spartan of training venues, Jacqueline discovers the art of boxing, and a whole lot of post-workout pain the next day. PHOTOS: FELIX CHEW
or me nt a l l y c h a l le ng i ng a s boxing,” said the British expat, who is the managing director of a recruitment company. At the end of the jabbing drill, the accumulated fatigue from the earlier warm-ups had begun to take its toll on me. But I didn’t know whether it was pu re fat ig ue, or m i ld dehydration because I only had one short water break. After deeming my basic jabs satisfactory, Coach Kadir started on uppercuts, an upward punch directed at an opponent’s chin. Learning the uppercut was an empowering experience, as it causes serious damage at close range. I f inally graduated to the punching bags after 30 minutes of constant punching drills with coach Kadir. This turned out to be a really good stress-relieving exercise as I hit the punching bag with a venom and ferocity typically r e s e r v e d f o r c h e a t i n g e xboyfriends. Af ter wards, cooling down exercises led by Matthew were almost as intense as the rest of
the workouts throughout the night. The core exercises had my abdominal muscles protesting and feeling like they were going to rip at any moment.
"This turned out to be a really good stressrelieving exercise as I hit the punching bag with a venom and ferocity typically reserved for cheating ex-boyfriends." Thankfully, I was spared from the last exercise as cvfoach Kadir told me my body was not ready for the pain it involved. I n t hat e xe r c i se, Ke v i n
bounced a medicine ball — a weighted ball meant for strength conditioning on the core muscles of t he b oxe r s — onto t he i r abdominal muscles while they were lying down. T h e e xe r c i s e c on d i t i on s the boxer to build a resistance against the inevitable beating during sparring matches.
No pain, no gain
Despite the pain and bruises that the boxers have to live with in the following days, the prospect of reaching new physical limits at each boxing session has them coming back for more. Prithiv said it also helps that his parents are very supportive of h i s p a s s ion , d e s pi t e t h e occasional facial injuries he gets from sparring. “My parents are totally okay with it, and I’ve never had big reactions from them,” he said. For my part, while I'd avoided any facial injuries, I could barely leave my bed for days after. So, in the fulfilling year in which I'd tried out a dozen sports, I was rightfully floored by the most grueling one of them all.